Fremantle Society Questions to Council

CY O'Connor's home demolished by Fremantle Council- you can now buy the land in a hushed up auction

The pretty home pictured, Park Bungalow, where CY O'Connor lived, was demolished by Fremantle Council long ago, and the land will be sold next week. You cannot see the home any more, but you can go to Parliament House where this painting is, and reminisce about a lost opportunity to have a museum for CY O'Connor. Next week you can buy the land, being sold by Council in a process called "indefensible" by the former head of REIWA.

The Fremantle Society went to Council tonight along with several committee members to ask the following questions, which included one about the auction. We will get answers, after the auction.

Fremantle Council Meeting 25 November, 2020
Questions from Fremantle Society (President John Dowson)

  1. Income producing assets of Fremantle Council:  In 1997 Fremantle Council owned $97 million of income producing assets. When questioned about the total now, a council officer on 9 November 2020 informed the Fremantle Society that the figure was “about $48 million before depreciation”.

Q1:   Given that your own council documents on 31 October 2020 (p263 attachments part 3) state that the figure is $22.6 million, and an earlier figure given in June 2020 was $21.6m, what is the true and accurate figure in this alarmingly rapid decline in rate payer assets?
Q2:  Due to the number of ratepayer properties sold off by Council, and the need to maximise returns for ratepayers given recent sales by Council at less than market value, why has Council not postponed the sale of 7-15 Quarry Street given the eruption of concern since the proposed 2 December auction was discovered by the community?
Given the lack of publicity council has given to the sale and the refusal to even put a sign on the site,  former head of REIWA Hayden Groves has labelled the sale ‘indefensible’, especially given that in a rising market, a deferral to next year would maximise the return and allow more time for people to hear of the auction. This morning, just 7 days before the auction, an advertisement was published in the West, without even giving the time of the auction. Council’s actions in this matter are not good enough and lead to conjecture as to why Council has acted so poorly. The Fremantle Society supports Cr Vujcic’s motion before you tonight.
Q3: On p8 of tonight’s agenda, in response to why Fremantle Council has not vigorously campaigned to save the heritage listed traffic bridge, the longest wooden structure of its kind in the State, the answer is that the Council does not see the point in commissioning heritage and engineering reports for a project Council does not control.
The Fremantle Society is very disappointed in this answer- the lack of allocation of a single budget dollar towards the campaign to save the bridge shows a lack of real will.
The Fremantle Society asks again that Fremantle Council does what the community cannot afford – get expert reports to back up the retention of the level 1a heritage listed  bridge.
Q4:  In relation to SPT2001-3 the new West End Policy Heritage Area, the Fremantle Society is not satisfied that officers have taken on board the serious concerns raised by the community to make the policy clearer, better, and more able to protect the importance of the heritage of the area. The Fremantle Society spent dozens of hours studying the new policy and making recommendations and positive suggestions, all ignored. Given that it has taken 30 years for this review and that there is no urgency, we ask that you defer the new policy until it has been peer reviewed and that officers demonstrate for example that problems with extra storeys being allowed on top of existing buildings as in clause 5 are not allowed.
Q5: Will Council explain specifically, given the concerns raised especially about vague terminology in the new policy, how the new West End policy is stronger and better than the previous one?

Dr Carmen Lawrence Talk

Tickets are going fast for this free event Wednesday 2 December 6pm at Arts Centre

Contact to book your tickets.

John Dowson


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