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Mayoral Debate 30 September

Tonight is a mayoral candidates' debate at 6pm at Notre Dame at 44 Cliff Street.

The Fremantle Society are normally a sponsor of this event, but have been booted out. Rachel Pemberton says it wasn't her group Fremantle Network, so that leaves Fremantle Shipping News and Chamber of Commerce.

The event will be closely controlled with Shipping News Michael Barker as Moderator.

The event stipulated that questions had to be submitted beforehand and that people had to get tickets online and not just turn up. Mayoral candidate Adele Carles objected to that and the rules have been relaxed.

Each of the mayoral candidates have been interviewed in Fremantle Shipping News which will give voters a chance to hear their vision and philosophy. Podcast interviews are a very good feature of the Fremantle Shipping News site

The Fremantle Society has asked the Chair of Finance Cr Fitzhardinge to resign given the financial scandals at Fremantle Council, but in the various candidates meetings she hasnt had to face tough questions. When the Fremantle Society stood up to ask a question about council finances at one forum, Cr Fitzhardinge walked out.

The two mayoral candidates that the Fremantle Society supports are Adele Carles and Maria Vujcic. Despite our long association with the former Fremantle MP Adele Carles and her wonderful warmth and interest in the Fremantle Society and its issues, The Fremantle Society has worked closely with Cr Vujcic as a new councillor when elected two years ago and supported her mayoral run before we found out that Adele was considering running. Adele sensibly is making her run late in the process and we wish her and Marija every success. They are both outstanding. 

With the current biased media landscape and with precincts trying to control the narrative, it is thus more difficult for two independent people like Adele and Marija, even with their formidable talent, to break through and overcome the collusion between political parties (who should stay out of local politics), as pointed out in our last post.

However, both have dome very well in the various forums and they provide a message of hope for a better Fremantle, and not more of the same financially inept and divisive ideological claptrap.

Candidates' Forum 21 September

The Fremantle Society ran a very democratic and successful candidates' meeting at Notre Dame last week. We handed over the moderation to the former Labor Premier Carmen Lawrence and no questions from the Fremantle Society were asked on the night, except for one from a committee member at the end. Probably we should have asked some tough questions as the audience was far too polite, though Cr Jenny Archibald was allowed to continually interject throughout the meeting.

A crowd of over 70 people, more than the attendance at the North Fremantle Mayoral and candidates Forum, heard Adin Lang the incumbent and Craig Ross, chartered accountant, square off.

Adin Lang, a former Green, has admirable interest in real green initiatives such as plantings, though he needs to explain how the annual tree planting by council is now less than it was 10 years ago. Following previous poor performances in City Ward by mayoral disciples Simon Nabor and Tim Grey Smith, City Ward has suffered another 4 years of biased anti-heritage representation, and the Fremantle Society certainly prefers city ward resident Craig Ross, for the financial skill set he brings to the table and a genuine interest in heritage. He has provided expert advice to the Fremantle Society and the media over the past 10 years about the financial woes of Fremantle Council.

Police Investigating Political Interference

The Fremantle Society reported that police are investigating political interference in the Fremantle election. The matter has been handed to WA police and two detectives are working on the issue. One mayoral candidate said that as they were typing material onto a site, it was being removed in front of their eyes.

There also appears to be a problem with voter registrations. Many people are reporting that they signed up to vote and have had their application rejected. In some cases people received a phone call from a council officer about an error on an application, and that was able to be corrected, but many apparently have received a letter two weeks after registrations closed to say their application has been rejected. It is being alleged that up to 40% of City Ward voter registrations have not gone through.

The situation is not helped by Fremantle not having an elected mayor, a CEO, or a chief financial officer.

The acting CEO is on holidays, which is hardly good timing.

Will Fremantle staff and the Electoral Commission properly investigate?

20,000 Flyers delivered

The Fremantle Society has raised a number of significant issues through its 2021 Report Card delivered to every address in Fremantle.

The problem is getting the issues addressed and debated. The cabal of council lovers prefer to attack the messenger than answer the questions.

Depot Issue

The whole depot site issue is a major disgrace involving amounts of ratepayer money close to $20 million being allocated to the idea of speculative property deals IN ADDITION to the $50 administration building with millions spent there on speculative  extra space to be let out - none of which has.

We still have some flyers to be delivered and we also ask again for donations to help our publishing efforts. Any help much appreciated.

John Dowson
The Fremantle Society

0409 2236 22


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