Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, kings square, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on December 13, 2017


It looks like the historic last Ordinary Council meeting in the old Fremantle civic centre could be a very long one this evening.

There are many interesting items on the agenda, where members of the community will want to address Councillors about, so I’ll be in for the long haul.

Here some of the items on the agenda:

  • Annual Financial statement
  • Report on Financial Management Review
  • Proposed tavern at J Shed
  • Local Planning Policy for the Beaconsfield and White Gum Valley town centres
  • Planning policy for taverns and hotels in the CBD
  • Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre future
  • South Terrace traffic calming in South Fremantle
  • Safe Hampton Road crossing at Scott Street

City of Fremantle staff will be moving to Fremantle Oval from Monday December 18 and the next Council meetings will be held in North Fremantle and other location until the new Civic Centre has been built at Kings Square.

Roel Loopers



Posted in Uncategorized, architecture, local government, city of fremantle, arthur head, bathers beach by freoview on December 13, 2017




There were indications at last week’s Fremantle Planning Committee that Mayor Brad Pettitt might try to defer the decision at tonight’s Ordinary Council meeting on the proposed tavern at J Shed for 2-3 months to get Sunset Events to make more changes.

This would be contrary to what the Fremantle community wants, as it has expressed very clearly and loudly for four years.

The Wadjuk Noongar people, inner city residents, Fremantle Ports, Fremantle Society, Fremantle History Society, Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides and the J Shed artists have all very clearly said no to a tavern at Arthur Head, and so has the WA Planning Committee.

We have heard the excuses and semantics in the past that somehow that specific part of Arthur Head has less historic significance than the rest of the historic area, but that is baseless rubbish.

Fact is that Arthur Head in its entirety is heritage listed. Fact is that the proposed site for the tavern is only metres away from where the Whaling Station used to be. It is 30 metres from the Whalers Tunnel, and it is just below the Gunners Cottage and WA’s oldest public building the Roundhouse gaol.

Bathers Bay is where British settlement started in ernest and where the first port was, in the form of a one-kilometre-long jetty. It is also where Aboriginal men and boys were put on boats to be transported to the inhumane Quod prison on Rottnest Island. The Arthur Head area is the foundation of Western Australia’s British settlement.

Another reason why the item should not be deferred by Fremantle Council is a point made by Councillor Rachel Pemberton when Council discussed another planning proposal a few weeks ago.

Pemberton stated that the Elected Members had agreed that they would no longer indefinitely defer planning proposals if these proposals required substantial changes, instead of minor tweaking. That is the case with the Sunset Events proposal for J Shed. It requires substantial changes, not just minor adjustments, and for that reason alone refusal of the proposal should be the only outcome of the Ordinary Council meeting tonight.

Sunset Events wants a tavern on the A Class reserve, that the community does not want, and WAPC has made it clear in its past ruling that is inappropriate use of the reserve. WAPC did not rule on the number of patrons, but about inappropriate use of a public space. That will not change.

It is also highly unlikely that Sunset Events would be willing to reduce the number of patrons yet again, because they already deleted the 1,500 patron outdoor music venue and halved the number of tavern patrons. There is little left of their initial plans.

The sad fact for Sunset Events is that they have been had by Fremantle Council. What is happening with the tavern proposal is akin to the City of Fremantle signing a lease for a funeral parlour, but when it comes to planning approval they suddenly decide that they don’t want dead bodies in the building and no hearses in the street. It’s outrageously bad governance!

The J Shed saga is an unmitigated debacle that Fremantle Councillors should be ashamed about, and it needs to stop now!

Roel Loopers


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on December 13, 2017


Mosman Park architect Carl Payne sent me a sketch and following contemplations about the proposed ten-storey mixed-use development of the Fremantle Woolstores shopping centre.

I believe it is essential to have a public conversation about what appropriate and good architecture for Fremantle is, so want to share Carl’s thoughts with the Freo’s View readers.

Massing Study


My approach to design is generally inside-out; that is, the planning logic dictates the final external forms. However, I’ve just bent my rule to some extent.
This is because, when considering architectural solutions for sensitive historic streetscapes – such as Cantonment Street, I think it’s valid for an external “massing-approach” to be the starting point.

As Ken Adam said, existing heights could/should also play an important role.

For these reasons, I spent a few hours doing a massing solution – see attached sketch.

Its logic is partly determined by two walk-through arcades that I show on the plan. These assist connectivity for this large city block; and create large doorways on the street. (I’ve ripped off and adapted Murray Slavin’s new facade details in Cliff Street, as part of what could be an exuberant and sculptural design approach. Thanks Murray.)

The forms are totally conceptual – a building is not designed in 4 hours. But the massing approach; the “urban wall” approach; the reduced palette of materials; the height limitations based on the adjacent woodstores; etc etc, are worth further consideration.

And a site development as suggested by my quick esquisse – one that opens up two pedestrian corridors that would also service the new supermarket and other spaces; and which could even create internal courtyards for gathering; merchandising; and allow internal natural light etc – would also meet the total net development area as proposed by the current scheme, if carefully done.

Without the need for the towers. No towers please…………………………………!!


Posted in city of fremantle, fishing, maritime, photography, Uncategorized by freoview on December 12, 2017




I have told you many times that there is a lot of beauty in the ordinary, so I took up the challenge of making ‘art’ out of rust yesterday.

I took these photos of a real rust bucket in the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour late afternoon.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder hey.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, community, fremantle network, Uncategorized by freoview on December 12, 2017


The last Fremantle Network of the year event at the National Hotel last eve had two speakers talking about different forms of place making.

Maureen Maher of Street by Street talked about how to connect neighbours and recreate community.

She said the social connections we once had don’t exist any longer and that she had a yearning to meet more people in her street.

Statistics showed that there is an increase in people who feel isolated and that stronger community ties create happiness, security and support.

The average person unlocks their smartphone 110 times a day.

Street by Street organises get togethers, lunches, dinners, garden parties, bake ups, litter cleaning, etc. where neighbours get together and connect.

Dean Cracknell of the Town Team Movement started with the highly successful Beaufort Street Festival in Mount Lawley/Highgate.

He said that governments supply the hardware and the communities the software when they connect businesses and residents and organise events. The people make places and cities!

There is too much negativity in the world and we need to become more pro-active and positive, Cracknell said.

It was important for the groups to have an action plan and not to lose focus, but the main challenge was to get enough people to volunteer and actually help instead of only giving lip service support.

I don’t want to sound too sceptical about this all, but place making has been around for some twenty years. The City of Fremantle payed well-known placemaker David Engwicht to visit our city several times where he talked about picking the low hanging fruit and that the community should be leading the change and take ownership.

Rachel Pemberton, before she became a Freo Councillor had the great idea for the very successful Cappuccino Strip Street Club that happened once a month, where people from the burbs connected in the city centre, set up couches, played games, made music, had dinner. They were really fun events, but died because no one took over the leadership.

The Fremantle community does very well connecting and creating events, e.g the Vally Festival in White Gum Valley, Lilly Street lasagne bake-off, Pilbarra Street get together, the school community-lead Growers Green Farmers Market, the Long Table Dinner, etc. and we have a lot of festivals and music events.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, rottnest island, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on December 12, 2017


Rottnest Express


Having early morning coffee at the B Shed ferry terminal on Fremantle’s Victoria Quay is like being on holiday.

There is a real buzz around when people arrive on foot or on their bike and queue up to get on board one of the ferries to Rottnest Island.

It will be interesting to observe how long it will take new operator Sealink to grab a good share of the ferry market, because the Rottnest Express brand is clearly very strong.

I have on several occasions observed that the early Sealink ferry departs with only a handful of passengers, while the Rottnest Express one half an hour later gets many more people on board.

I hear that prices for the trip to Rotto have come down considerably and that Rottnest Express is now departing hourly from Freo in the mornings.

Roel Loopers


Posted in cafe, city of fremantle, fremantle ports, Uncategorized by freoview on December 12, 2017


VC bar


It looks like Victoria Quay in Fremantle Port will be getting a new cafe or bar.

I noticed the construction of these two adapted sea containers east of the E Shed Markets.

It is the same location where Don Tapa had a pop up a few years ago until they moved to The Mantle on Beach Street.

Roel Loopers


Posted in bid, city of fremantle, fishing boat harbour, Uncategorized by freoview on December 12, 2017



The Fremantle BID-Business Improvement District has ordered three more electronic people counters in the CBD, bringing the total to seven.

One of them, installed by Fremantle based A Beautiful City, was put up yesterday above the boardwalk of the Fishing Boat Harbour.

People counters inform the business communities, local councils, shopping centres, etc. about foot traffic around the city.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports, maritime, Uncategorized by freoview on December 12, 2017


far statesman


The powerful Far Statesman offshore tug supply ship was an impressive sight at C Shed berth in Fremantle Port late yesterday afternoon.

The vessel was specifically designed for anchor handling and towing of offshore platforms.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, concerts, fremantle arts centre, Uncategorized by freoview on December 11, 2017


NY concert


The Fremantle Arts Centre is putting on a New Years Concert again on Monday January 1, 2018 from 4.30-9 pm. Tickets are only $ 25.00.

The Sunshine Brothers, Soukouss Internationale, Old Blood and the Bambuseae Rhythm Section will entertain you.

Roel Loopers

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