Freo's View


Posted in aboriginal, fremantle by freoview on September 18, 2014

Almost 300 people attended the Fremantle Notre Dame University talk on indigenous recognition in the Australian constitution by Fred Chaney. Chaney is a very inspirational, measured and likable man, who made it clear that “the devil is in the detail” when it gets to the stage of adding the recognition of Australia’s Aboriginal people to the constitution, and the referendum it requires to do so.

He quoted Aboriginal and Wadjela leaders and that it is the question of how the country deals with its history. Recognise how and recognise when, is the question, Chaney said, and that Edward Burton was right when he said there is no racial quality,there is inner quality.

Chaney was optimistic about the future and the changes he had already observed in Australia, especially with the mining/commercial industry no longer working against Aboriginal people but with them. It was also good that there is political unanimity with all parties supporting the recognition.

He asked if we will ever close the gap between non-indigenous and indigenous people, who die on average 15 years earlier than white people and he warned that closing the gap for many meant assimilation instead of equality.

Australians should admire, respect and glorify the magnificent survival of the Aboriginal people in this harsh continent and embrace their culture.

I have long argued that Australia will only have its real identity when it truly acknowledges and embraces our indigenous culture. Tokenism and empty words are not enough and the move toward recognition in the constitution is long overdue.

On that note, go and visit Fremantle’s Aboriginal Cultural Centre on Arthur Head, just five doors down from the Round House. Say Kaya(G’Day), sign up for a course and look at the beautiful art. 

Roel Loopers



Posted in aboriginal, cultural, fremantle by freoview on September 17, 2014

aboriginal girl, tiff

There is a very important forum at Fremantle Notre Dame University this evening at 7pm. The honourable Fred Chaney will discuss the planned recognition of Australia’s indigenous people in our constitution.

It is something I believe is long overdue and it has bipartisan support in Federal Parliament from the major parties.

The referendum on it, and the implementation off it, are still a long way away with Prime Minister Tony Abbott hinting it might happen in four years.

There are critics of the recognition in the Aboriginal and Wadjela communities, with some saying it would only be tokenism and would distract from doing the really hard yards and making the difficult decisions and changes required to finally get indigenous people an equal lifestyle and life expectancy as the non indigenous ones.

Come along this eve at 7 o’clock to Tannock Hall on the corner of Cliff Street and Croke Lane, opposite the Fremantle Herald building. It is a free event!

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, notre dame university, photography by freoview on August 28, 2014

There is an interesting article on Photoshop manipulation in regard to eating disorders of women, by Fremantle Notre Dame University School of Law lecturer Marilyn Krawitz in In Principo, the University’s magazine.

Ms Krawitz reports on the Photoshop Law in Israel that requires female models to have a minimum BMI of 18.5, and when photographers or magazines manipulate photos to make models look thinner, they have to include a warning that covers at least seven percent of the photo.

I quite agree that excessive photo manipulation needs to be recorded  somehow, as many photos are drastically changed in PS and other software, and that alters the reality of photos that will be seen as historic documentation by future generations.  The Photoshop ‘reality’ is in fact fake reality because things that were in the original photos might have been taken out, or things could have been added.

There is another issue for me. While eating disorder in young women is serious, the manipulation of innocent children under 15 in fashion photography is equally disturbing to me. Girls are made up and dressed up to look sexy,and are photographed in seductive poses and plastered on magazine covers as some kind of sex bombs, and that is absolutely unacceptable.

Every photo we take is the recording of our history and we need to be aware of that at all times. The overuse of Photoshop and other similar software often is a tool to hide bad and mediocre photography.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on August 8, 2014

alfresco We are slowly moving toward spring and the weather has been improving, with a couple of stunning and warm days this week and more expected next week.

But I received a few complaints already from Fremantle people who claim that smokers occupy the alfresco areas at cafes and restaurant and subject others to passive smoking.

I asked the City of Fremantle what the rules for smoking are and here they are: Smoking is not permitted in alfresco dining areas throughout WA under the state government’s Tobacco Control Act. Local government officers are increasing awareness of the law by advising members of the public and business owners of their responsibility and explaining the law to tourists. In relation to enforcement, officers can issue an infringement if a customer refuses to stop smoking in an alfresco area. Free ‘no smoking’ stickers and signs were provided to alfresco operators when the law was introduced.

City of Fremantle officers pro-actively inform businesses operators and customers of the law and will investigate complaints upon request. Infringements are issued for willful non-compliance.

So if anyone smokes in an alfresco area let staff know it is unlawful and enjoy the sunshine!

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on July 17, 2014

Fremantle is in the news for all the right reasons, with an ABC TV report last night on the proposed ban on plastic bags in our city. Fremantle Council will next Wednesday vote to adopt a local law banning single-use plastic bags, that is likely to go through council unopposed. There is already a ban on plastic bags in the ACT, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory. Freo Mayor Brad Pettitt said there’s a lot of support for the ban from the Fremantle community, and that the idea came from local community groups.

Fremantle Council last year introduced a plastic bag ban but it was rejected on a technicality in State Parliament by National and Liberal MPs. Under the previous law, customers would have been able to purchase environmentally-friendly bags but only if retailers charged 10 cents per bag. That mandatory charge has been deleted from the law that will go to Council next week, because according to legal advice, local government cannot legally impose a mandatory charge for retailers to collect.

If the proposed law gets approved, retailers who ignore it would face a fine of $150, while repeat offenders could be fined up to $2,500.

Brad Pettitt said while the thin non-degradable bags would be prohibited, alternatives such as paper and compostable bags would still be available.


Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle by freoview on July 9, 2014

The City of Fremantle Strategic and General Services Committee met on Wednesday evening to debate some interesting agenda items, with the two major ones the applications to create bars at the Kidogo Arthouse and Moores Building art centres.

Kidogo owner Joanna Robertson said she would take advise from Council on building toilets inside the lean out, but asked that consideration should be given to allow for a weather protection structure to be built to accommodate the alfresco use of the area, which get buffeted by strong sea breezes often.

Councillor and Chair Andrew Sullivan rightly pointed out he believed the toilet issue at Bathers Beach was not resolved and ad hoc, and even with Kidogo and the Fishermen’s Co-op building being developed there would still not be public toilets at the inner city beach. He said he had hoped that the inside solution at Kidogo would also have accommodated an outside solution for public toilets, and that having toilets inside the art centre was only the second-best option and not the first-best one.

I agree with Andrew Sullivan that it can’t continue that the onus is on private operators to in fact run public toilets for the City. The fish&chips outlets in the area constantly get non-customers using their toilets and they need to keep them clean at a cost. That is a cop-out from the City which business owners should refuse to accept. The argument by Councillor Dave Hume that Council does not want the footprint of the former kerosene store changed, is not dealing with the reality that the area is being more and more used and public toilets of some sort and somewhere at Bathers Beach are required. Putting the head in the Bathers Beach sand instead of finding a proper solution is not good governance.

The item was approved under delegated authority, so Joanna Robertson can now go into the nitty-gritty of getting planning approval, a liquor license and a new lease contract with the City. Good luck!

The Moore&Moore Cafe application for a bar is not supported by the Fremantle Arts Centre, which manages the Moores Building Contemporary Art Centre there. Director Jim Cathcard believed there would be a clash between the use as a gallery and a bar, and there could be issues at exhibition opening and events if a bar was run simultaneously. Mayor Brad Pettitt pointed out that venues can de-license themselves for specific occasions, as the Fly by Night does when schools and community groups perform there. He also believed there could be another solution found to house the artists in residence who are staying at the Moores, and I agree with Brad on this.

One concern I have is making sure that the art on display is safe from damage and theft in a bar environment. People using the cafe don’t get intoxicated but many people consuming alcohol do, and that needs to be addressed. As the Mayor pointed out, Fremantle wants small bars, especially in the ghost town-like West End that is dead after dark, so solutions need to be explored. The item was deferred to full council.


Posted in fremantle by freoview on June 13, 2014

I contacted Fremantle CLANCYS manager Justin Rogan to find out why the Racing and Gaming Department rejected their application to run a bar at Victoria Hall, during the three months period the building at Princess May Park is refurbished. Justin is on holiday in Vietnam, but here his reply:

The application for “removal of license” from Clancy’s to Vic hall was submitted on the recommendations of racing gaming liquor, so that was what I did. I submitted a comprehensive submission with supporting letters from Mayor Brad Pettitt and Tom Griffiths (Economic and Marketing Manager COF) and others, and a 500 signature petition.

The applications was accepted across the RGL desk about 5 weeks ago, they even went as far as to waive the $3500 application fee and the requirement for a “public interest assessment test” which is arduous. All indications were that it was a fairly straight forward process. As we hadn’t heard from them we contacted them last week, only to find that there had been very little progress and when pushed for a decision, as timing was critical, the application was refused due to an interpretation of the liquor licensing act by the director.

Basically the application was the first of its kind and deemed too risky to grant as it would provide a precedent for future applications, basically tainting all operators with the same brush and once again making decisions/based on the fear of the lowest common denominator. There are around 20 staff who now won’t have employment over that period, not to mention the hours of work and planning put in by the team over the previous few months.

We will endeavor to try to resolve the issue and are looking at venue options around Freo as well,

Thanks mate
Justin Rogan
General Manager
Clancy’s Fish Pub


Posted in fremantle by freoview on May 26, 2014

I am baffled by Fremantle Council’s decision not to fine Hush Cafe owner Daniel Leppard for repeatedly ignoring orders not to proceed with changing the interior wall of the High Street property. He was told to abide by the planning rules and received at least two stop work orders, which he elected to ignore, so it is not as if he acted in good faith and out of ignorance. He knew what he was doing was wrong, but decided to go ahead with it anyway. And it wasn’t the first time either, as Leppard had previously ignored to get planning approval for the previous Hush at Market Street, a Council officer told me.

Far too often in the Perth metro area property owners and business operators show disregard for heritage buildings. They let them fall into disrepair or make unauthorised alterations out of selfish greed, and sadly councils let them get away with it often.

I have absolutely no sympathy for Daniel Leppard. The Hush Cafe owner acted in selfish interest when he decided to go ahead with the unauthorised alterations to the building, but when confronted and threatened with legal action he played the poor small business owner who might be forced out of business by cruel council officers, if he had to replace the plaster at a cost of around $ 10,000. So what?! Leppard deliberately ignored CoF officers’ demands to stop work and he deliberately damaged the heritage wall, so let him pay. To believe he will reinstate the wall once he leaves the business is pretty naive. He’d probably sell it on as an ongoing business and make it someone else’s problem.

Someone who starts a business in Fremantle’s beautiful heritage area and in a heritage listed building knows he will have development restrictions. To ignore them is plain vandalism and council has no reason to be lenient with such a rogue business owner.

Mr Leppard told the Fremantle Herald that his painting of the wall looked “cool and grungy” and shows respect for the heritage building, but it was not his judgement call to make and the experts told him not to proceed with it. If it was about personal taste and preference many of Freo’s heritage buildings would no longer exist or would have been altered unrecognisably. Daniel Leppard can only blame himself and he really has no excuse for ignoring Council orders. What he did should not be accepted.

There are a lot of good cafes in High Street and surrounding streets, so I suggest that anyone who is serious about preserving Freo’s heritage gives Hush the cold shoulder and instead supports one of the other cafes in the area, to let owner Daniel Leppard know we are not impressed with his attitude. I for one will never have a coffee at Hush again.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on April 18, 2014

Good Friday is one of the most boring days of the year I believe, so I have decided to share this little story by largely unknown Russian author Leor Srepool with you, whose writing I discovered in the 1960s. It has nothing to do with Good Friday or religion, but then again, maybe it has on a day where everyone has to obey rules because of one religion, so why not do some deep thinking about society on a day like today. Here it is:


He was nearly six when he decided rules were not for him. Rules restricted his freedom and his freedom of expression. They stifled his boundless energy. Rules were simply too restrictive for someone like him.

He refused to go to the school his parents wanted him to go to because school uniforms were a form of rule, so he insisted to be allowed to go to a school at the other end of the city where they did not wear uniforms, although it took him an hour to get there. At school he was in constant trouble with the teachers because he refused to adhere to their rules. They considered him obstinate and disruptive.

He grew up without rules because he had learned to ignore and bypass them. Rules were for others, a restriction the society set itself and he could not accept that.

He changed his eating habits and had dinner some time in the morning and breakfast some time in the evening, because having dinner in the evening would be like following a stupid rule. Even his cooking was different because he refused to follow cooking instructions. His morning roasts were a whole new culinary experience. He ate curry roast pork with beansprouts and rice, and because everyone else ate with knife and fork he ate his roasts with chopsticks. On the odd occasions that he went out he only ate in cafes that served all day breakfast, because eating breakfast at 2 pm was ignoring the rules.

He did not bother getting a drivers license because he had no intention obeying those stupid road rules. He only drove at night and always on the wrong side of the road. He stopped at green lights and drove through red ones and stop signs did not exist for him. The police stopped him often but he always had lengthy arguments with them about what the right side of the road was. Maybe they and the society were wrong and he was right, and the fines he received were never paid.

A magistrate ordered a mental health assessment and the psychiatric report said he had CRRS-Compulsive Rule Rejection Syndrome, triggered by a repressed early childhood memory, because his father had been a stickler for rules and had literally tried to beat them into his son.

Every morning he drove his car from the lawn next to his driveway to a no standing zone down the road and left it there all day. Parking in the driveway and in designated parking bays was no option for him. They were rules everyone else lived by but not he.

He never had a job and stole whatever he needed, because working was following society’s rules and stealing was the opposite. He considered it a badge of honour that other people found him strange because he believed it was an appreciation of his uniqueness, a uniqueness only he understood and valued.

Time was irrelevant and he abhorred punctuality as much as he disliked compassion and consideration. The uniformity of the world sickened him. Why were people behaving all the same. Why were there so many rules for everything. Why did society believe it had the right to tell him what to do, and how and when to do it, when all they achieved was sameness, selfishness, greed and war. Why was being different abnormal?

Rules did not make the world a better place. Rulers had ruined the world, created racism and poverty and started horrendous wars, when all he did was living his life the way he wanted without harming anyone.

He hated fashion and made his own clothes, such as T-shirts with bold slogans RULES R NOT US, FREEDOM OF EVERYTHING, UNIFORMITY IS MADNESS, IT’S COOL TO BEND THE RULE, and his favourite one I ESCAPED NORMALITY.

 The world did not understand him and he did not understand the world. He was a loner who did not take part because taking part would be accepting the uniformity of rules and the limitations of freedom and life.

He could not see that he had made his own rules and lived his own limitations and that he was very much like everyone else, just different.

Leor Srepool






Posted in fremantle by freoview on April 4, 2014

UNDA lecture







Senator Mathias Cormann, the Federal Minister for Finance, will be speaking at Fremantle Notre Dame University this Wednesday April 9 from 6-7 pm. His lecture will be about his personal reflections on his career as a lawyer in politics. This is a free event and all are welcome.

The location is the Michael Keating room in the former Fremantle Hotel, corner High and Cliff streets.

Roel Loopers


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