‘Freo Card’

RATEPAYERS could be issued with a “Fremantle Card” qualifying them for discounts to council facilities and events.

Beaconsfield councillor Hannah Fitzhardinge said the card or app would acknowledge ratepayers contribute to facilities through rates, but then have to pay the same as outsiders to use them.

“So an example are the course through the arts centre, and they attract a broad range of people across the region, but Freo people are in essence paying twice,” Cr Fitzhardinge said.

“Another example would be the leisure centre.”

Cr Fitzhardinge said the details of what discounts would apply were still to be determined, but it could include giving locals an exemption from CPI rate increases.

“We need to investigate how to ensure it’s easy to use, but also that it first with how we do things in 2021,” she said, noting the proliferation of smart phones made an app a likely contender.

That raises some privacy concerns given the auditor general’s recent brutal take-down of the city’s internet security, but Cr Fitzhardinge said they were being held to a standard appropriate for Australia’s spy chiefs.

“I think there is another factor which is technology improving at a fast pace, like multi-factor authentication which annoys us all but does a good job in protecting our data, so it could be that something like that resolves that issue as the technology advances,” she said.

Having made it through Wednesday’s finance and policy committee unanimously, her call for an investigation into the card will have to be ratified by full council later this month.

by STEVE GRANT

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