Freo's View

WONDERFUL FREO COPENHAGEN A LONG WAY AWAY

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports, harbour, tourism by freoview on March 10, 2017

 

Fremantle Councillor Rachel Pemberton suggests in the Fremantle Herald today that we should import Danish logic and develop Fremantle Port like the port of Copenhagen, but it is essential to be very realistic about the idea of developing South Quay into a residential estate and a tourist, markets, entertainment hub, because this is very, very long-distant vision.

Fremantle people need to be aware and pragmatic about the fact that Fremantle Port will be a working port for decades to come, even if the new state government started building an outer harbour at Kwinana on Monday when the election results are in.

The outer harbour plans for Kwinana have always only been about an overflow port when the inner city Freo port reaches capacity, so State Government planners will still have to find better ways of getting freight in and out of Fremantle for the next twenty years or so.

The Perth Freight Link is not the solution because the last link is missing and won’t get trucks into Fremantle Port faster and better. The existing railway line through the West End can’t handle double-stacking and the PTA is reluctant to mix passenger and freight rail, so a new railway line would have to be built to get the rail capacity anywhere near the maximum 30 per cent.

Short-term jobs will come with building a new outer harbour, but also with building the Roe 8,9, 10, or building a new railway line, but long-term jobs will be lost for wharfies once Kwinana port is built because of automation of the new modern port.

While we have heard a lot of election promises from everyone we need to be very aware of the fact that W.A. is closing in on a debt of over $ 40 billion dollars, so there really is no money to spent big on big projects and many promises will have to be broken because of lack of cash, no matter who wins tomorrow.

I wish, hope and pray that Mark McGowan will not find out on Monday that stopping the Roe 8 highway and Perth Freight Link project will cost the State millions of dollars it can’t afford to spend on buying out contractors, or huge legal costs

The development of South Quay will not happen in my lifetime. It is a great very long-term vision by Fremantle Council but one that will not be realised in the next twenty years or more. Up till then we need to find better ways of moving freight and some of that could be achieved by more trucks to port at night time when the roads are empty.

Big dreams are great but we need to be realistic and deal with the problems at hand.

I took the photos above in Fremantle Port this morning. There is also a navy ship in and I noticed another two off the coast.

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE PORTS PROFIT RISE

Posted in fremantle, fremantle ports, harbour, maritime by freoview on October 5, 2016

One has to wonder why the WA government is so keen to sell profitable Fremantle Port that made a $ 52.3 million profit, a rise of 9 per cent, last financial year although there was a dip in trade.

Container trade was down by 3.8 per cent and bulk loading at the outer harbour at Kwinana was also down.

Cruise ship visits increased to 58 ships and 152,734 passengers and this year 60 tourist ships will visit Fremantle.

It is estimated Fremantle Port is worth $ 2.4 billion.

 

Roel Loopers

BODY FOUND IN FREMANTLE PORT

Posted in fremantle, fremantle ports, harbour, law&order, police, western australia by freoview on July 1, 2016

The body of a man was found at near C Shed in Fremantle harbour at around 11 am this morning.

Nine days ago 40 year-old Daniel McCartney went missing from Bathers Beach and has not been located yet, so it will be interesting to find out the identity of the body in Fremantle Port.

Roel Loopers

THE QUIET FREO FESTIVE SEASON

Posted in fremantle, harbour by freoview on December 27, 2014

Port

There is not much happening in Fremantle this time of the year, so an early morning photo of Fremantle harbour will have to do. There were a lot of people hopping on the early Rottnest Express ferry, while along the river boaties were keen to get out on the water before the sea breeze comes in later.

Roel Loopers

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THE LAUNCH OF ROEL.COM.AU

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Thirty years ago in September 1984 my then partner Brigitte Braun and I established Profile Photography in Perth and today in Fremantle is the launch of the new brand ROEL.COM.AU. The company needed a bit of refreshing, a rebirth, a facelift, just something that invigorates me to keep going in an industry that has even become more challenging than it ever was.

My career in Western Australia has been fantastic from the moment we started all those years ago. We soon picked up the State Energy Commission account, many mining, design, PR and advertising companies followed. Architects, magazines, property developers and state departments and agencies followed suit.

Fremantle Port was loyal to me for 15 years, the Midland Redevelopment Authority for 11, JAZ Creative became my family, and Cape Mentelle my drinking companion.

WA State Government gave me assignments for years and so did Government House. I was the official photographer for the visit of Princess Ann and travelled throughout the north of WA with her and shared her table for dinner in Kunnunara.

Some of my clients ended up in jail, because WA inc was not their greatest moment, but my business kept blossoming until the big change to digital photography introduced a lot of mediocrity to the industry.

I love my profession and have not ever regretted I became a photographer. I met so many great people and did so many great jobs and I learned so much about life, people and photography.

Today there is a new start in my professional life that is not only corporate, commercial and private photography but also the Roel’s Fremantle Photo Tours.

My motto FINDING BEAUTY IN THE ORDINARY has become my lifestyle, trying to enjoy the small precious moments in life, even in the difficult times.

I have always given my best, because when one works unsupervised it is too easy to cut corners, and at the end of each assignment only I knew if I had given it all the time it deserved, if I should have tried more angles, different light, got up earlier, or keep shooting later. I learned to be brutally critical about my work, to make sure I would never take an assignment or a client for granted. No doubt I messed up a few times, but looking back I believe I overall succeeded.

Today is a proud day for me, because I start again at an age where most people think about retirement. I love photography far too much to start looking for a rocking chair.

Check out the new website: http://www.roel.com.au

Roel Loopers

LACK OF CREATIVITY FOR THE FUTURE OF FREMANTLE

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

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