council news

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."

Freo adopts Four Star Green Code

October 2009: Council unanimously adopted an ammendement to the Town Planning Scheme that requires planning applications for new and substantaily renovated commercial buildings to meet Green Building Council of Australia Four Star energy efficiency guidelines. Four stars is fairly easy to meet and the requirement does not yet extend to residential or industrial developments. However Fremantle is the first council in WA to begin to mandate such energy efficienct threshholds so it is a good step forwards. We are waiting to see if the State Government will accept this measure (as it has the power to block proposed changes to the Town Planning Scheme).

Thanks to all those who supported my campaign

[On the right is a paid advertisement in the Fremantle Herald. Below is the text of a letter I've submitted to the Herald.]

I’d like to extend a big thanks to everyone who supported my council election campaign. I believe council can and should be trying to get greater community participation in decision making, involve in community life people who are often excluded, take a lead on protecting the environment and stick up for workers rights. If I can make even a small contribution in this regard it will have been worthwhile.