Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Fremantle must move ahead so that we don't lose the future

"If we open a quarrel between the present and the past, we shall be in danger of losing the future."

- Winston Churchill

Fremantle has stayed still for too long. I'm not satisfied that this great city has laid anchor while other local governments are pushing forward and overtaking us. I'm not satisfied that we have to look to the City of Perth to see how to create a liveable, vibrant and fun city centre. Most of all, as a father who will be raising my daughter in this great city, I'm not satisfied that we are in danger of losing the future.

My task is not merely one of itemising Council's failures since the America's Cup. Those residents who have retreated into their homes in the city ward because of antisocial behaviour will know how to vote. Those residents who want to be able to enjoy Kings Square with other people instead of seeing the place devoid of life will know how to vote. Other residents who resent seeing vacant buildings being left to decay will also know how to vote. The traders who lie idle on a Wednesday afternoon, the landowners who are struggling to attract tenants and who are subject to restrictive red tape so that they cannot plan for the future with certainty, the parents of children without adequate, fun places in the city centre: they all know that it's time to change.

I'm not satisfied. The challenge is too urgent and the stakes are too high to permit staying still and quarrelling between the present and the past. Today our concern must be with the future of Fremantle, for all around us the times are changing. The old era is ending. The old ways will not do. As she grows up I want my daughter to be proud of this great city because her friends, her teachers, her colleagues will be looking to what Fremantle is doing instead of the City of Perth.

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