Freo's View

HIGH STREET PROJECT SECURITY WASTE OF MONEY

Posted in city of fremantle, freight, fremantle port, state government, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on September 13, 2019

 

One has to wonder why Mainroads is wasting so much money on having 24/7 security guards at the Fremantle High Street Upgrade project. They are now ‘protecting’ bare soil as the homes have been demolished so there is nothing to vandalise or steal.

The formers occupants have stated they will not protest as a deal was done about planting thousands of sapplings to compensate for the loss of trees.

Roel Loopers

 

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CONNECTING FREO’S FUTURE TO THE PAST

 

I enjoy talking with architects, city planners and developers about Fremantle’s future and have found it educational and inspiring to have discussions with City of Fremantle heritage coordinator architect Alan Kelsall about how we should try to grow Fremantle.

Alan and I agree that in general the Fremantle community recognises that the need for regeneration of the city is necessary and that it is desirable if done well: if it is managed, planned and implemented in ways that reinforce and sustain the sense of Fremantle’s distinctiveness embodied in it, such as the rich mix of built heritage and unique urban character.

However, without broad, long-term public support and commitment to the planning vision for Fremantle it is unlikely to be successful. As a community we therefore need to have a clear understanding of what we mean when we try to articulate it. The ultimate outcome will set the standard for good design within Freo’s heritage areas and getting it right is essential to securing the future of our heritage buildings.

Let’s consider Fremantle’s history and what it means in the context of future growth of our city. Fremantle was developed as a port town and a centre of trade, and for most of its history it was prosperous and acknowledged as the second city in the metro area. That underscores the city’s distinct character and its rich heritage.

The prosperity of Fremantle encouraged the construction of its present heritage buildings. These developments were not simply utilitarian or profit based, but showed a desire to display a mix of business confidence and civic pride. That is probably why these buildings have a quality that people continue to find attractive, and why most people in our community believe it is worth conserving them, not only as memorial of the past but also as exemplars of successful, high quality architecture, urban design and city planning.

Fremantle had buildings with a strong association with the working port, but also buildings that provided a diverse mix of uses. These included schools, shops, places to work and socialise, etc. which people living in its densely populated catchment could reach on foot or by public transport. It is what we now consider to be an example of sustainable urban design.

Fremantle Port played a primary role in Freo’s success and its distinct character due to the facts that processing, storage and distribution of export and import commodities took place in buildings located near the harbour. It created the mutual interdependence between the port and the city that generated and sustained our port city character.

However this pattern of beneficial evolution changed in 1969 with the introduction of containerisation, which caused profound changes in Fremantle, not only because it changed the way in which ships were loaded and unloaded but also because storage and distribution of export and import commodities no longer took place near the harbour. These changes completely severed the earlier mutual supporting interdependencies between the harbour, city centre and surrounding residential suburbs. The changes impacted not only on shipping and its associated industries but also affected the commercial, retail, social and residential vitality of the city. In addition it caused deterioration of the quality of public areas and less appreciation of the worth of its heritage buildings.

It is obviously impossible, and probably not even desirable, to try to replicate the primary role played by the port in the past, but it is possible, through new higher density mixed-use development located between Victoria Quay and Kings Square, within reach of the railway station, to reproduce the type of mutually supporting interdependencies that used to exist between the port and the city centre. For this to be successful though it demands that development is guided by integrated strategic planning that is inspired, but not limited, by the past to create the conditions of genuine everyday activities, that should come as a result of more people living and working and enjoying social leisure time in all its diversity within the same area.

It is important to recognise that the role residential development on appropriate sites in the CBD can play is crucial to generating the vitality and resilience needed to cope with future problems and to adjust to changing circumstances. A fundamental benefit of regenerating and revitalising the area in this way is that it would promote positive change and would contribute to re-establishing Fremantle’s city centre as the heart of the community, which has already started with the Kings Square redevelopment project.

If Fremantle’s heritage is not managed carefully because it is considered to be too hard it will be at risk of being lost and with this its potential to enrich the city in ways that give a sense of distinctiveness, meaning and quality to the places in which people live and work, as well as the sense of destination that attracts people to Freo and makes them want to come and spend time in our city and thus contribute to secure its future.

It is a huge challenge to get it right, but with respectful dialogue between developers, city planners and the community we can all positively contribute to Fremantle’s progress and future.

Roel Loopers

A huge thank you to Alan Kelsall for his collaboration with constructing this article!

 

 

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FREMANTLE SEA SCAPES

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle port, indian ocean, sailing, Uncategorized by freoview on July 28, 2019

 

sea 1

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It’s nice to start what promises to be a good Sunday with some beauty. I took these two seascapes from the Fremantle South Mole yesterday around midday. The ocean was mirror flat.

Roel Loopers

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GREAT VIEWS FROM CANTONMENT HILL

 

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The walking trail at Cantonment Hill has received some TLC while the former Naval Stores renovations have been completed and are ready for the ENKEL group to move in at the start of the new financial year.

A universal access toilet has been added to the building and that will be available for those using the playground and for patrons of the planned cafe.

The Naval Stores building was built in the mid 1930s and is an example of Inter-War Functionalist architecture. It will be good to see it used again by the Fremantle community.

Cantonment Hill is one of the highest points in Fremantle and known by our Whadjuk Noongar people as Dweerdanup – Place of Dingo Spirit.

Great views from the lookout and from just below the former signal station to Fremantle Port and the Swan river. The signal station is now occupied by the Fremantle Volunteer Sea Rescue people.

Go and have a look!

Roel Loopers

NEW BOOK ABOUT FREMANTLE’S FIRST HARBOURMASTER

Posted in book, city of fremantle, fremantle port, harbour, history, publishing, Uncategorized by freoview on June 5, 2019

 

Freo's first harbourmaster

 

I bumped into one of the grandsons of Fremantle’s first harbourmaster late yesterday afternoon in front of the Roundhouse, so I was surprised to hear that Ron and Ian Forsyth have published a book about this important man tittled A Hazardous Life.

Captain George Forsyth (1843-1894) lived in the harbourmaster’s house next to the Roundhouse jail and was an influential man in those days.

All those interested in Fremantle hsitory, or maritime history, should buy a copy of the book. It is available in the Fremantle Arts Centre shop, where on Friday an exhibition of paintings by Captain Forsyth will open.

Roel Loopers

HIGH STREET UPGRADE TO FINALLY START IN SEPTEMBER

 

The Fremantle High Street Upgrade which was to start in March this year is delayed again and will now commence in September with the demolition of the residential properties which are occupied by squatters.

MAINROADS released the message below this morning:

High Street Upgrade a step closer following Environmental Approval

The upgrade of High Street will proceed following completion of the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) Public Environmental Review process.

In March 2019, the EPA found the proposal environmentally acceptable, provided the conditions to reduce noise levels, retain identified mature trees and minimise the impact on black cockatoos were met. A public appeals process followed and the project can now proceed subject to the above conditions, following approval from the Minister for Environment on 23 May 2019. Further information can be found on the EPA website.

The project’s concept design , developed in consultation with the City of Fremantle, reflects a commitment to retain as many mature native and non-native trees as possible through the introduction of a median strip, as well as the installation of noise walls to offer residents protection from traffic noise. Engagement with local residents regarding the final location, design and configuration of these noise walls is ongoing.

Procurement update

In March 2019, Main Roads asked three shortlisted proponents to provide costed proposals for the detailed design and construction of the project. We expect to receive these proposals in July with a view to awarding a contract for delivery of the project in October. Construction is scheduled to begin by the end of this year.

Demolition of Main Roads properties on High Street

Main Roads owns several properties in the High Street Upgrade road reserve that will be demolished as the land is required for the project. The majority are not leased and are in poor and potentially dangerous condition.

We are aware these properties are being illegally used by people for accommodation. Consequently, we have been working with the Department of Communities to ensure the people residing in the properties have access to alternative housing.

Demolition of these properties is scheduled to occur in September following a 90-day notice period. Every effort will be made to minimise disruption to local residents and the road network during the demolition process.

Roel Loopers

HAZY FREMANTLE MORNING

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle port, pollution, Uncategorized by freoview on May 13, 2019

 

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It’s a bit of a hazy morning in good old Freo so the perfect location to take some photos of the fog is Fremantle Port of course.

Roel Loopers

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OLD NOSTALGIC FREO PHOTOS

Posted in architecture, cafe, city of fremantle, fremantle port, heritage, historic, Uncategorized by freoview on April 20, 2019

 

heritage 1

heritage 2

 

There has been so much talk over the last couple of months about the preservation of Fremantle heritage and the need to stabilise Arthur’s Head and preserve the Roundhouse that these two old photos I noticed at Sandrino’s yesterday made me feel a bit nostalgic.

The old Tram building facade in High Street is still standing and is now home to the lovely Chalkys cafe. Unfortunately a previous council allowed the horrendously ugly No 1 High Street building to be built which is an eyesore when one looks down on it from the Roundhouse.

Victoria Quay is still a feature for Freo but the old sheds have been neglected badly and Fremantle Ports really does need to do some urgent preservation work on the A and C sheds.

There are other heritage photos on display outside Sandrino’s so go and have a look-and a pizza!

Roel Loopers

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IS NEW FREMANTLE TRAFFIC BRIDGE A CORE ELECTION PROMISE?

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, election, freight, fremantle port, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on March 30, 2019

 

 

traffic bridge

 

Elections are like Christmas where the anticipation of what voters and communities will get out of it is high, but when we are all quite cynical if the promises all parties make will ever be realised, and if Father Christmas in the form of ScoMo or Shorto will actually deliver.

Is the promise by the Labor and Liberal parties of a new traffic bridge in Fremantle one of their core promises set in stone or is it just yet another sweetener to soften us up and vote for a particular party?

Should a new traffic bridge even be contemplated before we see the recommendations and outcome of the Westport Taskforce investigations into Western Australian ports and how freight should be handled? Is a new traffic bridge needed should a new port be built at Kwinana or would it be a waste of money?

The Libs and Labs have both promised $ 115 million for a new train traffic bridge, with the Libs throwing in a new pedestrian bridge as well for that money.

I noticed though that the pedestrian bridge is indicated as being to the east of the traffic bridge and that is a bit of a shame as uninterrupted views to the port would be magnificent and a tourist attraction if not obscured by the traffic bridge, so either put the pedestrian bridge to the west of the traffic bridge or make the traffic bridge lower or higher than the pedestrian bridge.

Anyway, it is unlikely to happen in my lifetime unfortunately, so my Christmas present this year will be the opening of FOMO at Kings Square. At least that is tangible and does not rely on promises from unreliable politicians.

Roel Loopers

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AUSTRALIAN NAVY VISITS FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle port, maritime, navy, Uncategorized by freoview on March 7, 2019

 

navy 1

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The landing helicopter dock HMAS Canberra is at berth behind the Fremantle railway station and other ships are to arrive soon.

The ship at 231 metres long is the largest vessel of the Australian Navy.

This Saturday morning at 9am personnel of the HMAS Success will parade through Fremantle as part of the Freedom of Entry tradition. It will be at Kings Square so come and have a look!

Roel Loopers

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