Opinion: Fremantle Society lists election issues

John Dowson, president of the Fremantle Society.
John Dowson, president of the Fremantle Society.

THE Fremantle Society has a range of issues it hopes will be addressed by candidates in the upcoming local election.

1) Heritage grants

Funding for the Fremantle Heritage Conservation Grants Policy: This policy of giving grants to owners of heritage properties sites is on the council website but there is no money available and there has been none since 2011. With more than 3000 heritage-listed properties in Fremantle, owners need incentives to restore their properties for the common good.

Subiaco and Perth, with far fewer heritage properties, are two councils that give generously to owners. $100,000 a year minimum is asked for this fund, the same amount as existed in 2010.

3) Environmental concerns

(i) Fremantle has the second worst tree coverage of any council in the state. The council promised a significantly improved tree coverage from 10 per cent to 20 per cent by 2020 but has not committed the funds to achieve any real progress. The council has committed no money to underground power, an important step towards a greater tree canopy. The council has not progressed the Significant Tree Register and there are only 11 listings on it.

(ii) Despite spending over $300,000 to join One Planet, basic things are not being done. There is no air quality monitoring in Fremantle. There should be air quality monitoring in a port city with, at times, noxious cargoes.

4) Council finances

The contract for the proposed administration centre will not be signed until next year. The ratepayers cannot afford a $50 million administration building, one that requires the sale of further assets like the leisure centre carpark and Samson Recreation Centre, along with higher rates.

5) Community satisfaction

The council already has the results of the community survey. The 2017 results should be released well before the election.

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