Freo's View



Fremantle Police have issued an arrest warrant for former Fremantle Ports employee Giacomo Merolla(54) and his wife Daniela Merolla(54) for alleged corrupt business practices between 2014 and 2020.

This comes after an internal investigation by Fremantle Ports found anomalies in expenditure patterns late last year, with possible fraudulent behaviour. The Ports reported the matter to Police and the Corruption and Crime Commissions.

Giacomo Merolla left Fremantle Ports before being dismissed. He and his wife left Australia earlier this years and are overseas.

More that one million dollars have been identified as having been transferred to bank accounts controlled by shelf companies. Police conducted a search warrant on a residence and storage unit, where they discovered $ 70,000.

Two people related to the couple have been arrested. A 23 year-old man from Woodvale and a 28 year-old woman from Wattle Grove have been charged with money laundering.

The alleged fraud involved the manipulation of the procurement of goods with local businesses, directing money to the benefit of the former Fremantle Ports employee.

Roel Loopers




Posted in city of fremantle, local government, parking, Uncategorized by freoview on June 30, 2020


two signs


A reminder for all motorists that the free street parking in Fremantle will finish at midnight today and from tomorrow July 1 street parking fees will apply again in our gorgeous port city. Don’t get caught out!

There will still be some free half hour and one hour parking available and there are some all day specials as well.

Roel Loopers





Nigel Satterley, one of Western Australia’s biggest property developers, called last night on Channel Seven’s Flashpoint for the removal of planning powers from local governments and giving those powers to state government agencies. Satterley said that local councils should be responsible for picking up rubbish and cleaning roads, but that there were too many different planning rules at councils and that created red tape, long delays and additional costs for developers.

So no local say on what we want our cities to look like, as there would be very little chance of community input at state agencies levels, who would be swamped with planning approval applications from every council in WA. How would they cope with that any more efficiently than local government planning departments and committees?

If planning powers are removed from local governments the state government agencies can just ignore the wishes of the communities about the height and density of new buildings and what our cities should look like. That would be a disaster, especially for older character councils such as Fremantle.

State agencies JDAP and SAT already overrule council decisions often and permit buildings of inappropriate height, ignoring local councils, such as the 13-storey building on the former Subiaco Market side, which locals believe is far too high for the low rise suburb.

I have no doubt that planning rules at local councils could be streamlined and the process made easier and faster for developers, and it is probably arguable that major developments should be prioritised ahead of the addition of a fence or an extensions. The glut of small development applications delay the administration of large developments, which just get a number and end up on the bottom of the heap.

The experience at JDAP has often been that the majority of three members overruled the two Councillors on the panel, who tried to support what their local community and council want. The danger of creating pro-development panels taking over planning approval from local councils would have a negative impact on our democratic rights and that is not acceptable.

Local government elections already have a very low voter participation rate. Do we really believe anyone will bother to vote when councils are no longer in charge of what our cities should look like?  Looking after rubbish and roads can be done by the administration and does not require elected members, so why not stop democracy and get rid of local councils all together?

Developers already have the option to get large development approved or rejected by JDAP, with only a recommendation for or against the proposal from local councils.

One of the major issues with large developments are that developers do not build communities, only buildings. Developers contribute very little to what needs to be done by local councils to make their development attractive. It are the councils who build the streets, roads, parks, playgrounds, etc All the things people want and need. If community building became a priority for developers and were a planning law requirement we would get better cities where developers take corporate responsibility more serious and present us with plans to build exciting communities, not just boring big boxes.

Roel Loopers




Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, indigenous, racism, Uncategorized by freoview on June 29, 2020


There have been more racist attacks on AFL players, including legend Eddie Betts and West Coast Eagles player Liam Ryan, so to keep the Black Lives Matter momentum going I thought it the right time to copy what Ron Bradfield Jnr. posted on Facebook a couple of weeks ago.

Ron used to be a familiar face around Fremantle and I used to bump into him in the West End quite often. Ron’s words and experience are sobering and so very sad.


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What’s the ugliest word you’ve ever been called?

So, imagine hearing that word, pretty much every day. Imagine it ringing in your ears almost every night. Think about the times you’ve had that word (or similar words – all used for the same effect), beaten into you physically.

Think about being somewhere where every day – most people you pass – use that word in your hearing. Think of all the ways that people have, to make you realise that it isn’t a nice word and that they aren’t thinking nice thoughts about who you are.

Think about the times where people in authority have reinforced the negative use of that word. Think about how – over time – that word has coloured the way that people now look at you still. Think of the laws that have been passed to control your ancestors, who may have been called those words.

Think about fully wearing the shame of that word; how it sits, deep inside your bones and how it feels when it twists your guts inside of you. Think of your face glowing hot and going red with that shame, when people STILL talk like that about you – if not directly – then indirectly, but you still know exactly what they mean!

Think how angry you might get; when you’re out with your children and you hear that behind your back voice, muttering that word – with all its dirty, shitty, fucked up ugliness – behind you, directed at the ones you love and cherish!

Have I got your attention?


The reality is, if you can’t come up with just one single word – that has been used to make you feel like absolute shit in your life – you are one very, very lucky individual!

If you; like me, have had words used against you your entire life, you will know just how damn deeply they can cut! You will know the damage they can do. You will know the power they can rob from you.

I have survived 51 years of being called disgusting things and being made to feel dirty, as if I don’t belong here and have no value to this Australian society. That’s just me. This happens still to my mother. It happened to her mother. And her mother before her and… look – really – just how far did you need me to go back?

Words are used (and have been used) against some of the most beautiful people I have the pleasure to know (and have known) in my entire life. Only so many of them are Aboriginal.

In your house right now, there are people around you who know how I and many other Aboriginal and Islander people feel.

How surprised are you really, that people finally snap and decide in a single moment – that they can’t bear to hear that word – used against them?

I know I have. There are only so many times, you can turn the other cheek.

Ron Bradfield Jnr.




Many traders in Fremantle’s West End are quite frustrated about the slow progress of the Pipes for Fremantle works in High Street and the road closures, with the noise and inconvenience keeping customers from visiting cafes and shops, so this new loyalty promotion by the Water Corporation will be welcome.

Fremantle Water Perks is a loyalty card competition which gives your customers a chance to win prizes by shopping at participating businesses in Fremantle.

 The prizes are 2 x $50 and 1x $100 vouchers per month from any of the participating businesses, as chosen by the winners. We will cover the cost of all cards, materials and prizes.

 The competition will run from Wednesday 1 July to Thursday 31 December 2020. Winners will be drawn every month from July 2020 through to January 2021.

The loyalty card has five water drops which are to be signed each time a customer makes a purchase at a participating business. Once all water drops on the card are signed, the customer leaves their completed card with a participating business. 

 Your business then drops the cards at the pop-up shop at 66 High Street before the last Thursday of each month. If you’d prefer, we can organise to collect the cards from you.

Winners will be drawn at random on the last Thursday of each month. We will work with the winners and businesses to redeem the vouchers.

 To take part, simply email Pipes for Perth and Water Corporation will provide 150 loyalty cards for you to collect from the pop-up shop.

We will promote your business’ involvement on our website, provide full competition instructions and terms and conditions, as well as a Fremantle Water Perks digital social media pack and point of sale material.

All businesses on streets in the 2019 and 2020 pipe renewal works are eligible to participate, including businesses on streets impacted by the Fremantle Drainage works. See the project website for a full list of eligible streets. 

For all Fremantle Water Perks enquiries, call Lara Fox, Senior Community Engagement Advisor, on 9420 2985 or email


Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports, photography, rain, Uncategorized by freoview on June 29, 2020



I dedicate these photos to Neil Stanbury, the very likeable Manager Corporate and Community Relations at Fremantle Ports.

Neil sent me a, tongue-in-cheek, email last week asking if I needed therapy for my puddle reflection photos. I think it is too late for that as I love taking photos of reflections on all kinds of reflective surfaces, as readers of Freo’s View well know.

For me it is all about awareness and being in the moments when I walk the streets of Freo, and not losing touch. It is like a walking meditation for me to hunt for photos. To discover a great reflection is better than drinking a bottle of Grange Hermitage for me. ;>))

Roel Loopers




B Shed


It’s easier to find the B Shed Rottnest Island ferry terminal at Victoria Quay in the dark with the large B on the shed being lit up in a bright blue circle.

I noticed it all the way from Marine Terrace when looking down Cliff Street this morning.


Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, sunrise, Uncategorized, weather, winter by freoview on June 28, 2020




It is Sunday, so the day when true believers confess all the kinds of nonsense they have been up to, so time for me as well to confess.

It is difficult to admit that my sublime perfection has been tarnished because of Covid-19. I have become lazy and don’t often get up at 5am anymore, especially during winter. But today I ventured out and walked in the dark, to be the very first customer at Chalkys at 7am.

While walking home along the Cappuccino Strip I noticed the lovely colour of the sky just after sunrise and took this photo of the Old Synagogue being embraced.

There are plenty of clouds around, and we have had some rain, but so far the wild storm that is forecast by BOM has not eventuated.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, community, Freo Farmers Market, markets, Uncategorized by freoview on June 28, 2020


As I am writing this the dedicated stallholders are setting up at the Freo Farmers Market in the dark.

Go get fresh/organic fruit&vegetables, bread, pastries, eggs, and much more, plus yummy breakfast and coffee, while being entertained by live music.

It is on today, and every Sunday from 8am till midday and for the time being at Bruce Lee Oval, just off South Street, in Beaconsfield.


Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, parking, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on June 27, 2020


High Street


Fremantle’s High Street is now closed all the way from Market Street to the Roundhouse for the Pipes for Fremantle project by the Water Corporation.

The south/west roads Cliff, Mouat, Henry and Pakenham streets will remain open, but might be closed on short notice for a day or two.

Roel Loopers


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