Affordable housing quota lifted to 15%

In debate around the principles guiding the new town planning scheme for the eastern end of the CBD at the February Council meeting, I moved two amendments in support of more affordable housing. The first lifted from 10% to 15% the amount of affordable housing required by developers who opt for the third tier of "additional discretionary height". This was passed 12-1, and brings the council in line with the state government's modest target.

PCYC programs under threat

A looming staffing problem in WA's twenty-six Police and Community Youth Centres is exposing the Barnett Liberal government's disregard for youth services and the complete hypocrisy of the "law and order" rhetoric that crops up at every state election.

The PCYCs are formally independent non-profit organisations, although supported by the state through the provision of police officers as full-time centre managers.

The Fremantle PCYC based in Hilton sees a staggering 38,000 visits per year and hosts a vast array of activities from the traditional sports through to guitar lessons and its award winning Noongar Healthy Lifestyle program. There is also a computer room and drop in centre, used by up to 40 young people per day; mostly from the local Noongar community.

Wishing you a safe and Happy New Year

Here's wishing you a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year. It's been a privilege to work with so many passionate, dynamic and community-minded people on a big range of important campaigns and community initiatives this year. These include:

The precinct groups (Hilton, Samson & O'Connor), new club rooms and light towers at the Dick Lawrence Oval, the Hilton Harvest community gardens, the Road 2 Rail campaign, reducing speed limits on South St, the City's Climate Change Working Group, the establishment of the Freo Bicycle User Group, the 40th anniversary of the Warrawee women's refuge and much more.

Workers Club reopens!

Contrary to reports in the media the Workers Club will not be closing after all. New President Don Whittington asked me to pass on the good news and invites you to become a member. It’s only $20 to June 30th 2012.See you at 9 Henry St Fremantle.

Time to put Qantas back in public hands

If you speak out against the widening gap between wages and CEOs’ salaries, the corporate media will accuse you of stoking the “politics of envy”. Workers who dare take industrial action to get a few more crumbs from the bosses’ table are cast as class war dinosaurs.

The Occupy protesters? We’re told they are naive rebels without a clue. But the Qantas lock-out proves otherwise.

Freo fights Buswell's "Freeway Madness"

The article below was written by Fremantle Road to Rail activist Barry Healy:

Fremantle is emerging as a key battle ground between between a Liberal-National state government committed building freeways at any cost; and a community that wants to see better public transport and the return of freight on rail.

Container movements at Fremantle Port are predicted to double by 2020, yet the percentage being carried to port by train has declined from 17% in 2007 to 11% in 2011 and is predicted to dwindle down to 8.5% by 2012.

Rail in the Wheatbelt: Why Freo should care

The determination of the WA state government and Transport Minister Troy Buswell to close over 720 kilometres of so-called Tier 3 railway lines in the state's Wheatbelt has put it on a collision course with grain farming communities and threatens to unleash a vast increase in heavy truck traffic and all the problems that go with it.

The lines threatened with closure transport over 92% of grain from the areas they serve to port. This ranges between 1.5 and 2 million tonnes every season. If this task is converted to road, it will generate between 57,000 and 86,000 extra truck movements per year.

This debacle has its origins in the privatisation WA's railways in 2000 by the Liberal Government of Richard Court, in which current Premier Colin Barnett was a minister.

Speed to be reduced on South St

We've had a small win regarding the reduction of traffic speeds on South St. Main Roads still don't want to reduce the limits through the Hilton Village or east of Stock Rd to McCombe Ave in Samson. However they have agreed to drop the limit from 70 to 60 km/h on the section of South St between Hines Rd and Stock Rd. A big thanks to all the residents and small businesses that signed the letters of support.

High St: Buswell throws "community consultation" in the bin

Statement by City of Fremantle Councillors Sam Wainwright and Josh Wilson in response to WA Minister for Transport’s decision to impose Option 4

6 September 2011

The City of Fremantle was asked to participate in a collaborative process for the upgrade of High Street, but it now appears that the Minister really only wanted the Council to rubber stamp his preferred option.

It's disappointing that the Council and the community are now threatened with the compulsory acquisition of the A Class Reserve which the Council manages.

And it's particularly disappointing that the Minister released his letter to the media before it was received by the Mayor.

We'd hope the Minister could take a more reasonable approach and return to genuine good faith negotiations with the City.

High St upgrade: Council and community express preference for Option 4A

After its consultation with the Fremantle community and council about the various options for the upgrade of High St-Stirling Hwy intersection, the Department of Transport advised that only Options 4 and 4A met its design criteria.

For many in the community and on council, myself included, both options are over-engineered and overly expensive. A more modest design could have addressed the legitimate safety and amenity problem with the current intersection, with the balance of the money better spent on improving railway infrastructure serving the port.

However in the event that the state proceeds with the project anyway Option 4A is preferable because it is more modest and will destroy less of the fabric of the Gibson Park precinct and Booyeembarra Park.

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