Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, covid-19, health, politicians, politics, state government by freoview on July 17, 2020




If all goes to plan and I’ll do get the opportunity I will present this T-shirt to WA Premier Mark McGowan at the Community Cabinet function at the East Fremantle Yacht Club on July 26.

I believe Mark McGowan and the Labor government have done an excellent job in keeping the people of WA safe from Covid-19 by keeping the state borders closed, against the relentless pressure of the Federal and WA Liberal parties, some business interests and that fat fool from Queensland.

My concept for the T-shirt was creatively realised by Stuart Endersby of Freo T-Shirts in the Fremantle Markets. Great job, Stuart!

Roel Loopers



The findings of the investigation into the City of Perth council are disturbing and raise questions about how good Western Australia’s other councils are.

Already we have had retiring Liberal politician Mike Nahan calling for an investigation into Fremantle council, and of course relentless council critic and Liberal party supported John Dowson has jumped onto that bandwagon.

But councils should not be about party political issues. In my perfect, utopian and totally unrealistic world local government should be A-political, neither far to the left, nor far too the right. Fremantle Council is not going to be better by just replacing all the left leaning Councillors with right leaning Councillors. Good government is about balance.

It is a fallacy of course to believe that Liberal governments, be that at local, state or federal level, are better at financial management, as the biggest debt in WA’s history left by the Colin Barnett government shows, but Fremantle’s financial management has not exactly been something to write home about either.

Councillors are human beings, who have likes and dislikes, political, economic,  environmental and personal preferences and interests, and like all of us they are not perfect, and neither are the administrations of our local governments, so who is keeping an eye on it all?

The yearly audit of local councils appears to just be a financial one, CEO’s get judged on their performance by Councillors they work with, and often the relationship between the administration and elected members is just a bit too comfortable, and that could create problems when assessing the CEO and administration.

It is too costly to believe the WA state government could or should investigate every council to check if they could perform better and more efficiently and professionally, but the standards somehow need to be raised and there need to be more checks in place to make sure that everything is above board.

As someone who has observed and scrutinised Fremantle Council for well over a decade  I have no fear that anything untoward has happened here, but there are many things that could be improved.

For some planting 50,000 trees is more important than preserving historic and neglected Arthur’s Head and the Roundhouse, for others creating more bike paths is a priority over repairing grumbling footpaths and doing essential maintenance.

The solution lies somewhere in the middle, but that means leaving ideological blinkers at home and be a good elected administrator of council business, instead of a party pushed politician.

Unfortunately it is well known that all political parties want to push for more political power at local governments, so things will get worse, until we wake up and call the whole lot of them out at the ballot box and vote more and more for independents.

What happened at the City of Perth needs to be a wake up call for all local governments and there should be a real desire to improve greatly.

Roel Loopers





I have never understood why it is so difficult for politicians to admit they were wrong and simply apologise.

Such is the case with WA Premier Mark McGowan yesterday accusing the Federal Government of not sending WA the relevant information about the Al Kuwait live sheep vessel that arrived in Fremantle Port with crew members who have the Covid-19 virus.

It turned out that the WA Health Department received information but decided to not take action because, according to the officer who spoke at the media conference with the Premier, they receive a lot of emails, and that of course is not good enough.

But McGowan today should just have admitted the stuff up was here in WA and he was not given all the facts, and apologise to the Federal Government. He looked very uncomfortable instead.

But WA Liberal opposition leader Liza Harvey is well out of her depth, accusing the Premier of a “stunt” that brought anxiety to the most vulnerable, when it was an unacceptable blunder of communication and lack of action by the Health Department.

Let’s not forget for one moment that only days ago Liza Harvey wanted Western Australian borders to be re-opened and the state government no longer be able to control who comes to WA. That is hypocrisy!

I have been in WA since September 1985, and we have had quite a few dud Premiers and leaders of the opposition, both Labor and Liberal, but Liza Harvey is one of the worst. The Libs should dump here as soon as possible.

And as for you, Mark McGowan, just say sorry. That is a sign of great leadership and personality. And kick arse at the Health Department, because these kind of failures could end up like the Ruby Princess disaster in NSW!


Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, community, politicians, state government, Uncategorized by freoview on March 15, 2020


I am humbled that I received an invitation to attend a Community Reception with State Cabinet Ministers on the occasion of the Bicton Community Cabinet on Sunday March 29 at the East Fremantle Footbal Club, but unfortunately I won’t be able to go, because one is supposed to wear ‘Business Attire‘.

I don’t have a suit and only wear jeans, so my best effort could only be jeans, a T-shirt and a casual jacket, but that is not appropriate for the esteemed occasion, according to the invitation.

A community reception should embrace people from all walks of life, including those who don’t dress up. Oh well, no free drinks, fingerfood and handshakes with the mighty Labor decision makers for me. They might have to cancel that  gathering anyway because of Covid-19.

Roel Loopers




Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt will be nominating for the Greens upper house for the Southmetro state seat, but that will now have to go to the party’s very rigorous preselection process, and it will have to be seen if other members nominate or if Pettitt is the only nominee.

I have no idea how long that process by the Greens will be, but if Pettitt wins the preselection he will probably have to stand down as Fremantle Mayor well before the October 2021 local government election, so might that mean a by-election for Freo?

Time will tell.

Roel Loopers


RIP Bob Hawke. A man of principles and values, willing to take risks, trying to find consensus and bringing people together instead of dividing them.

He was also a big fighter against racism. A brilliant man has died.

He changed Australia for the better. Thanks Bob!

Roel Loopers



It is clear-and not surprising-that accountability and scrutiny are not high on the agenda of the Liberal Party and Clive Palmer’s rabble. The candidates of these parties have declined to take part in the Fremantle Candidates Debate on May 8.

But we will at least be able to get a good laugh out of what Pauline Hanson’s Freo candidate will have to say as they have confirmed attendance.

So the candidates of Labor, Greens and some minor parties will be attending, but is it going to be a great Q&A without the governing party being brave enough to allow their candidate to be scrutinised on their record? It’s a shame and pretty cowardly from the Liberals.

Anyway, the not so great debate is on at the Tannock Hall of Notre Dame University at Cliff Street from 6pm on May 8.

Roel Loopers



The Is Democracy in Crisis? forum organised by the Fremantle Network and politics students of Notre Dame University was interesting and attracted 60 spectators.

The event was held on Tuesday evening in the Santa Maria lecture theatre of Notre Dame, with panelists Liberal MP Ben Morton, Labor MP Josh Wilson and political journalist Jane Marwick, and facilitator Dr Martin Drum who is a political lecturer at NDA and Chief of Staff to the Vice Chancellor.

The panel agreed that democracy is not in crisis but in a bit of a mess, with Ben Morton saying that democracy should be celebrating different views, and that is has become harder to be an active citizen in our democracy as we need to work harder to keep informed, despite social media.

Jane Marwick said the media largely responded to the left/right focus in politics and that the media is far too cosy with politicians and staff. There is too much focus on personalities, not on conviction and policy. “We should all be skeptical about the media!”

Josh Wilson said that democracy was not in crisis in this part of Australia. “This room is full of people who are active at grassroots democracy.”

But he said tribalism, self-interest and self-engrandising was a problem in Canberra and that the media was focussed on conflict rather than policy.

Jane Marwick said the 24-hour media cycle left little time to fact check and get all sides of the story, but Martin Drum said it was more an opinion cycle than a news cycle.

Longer and fixed-term parliaments should be considered as the three-year term can cause instability, and is in reality only two years and four months.

Jane Marwick said that former Deputy PM John Anderson has said that trust has broken down in all our institutions. She said that meat on the bone does not get reported, only juicy stories.

Josh Wilson said it was not good democracy when the parties ran a war against their own Prime Minister and that Labor had put measures in place to stop that.

Certain journalists are having too much power and are trying to influence the behaviour of politicians. We need more women in parliament and all parties should have a quota for that, that means we need to make parliament a more attractive place to work at and accommodate women and their families better. It should not be either having children or having a career.


I feel disconnected with our political leaders in Canberra. I feel patronised, belittled and talked down to, and told what is good for me by them, instead of being part of the conversation.

Question Time is a disrespectful and childish session of bullying. It is about political point scoring instead of good governance, hence the public’s skepticism and lack of respect for parliament.

I wish federal, and also state parliament, would be as respectful and professional as Fremantle Council, where no personal attacks are made and no political point scoring takes place. We have a mature debate about the topics at hand in Fremantle Council. They don’t always get it it right, but at least they behave like professionals who thoroughly debate all topics, and whose main priority is  not self interest, but looking after the community and good governance.

Roel Loopers




Posted in city of fremantle, elections, politicians, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on September 24, 2018


Dorothy Tangney


Seventy-five years ago Dorothy Tangney became the first woman to be elected in federal parliament, but we are still debating gender equality in our parliaments and political parties.

This artwork is in Fremantle’s Norfolk Street on the side of the Norfolk Hotel, so contemplate when you walk or drive by why it is taking so unacceptably long until we have real gender balance in our country.

It’s not just about equal pay but even more so about equal respect!

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, fundraising, politicians, politics, sport, Uncategorized by freoview on September 21, 2018


Doing a favour for a mate to promote this event, although it’s not in Freo.

The Leeming Spartan Cricket Club offers everyone the opportunity to meet with the Premier of Western Australia, Mark McGowan, at our clubhouse on Friday 12th October 2018 for a business breakfast seminar and ninety-minute question and answer session!

He will be joined by the Member for Jandakot, Yaz Mubarakai MLA for the session, where locals are encouraged to speak with their state representatives about any topic.

Tickets are priced at $100 per person (purchasable by emailing, with tables of between eight and ten also available. All proceeds will go towards the Spartans’ one-hundredth anniversary celebrations!


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