Freo's View



Freo 1


Some Fremantle impressions I took yesterday. A tiny hole in the wall cafe, two bookshops combined in a reflection, the Fishing Boat Harbour early morning, and lots of bikes at another cafe.

Freo is full of hidden treasures and surprises. Explore it!

Roel Loopers


Posted in art, city of fremantle, community, culture, festival, street arts festival, Uncategorized by freoview on March 31, 2018




If the rest of the long weekend continues like yesterday Fremantle will be in for a treat. I have never seen so many people in town on a Good Friday as yesterday. The city was buzzing, alfresco cafes full, big crowds at the few Fremantle International Street Arts Festival pitches, and a queue at Cicerello’s that was stretched to the outside pavement to order fish&chips. Great!

Due to fighting fever, the flu and hay fever all at once I could not stay out long yesterday so I only took some photos of the magnificent birdmen on the Esplanade.

The street art performances start from noon today. There is also the Western Weekender fun along historic High Street in the West End and the Fremantle Malls Market Day between the Cappuccino Strip and Kings Square.

Have fun everyone!

Roel Loopers



Posted in accidents, city of fremantle, food, markets, Uncategorized by freoview on March 30, 2018



Terrible news about one of Fremantle’s nice guys Ben French of the Eat No Evil foodstall fame many know from the Under the Bridge Foodtrucks, Bathers Beach market, etc..

Benjamin ventured to Thailand on what was meant to be a break from reality.
When suddenly things turned for the worst. On the 28th of March 2018 Benjamin was involved in an accident which has now lead to the fight for survival. With extensive and life threatening injuries, Ben is currently in a critical condition.

Some of his current injuries include severe brain trauma, broken spine, punctured lungs, broken ribs, many broken bones throughout his body and severe damage to his skull. Several brain surgeries and blood transfusions have already taken place in order to stabilise his condition before the rest of his injuries can be attended to and assessed properly, but as his condition is extremely critical the hospital costs are continuing to rise – currently at $44 000 on day 2.

Ben is currently in a coma and alongside the extent of his injuries, the doctors have given us a time frame of 2 weeks to 3 months of ongoing hospital treatment for small gains to take place.

This page has been organised in hopes to help fundraise enough money to partially cover his hospital treatments. With positivity and blessings we hope to see his condition stabilise, where he can return to his hometown here in Perth and be surrounded by his family and friends with the continual care he requires. We are extending all helping hands in this time of need and are hopeful that you can find it within you to donate anything possible to help us reach the target. Thank you in advance to everyone who has extended their generosity. Please keep Benjamin in your thoughts and prayers.

If you can help financially please go to the Gofundme page:

Please share this information, so that we can get a lot of funding to help Ben!!! Thank you.


Roel Loopers



Posted in aboriginal, BOOKS, city of fremantle, history, indigenous, Uncategorized by freoview on March 30, 2018


KAYA! A big mob of people turned up this morning at the Fremantle Moores building for the official opening of the inaugural Woylie Aboriginal Australian Kids Story Festival.

It is the concept of the Paper Bird bookshop’s owner Jennifer Jackson and already a great success.

Under the watchful eyes of kids and grown ups and State Treasurer Ben Wyatt, and elders such as Noel Nannup, Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt, member for Fremantle Simone McGurk, etc. Noongar elder Marie Taylor did a welcome to country and smoking ceremony.

Today the program is 1pm Desert Tales, 1.30pm Madjitil Moorna Choir, 2.15pm Golden Spirit and 3pm Young Naturalists.

Saturday 7.30am, Breakfast with the Publishers, 10am Silly Birds!, 11am Story Custodian of Noongar Boodjar, 12.20pm Battle of the Illustrators, 1.15pm Diverse Voices, 2.15pm Colours and Dreams.

Check out more on

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Roel Loopers




street art


Good Fridays are no longer boring! The Fremantle International Street Arts Festival already starts today in the far west of Freo, so come enjoy the fun and sunshine.

It is all happening around the Esplanade and Fishing Boat Harbour today so there won’t be any shows in the CBD. They will be added on Saturday, Sunday and Monday..

The shows today run from 12 noon till 5pm, with another evening show at 7pm at the new Seraphim Buskers Bar of Little Creatures. See detail above.

Also on of course is the Woylie Aboriginal Australian Kids Story Festival at the Moores Building in Henry Street.

Roel Loopers





The controversial development plans for the Woolstores shopping centre site come before Fremantle Council on Wednesday, before they go to the WA Joint Development Assessment Panel a week later. JDAP is the decision making authority so it will only take Fremantle Council’s recommendation of rejection or approval into account.

The Officer’s Recommendation to Council is to reject the building because the request for two additional discretionary storeys can’t be accepted as the building does not have the required exceptional architectural design standards.

This is only part of the initial application as the other high rise tower at the east end of the development has been scratched, taking out apartments for aged care and student accommodation, only leaving the eleven-storey hotel component and  four-storey car park

It is a real shame that this $ 80 million development has become such a battle because Fremantle needs a new substantial hotel and get rid of the ugly building that is there now.

I am not sure why Silverleaf Investments does not either reduce the building height or create a truly magnificent building in that location just opposite the railway station.

Fremantle Council and the Fremantle community would love to see an iconic new modern building replace the Woolstores boredom, but it needs to be of truly exceptional high standards, and this proposal unfortunately is not.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, housing, lifestyle, living, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on March 29, 2018


I am a bit lazy because of the flu and fever I have, so just some points I copied from this media release  by the City, as I could not attend last evening’s committee meeting:

The City of Fremantle has given its final approval to a ground-breaking new approach to infill housing in suburban areas, called the ‘Freo Alternative – Big Thinking about Small Housing’.

Council last night voted to change the City’s Local Planning Scheme and adopt a new planning policy to stimulate development of a wider choice of housing in Fremantle’s suburban areas while still maintaining what people value about their neighbourhoods.

State government has set density targets across the metropolitan area to cater for population growth and limit urban sprawl, but poorly planned or inappropriate infill developments are often met with a backlash from local residents, and don’t always match housing needs.

The proposed planning scheme amendment and policy will now be sent to the Minister for Planning for final determination.

The Freo Alternative is the result of more than three years of research and community engagement. Because of the widespread concern about the impact of infill development in our suburbs, Fremantle wanted to create a shared community vision of the future of housing in the city

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said “We needed to come up with a way of delivering more diverse and affordable housing while retaining the established form and feel of the streestcapes and neighbourhoods that people love about where they live.”

The Freo Alternative project began in 2014 when the Australian Urban Design Research Centre and local architects were engaged to model different small housing types and test if they could work in a Fremantle environment.

That was followed in 2016 with a widespread community engagement campaign to establish what attributes the community most valued about their suburb and the benefits and challenges of small housing types.

The key themes to emerge from the consultation included having a range of housing choices, good access to transport, retention of open spaces and trees, good quality design, sustainability, affordability and encouraging community interaction.

The proposed amendment to Fremantle’s Local Planning Scheme establishes seven special control areas throughout the suburbs with special provisions for small infill development, as an alternative to traditional single lot subdivision.

Key provisions include:

Only applies to lots larger than 600 square metres
Dwellings to have a maximum floor area of 120 square metres
Maximum of three dwellings on lots of 750 square metres or less
Minimum of 30 square metres of outdoor living area per dwelling
Developments to have higher than standard energy efficiency ratings, and include solar panels, rainwater tanks, grey water systems or meet best practice accessibility standards
A minimum of 70 per cent of the entire development to be open space
At least one large tree to be retained or planted for each dwelling
A maximum of one parking bay per dwelling
Developments to be referred to the City’s Design Advisory Committee to consider design quality.

Freo Alternative will initially be applied to specific locations within the City of Fremantle, in sections of White Gum Valley, Samson, Hilton, O’Connor, Beaconsfield and Fremantle that meet certain criteria regarding proximity to public transport, existing lot size and housing stock, and heritage streetscapes.

To be reviewed in four years, Freo Alternative may then be rolled out across further locations.



Posted in city of fremantle, community, employment, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on March 29, 2018


There are a few unhappy staff within some of the City of Fremantle departments who believe that some officers at middle management level are frightened of change because it could challenge their position and therefore they stop progress and innovation.

One staff member told me that they were very impressed with the energy and willingness to embrace progress and change of the Elected Members, but that did not generate through to some of the middle managers who were just happy with the status quo and to keep their safe job. “They don’t want to rock the boat”

This made me wonder when was the last time the CoF did an external audit to see how well all departments perform? I am not aware of any such audits.

Well performing, innovative and change embracing staff must be a priority for a local council because they are the people our Councillors rely on for expert advise and to make the right decisions.

I know many officers of Fremantle City and chat with parking and safety officers, parks and garden people, community, planning, directors, and others whenever I bump into them and my experience is that at all levels most of them perform very well, but there are a few who just turn up for work and believe that is good enough.

Maybe it is time for the still relatively new CEO to organise an external audit that will help him make decisions about how some departments can improve performance and also avoid duplication where different departments do similar tasks.

Roel Loopers





Winter, wet weather and cold nights are not far away and make me worry about the many homeless people we have.

There are around 13,000 homeless people in WA and 105,250 in Australia and the main reasons for homelessness are poverty, unemployment, lack of affordable housing and poor mental or physical health.

The waiting list to rent a Homeswest place is three years, so why do governments not legislate for more affordable and social housing I wonder.

Maybe the City of Fremantle could add affordable housing as an incentive to receive extra height for new development in some appropriate pockets of our city. What about allowing for a discretionary extra height of one storey if the developer agrees to make half of the floor space of that extra storey available for affordable and social housing?

The floor space for affordable/social housing is allowed to be spread within the building and does not have to be on the top floor that will create additional income through penthouse apartments.

I believe Fremantle Council should seriously consider this as an option to entice developers to embrace social housing.

Roel Loopers



Posted in art, bathers beach art precinct, city of fremantle, j shed, sculpture, Uncategorized by freoview on March 28, 2018


There is an interesting lecture at the Greg James studio at J Shed this evening from 7-9pm.

Jason Arkles will be giving a lecture: “The origins of Renaissance sculpture – how the figure evolved from the Gothic tradition in Renaissance Italy”.

$20.00 entry fee, refreshments provided.

Jason Arkles is an art historian and sculptor and details the actual and technical stylistic changes that occurred in figurative sculpture six hundred years ago that transformed the art from little more than architectural decoration to the iconic beauty of the Florentine Renaissance.

Arkles is an American sculptor working in the traditional methods and materials one would normally associate with a sculptor in Florence. His large-scale figurative work in bronze, marble, terracotta and wood can be found in public and private spaces, museums, cemeteries, and churches in Europe and America, including on the façade of Saint Mark’s English Church, here in Florence. Trained locally in the studio of Charles H. Cecil (the human figure in clay), in Studio Sem in Pietrasanta (marble), and in a Pontifical Academy in Rome (sacred art). 


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