January 2009: Council was presented with a proposal to extend the boundaries of the “Fremantle Tourism Precinct” to cover the whole of the City of Fremantle. The gist of this is that it allows some of the big retailers who had been banned from trading late every night or on Sundays to now do so. The retailers concerned are Harvey Norman, The Good Guys and Retravision in O’Connor; as well as the South Fremantle Woolworths and Fremantle Officeworks.
December 2009: In my experience there is a real shortage of affordable spaces in central Fremantle available for hire by community groups who want to hold meetings, functions, workshops and other activities. When we think of the Fremantle Central Business District we should take this to include community business, not just commercial business.
December 2009: In preparing a new lease for the Royal Fremantle Golf Club the council had the site independently valued. Under the old lease the club had been paying $22,000 per year, but the valuer recommended that this be increased to $40,000 per year and be pegged to CPI. The land is classified by state legislation as an ‘A’ class reserve and can only be used for community recreation (like Kings Park).
December 2009: Despite strong community opposition, the WA Police Department has pushed ahead with its plan to close the Hilton Police Station and the Minister Robert Johnson has refused to intervene. Local residents will know what a circus this issue is. Both Labor and Liberal like to bang on about being "tough on crime" and "law and order". When in opposition both have said they would keep Hilton Police station open, but then changed their tune when in government.
I was pleased to be able to march on Saturday at the Walk Against Warming as part of the climate emergency contingent calling for 100% renewable energy by 2020, no emissions trading, climate justice for the third world and phase out coal. 90,000 people around Australia was a fantastic beginning to the global day of action.
Here are some photos of the December 5 rally for refugees held in the lead up to Human Rights Day. I spoke at the rally on behalf of the Maritime Union of Australia, of which I am a proud member.
[As reported in Green Left Weekly #819, a performance of the play Seven Jewish Children that was to be held at the venue Kulcha on November 21 in Fremantle was canceled. It was scrapped following the intervention of the Jewish Community Council (JCC). The comments below are based on the contribution to a November 25 Fremantle Council meeting by Hilton ward councillor and Socialist Alliance member Sam Wainwright.]
November 2009: Even though the former Stan Reilly Lodge was run by the council, the land itself is owned by the state government and was vested to council on the condition that the site be used for accomodation and a social centre for the elderly.
The buildings have been mostly vacant since 2007, and council passed a resolution requesting the state government change the vesting to allow the buildings to be temporarily rented out (until December 2012), with the Fremantle Football Club and the hospital being the likely tenants. The idea is that this will then enable a general discussion and consultation over the future permanent use of the site.
November 2009: Public libraries in WA are co-funded by councils and the state government. However the state government has slashed its contribution by 40% in 2009-10 compared to 2008-09! No wonder that the report presented to councillors on the "Framework Agreements Between State and Local Governments" by the library manager warns of "The potential for erosion of core services in public libraries."