Freo's View


Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 31, 2012

Princess May Park in the east of the Fremantle CBD is causing headaches on two fronts. Anti-social behaviour by drunks who use the park daily is upsetting businesses in the area. Last week a fight there lasted for over two hours and calls to the police resulted in no action for far too long, while Fremantle’s own security staff was powerless to stop the brawl.

A CCTV camera finally installed there has been put smack bang in the centre of the park. The location was probably selected by the same insensitive person who put one smack bang in front of the Round House earlier this year. It was removed after the outcry of residents and heritage groups.

Former Councillor John Dowson is also rightly asking what has happened to the $ 600,000 allocated for improvements on the 1854 Boy’s School at the park, and why council allowed several airconditioners to be installed at the northern face of the building and more around the corner.

John also wants a heritage interpretation of Princess May Park to be done and in light of the council wanting to develop the Point Street carpark site this should be done as a priority.

The east end of town is a mirror image of the west of the city where the neglected heritage buildings at Arthur Head also need urgent attention. Verandas and picket fences are rotting away, exteriors need to be painted, better signage needs to be installed, road surfaces need to be made safe for pedestrians, landscaping in front of J Shed needs to be done, the mess at the Old Port Project at Bathers Beach needs to be sorted before summer starts, etc.

It must be a good feeling at Fremantle council to live the sustainable new green buildings dream, but this can’t be done at the cost of our significant heritage sites and buildings. They need to remain a priority and should be looked after better.

Drunks are not only a problem in the east of town. Arthur Head is also a favourite party destination for backpackers at night and they often leave a mess of broken bottles all over the place. This is another area ignored by our police. It must be too hard to get out of the patrol vehicles during the evening to check on the internationalĀ  revelers who use the cannon deck and grassed area next to the Round House as a dump.

Progress is great and so is planning a modern future for our city, but looking after what we’ve already got is essential. We need better policing of buildings and of people.

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 31, 2012

Good news! For the first time in 14 years the Fishermen’s Co-op building at Fremantle’s Bathers Beach is for sale. The landmark building that once was home to MacDonalds, Dome cafe and Waggamama has stood as an almost vacant eyesore at one of our prime tourist destinations. Only the Sweetlips fish&chips shop survived and the French restaurant Poisson D’Or on the top level is relatively new.

A micro brewery wanted to make the building its new home earlier this year but decided not to pursue the plans after the due diligence period. It was reported that the present owner demanded very high rents and many in the hospitality and tourism industry believed it was not viable to start a business at the Co-op building because of that.

This is a great opportunity to do something special with the building and make it another tourist attraction at the historic beach. Fremantle is hanging out for some small bars in the area, so the right operator could well make it an iconic destination. There are 20129 sqm to work with on two levels.

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 31, 2012

I am impressed with how professional some Fremantle cafe owners take their coffee and the baristas they let loose on us innocent caffeine addicts. Last evening I was invited to be one of four judges to help select additional baristas for the Moore&Moore Cafe in Henry Street and we’ll do the same again on Thursday evening. Freo small business owner of the year Simon Naber decided that was the way to go, and what a caffeine overdose it was. I am still buzzing and hardly slept all night.

The Baristas on trial had to make us Espressos, Cappuccinos and a coffee of their choice which we tasted and scored from 1-10. Although all baristas were experienced some did much better than others and the Espressos were the big challenge with quite a few too bitter and burned.

Good to know that when the new baristas join the crew they have been tested and found good enough to make great coffees and of course there is always more training on the job at M&M.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 31, 2012

There is so much on this weekend at the Fremantle Festival that I am already talking to all the gods, fairies, and baristas asking them to keep the rain away that has been forecast, because it’s going to be bigger than ISAF, the Olympics and the New York super storm together in Freo town. Have a look what’s on.

On Friday:

* The End of Deckchair party is at Victoria Hall from 6.30.

* Head to Leake StreetĀ  at 8pm for Gette Immense Intimite by French group Retouramont. They have never been seen in Australia before and are fantastique! according to Fremantle Festival guru Alex Marshall.

On Saturday there is:

* The Barista Competion at the Town Hall from 9am all day.

* Wardarnji Aboriginal Festival at the Fremantle Arts Centre from 12 midday. Music, dancing, bush tucker.

* Opening of indigenous artist Krocette at Kidogo Art House on Bathers Beach at 6pm.

On Sunday you can enjoy:

* The Tweed Run will start at the Esplanade in the morning to ride to the Cappuccino Strip, so get out the old bike, dress up and take part.

* The Children’s Festival is on at Samson Park from 10am-3pm.

* The Coffee Festival will be on at the stripĀ  from 11 am. Overdose on caffeine.

* W.A. Youth Jazz Orchestra will be playing at the Fremantle Art Centre. It starts at 1 pm, so one hour earlier than the usual courtyard music!

* Fremantle Designers Fashion Show at the Moores Building Art Centre in Henry Street at 6 pm.

* Jazz in the Park is on at Samson Park from 5-7 pm

and of course one should not miss the Sculptures on the Street at Wood and Blinco Street, the Pop-Up Shops in the Woolstores shopping centre and art shows around town.

For all festival information check out the City of Fremantle website, and the Festival Facebook page

Bored in sleepy old Freo where nothing ever happens? Get a life! ; >)

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 30, 2012

I believe planet earth needs a STOP TO THINK Day. We are hunting progress at such a speed and with such ferocious appetite for more that we hardly have time to contemplate or do some real deep thinking and listening. Our governments at all levels are making decisions on the run that have often not been thought through properly. Plans for our future are made in panic mode and haste as if there is no tomorrow, and far too often policies are proven to be wrong and need to be revised, or scrapped all together.

We have no time to take our time for anything. When getting together with friends we feel the need to answer mobile phone calls, send emails, receive text messages and we are quite happy to rudely and impolitely interrupt our conversations because we feel the need to be up to date about everything every minute of the day. How often do we see four people having lunch and all chatting on the phone. It’s rude and ridiculous!

Trades people don’t give us value for money anymore because they turn up at our homes and offices but instead of concentrating on the job at hand they constantly answer phone calls from new customers, wasting our time and money.

We live in a selfish world where more and bigger is always better and we expect to have more next year and the year after. Care and courtesy are nearly forgotten words, because we are in such a hurry to make progress.

We use social media as a weapon and destroy people’s reputations with a few nasty words. There are more haters than lovers in cyberspace and most of them are too gutless to use their real name.

We rush through life without realising how special it is and how much we already have got. We don’t appreciate the beauty of our country, the value of good friends, or the fact we never go hungry. We just want more and it needs to come faster.

We are on a bullet train to nowhere and the speed of our present life is not sustainable. We need to stop and think and relearn to appreciate the beauty of life. We need to start sharing and caring again and we need to look after our extended family, our community, better before we run amok in the global village.

We need a day of contemplation, relaxation and meditation to tell ourselves what a wonderful life we already have and that we might not need all those things we are striving for and dreaming off, a day where we are simply happy with what we’ve got, like our children, pets, clean air, a home, fresh water, stunning nature, safe cities.

We should lay down and watch the stars, wake up to a gorgeous sun rise, sit still more often without doing anything, and leave that bloody mobile phone at home or at least turn it off now and then. The world can do without all of us for a few hours a day no matter how busy we think we are. We don’t have to be contactable 24/7. We are not that important!

Relax! Have a Stop to Think day today! We might get more things right and make better decisions if we chill a bit.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 30, 2012

They have done it again down in Hulbert Street in South Fremantle! Shani Graham and Tim Darby‘s ECOBURBIA won the 2012 Banksia Environmental Award

in the small to medium business section. The Banksia is Australia’s most prestigious environmental award with hundreds of applicants. The announcement was made at a gala dinner in Melbourne while the Ecoburbia crew gathered in Hulbert Street eating homemade pizzas.

The Banksia come on top of Ecoburbia’s 2011 Western Australian Environmental Award and the 2012 Fremantle Chamber of Commerce Sustainability Award, so all the dedication, commitment and hard working is paying off for Shani and Tim. Well done and congratulations!

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 29, 2012

There is a new building on the Fremantle Esplanade next to the Skywheel. It’s the Sea Circus and promises fun for young and old. They plan to be open seven days a week and entry is only $ 6.00, so let the kid’s have a try next weekend when you come to town for more Fremantle Festival fun! It’s good for birthday parties as well.

Hendrik Dijstra, the manager of the ferris wheel, told me two more fun rides will be built on the Esplanade in the next couple of weeks, so slowly we are getting our own mini Royal Show in Freo.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 29, 2012

If you know your Latin from your Greek and if you like great music, dancing and food, it is time to turn up at the LATIN FIESTA at the Fremantle Workers Club in Henry Street this Saturday November 3.

Dance the night away to the warm Latin rhythms of Son Latino and enjoy Latin food and drinks at club prices.

Advanced tickets sell for only $ 25/$20 or at the door on the night for $ 30.00

Contact the Workers Club 9335 1840 or

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 29, 2012

Online voting for the new board of the Fremantle Dockers club starts today and closes on November 26, so all Dockers fans out there who want to keep the Dockers in Fremantle and not move to Cockburn better vote for Chris Lewis one of the founders of the Keep Freo in Freo action group.

Chris is a well known and well liked Fremantle identity and highly respected in the public relations industry.

Chris said in an interview with the Sunday Times that the Dockers are a wonderful organisation, club and business, but that it was important that the club remained in Fremantle because it gives the club an important geographic and historic link.

If the Dockers stay in town it will mean the redevelopment of the Stan Reilly site next to Fremantle Hospital and an upgrade of Fremantle Oval, which would link the Cappuccino Strip all the way to Wray Avenue.


Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle, photography by freoview on October 29, 2012

The 107th FREMANTLE FESTIVAL opened on Sunday with many big bangs as the Blessing of the Fleet procession snaked through the inner city from the Basilica to the Fishing Boat Harbour. Hundreds of people old and young followed the Madonna and boarded the fishing vessels for a ride around the harbour. I noticed Fremantle and Cockburn Mayors Brad Pettitt and Logan Howlet, Freo councillors Bill Massie and Andrew Sullivan, and March 2013 election candidates Simone McGurk and Matthew Hanssen in the procession.

The Blessing is a lovely tradition that vibrated through Fremantle all day with cannon fire and ended with a fantastic firework over Bathers Beach.

The only let down of the day was the highly promoted Seafood Festival. Five stalls and a stage don’t make a festival. It was pretty disappointing.

Roel Loopers

Photos copyright Roel Loopers – Profile Photography

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