Fremantle candidates discuss grassroots sport and arts issues

Fremantle candidates discuss grassroots sport and arts issues

CANDIDATES for Fremantle in the upcoming State Election had a lot to say about grassroots sport and the arts.

Read their full thoughts below.

Simone McGurk (Labor):

Artists and arts organisations have been at the beating heart of Fremantle for some time, and as a result we can boast some great arts organisations.

As a state, we are doing big festivals well, but supporting arts organisations’ capacity is crucial is we are genuine about sustaining our creative community.

I’m proud to have worked with many local arts organisations over the past four years to ensure they get the best possible support.

Unfortunately, the Liberal Government’s lack of engagement with local arts organisations has meant that some organisations like Kulcha have disappeared and others like the Fly By Night are doing it tough.

As a local member, I’ve always sought to support the arts and local sports, and that’s something I plan to continue.

By contrast, WA Labor recently announced that it would introduce a $3 million Creative Music Fund and planning reforms to support the WA music industry.

Fremantle is home to many great WA bands, and I hope we’ll see many more on stage as a result of this fund.

Artists should always do what they do best, not spend countless hours trying to navigate the arts bureaucracy.

As a local member I’ll continue to support local artists and arts organisations by helping them access grants and support services, as well as advocate on their behalf.

I also back Federal Labor’s push to have Australia Council funding restored, which the Federal Government slashed.

Fremantle also has a rich sporting history; some of our greatest athletes have risen through the ranks from local grassroots sporting organisations.

Supporting local sports organisations is great way to foster community and to keep fit and healthy.

Local sports organisations should be supported, because of the contributions they make to our community.

A Labor Government will invest $1.8 million for upgrades at the Gibson Park netball courts in Fremantle, which is home to 5000 players from grassroots teams across the southern suburbs.

This will extend the main pavilion including a new first aid room with better ambulance access, expanded cool room, additional covered areas, enclosing of the show-courts, and more spectator seating.

The investment underlines WA Labor’s commitment to promoting women’s and girl’s sport, children’s health and building strong local communities.

Just recently, I attended the first home game of the Dockers Women’s team at Fremantle Oval.

It was wonderful to see thousands of locals support our team, even though we couldn’t celebrate a win in the end.

Both sports and the arts have a great tradition in Fremantle and I think most people appreciate and support both the arts and local sport.

Hayden Shenton (Liberal):

Arts are part of every culture telling stories, expressing life, understanding relationships, providing reflection, entertainment and bringing people together.

Funding is important to provide opportunity for many to engage in arts whether be the artist or as the audience (participating or non-participating) especially for schools, where sponsorship is limited or extraordinary travel required.

Similar to arts, grassroots sports has its cultural beginnings although much developed from that today, thus funding goes a long way to provide opportunity to participate at varying levels.

Such sports play a large part in Australian lives as entertainment and developing sense of engagement and those participating; developing skills of teamwork and leadership rolls.

Respectfully it is very difficult to judge the right level of funding as there are many competing interests.

Fremantle is looking at change in the football oval to meet future requirements engaging mainly in sport but also in arts and other community programs that I support.

City of Cockburn has asked for assistance in developing more sporting areas and developments due to housing development in North Coogee and broader infill programs.

Some existing stadiums like the Wally Hagan Stadium is said to need funding.

Overall, I would take time to overview all existing facilities and with future in mind, establish a plan with the respective local governments to achieve.

Martin Spencer (Greens):

The arts are an integral part of the fabric of Fremantle.

Funding for the arts is needed in terms of provision of public art, performance spaces, creative spaces and exhibition spaces.

Continued funding of existing spaces as well as creation of new spaces is required.

There are some incredibly innovative approaches to art spaces in Fremantle they should be encourage.

I would also encourage the opening up and adaptation of some of the heritage places, such as some of the sheds on the wharf to create music hubs, performance and studio spaces.

Fremantle has a good mix of festivals and events that attract people into the City.

Grassroots sport is the backbone of many communities and Fremantle is no different.

Availability of sport for all ages is part of building a healthy community, healthy in mind and body.

Local sporting clubs bring communities together providing a social cohesion.

My experience in grassroots sport through the Fremantle Hockey Club has made me realise the importance of volunteers and clubs dependence on those volunteers to maintain the services.

Those same volunteers are heavily involved in local fundraising to keep the cost of participation down.

The benefits of funding local sport is far reaching in social stability and mental and physical health improvements.

Fremantle and Cockburn Council have been very supportive of local sporting clubs in the past.

There has been a limited amount of larger playing surfaces, which has made it difficult for local clubs to grow effectively.

They do however support KidSport programs that allow more kids to play sport by subsidising the fees and equipment costs.

The traditional sources of funding are limited so I would encourage more innovative approaches to funding and partnerships as well as ensuring the traditional sources are protected.

The benefits of funding local sport is far reaching in terms of social stability and mental and physical health improvements.

They also provide social cohesion bringing people together for common interests.

I would encourage a collaborative approach to promotion of sport in Fremantle.

The Fremantle electorate covers both Fremantle and parts of Cockburn.

The Councils both show good support for grassroots sport despite limited resources.

There is a need however to ensure there is sufficient space for all sports and not just those who have the biggest marketing base.

Support for local sporting clubs comes in all forms and is not just financial.

Support for clubs to educate volunteers in all aspects of running a club helps to increase the sustainability of those clubs.

For some of the smaller clubs who are struggling to find volunteers it may even be an opportunity to provide secretarial or financial personnel or services to assist.

There are also opportunities for start up and support services for various aspects of the arts.

Chris Jenkins (Socialist Alliance):

Both the arts and sport contribute greatly to our social wealth and the cultural fabric of our community, providing outlets for individual creativity and collective social interaction.

Art is a very important means of critical engagement, encouraging diverse interpretations of how things are and how things can be, which is very important in assisting discussion around social issues and social change.

In an economy driven by money values, art as an activity for enjoyment is continually undermined by systems and institutions that measure success by cost and productivity outcomes.

We see that in our education system where art courses are forever vulnerable to budget cuts where the more ‘important’ courses in engineering or law are not.

Music, art and sport are essential to creating a place where people live, rather than just work and sleep.

It’s no surprise that we are happier participating in a leisure activity than when we are work, hence it is entirely in the interests of promoting a happier and healthier society to promote and extend those times of leisure.

This can be done by ensuring adequate time and funding to the arts and sport in schools, reducing the time spent in classrooms and integrating educational programs with services in the community that can support people’s artistic and sporting interests, young and old.

Local initiatives should be encouraged, with local community arts centres and sporting clubs taking on the tasks of outreaching with their communities to identify ways of bringing more cultural activity to that local area.

Art shows and sporting events must be made available to all to enjoy, rather than being an extravagant or expensive hobby.

Local and state governments should be proactive in hosting regular events that are either free or subsidised to ensure they are available for all who are interested.

Grants should be readily made available for artists to convert underdeveloped urban spaces into expressions of creativity, including murals and art installations, with the local community’s direct participation in bringing about.

State owned television should ensure local content of these activities to inspire people’s involvement and to highlight all the positive work people are doing which hardly ever gets covered and therefore remains relatively unknown in the public eye.

So much art these days is corporatised, produced for the purpose of advertising or as a sign of prestige.

Avoiding this is to invest into art at the grassroots community level, aimed at improving the living spaces of the local area and not about tacky gimmicks.

Sport in schools and in the wider community needs to taught and encouraged on the basis of enjoyment, not to contribute to a culture of competition which sees participation limited to those who are likely to win.

Love of sport needs to take place over love of winning.

Warren Duffy (One Nation):

You only need to look at the responses to the online campaign of #artimproveslives by the Chamber of Arts & Culture to see just how important funding for the arts is to the state as a whole.

Furthermore, as an industry worth billions of dollars on its own, and as a major player in both tourism & education, it has repeatedly proven itself to be worthy of more attention than it has been given in the past.

This is especially important in the Fremantle electorate because Fremantle is one of, if not, THE biggest localities in Arts & Culture in Western Australia.

I will let my proposal out of the bag if you attend the debate the Chamber is hosting February 20.

The Arts industry is the silent partner in the business that is living.

The industry impacts on every single decision and facet of modern life, so really – no, there is never enough funding.

After all, if it weren’t for the arts, we’d be wearing loincloths, unable to communicate beyond our own inner circle, and living in caves.

There’d be no architecture, no clothes, no media – none of the sugar & spice that makes life interesting.

Like I said – it’s an industry worth BILLIONS because it doesn’t just apply to painters or musicians.

Anything that revolves around the creation and evolution of content or product officially is ‘arts’.

Graphic designers, architects, journalists, authors, actors, surface designers (the people who decide the patterns & colours on everything you own), ceramicists, fashion designers, etc – they’re all in the Arts.

February 20 at The Chamber of Arts & Culture for my promise to bring Fremantle on to the world stage for Arts & Culture and tourism will follow.

Plus small business will gain back custom, shops will have tenants and Fremantle will be alive again with the public, families and tourists meandering throughout Fremantle exploring the displays and galleries, the musicians and tapas bars like never before.

The same could be said of grassroots sports.

After all, modern sport is, in essence, both entertaining and educational for onlookers and participants.

Both industries are the launching pads for improving lives through personal discovery and education, such as through team work and competition teaching the value of good sportsmanship-like behaviours, such as humbleness upon winning and gracefulness upon losing.

Because in the end that is life – a never-ending game of wins and losses.

The artists struggle to make ends meet as it is as funding dwindles and is spread thinly over a range of subjects and artists are lost as they move on to brighter prospects overseas, lets nurture them and keep them to ourselves to attract the world to us.

Sports on the other hand I am involved with some of the best resourced and managed clubs in Western Australia but that is not to say all clubs are as fortunate.

My door will always be open to a proposal to assist the children to blossom to their full potential in their chosen sports and I am only too willing to get involved to assist anybody who asks.

As for the improvement of these areas, I would consult with those who know best – the participants themselves.

There are several governing bodies within each area who would be far better placed to comment as to what support the Arts & Grassroots Sport require of the region’s elected representatives in Parliament.

I am the person you want to breathe life back into Fremantle because I adore her history, her character and the diversity of the people that make her so.