A Big Thanks and Some Lessons Learned

After a lovely day off with the family it is great to be back in the office at the start of another 4 year term. I am extremely grateful to the people of Fremantle for giving me this opportunity to serve them for the next 4 years and see through a number of the key projects we have been working on.

I want to say a big thanks to those who helped with our positive and principled election campaign.  Without all of your amazing support it just would not have been possible. As someone joked to me early on: It probably isn’t a good idea to run in an election in which you’re putting your hand up for a politically problematic third term, with a brand new baby, just after kicking off a controversial national conversation around Australia Day – two out of these three would be enough, let alone all three!

And it really would have been a terrible and impossible idea if it weren’t for all of your support. We have run a positive campaign that talked about our vision, actions and plans for a Fremantle that is more inclusive, liveable, vibrant and sustainable.  It was the best of the Fremantle community I love being part of and am proud to represent.

But that said I am aware that this election campaign highlighted some divisions and greater polarisation in the Fremantle community than I expected. So I am committed this term to working to reach out and work on these issues that the community has spoken on including:

  1. Better services in the suburbs. Undoubtedly some parts of Fremantle feel like they need a little more love and I accept that we have put a lot of our energy in recent years into breathing life back into central Fremantle. But now that Kings Square is getting underway, there is good scope for a stronger focus on Fremantle’s suburbs and with verge mowing back on and new and improved waste and recycling services this is already underway;
  2. There is nevertheless more work to do in our CBD around homelessness, coordinated social services and more generally making the centre more inviting to visitors and we will be holding some community forums on this in coming months;
  3. As I wrote in my last blog post, I also heard loud and clear that we need offer better services to older members of the Freo community. From aging in place to daily community activities, this is an area we can also improve in;
  4. Finally it is clear to me that we need to get better at communicating what we do at the City of Fremantle, just as we need to get better at hearing feedback from a wider range of residents. This will require some innovative, creative and hopefully fun ways of reaching out.

Elections are tough but they are a good time to re-evaluate what is and isn’t working. A big thanks to the people of Fremantle to giving me the opportunity to learn these lesson and improve. I feel very blessed.

I also want to congratulate the Fremantle Council members who were re-elected (Sam, Doug, Hannah and Andrew) as well as welcome Jenny Archibald and Aidan Lang on board. I look forward to working with you all.

Finally, this blog welcomes your feedback so if you have comments and constructive criticism please send it this way.

Best regards, Brad

Aoife is glad the campaign is over too. Thanks Roel Loopers for the photo

Thanks at the End of My Second Term

As another election campaign and with it another term comes to an end I want to make a few final comments.

Regardless of the result tonight, I want to say it has been a real honour and pleasure being mayor of this special city and community this last eight years.

It’s been a big picture council – and we have been criticized for that on occasions – and a collaborative one and I have loved been part of it.

One of the good things about the democratic process is that is forces out of the day to day into speaking to lots of people from all part so of town and you learn new things – sometimes surprising.

I learnt that the Australia Day wasn’t front of mind for most voters,

I learnt that it was the local issues around trees and verges and crime and community that most wanted to talk about.

I also learnt that the community wants us to do provide more  facilities for older people want in the centre of our city.

We want to ensure older local elders feel welcome and have a place to go in our city so the City’s Positive Aging Strategy is due to be updated and will be a priority if I’m re-elected.

Fremantle has an aging population, and is a really attractive people for retirees and older people, so we want to make sure we are providing the services and facilities they need. We also recognize that the needs of someone over 55 is different to someone over 80, and will consult with different age groups to be able to tailor for their different needs.

Traditional assumptions about older people may no longer be relevant, for example people may want to go to an art exhibition and out for coffee rather than playing lawn bowls or bingo – so we will consult to find out. We also want a place where people can go or things they can do if they’re having a ‘lonely day’.

I hope to create a Multi-Age Precinct, a vibrant mixed-use development in an established area such as the Fremantle Oval redevelopment area, designed to suit all ages, within walking distance of public transport, and the city centre and associated facilities, focuses on social sustainability and community and most importantly there is an onsite service provider offering lifestyle and aged care services.

Finally I want to thanks Cr Simon Naber and Cr Dave Coggin for their service over the past few years. Neither have recontested their seats.

The future is now in the hands of those counting ballots. Whatever way it goes – a big thanks from me.

Garage Sale Trail this Weekend!

Australia’s biggest weekend of garage sales is happening around the country on Saturday 21 & Sunday 22 October 2017.

As you can see there is lots happening in Freo too.

For more info check out:

https://www.garagesaletrail.com.au/ 

 

Fremantle Network – Freo’s Urban Forest and Mens Shed

This month’s Freo Network discussion will feature the Freo Men’s Shed and the City of Fremantle’s Urban Forest Plan.

Bill Johnstone is the President of The Freo Mens Shed, a ‘Not For Profit’ organisation which aims to:

  • Provide a wood and metal workshop space for men of all ages and abilities to carry out projects that can benefit both themselves and the local Community.
  • Link men in the community to services and support structures to enhance their health and wellbeing
  • Foster, maintain and expand men’s social and educational networks
  • Support a variety of community organisations and initiatives using volunteer members to provide assistance.

Gavin Giles is a project officer with the City of Fremantle who recently developed the City’s Urban Forest Plan. The plan includes a comprehensive assessment of Fremantle’s existing tree canopy, and a detailed plan for how to increase it to 20% by 2020.

 

Come along for a discussion with Bill and Gavin about these exciting local projects.

6pm Monday 30 October upstairs at the National Hotel.

REMINDER:  The most important thing you can do for Freo’s future is VOTE for it!

Have your say on Fremantle’s future by voting in the local government elections now on. Bring your vote to the Fremantle Town Hall before 6pm Saturday 21 October.

Last election 400 people voted but were not counted in the vote because their ballots arrived late. So don’t miss out, have your say today!

 

 

 

 

New Expanded Freo Recycling Centre Now Open

 

The City of Fremantle’s improved and expanded recycling centre is open for business from tomorrow (20/10), with more capacity to recycle metal, batteries, clothes and even computers.

The revamped Montreal Street centre has an improved layout for easier access and will now be open from midday to 4pm on Fridays as well as 8am – 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

For the first time, residents will be able to drop off green waste, mattresses, slabs and pavers.

The City of Fremantle is also introducing a free home collection service for seniors.

Fremantle residents aged 65 and over will be able to contact the City to arrange the doorstep pick up of white goods, e-waste and mattresses.

The new recycling services would allow the City to achieve its goal of a 70 per cent recycling rate by 2020.

We’re all about doing the right thing for ratepayers and the environment. As part of our One Planet commitments, the City of Fremantle is supporting the community to reduce waste generation by 10 per cent against 2015 levels by 2020.

The new recycling centre and the home collection service will help us to achieve those targets and offer fantastic new services to the people of Fremantle.

Green Thumbs Up for Verge Gardens

City of Fremantle residents have more reason than ever to give their verges some love this spring and turn them into vibrant, living gardens.

Free plants and mulch and assistance with site preparation are among a bunch of incentives to create a verge garden oasis – and contribute to a more beautiful and greener Freo.

Council has adopted a new policy emphasising its encouragement for verge gardens which are a growing feature of many local streetscapes.

The policy had been created to support residents who are interested in establishing a verge garden. It provides practical information and advice on issues such as tree removal.

Complementing the policy is a range of new and improved initiatives to subsidise the cost and assist the development of verge gardens including:

  • Verge preparation assistance scheme
  • Mulch
  • Verge garden materials and maintenance
  • Street tree maintenance

Establishing a verge garden helps to beautify local streets, shows pride in our community and contributes to a clean, green Freo. Verge gardens assist the City to achieve its goals under the One Planet initiative and also help create more connected neighbourhoods.

The value of verge gardens is not just in the environmental benefits; it is also an investment in building healthier and safer communities. They become focal points for residents to get together and chat, get to know their neighbours and share a common interest.

The City will implement a revised verge garden program incorporating the new and improved initiatives and has committed $29,000 in this year’s budget in funding support, on top of $10,000 made available by the Department of Water and the Water Corporation.

A verge garden guideline document will be produced to provide tips on how to design, implement and maintain a verge garden.

For more information, contact the City of Fremantle on 9432 9777 or visit fremantle.wa.gov.au

 

 

Episode Two of Density X Design – inspiring stuff at WGV

Episode Two of Density X Design is up and demonstrates some of the inspiring stuff that is happening at WGV Freo.