Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, community, covid-19, media, Uncategorized by freoview on April 21, 2020



Radio Fremantle‘s Kavi Gupta has put a website together with photos and interviews about how Fremantle is coping with the coronavirus restrictions.

It is a work in progress and more interviews and photos will be added, so you can still contribute to it.

Here is the link:

Roel Loopers




Paul Murray column


I rarely agree with anything The West Australian columnist Paul Murray writes, because of his right wing pro Liberal party sentiments. Murray is also well known for his criticism of the green and left Fremantle Council, but I highly commend him for today’s column about a suggested name change of Fremantle’s Kings Square to Midgegooroo Place.

Unlike Fremantle Society president John Dowson, who called Midgegooroo a cold blooded murderer, Murray puts that episode of history in context of what really happened and why Midgegooroo killed.

Too often we only want to accept that part of history that suits our believes or political inclination, so it is really good to read Paul Murray’s column, which leaves the Fremantle Society president with egg on his face, yet again.

Buy The West today. It’s worth the money, just for Murray’s clarification of history!

Roel Loopers



There is a very good opinion piece about city planning by Tanya Steinbeck in the West Australian today, that everyone should read.

Tanya Steinbeck is the chief executive of the Urban Planning Institute of Australia(WA), and her article makes a lot of sense to me, because it talks about the challenges of protecting the uniqueness of our cities, while supporting development. This is a challenge Fremantle is experiencing currently, with unprecedented and major development happening now, and in the pipeline for the next years.

Steinbeck writes that it is about authenticity, and that the planning experts believe we need a vision that articulates who we are and what we have to offer. It is important, she writes, not to lose ourselves as we grow, and that is a debate we are having in Fremantle at present. How do we retain and protect our unique heritage city, while encouraging new modern development? What is the Freo context? What is good and specific architecture for our city? I would love to have a public forum about that!

Tanya Steinbeck writes that identity is a complex concept, that always evolves because we evolve as people. Indeed, change is happening every day, everywhere, and is inevitable, but how do we manage change so that it does not destroy the uniqueness of our historic city? That is an issue not unique to Fremantle, but applies to many older suburbs.

I absolutely agree with Steinbeck when she says that we need to avoid homogenisation and that the planning system needs to lead there, so that we don’t get sameness when developing our cities. As she writes, it needs to be planning by people, for the people, and she points to the Town Team Movement, that is all about community-driven planning and is taking placemaking to a new level.

The article is on page 20 of today’s West Australian newspaper, so anyone interested in city planning and community, go and grab a paper from a newsagent.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, media, publishing, Uncategorized by freoview on January 3, 2020




It is a bit disappointing to see that the editor of the quarterly Freo Street Wise magazine has found it challenging to source Fremantle relevant articles for its latest edition.

‘Fremantle’s independent street magazine’  has articles about Karratha, Cossack, Jarman Island, more Cossack, sand dunes, and the Pilbara on twelve pages of the publication, plus two pages about stars, and ten pages that are not about Fremantle.

There is also an article written by new South Fremantle Councillor Marija Vujcic, who was strongly supported during the election campaign by Freo Street Wise, and an article titled Booze City, where Fremantle clinical psychologist Rachael O’Byrne speaks out against Fremantle Council approving development applications for small bars and taverns.

O’Byrne is wrong though to say “Approving tavern licenses in the hope they’ll run as small bars is irresponsible.” Bar, tavern, restaurant, etc. licenses are not issued by local councils but by the liquor licensing authorities. and they are very strict in what they approve.

Little magazines such as Freo Street Wise are a welcome addition to our local community, so I hope that the editor will find more Fremantle content for the next issue.

Roel Loopers






Congratulations to Fremantle Herald owner Andrew Smith and all the staff to the 30th birthday of our own iconic Freo rag.

The Chook is no doubt an institution in our port city and has done itself proud with many exclusives and even more controversial articles over the three decades.

It takes a lot of effort and commitment to publish a community newspaper, especially during the hard times when the advertising dollars dry up significantly, but Smith and his team just kept going.

I too have fond memories standing in for the Chook photographers when they went on holidays or were sick.

All of us in Fremantle need to realise that the Herald can only survive if it gets the advertising support it needs, and we also need to be aware what a great loss it would be for Freo if the Chook were no longer published.

Thanks Andrew, Steve and all the great people who make the Fremantle Herald what it is!

Roel Loopers




There is a very good article about Fremantle by Kim Macdonald in the WestBusiness Insider magazine of the West Australian newspapers.

The front cover headline is Freo, The Billionaires&The Future with photos of Andrew Forrest and Angela Bennett.

The five-page article mentions that there is a lot of interest for investment and development in Fremantle by some of the biggest players in Western Australia, such as Bennett, Forrest, Adrian Fini, Sirona Capital, Silverleaf Investments, etc.

Sirona Capital’s Matthew McNeilly is quoted as saying that there is a lot of love for Fremantle….because you cannot find another Fremantle anywhere else in Australia.

Angela Bennett’s son Todd is the executive director of AMB Capital that wants to do a major development in the Fishing Boat Harbour south of Little Creatures, with residential and short-stay accommodation, retail, food, etc.

Twiggy Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation owns the Spicers site on the corner of William Street and the Henderson Street mall and they are doing a feasibility on developing that into a lifestyle boutique hotel, while the Fini Group wants to develop the Italian Club site, south of the Esplanade, into apartments, a boutique hotel and wellness centre.

Silverleaf Investments is busy developing the Mannings Building, is close to starting the Woolstores hotel development, and also have approved plans for the former Police&Justice complex between Parry and Henderson streets.

Silverleaf’s Gerard O’Brien told WestBusiness that Fremantle is magnetic. Perth wants the CBD Fremantle has got.

It is really good to see the West Australian acknowledging the huge and positive transformation Fremantle is going through. It is a shame though to hear from a Freo newsagent that the magazine was not inserted in the newspapers he got on Thursday, so many people who asked for it were disappointed it was not available.

Roel Loopers





Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt is being attacked again by columnist Paul Murray in today’s West Australian in regard to the City of Fremantle’s claim of carbon neutrality.

While I believe it is unfair to attack the Mayor instead of all the elected members who make decisions for Fremantle, there are valid points in Murray’s column and the City of Fremantle needs to do much better in responding to them.

Here on Freo’s View Murdoch University master student of sustainability and renewable energy Martin Lee has asked pertinent questions, which Brad Pettitt promised to respond to in detail, but he has now decided he won’t be doing that and leave Lee’s questions unanswered. That is not good transparency and public relations.

Murray’s attack on what Brad Pettitt earns should be part of a much bigger picture where some local council CEOs and directors earn as much or more as the Premier of Western Australia. That is ridiculous. Are Mayors also overpaid when they are part of a team of elected members and the others receive less than $40,000 a year while the Freo Mayor gets around $ 160,000? That is something the Minister for Local Government might want to look at.

But transparency is the important issue here and that reminds me that some weeks ago the convenor of the South Fremantle Precinct asked the City of Fremantle for a copy of the consultant engineer’s report on the bad state of repair of the former Civic Centre. This report was quoted on many times as the reason why it was essential for Fremantle to demolish the old building and build a new one at Kings Square, but convenor Sean Hefferon was told that the consultant report could not be found. That is unacceptable!

If the report exists is must have been added as an attachment to council and committee meetings and all elected members must have received one, so surely the report must have been archived. All reports should be kept for future audits, for transparency,  accountability and integrity, so please make it public and available CoF.

So things are not going well in the PR stakes for Fremantle, and the entire Council and administration is to blame for that. It is not right that the other elected members and CEO Phil StJohn are happy for the Mayor to receive all the criticism while they remain silent.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, community, media, newspaper, Uncategorized by freoview on July 18, 2019




It has gone largely unnoticed that the publication day for the Fremantle Gazette has changed from Tuesdays to Thursdays.

The Fremantle Herald’s publication day is Saturdays but the distribution of that community paper starts already early on Friday mornings.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, community, media, newspaper, Uncategorized by freoview on May 28, 2019


sunny news


While the forecast is for a very pleasant week with temperatures in the mid twenties, the mornings are still very crisp.

This gentleman found a sunny spot in the Fremantle High Street mall this morning to read the news.

It helps to feel warmed by the sun when reading all the nastiness that happens in the world.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle network, media, politics, social media, Uncategorized by freoview on May 27, 2019


Tomorrow, Tuesday May 28th the Fremantle Network welcomes special guests Bobbie Mackley, National Secretary of ABC Friends WA and Andrew Porter, Academic Chair of Murdoch University School of Journalism for it’s monthly Politics in the Pub.

The discussion starts at 7pm at The Local hotel in South Fremantle. All welcome!

It’s not an easy time for Australian media, especially its traditional forms. Print journalism in particular has been challenged by the growth of social media and is struggling to retain readership numbers and advertising revenue. The ABC and SBS have suffered from funding cuts for many years now.

Then there are all the allegations of bias. The ABC is under relentless attack from governments and many commercial media for its alleged left-wing bias. At the same time, many are disgusted by what they see as the Murdoch media’s blatant cheering of right-wing conservative politics, totally the opposite what we expect from our media – serious balanced reporting and holding power to account.

Roel Loopers


%d bloggers like this: