My thoughts on Roel post on his blog, my family live in this area so i think i have quite a good understanding of what locals think, i don’t know anyone who owns there own home in the area that wants high density or large apartment blocks. the area has been plagued with anti-social issues, drug dealing and petty crime and vandalism. History from the world tells us that the higher the density the worse the problem. We have a council that drives this high density but as best i know most of them live in houses with yards, garages, drive ways etc, not the they preach how everyone should live.


Roel the community in Blinco St are galready up in-arms about development just across the road as their homes/houses where getting two story in front of them. Not to mention the street already has huge parking issues. So how you think that 8 stories is OK I have no idea.

The area has a mountain of homes West housing just up the street, just over in Beaconsfield is a whole lot more, known as the Beacy Broncs, also well known for massive police raids and a continually hot bed of trouble, petty crime home invasions, vandalism graffiti and intimation to those who call the authorities to complain. Across the road on the northern side of High St is a heap more.

Just up the Hill from this area going East, they have over a couple of years homes demolished, Homes West houses, which were also well known for drug dealing hot spots and domestic violence.

Some quotes from the herald

“He says some locals will welcome Homes west’s exit as tenants’ drug-dealing has been an issue for years.”

“Hope Street’s Les Moyle has lived in the area for 32 years and he’s glad to see the back of Homes west and hopefully backyard meth labs and police visits.”

I was standing alongside Steve Grant when he took the photo at this community group meeting, 6 or 7 mins walk from the place your article is referring too. Again lots of promises at the this meeting about actions the council was going to take, (possibly as it was just before an election) now the election has past, action seems pretty much nothing on the  issue.

Fremantle already has a higher than average % of homes west than the average suburb and needs no more. Just 2 weeks ago we see cars torched at the cold store area as drug dealing issues come to the front in homes west houses again.

Tales of blood and bins

“Car blaze last straw for terrified tenant

A CAR that was set alight in an alleged arson attack belongs to a man who was last week involved in a fracas with neighbours at Fremantle’s Cold Stores housing complex(“Residents besieged,” Herald, February 13, 2016).

A 43-year-old fellow tenant of the WA Housing complex between Queen Victoria and Beach Streets has been charged with criminal damage by fire”

We shouldn’t even need to mention the traffic issues in the area as both High St and Stevens St have traffic issue leaving the valley on Steven St at both ends is already dangerous with dumb design on Hampton Rd and the council ignoring a decade of complaints about the other end on Carrington where you have to blindly out onto a major rd.

South St has its own set of problems and the High St intersection with Stirling Hwy is another traffic black spot, well known for accidents and is full of trucks from the port as it’s the major route out.

The local primary school is full, past capacity with transportable units on the school oval. The Kim Beazley site is yet to have single resident move in, which is set to add 100’s more on just one block, in the middle of the mess I have just mentioned

And you think adding thousands on more people into a suburb area in high rises to create future slums is a good idea?

You may not have noticed but people who spend millions on penthouses don’t like the idea of a possible drug dealer or meth lab on the ground floor under their penthouse, having to rely on the roll of the dice you get from homes west.

High density in this area would be a disastrous outcome for what was another leafy green suburb, rapidly being destroyed by a political motivated councils density drive which is destroying our tree canopy and massively increasing our urban heat sink

Ours suburbs should look more like this

Residents report feeling better and having fewer health problems when there are more trees on their street. Photograph: Jon Hrusa/EPA

Residents report feeling better and having fewer health problems when there are more trees on their street. Photograph: Jon Hrusa/EPA

than more concrete boxes like we see on Amherst St as in your pics.

Roel Loopers Freoview

Roel Loopers Freoview


Leaving less and less space for kids to play while driving more traffic in poorly designed and maintained road network

The council could not f-/: up more if they tried.

I have been to places our Mayor  Brad Pettitt wants to mimic like Malmo, I have friends from there and outlaying districts all have seen their amenity deteriorating, as Malmö has become a centre for crime, violence, drug dealing and organized crime.

Not exactly what I would like to see copied into Freo we have enough shit as it is.




First Solar, Dumps Fremantle Solar Farm Idea

The proposed developer of a 10-megawatt solar power station in South Fremantle has withdrawn from the project, citing issues with the market and the development site, which previously housed landfill.

Source: New developer for Freo solar project | Business News

This is one issue the rate payer and residents need to watch carefully.

The USA based First Solar has dumped freo council solar dream due to “limited site capacity and market issues”. I take this to be it does not generate enough power to make it worth while and the no-one wants to pay enough to make it profitable.

Hense this is where the the rate payers need to watch out. As there is a new player interested which, I imagine will have the same issues the last provider had.

So what we need to be cautious of are any deals the COF makes to take that generated power and at what price?

We clearly have a council obsessed with their one planet, green party political ideas, so to what lengths  (our money) will they go to get this project off the ground? What premium price would COF pay for that power generated to suit their ideology at the rate payers expenses?

Another issue for Fremantle rate payers to watch, a deal here could impact the citys finances for years? The tighter the projects finances, the longer the deal they will want

To be sure its the rate payers who pay for these ideologies thru the nose

Fremantle Councils Anti-car Campaign Continues

Here we see again Fremantle’s campaign to drive out cars, keep cars, their drivers and their cash out of Fremantle.

Recently the Mayor Brad Pettitt was quoted that the proposed Perth freight link would cut Fremantle off from cars coming into the city hence crippling its economy. Sorry isn’t that what the Mayor and council having been doing for years, trying to keep cars out of Fremantle. They are doing their best to stop people in Fremantle even owning a car, as we saw from the city’s new car parking policy they just voted on at SGS.

These pictures attached are one of the reasons why cars aren’t coming into Fremantle, its part of the anti-car campaign.

This street and many others have worked fine for decades, this one with a pedestrian crossing just a 100m or so up the street supplies constant windows to give you an easy safe access out to do a right hand turn on to Phillimore St from Pakenham Sts, T-junction.


The island just in front makes it harder to turn off Short St into Pakenham.  Also making it more dangerous to turn onto Pakenham as now you have to pull into the lane of traffic heading north, which view is partially blocked by the building.

Where as you can see from the google maps pic, before was a much safer and sensible design.

Driving in Fremantle is not just a simple task of watching where traffic should be coming from but also watching for the cyclists and skateboarders riding on the wrong side of the road or the wrong way down a one way street. Here is a clear example of where the city change has made this intersection more dangerous.

On Adelaide St another classic of their anti-car strategy that actually makes the design more dangerous for all road users, this gem I have already complained to the city about when it was 1st done. At the time I also pointed out that apart from the design being stupid and completely void of common sense has no warning signs for users of the street that a modified road layout is ahead.


Now we see it littered with broken temporary road signs, no painted curbs or reflective signs to signal the hazard ahead. When you come around the corner from Parry St to turn left onto Adelaide St, you veer right so you can turn left, makes sense? To make it worse before it was a merging road, now you have to do a 90% turn to get out on the street, your wing mirrors being obsolete for this manoeuvre, so you must drive left while looking right. The other challenge I found on my first navigation of the road disaster was, I had a cyclist coming against the flow of traffic up the green lane towards my left, with a bus on my right, you can’t look 2 ways at once.

It’s all this constant road modification that makes driving in Fremantle more difficult and dangerous for all road users. It’s clearly just part of the anti-car campaign to discourage drivers from coming to town. So Brad, no need to worry about Barnett’s Freight Link killing off access to Freo, your constant screwing up of the road network and parking has beaten Barnett to the punch.

A quote from Brad from the  The Wests piece, “We’ve been putting in so much effort trying to bring Fremantle back to life economically. This is one of those macro issues that could undo a lot of that good work.” Brad what you are blaming on Barnett is something you are doing right now, Brad the macro issue is that if people can’t park they don’t come, if driving around to find a parking space is a massive pain in the ass they just go somewhere else next time. Every booming shopping precinct has reasonable traffic flow and lots of free parking, fremantle has neither, no cars, no vibrant economy, well not unless he can point to an example in here in WA, somewhere to prove different.  Freo mayor warns over Link hazard

After a decade of decline can’t they see their direction is not working, trying to pin Fremantle’s future outcome on Barnett is lame to say the least, for sure he hasn’t done us any favours but his road if and how or where it happens has no effect on the last decade of Fremantle’s Decline. The legacy Brad will leave is the Mayor who helped choke the life out of Fremantle with his councils anti-car ideology, you will regularly hear council say they are not anti-car, but their actions tell a different story?

Anti- parking policy for new developments

Selling off carparks

Cancer like death of street parking

Hazardous road modifications

Anti-car transport Policy

Policy to develop over car parking at the train station

Festivals taking over the streets

Removal of Parking permits for future developments in the CDB

Ridiculous speed limit proposals of 10km/hr

Trying to attempt to restrict car ownership in the suburbs to one car (see you tube clip)

Creating more rat runs through the suburbs with closures of side street exits or entries

Adding density to suburbs without traffic impact modelling to suburbs (the constant complaints from McCabe St precinct)

Plans to close streets to cars completely.

Complicated residents parking system for the CBD

The list just goes on and on.

This is not about being anti bikes, cycling should be encouraged as it adds another dimension to the city but not increased by driving out motor traffic.

After watching Brads you tube interview, ask some questions

Where does Brad live in a small apartment or a big house, how many people live in it?

Where does Brad park his car in Fremantle, who pays for his parking space who pays for his car?

How many parking permits does the city hand out to its staff for free parking in the CBD?

Its ok for them to drive cars, park in the CBD, but not for the rest of us, sounds pretty hypocritical to me.

From the interview it’s clearly a message of, Do as I Say, Not As I Do – (Says) Council



Fremantle Council Whats the Real Deal on Plastic Bag Ban?

My god what’s the drama over the plastic bags?

plastic bag smile1

As I read in the Herald online the story on the plastic bag ban laws proposed by Freo Council, it seems some on the council are having a whinge over talk of the state gov knocking back the councils new law. Now if you believe the quotes “Fremantle acting Mayor Josh Wilson says the council followed good process, including consultation with business, in putting the bylaw together.”

Well if you had seen the debacles Wednesday night at SGS council meeting with the south beach issue and  the signal station both  involving community consultation. That would not be very reassuring, as it looks like the way both items will go  for outcomes, that were never discussed or included in the that community engagement process. If you are familiar with the esplanade and J-shed they went the same way, community consultation, then a decision on an option that was never proposed in the consultation process, then a quick workshop with a very select community representation, to seal the deal. So that statement (of good process) gives little reassurance to those of us familiar to council process. Well you could ask good for who?

Now if it is true as stated that the council has great support from business, the community, residents, chamber of commerce, all being full supportive of the proposed law, then why do the council need the law past?

Brad and Josh have both stated good community agreement, business supports it, so why doesn’t the mayor just set a date for it to start, if everyone is supportive and in agreement, it would just happen, no need for a law right?

Now if it’s only the threat of fines, that makes the system (Plastic  bag ban) work that would tend to say perhaps the support is not as wide spread as portrayed.  A bit of Spin, nothing new to Freo.

So I suppose if Brad believes the community is solidly behind him on this, he doesn’t need a law, just ask everyone to show their support by giving up using plastic bags in their shops, if the community is behind they will accept this? As if he gets the law in place and shoppers don’t support it, all that will happen is local residents may tend to shop more in Melville, EF, Cockburn, Cott etc, bringing their plastic bags back from other suburbs, hence achieving nothing, apart from Brad further crippling Fremantle retail again.

Now personally I hope he would give this ago and though some may not believe this, I hope he succeeds. As it’s only through real community support that true changes in our daily lives, will initiatives like this succeed. If he can only do it by fining people then he has failed to make any change in our culture of waste, he’s just another enforcer with a stick as his incentive.

If other councils have to wait to see if Freo can make up its own laws, then leadership is clearly a problem for them and they can’t be that motivated to do it in the 1st place.

If Brad initiative succeeds with out the law being passed and the state government sees an appetite in the community for these initiatives they may be motivated to make such laws state wide, fixing a real problem.

Let’s face it banning plastic bags in only Fremantle with a state population of  over 2 million people would achieve as much as emptying an Olympic size swimming pool with a teaspoon, while a garden hose was topping it up. That’s what we get when u have symbolism/ideology over real serious practical outcomes. It’s a lot of effort, time and  expense for such a negligent outcome, if he actually gets the law passed.

Smack Down in Freo

smack down

Reading the Herald letters to day I saw one called, ‘Don’t Be Distracted” click on the link to read it.

It’s a letter by a guy called Martin who dared question the Fremantle city’s council’s business plan, on Kings Sq and for his questions, he didn’t get any answers of course, just a low personal attack on his person.

So to make it easy to read I will put all 3 pieces from the Herald here in sequence 2x Thinking Allowed and one letter.

You think the council being so confident of their Kings Sq plans would easily answers Martins questions and even thank him for clarifying the cities position. Well you would be wrong he got no answers and instead the city has tried to smack down him personally, instead of answering his questions, which we now find he has been asking for going on 7 months with NO ANSWERS.

Have a read for yourself and see Martins questions, see if you think the city has answered his questions or whether they just attacked him personally to distract attention from the real issues.

Possibly another reason why we hear the city and the mayor Brad Pettitt has been referred to as a spin machine, preferring to generate rhetoric instead of facts or answers to a concerned resident and rate payers legitimate questions.

They have even stooped to the level of publishing a letter they sent to Martin Lee in response to his question but never published his questions, how dismissive.


MARTIN LEE has been a Fremantle ratepayer for 15 years, and loves the Freo inner-city lifestyle and windsurfing at South Beach. Martin works as a commercial advisor consulting to the energy sector, with more than 20 years’ experience, and has degrees in civil engineering and economics.

LAST October, while looking into Fremantle council’s proposed parking policy, I stumbled across its Kings Square business plan and looked into what provisions it was making for parking in the new  development.

I quickly became distracted by a business plan full of flowery words and nice pictures, but very little substance or proper detail. While I am fully supportive of improving council facilities and redeveloping this area, this plan simply does not add up.

The project involves spending $45 million of ratepayers’ funds to effectively replace the existing library, council chambers and administration offices. The council generates $800,000 in additional revenue per year from leasing new retail spaces and some office space. The business plan states this project provides the city a healthy 6.15 per cent rate of return and a positive $4.15m NPV. Fantastic!


No! This is clearly nonsense. It would take 50 years just to recover the initial investment from the revenue generated. These figures defy logic.

I have discreetly asked the council on many occasions to clarify how it calculated its rate of return and NPV for this project. Despite several months of corresponding with officers and councillors they simply refused to properly answer to a single question put to them, although I have received enough material to write a whole new series of “Yes, Prime Minister”. The council has stated the matter is now closed.

Why the refusal to answer such a simple question? And why were lawyers so heavily involved in preparing the city’s official, yet evasive, response? Why were the pertinent financial consultants’ reports presented at a council meeting that was not advertised, had no agenda, and was held in secret? Why are these documents still confidential?

Since the council simply refuses to answer my questions, I put the challenge out to my fellow ratepayers to see if they can grasp the maths behind this project.

Here are just a few things you may want to consider:

• using a discounted cash flow model with the project’s business plan assumptions, a NPV close to minus $30m is generated, compared with the positive $4.15m NPV stated in the business plan. It reduces community wealth by $30m, not increases it by $4.15m.

• this business plan states this project can only support debt of $8.8m—a dead giveaway that something does not stack up.

• the project requires the sale of $30m of council’s income-generating properties to fund it, plus a further $6.38m from its investment reserve.

The Kings Square business plan is readily available on the city’s website. You will note it is so poorly constructed it doesn’t even discuss the need for these new facilities, nor what alternatives were considered. It also provides nothing to support its sweeping statement the project will be a “catalyst for economic development”.

The council’s investment policy SG14 deals with acquisition and divestment of properties and other non-current assets. Its guidelines seek to ensure the city’s existing investment base is not eroded. It requires proceeds from the sale of property to be deposited in the investment reserve, and that commercial rates of return are to be achieved when funds from its investment reserve are invested.

SG14 investment guidelines can be over-ruled by a unanimous vote of council. This occurred in 2012 when it voted to raid $12m, allocating it to projects usually funded by the city’s cashflows. It happened again in late 2012 when the council voted to sell $30m of council property to fund the Kings Square project, and again in early 2013 when it realised the project was still $6.38m short. A similar pattern emerges through the council’s own long-term financial plan 2015–2025.

The long-term plan even provides for the council to invest $15m to build a new 400-bay car park in 2018, despite the Kings Square business plan recommending to sell the 843-bay Queensgate car park to Sirona for $16 million. Where can I buy Sirona shares?

Given the mass sell-off of City of Fremantle investment properties now underway, and the questionable redirection of these funds, it is obvious this council’s agenda does not involve protecting the city’s long-term investment base. The city advised me the investment committee contemplated in the SG14 guidelines “has not seen the need to meet” since April 2008.

When the council starts using the investment reserve in this manner on a regular basis, ratepayers have a right to be concerned, and a right to expect proper answers from our council. Our current council clearly disagrees with this.


The City of Fremantle has recently boasted it is financially robust because of its strong cash position. What would this cash position have looked like if it hadn’t been selling assets built up by previous generations, and hadn’t raided the investment reserve?

And, back to parking…well the business plan makes for an interesting read, as not only will there be no parking provided, but it emerges a considerable proportion of the Queensgate carpark is currently allocated to council staff for free parking. When the council sells this income-generating asset to Sirona to fund its project, it will lease these spaces back from Sirona to continue to provide free parking to staff. I am sure inner-city residents who are most affected by the proposed parking policy will be delighted to know more than 200 car parking spaces are provided free of charge to council staff. The council’s hypocrisy here is breathtaking!

This letter is not about Kings Square, it is about the poor quality of governance, lack of transparency, and lack of accountability at our council. The Kings Square project is just the tip of the iceberg. Do your own digging and form your own opinion. Is this what we voted for?


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 to some renewed scrutiny as a result of local resident Martin Lee (who also wrote the Thinking Allowed) contacting Peter Tinley’s office.

We welcome this scrutiny as this is a very big investment the City of Fremantle is making on behalf of you, the ratepayers, but we also need to make sure you’re getting the full story.

Let us say first up and without reservation—we are very confident this project will bring massive benefits to Fremantle. The numbers have been scrutinised not only by council and city staff but also by independent experts who all agree this is a worthwhile investment the city is making.

More than just bricks and mortar or dollars and cents

So why was Mr Lee criticising the business plan? At the heart of his criticism is a different perspective of the role of a local government.

Mr Lee has looked at the Kings Square project in isolation, running the numbers through his models which spat out figures he believes don’t add up.

What Mr Lee hasn’t done is put a value on the broader flow-on effects of the Kings Square project as being a catalyst for further redevelopment and investment in Freo, as well as the raft of social benefits that come with more people working and shopping in Fremantle.

Mr Lee has not looked at how the project will double the size of the community library, or bring with it a new Fremantle visitor centre and new public toilets with much-needed baby change facilities. He has not put a value on the new public spaces in Kings Square for people to enjoy, the value to the local economy of 1000 new office workers, nor has he put a value on the pride we’ll all have in our new city centre.

‘this project will bring massive benefits to Fremantle’

Mr Lee would like the Fremantle council to behave in a manner similar to that of a landlord or developer and look at the Kings Square project purely as an economic investment. But the Kings Square project is much more than an economic investment—it’s an investment in the very future of Fremantle and is arguably the most important project of our generation.

You can imagine someone with a similar mindset to Mr Lee in 1885 making exactly the same case as to why the council of the time shouldn’t build the town hall when “that shed down the road” is just fine.

How did this opportunity come about?

With the departure of Myer, a once-in-a-generation opportunity arose for a coordinated redevelopment of the very tired-looking Fremantle city centre.

Part of this was a chance to provide office space for a major government department to be located in Fremantle. With around 1000 office workers in the heart of Fremantle we saw this as a great kick-start to helping revitalise Fremantle’s struggling retail sector as well as providing much-improved community facilities and a town square we can all be proud of.

The project, to be fully integrated, required a partnership with Sirona Capital which owns the Myer building. The business plan for this proposal was publicly advertised and heavily debated by council and the community in 2012.

Put simply, it involved the city selling the Queensgate carpark and out-of-date cinema building (at a public and independently verifiable valuation) and reinvesting those funds in a new library and civic centre (designed by the winner of Fremantle’s first international architectural competition – Kerry Hill) and town square. Sirona’s commitment is to renew these buildings within an agreed timeframe, with the approved plans providing around 30,000sqm of quality office space and 12,000sqm of retail space.

Frustrating delays

This project has a total value now nearing $250 million and a project of this size takes time to materialise. Getting started requires a formal commitment from a tenant to occupy a significant amount of the commercial space that will be created by this development.

Our joint efforts to date have been focussed on getting that commitment from the state government which announced in 2012 that the Department of Housing would be relocated to Fremantle.

Negotiations with the state have been slow and at times frustrating. I know some people are pessimistic about the project proceeding, but we are expecting an announcement in the coming months which, if positive, will kick this project along.

Fremantle council – driver or passenger?

Local governments aren’t just about roads, rates and rubbish nor should they behave purely like profit-making corporations. Yes, the Fremantle council must always behave cautiously and responsibly with ratepayer funds, but our role is also to make decisions to ensure Fremantle realises its potential as Perth’s second city.

At the very core of this debate is whether you believe the council should be a passenger or in the driver’s seat in Fremantle’s economic recovery.

This is a crucial time for Fremantle‘s future so I have no doubt this is the right time for this investment. But don’t take our word for it—check out the project and the business case for yourself at

Don’t be distracted

HOW predictable! The City of Fremantle lynch mob strikes again (Herald Thinking Allowed, April 4, 2015).
CEO Graeme Mackenzie and mayor Brad Pettitt have publicly vilified me simply in order to distract attention away from the questions they desperately want to avoid.
The question residents should be starting to ask is “what is it that the mayor and CEO are so desperate to conceal from the public?”.
It must be pretty serious for them to mount such an extraordinary attack on my character. My current questions are just the tip of the iceberg!
At no point in my Thinking Allowed article the week before, nor in any correspondences with the council have I criticised the proposed Kings Square design, the need for new facilities, or the city’s vision for the future.
I challenge Mackenzie and Pettitt to demonstrate otherwise.
My perspective, vision, mindset, point of view, and so on, has never been expressed in public or private regarding whether the Kings Square development should proceed. The mayor, CEO and councillors have never met me or spoken with me, and frankly do not know anything about me. I have done this intentionally because I knew they would eventually resort to “playing the man”.
The Thinking Allowed article from the mayor and CEO have criticised me for a perspective I have never held or expressed. They fabricated a position for me and then attacked me for holding it. Priceless!
They have also credited me with contacting the office of Peter Tinley MP, which they know is incorrect. It’s a great outcome that Tinley’s questions have been put to state parliament, but the Fremantle Residents and Ratepayers Association (FRRA) has worked tirelessly to achieve that outcome, and deserves the credit.
It looks like the Herald has had a good rummage through the city’s accounts, which resulted in last week’s excellent article “Samson Rec to pay for new HQ”. It’s definitely worth a read.
Martin Lee


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