Freo's View





It is WA Day long weekend and the calls for an Aboriginal cultural centre are loud and clear. We want it, and ideally it will be built in Fremantle!!

But the neglect of historic Arthur’s Head and the expensive rented fences in the area really annoy me, but no one in Fremantle or Western Australia appears to care much about the awful neglect of one of WA’s most significant heritage precincts. It is a disgrace and the Western Australian government should hang their heads in shame about not caring!

What is also not acceptable is putting wrong information on tourist signs, such as this one at the entrance of the Whalers Tunnel, that claims that convict labour was used to build the tunnel.

The tunnel was built in 1837 and convicts only arrived in WA in 1850! What is probably meant is that prison labour from the Roundhouse jail was used to build the tunnel, but that is a different story.

Clean up this mess, Premier Mark McGowan. This is one of the most important public works you should push forward as a priority!

Roel Loopers



Posted in arthur head, city of fremantle, heritage, historic, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on March 15, 2020




The Fremantle volunteer Roundhouse guides have made the sensible and right decision to close WA’s oldest public building for the time being, due to Covid-19 concerns.

The old jail on Arthur’s Head gets hundreds of visitors every day, and very many of them come from overseas, so there is a threat to the health of the mainly elderly guides.

Will Fremantle Prison, the Shipwrecks Museum and the Maritime Museum follow suit?

Roel Loopers




I hear the Fremantle Society has set up a sub-committee that will concentrate on lobbying and trying to get funding for the urgent repairs of Arthur’s Head, so good on them!

What Fremantle Council has been doing about it is pathetic and absolutely inadequate. The area is vested in the City, but they wash their hands off one of our state’s most significant historic and tourists areas and just wait to see if the state government, or anyone else, will cough up the $ 2 million needed. That is not good enough!

I have been told the action by the Fremantle Society will be bipartisan and trying to get as many people on board as possible, so I will be happy to promote anything the group will be doing in that regard.

I have a suspicion that the WA Labor government is not going to do anything about it until the next state election, but that is too far away.

Arthur’s Head has been looking awful for two years now with all the ugly fencing around it. The look at the Whalers Tunnel and the cliff face from Bathers Beach is a total eyesore, but it has been put in the too hard basket by Fremantle’s elected members. I find that extremely disappointing.

So go for it, Freo Society! Lobby politicians from all parties at state and federal level, look for grants, try to get financial support from the resources industries, etc. because Fremantle deserves better than having to accept a major problem that is not being addressed with the urgency it demands.

Roel Loopers






Fremantle’s SCULPTURE AT BATHERS starts this evening with the official opening at Bathers Beach. There are some stunning works and I recommend people go and see it twice, at least once around sunset. There is plenty for children to like about the show as well, so make it a family trip!

The coastal path from Kidogo Arthouse to the Whalers Tunnel will all be lit up and so will be sections of the beach, but the $ 25,000 the City of Fremantle is reportedly spending on it might have been better spent on a light tower at the northern end of the beach near J Shed and light up the entire beach, because there are a lot of fences at Arthur’s Head to protect passers by from rockfall.

There is a rather quirky story with police involvement, etc. about someone trying to do creative lighting during the sculpture festival, but those involved are really nice people, so I won’t go there to protect their identity. It is very Freo and funny though, so you’ll all have to wait till I write my book in 2050. ; >)

I suggested to CoF a few months ago to spend money on creative hoardings on the fences and get rid of the ugliness while informing visitors about the history of the precinct, but that has not eventuated unfortunately.

I hope someone at the City had the foresight to instruct Wilson Security to keep the Whalers Tunnel open longer than 7pm during the great sculpture show.

UPDATE: I have just been informed by the SaB that the tunnel will remain open till 10pm during the exhibition. Great news!

Roel Loopers



Posted in arthur head, city of fremantle, local government, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on January 14, 2020


Arthur's Head


Well done, City of Fremantle for cleaning up the mess and the large weeds at the Arthur’s Head carpark, but it should not have taken a blogger though to make you aware of it.

Roel Loopers





The fenced off carpark below the Roundhouse now looks like this. Disgraceful!


I reported previously about the state of neglect at the fenced off carpark below the Fremantle historic Roundhouse tourist attraction (2nd photo), with weeds of a metre-high popping up, but now an idiot has thrown down a rubbish bin that belongs to 10 Captain’s Lane, and it looks even worse for all those who walk and cycle by.

Roel Loopers



Fremantle Council lives in hope that the State Government will cough up for an expensive $ 2.5 million seawall and dredging at Port Beach, where the ultimate outcome , according to an engineers report, is that the beach will be lost in the distant future.

Freo Council has also been living in hope for two years that the McGowan government will give them the $ 1.8 million to stabilise historic Arthur’s Head, but that money has not be forthcoming, so now it is a project on the City’s advocacy list. Yep, Father Christmas will no doubt put the money that is needed under the tree, or Council might win Lotto.

The seawall would also need an additional $ 200,000 per year for operational costs, so where the hell will the money be coming from?!

It is an outrage that the WA State Government allows the popular tourist attraction of Arthur’s Head to remain an ugly fenced-off eyesore that is unstable and dangerous, when it constantly talks about tourism being very important for our state.

When was the last time Premier Mark McGowan and Heritage Minister David Templeman visited Fremantle and had a long talk with our elected members and senior officers about how the State can support our City that has a limited ratepayers base?

Why does Fremantle not get serious financial support from Fremantle Ports, that makes tens of millions of profit each year, for the Port Beach seawall, when there are claims that the Rouse Head extension is partly to blame for the disappearing beach?

Why does a small local government like Fremantle not get compensated by the State for the loss of income it has because Notre Dame University, that has a substantial property portfolio in the port city, is exempt from paying Council rates?

It is unacceptable that WA’s second city is being ignored and is getting very little help from the State Government. Fremantle is not a third-rate backwater dump that can be ignored, but one of the State’s major tourist destinations. We need, deserve and demand support from the McGowan government!

Roel Loopers






Fremantle J Shed sculptor Greg James has created these lovely ducks and they are out and about on the grass at J Shed, so take the kids for a look, and also have a look inside at all the art displayed in the gallery.

Roel Loopers



Posted in arthur head, city of fremantle, heritage, local government, roundhouse, Uncategorized by freoview on November 23, 2019

The City of Fremantle is seeking your stories, connection and curiosity about the Round House, to help guide the future conservation and care of this important building.

The City is preparing a conservation management plan for the Round House building. A conservation management plan helps us to understand the place and its heritage values and provides policies to enable its significance to be retained in its future use and development.

We’re seeking your stories, connection and curiosity about the Round House to guide the direction of this work. Your input is an important part of ensuring the heritage values of the Round House are appropriately recognised, assessed and conserved.

The Round House building is located on Manjaree (Arthur Head) and the City will also consult specifically with Traditional Owners as part of our Aboriginal Engagement Plan.

How can I contribute?

Everyone with a connection to, or interest in, the Round House is welcome to contribute. The Round House has had many uses over the years including a gaol for the settlement, a holding point for Aboriginal prisoners being sent to Rottnest, a lock-up, house and for storage. Many workers have also been involved in repairs or works over the years. Today it operates as a significant tourist destination manned by the Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides, who are preparing an interpretation project.

Your stories and historical photographs (particularly incidental images) will supplement the City’s History collection or may help identify particular aspects of the building fabric which would assist with management and interpretation. Information on your curiosity will help build a picture of what our community and visitors would like to know more about.

You can:

  • Share your stories or upload information online (below), or
  • Complete a photographic donation form (click here or find in the document library) and drop in to the Fremantle Library 70 Parry Street Fremantle (Fremantle Oval) with your material.

Submit your stories on line at My Say Fremantle, or at Fremantle Library by Sunday 22 December 2019.


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