Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, community, festivals, fremantle festival, Uncategorized by freoview on September 22, 2017


festival parade


There will be no Festival Parade at this year’s Fremantle Festival, because of lack of public interest. Instead there will be a shopping kart race to support St Patrick’s at Kings Square on the last Sunday of the festival.

The Fremantle Festival appears to be moving away from the traditional community festival to a more sophisticated and classy, fully curated, festival, but the risk is that it will leave sections of the community behind.

More ticketed events mean that people on low incomes miss out, as is already the case with the Perth International Arts Festival, that has become unaffordable to many.

I am not at all certain that a small city like Fremantle should move away from a community festival and try to compete with the capital city of WA.

We should embrace the difference and Freo’s uniqueness, instead of wanting to do the same as other festival cities do.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 22, 2017


A major issue in Fremantle is the lack of proper community consultation. The resentment in the community about it creates an us and them attitude, where Council becomes the enemy of the people, so we need to make a real effort to change that.

It is essential in my opinion to take the community with you when Council makes decisions and unfortunately that has not always been the case. I know they will never be able to please everyone, but they have to do better.

The Australia Day controversy is a good example of that, where only one community group was consulted, but not the entire community, and not even the business community. That is not good enough.

It does not matter how well Councillors meant and that they showed great sensitivity toward the Noongar community, they should have taken the entire community with them on this extremely important journey on how we can improve celebrating our history. They did not do that, so the issue became divisive, and sometimes even racist, and that was very disappointing.

The fact that the date of Australia Day is now a national discussion is good, and I acknowledge that Fremantle Council started it, and I do support that, but surely this should have been handled so much better, and we need to learn from that.

The Smoking Ceremony during One Day was quite emotional and it was great to see so many people tun up to witness it, and so was the concert in the afternoon, but we need to have a chat with the entire community about how we can accommodate a better outcome that will be embraced by more people.

Communication is insufficient at many levels. Social media comments show that very many people in Fremantle do not know what goes on and are quite ignorant about facts, and that is due to lack of good communication by the City of Fremantle, I believe.

If thousands did not know that there are free parking permits for residents available, until it became a political election issue, that is a clear sign of bad communication.

The City needs to reach out more and better, as it cannot expect that people will try to find important information on websites or social media. The City of Fremantle needs to ‘home deliver’ information, not wait for people to come to them to find out what is going on.

Lack of communication creates an us and them sentiment in the community, where council becomes the enemy of the people, and that is plain silly. It also creates conspiracy theories and innuendo, because there is a lack of trust, due to a perceived lack of transparency and accountability. Excellent communication can solve most of these issues.

Councillors are part of our community, and we elect them to make the hard and good decisions. Many Fremantle City officers live in Freo and are our neighbours and friends, so let’s stop treating them as opponents.

If I get elected on Fremantle Council I would like to have monthly meetings with the board and committee of the Chamber of Commerce, Fremantle Society, FICRA, the Fishing Boat Harbour, Cappuccino Strip, West End, South Freo, North Freo traders, etc. and also attend precinct meetings, because only when elected members constantly listen to the community, and communicate with them, will they understand what the issues and priorities are.

We are all in this together, and the better we work together the greater the outcomes will be! There is a great future ahead for Fremantle.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, community, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on September 20, 2017


Fremantle is so much better than a small group of constantly negative individuals on social media want us to believe.

I love Freo because of its great community, the outdoor lifestyle, the music and art scene, the passion and compassion, and the willingness to care.

When I walk the streets I delight in the beauty of the old town and the funky quirkiness that is so very Freo.

I delight in the friendly smiles in cafes and shops and on the streets, where so many people acknowledge one with a smile.

I love the markets and the beaches, the heritage, and all that is good about Freo, and I like  that it is not perfect.

Fremantle has got character and is unique, and it is a very special place to live and bring up children.

Freo’s future is bright with massive development in the inner city and big plans for major projects.

And I am not the only one who thinks that as this post from someone on social media shows. Unfortunately I don’t know who the initial writer of the lovely positive post about Fremantle is.

I’m from Melbourne and I now live in Freo. Over the past 3 weeks I’ve had loads of friends and family come over to visit that had never been here before. They were all SO impressed, with one even moving here later this year after his trip. They all loved how user friendly it was, little traffic, nice beaches, good places to eat, close enough to the city (without being too close) good weather, they found it hilarious my dog could come to the pub and no one said anything, and that International bands were just a short walk from my door. They loved the diverse architecture, the history, they found the service friendly, and the communty vibe quite refreshing. 

It’s evident from reading this feed sometimes that not everyone is so content, and may have forgotten how lucky they are to live in a place like Fremantle. Yes sometimes there is crime, there is everywhere, yes sometimes you’ll get a shit meal, you sometimes have a miss and not a hit, everywhere. It happens. It’s a speed hump, not a land mine, slow down and get on with it. 

My good friend Paz rolled into Freo after riding his bike all the way from Melbourne, through NSW, QLD, NT and the top of WA…..and loved it here. He said Freo was the best town he’d been to. Be as smiley as Paz about living in Freo. You are all pretty lucky

Talking down our city is not going to support our struggling traders and the Fremantle image, and neither is the constant negativity about Fremantle Council during the election campaign.

Support Freo by sending out positive messages about what you experience and tell the world!

Roel Loopers



Posted in children, city of fremantle, community, Uncategorized by freoview on September 19, 2017



School holidays are coming up, so parents will be keen to find things to do in Fremantle with their children, so take note of these two events!

On Saturday it is PIRATE DAY at the lovely Duyfken replica sailing ship from 11 am to 4pm. It is at berth behind Little Creatures in the Fishing Boat Harbour.

It’s one of your last chances to visit the ship in Freo as it will be sailing up the Swan River and be at berth at Elizabeth Quay in Perth for several months.

On Sunday the Growers Green Farmers Market has something very special on for the kids. There will be sheep shearing at Farmer Damian’s animal touch farm, something not to be missed!


Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 15, 2017


Hannah Fitzhardinge


Fremantle Councillor Hannah Fitzhardinge launched her  campaign to be re-elected for Beaconsfield Ward at the cosy Little Hawk cafe in Beaconsfield last evening, although she has already been door knocking for weeks.

Deputy Mayor Ingrid Waltham introduced Fitzhardinge as an amazing strategic thinker and collaborator, and it was a delight to have such a smart and intelligent woman on council.

Hannah said she saw her role at council about solving problems that are close to the community, and that there is so much to be optimistic about in Fremantle.

The transformation that is taking place is mind-blowing, and the Heart of Beaconsfield project will be an opportunity for an amazing piece of master planning, with downsizing options for living.

Fremantle City was collaborating very well with the new State ministers, and the City administration had gone through massive positive changes, she said.

I have been impressed with Hannah Fitzhardinge’s performance on Council. She is a very grounded person who does not bring a big ego to the chambers. She makes very considered and balanced decisions, and often mentions the feedback she has received from the community.

Nominations have now closed and the ballot drawn and all candidates are up on the wall in the Townhall reception area. I will write a blog about that after midday when I have had a look at it.


Roel Loopers




Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 14, 2017


I am not good at showing off and promoting myself, but have been told I’ll just have to do it during the election campaign. So it’s time to give myself some credit for the positive difference I make to Fremantle. I don’t claim that I change the world, but I try to be part of the solutions and get the small things fixed.

So here a few examples of the many times I have made a positive difference:

Most recently I was made aware of the property on the corner of Suffolk Street and South Terrace being used as an illegal dump. I took some photos, published them on this blog on Tuesday lunchtime, was contacted by the City of Fremantle, and on Thursday morning three skip bins were at the site that was being cleaned up.

When National Broad Band contractors left the High Street Mall in a mess, I blogged about it. The City put warning signs around it the next day and got the contractors back within a week to level the pavement.

When I name&shame the lack of maintenance, etc. in Fremantle the City administration does take notice and repairs happen pretty fast, especially when I point out there is a public liability issue.

I was part of a working group to beautify Arthur Head and we recommended that Council should approve a new path from Kidogo Arthouse to J Shed, with solar lighting, and to light up the cliff face. That was implemented and is there for all to enjoy now.

When I lived in one of the old Pilot’s Cottages next to the Roundhouse I observed that people were having trouble negotiating the dirt path along Captain’s Lane. Disabled people found it hard to get from the disabled parking bays to the tourist attraction, and women in high heels attending weddings had major problem not spraining ankles. I took photos and published two blog posts about it and within six months the city put down a nice path.

A friend who has MS told me that if he wanted to go to the cafe at B Shed he had to ride his gopher on the road against traffic to the other end of B Shed, so I alerted Fremantle Ports to that problem, and within a few weeks a temporary ramp was put down, that has now been made permanent. Whenever I walk past it I call it Roel’s ramp. ; >)

Getting rubbish bins cleaned west of the railway line at Arthur Head was a real problem for a long time, to the annoyance of J Shed artists and Roundhouse volunteers. So I kept plugging away at it and reporting about it for a long time. Now regular cleaning is the routine.

I regularly engage with Fremantle Councillors and officers on how things can be improved, because I strongly believe that we can all be part of problem solving and finding solutions. While others say that they should be doing something about it, I just do something about it and take ownership and responsibility. Whinging is only good when it creates positive outcomes, so I rather offer suggestions for solutions.

It helps that I walk the streets daily, and I wished more CoF officers would do the same, because one observes so much more walking than driving a vehicle.

Parking inspectors should be made de-facto rangers and report back maintenance issues they observe, as should all City staff.

If we all make Fremantle issues our problem, we’ll get faster results and fewer unhappy people!

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, community, Uncategorized by freoview on September 13, 2017


The City of Fremantle has a higher than average of older people living here than the other metropolitan councils, but policy making does not reflect that sufficiently, I believe.

We have a Youth Council, and that is great because we really need to get young people interested in local government, but we should also have a Senior Council, in the old tradition of a circle of elders.

Fremantle Council’s wish to reduce cars in the inner city can’t be dismissed, but it needs to be far more sensitive to the needs of seniors, disabled people, and parents with children.

Parking far away from shopping destinations will deter seniors from coming into town to shop and visit cafes. It”s a safety and a comfort issue for them.

We provide affordable and artist spaces, such as WGV and Nightingale, but we need to create communities for seniors as well. Men Sheds are good, but mainly for men, and many men, myself included, are not interested in handiwork, but would love to hang out with like-minded creative people in senior hubs, that could be inspired by the Fibonacci Centre.

There are opportunities at the Bathers Beach Arts Precinct, and the number one unit at J Shed could have been perfect for a creative community centre, but was unfortunately and inappropriately leased to Sunset Events to start a tavern and micro-brewery.

We also need to create community spaces where seniors can hang out with younger people, so that both sides can share their knowledge.

I personally love engaging with younger people in Fremantle because they often have a different perspective on life and different priorities, and it can be inspiring to listen to them.

In the Netherlands, where I was born, university students are offered free rooms in retirement centres, on the condition they spend a certain number of hours each week communicating with the older residents. A win win for all!

My next door neighbour told me that there are many single women in their 40s and 50s who feel a sense of isolation and are looking for safe housing options that suit them better, but there is not enough diversity of small dwellings available in Fremantle.

There are many people in our society who feel isolated and lonely and we need to reach out to them. Fremantle is the perfect city to do that. We care, we are creative, we are passionate and generous, so let’s work on some ideas and how we can make improvements.

What do YOU think?

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, community, election, Uncategorized by freoview on September 13, 2017


It hear that former Fremantle Mayor Peter Tagliaferri believes that I am not the right person to represent City Ward because I live in Beaconsfield.

Silly me thought Beacy was still part of the City of Fremantle and that Councillors are responsible for the entire city.

It is true I have lived in Beacy for just over two years, and before that I lived in White Gum Valley for two years, but prior to that I lived for over two years in one of the old Pilot’s Cottages next to the Roundhouse, and before that one year in Beacy again. To be fully transparent, I lived for 8 months in Forrest Street and four weeks in Hilton as well.

My Freo history began in 1991 when I separated from my partner of twenty years and bought a house in Bolton Place, just on the other side of the City Ward boundary, but sold that in 1995 when I travelled for eight months throughout Australia. On my return in early 1996 I rented a townhouse for 10 years at 5 Swanbourne Street (City Ward), and when the Croatian landlords wanted to renovate and sell I moved around the corner to Bellevue Terrace(City Ward) where I lived for over two years.

After a one year stint in Mount Claremont with my gorgeous Sri Lankan lover Indira I returned to Freo and lived in Forrest Street, then Beacy again, then came Captain’s Lane at Arthur Head, White Gum Valley and now back in Beacy.

The first thing I do every day is to drive onto the South Mole early in the morning and then I have coffee in one of the inner city cafes.

I walk the streets of Fremantle from the Roundhouse to the Fremantle Arts Centre, from the port to South Beach, and daily communicate with residents and business owners, hence my substantial awareness of what goes on in our city.

Ward parochialism is very strange to bring up for a former Mayor, but it must mean he has found nothing more substantial to attack me on.


Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, community, election, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 11, 2017



I am such a softy! I am quite emotional to announce that I have nominated for CITY WARD for the Fremantle local government election today.

I am a truly independent candidate, who is not a member of a political party or community group. (I am a volunteer tourguide at the Roundhouse).

Criticism that I am the Mayor’s mouthpiece, on a promise by him to get a seat on council, or that I am a council bugle are quite ridiculous, as Brad Pettit’s team is supporting Linda Wayman.

Pettitt’s close friend and campaign advisor Brian Smith was on the weekend doing letterbox drops for their preferred candidate. He would not do that if it was not supported by his mate the Mayor.

I am in nobody’s camp and call it as I see it. I did not nominate for council to get cosy with the administration or elected members, but to do the very best for Fremantle, as I have already done for very many years.

Please send this on to your City Ward friends and business owners who trade in the CBD.


Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, community, Uncategorized by freoview on September 10, 2017



A good number of people attended the Fremantle MARRIAGE EQUALITY rally and concert in Pioneer Park on Saturday afternoon.

I did not stay on for the music, so just a few photos of the start of the event.


Roel Loopers

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