FREMANTLE COUNCIL DOES NOT HAVE A VALID REASON FOR HIGH RISE, HIGH DENSITY, DEVELOPMENT AND MUST URGENTLY REVISE PLANS WHICH ONLY SERVE DEVELOPERS’ AND THEIR LOBBYISTS’ PROFITS. NOR CAN WE ALLOW SOCIAL ENGINEERING TO BECOME A THREAT TO SOCIETY.
The Victorian Government’s lockdown of high rise public housing appears be a demonstration of discriminatory social engineering.
Are Melbourne’s residents, and the rest of Australia’s population, expected to believe that people living in high rise, high density (HRHD) public housing are more likely to be a threat to society than those living in expensive suburbs?
The action by Daniel’s government is well intended but why is there no lockdown in HRHD apartments located in, say, Melbourne’s wealthy HRHD Docklands?
The lockdown of these residents, as well in those in high rise apartments in Europe, and similar action in Wuhan, is a demonstration that developing high density accommodation is short sighted. It is a demonstrably dangerous health hazard and alternatives should be researched.
When looking at the outbreaks of Covid 19 world wide it is a reasonable assumption they have largely started and spread in HRHD areas, mainly in late winter and gaining momentum as the virus adapted to warmer climates during the northern hemisphere spring. The latest Melbourne outbreaks have occurred as the Victorian winter progressed beyond its hot summer into winter. Does this indicate Covid 19 is climate resistant and can rapidly adapt to change?
WA’s GOVERNMENT ACTED QUICKLY AND EFFECTIVELY WHILE DEMONSTRATING HUMANITARIAN CARE
We have been fortunate in Western Australia. Our government efficiently handled the problem of infections aboard cruise ships and ships overstaying their planned visits to Fremantle while providing humanitarian support, a demonstration of good governance. Continuing to enforce State border closures as well as reenforcing strict quarantine systems is prudent. It also emerged that, among others, the most important services to society are offered by truck drivers and health care workers, not wealthy businessmen who can ‘fly in, fly out’ in luxury jets.
FREMANTLE COUNCIL MUST NOW DEMONSTRATE IT CAN ADAPT TO CHANGING LOCAL AND GLOBAL CIRCUMSTANCES.
All government sectors, including Fremantle Council, must revise their notions of HRHD developments. Covid 19 is unlikely to leave in a hurry. Researchers have observed the virus is adept at progressively and rapidly changing. In particular it has found efficient ways to attach itself to humans and the closer people are packed the more the virus likes it! Consideration must be given as to future development of the city to tourism. Longer term residents will have memories of the community in the ’70s to the mid ’80s when the city thrived on existing resources which included a variety of shops and limited development. Tourism has a reputation for collapsing in relatively short time spans without any assistance from a virus.
The ‘organic’ development in South Fremantle is a demonstration of how successful communities can become when they cater for predominantly local trade. For council to promote South Fremantle in its tourist destination marketing may be the kiss of death, driving local trade away in much the same manner as happened in the centre of the city during and following the period of the America’s Cup Defence. Rents will increase, parking will become an increasing problem and high density living will present additional problems.
FREMANTLE HOSPITAL SHOULD BE ‘VIRUS’ PROOFED TO BECOME AN EMERGENCY & ICU CENTRE
It is time for the WA Government to ensure Fremantle Hospital becomes fully utilised. Could unused wards be redeveloped into emergency ICU wards? This is not the last time we will encounter threats from highly disciplined bugs and the high cost of preparing for similar events should not be a consideration. Plans must be made on the assumption that, whether or not a vaccine is developed, we will face more, possibly greater, threats.
HIGH RISE ACCOMMODATION IS THE SOLUTION OF LAST RESORT AND IT CANNOT BE ORDERED TO SAIL INTO THE SUNSET
We have experienced issues related to rapid infections in the packaging of passengers aboard cruise ships, coincidently demonstrating that wealth is not a deterrent to infection. Now, on our geographical doorstep, we witness HRHD is a major threat related to the rapid spread of disease. Unlike cruise ships high rise buildings cannot be ordered to sail into the sunset.
The reasons for HRHD in Fremantle and elsewhere in the world is two-fold. Governments do not want to expand the footprints of cities, they want to relieve themselves of expanding infrastructure costs such as building roads, expanding public transport, water supplies, sewage treatment and power.
The other reason is that smooth talking, developers – snake oil salesmen with no consideration for the population – sell their ideas to gullible councillors. Developers seek only one outcome – large profits.
It is time for a complete rethink of the manner in which we accommodate a sustainable society. There are viable theories which need to be studied and adapted.
High rise, high density, development is the solution of last resort and has demonstrated a costly vulnerability.