Oct 18, 2015 - News    Comments Off on Voters speak volumes

Voters speak volumes

light houseI am truly grateful for the support of City Ward voters in yesterday’s election result.

The decisive result was once again a clear indication that this council is heading in the right direction, with Councilors Jon Strachan, Ingrid Waltham and myself all getting over 50% of the vote. It was a tighter contest in Beaconsfield with Cr Hume being returned with 40%.

Sadly, Councilor Fittock lost in North Ward. I have enjoyed working with Rob, particularly as his deputy on Planning Committee, and I wish him well in the future. I don’t know his replacement Bryn Jones, but I look forward to working with him and getting to know him over the next four years.

I also welcome Jeff McDonald to the Council for Hilton. I like him a lot already and think he’ll make an excellent contribution. It’s a shame we couldn’t also have Sam Donovan on the council who would have also done a great job.

While voter turn out was typically low, it suggests that most people are either content enough, don’t care, or don’t think it makes a difference. But I know when people want change, they vote for it and with the exception of North Ward, in this election they didn’t.

So after a long and sometimes nasty campaign, it is a relief to know that the majority of City Ward voters feel I am doing a good job. I thank everyone who put their faith in me once more and I will continue to work hard and serve you the best I can.

What I learned from voters   Read more »

Oct 5, 2015 - News    13 Comments

Sunset Arts Centre?

arts centre concertsOn Sunday, I attended the first of the free summer music series at the Fremantle Arts Centre, along with about 700 other people. I think it is a useful and important comparison, when considering the temporary use of J Shed by Sunset events.

The Freo Arts Centre has a capacity of up to 900 people in the front courtyard, where the Sunday music is held. The major concerts held on the south lawn have a capacity up to 3500 people.This is more than double the proposed capacity of the proposed venue at J Shed.

The Arts Centre is also much closer to residents and has similar parking constraints. Plus it has similar operating hours, with all events finishing by 10pm.

Sunset Events plan to attract a similar audience (aged 25+) and host similar “mature” artists like Sarah Blasko, Missy Higgins and Paul Kelly in a family friendly environment. The Freo Arts Centre does not attract significant anti social behavior problems, like those some are claiming will inevitably occur at J Shed, because it is a well-managed venue that targets more mature patrons. I expect Sunset Events to operate in a similar manner. I also note that the Arts Centre is a significant heritage building. It is not being harmed by these events. In fact it is being experienced and enjoyed by many thousands of people. Read more »

Sep 25, 2015 - News    3 Comments

Water recycling collaboration and innovation for Leighton Beach

splashThis week Council approved a feasibility and design study for a grey water treatment and re-use system will enable us to water the existing Leighton Beach grass and vegetation using treated greywater from adjacent private developments.

This innovative collaboration, if successful, will enable the City of Fremantle to save 20,000kL of water and $37,000 a year for the reticulation of this public reserve. Read more »

Sep 23, 2015 - News    Comments Off on Green Plan 2020

Green Plan 2020

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

There is increasing research and evidence to show open and green spaces have a positive effect on community sociability, local economy and ecology. These spaces are particularly important in city urban environments, where people live, work and recreate.

Green spaces and places are important to our community and have been identified as valued assets through the Fremantle 2029 Community Visioning process as “… a City that values its environment and heritage and the protection and enhancing the natural environment, green spaces and heritage features”.

To achieve this vision, the 2020 Green Plan strategy has six focus areas to maintain and enhance green spaces, increase quality and distribution of green spaces, increasing and improving biodiversity, water efficiency and encouraging the greening of private property.

The 2020 Green Plan provides the background, rationale and framework to deliver projects and programs over the next five years.

Key initiatives and targets include:

  • Every resident and worker to be within walkable distance to public open space.
  • Progressively increase tree canopy across the city to achieve up to 20% by 2020.
  • Design adaptable open space that allows for future flexibility as the community and open space function and needs change over time.
  • Planning for future water security to identify opportunities for best available water sources for existing and new open space.
  • Develop links that increase the amount of flora/vegetation and increase habitats for native fauna and encourage their movement between green spaces and to increase and improve biodiversity areas.Key projects over the next five years include:
  • Investigation and identification for accessing public open space in the priority areas of Hilton, O’Connor, White Gum Valley and Beaconsfield.
  • Investigation and identify options to improve and/or expand public open space is proximity to future high density areas.
  • Undertaking an Urban Forest Strategy to manage and guide tree and vegetation population across the public and private realm, to increase canopy and biodiversity and to mitigate the Urban Heat Island Effect.
  • Undertaking water demand modelling to inform future fit for purpose water supply options.
  • Prepare landscape concept plans for green links and develop a biodiversity plan.The six focus area objectives and action plan is the culmination of the development of the 2020 Green Plan through the City and the Green Plan Working Group.

Read more »

Sep 15, 2015 - News    2 Comments

Can we get container trucks off Hampton Road?

A container truck on Hampton Road at rush hour

A container truck on Hampton Road at rush hour

Every day, about 220 trucks like these barrel down Hampton Road.

They thunder past homes, schools, cafes, ovals, shops and heritage buildings as they take a short cut to the Port.

Today’s container trucks are too big to be passing through our urban and residential areas so frequently.

These massive trucks make our local roads more congested, less safe and noisy. They emit diesel particulate pollution that affects nearby residents and anyone passing by. The schools on either side of Hampton Road, mean that children must play dodge with these container trucks each day on their way to and from school.

Council staff have investigated a number of traffic calming options that would deter trucks on Hampton Road, however anything we do has to allow for a 19 m freight vehicles – therefore defeating the purpose: unless we ban container freight from using this road. Read more »

Sep 7, 2015 - News    8 Comments

Innovation in small homes being investigated for Freo

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A traditional Freo cottage

The current R-Codes and Scheme does not always deliver good outcomes in our neighbourhoods. Too often we end up with developments without gardens, with excessive building bulk and overshadowing that negatively affects neighbours.

To combat this, and provide more diverse quality housing options, The Council is investigating a possible Scheme Amendment that would create more modest, affordable, sustainable homes and provide housing diversity that suits different peoples needs.

The amendment proposes:

– maximum dwelling size 120m2

– 70% open space

– 20% deep root planting zone (trees)

– minimum 5m setback at the rear

– maximum 1 car bay per dwelling

– strict design guidelines and mechanisms will apply

– streetscape policy will apply

We are taking a very cautious approach, thoroughly investigating the potential interpretations with the help of experts from the Australian Urban Design Research Centre to ensure the desired outcomes are achieved. A report on the investigation and next steps will be debated at the Special Projects Committee this Wednesday (see the SPC agenda and agenda attachments here for all the details).  Read more »

Aug 27, 2015 - News    Comments Off on City playgrounds get upgrades

City playgrounds get upgrades

Last freo primarynight Council approved upgrades to four playgrounds, including two in the City Ward.

My old school, Fremantle Primary School will get a $143,000 upgrade to the park on the corner of Stevens and Brennan Streets. This is a key local park and playground for inner city residents as well as the school.  Read more »

Aug 23, 2015 - News    Comments Off on Major new development for Queen Victoria Street

Major new development for Queen Victoria Street

DHA developmentAn application for a major development in Fremantle’s “East End” has been submitted to council for consideration in coming months.

Defence Housing Australia bought the old Toyota site on Queen Victoria Street and have engaged Hassell Architects to design a significant mixed use development that will transform the area. Read more »

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