Highlights from Council meeting on Planning Scheme Amendment 49

At the Fremantle Council meeting on Wednesday night 22nd February 2012, the principles of Planning Scheme Amendment 49 were passed. Before that, each Councillor spoke about his or her reasons for supporting the principles behind the amendment including economic and social revitalization of the Fremantle city centre, affordable housing,  and sustainable development. This film by local film maker Linda Blagg comprises highlights from those speeches. Enjoy.

About Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog
City of Fremantle Mayor

5 Responses to Highlights from Council meeting on Planning Scheme Amendment 49

  1. freoishome says:

    I was very disappointed with the 3minute presentations by the Councillors, with the exception of Jon Strachan, many were openly raising reasons why they did not weigh the comments of ratepayers, one that their oath was to the Council, not the District or constituents, others that there was no reason/justification to take heed of minorities, some saying they only received x hundred written responses, evading the issue that as those that had put in the effort of responding was sufficient to deserve deep consideration. There was no evidence that the oral comments at either the Planning meeting or the Council meeting were given credence or consideration.
    In summary if a written or oral comment was not already a view shared by a Councillor, then it was ignored for all intent and purposes.
    The most common aspect of the 3 minute presentations was the back slapping of everyone, of their fellow Councillors for all the work they did. There is a time and place for that, but it wasn’t this meeting. The other common trait was evidence of ‘Group Think’. Jon was the exception.
    The Mayor’s last oral comment that he thought they had a done a good job representing the vast majority, beggars belief!
    Paul

    • hi Paul. While I can appreciate you didn’t agree with the decision I think that each of the speeches showed the vision of the councilors to improve Fremantle and the how they grappled withe divergent views in the Fremantle community. I was impressed by all of them and think Fremantle is very fortunate to have such an capable group of Councilors at this important time in Fremantle’s evolution. cheers, Brad

      • freoishome says:

        But we have heard that time and time again. I am not questioning the committment, or capability, ie, all the back slapping was about that. Neither the place nor the time.

        What we haven’t heard at any stage is the Councillors evalution of the public input, unless they already shared that view. A one word ‘Noted’ isn’t sufficient. Who did it come from, what does it mean, etc? Zero response to both the oral presentations from the public at the Planning and Council meetings.

        Did the Councillors all actually have a good look at the only 3d model available? What about the petition associated with it. None of that was to do with me, so I am not banging my own gong.

        Likewise, what about the ratepayer meeting and motion – Ignored.

        Joe’s comments at the Planning meeting, quoting what exemplary Councils do, who are genuinely wanting public involvement, ie, they don’t just say ‘Noted’ because legally that is all they are obliged to do in the small print.

        This is not symtomatic of a Council showing genuine listening to its ratepayers.

        On that basis I don’t feel the meeting was something to brag about.

  2. suzette thompson says:

    This was so interesting -not just what was said ,but more the overall impression of council from the collective talking ,and the delivery . Overall come over as a thinking ,caring council ,with clear reasons about decisions.

  3. Cr Josh Wilson, Deputy Mayor says:

    Paul,

    I think that’s an unfair generalisation about the contribution of Councillor’s on the night. At it’s not true to say that the comments made on A49 were disregarded – indeed, the significant amendments to A49 (which many of those who attended the meetings did not stay to see occur), were prompted and guided by the input received, both formal and informal.

    The points I made about the issue of public consultation were (1) that the over-the-top claims some made to the effect that the A49 process had abjectly failed to listen and take account of public comments was wrong; and the claims that there was overwhelming opposition in the wider community to A49 had no substantial basis; and, (2), the suggestion that the exhaustive, consultative, and evidence based A49 process was fundamentally flawed, and that Councillors were failing their obligations and duties was not only wrong, but potentially harmful to our system of local government. The City of Freo’s consultative and decision-making processes are open and robust; the Freo community is engaged, passionate and vigilant; Freo has two local papers, including an independent paper, and a growing network of blogsites and blog participants (like yourself); and I believe that the Councillors chosen to represent Freo through its recent history, which includes the last 35 years, have generally been people of commitment, integrity and capability. To suggest, as some have done, that the A49 process has been some kind of heinous fiasco, is an almost hysterical exaggeration, and it has the effect of both underestimating and undermining the quality of our own local democracy.

    The other points I made on the night are that A49 is not about trading amenity and character for dry economic outcomes, but is in fact about bring social vibrancy and diversity, and better buildings and new architecture, to a part of Fremantle that is crying out for renewal.

    I also pointed out that the use of the term ‘human scale’ to somehow mean a quality that is inherent in a landscape of 2-3 storey buildings, irrespective of the absence of human life and vitality in that landscape, is in complete contradiction to the philosophy of the people like Jan Gehl, who pioneered the concept.

    I think your comments about ‘group think’ and back-slapping are a bit silly. Anyone who watched the amendment process would realise how much diverse individual input and healthy disagreement occurred, and I don’t think there is anything inappropriate about acknowledging the work that all Councillors shared over the last 18 months on this issue. People complain when a Council is riven by ill-feeling and conflict and personality clashes, and yet when there is a degree of shared purpose and a commitment to working constructively and courteously together in good faith, with lots of healthy debate and disagreement along the way, people start complaining about ‘group think’!

    Josh

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