Unfrondly times at Fern

AN all-night party involving 100 hardcore environmental activists at the Fremantle Environmental Resource Network (Fern) site in Montreal Street has exposed a schism in the group.

Fern’s eight-member board condemned the party and is demanding that squatters leave, saying it breaches Fern’s rules for people to stay overnight or hold rowdy parties.

Fern members have used social media to attack about 12 hard-core activists, who call themselves The Lorax (after the Dr Seuss character who “speaks for the trees”).

“The Lorax group has taken over a corner of the site,” a board member complained. “They are not Fern and should leave.

“They are creating a bad reputation for us. We don’t want to carry them to our new site (Fern will soon move as a result of the High Street widening).”

The Lorax is led by Fern director and well-known local activist Simon Peterffy.

He says the party being complained about officially ended at 10pm and some people stayed on afterwards but everyone was well-behaved.

“It wasn’t the event it is being made out to be,” he says. “These accusations are being made by people stretching the truth.”

But neighbours say the party rocked on till 6am.

“We could hear the music from Fern loud when it started last night around 7pm, everyone loves a party. It continued however until about 6am. It screwed up our night’s sleep. This is a totally inappropriate use of Fern’s resource. I support Fern’s objectives, but will become an outspoken critic if Fern does not manage this resource better,” one said.

Environmental activist Christopher Irving writes it is not the first time The Lorax has been warned about behaviour.

“The fact that it has happened again demonstrates a ‘fuck you’ attitude towards the greater Fern community,” he writes.

Tony Carruthers writes the “duality of Fern is very off-putting”, and is one of the reasons his involvement has dropped off.

He adds it is not the sustainable garden’s responsibility to provide illegal free accommodation, “especially if doing so threatens Fern”.

by CARMELO AMALFI

2 responses to “Unfrondly times at Fern

  1. I am a member of FERN and I wanted to check out the accuracy of this article by going to the FERN Facebook page, which I assumed was the “social media” used to discuss the Lorax. I couldn’t see any discussion there. Where is this social media discussion being held?

    The article says that the eight person board all attacked the Lorax, then later on quotes one member of the board, Simon Peterffy saying the exact opposite. So, did every member of the board (including Simon) attack the Lorax, or only a few of the members of the board?

    I live close to FERN and normally hear music events held there. I did not hear this party going all night. In fact, I didn’t even notice it happening at all. Who is the unnamed neighbour who is quoted saying that it went all night and where does that person live? Are their claims to be supportive of FERN in the past valid?

  2. Disgraceful the way a rate payers sponsored site is abused.
    Of course they want to know what neighbour’s are complaining , so they can go and harass them.
    I have driven past and seen the police cars out front where they there for the dodgy restaurant.
    A google search on the simon guy shows
    Mr Peterffy admitted his criminal record was five pages long and dotted with multiple charges of trespass, disorderly conduct and preventing a lawful activity.
    Is this sort of activity rate payers money is used for known criminal activity.
    Makes u wonder what other dubious activities are going on there?

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