FREMANTLE CEO Glen Dougall had a rare podcast talk with Fremantle Chamber of Commerce CEO Chrissie Maus last week.
His main message was that he was focussing on moving the city forward, talking to main stakeholders and trying to get many more people living in the CBD.
I really like Glen Dougall.
He is such a down-to-earth, no-nonsense person, and I get similar feedback from many of his staff.
Focussing on the future and moving forward is great, but how do we do it well if we do not assess if what we have done in the past actually works?
Is the City of Fremantle using Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to check that we are spending money the right way and on the right things?
If they do, why not share it with the public, especially the ratepayers.
How do the Fremantle elected members make informed decisions when basic information is not available to them?
For example; how do we know if the delightful Fremantle International Street Arts Festival was a success, when we don’t even know how many people attended?
I was told by a City spokesperson that the foot traffic counters did not work very well for big events, so how did the State government know how many people attended the great High Voltage event?
Is the City of Fremantle just guessing, with staff randomly picking numbers out of the air, without knowing the true figures?
How much did the Street Arts Festival cost and for how many people?
What were the best days, and which ones the worst?
Is it worth starting on Good Friday or should the City save money and only run the festival for three days?
All these questions also apply to other City of Fremantle events.
Bang for bucks?
Do we get bang for our bucks? Do we get value for money?
Do we ever assess anything after the event, and if so, why is it not being made public?
The One Day in Fremantle, alternative Australia Day, celebrations have been scaled down considerably over the last few years, partly due to Covid no doubt, but will it continue and will it grow again to a really good celebration of our city’s multiculturalism, or has it been a waste of money in the past?
Why is no one at the City of Fremantle sharing that with us?
Which KPIs is the success or failure of the Destination Marketing based on?
Were the last five years a success and worth the money?
Did the campaign target the right people? Does anyone know?
How many more visitors than the previous years did the marketing campaign attract to Fremantle, and where did they come from? Were they mainly from metropolitan Perth, WA, interstate or overseas?
Shouldn’t our councillors know that, so that they can make better decisions about how to spend money and what on?
Why does the public not get to see the statistics, or do they not exist?
How many people stay in B&Bs in Fremantle, how many in hotels, and how many in backpackers and elsewhere?
Does anyone have those figures?
Are B&Bs in South Fremantle more popular than in the inner city?
Are these not essential things for our council to know, before spending money.
How many people go to South Beach, as compared to Leighton and Port Beach? Do we have statistics for that?
Information is knowledge, so KPIs and statistics are essential to give our elected members the clear picture of what is going on, on what works well, and what could do with improvement. It helps them make good decisions and spend our money better.