Freo's View


Posted in fremantle, growers green markets by freoview on January 31, 2015

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It is tradition that the first Fremantle GROWERS GREEN MARKETS of each month is a huge one with many art, craft and community stalls added to the fruit&veg, breads meat and fish and food stalls.

I love going to the Fremantle GG on Lefroy Road because it is a very community inspired event and a perfect place to relax over good coffee, pastries, yummy cooked breakfast and contemplate what to buy for lunch and dinner, or do food shopping for the whole week, while also buying a nice basket, work of art, or a potion or lotion for your body.

It’s on tomorrow from 8 am till 12 noon and Fairy Sandie an the animal touch farm will be there for the kids and local musos will keep us entertained.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, local governmet, town of east fremantle by freoview on January 31, 2015

East Fremantle residents are voting in high numbers in the Dadour Act which will determine if the Town of East Fremantle will amalgamate with the City of Fremantle.

Some people have been spending a lot of money on full-page advertisements in community newspapers to promote a NO vote against an amalgamation, and some Fremantle Elected Members claim that untrue and non-factual statements have been made in these ads. The City of Fremantle has deliberately stayed out of the debate and not try to influence the vote, or even set straight some of the facts.

 The proposed amalgamation between our two communities in not a hostile take-over bid by the City of Fremantle. I believe it is common sense to amalgamate and make us into a bigger city, and I personally have never seen East Freo as anything less than being a part of Freo.

The arguments I hear against the COF council and the administration might well be true but they are also totally irrelevant, as there will be a whole new Council for the amalgamated Fremantle. There will also be a huge shake-up in the administration because an amalgamation would mean duplication of staff, directors and CEO. So many of the present Councillors will not be on the new greater City of Fremantle council and a high number of staff will also have to find jobs elsewhere.

The fear that East Fremantle would get a less efficient administration is as unfounded as the fear is that sitting Fremantle Councillors would continue. There will no doubt be new candidates like Mark Woodcock and Matthew Hansen and many sitting East Fremantle Councillors might also want to join the new council, so new brooms will sweep through Townhall at every level

I get parochialism, but sometimes it stops progress because of fear of change. I believe that is happening at East Freo. A larger and progressive Fremantle will have more cloud, more money, and more opportunity to implement change, attract developers and move forward in cohesion and collaboration. To oppose the amalgamation is in my opinion short sighted and has a bit of a NIMBY attitude.

I urge East Fremantle voters to vote YES and embrace the amalgamation and modernisation of our communities together!

Roel Loopers

P.S. Stay tuned for a public forum-probably in March-on what candidates the community would like to have for the next Council election.


Posted in art, fremantle, graffiti, psas, zora avila by freoview on January 30, 2015

Zora Avila

PSAS-the Pakenham Street Art Studios-have a new exhibition that is very relevant to Fremantle. Artist Zora Avila questions in her exhibition Next Level Bullshit when-or if-graffiti is art and if tagging is just like dogs leaving their marks. Is good graffiti art-when not commissioned-still just simple vandalism or is it an expression of rebellion and unhappiness with society?

Here is the media blurb from PSAS:

Next Level Bullshit is a reflection of the confluence of architectural structure and order both designed for, yet often broken by, its very inhabitants. It asks the question: Is graffiti endemic to cities enlightenment, expression and art, or is it nothing more than ego and destruction? Is tagging no more artistic than a dog cocking its leg on a building to mark its territory?

Post-modern commentary has sought to elevate graffiti and street “art” from pure vandalism to reflective art, highlighting the local vernacular. But is that just some next level bullshit? Is destruction simply destruction? Who decides if vandalism is art or damage? Why is the “art” of a graffiti artist revered as beautiful, while tagging by a gang so maligned?
An award-winning artist, born in the United States and a child of the 80’s, Avila is influenced by that period of popular culture, which is expressed in her work. At a young age, she developed a love of architecture, light and geometric form. The conformity to these rules of geometry, contrasted against bold expression and unrestraint, is the foundation of Avila’s visual language.

The exhibitions opens tonight at 6.30 and will run till February 14. PSAS have got the very good Studio 37 Cafe at ground level, so enjoy and relax.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, junkadelic, princess may markets by freoview on January 29, 2015

The energising and awesome JUNKADELIC Brass Band will be playing at Friday’s third PRINCESS MAY MARKETS in the park near Clancy’s. The markets will again feature Fairy Sandie, graffiti queen Lady Bananas and the animal touch farm for children and there will be international foodstalls, fashion, books, craft, art, shoes and a whole lot more.

Street parking in the area is now free after 5 pm so that frees up some dollars to buy food or a cold drink or two at Clancy’s.

The PMM already has its regulars who love the relaxed and very family-friendly ambience of the place, and that there is ample parking on the streets and the Point Street carpark.

The markets are open from 5-9 pm, so come and say hello and tell your friends about it!

Roel Loopers



Posted in amalgamations, council reform, fremantle, local government by freoview on January 29, 2015

It is not over till the fat lady sings! The WA State Government push for local government reform and council amalgamations is in jeopardy with the latest figures showing a very high percentage of residents voting in the Dadour Act election that can stop the proposed amalgamations.

38.77 % of East Fremantle residents have up to now lodged a postal vote and one can assume most of these will be No votes and against amalgamating the Town of East Fremantle with the City of Fremantle.

A bit further South the City of Cockburn residents don’t seem to be bothered about the proposed amalgamation with the Town of Kwinana but a whopping 44.41% of Kwinana residents have put their votes in, so this is getting extremely close to the required 50 percent of residents to vote to make the vote count. The act requires that 50 % of voters vote against amalgamation and that 50 % of eligible residents take part in the vote to make it valid.

I would be disappointed if Freo and East Freo did not amalgamate. I believe amalgamation is a good step forward to a bigger and more powerful council with new Councillors and a new administration and more money to spend. The paranoia that the present- and by many considered inept-Fremantle Council would run the enlarged new City of Fremantle is wrong as there will be an all new council after elections in either October this year or February 2016, so Fremantle Council will see a big change with new Councillors hopefully bringing new perspectives and visions.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on January 29, 2015

The public gallery was packed at last night’s Fremantle Council meeting and there was a tsunami of public speakers, mainly on such issues as the North Fremantle McCabe Street and Arts Precinct Burt Street developments. Councillors listened for one hour and 45 minutes to public speakers before they could start debating the agenda items.

It was positive to hear many thanking the Planning Department staff for very good community consultation, and the North Freo residents would have felt delighted and listened to when a motion by Councillor Doug Thompson carried to extend community consultation to get a proper traffic management plan in place there.

The residents around Burt Street would feel less than happy with Council approving the Department of Housing development there that will have considerable parking, traffic and social impact on the area. Councillor Bill Massie was on the side of the residents, saying that it needs a lesser scale development and that Council should listen to the community on this, while Councillor Sam Wainwright said it would be a Berlin-style development that would be o.k. as long as traffic management considered bicycle and pedestrian priorities.

Robby Lang of the Fibonacci Centre in Blinco Street can also finally go ahead with the changes to the centre after having compromised and listened to the neighbours, but the COF should create better parking in the area that is now being developed for more residential use.

Leasing the Signal Station on Cantonment Hill to the Fremantle Volunteer Sea Rescue organisation did not sit well with one resident, but he was promised community consultation. Councillor Josh Wilson believed it is an fantastic opportunity too good to say no to and it would be a debacle if the City lost that opportunity by delaying a decision.

The City of Fremantle will spend $ 275,000 on upgrading the High Street Mall and the three major business owners there will together contribute $ 50,000 as well, but not all Councillors approved of it with Councillor Bill Massie saying the CBD urgently needed a toilet first. Councillor Rachel Pemberton said Council should put money where its mouth is and practice what we preach.

Toilets were also on the mind of Michael Martin of the Fremantle Residents Beach Users who complained about the state of the change rooms at South Beach. To that should be added the lack of a public toilet at Bathers Beach.

Having been to many Council and Council committee meetings over the last years it appears to me that there is scope for improvement on the planning process of major developments, that would see less need for residents to speak at Council and try to stop what they believe is inappropriate development. Community-led design from the very early beginning of a project would save developers money and time and would give Councillors less headache. The Fremantle Society suggested this years ago and asked for very early involvement before detailed plans were drawn. It takes negativity and protest out of the process and empowers the community to be part of positive outcomes. Fremantle is different and Council should be willing to try something ground breaking to initiate a better and more positive planning process.

Roel Loopers


Posted in containers, fremantle, fremantle ports, stevedores by freoview on January 28, 2015

ships in port

The battle for the operation of the container terminals on North Quay at Fremantle Ports is getting serious with the Ports soon to announce the shortlisted operators. Present stevedores Patrick’s and DP World are having serious competition from Australian and overseas companies who have moved into port operations in the Eastern States. Part of the contract will be the development of North Quay, so the port will be there for a long time to come.

The new contracts will be for a period of 25 years from 2017, so anyone dreaming about the port leaving Fremantle any time soon and the area free for residential and commercial development will be disappointed. I am not, as I believe the working port is an integral and exciting part of Fremantle.

703,327 containers were moved at Freo port in 2013-2014 so it is a lucrative business for those who win the tender.

Roel Loopers


Posted in cantonment hill, fremantle by freoview on January 28, 2015

This evening Fremantle Council will decide if they will approve the application by Fremantle Volunteer Sea Rescue to lease the old signal station on Cantonment Hill. The FVSR needs a bigger home as the tower in the Fishing Boat Harbour is getting too small for them.

This is an interesting development after the City of Fremantle far too early asked for expressions of interest to open a cafe in the heritage tower and-not surprisingly-no one showed interest before the landscaping of the area was done. Why would one want to start a cafe in a derelict environment with no proper public access paths to the tower?

But to lease the tower to the FVSR will not bring the activation to the area the COF is keen to achieve, and held community workshops on, and set up a working committee for it. Lessons should be learned from the failed activation of Arthur Head by making it into an arts precinct. That area is death for half of the week and a ghost town at night that attracts homeless people.

Cantonment Hill was supposed to become Fremantle’s Kings Park with great views over the river, harbour and ocean, a place for the community to have fun, to hold events, to have a bbq, and where there was going to be Aboriginal history interpretation and possible art studios in the big Navy Shed. Leasing the tower to a very worthwhile organisation like the FVSR won’t achieve the activation that the area needs.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, photography by freoview on January 27, 2015

Young Zak joined me on a photo discovery tour around Fremantle on this hot Tuesday afternoon. It is amazing what one discovers when one is aware and in the moment. There are so many small moments with a bit of quirk in each day that put a smile to one’s face. All it needs is to be observant and have a camera at hand.

Roel Loopers

Roel’s Fremantle Photo Tours/ROEL.COM.AU


Posted in fremantle, markets by freoview on January 27, 2015

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I love markets and that probably is because my father used to take me to the markets on Saturday mornings in The Hague, Netherlands, when I was a child. Whenever I travel markets are a priority on my agenda because they show the real culture and community of a place. It is amazing to read that the city of Barcelona in Spain has some 80 permanent markets and that most residents live within 15 minutes from a market there.

In Fremantle we are also blessed with the Fremantle and E Shed Markets, the Mad Hatter, the Victoria Quay one, the Princess May Markets on Friday nights and the beach market on Saturdays, and of course it has now become tradition for many Freo people to catch up with friends while shopping for food at the GROWERS GREEN MARKETS on Sunday mornings. I took some photos there on Sunday to inspire you to visit the HUGE extended market coming Sunday.

Roel Loopers



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