Woolstores: It's skaters' heritage too!

Every year the state of the old Woolstores building drifts in and out of the local media. Previous development applications for the site have been approved only for the owner to let them lapse. Yet when the state of the building gets raised, the owner predictably blames the council and its heritage preservation requirements. It’s hard not to conclude that the owner either has no genuine interest in developing the site or is hoping the existing building will deteriorate to the point that council is forced to approve a complete demolition.

Save the Indigo Journal

It’s not just community services and our public servants that are threatened by the Barnett government’s mad program of cut backs, so too are some really important cultural institutions. Hilton resident and writer Liana Christensen is asking for your help in the battle to keep the Indigo Journal afloat.

Indigo emerged from a group of writers around the Fremantle Arts Centre has given many young and previously unpublished writers a break. Great writers like Amanda Lohrey, Alex Miller and David Malouf have all come through it pages. But just like the organisations who work with people with disabilities or care for the mentally ill, Indigo has to go cap in hand to government for piecemeal funding every year; and this time the government has knocked them back.

Capital Expenditure in the Hilton-Samson-O’Connor area 2010-2011

Below is a selection of the main capital expenditure projects that the council will be doing in our area in this financial year:

• Carrington St resurfacing (Lefroy to Winterfold and Sainsbury to Clarke) $181,400 (plus $176,400 from the State)
• South St /Paget St intersection (traffic lights) $203,000 (plus $243,000 from the State)
• South St/Ladner St intersection $80,000
• McCombe Ave/South St intersection (traffic lights) $150,000 (plus $200,000 from the State)
• Letchford St/Winterfold St $58,333 (plus $291,667 from the State and Cockburn Council)

• Stockdale Rd to Stock Rd bus stop $5,000
• Snook Cr (Sumpton to Holmes) $24,635
• Stock Rd (Garling St to Good Guys) $13,000
• Garling St (Stock Rd to car park) $8,250

We can support the Citizens Advice Bureau and other services too

Evidently volunteers at the Citizens Advice Bureau and some correspondents to the Herald have genuine fears that the service may be kicked out onto the street. They are right to point to the valuable support CAB gives to people in Fremantle.

However even if council decides to use the Queensgate site for a cyclists end-of-trip facility; I would be very surprised and disappointed if the majority of councillors didn't agree that the decision be dependant on finding an alternative premises for CAB.

In defending CAB some of its supporters have belittled the activities at the One-Stop-Shop in the hope of getting hold of its premises, or doubted the need for improved cycling facilities. This infighting is completely unnecessary.

Review of Hilton Local Area Planning Policy

The council’s planning department has conducted a review of the Hilton Planning Policy including a new draft policy. This has been presented to council and is still being debated. I support the general thrust of the policy but remain keen to hear your views on it. The Hilton Precinct has already extensively canvassed the feelings of Hilton residents, but you still have time to express your views. If you haven’t seen the draft policy already go to: http://www.freofocus.com/council/resource/2010.06.30_Planning_Services.pdf

Bike Plan...put outer suburbs on the map!

The city is in the midst of preparing a new Bike Plan to promote cycling in Fremantle. You might remember my dismay when I discovered that the consultants who had been commissioned to draft the plan had not included Samson or Hilton in the study area! After this was fixed these suburbs were included in the process. I’ll let you know when the draft plan becomes public. I submitted a number of proposals especially relating to connecting Samson and Hilton into Fremantle [see below]. In addition Councillor Massie and I have also proposed that North-South bike paths be built on the Stock Rd reserve. There must be plenty of other cycling blackspots you know need fixing so let me know.

Bike lanes through intersections

Freo pulls pin on youth crisis accommodation service

Council is withdrawing from the provision of the youth crisis accommodation service (18-25 year olds) based in Quarry St. Essentially this is a state government service and the city is the contracted service provider. However council has been topping up the funding (just over $300K per year, nearly 50% of its income). The new service provider will not have this extra funding. Will they be able to provide the same level of service without cutting wages?

By no longer subsidising this service over $300K will be freed up for other council projects including other useful activities for youth. But there are some serious issues of policy at stake: the wages and conditions of staff, the level of service offered by the new operator and more.

Council drops individual GPS

In what is a great result for common sense and civil liberties; council management, the workforce and the Australian Services Union have agreed that parking officers will not carry individual GPS monitors. A number of councillors and I believed that the idea was out of step with community values and could have set a bad precedent. Thanks to everyone that spoke out on this issue.

We need new public transport initiatives for sustainability and to revitalise our city

The June 12 Herald newsclips briefly reported on council's decision to explore the possibility of making the whole city a Free Transit Zone. It's worth explaining the thinking behind this.

Everyone agrees that we need to revitalise the heart of Freo and make it a real hub of commercial, social and community life. However we are never going to be able to do this by offering the acres of free parking you find at Garden City. Instead we need to improve public transport and cycling facilities and services.

Comment on GPS in the workplace

The proposal by Council management to extensively use GPS tracking devices not just on vehicles and other such assets; but on the person of individual employees has understandably aroused a lot of concern. Not only are many Council employees and their union opposed to the proposal, but so too is a broad cross section of community opinion.

It is fair to say that the use of GPS tracking devices in this manner is completely out of step with contemporary community values. Recently the Fremantle Port Authority proposed a similar GPS system but the workforce and the Maritime Union of Australia rejected it and the proposal was dropped.

Syndicate content