Freo's View


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, lifestyle, living, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on February 26, 2018


The issues Fremantle faces with urban infill, demanded by the State Government, are not unique to our city as an editorial by POST community newspapers editor Brett Christian shows.

Claremont residents are up in arms against proposed high density near the Loch Street train station. Christian writes “Distress in voices heard in the council chamber revealed the anxiety felt by home owners selected for high density infill.”

“These are real people with real fears who cannot be dismissed as being NIMBYs.”

Brett Christian says that the WA Government is keen to forcibly cram more housing units around transport hubs, which leads to permanent changes in the lifestyle.

The editor writes that Government planners naively believe that new residents will abandon their cars and use public transport when evidence proves the opposite.

Let me note here that public transport use in Perth has dramatically decreased over the last years and that only a very small percentage of those living within a ten minute walk from a railway station do use the train to work, according to government figures.

Christian rightly laments that local councils are being caught in the middle of the infill mess created by the state.

In Fremantle we are getting more and more inappropriate and unacceptable high rise development that will change the unique character of our city forever.

Yes, we need more people living, working and staying here to boost our local economy, but any development needs to show sincere consideration for the heritage, streetscapes and amenity, and that is not happening.

Fremantle Council has done well to encourage substantial development but it now needs to scale back and stop approving mediocre architecture in our inner city.

Tell developers and architects that if building proposals are not exceptional and great they are not good enough for Freo!

Roel Loopers




Posted in city of fremantle, housing, lifestyle, living, Uncategorized by freoview on November 1, 2017


Stage two of the Freo Alternative housing concept is about to start and realising the vision through planning policy.

The first stage of the concept was about generating a shared community vision on the future of housing in Fremantle, and now the City wants to identify how it can change our planning rules to allow for smaller homes in suburban locations, while protecting the things we love about our neighbourhoods..

Through the community consultation process it became clear that eight themes are important to the Fremantle community: housing choice, trees and landscaping, open space, sustainability, community, built form, car movement, and location. 

Fremantle Council would like to hear your thoughts on the proposed planning rules and are holding community sessions in the suburbs.

White Gum Valley | 15 November 2017  4.30 – 6.30pm at Sullivan Hall –  2 Nannine Ave, White Gum Valley.

Fremantle | 16 November 2017  4 – 6pm at Holland Park – Holland Street, Fremantle.

Beaconsfield | 19 November 2017 & 26 November 2017 8am – 12 noon at Growers Green Market – front lawn of South Fremantle Senior High School, Lefroy Road, Beaconsfield.

Hilton | 22 November 2017  4 – 6pm near the entrance to Gilbert’s Fresh – 308 South Street, Hilton.

Samson | 23 November 2017 4.30 – 6.30pm at Samson Recreational Centre – 44 McCombe Ave, Samson.

You can read the proposed planning changes in more detail online and complete the survey by 5.00 pm 2 February 2018.

If you have any questions contact C0F: email: or phone on 9432 9999.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, lifestyle, living, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 27, 2017


There were calls at the South Fremantle election forum last night, and we have heard them before, that Fremantle should be like Copenhagen or Amsterdam when planning the future of transport, and that lightrail is a top priority for our city, but is this realistic?

Fremantle is not a European city, but a small port city on the west coast of Australia with a population of just 30,000. It would be considered a country town in Europe. Copenhagen had 583,525 residents and Amsterdam had 821,752 in 2015, so that is a significant and very important difference, because it is all about population numbers.

Shared streets are popular and safe in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, etc. because of the sheer numbers. When you are in your car at a traffic light behind 200 cyclists there is no way that you are going to consider to sneak passed them. You just stay behind until they turn left or right, or onto a bicycle lane. It’s safety in numbers!

In Fremantle probably fewer than 100 cyclists a day ride through the Cappuccino Strip, and mostly on their own and not in numbers, so some idiot drivers will try to sneak by them, careful not to scratch their car on the planter boxes, so they are dangerously close to cyclists.

Lightrail is not a financially viable option in a city of just 30,000, so we need drastic population growth before the state government or private investors would consider it. It is at least 15-20 years away, like the outer harbour, no matter how often we dream about it.

But why the obsession with European cities anyway? Fremantle is a very unique small city that needs to be nurtured and be allowed to organically grow. It needs sensible and sensitive medium-density infill and strongly improve residential, commercial and visitors’ numbers to help boost our economy, but we’ll never be a huge city like the European cities, and I like that.

European cities have slowly grown, layer upon layer for many centuries and Freo is still relatively young at 188 years old in that regard. Fremantle’s population has only grown slightly from 20,444 residents in 1901 to just 30,000 in 2017, so fewer than 10,000 people in 116 years. And Aboriginal people were not counted in 1901!

Why do some people want to change Freo into a city with a European character, when it is a pretty comfortable place that just needs good adjustments, more eye to detail and a lot of TLC?

Fremantle is a tree that already has strong roots, but that needs some healthy fertiliser in the form of good development, population growth and strategic planning, and some of that has to come from state and federal governments.

We need to lose the inferiority complex and be proud of Freo. We should stop believing it needs to change to a more European model, because we are very different, with a very different climate and outdoor lifestyle, and not anywhere near as hectic as the big European cities are, and our population numbers do not stack up to compare Freo with Copenhagen or Amsterdam.

It is telling that Sirona Capital gets it! They have come to the conclusion that Fremantle is like no other place and that it needs an all new and exciting very Freo retail concept at Kings Square. FOMO does not exist anywhere else in the world and will help Freo’s reputation of having a unique character and lifestyle, and we can build on that.

Let’s assist in Freo’s growth by collaborating better. If we all take ownership of our city we can create something together for future generations that we can be very proud off!


Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, lifestyle, photography, Uncategorized, western australia by freoview on August 4, 2017


freo 1


Even after over twenty years of wandering the streets of Fremantle, someone once called it loitering with intent, I always find new images to shoot, as I did this cold Friday morning.

Roel Loopers

Baugruppen at WGV Induction Event

Posted in city of fremantle, home, lifestyle, living, Uncategorized by freoview on July 4, 2017


6pm to 7.30pm Monday 17 July 2017

at the Fremantle Fibonacci Centre in Blinco Street.

Join host Josh Byrne, Principal, Josh Byrne & Associates.

View the latest plans, feel and touch the materials boards, see internal and external artist impressions.

Select your preferred home type and location within the development, your parking requirements, and other preferences including lift.

Talk to members of the project team, dedicated to the success of your development and ready to assist:

  • Michael Patroni, spaceagency architects (2016 AIA multi-residential award winners)
  • Hayden Groves, dethridgeGroves real estate (Principal, President of REIWA)
  • Phil Gnech, Builtform development managers (Principal, Registered Builder and Project Manager)
  • Geoffrey London, The University of Western Australia (Professor of Architecture, former Government Architect)
  • Warren Phillips, LandCorp (Senior Development Manager, WGV and the Fremantle Knutsford Project)

Become a pioneering “citizen developer” to deliver the first baugruppen in Australia, pave the way for more sustainable and higher quality housing.

The potential savings on homes developed by the building group range from approximately $50,000 to $100,000 when compared to market.


1. Zero agent’s fees and zero marketing budgets

2. Zero profits payable to investor/developers

3. Customisation of your home and personal consultation with the architects

4. By developing with future owner-occupiers, with sustainability in mind, the group will be able to ensure their new homes are suitable for their long-term needs with lower living costs

5. The baugruppen will be the heart of the WGV Eco Village, WA’s first One Planet Community, globally recognised for urban design and leading sustainability initiatives

6. Be part of an instant community within the baugruppen, the WGV eco village and the White Gum Valley community renowned for its creativity/artists, urban orchard, street festivals and events held throughout the year

7. Enjoy shared private spaces as well as public spaces beautifully designed by Josh Byrne & Associates featuring work by local artists (SHAC) and the Fremantle Mens Shed organisation

8. Short walk to cafe, convenience store, WGV primary school, WGV community orchard, parks/picnic areas, and a walk or ride to Fremantle town centre, the new Fremantle College, and various shopping precincts

By joining with others to develop the Baugruppen at WGV, you are choosing community, amenity, and healthy, happy and sustainable living.

The Baugruppen at WGV is an intiative of LandCorp and The University of Western Australia.

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Posted in city of fremantle, hospitality, lifestyle, Uncategorized by freoview on May 31, 2017



I did not realise that the World of Renovation showroom that opened a few weeks ago in Fremantle’s historic West End also has a very classy cafe at the back that would make a great small bar.

Debretton&Bennett serves Gesha coffee and is open daily from 8 am to 2 pm.

It can be hired for functions.

It is very tranquil and away from High Street and is next to the Police Station.

As one of the few patrons yesterday remarked. “It’s not very Fremantle, more like Claremont.”  I really like it. Check it out!


Posted in fremantle, home, lifestyle, living, Uncategorized by freoview on May 3, 2017


World of Renovation is going to bring classy Claremont to Fremantle’s historic High Street.

The home improvement business will be opening soon and the facade already looks impressive, so keep an eye out for the official opening soon. I wonder if there will be a red carpet. ; >)

Roel Loopers



Posted in architecture, fremantle, home, lifestyle, living by freoview on April 5, 2017


Another new business will open in Fremantle’s West End in a few weeks and it’s not yet another cafe.

World of Renovation is setting up shop in a former art gallery space in High Street near the Police station.

It’s is an outlet of Claremont based  Million Dollar Makeovers, so if your old home needs a facelift or a bit of rejuvenation this might be the people to go and have a talk with.

The entire Fremantle CBD is going through a massive renovation process, so this new enterprise is very appropriate for Freo.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, development, economy, lifestyle by freoview on March 14, 2017


The LIV Defence Housing residential development at Fremantle’s Queen Victoria and Quarry streets is well under way and will be a great addition to the east end of the CBD.

I find it rather cute that people on the right side of politics keep accusing Fremantle Council of being socialists when this council has done more in thirty years to attract very capitalist development to our city than previous councils.

While some of the new development is disappointing and mediocre it will do Fremantle’s economy and traders a lot of good in the near future to have three new hotels and very substantial residential and commercial development that will bring thousands more people living in the inner city and thousands more working in the CBD.

It will be fantastic for the hospitality and retail industries to have hundreds of tourists staying overnight in Fremantle and shop, dine and drink here, and having locals and students roaming the streets day and night will make it a safer and more lively place.

Roel Loopers



Posted in culture, fremantle, immigration, lifestyle by freoview on March 13, 2017

Today is my personal Australia Day! Thirty-five years ago today on March 13, 1982 I landed in Australia with my then partner Brigitte to start our new life on the other side of the world, and what a journey it has been.

The decision to migrate to Australia was seen by many friends and colleagues in Germany as foolhardy and naïve, but how wrong they were.

There is no doubt that my Australian years have been the most challenging and often very difficult years of my life. I went through all the highs and all the lows, from a highly successful photography business to a financial disaster triggered by severe depressions, from beautiful houses to awful granny flats, and from great love affairs to a badly broken heart, but as the French say c’est la vie. Shit happens.

But overall it has been a wonderful adventure where I learned so much about myself and life, and at the end I came through it wiser, tougher, more considerate and more tolerant, so these are good gains and lessons.

Moving from Sydney to Perth in September 1985 was stroke of genius, and moving to Fremantle in the early 1990s was pure brilliance as I love living in our beautiful little port city.

Fremantle taught me so much about community engagement and passion and yesterday’s huge Labor election win shows that the enormous Roe 8 people power movement made a big difference and that politicians who ignore the people will be punished. There is an important message for the elected members of the City of Fremantle in that as well.

The good thing about integration in a new culture is that it does not come at the cost of losing one’s identity and culture and while I became an Australian citizen in 1985 much of me will always remain Dutch as the education I received and the values instilled in me in the Netherlands will be with me forever.

Respecting people and being compassionate was something my parents showed me daily, and that being generous and honest and standing up for people less fortunate are good things. They are beautiful values to have.

I love people and the Fremantle community is my family. They are the people I want to look after and support and while I have failed dismally on a few occasions I have always tried my best.

Fremantle has given me a deep sense of belonging and a purpose that is much more than just surviving and earning money. It has taught me that looking after the community one lives in and supporting positive change can make a real difference and that doing that is very rewarding.

I don’t have all that many years left in life but as long as I can do it I will try to help make Fremantle and even better place to live and love in.

Thank you to everyone who has been part of my Aussie life so far. It has been a mind-blowing journey!

Roel Loopers

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