Aug 13, 2016 - Development, News    1 Comment

Is Tiny Sprawl possible? Lessons from BedZED and the UK

One thing that concerns me about the growing popularity of Tiny Houses is the potential for Tiny Sprawl.

Like me, many people love the idea of a quaint little cottage surrounded by garden that would be both affordable and sustainable. However that means we continue to develop outwards, using land in an inefficient manner at the expense of our wetlands, green spaces and urban bush. We need to make better use of the existing urban footprint.

UK from the sky2

Typical urban development in the UK

As I travelled through the United Kingdom last week, it struck me how much green space, fields, woods, farms and even castles there are between each of the towns and cities.

The UK has a population of 64 million people, two and a half times that of Australia, and it’s land mass is just 243,610 km². Meanwhile, just 9- 15% of the land area is classified as urban or is built on. This reflects my observation about the vast amount of green space in the densely populated country. To compare, Australia’s population is 24 million and land area is 7.68 million km².

So how do they do it? House a mammoth population on a tiny island and keep the local character and green belt in tact? Read more »

Jun 14, 2016 - News    Comments Off on Diverse housing discussion – coming soon

Diverse housing discussion – coming soon

innovative housingDiverse and innovative housing continue to be a hot topic.

This week I was on ABC radio to talk about what the City of Fremantle is doing on diverse and innovative housing.

You can listen to the interview here

In September we will be undertaking extensive consultation with the community on these issues.

The Council is currently conducting a survey on the topic – tell us what you think.

Read more »

Mar 23, 2016 - News    Comments Off on South Beach swimming zone – success!

South Beach swimming zone – success!

south beach 2The Department has supported the overwhelming Community feedback in favour of a swimming zone the entire length of both beaches at South Beach.

It was the most number of submissions they have ever received on an Aquatic Use Review with 2533 submissions received. There were 750 in support of the DoT proposal (with the boat channel at the north of little dog beach) and 1650 opposed (120 were neutral)

“This is a great outcome for the whole community. The Department of Transport is to be commended for supporting the community and the Council’s wishes to make South Beach a safe swimming zone,” said Cr Rachel Pemberton.

“Fremantle Council designated South Beach a swimming zone in 2015, but we are limited in how we can inform boat users and enforce the safe swimming zone. This decision means that the DoT will now do that.”

“The community is to be congratulated for the tremendous campaign to make all of South Beach a safe swimming zone, as was shown in the overwhelming number of submissions made.”

The Fremantle Sailing Club has also welcomed the decision.

“Fremantle Sailing Club is aligned with the Fremantle City Council in supporting the Department of Transport to ensure a safer environment for both the boating public and beach goers. The proposed speed restrictions and the introduction of restricted access to the beach for powered vessels at South Beach will go a long way to achieve the Aquatic Use Review objectives for a safe, equitable and sustainable use of our important waterways,” Fremantle Sailing Club Commodore Terry Baker stated.

“In conceding access to the beach by powered vessels, the club’s preferred position was to retain a narrow access corridor, but recognise and accept the strong feedback from the local community. We have long stated whatever the outcome, the impact of club members is minimal and going forward believe we can work with the community to build our relationship to our mutual benefit” he added.

The decision has been made but it wont take affect until May when it is gazetted through an act of Parliament.

The Department of Transport’s statement is here.

Read more »

Jan 25, 2016 - News    2 Comments

South Beach safe swimming zone

swimming zoneAlong with hundreds of other people, I swim between the groynes at South Beach and Little Dog Beach almost daily from September to May. Sometimes when the waves are choppy I go off course and end up some way out to sea, beyond the groynes. This doesn’t concern me, other than when there are boats nearby as I fear they wont see me between the waves.

As such, I welcome the Aquatic Use Review. I thoroughly support Fremantle Council’s initiative to make South Beach and Little Dog Beach a swimming zone, excluding all motorized vessels. I think this highly urbanized beach that caters for thousands of swimmers every day warrants this type of protection.

I am somewhat disappointed that the Department of Transport proposal includes a boat access channel in the northern end of Little Dog Beach, therefore excising 120m from the swimming zone. I hope that this proposal will be withdrawn after the public comment and review period, as it is unnecessary and will undermine the swimming zone. Read more »

Dec 6, 2015 - News    2 Comments

Stinger net for south beach?

Stingers make swimming at Fremantle’s beaches a challenge and for some people, a risk with nasty reactions, hospitalisations and scaring from stings. Personally, I find the little ones irritating and they make swimming unpleasant and the large ones are frightening and keep me out of the water altogether!

Fremantle council has been investigating options for a stinger net at South Beach to offer some protection from stingers. A proposal and budget request for a stinger net will be debated by Council this month (Wednesday 9 & 16 Dec) and I’m keen to hear what people think. Read more »

Nov 19, 2015 - News    3 Comments

Plastic free Sunset Markets

I am really proud to be working with the wonderful Georgie Adeane from the South Beach Sunset Markets to make the food market ‘plastic free’ this summer.

Georgie and I hope this initiative will be embraced by customers who will welcome her environmentally responsible approach in the sensitive South Beach environment.

Read more »

Nov 9, 2015 - News    Comments Off on For the record

For the record

For the sake of transparency, and to lay some incorrect assumptions to rest, below is the list of donations I received as part of my election campaign.  Read more »

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 »