“letting fly”a letter to the Editor

Apologies to all of you who had to wake up to my ugly mug shot on the front page of your Herald. Enough to put you off your cornflakes. They must save up those particularly bad pictures for those special occasions.

This week I sent the following letter to the Editor which they chose not to print but instead cherry-pick parts from – which call me old-fashioned but seems a little unethical to me. I hope reading the letter shows I wasn’t letting fly at all just stating some facts to counter the Herald’s too often negative tone. But happy for you to be the judge:


Last week the Herald ran a potentially damaging front page headline and lead paragraph that not only wasn’t backed up with any evidence it wasn’t even backed up by the rest of the Herald’s own story

In Sales stall Freo vision the Herald claimed that “Fremantle council’s grand vision of revitalising the port city with 4000 new inner city residents has hit a snag”. This claim led the front page despite the Herald failing to get even one expert or developer to agree with their assertion.

A quick looks at the facts shows that instead of stalling we are seeing a phase a major redevelopment in Fremantle gather speed.

Match has already sold 70% of stage one of their Heirloom project. Across the road from Fort Knox over 40% of a new development of affordable studio units have been sold off the plan. Closer to the Freo centre, the King Square Project and Point Street redevelopment will all kick of later this year.

In other words despite the challenges of a post-GFC world we are seeing the start of major new developments to enable more people to live, work and recreate in Fremantle – just as the Council envisioned.

Fremantle is like the Queen Mary 2 – turning her around unfortunately takes longer than an impatient mayor like me would like. But with the major planning changes recently passed and the help of innovative developers like Match we are finally starting to see SS Freo sail in the right direction.

But when the Herald talks down Fremantle in a way that isn’t sustained by the facts – it is like an anchor dragging on the ocean floor, slowing the progress of turning SS Freo around and stirring up a lot of mud for no good reason.



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

5 Responses to “letting fly”a letter to the Editor

  1. Julie Fedele says:

    You’re right… That is a really bad photo. Heehee. Sorry Brad, couldn’t help myself 😉

  2. Wow… You fully got “Woman’s Weekly’d”.

    Luckily I think most people see through the crap.


  3. Emma Anda says:

    God Brad, the Herald can be such an annoying, trivial, controversy-craving little paper, it must truly drive you completely insane sometimes. And yet I still persevere reading it because I like that it feels very local, and less bland/homogenised than its competitor. But I do get very weary of the way it so often demeans journalism by simply picking fights and trying to stir up stuff for the sake of attention. Very tedious and transparent behaviour.

    I think the comment above is great – most people who read the Freo Herald probably know it well enough to see when it is just trying to kick up some drama out of nothing to try and grab some attention. I loved your letter. I wish the paper had had the good grace to print it. Beautiful metaphor of the time and the patience it takes to turn around a massive ocean liner.

  4. dianaryan says:

    Crossover from Freo View’s Herald Vs the Mayor entry:

    Thanks, Brad – but whom exactly will the explicitly affordable housing (58 units just north of Fort Knox) be for?

    Which category of need who require explicity affordable housing?

    I ask the Mayor because it has been difficult to get a straight answer from the state/Dept of Housing (also relating to other developments planned in Freo and elsewhere where Dept of Housing Minister and the word “affordable” are rolled out at the same time), and I presume the City would be aware of any DoH property’s intended usage?

    Or are you experiencing the same issue, where the word “affordable” is simply all that is being listed on documentation? I’ve noticed that with large new DoH developments planned for City of Canning.

    Will the units be up for sale, do you know?

    If the units aren’t or won’t go up for sale, this could mean:-
    (1) it is provisioning for state housed tenants, who could not afford other
    (2) it could mean the units are to be transferred to community housing to manage, providing rental accommodation for low to medium income tenants
    (3) or it could be National Rental Affordability Housing (eligibility is min. 45K in income (singles).

    If the units are for sale then what does that mean?

    (1) it may go to a community housing provider, who will then do as above
    (2) it may be for those on public housing lists but who qualify for co-purchase of unit with the state’s help
    (3) it may be National Rental Affordable Housing, but I think that packaging occurs before the units are available to sell to an investor – it would still only be then for rental, and still only for those over 45K income.
    (3) it may simply be off the plan sales to the private sector at what will be described as “affordable end of range”

    There does appear to be a trending towards “affordable housing” that is being sold off the plan with Dept of Housing projects, which would indicate it is only available to those of sufficient capital.

    Its increasingly difficult to ascertain if those who earn above state tenant income limits, but below the ability to qualify for a home loan (yet still work) are being helped with new and ongoing product. The number of packages for the National Rental Affordability Scheme, overall, in WA still seem quite low and investor-specific, such as the many picked up for up north, City of Perth, UWA, Edith Cowan, and lesser amounts for some community housing providers.

    Maybe you can get answers others can’t, Brad, but I’m not sure there is much “new” being made available for this new crack that could be developing – don’t qualify for state housing, can’t get in to community housing, can’t get an NRAS product, wouldn’t qualify for a home loan.

    Its a lot to throw at you, I’m not expecting you to be the one who does the running around, of course. I’m just trying to highlight that “affordable” is getting really……… broad in its implication but maybe not standing up to scrutiny.

    FWIW: In Sept last year, Graham Maybury, 6PR nightline, queried that same thing.

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