Freo's View

CITY SEEKS STATE FUNDING FOR ARTHUR’S HEAD REPAIRS

 

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Fremantle Council will be considering this evening to apply for state funding for remedial work at Arthur’s Head, so hat the unsightly temporary fences can be removed.

While the total costs for repairs of Arthur’s Head and the Roundhouse are close to $ 2,5 million, the City only wants to spend $ 1 million and do following work, while wanting an additional half a million for the Roundhouse:

To progress these works the City is considering a proposal to bundle the essential cliff and surround works to enable unsightly scaffolding and fencing to be removed to areas 1,4,7 and 8 which would value approximately $1,000,000 and seek 50% funding for this from the state government. The City is also seeking the amount of $540,000 from the state government to undertake the entire renewal works on the roundhouse.

Arthur’s Head has been a real mess for over two years now and that really is unacceptable for one of Western Australia’s most significant historic areas.

Roel Loopers

MOVING FORWARD TOGETHER MAKING HISTORY

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, heritage, historic, history, racism, Uncategorized by freoview on June 14, 2020

 

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History is really important to me. It was my favourite at school and I still love to read all about our past, so the  desire by some people around the world to pull down historic statues of our colonial past is not something I agree with.

The present connects the past to the future, and it is essential that we learn from the mistakes made in the past, to try to create a better world for future generations. That also means we might have to correct some of what is written about our past, because history is always written by the conquerors, and we need to hear all sides of the story and the truth.

We know that our Australian indigenous people consider the British settlement of our country an invasion, hence Australia Day is offensive to them.

We can not change our history, it is what it is with all the achievements of the early explorers and all the wrongs that were committed all over the world, in the name of progress, religion, and of course greed.

I don’t believe that pulling down statues of colonial ‘heroes’ is the way forward, but what should happen is also tell the other side, as is done well here on the Fremantle Esplanade at the Maitland Brown statue. Our Aboriginal people also got to state what they believe is the more correct history, instead of simply accepting the white men’s version of it.

The recording of history has always been selective, but we need those statues to remind us that we need to improve, hence the concentration camps in Europe can be visited. A great and extremely impressive way of dealing with the past is the Memento Park in Budapest that shows what dictatorship is all about, and to remind us all what it is like to be oppressed. We need to move forward together beyond the past.

Slavery and racism were sadly part of the colonial history, not only by the British, but also by the Dutch, the French, the Portuguese, so with the worldwide BlackLivesMatter movement having so much momentum it is now time to address the one-sided history of Australia and start telling it also from the Aboriginal view point, and we also need to have more Aboriginal names in recognition of the great culture of our first nations people. The Walyalup Civic Centre is a small start, but we need to and can do better than that!

 

Roel Loopers

WA GOVERNMENT’S DEMOLITION BY NEGLECT OF FREO’S ARTHUR’S HEAD

 

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Walking around historic Arthur’s Head yesterday morning I was again appalled about the lack of care for one of Western Australia’s most significant historic precincts by the City of Fremantle and WA state government.

It is a shame that I don’t have the money to take them to court for Demolition by Neglect, because nothing has been done there now for two years, when all they did was erect ugly fences and built a very ugly temporary rockfall protection on the ocean side of it.

It looks absolutely awful, and now they’ll use Covid-19 as an excuse for not having money for repairs for another few years. It is heart breaking and absolutely unacceptable.

If there is a lawyer out there willing to do a pro bono job and take the state to court for failing to protect and preserve our heritage I would be eternally grateful.

We can’t allow this to continue, so maybe it is time for a protest sit in at the Roundhouse and shame the hell out of our politicians!

Roel Loopers

DUYFKEN GETS A NEW MAST

Posted in city of fremantle, historic, history, Uncategorized by freoview on June 5, 2020

 

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My daily loitering with intent paid off late this morning when I came across the replacing of a mast at the Duyfken replica at the Sardine Wharf in Fremantle’s Fishing Boat Harbour.

Roel Loopers

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DON’T DEMOLISH FREMANTLE TRAFFIC BRIDGE!

 

The building of a new Fremantle traffic bridge is likely to be brought forward, in the State Government’s attempt to create jobs by fast forwarding major public works. A new bridge is badly needed, so I welcome the news, however the Fremantle community and Council should have a say in this matter, because we do not want just any ugly modern functional bridge, but something iconic and very Freo.

We also do not want the demolition of the present bridge because it is part of Freo’s heritage. It should be preserved and used, maybe as a dedicated bridge for pedestrians and cyclists, a viewing platform where we can hold events and markets, and make it a tourist destination.

The destruction of the North Fremantle town centre would be absolutely unacceptable, so one very important question is where will the bridge end in North Freo?

I sometimes disagree with the opinion of the Fremantle Society, but I absolutely agree with what Agnieshka Kiera, who was the City of Fremantle’s heritage architect for 25 years, wrote about preserving the old bridge, so I partly copy her well argued opinion piece.

We want extensive community consultation, and not just Main Roads creating a bridge that can accommodate a lot of vehicles fast!

Here is what Agnieshka Kiera wrote:

  • the historic Fremantle bridge has to stay. Not only for the reason of its heritage significance and, being listed on State Heritage, planning and compliance reasons. It should also stay for its greater importance to the city as the strategic urban feature and gateway to Fremantle, as follows:
    • since its construction the bridge has provided the vital pedestrian (and traffic) connection, not only between Fremantle and Perth but equally importantly between Fremantle and North Fremantle historic town centre; 
    • while the main vehicular traffic connection to Perth has been taken over by the Stirling Bridge, the much-reduced traffic using the historic bridge has helped to keep the North Fremantle’s historic centre accessible and to date a viable local hub of commercial and social activity;
    • the bridge acts as an important entry point and gateway to Fremantle: on the approach to Fremantle by the bridge, the closed vista of Cantonment Hill and the Signal Station, the Fremantle Port to the right and Swan River to the left, all the iconic urban features and Fremantle icons, create an exceptional landscape setting, reinforcing the city’s identity as the historic landmark of Western Australia;
    • the proposed bridge could potentially relieve the historic bridge of the vehicular traffic altogether and let it act as the vital pedestrian/cyclist link with Fremantle proper. There are numerous very successful examples around the world of saving the historic bridges from demolition. And while building new bridges to take on the modern essential role of carrying the vehicular traffic, many cities conserved the old bridges utilising them for the ancillary (mainly pedestrian) purposes. The most famous examples include the Burt Bridge in San Francisco, the Brooklyn Bridge on New York’s East River, Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Pot du Gard in France, Chenguyang Inmud and Rain Bridge in China etc. Each of them was replaced by a new bridge while being preserved for new functions. The same could be done in Fremantle, as freeing the Fremantle Bridge from vehicular traffic would facilitate its proper restoration as the pedestrian/cyclist bridge;
    • However, the plan in Brad Pettit’s blog doesn’t show where the new bridge’s roadway goes. Would it go through the North Fremantle old centre? It looks very likely. Would this result in some massive demolitions of the heritage buildings on its way? That would be the death not only to the old bridge but to the North Fremantle historic centre as well. The Fremantle bridge’s traditional role as a gateway and the significant connection between North Fremantle and Fremantle proper via Queen Victoria Street would be destroyed. That is a devastating prospect and should be stopped.

 

Roel Loopers

CLEAN UP THE ARTHUR’S HEAD MESS!

 

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It is WA Day long weekend and the calls for an Aboriginal cultural centre are loud and clear. We want it, and ideally it will be built in Fremantle!!

But the neglect of historic Arthur’s Head and the expensive rented fences in the area really annoy me, but no one in Fremantle or Western Australia appears to care much about the awful neglect of one of WA’s most significant heritage precincts. It is a disgrace and the Western Australian government should hang their heads in shame about not caring!

What is also not acceptable is putting wrong information on tourist signs, such as this one at the entrance of the Whalers Tunnel, that claims that convict labour was used to build the tunnel.

The tunnel was built in 1837 and convicts only arrived in WA in 1850! What is probably meant is that prison labour from the Roundhouse jail was used to build the tunnel, but that is a different story.

Clean up this mess, Premier Mark McGowan. This is one of the most important public works you should push forward as a priority!

Roel Loopers

 

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SECOND TIME BALL AT FREO ROUNDHOUSE

Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, historic, roundhouse, Uncategorized by freoview on May 9, 2020

 

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The Timeball above the gun deck of the historic Fremantle Roundhouse had a brother this morning just after sunrise with the full moon joining it.

Roel Loopers

THE GOOD OLD FREO DAYS

Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, historic, history, Uncategorized by freoview on May 6, 2020

 

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The STREETS OF FREMANTLE Facebook page posted this hand-coloured photo of High Street, looking west toward the Roundhouse, so I need to share it with you all, because it is such a gorgeous and vibrant image and I love historic photos of our beautiful city.

We rarely see that many people in High Street anymore unfortunately.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE ROUNDHOUSE CLOSED DUE TO VIRUS CONCERNS

Posted in arthur head, city of fremantle, heritage, historic, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on March 15, 2020

 

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The Fremantle volunteer Roundhouse guides have made the sensible and right decision to close WA’s oldest public building for the time being, due to Covid-19 concerns.

The old jail on Arthur’s Head gets hundreds of visitors every day, and very many of them come from overseas, so there is a threat to the health of the mainly elderly guides.

Will Fremantle Prison, the Shipwrecks Museum and the Maritime Museum follow suit?

Roel Loopers

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NEW LOOK FOR OLD FREO PORT BUILDINGS

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports, heritage, historic, Uncategorized by freoview on March 9, 2020

 

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Fremantle Ports is replacing the corrugated iron at the Fleet Street buildings that are leased by TAFE, so they should look nice and shiny soon again.

Roel Loopers

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