council news

Parents win fight to save "Buster the Fun Bus"

By Justine Kamprad (from www.greenleft.org.au)

Local parents have successfully spearheaded a Fremantle community campaign to save a service called “Buster the Fun Bus”.

Buster is a van staffed by two community workers from the City of Fremantle. It makes stops at various parks in the Fremantle and Melville area, setting out activity tables and toys for children to enjoy outside.

The focus of the service is community building. It brings parents together and gives them relaxed access to community workers.

The service is co-funded by the Cities of Fremantle and Melville and the state government. In early June, the Department of Community Services announced it would cut its annual $60,000 contribution.

Leisure, Arts and CCTV staff win better conditions

In late 2010 Councillor Wilson and I successfully moved the "Employment Values" policy to steer the council away from employing people on fixed term contracts, to respect workers' right to organise and to set a target of 5% indigenous employment.

We also moved an amendment to our own resolution that sought to end to the City's practice of employing Leisure Centre, Arts Centre and CCTV operator staff on an inferior scale of wages and conditions to the main staff body. Unfortunately this amendment was lost, after which Councillor Wilson and I had to keep out of the issue.

Change to fees for sporting reserves

At the March council meeting officers tabled a new schedule of fees for the use of sporting reserves (both the buildings and playing fields). The rationale for the new schedule was that up to now the City has imposed inconsistent and ad-hoc fees, with some sporting clubs paying a lot more than others; and that it should apply a transparent and uniform charges to similar users.

State government forces closure of Regional Resource Recovery Centre. Are toxic incinerators on the way?

Currently all the organic waste in your green top bin gets turned into compost at the Canning Vale RRRC. But the Department of Environment and Conservation has refused to renew the centre's operating licence, supposedly because it produces "unacceptable odours".

The RRRC diverts more than 60,000 tonnes of waste per year from landfill and prevents 70,000 tonnes tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. The RRRC took $100 million of your money to build. Now the Barnett government wants it to sit idle and force the participating councils to put their waste into landfill, and pay the $23/tonne landfill levy for the privilege. This will raise them $1.5 million per year, 75% of which just goes to general revenue.

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.

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.

Negotiations on South St: speak out now!

A recent article in the Fremantle Gazette gave the impression that Main Roads has rejected the request to decrease speeds on South St. This is incorrect. The Main Roads spokesperson was simply repeating their previous position and they had not yet received the formal application from city officers.

Negotiations are continuing and I'll keep you posted. In brief; the application is for speeds to be reduced from 60 to 50km/h through the Hilton Village, from 70 to 60km/h from Hines Rd to Stock Rd, and from 70 to 60km/h between Stock Rd and McCombe Ave.

Warrawee: supporting victims of domestic violence for over 40 years

The Warrawee womens refuge recently recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. Did you know that it was the first purpose built refuge in Australia? This is a remarkable tribute to the vision of the councillors and people of Fremantle at the time. It's a service like this that our state government wants to starve of funding. It should be getting more funding, not less!