Freo's View


Posted in cafe, city of fremantle, covid-19, health, history, Uncategorized by freoview on March 29, 2020


Proper social distancing at Chalkys cafe

Closed cafes at the Cappuccino Strip

The Sail&Anchor

Fremantle Markets


I have always considered it part of my community duty as a professional photographer to record history. It is essential that we capture the good and bad of our times and our society, so especially now with the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic making our cities into ghost towns I want to capture what Fremantle looks like.

I will continue to do so, as long as I am allowed out on the streets, but will restrict it to two times a day only and not connect with people on the streets, but at a proper distance from them.

The WA Museum is looking for photos, stories, etc. that capture the coronavirus crisis in our cities. You can upload them here:

I took these photos where normally on Sunday mornings the cafes are full with people having breakfast, but the cafes, pubs and markets are closed.

In front of Chalkys cafe in the far West End of High street proper social distancing was adhered to by these cyclist.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports, history, maritime, Uncategorized by freoview on March 7, 2020


port walks


Good to see that the Fremantle Ports Port Walks are very popular. I stumbled across one this morning.

The history of the port is fascinating, so join a tour when they conduct them again. More Port Walks in May, June and Sept – watch social media for when bookings open, but be quick!

In Fleet Street the TAFE buildings are getting new corrugated iron, so they will look really good again soon, thanks to Fremantle Ports.

Don’t forget the Paint the Port day next Saturday March  14!

Roel Loopers



It is really disappointing to read Fremantle Society president John Dowson’s rants that he emails to the members.

JD writes about the FPOL committee meeting and a question from the public “How, when and where were the Fremantle rate payers involved or included in the planning of a tavern design concept to be located in the cultural and civic centre?” the answer came back: “The City undertook a Kings Square Urban design strategy in 2012/2013 which was developed through community consultation.”

That is correct. I was at several community meetings, including a so-called Citizenship Jury about the Kings Square plans, as the then president of the Fremantle Society.

JD also attacks Council’s suggestion to rename Kings Square and change it to an Aboriginal name: When the suggestion comes to council this Wednesday to rename King’s Square after Midgegooroo, a cold blooded murderer whose execution was even cheered by some Aboriginal onlookers, council may reluctantly give the community a few weeks, but only to give their suggestions for a name change.

History tends to write its own reality, and I remember well that John Dowson some years back defended the reputation of Captain Fremantle in a letter to the Fremantle Herald, when claims were made Fremantle had been a rapist. JD said the case never went to court and Fremantle was never convicted of rape, so let the same fairness apply to Midgegooroo, who was accused of being a murderer, but he was never convicted of that alleged crime in a court of law either, so the Noongar elder was unlawfully murdered by white settlers.

John Dowson is clearly of the belief that if one repeats claims often enough they become reality: The ideological whitewash of traditions and heritage in Fremantle is scarily becoming more and more evident as the rebranding and neglect of heritage gathers pace. When the Fremantle Society was told several years ago that a Fremantle Council consultant had indicated the superb Moreton Bay fig trees in King’s Square had to go as they affected the sight lines to the new administration building, the speaker was not believed. The trees are now gone.

Fact is that the Moreton Bay fig trees at Kings Square were very sick and arborists from the eastern states and WA advised Fremantle Council that the trees were becoming a danger to the community, as big heavy branches had fallen down, so the removal of the trees had nothing to do with sight lines. Every effort was made to try to save them with soil injections, etc, but unfortunately that was not successful and hence they were removed. It was about community safety.

I hear that even some committee members of the Fremantle Society are not happy with the president, so the real danger is that the very important contribution the society has made to Fremantle over decades is now being eroded by a man whose main interest appears to be political council bashing. What a shame, because we need community groups such as the Fremantle Society to scrutinise what is going on in our city, but that has to be done with facts, fairness and balance, not polemic.

Roel Loopers




A 1


Every time I walk past A Shed on Victoria Quay I get-excuse the language- totally pissed off about the disgraceful state of disrepair and heritage neglect by Fremantle Ports.

Fremantle Ports is a WA state agency that makes millions of dollars of profit each year and they have an obligation to the community and our history to look after the heritage buildings under their care.

One might well ask if this is another one of those deliberate demolition by neglect attempts by the port authority because they want to develop Victoria Quay. They put out an EOI last year to lease the building, but why would anyone want to move into a building that has been so disgracefully neglected. Will we get to read an consultant engineer’s report soon that will claim the building is structurally unsafe and will need to be demolished?

Where is the Heritage Council and David Templeman, the Minister for Heritage, who seems to be going out of his way to avoid coming to Fremantle? Why is this allowed to happen?!

Roel Loopers

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The outcome, or lack thereof of the FPOL Committee decision about a new Aboriginal name for Kings Square and for the new civic centre was as clear as mud to me, but that was probably due to Councillors treating a public meeting as if it was a talk among themselves, and not bothering to speak into the microphones on the desk.

It looks like the new Civic Centre might just have the name Walyalup, but a new name for the city square, that is a triangle, will need more community consultation, probably because consultation was only done with local Noongar people.

Some Councillors were not convinced the new Aboriginal name should be that of a person, as the officers suggestion of Midgegooroo was, and were more interested making it into a Whadjuk Noongar place name, and that makes sense to me.

I don’t know what the Noongar name is for a place where people gather, but that is what Kings Square and St John’s Church are, and even the FOMO offices and retail and hospitality part of it, so that would be an appropriate name for the area.

It will go to full council, so there will be more ideas and suggestions and that is good, because Fremantle should have a significant place that has a Whadjuk Noongar name. It is only nine more years until we celebrate and commiserate the British settlement in Bathers Bay in 1829 but we still have not managed to have a lot of Aboriginal names in Fremantle, and I find that very disappointing.

Roel Loopers




The FPOL Committee of Fremantle Council will on Wednesday debate the proposal to include Aboriginal names at the  Kings Square Redevelopment Project, and I have no doubt that this will become very controversial in the community.

The new Civic Centre will be named Walyalup Centre, which is the Whadjuk Noongar name for the Fremantle area, so proper acknowledgment of our Aboriginal culture and history.

Kings Square, that was once also called St John’s Square, would be renamed Midgegooroo Place. Midgegooroo was the father of Yagan and a very important elder.

The proposals are in line with the fact that the Department of Communities, which will occupy the top levels of the FOMO buildings, is also considering giving Whadjuk Noongar names to their North and South Campus.

There have long been talks, and complaints, that we do not name significant places in Western Australia with the Aboriginal names for them, and this would be a very good step forward I believe to make a real start with the renewal of Kings Square.

I do not agree however with naming the Civic Centre just the Walyalup Centre and would not agree to call it Fremantle Centre either, since that is not specific enough what the centre’s function is. It should be the Walyalup Civic Centre, or Walyalup Council House or Walyalup Council Centre, so that it is clear what the building is there for.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, convicts, history, Uncategorized by freoview on January 10, 2020


Today 152 years ago the Hougoumont arrived in Fremantle to deliver the last of the convicts brought to Western Australia.

On board were 62 Irish political Fenians prisoners, and this Sunday Melbourne human rights lawyer Bernie Bropho will talk about that at the Freo Maritime Museum at 4pm.

Roel Loopers



Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, city planning, history, photography, Uncategorized by freoview on December 20, 2019




I don’t know if the ridiculous no photography sign at the Fremantle Manning building redevelopment was put up by builders Buckingham or developers Silverleaf Investments, but it is utter rubbish that I will absolutely ignore, because all of us have every right to take photos of anything and anyone in a public open place, and that is what Paddy Troy lane is.

The recording of history and the progress of Fremantle is essential for our archives, so that future generations can see what was happening in Freo in the 2000s. So-called street photography is a great way of recording our history and I will continue to do so, no matter how many silly signs people put up, or how many times I get questioned what I am doing, because what I am doing is well within my legal rights.

Civic Centre


Contrary to the stupid sign at the back of the Manning building the Civic Centre construction site even put viewing windows in the fences, but they are  now unfortunately obscured by the new hoardings. One gets great views of it though from the first level of the Fremantle Malls.

Roel Loopers

Roel Loopers



It is unacceptable that the WA State Government neglects Fremantle’s significant heritage, which is a huge tourist attraction for the port city and WA.

World heritage listed Fremantle Prison needs more than $ 13 million to do conservation work as the roofs of several cells have collapsed, but all it will be getting from the State Government is $ 3.5 million and that is not good enough!

The Fremantle Roundhouse, and Arthur’s Head on which it is built, need stabilisation works worth $ 1.8 million but so far the State Government has shrugged their shoulders as if it is of no great concern to them.

The WA Labor government spend millions, if not billions, on getting sport stars and rugby and soccer clubs to Perth to help increase tourist numbers, but two of the state’s major and most significant tourist attractions get F… All from our government.

We have millions to spend on a Quokka Birthday Party on Rottnest Island but let the state’s oldest public building the Roundhouse and it surroundings just fall apart and rot away.

Demolition by neglect is unlawful in Western Australia, so who is going to prosecute the State Government?

Roel Loopers

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