Freo's View



Paul Murray column


I rarely agree with anything The West Australian columnist Paul Murray writes, because of his right wing pro Liberal party sentiments. Murray is also well known for his criticism of the green and left Fremantle Council, but I highly commend him for today’s column about a suggested name change of Fremantle’s Kings Square to Midgegooroo Place.

Unlike Fremantle Society president John Dowson, who called Midgegooroo a cold blooded murderer, Murray puts that episode of history in context of what really happened and why Midgegooroo killed.

Too often we only want to accept that part of history that suits our believes or political inclination, so it is really good to read Paul Murray’s column, which leaves the Fremantle Society president with egg on his face, yet again.

Buy The West today. It’s worth the money, just for Murray’s clarification of history!

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, local governmet, Uncategorized by freoview on February 29, 2020


What is the future of the St John’s Ambulance building in Fremantle’s Parry Street? The building has been vacated by the ambulance service and already homeless people are sleeping in it, according to nearby residents.

The City of Fremantle signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a community club. I think it was it the Portuguese club, which wanted to move from Beaconsfield, but nothing has been forthcoming.

Any suggestions what could be done with the building?

Roel Loopers




The Fremantle Hilton Doubletree hotel development will be at the Planning Committee of Fremantle Council this coming Wednesday with amended plans, after the SKS Group received planning permission for the hotel in 2014, six very long years ago, but never built the seven story building between Point Street and Princess May Park.

Approval is now thought for the following:

  •   Partial demolition of the existing car park structure
  •   Basement level services area
  •   Seven storey Hotel with 168 rooms and a ground floor Restaurant
  •   Seven storey Multiple dwelling building comprising 45 units, a common area gym,72 car bays, and internal courtyard
  •   Ground floor shops
  •   Ground floor of the car park converted into Offices.

I find the look of the proposed building ugly, average, disappointing, and not respecting the heritage significance of the former Boy’s School and Princess May Park. What worries me even more though is that the proposal is deemed to be a new proposal and not an amendment to the 2014 approved proposal, so that the proponents will be required to only commence construction within four years of the approval. That means they would only have to start building ten years after the initial approval and that is ridiculous!

It has been very disappointing and frustrating that the SKS Group have not shown any urgency in building the Fremantle hotel complex, to the point that the City of Fremantle negotiated to get back management of the site and constructed a carpark where buildings were demolished, to get rid of the neglected eyesore the vacant site was.

I have very strong doubts that the proponents are serious about building the hotel and fear the new planning application might just be another attempt at delaying the construction even longer, and that would be extremely disappointing. It is becoming a farce!

Building approval is with JDAP so Fremantle Council can only recommend approval, as is the Officer’s Recommendation


Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, clothes, fremantle markets, traders, Uncategorized by freoview on February 28, 2020




When you get old you sometimes forget who you are, so that very nice man Stuart Endersby of Freo T Shirts in the Fremantle Markets decided to make sure I’ll remember that I take photos, and made a T shirt especially for me. ; >)

The technique Freo T Shirts uses is unique in WA as it not just prints text and images on T Shirts but ‘burns’ them into the fabric, so they are far more durable and don’t fade fast.

Check them out by entering the market from Henderson Street and go left.

Now where did I leave my pipe? Oh, I forgot. I don’t smoke.

Roel Loopers




There appears to have been a bit of miscommunication this morning when Fremantle traders were invited to a Community Safety Briefing, but when yet another speaker spoke about future social and housing solutions for homeless people, some in the public gallery became irate and wanted to express their concerns about antisocial behaviour, violence, shoplifting and begging. They were not very interested to hear about long term solutions, when they want immediate action.

One Market Street shopkeeper expressed that she feared she might have to stop trading because of the issues and that she herself might end up on the street, while others questioned the slow response time of police and Fremantle community safety officers, and asked if the number of officers dealing with these issues is adequate.

Mayor Brad Pettitt had said before the public interruption that one of the key issues was working together, while Minister Simone McGurk said a lot of resources were put in by Police in Fremantle and Perth CBD with a no tolerance approach to antisocial behaviour.

The state government were spending hundreds of millions of dollars on social housing and housing for homeless facilities, using the best evidence from around Australia and the world as a cornerstone for the government policy. It was important to provide permanent, instead of transitional, housing and that had very good outcomes.

The Senior Sergeant in charge of Fremantle police said that Fremantle and Perth CBD were unique but that total crime reported since July last year was down by 5.6%, however retail theft was up by 22%.

The best crime prevention is police visibility, so there were more cops on the beat and on bikes and spread all over the day.

There were other speakers, and some who were there to speak but never got to it, so there is a lot of scope for the City to do better here and do a very specific safety forum for retailers, addressing the specific issues and trying to find specific solutions for the short and long term. Trying to cover everything, as was the case this morning, did not work and left traders frustrated.

Roel Loopers




Fremantle traders will be delighted to hear that the very long wait is almost over and that the first 300 staff of the Department of Communities will move into their new Kings Square offices on March 23.

By the end of June 1700 staff of that department and the Department of Transport will have moved into the FOMO buildings, and that will bring a lot more people into the CBD on weekdays.

To welcome the new workers the City of Fremantle and the two departments, with support from the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce, are putting together a welcome pack providing tips from locals on their favourite shops, cafes and lunch spots and offering special discounts from local businesses.

The new Walyalup Civic Centre building should be completed by October this year, so City of Fremantle staff will be moving back there late this year and early next year.

Roel Loopers



Posted in art, artists, city of fremantle, fremantle ports, photography, Uncategorized by freoview on February 28, 2020


Rain reflection


Another reminder about the PAINT THE PORT day on March 14 on Victoria Quay. It is all about creative people photographing and painting the port.

There are prizes for photos taken before the day, but also some for taken on the day, and it is on for young and old.

I took this reflection photo in Slip Street, just behind Victoria Qua, this week after some heavy showers.

For more information got to

Roel Loopers


Posted in art, bathers beach, city of fremantle, sculpture, sculpture@bathers, Uncategorized by freoview on February 28, 2020



The SCULPTURE AT BATHERS show at Fremantle’s Bathers Beach is almost over, so if you have not been to visit it yet make sure to do so on this long weekend, after which it finishes.

More than 90 sculptures by Western Australian artists are displaced on our city beach, the boardwalk and the lawn, and also inside Kidogo Arthouse.

Roel Loopers




Does Fremantle’s Kings Square need a new name, an Aboriginal name, a dual name? Most Councillors had something to say about it, with Councillor Doug Thompson being quite ambivalent about it. Whatever the outcome it has to be after a long and intense public community consultation process they all agreed.

The name  Midgegooroo, the father of Yagan, had been suggested and some elected members scoffed at the criticism that the Aboriginal elder had been accused of murder, with one Councillor saying we would lose half of Fremantle’s street names if we excluded people who had killed others.

Teachers had asked Councillors how their students could become involved in suggesting a new name for our city square, and it was important to open up the reconciliation conversation and take it outside Council and to the community, where we could expect a large diversity of suggestions.

Councillor Marija Vujcic said the terms of reference for community participation needed to be defined as inclusion was the key principle, while Mayor Brad Pettitt said they needed to make sure to get it right and have a robust debate about it in the community.

The name Walyalup civic centre was approved as the name for the new building at Kings Square as that had been one of the outcomes of the Walyalup Reconciliation Action Plan(WRAP), but Councillor Marija Vujcic said that was not a mandate and questioned the community consultation.

Councillor Hannah Fitzhardinge pointed out that the WRAP working group, of which I was a member, was not just Aboriginal people. She is right. There were about 100 people with different backgrounds and professions, and support agencies, including WA police, St Pat’s, etc and about 35 Aboriginal people at this extensive community process.

Fact is that there will be dozens of suggestions for a new name for Kings Square and many who will want it to remain Kings Square or go back to St John’s Square, after that it will still have to be a Council decision what the new name will be, so is it going to be a lottery, tossing a coin, suggesting a small number of names and let the community vote on it? But the latter would still be controversial as it will be impossible to get community consensus about a new name for our city square, and anything else for that matter.

How many people can councils realistically involve in the community consultation process about anything? Fact is that most people care little about what goes on in local government, as the low voter participation at elections clearly shows, so when do Councillors have a mandate to decide on anything? I thought the outcome of elections was the mandate for elected members. We elect them to make decisions on behalf of the community.

Roel Loopers




Posted in city of fremantle, Uncategorized, weather by freoview on February 26, 2020




I drove onto the South Mole to get some nice fresh sea air before going to the Council meeting in North Fremantle, and the light was amazing at 5pm, as this photo shows.

Roel Loopers


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