LETTERS 25.3.17

Bad deal
THE exit deal done by Fremantle council with the Dockers looks dumb, and dumber the more it is investigated.
The Dockers got the land for their $1.5 million headquarters at Fremantle Oval for a peppercorn rent, and the members paid for the building.  The Dockers committed to a lease that still has 37 years to run.
Fremantle council loaned them $2m, interest free, for approximately 10 years and paid the costs of the loan.
The Dockers should not be rewarded for breaking their lease.
As part of their commitment, the Dockers have been spending approximately $240,000 a year maintaining the oval as per the lease.
Fremantle council’s deal lets them off $8.88m in maintenance costs at today’s figures, though with the AFL club gone, the level of maintenance is likely to be poorer.
In addition council will pay the Dockers $1.5m, plus $500,000 for promoting the club (and $200,000 to St Pats on the Stan Reilly site next door so they can leave Fremantle and go).
Fremantle council has offered South Fremantle Football Club, which owns $3m worth of land and buildings at the oval, a 10-year licence with a once-off carrot of $50,000 to surrender their 37-year sublease.
But why would Souths, who managed the oval for 100 years, sign such a deal, when they earn approximately $90,000 a year for the rest of the 37-year lease (i.e. $3.33m as against the $50,000 being offered).
None of the millions about to be spent would be necessary if council had not decided on a brand new and unnecessary administration building.
The Fremantle Society does not believe there has ever been a properly argued case for a new $50m administration building, especially since large scale amalgamations are not occuring.
Council staff have been unable to show the Fremantle Society a single report that justifies the demolition of their building, built by the same high quality builder who built the Port Authority tower.
The MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Sirona Capital came to council in 2011.
Two councillors, Haney and Dowson, refused to vote for it as it was considered by them such a bad financial deal.
The deal did NOT stipulate the demolition of the administration building, but stated that there could be a rebuild OR refurbishment.
The Fremantle Society wants a full and frank public discussion led by council and listened to by council over King’s Square, to include the use and design of the square, the $550,000 proposed playground, the dying Moreton Bay trees, and the issue of whether we need a new administration building or not.
King’s Square should be the beating heart of Fremantle.
It deserves the best outcomes.
John Dowson,
Fremantle Society President

Make litter free the goal
IT is Sunday afternoon and I just came back from walking my dog at East Fremantle oval.
I love the nearby oval.
Normally it is a clean space but the WAFL season started yesterday and I noticed heaps of plastic cups from beer, wine and coffee; foam containers; Subway plastic bags; and pizza boxes, etc. littering the spectator area.
Why?
How hard is it to use one of the numerous bins?!
Do we really need signs ‘On the spot fine for littering – $500’, together with a ranger onsite for reinforcement? Would that trigger responsibility to clean up after oneself?
Also becoming a role model for the young ones?
Or is it ‘cool & clever’ to shuffle the rubbish under the neighbour’s seat without getting caught?
But that’s just the clean-up part.
How about having reusable cups for sale with the respective footy club logo?
It could be a fundraiser, solve the litter problem, and significantly reduce the waste of valuable resources, as pointed out in the article “Miles ahead of plastic” (Herald, March 17, 2017)
Great blog, Lindsay.
I hope those litterbugs read it and start treading their own path.
G. Züchner-Mogall
Dalgety St, East Fremantle

Well spoken
AS I often visit Fremantle and always cycle here, I would like to suggest turning the entirety of South Terrace into a bicycle boulevard.
This means calming traffic to 30km/h and giving bikes priority all the way to Fremantle. Cars can choose to use Marine Terrace or Hampton Road, parallel to South Terrace. Creating car-free city centres is a world-wide revitalising trend that would benefit Fremantle greatly.
Close South Terrace from Norfolk Street and Market Street to High Street to create a people and bike-friendly mall.
Branwen Morgan
Denmark

Slipped the net
THE latest proposal for Metronet appears to have deleted the much-needed passenger trains along the existing infrastructure beyond Fremantle to join with the Thornlie and Mandurah lines as proposed.
Coupled with stopping Roe 8 and 9, the existing roads in the South West suburbs will become choked.
Residents in this area deserve a train service and limited access roads to remove traffic from local streets.
Hugh Hyland
Favazzo Place, Spearwood

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