Freo's View

FREMANTLE BEST LOCATION FOR ABORIGINAL CENTRE

 

“It is well beyond our capacity of funding” said Councillor Andrew Sullivan about the Council agenda item to do a $ 50.000 feasibility study for a Fremantle Aboriginal Cultural Centre at the preferred J Shed location at Bathers Beach.

And that is unfortunately the huge problem, because indications from the WA State Government are that they want to built the Aboriginal centre in Perth, ideally in Burswood, the electorate of Ben Wyatt, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and the Treasurer.

While I would absolutely love to have an Aboriginal Centre in Fremantle, and have been calling for it for many years, I believe it is unrealistic for the City of Fremantle to do a feasibility study before getting funding commitment from the State. Should we spend $ 50,000 of ratepayers money on what might only be a pipe dream that will never be realised because the State Government is so bloody Perth-centric?

If I were wealthy I would be very happy to donate my own money for an Aboriginal Centre in Freo because the story of our indigenous people needs to be told, and international tourists need to and want to have an Aboriginal experience.

Now how can we convince the Premier and Cabinet that Fremantle deserves another tourist attraction?

Roel Loopers

TODAY TONIGHT FILMING ARTHUR’S HEAD NEGLECT

 

 

A team from Channel Seven-Today Tonight spent most of the morning in Fremantle to film a story about the neglect of historic Arthur’s Head and WAs oldest public building the Roundhouse.

They interviewed a structural engineer about stabilisation solutions for the rockfall problem and a Roundhouse tourguide about the historic significance of the area.

It will be screened tomorrow, Wednesday at 6.30pm so make sure to watch it, and hopefully WA State politicians will watch it as well and put their hands in their pockets and fund the essential maintenance and repairs as a priority.

Send an email to Heritage Minister David Templeman, Premier Mark McGowan, Tourism Minister Paul Papalia and Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk, and urge them to preserve one of Western Australia’s most significant historic precincts!

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE PORTS SPONSORS ROUNDHOUSE CANNON FIRE

 

cannon-fire

 

It is personally rewarding for me to see that my call for support for the Fremantle Roundhouse has not been just weeing in the wind, but that Fremantle Ports responded generously and are now official sponsors of the One O’Clock Cannon Fire at the Roundhouse.

That the Fremantle Ports sponsors WA’s oldest public building is special to me since I did 14 years of photography for the Ports, so I very much feel like being part of the crew there.

When I complained in a letter to the West Australian and on this Freo’s View blog a few months ago about lack of support for the Roundhouse Fremantle Ports contacted me and asked how they could support the Roundhouse heritage guides.

The gun deck overlooks the site of the first Fremantle port, the long jetty, and also the current port, so it is very much part of our maritime history.

The cannon was fired and the time ball lowered for the early mariners to adjust their clocks, so that the calculation of longitude would be precise. The Roundhouse volunteers fire the cannon 363 days of the year, unless inclement weather prevents it.

People can book the firing of the cannon on http://www.fremantleroundhouse.com.au and are given a certificate to show they were the honorary gunner of the day. I suggest we reprint the certificates with the Fremantle Ports logo on it.

As part of the Fremantle Ports sponsorship the Roundhouse volunteer guides will participate in this year’s Maritime Day on Victoria Quay. I’ll see you there!

I hope the State and Federal governments will now also financially assist with the Roundhouse maintenance and management and the much needed stabilisation of Arthur’s Head and the Whalers Tunnel.

Roel Loopers

 

MINISTER DOES NOT WANT FREMANTLE ABORIGINAL CENTRE

 

Roundhouse

 

I rest my case about the WA State Government being Perth-centric. The West Australian today published an “exclusive” by Peter de Kruijff about the money needed to maintain the Fremantle Roundhouse and historic Arthur’s Head and that the City of Fremantle wants to do a feasibility study for the creation of an Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Bathers Beach.

But Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt hits that straight on the head by stating that an Aborigonal Cultural Centre should be as close to the centre of Perth as feasible. Why?

Fremantle was the first point of contact between the Whadjuk Noongar people and the British settlers and surely the second city in Western Australia deserves a new tourist attraction, when Perth got Elizabeth Quay, the new WA Museum, the Burswood Stadium, etc.

The question now is if Fremantle should be spending $ 50,000 on a feasibility study when it appears unlikely they will get financial support from the State Government, and two Aboriginal centres would probably not a good idea either.

I would love to see a significant Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Freo, but the City is financially not doing well at all, so should they spend $ 50,000 of ratepayers money for something that is unlikely to be built in Fremantle?

Roel Loopers

 

HERALD ARTICLE STRESSES LACK OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORT FOR HISTORIC ARTHUR’S HEAD

 

 

Herald

 

This Thinking Allowed published in the Fremantle Herald today claims I am “Freo’s most opinionated blogger” so I’ll take that as a compliment I think, well, maybe. ūüė©

It is important though to stress the fact that the historic Roundhouse and Arthur’s Head do not get any annual funding from the State and Federal governments and that the City of Fremantle does not have the millions needed to properly maintain the heritage precinct.

Also in the Herald the not very good financial state of our city, so make sure to grab your copy of our Chook.

Roel Loopers

 

Henty ad

ARE FREIGHT TRAINS SHAKING HISTORIC ARTHUR’S HEAD INTO OBLIVION?

Posted in arthur head, city of fremantle, heritage, local government, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on April 11, 2019

 

Fremantle’s historic Arthur’s Head was on the agenda of Wednesday’s FPOL Committee of Fremantle Council. The place is fallen apart and lacks proper maintenance and for nearly a year City officers and expert consultants have looked into how the limestone cliff face can be repaired and stabilised.

The officer’s report recommends several options, but it was unbelievable to hear that no investigation has taken place to see what impact the vibrations of the heavier, longer and more frequent container freight trains have on the cliff face, Whalers Tunnel and surroundings.

It seems strange to a layman like me that one offers solutions without understanding the cause of the problem, and I wasn’t the only one who questioned that.

There was however surprisingly little debate about the matter that will come before full council in a few weeks.

Roel Loopers

 

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AUSTRALIAN CULTURAL ATTRACTIONS IGNORE WA’S OLDEST PUBLIC BUILDING

Posted in city of fremantle, culture, fremantle prison, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on April 10, 2019

 

 

I just became aware of a new website Cultural Attractions of Australia and of course wanted to find out what this site is all about and how well it promotes Western Australia and Perth, and especially Fremantle.

When I clicked on Perth only two attractions appeared, the Fremantle Prison and the Maritime Museum, no other historic and cultural attractions in Perth or Freo, such as WA’s oldest public building the Roundhouse popped up, so that is not actually giving comprehensive information to all those around the world who are interested.

But it became more clear what the site is all about when I Googled it:

Cultural Attractions of Australia will provide a single point of contact for travellers, trade partners and media to access premium, behind-the-scenes cultural experiences in iconic locations. As a collective, its strength lies in the diversity and iconic nature of the sites and collections represented, as well as the direct connection they hold with the people and cultures of Australia.

The founding members of Cultural Attractions of Australia are: Adelaide Oval, Arts Centre Melbourne, Australian War Memorial, WA Maritime Museum, Fremantle Prison, Melbourne Cricket Ground, MONA, National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Opera Australia, Parliament House, Port Arthur Historic Site, Qantas Founders Museum Longreach, Sovereign Hill and Sydney Opera House.

It is just plain self-promotion of certain cultural attractions and is not at all as inclusive as what the name lets us to believe. Very disappointing!

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE WELCOMES AUSTRALIAN TOURISM EXCHANGE

 

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Fremantle welcomes the delegate for the Australian Tourism Exchange 2019. We hope you love your time in our gorgeous city!

Around 1,500 Australian seller delegates from approximately 550 companies, 650 key buyer delegates from over 30 countries, and 70 international and Australian media attend this global event.

Organised by Tourism Australia in partnership with Tourism Western Australia, ATE19 will take place at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre from 8 to 12 April.

The Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) is Australia’s largest annual travel and tourism business-to-business event.

The event brings together Australian tourism businesses, and tourism wholesalers and retailers from around the world through a combination of scheduled business appointments and networking events. It also provides international travel buyers with the opportunity to experience Australia’s tourism offering first-hand through pre and post-event familiarisations.

Have fun!

Roel Loopers

 

URGENT CARE NEEDED FOR FREMANTLE ROUNDHOUSE

 

round house- arthur head

 

While the possibility of a brand new Aboriginal cultural centre at Fremantle’s Arthur’s Head would be great the entire area needs a lot of TLC and large financial investment, as the officers’ report in the FPOL Committee agenda for this Wednesday shows.

As a volunteer at the Roundhouse and someone who visits Arthur’s Head daily I have found the neglect of the heritage precinct a disgrace and an insult to our history. If we do not respect the past we ignore our roots and that is not acceptable to me.

A few months ago I questioned in a letter to the West Australian and on Freo’s View why the Roundhouse, Western Australia’s oldest public building, does not receive annual funding from the State and Federal governments, and that extends to entire Arthur’s Head, because a city with a small ratepayers’ base like Fremantle simply does not have the money required to properly maintain the old building and limestone cliff area. That needs to change with urgency and priority!

Here some of what the FPOL agenda states:

The condition of the cliff faces and man-made walls at Arthur Head Reserve were found to range from poor to good. The recommended remediation for different areas varies from minor works such as removal of vegetation and repairs such as repointing of existing masonry walls through to major works including the extension of the Whaler’s Tunnel portal in areas where there is significant potential for collapse and risk of harm to visitors.

The condition of the limestone walls of the Round House has been deteriorating for some time. Major conservation and restoration work is required to maintain this important historical building.

Previous conservation and stabilisation works undertaken between 2001 and 2018 were completed in a piecemeal manner. Some of these works included shaving the cliff faces to address safety issues of rock fall did not consider or address the issue of erosion and only accelerated the retreating of the cliff face towards some significant heritage buildings.

The Round House which is recognised as being Western Australia’s oldest public building and is one of this State’s most significant heritage buildings is one of the biggest attractions in Fremantle with an estimated 100,000 persons per year visiting the building annually.

The last major conservation works of the Round House were undertaken in 2004. Since then small amount of maintenance works have been carried out each year under the City’s building maintenance budget.

Due to the exposed marine environment, vandalism and the well-intentioned but damaging repairs carried out during the twentieth century the building is now in need of some urgent conservation works. In particular, works are urgently required for the remediation and repair of the limestone walls.

Given the heritage significance of Arthur Head and its buildings, a long term solution to stop the erosion of the cliff faces and repair of the Round House walls is required to ensure that the assets in the Arthur Head Reserve survive for future generations to enjoy.

The pre-tender estimate completed in March 2019 which was developed from the completed designs and contract documentation indicates the total project cost for all remediation works to the cliff faces to be in the order of $1.8 million (Exc. GST).

The remediation works can be undertaken in stages which could be sequenced based on risk.

The conservation and remediation works to the Round House are estimated at between $500 000 and $1 000 000.

I am surprised that the officers put an estimation of 100,000 visitors for the Roundhouse as the exact visitors numbers are available. They are recorded each and every day by the team leader of the day, who has a clicker counter to record everyone who enters the Roundhouse and that comes to 140,000 -150,000 annually, which is well above the estimated number.

Roel Loopers

YOU ARE HERE-BUT ARE WE THERE YET?

 

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I went to have a look at Fremantle’s new branding along the Cappuccino Strip this morning and like I said in my previous blog post I am less than impressed with it.

THIS IS FREMANTLE might as well have been replaced with YOU ARE HERE, since that has been successfully used for decades in national parks and cities around the world.

I acknowledge that shit happens and that only recently a plane flew from London to Edinburgh instead of its Dusseldorf destination, but that is rare.

I doubt very many visitors to Fremantle will be surprised to learn that they are in Fremantle, and not in Bratislava or Margaret River, so what the hell is going on spending $ 300.000 on a campaign that does the contrary to what the Mayor and the media release say?

This is NOT “a bold new marketing campaign” and the new brand DOES NOT “highlight Fremantle’s vibrancy and culture.”

It’s more like being on the train where the voice says at every stop this is Daglish, this is Subiaco, etc.

This Is Fremantle, but Are We There Yet? Not by a long stretch as far as the marketing of our delightful city is concerned. I am so very deeply disappointed that I am disgusted!

Roel Loopers

and here the two-minute video, which I do like. It is the 30 second promos I have got an issue with, and the uninspiring banners around the city.

https://cofremantle.wordpress.com/2019/04/05/this-is-fremantle-video/

 

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