council news

Review of Hilton Local Area Planning Policy

The council’s planning department has conducted a review of the Hilton Planning Policy including a new draft policy. This has been presented to council and is still being debated. I support the general thrust of the policy but remain keen to hear your views on it. The Hilton Precinct has already extensively canvassed the feelings of Hilton residents, but you still have time to express your views. If you haven’t seen the draft policy already go to: http://www.freofocus.com/council/resource/2010.06.30_Planning_Services.pdf

Bike Plan...put outer suburbs on the map!

The city is in the midst of preparing a new Bike Plan to promote cycling in Fremantle. You might remember my dismay when I discovered that the consultants who had been commissioned to draft the plan had not included Samson or Hilton in the study area! After this was fixed these suburbs were included in the process. I’ll let you know when the draft plan becomes public. I submitted a number of proposals especially relating to connecting Samson and Hilton into Fremantle [see below]. In addition Councillor Massie and I have also proposed that North-South bike paths be built on the Stock Rd reserve. There must be plenty of other cycling blackspots you know need fixing so let me know.

Bike lanes through intersections

Freo pulls pin on youth crisis accommodation service

Council is withdrawing from the provision of the youth crisis accommodation service (18-25 year olds) based in Quarry St. Essentially this is a state government service and the city is the contracted service provider. However council has been topping up the funding (just over $300K per year, nearly 50% of its income). The new service provider will not have this extra funding. Will they be able to provide the same level of service without cutting wages?

By no longer subsidising this service over $300K will be freed up for other council projects including other useful activities for youth. But there are some serious issues of policy at stake: the wages and conditions of staff, the level of service offered by the new operator and more.

Council drops individual GPS

In what is a great result for common sense and civil liberties; council management, the workforce and the Australian Services Union have agreed that parking officers will not carry individual GPS monitors. A number of councillors and I believed that the idea was out of step with community values and could have set a bad precedent. Thanks to everyone that spoke out on this issue.

We need new public transport initiatives for sustainability and to revitalise our city

The June 12 Herald newsclips briefly reported on council's decision to explore the possibility of making the whole city a Free Transit Zone. It's worth explaining the thinking behind this.

Everyone agrees that we need to revitalise the heart of Freo and make it a real hub of commercial, social and community life. However we are never going to be able to do this by offering the acres of free parking you find at Garden City. Instead we need to improve public transport and cycling facilities and services.

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.