Perth low density stuns planner – The West Australian

Expert says Perth the lowest density major city he has seen.

Source: Perth low density stuns planner – The West Australian

Currently we see in Fremantle a protest against the Perth Freight Link.

One of the issues driving congestion on roads is obviously more cars.

Now as density increases it is only going to make the issues worse. Seems we are creating problems and then looking for a solution to the problem we have just made for ourselves, wouldn’t it be better to not create the problems in the 1st place.

Fremantle council seems very good at creating its own problems then to spend even more of our rates on finding solutions and then even more money telling us what a great job they are doing at solving problems they have in fact create or made worse.

A few examples

  • Selling car parking and making Freo harder to get into and find car parking, they have spent years giving Freo a anti-car image, then they spent reportedly $20,000 on an app for parking which get a iTunes Customer ReviewsAlmost useless, by nickname1950. Can’t say I have ever met anyone who admits to using it. Problem made, money spent, no solution. Or even better their great big parking signs which are regularly broken and no-one really knows what they mean anyway. More $$$$ gone.
  • It’s a bit like the massive bug killer lamp outside at chambers, great idea, then you look around and see stagnant water everywhere in their street flower pots, made an environment to breed mosquitos, then bought the solution to kill them, brilliant?
  • Mayor Brad says Fremantle is a progressive city so they view graffiti vandalism as art, now we have graffiti everywhere and spend a small fortune cleaning it up and leaving Freo like ghetto that no-one cares about, which in reality should be a thriving tourist destination, another council made problem needing to be fixed.
  • Mayor makes areas for “dedicated begging” in our streets, the solution he made for the problem he created when Perth clamped down on street begging and homeless and our mayor invited them to come to Freo, it surprisingly created another problem, needing to be fixed. What’s not so easy to fix is the dodgy anti-social image it gave Freo killing off more business.
  • Fremantle has an anti-social image with substance abuse driven by the number of large licensed areas in town, Fremantle makes a good alcohol policy then completely ignores it by leasing the J-Shed out for another 1800+ booze barn. Another problem to be fixed in the future?
  • Fremantle has the second worse rating for hard cover surfaces in the 202020 report, then concretes the esplanade, then straight into a new green plan after approving a plan that involved cutting down over 100 mature trees at the Kim Beazley site. They currently say they want to increase the park space in Freo yet are wanting to build or develop on Pioneer Park.
  • Fremantle councils direction over the years has allowed all the negative issues for Fremantle to build up, graffiti, substance abuse,, drunkenness, the need for a spew patrol, anti-social behaviour, loss of parking, the constantly messed with road systems, loss of groups like Myers, causing a loss of visitors frequenting Fremantle, hence causing a loss of business, leaving COF in its current situation, causing Fremantle again to spend $$ fix a problem it help create. Like $42M or is it $44M perhaps $52Million to help regenerate a CBD its help run down. Sorry about the different figures it’s not clear what the is cost is going to be, its only rate payer money, perhaps another issue to fix in the future with a massive rate hike for instance?

The scenery our new Hilton guests can view from their windows


The scenery our new Hilton guests can view from their windows

Does this seem logical to anyone, you could go with dozens of examples like this.

Now we come to density. So we cut block sizes, up the R-code, increasing hard surface coverage, causing more mature trees to be destroyed, increasing the population then yell about not building road to help with congestion caused by increasing density. Now as people don’t have backyards we have to build more parks and connections to the ones we have, another problem caused by council to then need fixing.

Here’s a quote from the article

“Perth’s the lowest density major city I’ve ever seen,” he said.

Mr Gordon said the good news was that Perth had land near major roads and railways that could be developed. He said it was not always necessary to “disturb stable residential communities” to do infill well.

“You’ve got miles and miles and miles of main roads just strung with dreck, low density shopping centres half abandoned, car dealerships, industrial areas . . . these are fantastic opportunities for infill and growth,” he said.”

So why is our council driving density in areas with traffic congestion issues in some cases over R100? Why are we doing infill to areas that are stable residential communities, building more problems like destroying tree canopy, increasing congestions, lowering services, increasing rates, causing more disputes with neighbours over development. Not ensuring suitable parking is allocated for new developments, only to cause more disputes in the future.

Fremantle’s road infrastructure has been eroded over the years, now by having one of the higher density increases in the metro area, these problems are being added to, while all the necessary services needed to help cater for this increase in density are not being supplied.

The Council has blindly followed Barnett’s government infill strategy while getting none of the services needed to support the density increase. We see more people coming to the area, no improvements or even plans to improve Public Transport. We have seen thousands of jobs leave the Freo CBD, yet more people planned to live here. If you want all these people to live here would it be better to ensure jobs are here for them, so they all don’t have to drive miles to get work, again adding to the congestion issues. Let’s face it you struggle to get a pair of kid’s school shoes in Freo and the council calls Freo the second city for the state.

Are residents happy about it judging by the satisfaction survey I guess not?

So again they have created another plan to create more problems only needing to be solved in the future. Every $ spent fixing a problem they made or help make is a $ less spent on services to rate payers and residents.

Of course we can increase density in perth buts lets do it where we have the infrastructure and the right ingredients to make it work well. I guess they will just add their poor density and its impacts to their legacy of solutions needing to be found?

Leave a Reply


  1. Des says:

    I really have to agree with your point, poor old Freo has been on a downward slide since the late 90’s, but the last decade it has been in free fall.
    Time for a change of the guard so to speak, Freo’s Politburo has to go, their political agenda has taken Fremantle into the gutter.
    We are thinking of moving into our rental property in Melville and renting out our place, the old family home in Freo. Freo has just become a run down, poorly serviced, mismanaged suburb.

    Its really a shame.

    Liked your critic of the councils spin on their community service survey.

    Yes we love the Herald too.


    • Mark says:

      To be fair Des all of Fremantles woes cant be hung on this one council, there are factors outside their control, the state gov certainly hasn’t done Fremantle many favours in the last 20 years. The hospital drama alone you will find both sides of politics finger prints on.
      For sure there r lots of little things council could go better, which collectively, could have had a much better outcome. The worry is how long will it take a new council to reverse the damage done and what will it cost?

  2. Martin says:

    Hi Mark,

    The only way to fix this mess is at the ballot box.

    There is an election in October for 6 Councillors. There is an opportunity to purge our Council of 6 of the Muppets that have created the Freo we see today. If we don’t do this, we rate payers can only blame ourselves for the mess Freo is in.

    We don’t just need a change in people, but a change in the type of people. We need people who want to focus on local issues, and park their political ideologies at the door of the Chambers.

    Too many of our Councillors are using their positions on Council simply to push their own political futures and interests. Why?

    Well it was news to me, but some parties use local government as a Kindergarden for budding politicians. They need to earn their stripes before being taken seriously for pre-selection (although the better candidates seem to be able to bypass this stage?).

    Perhaps many of our Councillors are more interested in being seen by their political masters in State and Federal politics than representing rate payers’ interests on local issues. I think you will find this applies to more than half of them.

    Bill Massie is an obvious exception, as he really does focus on representing locals on local issues. No doubt the “in crowd” at Council are working hard to replace him with one of their own. Hilton – Beware!

    We shouldn’t have to go to Garden City to buy basic items, but sadly we now do. Freo is approaching a “Tipping Point” in retail, and if we don’t change direction very quickly it may just collapse. Nothing our Council is doing is addressing this, and no amount of property development will turn this around.

    It is delusional for our Council to think that a problem with “Demand” is to be solved by increasing supply! This is Economics 101. We have no shortage of empty shops.

    We need to attract lots more people from surrounding suburbs to visit and shop in Freo – this will not be solved by a few new inner city apartments. Why won’t people visit Freo – just read Marks blog…

    Our Councillors just have their heads in the sand (or somewhere else), and are denying the real cause of the retail decline.

    If we don’t change the Councillors in October, the direction being taken will not change.


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