Freo's View

CANTONMENT HILL WORK GOING WELL

Posted in cantonment hill, city of fremantle, community, Uncategorized by freoview on July 19, 2017

 

Cantonment Hill

 

The Friends of Cantonment Hill have created a lovely walking tour map at Burt Street, so that people are aware that one can walk up the hill to get some of the best views of Fremantle, the port, and the Swan river.

Work on the playground area is well underway with retaining walls and steps being built, so the historic area will become a great destination for families in the very near future.

ENKEL should also be taking over the former Navy Stores building, as soon as earth works have been completed.

The former Signal Station is already well used by the Fremantle Volunteer Sea Rescue.

Roel Loopers

FREO DESERVES SUPPORT NOT NEGATIVITY

Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government, Uncategorized, western autralia by freoview on July 7, 2017

 

It appears that Fremantle has a new ABB, no, it’s not a typo. It stands for Anyone But Brad. Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt and the sitting members who are due for election in October might as well not bother to nominate if the relentless-and often uninformed-social media attacks on Council are any indication.

Some people only want to be negative and ignore all facts of progress and a positive Fremantle future. On social media one of those residents, who has not had a good word to say about Freo Council for many years, claimed that Fremantle is rudderless.

This is an amazing statement when one considers that the present Council has done more to encourage substantial development in the inner city than councils over the last 40 years. Facts do not seem to matter when one only wants to be negative.

Leadership is not about making populist decisions but about long-term planning and strategies that will see Fremantle grow and prosper, and in my opinion the present Council has done that well.

Governments never please everyone, that is simply human nature. We all have our political preferences and different views on where Freo should be heading. But it does not mean there is no leadership just because one doesn’t agree with the decisions the democratically Elected Members make.

Yes, there is no denying they have also made mistakes and made decisions I don’t agree with, but my score card is more positive than negative. Because of that I have recently been accused of Council bias. I, and no doubt many at CoF who hate my guts, find that very funny. All I try to do is create a fair balance on social media against anti-Council bias, and point out facts rather than engaging in one-eyed polemic.

Let’s talk about the P-Word again! Parking in Fremantle is not outrageously expensive, as some claim, but only $ 2.80 per hour. After 5pm the maximum amount one has to pay is $ 5.50 for unlimited time. For Fremantle residents parking before 11am and after 3pm is free on weekdays. That is 20 hours daily of free parking, five days a week. On weekends parking is free for residents with a permit at the Beach Street carpark. Street parking in Perth is $ 4.00 per hour by the way.

Notre Dame University students complain that parking cost them thousands of dollars a year, basically because they are too lazy to walk ten minutes from the Point Street carpark where they could park all day for just $ 9.00, instead of paying well over $ 20.00 a day by parking in West End streets. Silly really!

I don’t believe at all that Fremantle Council is rudderless and lacks leadership. Fremantle Council has respectfully and protectively kept one eye on our heritage past while having a strong focus on the future.

The Kings Square Project, Cantonment Hill Project, Fremantle Oval/Stan Reilly Project, State Heritage listing of the West End, the futuristic South Quay Project, Princess May Park masterplan, Esplanade masterplan, lobbying State Government to relocate government departments to Fremantle, and zoning changes to encourage residential infill and small housing, and planning changes, that now see unprecedented commercial and residential development in the inner city, show that the present council has strong strategic thinking.

In my books that is good future-focussed leadership that should be consolidated in the next challenging years. The many projects on the way and in the pipeline require thorough knowledge and people with local government experience.

They are well thought-out long-term and strategic plans by Fremantle Council to help our city grow faster, to get more people living and working in the CBD, to get more visitors to stay overnight and to boost the retail and hospitality economy. Cutting red tape so that more small bars and businesses can be established in the West End is also good leadership.

It is unlikely that Mayor Brad Pettitt and I will ever be friends and that is fine, but that does not mean I don’t respect him. I really don’t care much what the Mayor or anyone else at the City of Fremantle think off me.

I am at this beautiful end stage of life where I don’t have to prove anything anymore to anyone, or even myself. I am involved in Council and community business because I want the very best for Fremantle, not because of my ego and wanting to be right.

Anyone with good new and positive ideas for Freo will have my support. Anyone with solutions will have my unbiased ear, but those who are hell-bent on talking our city down will receive little sympathy from me.

Fremantle is an outstanding place to live. Fremantle has a really good and exciting future ahead and will be one of the great vibrant destinations in the metro area in just a few years from now.

We will have many more people walking the streets day and night, who will be supporting our local traders, and we will have a modern new East End of town that will well juxtapose the beautiful historic West End of Fremantle.

What we need to be most aware of is that developers are trying to push five-storey buildings into the heritage West End and we can’t let that happen. It is disappointing that this is actively supported by the Chamber of Commerce. Approving high and massive buildings in the historic area is unacceptable because it would negatively change Fremantle’s unique character forever. We can’t let that happen ever!!

Fremantle is on the right track, but it is a marathon. Right now we need to be patient and supportive, not negative!

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on FREO DESERVES SUPPORT NOT NEGATIVITY

FREMANTLE ARTS AND COMMUNITY GRANTS

Posted in art, city of fremantle, community, Uncategorized by freoview on July 3, 2017

 

image001

Arts and community grants are available from the City of Fremantle and your proposals are required by the end of this month, so hurry up.

Go to http://www.fremantle.wa.gov.au/grants

Roel Loopers

 

Comments Off on FREMANTLE ARTS AND COMMUNITY GRANTS

FUN WITH FREO PHOTO GROUP

Posted in city of fremantle, community, photography, Uncategorized by freoview on June 26, 2017

 

f

 

I had a lovely Sunday afternoon with the Fremantle Community Photography Group which shares photos on Facebook.

The committee of the group thought that the members would appreciate some tips so photographer Saf Ali and I went along to share our love of photography and talked about composition, photography as story telling, understanding light, and how different lenses and camera settings impact on a photo.

Photography was my profession for 50 years and has been my hobby all my life as there is something very special and rewarding about trying to find beauty in the ordinary of our daily life.

I am always aware that I am recording history when taking photos. For me walking the streets to hunt for images is like walking meditation as I am very in the moment, and the brain does not wander off to the past, the future, or negativity.

Everyone can become a good photographer because it is all about awareness and we can all see light and shadows, so give it a try!

Here a few photos I took while being with the group.

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on FUN WITH FREO PHOTO GROUP

WE ARE LUCKY TO LIVE IN FREMANTLE!

 

SMILE!!!!!

 

Waking up this morning I thought how lucky I am to live in Fremantle. The sun is out and the sky is blue and it is a mild 23 degrees at the start of our winter.

We live in a very special and unique city but sadly there are those who only make negative comments and never see the beauty we have and the special close community we live in.

I don’t suggest for one moment that Freo is perfect and that there is not a lot of room for improvement, but I believe we are doing very well and that our city has a very positive future.

We are seeing massive unprecedented development in Fremantle, not seen in 40 long years, which means in the very near future we will have many more people living, working and staying overnight in the inner city.

That will create confidence for more developers and businesses and we’ll see new shops and bars, new hotels and more investment also from Fremantle council and state government.

But sadly there are those with a political agenda who don’t want to recognise the strategic and long-term planning our elected members have made.

The Kings Square, Fremantle Oval, Cantonment Hall, South Quay projects are huge for our city and so are the private developments of the Woolstores shopping centre, Heirloom, Liv apartments by Defence Housing and many more that are popping up around town or are planned.

Some people in Fremantle treat our democratically elected members as the enemy of the community and more often than not their criticism is based on ignorance.

Many people do not understand the separation between the councillors and administration and blame councillors when the streets are not clean or maintenance not done.

Fact is that council sets rules and regulations in place, makes policies and development approvals, but it’s up to staff to implement them. It is like a footy club where no one would consider the board of directors responsible for the players underperforming.

It is too simplistic, and unfair, to attack councillors and the mayor when it is out of their hands, and I often hear how frustrated too they are when things are not done.

There are the conspiracy people who frequently accuse council of being communists or socialists, but how ridiculous is that when the present council has done more to encourage and support capitalist development in Freo than the councils before them.

I am not a one-eyed supporter of Fremantle council and I don’t have the blinkers on. I also don’t care if councillors are left, right or centre of politics and I don’t socialise privately with any of them, but credit needs to be given where due and criticism handed out fairly. I have been doing that on this blog for nearly eight years and in letters to editors for over 25 years.

Whenever I talk to tourists they tell me how cute, clean, beautiful and special Fremantle is, but far too many locals I talk to only have negativity on their mind.

Many people do not engage with local government and fail to inform themselves adequately, hence there is a lot of misinformation out there and people are blaming Fremantle council for things outside their control and state responsibility.

We live in a community where people really care, where they are willing to stand up and make a difference and where many want to be part of the solution.

But the internet and social media has also created large numbers of people all over the world who are only interested in writing spiteful, nasty, insulting comments that are only meant to be personal attacks and hurt. That to me is not acceptable, hence I will speak out and defend our utterly decent and very likeable councillors, collaborate with them, put suggestions to them for improvement and show them the respect they deserve.

Fremantle is a magic and magnificent place to live. We have the stunning heritage West End, great beaches, markets, lifestyle, festivals, events and we actually care.

Be passionate about Freo, as I am, and stand up for what you believe in. I support anyone who wants to help make Freo a better place, no matter if you vote Liberal, Labor, Green or any other political colour, but please let us engage in respectful and informed dialogue and not ignorant hyperbole and hot air.

Have a brilliant week, Freo and acknowledge how green the grass is on this side of the fence!

Roel Loopers

PERFECT SUNDAY IN FREMANTLE PARADISE!

Posted in city of fremantle, community, food, Uncategorized by freoview on June 18, 2017

 

Federal Hotel Sunday music

 

What a brilliant Sunday again in Freo paradise!

Don’t stay home but get out and about to the Growers Green Farmers Market that is still on till midday and there is also a car boot sale on there today.

Fresh produce, breads, pastries, yummy breakfasts, great atmosphere, live music, animal touch farm, face painting. Bring the family, friends, dogs!

When there help reduce the us of plastic bags and take part in making Boomerang Bags.

From 3pm on the Federal Hotel in William Street opposite the Townhall will have free live music, so for those who miss the Irish music they used to play there when it was Rosy O’Grady, this might be a good afternoon.

And all the shops, pubs, bars and cafes are open in Fremantle, so support our small businesses and the bigger ones, all of them!

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on PERFECT SUNDAY IN FREMANTLE PARADISE!

FROM THE FREMANTLE FPOL COMMITTEE

Posted in city of fremantle, community, development, Uncategorized by freoview on June 15, 2017

 

Here a few more snippets from Wednesday’s City of Fremantle Finance, Policy, Operations and Legislation Committee.

* Olwyn Williams, the CEO of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce argued that the statistics published in the agenda were incorrect and that visitors’ numbers and overnight stays in Fremantle had declined, not improved.

She was also not impressed with the place marketing plan update, but when questioned by Elected Members did not say what the Chamber wanted the City of Fremantle to do differently, but that more effort should be made into destination marketing.

Williams argued that the Fremantle Story website did well locally but did not sell Fremantle to overseas and interstate visitors, and that stronger emphasis needed to be placed on marketing Fremantle outside of Fremantle.

* The CEO of the State Heritage Office addressed the FPOL Committee at length arguing that the people who bought the historic Warders Cottages in Henderson Street should get preferential treatment and free parking permits, but the Elected Members did not agree and unanimously voted to reject the request.

I agree with Councillor Sullivan that in the long term parking in the Henderson Street Mall should be abandoned, especially once the Spicer’s site carpark has been developed into a new commercial building.

It would also be substantial revenue loss for the CoF to give away free parking to residents of the 14 cottages. I remember my neighbours at Captain’s Lane at the Roundhouse had to pay close to $ 20,000 a year to have two parking bays on the carpark below Arthur Head.

* Councillor Rachel Pemberton was not a happy person last night, especially about the item of the City signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Portuguese Club, which would like to move to the St John’s site at Parry Street and become part of the Fremantle Park community hub.

Pemberton argued that it would be hypocritical off her fellow councillors if they voted with the item when they had voted against handing over the DAADA building on Beach Street to the Aboriginal community. Pemberton said the same process of a public and open Expressions of Interest period should apply in both cases.

While I can see where Pemberton comes from the process is different because the Portuguese Club exactly knows what they want, while the failure of the Walyalup Centre at Arthur Head has shown that the different Noongar families and elders still have a long way to go in agreeing what a new cultural and community centre for them should be.

* A new parklet in Pakenham Street at a new cafe on the corner of Bannister Street was approved, but Councillors agreed that parklets need to be monitored by staff as some of them are just a waste of space and not frequented enough.

I believe the new parklet will be a traffic hazard as it is already difficult to see traffic coming from the left in Pakenham Street when one drives from Bannister Street into the T-junction. It will be the fourth parklet in Pakenham Street and two more parking bays gone in the West End.

* Last but not least I want to compliment Councillor Andrew Sullivan on the way he chairs the FPOL Committee. While it makes the sittings a bit longer, and at times even a bit long-winded, Sullivan makes a real effort of explaining in detail to the public gallery how proper council process works.

That is very important because so many people in the community do not have an iota of an idea and make presumptions and accusations based on ignorance.

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on FROM THE FREMANTLE FPOL COMMITTEE

HOW FREO CELEBRATES WA DAY

Posted in community, fremantle, history, Uncategorized, western autralia by freoview on June 5, 2017

 

There is WA DAY entertainment at the Fremantle Esplanade all day today so go and enjoy the glorious day.

Spare Parts Theatre will be there with their puppets and Grace Barbe and band will perform in the afternoon.

There is a Freedom Fairy Show for the children, food stalls,  Bindi Bindi Dreaming, and Felicity Groom will also be performing.

A big sand sculpture will be created and the African Drumming Circle will be fun for young and old.

The Maritime Museum will have a stall and there is also the Perth Makers Market and more entertainment and music.

At Victoria Quay in Fremantle Port one of the world’s most high-tech research vessels, RV Sonne, will be open to the public.

Members of the public are invited to step on board, speak to the German and Australian marine scientists, check out the ship’s cutting-edge research technology and learn about current research campaigns in the Australian marine environment, and Australian-German research cooperation.

Have a fun WA DAY!

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on HOW FREO CELEBRATES WA DAY

WHY I LOVE LIVING IN FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, community, growers green markets, Uncategorized by freoview on June 5, 2017

It is WA DAY today when we celebrate the foundation day of Western Australia, and it’s yet again going to be a gorgeous day.

It is good to remind ourselves now and then what we love about the place we live in because we far too often complain about the negatives of life.

My visit to the Fremantle Growers Green farmers market yesterday made me aware again why I love Freo so much. There is such a great sense of community and people catching up over breakfast. Families, dogs, fresh produce, live music under a brilliant blue sky. How much better can it get.

I was barely out of my car when I bumped into Bryn Davies who often rigs himself up the mast of the Roundhouse to put new flag ropes up and makes repairs. He is studying and renovating his house, so he’s a busy boy.

I love having a chat with Farmer Damian, who has his patting sheep and ducks there for kids, as he is always down to earth and has a great sense of humour. We worked together on a couple of markets some years ago.

Then it was pollies time and receiving the warm smile from new Freo state Minister Simone McGurk and a hug from federal MP Josh Wilson, who was out food shopping with his wife Georgia and dog. Georgia works at Fremantle Press.

While there the person I have known longest in Australia crossed my path. Beautiful Michelle Broun, an Injbarndi woman who is now the curator for Aboriginal and Torrest Straight Islander art at the WA Art Gallery. She was there with her cousin Khris. I used to babysit Michelle’s sons Simon and Reuben, but now Simon has his own children and is  a teacher in Broome. Yep, I am getting old. ; >(

My mate Tom Fisher of Clancy’s fame was on stage doing fine tunes.

The foodstalls were busy so it’s not easy to have a chat with the operators, but I managed to have a few word with Nick who sells frozen yoghurt and who also builds food carts, musician and poet Dave Pensa was selling Mediterranean anti-pasto, and the always smiling Umir from Zab Salad served his yummy smelling and looking curries. You can buy them during the week at the restaurant he and his wife Kulsum have opposite Victoria Hall. Try it!

Also had a chat with Sarah and Shaun from the High Street Dispensary cafe, who also used to own Chalkys. They had their 14 month-old boy with them of course.

And last but not least I had a chat with Linda from Treacle Treat who sells Dutch Flavourites; stroopwafels, kroketten, bitterballen and the delightful tiny Dutch poffertjes pancakes. You need to try them!

Talking Dutch with Linda, who is a relatively new migrant, reminded me that I left the Netherlands 50 years ago for my first big adventure when I migrated to Germany. How time has flown and what an exciting life I have had. The grand finale is here in Freo for me, the place I love more than anywhere else in the world!

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on WHY I LOVE LIVING IN FREMANTLE

TRAFFIC CALMING NOT THAT SIMPLE

Posted in city of fremantle, community, TRAFFIC, Uncategorized by freoview on May 24, 2017

 

I thought at the South Fremantle Precinct meeting at The Local last night how frustrating it sometimes must be to be a City of Fremantle officer and Councillor.

Three CoF officers were invited to talk about the process on the traffic calming of South Terrace and Councillor Andrew Sullivan also attended.

Questions were again raised that had already been addressed at previous community meetings and the process is about two third underway, but I don’t blame anyone for that, as it is often the case that those who attend the first meeting(s) don’t come again, while other do. It is great to see a crowd of around 60 people at a precinct meeting because community involvement is essential for the officers and elected members to make the right decisions.

Underground power is planned but who is going to pay for it. Normally it is around one third Western Power, one third City and one third paid by property owners, but the latter are very reluctant to hand over cash.

Five speed reduction platform nodes were suggested at Douro Road, South Street, Lefroy Road and Charles and Silver streets, but one resident suggested some should be put where there is already more activity such as near Abhi’s and Manna’s.

Widening footpaths to accommodate more street furniture, dedicated bicycle paths and trees all along are also on the cards.

There were concerns from residents of Marine Terrace that traffic calming along South Terrace would increase traffic in their street but as one officer said we can’t solve all problems at once and if there is a knock-on effect we have to deal with that if it happens.

Another resident pointed out that the two streets are very different with South Terrace having more cafes, restaurants, hotels and heritage buildings and hence traffic calming there made more sense than doing it along Marine Terrace.

Illegal parking makes it very difficult and dangerous for local residents to pull out of side streets onto South Terrace and parking officers should try to be more attentive to that problem.

From my own experience driving down South Terrace many times a week is that where there are activity notes motorists will slow down at Abhi’s, the Local Hotel, Lefroy Road and near the South Beach Hotel hospitality hub.

That is also happening in Wray Avenue were traffic slows down near Frank’s and Gallati’s because cars are pulling out, car doors are opened and pedestrians cross.

One of the basic facts of life is that one cannot please everyone and every change will have an impact on different areas, unless we all stop driving cars and hop on public transport or bikes.

Roel Loopers

 

%d bloggers like this: