‘Insensitive mediocrity’ on the rise | Fremantle Herald Interactive


Ever wonder why Fremantle has the constant rate rises on Non mayoral elections years, keep reading

Source: ‘Insensitive mediocrity’ on the rise | Fremantle Herald Interactive

Great piece by John Dowson, straight to the point kicking off with what a waste of rate payer’s money the council ad piece was wrapped around the Fremantle Herald. Its only point was to be self serving.

Cutting to the chase of the Mayors claim of no politics on council, where anyone who watches or takes interest in the CoF, politics is all you can see. Does the Mayor seriously expect anyone to believe that statement.

It seems Fremantle is not the only place state and federal politics are driving councils.

Greens play dirty pool to get Mayor in to Canning?

Cutting to John’s passion the heritage in Fremantle. Anyone questioning the councils lack of care just has to go and stand in front of the our town Hall and see holes in the roofing and plumbing sections, to see the lack of care and respect our town hall has had over the last 10 years. Look up just past the entrance an RHS of the town hall and see bits just waiting to fall off. Their own reports say if the restoration/maintenance work is not done by next winter the damage could be irreparable. Its not even safe to use the flag poles on its roof.

Fremantle Town Hall On Deaths Door

Then this weeks Herald, another great piece for a thinking allowed NO MORE STATUS QUO  bringing together months of issues right through to the 2029 vision the council had, which lacked the real input left by the community.

Sadly community input is only taken into count of if it follows our council group think or ideologies. Which leaves Fremantle’s future with a woeful forecast, when taking into account the recent survey statistics it’s even more worrying. From this report it shows residents are far from happy and at some of its lowest level in this surveys history


You may read on other blogs statements like this but you need to always go to the original source and see what was actually stated.

JOHN DOWSON:  The council’s business plan for King’s Square states, “the project derives a positive net present value to the city (enhancing community wealth)…”.However, independent assessments claim $30 million of community wealth is actually being destroyed. 

John Dowson actually stated “However, independent assessments claim $30 million of community wealth is actually being destroyed. Former mayor Tagliaferri called the deal with developer Sirona “crazy” and warned of a Freo Inc-style outcome. “

Kings Square deal ‘crazy’ | Fremantle Herald Interactive

Till now these questions remain unanswered, with council hiding behind secret council meetings called with out proper agendas being posted, but don’t worry this is the council that believes in transparency? This is why we cant see the reports used to justify their $30 million gamble with our funds and assets. The best yet we saw was the Mayors Brad Pettitts & CEO’s thinking allowed which attempted to belittle the resident who raised questions on this Kings Square business promo piece.

07/11/2012 Planning services committee Agenda Agenda Minutes Minutes
05/11/2012 Ordinary meeting of council   Minutes Minutes
24/10/2012 Ordinary meeting of council Agenda Agenda Minutes Minutes

Read the articles, look at the surveys on the links above and below & decide for yourself. To me this council looks like 1 step forward two steps back.



FREMANTLE mayor BRAD PETTITT and council CEO GRAEME MACKENZIE co-author a response to last week’s THINKING ALLOWED by Martin Lee. IN last week’s Herald the Kings Square redevelopment was subject […]


WA local government minister Tony Simpson has been asked in parliament whether Fremantle council’s business plan for Kings Square stacks up. Willagee Labor MP Peter Tinley posed a series of […]


FREMANTLE city council will have to sell the Samson Recreation Centre and Fremantle Leisure Centre carpark to help pay for its new Kings Square HQ. The council may also have […]






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  1. Jayne says:

    Lots of relevant point Mark. The Mayor’s rebuttal this week regarding his supposed high regard for heritage conveniently glossed over the fact he’s had ten years to fix the Town Hall and instead let it rot away. Now, just before the election, its renovation is suddenly a hot topic, as is the long overdue cleaning up South Terrace. Does it take an election to see the Mayor interested in doing something for the residents rather than his personal ideologies?

    In fact, while his responses this week seemed detailed and seemed to address the points John Dowson raised, it was in fact all smoke and mirrors – as usual. Just like when he supposedly addressed Martin on the missing $30 million from the Kings Square business plan. Lots of words – but no answers. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to have a mayor who didn’t try to spin every answer into a personal glory moment and instead just spoke openly and frankly, and believed his ratepayers weren’t fools?

    Will we ever get honest answers? Like why Sunset Events has greater influence in Freo than the wishes of residents. How it’s ok that council staff get free city parking while he tells us we don’t need cars in the city? Why the historic West End is increasingly seeing modern boxes exceeding the 14m limit? And when Freo has the second lowest level of tree canopy in Australia, why the council allows large trees to be removed? This week three large established trees were removed from Pakenham St to make way for another ugly block of apartments in the historic west end.

    • Mark says:

      General a misdirection from the question actually asked or issue at hand.
      Rate increase this for fremantle ratepayers 2015.
      Rate increase this for fremantle ratepayers 2014.
      No rate increase the year brad ran for re-election 2013

  2. There was a rates increase in the election year of 2013, but it was to CPI, so he obviously understands that concept, just unable to live within his means.

    I had the displeasure of reading Pettitt’s thinking allowed article in the Herald and what really bugs me is the way he constantly refers to Fremantle as less than a 7-day a week economy and how his so-called actions are going to turn it around. Fremantle has had 7-day trading for longer than most other metropolitan centres. He backed the MANY6160 popup concept, which only managed to open 3 days a week until recently and now is open 4 days a week begrudgingly. This conveniently replaced and arguably Fremantle largest retailer, a 7-days a week business which brought in other business to the smaller retailers. His support of its removal amplifies his neglect of Fremantle’s retail.

    The talking down of Fremantle is being done by him. He has never run a 7-day a week business, or owned a business in Fremantle or anywhere else for that matter, yet he’s going to lead Fremantle to having a 7-day a week economy, which it already has. Don’t make me LAUGH!!!!!

    What he should be doing is not talking down the retail businesses in Fremantle and finding a way to increase business for each and everyone of the 7-days in a week. But people have been saying this for ages and it involves allowing more free parking, or free-er parking, or parking reform. Fremantle’s most recent survey even now, highlighted parking as ‘the’ main issue. Or, Fremantle’s retailers, need to work together to subsidize the parking that is there. Either way, removing parking is NOT the answer.

    His criticism of John Dowson in relation to heritage spending fails to remind people, that he himself was on that very council that was headed by Mayor Tagliaferri and he was but one vote on that council.

    He is also again taking credit for private works being undertaken in and around the city, specifically Rose O’Grady’s. Which as I understand it, is being conducted by its owners with the City of Fremantle making over-the-top requirements relating to restoration works. He does have a bad habit of taking credit for other peoples efforts. The State government, thank goodness, decided to put money into restoring the Warders Cottages, otherwise we might have been burdened by a 50 years loan, thanks primarily to one of his hair-brained schemes.

    He also failed to mention that the Evan Davies building top floor has been vacant for around 24 months. This has a lease value of around $250,000 per annum. So they’ve lost $500,000 in rent for having a vacant top floor and spent $500,000 on fixing up a facade. Prior to this, the CoF constantly leased this to KULCHA at a rental loss of around $150,000 Per annum for many years.

    • Martin says:

      I was wondering what the Evan Davies building was…

      The City of Fremantle Budget for 2014/15 involved transferring A$480,000 from the Investment Reserve to fund this building renewal. See Page 26 of the 2014/15 Budget for details.

      You can find the doc on this page: http://www.fremantle.wa.gov.au/cityoffremantle/Strategic_and_key_documents

      If you read Page 30 of the document it clearly describes to purpose of the Investment Reserve – it is to be quarantined for investment in income producing assets. It is not intended to be spent on building maintenance, which is supposed to come from the Municipal Reserve.

      Our Council once again is selling investment properties and using the funds to pay for recurring expenditure – in direct contravention to the guidelines contained in its Investment Policy SG14.


      The total moved out of the Investment Reserve to be spent on recurring expenditures since mid 2012 now tops A$15 million. A$12 million was transferred in 2012 alone. That A$15 million should have been invested in income producing assets that generate a commercial rate of return, to top up CoF income. They are selling the Farm and throwing the cash around on pet projects.

      At least A$1 million has been transferred from the Investment Reserve to the Sustainability Reserve, which was specifically set up to receive these funds. You can put 2+2 together and can quite quickly work out where the CoF sustainability programme for schools is getting funded, which looks to be rolled out be a Greens candidate in an upcoming by-election.

      Why is Council selling its investment properties [which funds get deposited in the Investment Reserve], and then raiding the Investment Reserve to spend on recurring expenditure?

      This is how it intends to fund the Kings Square project. It has already voted to raid the Investment Reserve for much more funds. First to raise A$29 million to start the funding of the project, and then voted a second time to raid it again for whatever is needed to make up any shortfall.

      I get the impression that Councillors do not understand the purpose of the Investment Reserve, or the intent of Investment Policy SG14 [the Investment Committee has not bothered to meet since April 2008!!!]

      CoF already transferred A$2 million of the initial A$12 million to a Reserve Fund named Kings Square Improvements in 2012. It is still sitting there untouched. What is it for???

      …I was rolling on the floor laughing today, after reading the article about Rachel Pemberton proposing that the CoF set up a “Future Fund”. They are so busy spending money generated by the hard work of previous generations of Councillors… selling of CoF investment properties that were accumulated over decades!

      I was going to joke that the only way the CoF could set up a “Future Fund” is by selling more CoF investment properties, but my worry is that Rachel would think that it was a “great idea!!!”.


      • Thanks for the information Martin. Again, great analysis as always. I will pass this onto the minister and let you know the outcomes. I’ll make further comment regarding the “future fund”, what a joke!! A fund to support light rail, even though they know it will make little if any difference. Hmm, it certainly sounded to me like an unnecessary TAX on ratepayers. No surprises there though.

        Hell, if i was a candidate, I would certainly be highlighting this fact!! Rachael Pemberton wants to tax people in Fremantle for a non-existent light rail project that is 20 years away, if at all. That will add little if any benefit, if it ever comes about.

        Please, after 4 years of local government representation, she STILL doesn’t understand the differences between the local, State and Federal government, especially given she’s been working for Scott Ludlam for 6 years. Mate, that is the sadist part of it all. Her promises for the next 4 years are nothing short of a joke. Nothing substantial and mostly wishy washy waffle speak.

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