Freo's View




While Fremantle is eagerly awaiting the completion of the Kings Square project and the new Civic Centre the Town of East Fremantle councillors and staff have just returned to the Townhall there after 14 months of renovating the old building.

The renovation involved the removal of all previous office infrastructure i.e. floor coverings, fittings, partitions, bench tops etc. and included structural improvements, disabled access inclusion and an upgrade to all utilities.  The building was stripped of all services, electrical and mechanical and the plumbing has been replaced.

The aim  of the renovation is to provide a better use of the office space, an opportunity for community meetings, a more functional and contemporary reception and front counter, as well as getting the most out of one of the Town’s most beautiful buildings.

Roel Loopers

(Photos supplied)


Posted in city of fremantle, east fremantle, nature, trees, Uncategorized by freoview on November 22, 2017


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I love the wildflower season of native trees and shrubs in Western Australia, but also love it when the Jacaranda trees blossom at this time of the year. They are an amazing colourful sight.

Applecross has a Jacaranda Festival each year, but you don’t have to go that far as there are quite a few of the beautiful trees in George Street, East Fremantle.

Have a look this weekend or wait till the annual George Street Festival is on at the start of December.

Jacaranda trees are native to Central and South America, Mexico, Cuba, Jamaica and the Bahamas.

I took these photos yesterday afternoon.

By the way, the new Cook&Mason restaurant there got a very good food review from Rob Broadfield in the West Australian, so try them out.

Roel Loopers



Posted in east fremantle, elections, Uncategorized by freoview on October 22, 2017


East Fremantle Mayor Jim O’Neill retained his seat at the local council election yesterday.

In Preston Point Ward Deputy Mayor Michael McPhail was reelected and also Tony Natale.

Richmons Ward was won by Andrew McPhail and Tony Watkins got in Woodside Ward unopposed.


Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, east fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on October 5, 2017


Plympton Steps


It is just out of Fremantle, but I love walking and driving along Riverside Drive in East Fremantle.

It is great to see all the yachts, the pelicans, mums with prams, joggers, families, dog walkers as one goes along.

The Leeuwin Barracks development project will be a huge thing for the Town of East Fremantle, so I am looking forward to that starting next year some time.

I always end up on the top near Petra Street where one can look along the Swan River from above the yacht club and see the Perth highrise buildings in the distance.

On the way back there are great views to Fremantle Port.

The Plympton Steps have been completed and with the freshly-painted Tradeswind Hotel above it it looks very attractive.


Roel Loopers

Vote Roel for City Ward! (in Fremantle that is ; >)



Posted in city of fremantle, east fremantle, elections, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 30, 2017


east freo


Andrew Smith, owner of the Fremantle Herald and former East Fremantle Mayor has attacked Mayor Jim O’Neill in a full page advertisement in the free-range Chook this weekend.

Smith claims that O’Neill refused to fight the proposed local government reform and amalgamation with Fremantle because he supported it, and that O’Neill had put his name up to manage the council merger for the WA government if it went ahead.

Smith says that the Mayor leads a divided council because of factionalism.

Jim O’Neill won’t be able to lead the plans for the future of East Fremantle Oval, Smith claims, because he lives next door to it, and that the town planning under O’Neill has resulted in massive development near the Townhall and that the Royal George Hotel site could go up to 18 storeys. The latter was denied recently on this blog by Deputy Mayor Michael McPhail.

Herald owner Andrew Smith also attacks the sacking of two CEOs, but for transparency reasons should have disclosed that sacked CEO Stuart Wearne is the brother of the Herald’s long-time advertising manager Natalie Hug.

It is clear that the mayoral debates in Freo and East Freo are heated, but that is alright for democracy as long as everyone tries to stick with the facts.


Roel Loopers




Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, east fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on September 21, 2017



About two years ago I sat around a table in a George Street cafe, together with concerned East Fremantle residents,  five East Fremantle councillors and the Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk, in response to the concerns about the neglect of the heritage-listed Royal George Hotel.

It was agreed that the Town of East Fremantle should try to do a masterplan or scheme amendment for the Plympton  Precint to better control future development.

It came as a surprise then two weeks ago that I was approached to sign a petition against Scheme Amendment 15, because the petitioner said it would allow 18 storeys on the carpark behind the old building.

I was aware that Saracen Properties  has bought the building and that they wanted to build apartments behind the Royal George, to offset the cost of the very expensive heritage conservation.

To find out what the facts are I contacted East Freo Deputy Mayor Michael McPhail, who assured me that Amendment 15 would not allow 18 storeys on the site, but only seven, with a discretionary additional height clause, which is normally a maximum of two storeys, for excellent architecture.

Council has also done an Urban Design Study for the area, McPhail told me.

P.S. McPhail’s nominated again for the Preston Point Ward seat at the October local government election, and I highly recommend him. He is a very intelligent and likeable young man.


Roel Loopers


Posted in aged, east fremantle, fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on August 10, 2017




The former Woodside maternity hospital in East Fremantle has been sold to a consortium for $ 13 million, and will be developed into aged-care facilities.

The gorgeous building in Dalgety Street was built in 1902 and is considered a prime example of Victorian Italianate architecture.


Roel Loopers


Posted in architecture, development, east fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on July 9, 2017



It looks like finally something will happen at the Royal George Hotel in East Fremantle, with Council advertising a planned amendment (No 15) to Local Planning Scheme 3 and create a Special Zone Royal George Hotel that will deal with height, setbacks, public art, heritage conservation, etc.

The vacant and derelict building has been an eyesore for far too many years, to the chagrin of local residents and businesses. It became a target for homeless people, vandalism and graffiti, so renovating the old lady and getting it occupied again will be a very good step forward.

But I heard from local residents this morning that there are plans for a ten-storey building on the carpark behind the heritage building and that could become controversial.

Height is not necessarily  a bad thing, but it is the architecture that is often a worry, as the development next door in Duke Street of the Lauder&Howard building shows.

The very boring dark brick building should not have been approved and I feel sorry for the people next door whose house is set back and now intimidated by the scale of the boring apartment building.

It is a real blight on the streetscape of Duke Street and the elected members of the Town of East Fremantle will be the only ones who believe this building is acceptable in a low-rise residential area. Aesthetics? Never heard off it!

According to the signs the Amendment No 15 proposal can be viewed at the Townhall. Not sure why it is not on-line. It’s 2017 East Fremantle!

Roel Loopers


Posted in architecture, development, east fremantle, fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on April 19, 2017


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I have received some great news about the Royal George Hotel in East Fremantle from a well-informed source.

According to my source Saracen Properties is 99% on the way of purchasing the building from the State Government. The purchase and possession will be finalised within the next 90 days.

Saracen has appointed well-known Fremantle architect Michael Patroni from Space Agency to do the interior and exterior development of the old building as well as the development of the vacant land behind the building.

Saracen has developed a Conservation Management Strategy that has been endorsed by the Heritage Council of W.A. The CMS ties them to refurbishing the building within a certain time period.

The company will immediately stabilise and clean up the building once the contract has been signed, so the decay will be stopped, until planning approval has been received and conservation and building can commence.

Roel Loopers


Posted in community, east fremantle, festival, fremantle, markets by freoview on December 4, 2016





It looks as if it is going to be a nice mild Sunday so enjoy what is on offer around Fremantle.

The Growers Green big Christmas farmers markets is on from 8-12, so not only perfect for buying yummy fresh produce and breakfast but also for XMass presents.

The Bazaar at the Fremantle Arts Centre is open from 9.30 and sells local art and craft, so head out there as well.

Last but not least is the George Street East Fremantle Fair from 1-7 pm today. Great community atmosphere, live entertainment, food, Chrissie presents, just relaxing fun.

And after that take the kids to watch the sunset behind the Rainbow sculpture.

Roel Loopers



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