Freo's View


Posted in Uncategorized, local government, city of fremantle, social media, elections by freoview on October 19, 2017


East Fremantle Deputy Mayor Michael McPhail has written an excellent opinion piece in the West Australian today about the declining standards of civic debate during the local government election campaign. 

It is indeed disappointing to read all the aggressive nonsense on social media by people who revel in personal attacks and negativity, and it is sad that some Fremantle candidates have also preferred to be negative, instead of offering ideas, visions and solutions.

McPhail writes that the democratic process has become increasingly vitriolic, with a culture of bullying and intimidation.

Democracy for me is all about people with different opinions having a robust, but respectful, conversation. It is not fair on candidates, new or incumbent, when it goes down to the low level of name-calling, personal attacks, innuendo, conspiracies and lies.

Michael McPhail writes that the declining display of compassion and kindness toward those who are willing to put their hand up is a concern.

McPhail rightly points out that we can never have too many reasonable, sensible, thoughtful, caring and open-minded councillors, and that the we need to call out disrespectful behaviour from candidates and community members.

All Fremantle Wards have now returned ballot papers of over 40% with South Fremantle ahead with 48.75% today.

You can still drop off your vote at the Fremantle Townhall reception desk today and tomorrow, and on Saturday in the Townhall till 6pm.


Roel Loopers

Vote Roel for City Ward!



Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, elections, Uncategorized by freoview on October 12, 2017


If you have not voted yet for the Fremantle local government election, do it today and definitely before 6 pm on Tuesday, as your ballot paper might otherwise not make it in time!

Local government is real grassroots democracy, so make sure you’ll get the best possible representation and select the candidate that will deliver.



Posted in city of fremantle, elections, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on October 11, 2017


This evening’s Fremantle Ordinary Council meeting will be the last one of the four-year term before the election, so when Council meets again in a few weeks there will be at least two new faces.

Dave Coggin vacated his seat to join the team of advisers to Premier Mark McGowan and City Ward Councillor Simon Naber is not contesting his seat, so a new Councillor will take over from him.

Mayor Brad Pettitt, North Ward Councillor Doug Thompson, South Ward’s Andrew Sullivan, Beaconsfield Ward Hannah Fitzhardinge and Hilton Ward Sam Wainwright have all been busy door knocking to retain their seat, so the voters will decide if they’ll return or be replaced by another candidate.

Whatever the outcome it is important that we acknowledge their commitment to the community and the hard work they have put in to make Fremantle an even better place.

Being a Councillor is often a thankless task as the feedback elected members get is most often criticism, but rarely kudos and that is a bit unfair.

All of us sometimes disagree with some of the decisions Councillors make, but most of the time they do a pretty good job and the community is quite unaware of how many hours that involves.

As someone who has been observing Fremantle Council for over eight years I have been impressed with the diligence and thoroughness and that every item is discussed and voted on without fear or favour, and most definitely not along party lines.

In ten days time on October 21 we will know how much Fremantle voters have appreciated what this Council has been trying to achieve, and if we want them to stay on for another four years, to finish projects they implemented and see the fruits of their labour at Kings Square.

From me personally a big thank you to all of you. I sometimes despaired about decisions you made, but often agreed, and I believe Freo is now on the right track to recovery and real economic progress. Thank you!

And no matter what the outcome in North Fremantle will be, can we get Doug Thompson heritage listed please for his very many years on Council.


Roel Loopers

Vote Roel for City Ward!


Posted in city of fremantle, elections, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on October 7, 2017


Some inner city snobs believe I have no right to stand for City Ward at the Fremantle local government election, and that I should just F… off to Beaconsfield where I live, but it is strange that they never complained when I supported them against the inappropriate tavern at J Shed, the equally inappropriate-now scrapped- five-storey Notre Dame proposal for Cliff Street, and the awful five-storey Customs House proposal, etc.

NIMBY parochialism is best left to the narrow-minded, so I will continue to support Fremantle whenever and wherever I can, as I have done for many years.

TRIP ADVISOR notified me today that last month 13,303 people read some or all of my 28 reviews about Fremantle businesses and attractions. That is the stuff I already do for Fremantle!

From those readers 72% where from Australia, 9% from Singapore, 4% from Malaysia and 15% from other countries.

I’ll leave it to others to talk down our city whenever they can, to score political points, while I’ll continue with my positive support for our traders.

If elected on Council I will be part of finding creative solutions and good outcomes.


Roel Loopers

Vote Roel for City Ward! 


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


The missing ballot papers saga for the Fremantle local government election appears to be more widespread, with voters in the inner city and South Fremantle also only receiving the Ward ballot paper, but not the one to elect the next Mayor of Fremantle.

I hear it is not contained to Fremantle only, but is also happening at other councils.

We already read the story of Kalgoorlie ballot papers having been sent to Nedland, 600 km away, so this is a true shambles.

Only a few years ago there was a big investigation into how the WA Electoral Commission managed to lose hundreds of votes during the federal election, so heads need to roll now as this is not acceptable.

The outcome of the mayoral election might well be challenged by either or both of the candidates. It could even delay the election.

And let’s just remind ourselves that the tax payers will have to pay for the incompetence as new ballot papers will have to be sent out.

It is unbelievable!


Roel Loopers

Vote Roel for City Ward!


Posted in city of fremantle, elections, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on October 4, 2017


One has to wonder about the WA Electoral Commission. A few years ago they lost a whole lot of votes, and earlier this week it was revealed that Kalgoorlie ballot papers had been sent to Nedlands.

I just heard from a North Fremantle friend that he only received one ballot paper for the ward, but not the one for mayor in his envelope, while his wife received both.

One has to wonder how many ballot papers were not included in the envelopes and how many voters actually know they should receive two, one for the ward and one to elect the mayor.

If you only received one ballot paper in your envelope please immediately contact the returning officer Jeff Clarke at the City of Fremantle!

How difficult can it be, I wonder, to get something as simple as a mail-out right.


Roel Loopers

Vote Roel for City Ward!


Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, elections, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on October 4, 2017




I received my ballot papers for the Fremantle council election today, gave two ticks, signed and dated it, sealed the envelope, et voila! as the French say.

Please VOTE! It is really important that you participate. Your vote could just make the difference of getting a progressive and positive candidate over the line.

Negativity is not a way forward.


Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, elections, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on October 4, 2017


The great Fremantle election debate last night turned out to be a bit of a fizzer, because it was a no contest on my scoring card, mainly because the alternative mayor appeared ill-prepared for it and was not across issues.

I found that Ra Stewart’s aggressive negativity and inappropriate sarcasm was at times uncomfortable to watch.

From the vey start of her campaign I have suggested to Stewart to inform herself better and get her facts right, but even for the most important event of the election campaign she still did not do that. She was at times like a learner driver who can’t be bothered to learn the road rules because she already knows how to change the gears.

While Mayor Brad Pettitt said Fremantle was on its way back with new development and more people coming to live, work and visit, Ra Stewart talked about not having had a verge collection last year and that Fremantle has too many vacant shops, but she did not offer suggestions on how she would change that.

Stewart said the ideological experiment of Council was not working and asked if we wanted more of the same. Fremantle needed someone with her business acumen she said, but offered very few new ideas on what she would do differently and better, but for more free parking and parking concessions for Notre Dame University students.

Why should we reward students for driving to Fremantle? They should be encouraged to use public transport or hop on their bike to free up parking in the West End on weekdays for shoppers and visitors. I believe it is a stupid idea to consider parking concessions for them.

We need to bring people into the city, Stewart said. Agreed, but again there were no suggestions on how to do that. We need shops people can go to, such as camping, fishing tackle, etc. Agreed again, and add baker, butcher, deli, hardware, but how is the City going to achieve that, Ra, if you are elected?

Ra Stewart questioned the diversity and affordability of housing in Fremantle, but Brad Pettitt said Council had mandated that everything from small dwellings, to apartments, affordable housing and family homes should be built in Fremantle. I agree with Stewart that housing is too expensive, both buying and renting, but how Council can influence the real estate market I don’t know.

Brad Pettitt quoted from a City of Fremantle officer’s report to reject claims by Ra Stewart that the hockey and rugby cubs were leaving for Cockburn and was adamant that the clubs would be staying in Fremantle. Ra has claimed during her campaign that the Portuguese club was leaving as well, when in fact they had then just signed an MOU with the CoF to relocate to the St John’s site in Parry Street at Fremantle Park.

Stewart’s response to a question about proposed five-storey development in the heritage-listed West End was strange, when she said the highest building should be the Port building.

Pettitt said the West End was protected from high-rise but the East End created opportunity for buildings higher than 3-4 storeys, and that the Woolstores shopping centre site development proposal was now at the planning department for consideration. That site allows for up to 11 storeys under PSA 49.

Visitors’ numbers are down and we need to do something now and can’t wait four years, Ra Stewart said, but again she failed to come up with creative ideas on how to achieve that. If we wait there won’t be a Fremantle here, she said, to loud laughter in the audience. I wrote down the word naïve, as my reaction to some of her statements.

While Brad Pettitt remained calm and to the point, it was clear that he was annoyed with Stewart talking down Fremantle and that she ignored facts. Her aggressive remark that “Brad is flashing around statistics” was stupid.

What to do with Fremantle port? Pettitt suggested to upgrade the passenger terminal, move the RoRo car facilities to Kwinana and free up the heritage building for conferences, concerts and events, while Stewart suggested it could be used to house the City of Fremantle art collection.

Ra Stewart’s best idea of the debate was to create a super fast internet connection in the CBD, and that should be seriously considered by Council, but cost could be an issue.

The last words of the debate were that Ra Stewart said she is concerned about the next four years and that she would be a voice for all of you, while Brad Pettitt talked about the Heart of Beaconsfield and Fremantle Oval projects and his hope for a significant Aboriginal cultural centre when we celebrate Freo’s 200th year in 2029. I hope my daughter will love Fremantle as much as I do, he said.

During election debates one does get to know the personality of the candidates a bit better, and no doubt everyone who was at the debate will have their own opinion, because we all have different political preferences and ideas.

Former ABC reporter and now UNDA lecturer Peter Kennedy was as always an excellent moderator and needs to be thanked!

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, elections, Uncategorized by freoview on October 3, 2017




One-hour free parking has now been introduced in the Kings Square area, after the City of Fremantle consulted with local traders, who are worried the city square development might negatively impact on their business.

The reaction to it on social media shows that politics resembles sport more and more. One-eyed blinkered supporters of one team do not want to see the quality of the players of the other team and vice versa. The other team is always wrong and our team always right.

When the free parking was announced the mayoral candidate opponent questioned if council has now changed their mind on reducing car use in the CBD, while she herself has a platform of one-hour free parking and extensive community consultation.

One camp keeps going on about the lack of community consultation on scrapping the Australia Day firework, and I agree it should have been much better, but the other camp says there was no consultation about the introduction of the firework in the first place

Fremantle council boasts about unprecedented development in Fremantle, not seen for four decades, but a former Mayor says that is not true, and claims there was a lot of development while he was there as well.

Planning Scheme Amendment 49 has not created new development, opponents say, but what about Kings Square, the biggest project in Freo ever, the Hilton Doubletree and the Woolstores development plans, say those who initiated the scheme amendment.

Social media is full of innuendo, conspiracy and name-calling, but it is often not supported by facts. We hear claims that elected members vote along party lines, but my long time observation of council and committee meetings does not support that. Only last week two Labor members voted for and one against the new verge garden policy for example. It is correct that there are several Labor and Greens members on Fremantle Council, but they vote as individuals, and that is how they got elected.

I understand that those who support the Liberal or National party, or One Nation, Family First, etc. are not pleased to have a left-leaning council, but that is democracy. The Fremantle community voted the elected members in and we should respect that.

Elections should not be about discrediting opponents, so I was delighted that non of the five City Ward candidates said anything bad about their opponents at last week’s candidate forum.

Unfortunately social media attracts a lot of non-factual nonsense, which is unfair to those who are willing to put their hand up for their community. We are better than that in Freo!

Left, right, or centre, have your say and VOTE, because that is the only way you get the representation you want, and that applies to the young over 18 and the seniors. Don’t sit on your bum and criticise those who are getting off theirs, do your bit for Freo. Voting is the least you can do.

The ballot papers will be arriving this week, so it takes only two ticks, a signature, putting it in an envelope and in the mail box to participate. VOTE PLEASE, no matter if you vote for or against me. Vote for Fremantle!

The Mayoral Candidate Forum is on tonight at 6.30pm at Tannock Hall, corner of Cliff and Croke Streets.


Roel Loopers



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



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