Freo's View


Posted in art, artists, fremantle, freo, Uncategorized by freoview on November 19, 2015

My gorgeous Japanese friend and outstanding printmaker Junko Kitamura has returned from a well-earned holiday in Europe and is looking for a studio space in Fremantle.

If you know a vacant studio or artists who want to share please do contact Junko on 0425 831 038.

Roel Loopers


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We live in a world of awards for just about everything and many of them are pretty irrelevant and meaningless because of the lack of research done. Some awards simply tick a few boxes and for example take Local Government’s submissions as a fact, instead of checking out the reality.

The McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol Awards appears to belong to the latter because the City of Fremantle has been nominated as a finalist For it’s no tolerance approach to anti-social behaviour at events and its promotion of a small bar culture and liquor reform in the area.

It is clear the McCusker Foundation does not know that on the same evening Fremantle Council signed off on its alcohol policy it also approved the establishment of a new tavern and live music venue for up to 1,500 patrons at J Shed on historic Arthur Head, and is in the process of approving a micro-brewery at the former Energy Museum, just around the corner from St Patrick’s that deals with people with drug and alcohol related problems.

If my memory is correct, in times of the biggest community turmoil about Council ignoring community consultation, the City of Fremantle received an award for its excellent community consultation process.

It might all sound great on paper and in a one-eyed submissions by COF officers, but unfortunately the reality is a whole different ball game. As I pointed out here recently the Fremantle Accord on responsible service of alcohol is just another lip service with many pubs now offering happy hours and cheaper drinks, with the National Hotel even having two a day, one during lunchtime hours.

For the City of Fremantle to receive an award, or even be a finalist, in the McCusker alcohol award it would need to do a whole lot better, and not be hypocritical by ignoring its own alcohol policy.

Roel Loopers


waiting for the bus Good news

A couple of Fremantle ‘street photos’ I took today. I have always admired old photographers like Cartier Bresson, who took so many great candid shots of their cities, so here’s my meagre contribution.

The billboard one reminds me a bit of a Jeffrey Smart painting, but that might be a bit pretentious off me. Just put that down as coming from an arrogant Dutchman then. ; > )

Roel Loopers

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Spare Parts EYP

It is really good to see how popular the Fremantle ESPLANADE YOUTH PLAZA is. The place was packed today with kids and families, doing all sorts of activities, and a couple of police officers also keeping an eye on it. But it is a very peaceful and respectful environment at the EYP and that is one of the best things of it all.

At the Spare Parts Theatre the FARM play is on but also the School of Puppetry doing workshops for kids, and outside in Pioneer Park there are big colourful figures made by the people of the wheatbelt town of Merredin.

Roel Loopers

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mole camping



Parking of campervans is again posing a problem in Fremantle and will get even worse during the summer months, with backpackers ignoring the no parking signs on the South and North Mole at the port and at South Beach.

The idea to lock up the moles during the night is not a good one as it affects people fishing from there and those who like a bit of romantic sightseeing in the dark. It would also only shift the problems and make it worse for South Beach and that is not fair to those who frequent that beach.

There is either a problem with not enough space for campervans at Woodman Point or the backpackers don’t want to pay for legal camping and that needs to be addressed.

In Broome during the busy tourist months they used to use one of the sports ovals as an overflow caravan park at Roebuck Bay, so maybe this is something the City of Fremantle should look into. If the problem is not enough space at Woodman Point, could we make a part of Fremantle Park or Princess May Park available at reduced costs and what would the implications be as far as health regulations go because there would be no showers and toilets.

Backpackers are important for our tourism industry, so somehow we need to be flexible in accommodating their needs. Any bright ideas anyone out there?

Roel Loopers


It is interesting to note that the 3D images for the McCabe Street planning scheme amendment were done by architects CODA and not by the City of Fremantle.

Some years ago the City reportedly bought software for $ 50,000 to do 3 D imagery with, but it is not used.

I have been told that the software is very difficult to use and time consuming and cumbersome and that makes it expensive because of the amount of time needed to do it properly, hence it is not used and the City pays consultants to do it.

One has to wonder who was responsible for investing $ 50,000 in this software and why it wasn’t it tested to see if it was suitable for the needs of a local government before it was purchased.

I believe it is essential that 3D images and even scale models are produced for every proposed major building in Fremantle, so the public can actually understand what is proposed. Not everyone can read 2D plans and imagine the scale and proportions of buildings, so maybe it’s time to pay someone to train staff on how to use the expensive software that is dormant at COF.

Roel Loopers

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Get ready for summer and live music at the Fremantle Arts Centre! On the menu are THE CAT EMPIRE on September 26, BOY&BEAR on September 28 and the already sold out NIC CAVE concerts on November 27 and 28.

It will be a whole lot of fun on the South Lawn of the heritage centre. DANCE!

Roel Loopers




Come and support the Fremantle Bathers Beach Art Precinct and the J Shed artists on Friday August 22.

Greg James Studio is getting RAPT with an intimate evening of a diverse fusion of soul, blues, jazz and contemporary music by the Rosie McDonald, Ann Palumbo & Paul Laszlo Trio. Yes it’s a mouthfull and they could do with a more catchy name, but the music and ambience will be great!

Tickets are $ 25 and $ 20 concessions and it’s BYO but glasses and light refreshments supplied.

Come along!!

Roel Loopers


The first sitting of the all new City of Fremantle Special Projects Committee was a rather strange one that made me wonder why it was public. This was more a brain-storming session between councillors, officers and CODA consultant Kieran Wong, with the Director of Planning and Development Services Phil St John sometimes rallying the subdued group like an AFL footy coach, to stay focused and come up with big picture thinking, concepts and vision. “We want to put together a vision of your ideas”

I understand council wants to be seen to be transparent and inclusive but this committee could well be held in-camera rather than public and only three people plus me were in the gallery with not even the local newspapers bothering to turn up.

The other strange thing is that the committee was there to talk about the Activity Centre Vision Plan,but although it is mentioned in the agenda that the consultant for Visioning 2029 had documented the workshops, no report was tabled or attached and the lengthy and costly community process was not mentioned. That to me is putting the cart before the horse. Why start another visioning project when we have not even evaluated the one we did last year?

Should two-way traffic everywhere, or in the West End, be considered and what would that mean? First of all it would mean a substantial loss of parking bays to the detriment of the businesses in the area, as Councillor Simon Naber rightly pointed out.

There was also the suggestion to make future new parking only available on the periphery and discourage private vehicle traffic through the CBD because we only want people driving in the CBD who have that as their destination. That however would not work by forcing people to park on the periphery who have the CBD as their shopping/business/entertainment destination. That needs a lot of rethinking.

The reactivation of the Passenger Terminal came up, but with Fremantle Ports having recently spend millions on refurbishing it, I doubt it will become a public space any time soon.

There is hope for Arthur Head with Chair Rachel Pemberton mentioning the “anticipated boardwalk” there. Bring it on asap!

The strangely low-energy meeting talked about connectivity, sightlines, connection through the convict establishment, and having more events at Fremantle Oval to take the stress off the heavily-used Esplanade. The latter is a good idea and the oval might even be suitable as an occasional outdoor live music area for Sunset Events when they take over the Artillery Drill Hall from the Fly by Night.

Share, or naked, streets were obviously also on the agenda as that is one of the buzzwords around the western world and placemaking fraternity, and I am all for it as long as it is done sensibly and not to the detriment of local businesses.

Of course more and better bicycle links were discussed, and preferred transit corridors, as was a lightrail loop, a fast transit bus to the airport, and CAT bus connection from North to East Freo.

What did not come up and should be part of any strategic plan for Fremante is to find alternative off-street parking for Notre Dame University students, because the West End is a no go zone to try to find parking for shoppers and visitors when the students are attending campus. Dare I suggest the corner of Cliff and High for a low-rise creative UNDA carpark, without upsetting all my heritage friends.

Councillor Bill Massie asked why the City spend so much money on bike lanes when only a very small, less than five percent, of the population uses bikes. I think that went straight one ear in one ear out with some of the green pipe dreamers on council, who refuse to be realistic that cars will remain the preferred form of transport for the majority of the population for a very long time.

Lowering vehicle speed is obviously essential if the shared streets idea takes off.

While Bill Massie said we need as many vehicles in the city as possible because businesses are bleeding, Robert Fittock said that business who relied on vehicles should change strategy. I don’t believe the debate should be about vehicles or not vehicles, but how Fremantle can make it fast and easy for people to come to the inner city by all forms of transport and accommodate parking in a walking distance from the shops.

Did I get inspired last eve and did I have the wow feeling of having listened to great ideas, outstanding concepts and something new and fresh? Not at all. There was a lack of creative, out of the box thinking, trodding over old ground and rehashing old placemaking sessions. I had a real sense of deja vu, of having been there before, a council ground hog day. I think the Director would have been pretty disappointed with the lack of substance he will now have to work with.

Roel Loopers


sunset 1 sunset 2 sunset 3


Wow! Did anyone see the amazing light in Fremantle around 5.40 this afternoon. Just noticed it on my way to a council meeting and had to take some shots in a hurry as it did not last very long. 

Roel Loopers


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