Soggy hotdogs: why better options and more choice is the Freo way

It has been interesting to listen to the wide variety of views and interpretations on the Fremantle Council’s Australia Day decision. While the majority of feedback we have received has been supportive of our decision, a lot of those who (sometimes angrily) opposed it was based on that we had no right to tell people what to do and how they should celebrate Australia Day.

As we have tried to explain we are not  – everyone is free to decide what is right for them –  we are instead offering alternative options and more choices for people.

More choice and better options based on great progressive, community values is at the heart of Fremantle council’s approach to many of its decisions.

Let me give a few examples:

  1. Our Australia Day alternative events will give those who want something more inclusive and thoughtful than 20 minutes of fireworks to go to. For those who think that fireworks on Australia Day are important then they still have plenty of options to do that; from the privately funded cracker show at the Fishing Boat Harbour to the Perth Skyshow and the half dozen or so local shows around Perth. Or you can come to both 🙂
  2. Strong investment in cycling lanes and better footpaths are giving people the option to not drive in and around Freo. If you want drive you still can (and I must add there is more free parking than ever.)
  3. In the housing space, Freo Council are working hard to offer a greater range of choices so people can grow old in place and so young people can also be part of this great town. You can still buy a 4×2 mini mansion if you wish but we are working to get more diverse housing options on the market for people to choose from as well.

Of course we have to make sure that these new choices and alternative options are appealing and better for some than what was on offer before.

To give an analogy of this: Remember when you used to go to the football and you could only buy chips, hamburgers and hotdogs. Every van sold the same thing. Well thankfully we got a bit more sophisticated and healthier options including baked spuds, nachos and salads are available.

True, there are now fewer places at the footy to get a soggy, lukewarm hotdog than before but you can still get one if you wish and no one is saying you shouldn’t. But by putting on better alternatives I expect less people will get sauce on their shirts.

Similarly, more choice doesn’t mean everyone should ride a bike, live in an apartment, come to our alternative Australia Day events, or eat baked potatoes at the footy.  But it’s good that these new options are there and that is why Fremantle will continue to innovate and offer better alternatives.

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

9 Responses to Soggy hotdogs: why better options and more choice is the Freo way

  1. Fidel says:

    To use your analogy with regard to Australia Day, I think you have removed the chips and hamburger without any consultation and replaced it with a tofu burger.

  2. Jill aldrovandi says:

    Have never liked fireworks shows and totally agree that we need to be more inclusive and sensitive re the process of migration to this beautiful country over the past two hundred plus years. Indigenous peoples maintained a pure environment for thousands of years. We ‘invaders’ have made a hell of a mess and then celebrate our coming in the most banal way eg flags on cars and fireworks, both symbols of domination.

    • Glenn Arendts says:

      That is incredibly insulting to the vast majority of people that celebrate our advantage and luck at living in Australia. Name one society or culture that is perfect and has no darkness in it’s past? Do you seriously think ancient indigenous culture has no aspects to it that are negative? Your self loathing may make you feel better, but I am happy to instill in my children a sense of eternal gratitude that they live here. And celebrate that, on Australia Day.

      • Glen
        I agree we should celebrate our luck at living in Australia but what this discussion has been about is can we do that on a day that everybody can do that together or in another way that is better than just setting off 20 minutes of fireworks. I think we can do better and we will give that our best go
        cheers, Brad

  3. Yvonne Townes says:

    I think before significant changes are made thought should be given for all groups in our community
    We know many small businesses are struggling and we need people to come into Fremantle and if an event such as a fireworks night is an incentive ,which I personally enjoy a long with many other family members,I feel it is a positive event
    As to Australia Day as we celebrate it now I think this is so much more than cancelling a fireworks show and the time has come for some serious debate for understanding and respect to the original inhabitants and the impact of colonisation as well as letting the rest of us have a day to appreciate how fortunate we are to be able to live in a country like Australia

  4. Glenn Arendts says:

    Despite the mayor’s claims, this decision is not about inclusiveness at all, it’s been about the promotion of a particularly narrow interpretation of Australia Day. His analogy that people that celebrate Australia Day are akin to unsophisticates that eat soggy hot dogs is a dead giveaway on the real attitude the Council have brought to this debate. One wonders why the acknowledgement of past injustice and the path to reconciliation has to be confused with council withdrawing support for those that enjoy celebrating our beautiful country on our national day. But I guess the mayor can ponder that over his next baked potato in his exclusive seating at the footy, away from the hoi polloi.

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