Freo's View

FREMANTLE ROUNDHOUSE CLOSURE DISGRACE!

 

closure

 

The closure of the Fremantle Roundhouse today is the third day out of four the very popular tourist attraction has been closed to the public. It was closed on Friday and Saturday, supposedly due to bad weather, although the weather was in no way extreme and intolerable, and today the sign states that WA’s oldest public building is closed  due to a shortage of volunteers.

Fact is that the current president and some committee members of the volunteer group have been procrastinating instead of tackling the major issues of funding and volunteers.

I was a volunteer at the Roundhouse for nine years and loved talking with tourists from all over the world, but I resigned two weeks ago after a rude email from the president in reply to my email suggestions for improvements and changes. I was told that my emails to committee were a waste of energy and he reminded me I was not on committee, indicating I should just shut up.

It is now time for the City of Fremantle to immediately take over the management of the Roundhouse as this significant building has to be open to the public.  I am happy to get involved again under new more progressive and committed management.

A school group that arrived at 1.30pm today stood in front of the closed doors and that is very disappointing.

Roel Loopers

ROUNDHOUSE CLOSURE A REAL WORRY FOR FREMANTLE

 

 

It is a real worry that the Fremantle Roundhouse is closed today, and I was told it was closed most of yesterday as well.

A sign on the door says it is closed due to bad weather, but a few showers have never forced the Roundhouse volunteers to close all day in the nine years I worked there.

Fremantle Council now needs to take urgent action because it is not acceptable that the oldest public building in WA and one of Fremantle’s most significant tourist attractions is now randomly closed, presumably because of lack of volunteers.

In the nine years I was on duty only on the worst winter days did we close an hour early at 2.30pm, but all day closure only ever happened on Christmas Day and Good Friday.

I hear that at committee level of the volunteers it has been suggested they might have to wind up and hand the management of the building back to the City, but what then when there is no contingency plan in place?  Even if they staff the Roundhouse with volunteers from the Visitor Centre they would still need some of the current volunteers who have the license to fire the 1pm cannon.

Both Fremantle Council and the Roundhouse committee are to blame for not having been pro-active enough in trying to get new volunteers and annual funding. With enough State, City and Federal funding Roundhouse guides could get paid and the tourist attraction would be on the same level as Fremantle Prison, the Maritime Museum and the Shipwreck Museum, which all receive government funding.

The Roundhouse is very significant to Fremantle’s  and Western Australia’s history and the City can’t just sit back and let it close due to procrastination and lack of vision.

Roel Loopers

 

THE FREO ROUNDHOUSE EVEN ROUNDER

Posted in arthur head, city of fremantle, heritage, historic, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on June 3, 2019

 

Roundhouse

 

I borrowed the round hand mirror from the Glen Cowans Photography Gallery yesterday to take this unusual photo of the Fremantle Roundhouse and High Street.

I always like the looking backward and forward of reflections, so here is another one for you.

It was very busy up on Arthur’s Head yesterday with a very large number of Asians visiting Fremantle, so we are very popular with our neighbour countries.

Roel Loopers

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CASHLESS DONATIONS AT FREO ROUNDHOUSE

Posted in arthur head, city of fremantle, heritage, historic, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on June 2, 2019

 

Roundhouse cashless donations

 

Western Australia’s oldest remaining public building, the Fremantle Roundhouse, has embraced the cashless society by installing a card reader that will take $ 2.00 out of one’s account when one taps a credit or debit card when visiting the old jail.

Visitors often claim that they have no coins on them, or that they did put them all in parking meters, and disappointingly often visitors simply do not want to make a donation.

Of course coins and bank notes will still be gratefully accepted as well.

What most visitors do not know is that the donations are essential to keep the Roundhouse open to the public because the volunteer organisation does not get any financial support from the State and Local Governments, so they rely on the donations to buy uniforms, print brochures, etc.

It is now URGENT for Fremantle Council and the State Government to start financially supporting the Roundhouse if it wants the very popular historic tourism destination to remain an attraction in our city and state!

If there are any corporate organisations which would like to support the volunteers financially please give them a call.

Roel Loopers

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ROUNDHOUSE NEEDS NEW TREASURER

Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized, volunteers by freoview on May 24, 2019

 

The FREMANTLE ROUND HOUSE are seeking a VOLUNTEER TREASURER to join their passionate team of volunteers.
Main duties of the role are as follows:
  • Have an understanding of Xero Accounting Package & be able to process payments and manage accounts.
  • Be able to produce a monthly & annual Budget & Treasurers Report.
  • Complete quarterly BAS statement & other statutory requirements.
  • Manage monthly payroll for 1 employee.
  • Commitment of around 3-4 hours per week.
We are seeking someone who can work well independently. A hand-over will be provided from our current volunteer treasurer.
If you think this role may be of interest to you, or if you would like some more information, please send us an email with a brief overview of your relevant experience to enquiries@fremantleroundhouse.com.au
Deadline: 14th June 2019. Email enquiries preferred.

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FREO VOLUNTEERS ARE SPECIAL

Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized, volunteers by freoview on May 20, 2019

 

 

volunteers

 

It is NATIONAL VOLUNTEERS WEEK from May 20-26, so a good opportunity to thank all our Fremantle volunteers who are doing a splendid job day in day out.

Volunteers are essential for many charities which look after homeless and disadvantaged people, and they are also very important for tourists to our city. The Roundhouse and Visitor Centre volunteers provide inside information about Fremantle and our history, and so do those at the Shipwrecks and Martime museums.

It takes a lot of dedication and commitment to stand in oppressive heat or ice cold winds at the Roundhouse, but rain or shine the historic building is open to visitors 363 days of the year.

May I remind the State Government that this important tourist attraction does not receive any funding at all from the State or local council, so it is time to make amends and spend some money on the management of the oldest public building in WA.

I took the photo above of three guides on duty at the Roundhouse this morning when just after opening already large groups of primary students were climbing up the steps to see the old jail.

At the Fremantle Library a photo exhibition about volunteers  Freo Heroes- A Hundred years of Helping is on show till May 24.

Roel Loopers

 

Henty ad

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MORE ART STUDIOS FOR ARTHUR’S HEAD

 

The Fremantle Bathers Beach Art Precinct will join the City’s Studio Program and the former Pilots Cottages will become home to multiple artists instead of art galleries.

City staff conducted a trial period and believe there are benefits for Arthur’s Head, such as “an increase in the diversity of activation” and “a more dynamic precinct has been created”

This is of course self-serving bollocks as the art studios do not have to be open to the public, so one can hardly claim there is now a more dynamic precinct at Captain’s and Ms Trivett lanes, and while there might be diversity of use inside the buildings there is no diversity of activation outside and not much to attract visitors.

The marvelous and very popular Glen Cowans underwater photography gallery stands out as a beacon of professionalism, and at least the artists in the David Giles gallery open the doors, paint on the veranda and engage with the public.

The matter of the area being a ghost town at night is not addressed, so that will only get worse.

Fremantle Council has been wanting to activate Arthur’s Head for many years but fails to understand that artist studios which are closed to the public are not going to do that. It has also dismally failed to support the Roundhouse volunteers who run a major tourist attraction without receiving any funding at all from the City or the State.

The item is on the FPOL Committee agenda on Wednesday.

Roel Loopers

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A SHORT WALK THROUGH FREMANTLE

 

freo 6

freo 3

Here a few photos I took on a short walk through Fremantle on Sunday. I love this city!

Roel Loopers

 

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GOVERNMENT FUNDING ESSENTIAL FOR HISTORIC ARTHUR’S HEAD

 

Arthur's Head

 

Good to see the Fremantle Herald dedicating the front page to the stabilisation issues at Arthur’s Head and preservation works required at the Roundhouse.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the State Government has taken one of our state’s most significant historic precincts and WA’s oldest public building for granted for far too long. Sure, the City has on occasions received a grant to do work there, but there really should be annual funding for the upkeep of the Roundhouse and surrounding cliff face and buildings.

It was uplifting how many visitors to the Roundhouse yesterday had seen the Today Tonight program on Channel Seven with none of them aware that there is no funding for the tourist destination, and that just 30 volunteers keep the building open 363 days a year on the smell of an oily rag, from the few visitors gold coin donations received.

In an ideal world the Roundhouse would have enough volunteers to do two three and a half hour shifts, so that the building can remain open two hours longer each day from 10am to 5pm, in line with the Shipwrecks and Maritime museums.

Annual funding and marketing support from the City of Fremantle is needed to support the popular building, and State and Federal funding is required to maintain Arthur’s Head as the significant historic site it is!

Roel Loopers

HERITAGE PRESERVATION IS NOT OPTIONAL BUT OUR DUTY

 

round house- arthur head

 

Fremantle’s Ordinary Council meeting this evening decided to try to get State and Federal funding for the stabilisation of historic Arthur’s Head. Estimated cost for the preservation work are $ 1.8 million, plus $ 500.000-1million for renovations to the Roundhouse.

1. Endorse the Arthur Head design and documentation package as detailed in the Arthur Head Cliff Stabilisation Final Report, provided in Attachment 1 of this report in the Finance, Policy, Operations and Legislation Committee Agenda (10 April 2019).
2. Request the City proceed with referring details of the proposed works to the relevant state government agencies under public works procedures and obtaining all necessary statutory approvals.
3. Request the City seek State and Federal funding in order to progress the required remediation projects.
4. Request the City investigate the impact of vibrations from trains to the topography and buildings at Arthur Head.

I believe this is not far-reaching enough as the City of Fremantle should lobby the State and Federal Governments for ongoing annual financial support to preserve one of Western Australia’s most significant historic precincts.

As French President Emannuel Marcon said yesterday after the Notre Dame cathedral fire “We owe is to our history to preserve it.” And as I said to the Elected Members today that is not optional but a duty we have.

I also pointed out that the Roundhouse is the only one of the four Fremantle museums: Shipwreck Museum, Maritime Museum and Fremantle Prison that does not get any funding, not from the City, not from the WA Government and not from the Federal Government. That is not fair and reasonable.

The oldest public building in Western Australia welcomes around 140.000 international and national visitors a year, but is managed by mainly senior volunteers. Just 30 of them keep the Roundhouse open 363 days a year and fire the 1pm cannon.

The Roundhouse needs and deserves much more support from the City of Fremantle and State Government and it needs to happen as a priority!

Roel Loopers

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