Unsustainability in Action

Reckless Spending

On Tuesday afternoon April 6 Fremantle Mayor Pettitt won the last seat in the State Election. Three days later, on Friday morning, the Fremantle CEO Phil St John told staff he was resigning.

This week, Fremantle Council, with no mayor or CEO,  tabled the annual Auditor General's report into the City's finances. The financial figures are alarming.

The Fremantle Society has warned for years of reckless spending by Council, while ignoring the basics, and Fremantle's heritage. Carmen Lawrence recently redoubled her criticism that the King's Square project and the unnecessary $50 million admin building will "blight Fremantle for 100 years," while Colin Barnett said he would sack the whole council if he was still premier.

At the council meeting we asked how council's land holdings have been devalued by $59 million,  investment property devalued by $6.3 million, and why a lack of fraud prevention controls are still identified by the auditor as a concern. There is a debt for 2019-2020 of $32 million, which is not sustainable.

The "sustainability" crusade of the past 12 years has been a disaster for business and for heritage. It is a tragedy the Chamber of Commerce is more interested in supporting woke council programs like renaming King's Square than protecting business viability and helping to enhance the good things we already have in this world famous town.

Clearly, as one financial expert said, Fremantle councillors are "financially illiterate." (Cr Vujcic is the exception).

None of the councillors responsible for Fremantle's dire financial position should run in the upcoming October elections. Up for reelection are: Crs Sulllivan, Thompson, Wainright, Archibald, Lang, and Fitzhardinge. Several councillors will run for mayor - possibly Crs Fitzhardinge, Sullivan, Mofflin, and Pemberton. 

Just as members of a board which fail their shareholders need to resign, so should those who have put us in this mess. They need to resign, and to be held responsible.

John Dowson
The Fremantle Society

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