Letters 30.4.22

Transparency both ways

YOUR front page headline “Workers refuse to pay debt” (Herald, April 23, 2022) is totally inaccurate and offends the management committee and members of the Fremantle Workers Social & Leisure Club (Freoworkers)

Freoworkers have to date contributed $1.785m to the Fremantle Park development. 

We have never refused to make a final payment of $185,000. However for a long time, we’ve been saying we require evidence that the development budget has been totally and properly acquitted.

This has never been provided. Many of your readers will be aware that even the smallest grant by the council to a community group has to be accounted for down to the last cent. 

Surely, when the boot is on the other foot and a community organisation agrees to such a massive contribution to a council-owned building, we are entitled to total transparency.

Freoworkers has been a very generous contributor to the social fabric of our City since 1914.  

This long-overdue sport and community centre would not have been built without our significant contribution.  

Yet our club has not been treated as a financial partner and we have been refused access to the financial documents we require to complete our due diligence.

Don Whittington
President
Fremantle Workers Social & Leisure Club

Look wider

CONGRATULATIONS to the new CEO of Fremantle Glen Dougall, who is a very experienced and likeable council officer.

But why does Fremantle keep appointing new leadership from within, when there is so much talent available nationwide?

It seems the previous CEO was appointed simply to be a ‘yes’ man to the council and it’s wasteful spending. That CEO resigned within three days of former mayor Brad Pettitt being elected to parliament.

As predicted by the Fremantle Society, council is now faced with massive debt from the King’s Square Business Plan, and rumour has it, the total bill is much greater than what we stated during the last election. 

A dynamic, fresh, independent CEO could address this crisis, but instead, the council will likely continue to cover up its financial woes. 

It’s not just the business plan, but the Jones Street Depot site, Fremantle Markets, and so many council assets not being maintained.

There is a federal election on, and previous councils put out a wish list for money they would like from the federal government. 

Where is the wish list from Fremantle council? 

Why not lobby for Fremantle’s heritage and culture for a change? 

Why not seek the $1 million needed for Victoria Hall to be a classy arts venue, the $1 million needed to fix the interior of the Town Hall, the $1 million needed to properly interpret Arthur Head and the Round House, or the $2 million needed for the archaeological centre at Pioneer Park?

And of course there is the campaign right here in Fremantle to save the longest wooden bridge in WA.

Instead of more concrete and ugly roads, Fremantle needs to boost its cultural assets.

John Dowson President
The Fremantle Society

In the swim?

I HAVE been wondering all summer when the 25 metre pool in the Fremantle Leisure Centre was going to be re-roofed, it seems no-one knows. 

Whilst I realise the council has depleted coffers thanks to the previous mayor’s vanity project, surely there must be some money left – maybe a bit of crowdfunding is in order.

Geoff Dunstone
Palmyra

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