Pumping Station

I’ve been thinking for some years that the 1913 pumping station on Elder Place would make an ideal situation for an information kiosk.

It is a not unattractive building and is in a prime location – just across from the Railway Station, and major entries into town – and could be used for something useful to the public.

Like a toilet, for a start!

Fremantle Art Collection

There is a Fremantle Art Collection containing over 1400 items. It has a curator, who is paid to do … something. But at this moment, as has been the case for several years now, not a single piece of the Collection is on show anywhere. This is despite there being a dedicated room in the Fremantle Art Centre (the Asylum) with “Fremantle Art Collection” emblazoned over the door.

A small representative sample of works from the Collection should always be on show … somewhere. Surely the Council can find one room somewhere in Fremantle? Shouldn’t the curator be working towards this?

It’s on your phone

After countless hours of repetitive work, I can now announce that all of the Fremantle Stuff site is readily viewable on a phone.

I am painfully aware that it’s something anyone who looks at any page will take for granted – not even notice – not being aware that I didn’t design the site properly from the outset, and have had to rewrite literally hundreds of individual pages.

New People, New Club welcome here

I’ve decided to cease to support any websites other than my own, as at the end of the 2019 year, and asap. So this website will have a few new inhabitants, as I shall continue to make their stuff available as ‘FremantleStuff’ – just not any longer under their own domains.

One of the reasons I’m doing this is that my web design ability has barely got beyond the end of the millennium. I don’t know how to use a web authoring program, and still write all of my code by hand (as it were). Another reason is that I’ll turn 76 before the end of this year (deo volente) – say no more.

So welcome to FremantleStuff: Paul, and James, and Ingle! And the Fremantle Workers Club. They don’t yet know that they’re coming here, and they won’t like it. But they’ve had nearly five years of free hosting, so I don’t feel too bad about it.

Elections and … heritage

The single word that is most relevant to this website is ‘heritage’. So it’s relevant to look for that in candidates’ platforms.

In 2017, seven (7) candidates used the word ‘heritage’ in their platform statements: Brad Pettitt (‘restoration of our city’s heritage buildings’), Adin Lang (‘maintain the city’s vibrant history and heritage’), Roel Loopers (‘uncompromisingly protect our heritage West End’), Linda Wayman (‘I believe in respecting and nurturing its heritage’), Catherine Hammond (‘I will also work for improvements in … heritage issues’), Liam Carter (‘where heritage is protected’), and Andrew Sullivan (‘I will use my heritage expertise’ – but notice that it’s about him, not heritage as such) — tho not Jenny Archibald, former Pres. Freo Soc.).

This year, 2019, the word ‘heritage’ is mentioned by only three (3) candidates: Geoff Graham (‘I support Fremantle’s heritage’), John Dowson (‘I am passionate about preserving and enhancing Fremantle’s heritage, and have published several books on the topic.’), and Bryn Jones (‘Fremantle’s unique heritage and environment’).

Elections 2019

Local government elections are on again in October. One thing worth remarking on is that, out of the fifteen candidates, seven are women.

I would like to be able to find out more about what’s really going on.

According to Steve Grant in the Herald (14 Sept), the Mayor has a ‘team’. He writes that Michelle Cunningham ‘had an unsuccessful and bruising run against mayor Brad Pettit’s team a couple of years back’ – which implies that Jenny Archibald is a member of the mayor’s ‘team’, as it was she who thrashed Ms Cunningham in 2017. Steve also suggests that Rachel Pemberton is a Pettitt supporter.

Roger Garwood in his blog (17 July) tells us that the mayor has a ‘campaign manager’, Brian Smith, who ‘is said to have an influence among councillors and council’s administrators’. He also claims that the mayor has ‘advisers’ [sic] including Chris Lewis, and Professor Peter Newman.

It is also said that certain individuals have some influence as to who stands and whom gets elected: people like former mayor Peter Tagliaferri, and former premier Peter Dowding, who lives in South Fremantle. I would expect the publisher of the Herald, Andrew Smith, to be influential in local affairs, as that’s what the owners of newspapers have always done.

Some candidates have worked for political parties in the past: Lynn McLaren was a Greens Member of the Legislative Council.; Frank Mofflin worked in Willagee for the Labor Party; and Rachel Pemberton worked in Senator Scott Ludlum’s (Greens) office. There are likely to be others that I don’t know of.

Roel Loopers, on the other hand, often writes that councillors actually act independently, rather than along party lines, in what they personally see as the City’s best interests.

A few councillors have been in situ for so long it seems as if it’s simply their day job, and whatever allegiances they had (or still have) outside the job matter less than it does with others. Doug Thompson (not a candidate this term) is the outstanding example, but Jon Strachan is looking like a professional councillor, and Geoff Graham is attempting to return to his old job, having been on council for six years previously.

I don’t think it’s irrelevant that councillors now get paid a comfortable salary, so it has become a career choice. A hundred years ago, councillors were not paid – they didn’t need to be, as they were wealthy men, and acted out of a sense of responsibility to the community that had generated that wealth, and with the intention that this state of affairs should continue.

To return, finally, to the mayor’s ‘team’: if there’s one of ‘his’ candidates in each ward, I’m assuming that they include: Gemma Hohnen, who used to work in the same office as the mother of Brad Pettitt’s daughter; Rachel Pemberton (fellow greenie); Su Groome, architect; Lynn McLaren (another fellow greenie); and then I don’t know about North and South, but would have to guess that the old hands, Bryn Jones and Jon Strachan, get on OK with Brad. I can’t see him wanting Marija Vujcic.

I hope to return to this topic before the election in a month, if I can find out anything more enlightening.

Perth Stuff > FS

I ran a website called Perth Stuff (perthstuff.info) for one year from WA Day in 2018, but for a number of reasons decided to migrate everything I’d done there to my main Fremantle Stuff site (on which this blog runs). The building above was one I wanted to discover. It’s the original barracks which gave Barrack Street its name – but it can be represented just as well here as there.