Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, elections, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 19, 2017


Over the last ten years that I have been scrutinising Fremantle Council, by attending most council and committee meetings, I have come to understand how diverse and challenging local governance is.

Councillors need to be interested in almost everything and have good common knowledge of what goes on in Fremantle. Elected Members vote on every item that comes to Council, so it is important for the Freo community that Councillors are not only interested in their own backyard, street or suburb.

During local government election campaigns in Fremantle we hear claims of uniqueness, as some candidates state that they are only one with certain qualifications to do a proper job as Councillor, because they live or work in the ward they have nominated for.

Elected Members need to make a positive contribution, have ideas, and aim for solutions and good outcomes. Stubbornly sticking to a philosophy, or just being negative about decisions of the past, does not make for a good Councillor.

Integrity, consistency, outstanding communication skills, willingness to compromise, and convincing fellow Councillors, so that we get the best outcomes, are essential skills for elected members. And so are innovative and creative ideas, long-term strategies, and deeply listening to the community.

One candidate claims that no one else can claim her local government activism and knowledge. But this candidate only attended Council when she wanted to protest about something that happened in the West End. Here ends her Fremantle interest.

The three other City Ward candidates don’t attend council meeting, so their  interest in Fremantle local government is questionable.

I have lived all over Fremantle for 25 years. I registered my commercial photography business in WA in 1985 and had my office in Freo from 1992 to 2016.

I am the only one of all five City Ward candidates who can honestly claim to have attended most Council and committee meetings for over ten years, and therefore have a thorough understanding of local government process.

I walk the City Ward streets every day of the year and engage with the community, so say hello and have a chat with me when you see me!

There is a whole lot more expected from a Councillor than looking after your own interest, street and suburb, so VOTE ROEL FOR CITY WARD!

Roel Loopers

Let’s cut the crap and get some substance: CITY WARD CANDIDATE FORUM Thursday September 28 at 6.30 pm, upstairs at the National Hotel!

21 Responses

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  1. Amanda Holmes said, on September 24, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    A shame you erroneously judged my questions as attempts to discredit you – they were simply seeking more information on the qualities you see as ‘essential skills’. Subsequent posts provide some answers but I intend to wait until Thursday after attending the candidates forum to make a decision on where my vote goes.


  2. freoview said, on September 21, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    So tell me your source who told you I don’t compromise or commit myself, because I am not prepared to continue with responding to innuendo from unnamed sources.

    I was on the committee of the Fremantle Society for 7 or 8 years and some of that time as president and vice president. There was no interruption. Even when I resigned as president because of ill health I did remain as vice president under Henty Farrar.

    I have been a guide at the Roundhouse since I lived in one of the Pilot’s Cottages and love dealing with tourists, but did not enjoy being the main administrator, hence I continued with my tourist duties but left the presidency behind.

    I spend an extraordinary number of hours each months working for Fremantle, at no benefit to myself, and those who question my commitment should get off their arse and actually do something themselves for a change. When you stay at home, no one will criticise you in the community.

    I know I won’t get your vote Amanda, so I’ll finish this discussion, that attempts to discredit me, with a Dutch saying: Even when you do a hundred things well, someone will criticise you for the one thing you did not do well. ; >)



  3. Amanda Holmes said, on September 21, 2017 at 12:43 pm


    The negative things I have heard relate to your consistency and willingness to compromise. You mentioned your tenure at the Fremantle Society and it seems to have been an ‘on again – off again’ association – in one instance due to your ill health (hope that has improved now) – but what caused the other resignation?

    I have also heard you served on the Roundhouse committee as a committee member and also as President – both of which you apparently resigned from. Perhaps if could could also elaborate on that it might go some way to addressing the negatives.

    Thank you for your expressed willingness to respond to questions occasioned by your initial post.


  4. Amanda Holmes said, on September 20, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    Since Roel has chosen to talk about substance over hyperbole on this blog I believe this is the appropriate place to seek answers to questions I have regarding his blog content. Thanks for the suggestion anyway.


  5. freoishome said, on September 20, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Amanda, Sounds like you might enjoy inviting Roel round for a coffee, or meeting him in a cafe!


  6. freoview said, on September 20, 2017 at 10:10 am

    You are very welcome to ask questions, Amanda, and I have no doubt some people will say negative things about me and spread some rumours. That is unfortunately how humans are, but I am very confident with my real sefless efforts to help improve Fremantle since I moved here in the early 1990s.

    I have strongly engaged with my community on very many levels, supported, artists, businesses, the Freo brand and have donated thousands of dollars worth of photography to community groups.

    I have published this blog with absolute commitment for 8 years without making a cent from it. In fact I did not like the advertisements WordPress put on, so I upgraded to get rid off them, so now the blog is costing me money, all that to support Fremantle.

    There is very little I can do to stop people from spreading innuendo and negativity, but I am extremely at ease about my integrity, fairness and balance and the fact that I did not nominate to boost my own ego, or for a political career, but only because I truly love Fremantle and want to make a positive difference, and I will continue to do so should I not get elected.



  7. freoview said, on September 20, 2017 at 10:03 am

    Thanks Sean, I enjoy the dialogues with you and others, because that it what life is all about I believe. One of my greatest assests is that I can relate and talk to just about everyone and I believe that is a good ‘skill’ to have to improve community consultation if I get elected on Council.



  8. Sean hefferon said, on September 19, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    Hi Roel
    I have no problems with you regarding some of my questions as being naive. And thank you for answering it ( and I imagine beauty for some must be in the eye of the beholder 😝). And I have been asking questions of other candidates as well – so you are not an orphan Roel 😀. Thank you for confirming your progressive views (took some quizzing to get it out of you) – albeit a pragmatic progressive.


  9. Amanda Holmes said, on September 19, 2017 at 7:51 pm


    Since I am in City Ward I am not scrutinising all 20 candidates in the upcoming election. I am simply seeking more information from you with respect to the ‘essential skills’ you, in your first post, suggest you possess. I am similarly scrutinising others, albeit not in the same blog format, and will also be attending the forum on Thursday 28 September so I can make a more fully informed decision.

    Paul, I am not seeking a CV – simply seeking more information supporting what Roel himself has published – to assess his suitability for myself in the face of some negatives I have been hearing around the place.

    Nothing more, nothing less.

    Thank you


  10. freoview said, on September 19, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    No problem with people asking me questions, but I wonder on which forum Amanda and Sean are asking the other 20+ candidates similar questions.



  11. freoview said, on September 19, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    How would others view me? That’s a pretty naive question, Sean. Those who like and agree with me will probably tell you I am committed, passionate, opinionated, dedicated, intelligent, likeable, caring, generous, stunningly handsome, and those who don’t like what I stand for probably will tell you I am an ugly old dickhead. ; >)

    I have written about Australia Day before and yes in principle I agree with it and I am happy it is now a national debate, but it was handled very badly by Fremantle Council and should have gone through more extensive community debate.



  12. freoishome said, on September 19, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Amanda, your question sounds like you are seeking a CV type list of jobs and positions. Maybe you have something else in mind.

    Roel is a life long self employed professional photographer, think he may also have some journalistic background. Sadly that is one of the professions that technology has eroded, and work opportunities are few and far between. So in the last decade Roel has thrown himself into this blog, for the altruistic reason he really loves Fremantle, its people and wants to see it progress.

    A few years ago during his busier time with the Fremantle Society, he was a key driver behind creating a model of the proposed building Amendment for the east end of the City Ward. Without that it was virtually impossible for the Freo residents to visualise, and get any idea of the actual scale of the proposed changes, ie, the CoF just provided essentially a spreadsheet. He was heavily involved with ideas during the period of possible Council amalgamations. He also has meetings with just about anybody of significance; I’m envious of that ability to have and maintain these ongoing dialogues with such a wide variety of stakeholders.

    These are exactly the type of things Councillors do.

    So in many ways he has been doing an apprenticeship for this role, a long, decade long, apprenticeship.



  13. Sean hefferon said, on September 19, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    How would others view you? What tag would they use? do you support the CoF position in respect to Australia Day?


  14. freoview said, on September 19, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Of course I would stay the required years,if elected, Amanda. I was president of the Fremantle Society for I think sadly only seven months, and had to resign for health reasons, but was the vice president for a year and a half, if I remember correctly, and no doubt people will correct me if I am wrong, and before that I was on the committee for a few years under Ian Alexander, Jon Strachan.

    I am a very dedicated person, no matter what I take on, as my ongoing interest in Fremantle Council shows.



  15. freoview said, on September 19, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    I am future focused and want the very best for Fremantle. I am pragmatic, and don’t believe in fighting the battles that were lost, but to fight the battles that can still be won. I don’t give myself tags. I call it as I see it, and if that means voting with the conservative one day and the lefties the next, that is fine by me, as long as there is a positive outcome for Fremantle.



  16. Sean hefferon said, on September 19, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Thanks for the reply Roel. Understand that you have no alignment to any political party or community group. Would you regard yourself as progressive or conservative?


  17. Amanda Holmes said, on September 19, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Thanks for your reply Roel but you did not answer the questions I raised. You have talked about the past ‘activities’ of other candidates so I do not think it unreasonable for you to elaborate on yours – in particular consistency and length of service in positions requiring commitment. That would also speak to us about the ‘essential skill’ of compromise you possess and length of service in those positions would give voters some opportunity to assess whether you would stay the required 4 years. Thanks again


  18. freoview said, on September 19, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    No I don’t hold any positions and am not aligned to political parties or community groups.



  19. Amanda Holmes said, on September 19, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Enumerating the essential skills for elected members have you demonstrated consistency and willingness to compromise? I understand you have held the position of president or vice president of a number of Fremantle organisations – could you elaborate on those, your length of service and whether you still hold any of those positions? Thank you


  20. freoview said, on September 19, 2017 at 11:44 am

    A big part of substance, in my opinion, is getting much better at community consultation and real listening, Sean.

    Councils will never ever please everyone in the community with their decisions, but it is essential to bring the community along as much as possible, and I don’t believe that has happened enough.

    One of the reasons I am pretty on the ball of what goes on in Freo is that I constantly talk to residents, business operators, etc.

    It takes effort, time and commitment to do that.



  21. Sean hefferon said, on September 19, 2017 at 10:01 am

    Hi Roel
    Agree – substance is very important. But what does that mean?
    More important perhaps is community agreed and position outcomes being achieved. The community perceptions survey over several years suggests that positive outcomes on many issues are not being achieved (or at least perceived as not being achieved- unlikely as CoF is often the first to release news articles to pump up stories even when actual substance or outcomes are yet to be achieved)


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