A final City of Fremantle blog from Brad
23 May 2021
On Monday the 24th of May I will after a long wait officially be sworn in as a Member of the Legislative Council in the WA Parliament. It was suggested that before I officially start my new role, I write a final blog as a way of handing it over the deputy-mayor Andrew Sullivan and team who will keep it going from here.
There is so much that could be said but perhaps the key thing I want to say is: thank you! I have had a wonderfully rewarding 11.5 years as mayor and 16 years on the Fremantle Council.
But it has only been such a positive experience because of the amazing support I have received from all across the community. The big changes that we made in Fremantle over the last decade – changes that I hope will put Fremantle in good sted for decades to come – were only possible because of an amazing team effort of people who loved Fremantle and who got behind our special city and were part of the conversation and necessary changes.
Thanks to all of you that have been part of this whether it be Amendment 49, Kings Square, One Day, Fremantle Youth Plaza or enhancing our heritage and arts and culture seen.
Whether you were on our WRAP working group, or part of Mayors for Peace or just came along and had your say or supported the events and initiatives we were running. Your input has made the Fremantle Council a better council and Fremantle a better place.
It’s really not possible to list my highlights as mayor (without being a rather self-indulgent and perhaps boring) so it is good to have this blog certainly is a record of the highs and lows of the past decade and a bit. I hand it over with 3859 comments on my 1999 posts by almost 300k visitors. I hope future mayors build on it going forward as just one extra way of engaging with the community.
To finish I thought it would be fun share the thoughts of of Freo local Roy Lewisson who gave me a good-hearted roast at a small going away function I had recently. He said:
I would like to start off by briefly attempting to summarize Brad’s time as a Mayor, as a Councilor, as a politician and as a local government public servant.
With so many milestones, highlights, accolades and progressive, landmark turning points – this is no easy task.
There have been numerous outside-of-the-box initiatives utilizing a think globally act locally philosophy, which have been born out of symbiotic and collaborative relationships between Brad, the Councilors, the Council and the residents – let’s not forget the residents. In terms of local communities – let’s face it – Fremantle has always punched above its weight.
I recently came across this definition of the word ‘quality’ and it rang true of Brad’s time at the City of Fremantle – I quote
“Quality is never an accident; It is the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; It represents the wise choice of many alternatives.”
Brad has become synonymous for achieving significant change within the Local Government arena, for weaving sustainability and innovation into new projects, policies and protocols and for standing by the strong environmental principles, in which he genuinely believes.
However tonight, I wish to focus on another side of Brad’s life, one which may be enlightening for many of you.
Within these green credentials, it should come as no surprise that Brad is also an adept and proficient bushwalker; a ‘quality’ bushwalker in fact.
When it comes to bushwalking – Brad is passionate, competent and feels very comfortable in natural environments.
Brad has walked extensively in Tasmania – particularly in the SW World Heritage Area– where he has successfully undertaking numerous walks of 10 – 14 days duration. He has also walked in NZ, WA and is about to undertake the Larapinta Trial in Australia’s centre.
However, however, however …… there is one aspect associated with this love of bushwalking to which Brad is a hopeless and dismal failure – and we are talking Dismal with a capital ‘Delta’ here – and that is his bushwalking gear. ‘Gear’ in this sense includes equipment, clothing and all round kit.
With all these accolades of Brad’s sharp ‘green’ strategic thinking – it may come as a shock to you – that when venturing out into these very wild and remote wilderness areas, Brad goes out of his way to purchase the cheapest, nastiest, most ill-fitting, not-suited-for-purpose, crappy, outdoor gear – he can possibly find.
When scrolling through the numerous photos I have of Brad bushwalking – I struggled to find photos of his multiple gear malfunctions – the broken buckles, the busted zippers, sleeping mats torn to shreds, raincoats that barely covered his navel … mainly because we were so busy fixing these problems, we didn’t have time to take photographs. However some photos of the latest boot saga may give you some insight.
Just before flying to Tasmania these soles were glued with Liquid Nails and held together with masking tape in an attempt to assist the glue to dry ………… whilst on the plane. There were also 2 x tek screws in each heel – which apparently aided stability ?
Brad had brought cable ties along ‘just-in-case’ the glue and tek screws didn’t hold. …………….. When the cable ties eventually came off – Brad brought out the back-up shoes, the good old back up shoes – which double as camp footwear and typically are heavy duty outdoor sandals. However on this particular walk Brad had decided to bring along ……….. Tai Chi slippers.
If entering the WA State Upper House is considered moving up the political ranks – we can live in hope that it is accompanied by an upward change in attitude, towards quality bushwalking gear and clothing for our new MLC.
And finally – it is customary in a Kangaroo Court, to provide the convicted with the opportunity to rebuff the above facts.
I will now hand over to the convicted – the new Honourable Member of the Western Australian Legislative Council – Bradley Pettitt.
While I contest much Roy’s roast of my camping gear (whose poor status is rather exaggerated), it was a nice light-hearted note to end an era on and as you can see from this photo there is nothing wrong with my hiking gear 🙂
I, of course, will still be around. I am planning on getting an electorate office in or around Fremantle as soon as possible and if there is any way I can help in the state parliament then please get in touch.
I am even planning a new blog which you will be able to find at bradpettitt.com
Finally, here are some photos over the years that people have shared with me. Thanks and stay well.
I’ve enjoyed your Freo Blogs, I don’t live in Freo but love it and visit regularly. The Norfolk Car Park ticket machine appears to be solar powered yet in the shadiest place of the carpark which we suspect is the reason why the machine is super slow. On the subject of parking in Freo., it’s too expensive to the detriment of Freo business’s, on so many occasions we’ve left Freo because our expensive parking was due to expire when we actually wanted to stay longer for shopping, etc.. Wishing you every success in your new career. Best wishes Vivienne Edwards.
Thank you for your commitment to and passion for Fremantle, Brad! Being in public life is very difficult because it is impossible to please everyone. The unprecedented building boom is your legacy. Freo owes you!
Ironic. The day you partied at the Sail and Anchor, the gates slammed shut at King’s Square as the alleged third rate builder went broke – your pet project that the community can’t afford and which Dr Carmen Lawrence says “will blight Fremantle for the next 100 years.” The developers certainly have had a good time while you were mayor, building unattractive big boxes, and the essence of Fremantle, its heritage, has had its funding slashed. Your negativity towards our heritage and your divisive ideology have damaged Fremantle, a world class place that needs mature management.