Freo's View

ARCHITECTURE COMMENDATION FOR ROUNDHOUSE FESTIVAL HUB

 

Hub commendation

 

THE HUB next to the Fremantle Roundhouse, created by Fremantle-based Harris Architects, was awarded a commendation at the recent WA architecture awards.

The Hub was created for the High Tide Biennale as the festival hub and has since become very popular for weddings on Arthur Head and school groups on excursions having their lunch break in it.

It is a delightful, light and open structure that mirrors the Roundhouse, so I am one of many who hope and wish that the City of Fremantle will allow The Hub to remain permanently on the Bathers Bay look out.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE ROUNDHOUSE THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH

Posted in art, arthur head, city of fremantle, GLEN COWANS, maritime, oceans, photography, Uncategorized by freoview on June 19, 2018

 

Arthur Head drone photo

 

My friend and fellow photographer Glen Cowans took this amazing drone photo of the Fremantle Roundhouse and Arthur Head.

Glen has his underwater photography gallery next to the Roundhouse and was testing his new drone for future diving photo trips around the world.

Since Glen gave me permission to publish the photo here on Freo’s View I’d better give him a plug. ; >)

The Glen Cowans Photography Gallery at Captain’s Lane is an amazing insight into the wonderful and mysterious world of the oceans and well worth a visit.

Mounted and block mounted prints, print on canvas, and jewellery are all on display. Check out the pendants, rings and earrings created by Glen’s wife Louise, ladies!

The gallery is open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10.30am till 4pm.

You can also check out all Glen’s work on-line here: http://glencowans.com/?doing_wp_cron=1529366624.0747931003570556640625

Roel Loopers

WHALERS TUNNEL SIGNS ARE WRONG

Posted in arthur head, city of fremantle, heritage, tourism, Uncategorized, whalers tunnel by freoview on June 4, 2018

 

whalers tunnel closure

 

The City of Fremantle need to amend these signs at the Bathers Beach end of the Whalers Tunnel at Arthur’s head because they are confusing.

The Whalers Tunnel is not closed but is open to the public, so why have signs there saying the opposite?

I noticed several people not going into the tunnel yesterday as they were not sure if they were trespassing and that is not good for tourism.

Roel Loopers

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COMMUNITY OUTRAGE ABOUT FREMANTLE HERALD’S F WORD USE

 

The front page of the Fremantle Herald does not have the head line Community Outrage About F Word, but the paper did publish several letters to the editor expressing outrage about last week’s article about the J Shed debate at Fremantle Council.

Editor and owner of the Herald Andrew Smith does however apologise to Aboriginal elder Herbert Bropho for publishing the awful F word headline above a photo of him.

According to Andrew Smith the F word headline reflected the mood of the council meeting and hence it was deemed appropriate by him to publish it.

The Herald then publishes it’s own Thinking Allowed-why not call it an editorial?- in which it claims that most community members miss the main point that Fremantle Council is ‘badly divided, split down the middle’ and argues it is time for a rethink about the activation of Arthur’s Head.

Fremantle Council is indeed divided about a tavern at J Shed but only 4 Councillors voted against it at the last meeting. Councillors Strachan, Pemberton and Waltham were absent and Councillor Wainwright did not vote, as he had declared a conflict of interest.

It is not a factual understanding of procedures to claim Fremantle Council is badly divided, but that probably comes from the fact that the Fremantle Herald very rarely has a reporter present at Council and Council Committee meetings.

The first things that needs to happen before Council can rethink the activation of Arthur’s Head is for the WAPC or the Liquor Licensing Authority to reject the tavern proposal.

While I too would love to see a substantial Whadjuk Noongar presence at J Shed it would be up to our indigenous leaders to decide if that would be an appropriate location for an Aboriginal cultural centre as a tourist attraction.

Roel Loopers

 

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ROUNDHOUSE VOLUNTEERS SUPPORT FREMANTLE’S TOURISM

Posted in arthur head, city of fremantle, heritage, historic, roundhouse, Uncategorized by freoview on May 29, 2018

 

Nan at Roundhouse

 

This is Nan Jackson who today appeared in the Fremantle Gazette and in a Facebook promotional video. Nan has been a volunteer tourist guide at the Fremantle Roundhouse for ten years and deserves to be applauded during National Volunteer Week and the Fremantle Heritage Festival.

Around 150,000 overseas and interstate visitors yearly visit the old building at Arthur’s Head. Many school groups visit to find out about the history of the former jail, so the guides are being kept busy, and Nan’s knowledge about the history of Fremantle is amazing..

The Roundhouse was built by free settlers, not convicts, who came to establish the Swan River Colony in 1829, and because of excessive drunkenness, stealing and disorderly behaviour it was decided in 1830 to build the small eight cell jail, which opened in January 1831.

Every day at 1pm the cannon on the gun deck that overlooks Bathers Bay is being fired by a visitor, who receives a certificate, and the time ball above the deck is lowered. The guides who are in charge of firing the cannon need a dangerous goods and a pyrotechnic license, and that costs the not for profit organisation quite a bit of money

It is quite remarkable that fewer than 30 mainly senior volunteers keep the Roundhouse open every day, but for two, of the year. Only on Good Friday and Christmas Day is the museum closed. Volunteers come from as far away as Darlington, Joondalup, Kelmscott and Rockingham, which shows the real dedication and love for the job of talking one on one with people from all over the world.

The Roundhouse guides are often the first port of call for tourists in Fremantle, so they point them to other attractions, the best cafes, fish&chips, bars, concerts, events, etc. and also give them tips for their travels through WA and Australia.

The building is also used for wedding photography, and it has housed night concerts, functions, theatre plays, movies, art exhibitions and other events, etc.

It is a constant battle to keep the Roundhouse open because of the limited guide numbers, as it is difficult to find new volunteers willing to spend a day a week at the old building from 10am to 3.30pm. It is a very positive experience. Most visitors tell the guides how much they love Fremantle and its character heritage buildings.

The Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides would love to have more volunteers, so go and have a chat with them!

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE COUNCIL’S MOMENT OF INSANITY

 

J Shed

 

Predictably Fremantle Council last night voted to recommend for approval by the WA Planning Commission a 300 patron tavern at J Shed on Arthur’s Head, against the express wishes of the local community, Noongar people, artists and heritage groups.

But the battle was lost long before last night when over four years ago Council in a moment of collective insanity decided that the best applicant for the Expressions of Interest process for a bar/cafe/gallery was the proposal for a 1,500 patron live outdoor music venue and an 850 patron tavern, and signed a 21-year lease with Sunset Events.

Since then the live music aspect was taken away as the Council back tracked more and more because of public outrage, so at the end they believed everyone had compromised enough and 300 patrons was just a bit more than a small bar, and a tavern would activate Arthur’s Head.

The public gallery was jam packed full, and more than 30 people spoke for an hour and a half, with 80 per cent of them being against the tavern.

There were many new faces and young artists and valid arguments were made that a good arts venture would help activate J Shed and the historic area, while a very eloquent young psychologist warned about the dangers of alcohol and public health, but it was all to no avail and only four of the nine Councillors present voted against the proposal.

It was very disappointing that the elected members were abused by some people in the public gallery as that is totally inappropriate. The planning approval went through proper process and the community has elected Councillors to make decisions, and as with all decisions governments make half of the people won’t agree with them. For the record. I don’t agree with this one either.

The deciding authority is the WAPC and even if they approve Sunset Events’ application they will still need to convince the liquor licensing authority that a tavern at Bathers Beach with only portaloos is a good idea.

I am very disappointed with Fremantle Council about this issue. They did not have the backbone to admit the 21-year lease for a tavern was wrong, so they had to back their wrong decision all the way. That is not good governance.

Roel Loopers

 

MORE CREATIVE WAYS TO ACTIVATE ARTHUR’S HEAD

 

In context to the controversial tavern proposal for Fremantle’s J Shed there is a timely article in today’s property pages of the WEST AUSTRALIAN by Brett Mitchell, who is a lecturer at Curtin University at the School of Design and Built Environment.

The article Past, present populate our cityscape argues that we can no longer treat development sites as terra nullius.

Brett Mitchell writes “Our past history and future aspirations should be entwined as creative starting points for making meaningful places.”

He writes that before moving forward we have to look back first. Mitchell uses the heritage-listed cemetery in East Perth as an example where development dictated the shifting boundaries, and that once important meeting places for Whadjuk Noongar people became surrounded and claimed for expansion.

“With an awareness and retelling of our embedded stories the built environment also offers us a chance to reveal the past within the present” writes Brett Mitchell.

These are the things Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt clearly did not consider when he wrote his block post about the, in his opinion, historic irrelevance of the A Class Reserve at Arthur’s Head that is home to J Shed.

The cliff that was once there was the point of the first lighthouse in Fremantle, probably just about where J Shed now is.

We should never ever try to rewrite history to make political points, because it is flawed and very wrong. Arthur’s Head is arguably the most significant historic site in Western Australia and any development there needs to be done with respect for the past.

The desired activation of  Arthur’s Head can be achieved in better and more creative ways than building a tavern there. It is only Council’s shortsightedness and stubbornness that has prevented better outcomes.

 

Roel Loopers

 

 

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FREO MAYOR’S BAD ARTHUR’S HEAD HERITAGE CALL

Posted in aboriginal, arthur head, city of fremantle, j shed, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 22, 2018

 

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt’s latest blogpost about the changing face of Arthur’s Head: https://cofremantle.wordpress.com is an attempt at trying to justify his support for the Sunset Events tavern proposal at J Shed. This is no doubt in response to the smoking ceremony held at Bathers Beach on Saturday in protest to the tavern proposal.

I am grateful for the historic facts and the fantastic historic photos the Mayor published, but I believe Brad Pettitt is missing the point. His argument that because Arthur’s Head changed so much and the J Shed building was added later, it is less significant than other parts of the area above it is flawed.

It is like arguing that land significant to Aboriginal people is no longer significant because mining and development have changed the area.

Just a few metres south of the proposed tavern was the Whaling Station, and Bathers Bay was where the Swan River Colony started, and sadly also the transport of Aboriginal men and boys to the inhumane Rottnest Island Aboriginal Quod prison.

As a board member of the Heritage Council Mayor Brad Pettitt should be well aware that there is tangible and intangible history. Even the beaches and slaughter fields of all the wars have changed over time, but have never become less significant because changes to the areas were made.

Historic significance of place is not measured in metres or what has been taken away or been added! There is very little tangible evidence left of the WWII bombing of Rotterdam, Leipzig, Nuremberg, Berlin, etc.

The Roundhouse is no longer the same as it was when it was built, so does that make the oldest public building in Western Australia less significant?

I have no issue with the Freo Mayor being a big fan of the tavern at J Shed, but I would expect a more intelligent debate from him to support his position than to try to discredit the heritage significance of parts of Arthur’s Head.

Bad call, Brad!

Roel Loopers

ROCK FALL AT ARTHUR’S HEAD

Posted in arthur head, city of fremantle, health&safety, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 20, 2018

 

 

The ‘shaving’ of the limestone cliff face at Fremantle’s Arthur’s Head is finished but it appears it has not been done properly as yesterday at lunchtime a 30 centimetre rock and other smaller ones fell down onto the bush path near the dual bike/walk way.

A local Little High street resident and I decided to re-erect two of the discarded signs to stop people from walking along there as it clearly is a public safety hazard.

Can someone at the City of Fremantle please urgently attend to this matter as the officer in charge is on a five week holiday!

Roel Loopers

UPDATE! Just received a text message at 4.15pm from City of Fremantle CEO Phil St John that they are checking the cliff face this afternoon. Good work CoF!

TIME TO HAVE A SUNSET ON TAVERN PROPOSAL

 

 

The Sunset Events proposal for a tavern at J Shed on Bathers Beach will go to Ordinary Council-hopefully for the very last time!-this Wednesday and it could be a close call.

Deputy Mayor Ingrid Waltham, who is against the tavern, is on holiday and Councillors Rachel Pemberton and Sam Wainwright will declare a conflict of interest, so these three won’t be voting.

If there are no other apologies there will be ten elected members who will vote on the item.

It is likely that Mayor Brad Pettitt and Councillors Dave Hume, Adin Lang, Andrew Sullivan and Hannah Fitzhardinge will vote for the tavern, while Councillors Jeff McDonald, Bryn Jones and Jenny Archibald will probably vote against it. How Jon Strachan and Doug Thompson will vote would be a guess, but if they vote against the proposal the casting vote of the Mayor would get it over the line for recommending it for approval by the WAPC.

But the deciding authority is the WA Planning Committee, which rejected the previous proposal because a tavern was inappropriate use of the A Class reserve at historic Arthur’s Head. Will they change their opinion just because the number of patrons and the outdoor footprint has been reduced?

Whatever the outcome it is time to move on and have a long term Masterplan for the area.

Roel Loopers

UPDATE! I have been advised that Councillor Jon Strachan is also an apology so that will make the voting by only 9 elected members very interesting.

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