Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, environment, sustainability, Uncategorized by freoview on October 13, 2017


My mates Shani and Tim are Ecoburbia and Living Smart, so here info about their North Fremantle course:

Living Smart is a 7-week course (plus an additional field trip) that will inspire you to make sustainable changes in your own home with your family.

The course is designed with the needs of participants in mind and includes topic such as Waste, Living Simply, Power, Water, Gardening . . . and more. This course is brought to you by the City of Fremantle and will be facilitated by Shani Graham and Tim Darby, the most experienced Living Smart facilitators in Australia.

The next course starts on October 19 at the North Fremantle Community Hall and will run on Thursdays.

The cost for this course is $80 which includes Living Smart membership. Concession price ($40) available for eligible card holders. For more information call Shani on 0417 941 991 or email her at

The Living Smart program is now coordinated by Be Living Smart Inc. For more about Living Smart courses see



Posted in energy, environment, fremantle, solar, sustainability, technology by freoview on October 27, 2016

Fremantle based Carnegy Wave Energy has acquired 100% of the Australian Energy Made Clean solar company, adding 65% of the shares to the 35% they already had.

AEMC are specialists in the design, construction and operation of microgrids and large-scale commercial solar projects and storage systems.

Carnegie managing director Michael Ottaviano said that “The potential for the global microgrid market is estimated at US$40 billion by 2020. This acquisition unlocks Carnegie’s ability to deliver a unique, in-house capability to capitalize on a rapidly growing segment of the renewable energy market globally.

“Microgrids are increasingly a major part of the renewable energy market as they can deliver cost competitive, clean power and energy security.”




Posted in city of fremantle, solar, sustainability by freoview on April 13, 2016



The Federal Government’s green energy arm ARENA will be funding $1 million into a micro-grid project in White Gum Valley.

The solar battery technology will allow the apartments on the former Kim Beazley school site to store and trade power. This is the first trial in the world of the micro-grid technology. 

The Landcorp solar energy project that will cost a total of $3 million will have solar panels and batteries installed at four apartment buildings on the WGV development site at Stevens Street.

Strata companies who manage the apartment can sell the electricity to tenants, so they don’t have to buy their power from SynergyIt is estimated that the strata companies would be able to sell electricity to tenants and home owners cheaper, or at the same price as Synergy does, while the owners and occupiers of the apartments will be allowed to sell power to other apartments if they don’t use all the power generated.

The development has received criticism from the White Gum Valley community because nearly 100 trees were killed to make way for the development. Solar energy does not like large trees around buildings as they impact on how much sun light the solar panels receive.


Roel Loopers




Posted in fremantle, sustainability by freoview on April 17, 2015

Fremantle will become one of the stops to recharge electric cars on the RAC-sponsored “Electric Highway’ from Perth to Augusta, the West Australian newspapers report today.

The charging time will only be 30 minutes but it is my understanding that at least two stops would be needed for a 300km trip, so that would add an hour of travel time to the journey. I wonder how attractive that is going to be in a modern world that is in a constant mad rush to get from here to anywhere and where the attention span of the information super highway is about 15 seconds.

I wonder where the Freo charging station will be.

Roel Loopers


I wonder how many people have the same experience. A friend at Kellow Place received three identical letter from the City of Fremantle advising her about the plans for Stevens Reserve and the highrise development there. The carbon-free sustainability city wasting paper and postage because someone, again, has messed up at COF.

When will it stop, When will the CEO take charge and start kicking butt.

Some people obviously are not doing their jobs properly because there is no leadership, or performance criteria to keep the job. Who cares when the salary is deposited in the bank account every fortnight. Why strive for perfection when she’ll be right will just do fine.

Dare I mention the bin at the Round House was overflowing with booze bottles again today.

Yep, I know I am a pain in the arse, but I am only the messenger who tries to clean up the mess COF is creating.

Roel Loopers


The first sitting of the all new City of Fremantle Special Projects Committee was a rather strange one that made me wonder why it was public. This was more a brain-storming session between councillors, officers and CODA consultant Kieran Wong, with the Director of Planning and Development Services Phil St John sometimes rallying the subdued group like an AFL footy coach, to stay focused and come up with big picture thinking, concepts and vision. “We want to put together a vision of your ideas”

I understand council wants to be seen to be transparent and inclusive but this committee could well be held in-camera rather than public and only three people plus me were in the gallery with not even the local newspapers bothering to turn up.

The other strange thing is that the committee was there to talk about the Activity Centre Vision Plan,but although it is mentioned in the agenda that the consultant for Visioning 2029 had documented the workshops, no report was tabled or attached and the lengthy and costly community process was not mentioned. That to me is putting the cart before the horse. Why start another visioning project when we have not even evaluated the one we did last year?

Should two-way traffic everywhere, or in the West End, be considered and what would that mean? First of all it would mean a substantial loss of parking bays to the detriment of the businesses in the area, as Councillor Simon Naber rightly pointed out.

There was also the suggestion to make future new parking only available on the periphery and discourage private vehicle traffic through the CBD because we only want people driving in the CBD who have that as their destination. That however would not work by forcing people to park on the periphery who have the CBD as their shopping/business/entertainment destination. That needs a lot of rethinking.

The reactivation of the Passenger Terminal came up, but with Fremantle Ports having recently spend millions on refurbishing it, I doubt it will become a public space any time soon.

There is hope for Arthur Head with Chair Rachel Pemberton mentioning the “anticipated boardwalk” there. Bring it on asap!

The strangely low-energy meeting talked about connectivity, sightlines, connection through the convict establishment, and having more events at Fremantle Oval to take the stress off the heavily-used Esplanade. The latter is a good idea and the oval might even be suitable as an occasional outdoor live music area for Sunset Events when they take over the Artillery Drill Hall from the Fly by Night.

Share, or naked, streets were obviously also on the agenda as that is one of the buzzwords around the western world and placemaking fraternity, and I am all for it as long as it is done sensibly and not to the detriment of local businesses.

Of course more and better bicycle links were discussed, and preferred transit corridors, as was a lightrail loop, a fast transit bus to the airport, and CAT bus connection from North to East Freo.

What did not come up and should be part of any strategic plan for Fremante is to find alternative off-street parking for Notre Dame University students, because the West End is a no go zone to try to find parking for shoppers and visitors when the students are attending campus. Dare I suggest the corner of Cliff and High for a low-rise creative UNDA carpark, without upsetting all my heritage friends.

Councillor Bill Massie asked why the City spend so much money on bike lanes when only a very small, less than five percent, of the population uses bikes. I think that went straight one ear in one ear out with some of the green pipe dreamers on council, who refuse to be realistic that cars will remain the preferred form of transport for the majority of the population for a very long time.

Lowering vehicle speed is obviously essential if the shared streets idea takes off.

While Bill Massie said we need as many vehicles in the city as possible because businesses are bleeding, Robert Fittock said that business who relied on vehicles should change strategy. I don’t believe the debate should be about vehicles or not vehicles, but how Fremantle can make it fast and easy for people to come to the inner city by all forms of transport and accommodate parking in a walking distance from the shops.

Did I get inspired last eve and did I have the wow feeling of having listened to great ideas, outstanding concepts and something new and fresh? Not at all. There was a lack of creative, out of the box thinking, trodding over old ground and rehashing old placemaking sessions. I had a real sense of deja vu, of having been there before, a council ground hog day. I think the Director would have been pretty disappointed with the lack of substance he will now have to work with.

Roel Loopers


Posted in australia, fremantle, politics, sustainability by freoview on May 19, 2013

The report that Infrastructure Australia, the agency which advises the federal government, believes that the Western Australian government got its plans for light rail wrong, should also be considered at Fremantle council. I have yet to hear plans for public transport improvement in Fremantle without the lightrail dream the Mayor and many councillors have. Realistically light rail will not happen in Freo for 10-15 years unless private funding and operators can be found, and that is highly unlikely. So assuming developers soon will start building hundreds of new apartments and thousands of square metres of office and retail space, what traffic management and public transport solutions are the City of Fremantle considering? Infrastructure Australia for example recommends rapid bus transit corridors. Should Fremantle plan for that? Where could they go? What changes to our road network would have to be made? Should CoF start budgeting for that?

Assuming there will be local council elections in October, what plans for Freo will Mayor Brad Pettitt and councillors try to impress us with. What are their realistic plans for the immediate non light rail future of Freo and what will be their priorities for NOW, because businesses in Fremantle can not wait for maybe development in years to come, they need support now.

Roel Loopers


Posted in australia, fremantle, sustainability, western australia by freoview on October 30, 2010

The URL of the FREO TRIBE, the blog of the FREMANTLE SOCIETY, has changed to it’s own domain:



Posted in australia, fremantle, sustainability, western australia by freoview on October 29, 2010

What would Fremantle have looked like in 2010 if the Fremantle Society had not fought hard to preserve the heritage of the city? It could have been terrible!

If you are interested to find out how it all went, hop on one of DON’S TRAM TOURS, where former councilor and long time Fremantle Society committee member, Don Whittington wil tell you all about it. Don is a superb raconteur with a gentle cheeky smile, and insight knowledge of  Freo’s turbulent past. He’ll make you wish the tours last forever.

Join in the fun and fights of Fremantle’s history.

TOUR 1: Saturday. November 6. 4-5pm.Starts at Meeting Place. 245 South Terrace.

TOUR 2: Wednesday. November 10. 12-1 pm. Starts at Fremantle Arts Centre. 1 Finnerty Street

It’s only $ 10.00



Posted in australia, fremantle, politics, sustainability, tourism, western australia by freoview on October 28, 2010

As a relatively new and active member of the Fremantle Society I would like to share my ideas of what the society should be, and hope this will trigger an on-line discussion, with members of the society, the general public, and city councilors and planners.

First I like to acknowledge the passion, commitment and hard work done since 1972 by present and past members of the society. Fremantle could have been an awful place if it wasn’t for those people voluntarily taking on the custodianship of the city. They stood guard and succeeded in preserving so much of our beautiful heritage.

It has been a long time, and times have changed. We now have access to modern and very fast communication tools like the internet, where we can converse with people all over the world and in real time. No waiting for snail mail anymore. This gives us new opportunities, but also challenges, to reach a much wider audience for our ideas and passions.

The Fremantle Society has reacted to this with starting the FREMANTLE TRIBE blog, they have a FACEBOOK page, members are working on modernising and expanding the website, and there is the launch of the FREMANTLE FIGHTERS book, written by Ron and Dianne Davidson, on November 19 by Premier Colin Barnett at Deckchair Theatre.

All this indicates that this group wants to move on to become more pro-active, and change the image from being seen as negative, anti-development, and against everything. I don’t believe at all the Fremantle Society is against development, they just want sustainable and good quality, not ad hoc, ugly, fast, grab the money and run, style of buildings, some developers seem to advocate.

I believe development is essential for the vitality and future of Fremantle. The city needs an inspiration to move it into a new and exiting phase, with more and better public open spaces, like town squares, mixed, and cheaper, housing, iconic and eye-catching buildings, quality retail outlets, small wine bars, better street scapes, etc.

The East End is in desperate need of revitalisation, the Princess May area near Clancys could become a wonderful community space, the Woolstores need to be developed urgently. I’d like to see a better connection to the train station, with the bus port not hiding the beauty of it, and better direct access to Victoria Quay and the E-Shed Market, cafes, and the soon to open new ferry passenger terminal at the port, and King Square needs to become a real vibrant town square and meeting place.

I would like the society to come up with its own plans for the city, not just being reactive and put essential submissions to the council about new development. I do understand that this will be difficult to achieve for a group with very limited funds, as they would need experts to draw up plans, involve architects, etc.

But there are always solutions, and one of them could be to involve architecture and city planning university students and teaching staff. Wouldn’t it be great if they embraced the concept of assisting the Fremantle Society in helping to make Fremantle a modern, vibrant place, where students can afford the rent and enliven our streets not only during uni hours but also in the evenings, and they too become a vital part of our city, not just day time visitors.

There should also be regular forums in cafes and other meeting places like Kulcha, and the society needs to take a greater part in events that happen in Fremantle. They need to lift their public profile by being out there and amongst the rest of our community, as they did with their strong presence and hard work at the Concert for Pakistan.

I have great hopes for Fremantle. We have a very inclusive mayor in Brad Pettitt and some good young councilors. I am convinced they will work hard on making Fremantle grow in a sustainable and modern way, with great respect for our heritage, and they are aware we are all watching them closely.

Those who believe unlimited high-rise development is the way to go for Fremantle are in the wrong city. Our heritage is non negotiable and we will not compromise the beauty of it. Respect for Fremantle’s history, heritage, and unique lifestyle is the most essential ingredient for any development!

Roel Loopers

%d bloggers like this: