council news

Hilton Precinct works out priorities

The April meeting of the Hilton Precinct hammered out a list of local projects residents at the meeting would like to see funded in the next Council budget:

•A purpose-built BBQ for public functions that complies with the City of Fremantle’s Requirements for Temporary Food Premises & Food Handlers permit. The BBQ to be located at the rear of the PCYC adjacent to the school oval and Hilton Harvest Community Garden, and accompanied by some picnic table/benches.

•Fencing and connection to utilities for Hilton Harvest Community Garden, in accordance with their requirements.

A referendum for Western Sahara: no illegal phosphate in WA

Fremantle joined the nation-wide "Flag Raising for Western Sahara" on February 27 when a number of councils and other organisations hoisted the West Saharan flag in support of a UN sanctioned referendum for that country.

Review of Hilton Local Planning Area Policy

The February 24 Council meeting voted to review the Local Planning Policies for a number of suburbs, including Hilton. One of the features of the Hilton Planning Policy that I strongly believe should be retained is it's recommendation that houses only have single garages facing the street.

Some people think this policy is strange and archaic given Australia's love affair with the car and how homes with double garages are now the norm in new suburban developments. However I support it for the following reasons:

Freo Hawks need proper facilities

The February Hilton Precinct meeting heard a passionate presentation from Vice President of Fremantle Hawks Junior Football Club Leon Flanagan. Leon explained that while the club keeps attracting a large number of younger players, it has trouble hanging on to them as they progress into their teenage years. This it turn makes it hard for the club to keep afloat.

Shop till we drop?

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.

Affordable community spaces in the CBD

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.

Golf club should pay its way

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).

Keep Hilton Police Station building for community use

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.

The Stan Reilly site and facilities for seniors and the aged

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.

Barnett government axes library funding

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."