Good for the Goose, Good for the Gander, Freo style?



Later last year  I was at a council meeting where the COF council voted to divest our city funds from any  financial institution that did business with industries  that support  fossil fuel companies, I QUOTE,” In August this year Fremantle Council adopted modifications to its investment policy that gives clear directions not to place council funds into banks or financial institutions that support fossil fuel industries, unless there is no alternative.”

So I was very surprised  to see that our mayor Brad Pettitt was dealing with a committee that is funded by mainly fossil fuel. Now I’m the pro car guy so I have no problem with these big companies taking an interest with our great state or city.

The question is our Council and Mayor  voted, as quoted above to have no dealings with financial institutions that supported fossil fuel industries so why is our Mayor appearing to be dealing with a group (committee for Perth)  that is funded primarily by fossil fuel industries?

Further future freo shares a vision with the committee for Perth, which its primary or foundation members are predominantly from fossil fuels producers, so the question begs why is it not suitable for COF to invest with banks that deal with fossil fuel companies but its ok for the direction of Fremantle to be shared with a group who is driven by the sort of companies that the council choose to reject?

Does that seem strange to anyone?

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  1. freoishome says:

    The context of divestment regarded the CoF Investment policy.

    The Mayor has an Electric car, but they are serviced by mechanics who get most of their income from fossil fuel users.

    The retail that the CoF plans to grow will have their deliveries by fossil fuelled trucks.

    Is this just criticism for its own sake, or is there really an issue here?

    • Mark says:

      Good question Paul its one for our city in general to ask.
      A quote from Brads blog on the issue, “In light of the recent China and the US announcement of a negotiated deal to reduce their carbon emissions, it is timely that the City of Fremantle put out a media release highlighting a further policy by the City to make sure we put our money where are values are in terms of investments and fossil fuels.”
      Its brad who calls for us to put our money and values in place of investment and fossils fuels. Is freofuture not an investment in our future and committee of Perth foundation members are a group with a strong involvement in the fossil fuel business, so for me its a question of principle, what principles does the city have in this regard? As it seems words and actions are not the same? A contradiction so to speak or not? Is wrong to question our elected members when they seem to verbalize one direction but action appears to take another?

      • Diana Ryan says:

        Perhaps Mark’s point is more relevant than he realises, Paul. You have a MAJOR trucking issue in Fremantle, and you did before the Roe 8 reared up again. I’d call that a fossil fuel issue.

        You can’t buy offsets to emissions produced in Freo elsewhere – that’s not going to help the people of Freo.

        I understand a wide variety of freight passes through Freo Port – and Committee for Perth’s members range from fossil fuel companies to developers and large scale equipment hirers to shopping centre owners – with the freight task increasing every year.

        Not all the Committee’s members will ship or receive their product thru Freo Port, but it is likely many do. Given the sheer no. of large businesses and corporations on the Committee’s books, I think it adds up to an issue of collective corporate responsibility.

        The Committee does boast that its members are leaders in the business community.

        This sub regional study collaboration is an opportunity for these business leaders to reveal corporate responsibility in a new and powerful way, by addressing what efforts will be undertaken to reduce the impact freighting and resulting emissions have on Freo’s population.

        Not much point suggesting the govt do or pay for something as that’ll take forever – whose bringing in the freight now and in the intervening years?

        Other ports/port towns have placed emissions controls/zones in place relating to their ports. Perhaps CfP’s members can be game changers here – because anyone can write a report, but for some reason the Committee has zeroed in on Freo. So, apart from saying “needs more affordable housing” and “benchmarking” against other port cities, which will probably involve a pleasant study tour but doesn’t really matter as so many people do those things, can they bring truly transformative action to the area, by their own actions?

        The CfP’s release on this project, found on the Mayor’s blog dated Oct 1, 2014 says:
        “Our first sub region project will present data on Fremantle as it is today as well as identify opportunities and challenges to ensure that the region is an economically sustainable and vibrant place to live, work, play and invest for current and future generations.”

        Oddly, it also says:
        “Setting aside the anecdotal commentary about the Fremantle region’s strengths and weaknesses, the year-long project will culminate in a data rich report.”

        If, at the end of this year of collaboration, there is no corporate commitment from a collective corporate entity to reducing the freight impacts they may have- then the collaboration isn’t going to be a “guide” to much at all, given how much work Freo has already done on looking at itself.

  2. My understanding is that the Holden Volt has a 1.4L DOHC petrol 4-cylinder engine. It’s made in the USA, so no jobs to Australians for that one.

    Should the council be investing ratepayers funds in anything other than term deposits? Absolutely not. There was a time not that long ago when the City of Melville and many other councils around Australia lost millions ($15 million from the City of Melville from memory) in ratepayers money because they gambled it on getting additional investment and instead lost it.

    If the result of these green policies means that the ratepayers earn less interest in the funds they have available, the net result is that ratepayers end up paying more in rates. People end up paying more in rent as landlords need to recover their rates fees through rent.

    How much of councilors own money is invested in these alternative sources at less return? I very much doubt that all of the councilors that voted for this have their own money invested in these green ethical sources.

    It’s another example of trying to make the council more sustainable. But sustainability comes at a price and we as ratepayers are the ones paying for it.

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