Letters 2.7.22

There’s more to the story

LAST week’s Herald didn’t quite tell the whole story about the proposed rates for 2022/23. 

The fact is that the proposed differential rates are: 

Therefore, residents will still pay less than businesses, including those in the CBD. 

Plus, CBD businesses will still pay slightly higher rates than their suburban peers, and importantly, vacant commercial property will pay even higher rates (as has been suggested by some). 

This difference is further exacerbated by the GRV (gross rental value) which is generally higher for CBD commercial properties. 

The reality is that CBD businesses have been paying a significantly higher portion of rates for many years (and they don’t even get their rubbish collected!).  

The proposed change to the differential rates is simply trying to phase in a more equal distribution of sharing the costs of running our city.

Unfortunately, some oversimplification of the issues and a particular interpretation of one metric (the per cent change to rates from last year) has led to some understandable concern among some residents.  

But the reality is that businesses will still pay more than residents, and the CDB will pay more again. 

It is also important to understand that landlords pass on the cost of rates to their tenants as “outgoings”.  

No-one likes rate increases, not even the council (we pay rates too!), but the reality is that the council faces rising costs just like everyone else. 

Furthermore, the council wants to improve the maintenance of city infrastructure and invest in improvements such as lighting around Walyalup Koort, replacing the pool roof, building new toilets at South Beach and other investments that will benefit the community.  

It’s a shame that this issue has become a divisive one, but I hope understanding this context sheds further light on the issue. 

Rachel Pemberton
Councillor – City Ward City of Fremantle
The Ed says:
And a little clarification; the 6.7 per cent we mentioned in the story referred to the increase in the minimum rate. The average rate rise is 6 per cent.


FREMANTLE council has supported a policy of tyranny targeting cat owners.

I will refuse to pay a fine if my cat is “found” walking on a footpath. 

I urge other Fremantle ratepayers who care for cats to do the same.

A consultation period is said to have occurred, and I don’t know anyone who knew of it.

The lame result? 

Less than 70 responses in support, a minuscule share of Freo residents.

Yet Freo Council has acted on this pathetic figure.

Cats are, for some owners, their only companions and only friends.

My cat kills rats – a very important and welcome skill near a working port.

He is well fed by us and he doesn’t kill native birds, which happily coexist in great numbers in our street with several domestic cats.

One councillor attached to the ‘broad brush’ approach claims cats are responsible for killing off more than two dozen species in Australia, without providing any evidence that this is happening in Fremantle.

Rangers would be better used in the fight against anti-social behaviour and crime in the alcohol drenched CBD, and protecting people instead of bringing misery to the lives of cat owners.

Council’s attack on cats are a reminder of China’s ill-fated Four Pests Campaign.

In the Chinese case, it was flies, mosquitoes, rats and sparrows.

It didn’t end well.

Councillors need to halt the overreach, end the egotistical grandstanding and do what they’re elected to do.

David Weber
North Fremantle

Magical music treat for us

ONCE again, Diane and I attended the brilliant concert provided by the Fremantle Chamber Orchestra playing two lovely Mozart pieces that are always enjoyed by classical music audiences. 

Emily Leung soloed beautifully on the second Mozart piece, Violin Concerto No 3 in G Major. 

After the Interval, as often happens with Mr Hug’s astute direction and John Keene’s sublime conducting, the audience was treated to a rarely played but fabulously soft String Serenade by Gyula Beliezay before the final piece of the afternoon, Beethoven’s magical String Quartet No 12 in Eb major. 

As always with FCO”s concerts, the music was magically performed and a treat for the audience! 

Tim Johnson

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