council news

New small secondary dwelling policy

The February meeting of council passed a resolution that would enable home owners to build and rent out small “granny flat” style dwellings.

Currently these can only be leased to family members (that’s the theory anyway), which is a bit absurd. These sorts of smaller dwellings would fill a need for large number of students, single people and those on low incomes who don’t want or can’t afford to rent a whole house; and who don’t need or want off-street parking.

The change would also enable home owners to realise some income from their property without having to do a whole rear strata type subdivision if they don’t want to (even if their property is big enough for a battle-axe block).

Do you need bike rails at your bus stop?

The council’s Climate Change and Sustainability Committee of which I’m a member has got funding to install bike rails at busy bus stops. A number of bus stops along South St could be candidates. If there are spots where you’d like these to be installed then let me know.

Hilton Planning Policy adopted

The January meeting of council adopted a new planning policy for Hilton. In my view the policy strikes a reasonable balance between preserving what people like about Hilton and allowing them to build homes with modern materials and to contemporary standards.

The policy preserves the things in the old policy that protect the look and feel of Hilton (height, size and general form of buildings; generous setbacks) while accepting the use of contemporary materials.

City adopts work place values policy

I'm pleased to report that the November council meeting passed the "Employment Values" policy resolution that was deferred from the October meeting (nine for, three against). In particular I'd like to thank Councillor Josh Wilson for his active and vocal support of this policy.

Statement by MUA in support of workers rights at Fremantle Council

Dear Councillors,
The Maritime Union of Australia West Australian branch supports the adoption of a policy by Fremantle Council which would give to all its workers the rights and conditions they rightly deserve. These include an equal pay structure, the right to be represented by their union and a career path to a permanent position.

Our members enjoy these things and we are proud to say we have secured some of the best employment conditions in the country. But decent working conditions should not just be for workers in a strong bargaining position. It's the responsibility of government, including local government, to look out for the conditions of workers who are in a weak bargaining position but who do important work on behalf of our community.

Make Freo more accessible and inclusive for people with disabilities

The Council is in the process of reveiwing its Disability Access and Inclusion Plan (DAIP). Below is a submission I made to the consultants conducting the review. I don't pretend that this is an exhaustive or perfect list of the things that Fremantle Council could do. Some suggestions might already be in train and certainly there must be many other things that I have not thought about.

If you haven't already made a submission to the City in the course of the public consultation for the new DAIP then please let me know if you have any specific coments or suggestions about how you think we could improve accesss and social inclusion for all people with a disability.

Submission to 2010 DAIP Review
Sam Wainwright (Councillor, Hilton Ward)

Revised Hilton Local Planning Policy adopted

The September 22 meeting of Council voted unanimously to adopt a new Hilton Local Planning Policy. This is only the first stage of its adoption as it now advertised for public comment for a period of at least 35 days, after which it will return to council for final adoption.

I think the policy strikes a reasonable balance between preserving what people like about Hilton (such as the wide verges with trees and the size and form of buildings) while still allowing people to build or renovate using contemporary materials and design.

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.

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.

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