Future Freo 2029 Concerns and Beyond?

space port

Plenty of Concrete

 

Recently the COF council, had the Future Freo presentation in the city chambers for general public, it was not a bad showing the reception room was 3/4 full and a bit of a different crowd from usual?

Now I take it this plan was formed from the 2029 workshops back in 2013, I attended a couple before they were cancelled. Late in 2104 a year or so after the workshops were finished, the finalized report was ready for public release. Reading it I was a little surprised as it did not reflect the meetings I had been too, I can’t recall anyone wanting a train running through the cappuccino strip, I did hear discussion back and forth about closing to cars and buses but no clear direction came out of that discussion that I saw, or heard. Not surprising it was seemingly a great document for supporting council’s current ideologies that they are driving? Surprising that, really, ok maybe not? It only cost us about $100,000.oo

I was one of many who were surprised to see the report released in December 2014 and how it resembled little of the workshops I had attended. I’m sure in the discussion we had at the workshops on increased density no residents envision things like Burts St R160 zoning proposal, in a completely inappropriate location and so close to the Fremantle Arts Centre. The area already has a parking issue, if council’s requirements for this development will be as weak as they area they have been other places in regards to parking, the problem will only be exacerbated. No requirements for open public space, for this new development, or councils plan to drive for 40m+ at McCabe St? While @2029 workshops there was a clear message of additional park space for new developments? No luck for Burt St just suck it up?

For me the concerning part of the direction is that why council is planning for light rail (a nice idea I would love to see it happen) the body (state Gov), COF council is expecting to pay for the idea, reports a week later in the press they move away from light rail to more bus oriented. You would think that if COF council was coming up with a vision it would at least be in the realms of possibility? Even labor is not promising rail for Fremantle and Freo MLA Simone McGurk was reported as being pessimistic about the vision coming to fruition. “It’s one thing to come up with ideas for how to revitalise Fremantle, but to my mind the real issue is how this is actually achieved,” she said”

It’s one thing to be on a different page but it seems COF council is at the other end of the Dewey decimal system from state government plans and more importantly budgeting, Speaking of libraries that was the other hot topic for the presentation that the Mayor caught some flack on was

UNDERGROUND RESISTANCE TO BURIED BOOKS

February 27, 2015 · by Your Herald · in News. ·

BIBLIOPHILES have declared war on plans to bury Fremantle library.

As part of its long-planned revamp of Kings Square, the council wants to put the library underground.

But critics say the plan is short-sighted and fails to harness the library’s potential as an attraction in its own right.” end quote.

It seems a few residents don’t like the idea of stairs for our library as it will be underground or maybe it’s the electrical power hungry lifts or escalators they object to and with the aging population demographics of Fremantle, it’s probably a smart comment, and I see the same issues hit the comments/letter to the Herald last week too.

Another comment raised was apart from the CBD what does this plan do for the other 90% of rate payers or so? But a question for another day perhaps, as I trying not to let these posts get to long.

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One comment

  1. Diana Ryan says:

    I think two things about the light rail concept, that Fremantle obviously want to keep alive in the govt’s mind.

    It should ensure it is able to contribute financially to this line – for all the demands over ensuring the MAX light rail go ahead I never heard any of the local govts offer to contribute to its cost (and this was an important part of the Gold Coast Light Rail getting the go ahead). Such things CAN make a difference. For instance, when I was working on the Knowledge Arc, a shopping centre in the process of doubling its size (and it was already catering for a lot of Curtin students’ needs due to its proximity) wanted the route deviated to run past it. It wasn’t the best option, but a source deep inside govt said that if the shop offered a million dollars to the deal – a starting point of negotiation – it could make a difference. So could offering to build a specific level of “station” to make going to that location to get on the light rail more likely. So Freo retaining the ability to contribute to the cost of a light rail is always going to be a bargaining chip. Is there a reserve set up for that within the budget?

    The other thought is that it doesn’t appear Freo has the nearby councils’ support to act as a district wide bid to bring a light rail on. It seems to be the opposite, in fact, with Cockburn saying recently they couldn’t keep hoping a light rail would pass though the area, and delaying development as a result, forever, and I seem to recall there hasn’t been a high level of co-operation between those councils anyway, in terms of reserving space for a light rail (and presumably development around it to capitalise on it – which is often assured will happen, but we continue to not see this dynamism occur around the vast majority of heavy rail train stations in Perth).

    So its one thing to continue to keep the candle burning (and why not?) but it must be matched with contributions from the council and the surrounding councils – not just thrust back on the state or federal govt. Local/state/federal/private funding contributions ultimately brought the Gold Coast Light Rail.

    I might add I had the privilege of spending an hour or two, every few months, during the compilation of the 11,000 page bid by the successful Goldlinq consortium that built the Qld light rail, with one of its key people. He would explain all the hurdles they faced, how it was going. I remember very clearly one thing above all others: the consortium would never accept the offer of land around the rail as payment, for them to develop it as intensively as they could, in order to recoup any private finance they may have used to build the rail. They said they simply could not rely on the land paying for it – bit like we can’t rely on ore royalties to stay high, so banks will continue to lend.

    We attribute a HUGE amount to what a light rail can do, but the heavy rail struggles to be used as it should, and has always done.

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