Freo's View

UWA MORETON BAY FIG COLLAPSE LESSON FOR FREO

Posted in city of fremantle, health&safety, local government, trees, Uncategorized by freoview on November 20, 2018

 

UWA fig treet

 

All those people who were critical of the City of Fremantle removing some of the unhealthy Moreton Bay fig trees from Kings Square might want to learn from what happened at the University of Western Australia, where a huge branch of the iconic  86-year-old Moreton Bay ‘wedding tree’ collapsed, thankfully not injuring or killing anyone.

Imagine if this had happened while there was a wedding ceremony or wedding photos taken. Imagine Fremantle Council leaving the Christmas Tree standing and a branch collapsing onto the new planned children’s playground!

Roel Loopers

NEW CHRISTMAS TREE FOR KINGS SQUARE LOCATED

 

The Fremantle Kings Square Moreton Bay fig tree, known as the Christmas tree, which was removed this year due to its bad health and public safety concerns, will be replaced with another tree of the same species which currently is on the median strip of Ord Street.

City of Fremantle staff did source eleven trees, from which four were shortlisted, but finally only one of them was deemed suitable for relocation to Kings Square.

The relocation will cost approximately $ 45,500.

Another planned relocation at Kings Square might get some community concern, and that is the moving of the John Curtin statue, which is hugging the Townhall at present, to another part of our city square.

The Kings Square Public Realm Project update is on the agenda of the Wednesday’s Strategic Planning and Transport Committee that is held from 6pm at the North Fremantle Community Hall.

Roel Loopers

MANY REASONS WHY I LOVE FREO

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, nature, trees, Uncategorized by freoview on November 3, 2018

 

Freo love

 

There are many things I love about Fremantle and this in one of them.

Photo taken in Point Street early this morning.

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE URBAN FOREST GROWS

Posted in city of fremantle, environment, local government, nature, trees, Uncategorized by freoview on October 16, 2018

 

A media report by the City of Fremantle reports that more than 1800 trees have been planted over the past 12 months as part of the plan to create an urban forest in Fremantle.

In the last financial year a total of 714 trees were planted by the City of Fremantle on residential verges and in local parks, while another 92 were added as part of the landscaping component of City projects like pocket parks, car parks and walkways.

This follows the planting of 500 verge and park trees in the previous year, and is the result of the doubling of the City’s tree-planting budget from $60,000 to $120,000.

In addition, the City also planted 12,000 plants – including 1015 trees – in dunes, bushland and the river foreshore during nine community planting days and 21 volunteer planting days with conservation volunteers and local schools.

The City’s Urban Forest Plan forms part of the Greening Fremantle strategy 2020, which aims to progressively increase tree planting across the City to achieve at least 20 per cent canopy coverage. It stands at 13 per cent currently.

Samson had the highest tree planting numbers in 2017/18 due to the City’s targeted Greening Samson project. Mapping undertaken for the Urban Forest Plan identified Samson had some of the lowest canopy coverage in Fremantle, which meant Samson was on average two degrees hotter than nearby suburbs due to the urban heat island effect.

A total of 212 trees were planted in Samson alone, while another 299 were planted in Beaconsfield, Hilton and Fremantle, and 203 in South Fremantle, North Fremantle, White Gum Valley and O’Connor.

The species of trees planted included red flowering gums, bottlebrushes, jacarandas and tuart trees, with the varieties carefully chosen to best suit the local conditions and surroundings.

What the City of Fremantle did not mention in its media report is the number of trees that have been removed, due to new development, etc. so does anyone keep a record of that?

Roel Loopers

 

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THE SOCIETY ALWAYS KNOWS BETTER

 

In his latest communication with its members Fremantle Society president John Dowson laments the vitriolic and nasty comments on social media platform Fremantle Massive and blames Fremantle’s leadership for the divided Fremantle community.

JD, who has returned to Fremantle after spending most of the year in the UK, then continues with his customary attack on our Council, claiming that the vision for the town centre is all wrong, presumably because Freo Council encourages medium-rise buildings.

JD writes that a symbol of Freo Council getting it all wrong is that they did not fly the Australian flag on Queen’s birthday. I am more inclined to believe that the many building developments around Fremantle are a symbol of Freo’s prosperous future, but hey, why be positive about progress when you can have a whinge about a flag not being flown.

Of course the issue of the removal of the old Moreton Bay fig trees from Kings Square also deserves another attack on Mayor Brad Pettitt, who according to JD single-handedly relocated the Christmas tree from the Esplanade to Kings Square. A very silly accusation to make for someone who was a Councillor for four years and who knows how the council process works.

No matter what the issues are JD’s experts are always better than the ones the City of Fremantle engages, be that architecture, city planning, or trees, so the president received the opinion that the fig trees could have lived many years longer at Kings Square, contrary to the advise CoF received from expert eastern states arborists, who flew over, injected the soil, monitored the trees for a long period, and who decided the trees would become a public hazard if left there. The City even had a community consultation process period about the removal, so it was all pretty transparent.

The only positive in JD’s email to the FS members is that the Guildford Society has offered nine-year-old Moreton Bay fig trees to the City of Fremantle, according to the president.

We know that CoF officers are sourcing to replace the so-called Christmas tree, next to the new playground, with another mature Moreton Bay fig tree. One issue is how to get a mature tree through the streets, and the officer in charge told me on Wednesday that they are already looking at the possibility of having to use a helicopter to do that.

The sun is shining, summer is on the way, John Dowson, and the glass is half full. Fremantle has a great future ahead, and new development won’t destroy our beautiful city, just change and modernise parts of it. Inspire your Fremantle Society members with creative new and positive ideas for our city, not just the same old vitriolic rants and attacks on the Mayor, which are becoming tedious and irrelevant.

Roel Loopers

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LAST PLANE TREE RELOCATION AT KINGS SQUARE

 

 

The last of the London plane trees was relocated at Fremantle’s Kings Square this morning, moving it from the south of the Townhall to the north of it, where an urban forest will be created.

I really like the lightness the plane trees give to the square, and that is has created new community spaces, so I can’t wait to see the new civic centre go up and the new children’s playground installed.

Roel Loopers

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REPORT THE FREO FACTS

 

 

It would be nice if the West Australian would get their stories about Fremantle right.

Yesterday they published a lament by Silverleaf Investments about the Woolstores shopping centre development, with a photo that was supposed to be the new development, but isn’t.

Today they report about angry locals who are upset by the removal of the Moreton Bay fig tree- Christmas tree, and claim it will be replaced with a London Plane tree, when in fact it will be replaced with another mature and healthy Moreton Bay fig.

There was lengthy community consultation about this, and it did not at all come out of the blue that the two last fig trees, which were removed yesterday, were very sick and a danger to public safety, so there is really no need for a beat-up story in our only daily newspaper.

Please facts over fiction, West Australian, you are journalists, not politicians!

Roel Loopers

USE CARBON OFFSETS TO PLANT TREES IN FREMANTLE

Posted in carbon, city of fremantle, environment, local government, trees, Uncategorized by freoview on July 28, 2018

 

I have in principle nothing against the City of Fremantle paying carbon offsets to remain carbon neutral, but I question why the $ 50,000 allocated for it in the budget can’t be spent on planting new mature trees in Fremantle and increase the canopy in our own city.

Can someone at the City of Fremantle explain this to me please. Thank you!

Roel Loopers

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WHY WET IS WONDERFUL FOR PHOTOGRAPHY

Posted in art, city of fremantle, photography, rain, trees, Uncategorized by freoview on July 21, 2018

 

rain

 

Wet weather creates its own art, with reflections in puddles, photos through windows full of raindrops, and raindrops on tables, cars, etc.

Every day is a good day for photographers who have the eye and are observant enough to see the beauty in the ordinary.

I took this photo at the Fremantle Arts Centre this morning.

Happy winter shooting!

Roel Loopers

LIGHTER NEW LOOK KINGS SQUARE

 

KS 1

KS 2

 

I know I’ll get kicked in the bum, slapped around the face and abused on social media, but I quite like the much lighter look of Kings Square with the London plane trees.

The Jean Hobson playground is now all demolished in a heap and the public toilets closed, but replaced with large portable loos that are accessible for disabled people.

Freo is on the move and a lot of good things are happening, but patience is required as it will take considerable time for the retail and hospitality economy to turn around in our little city.

Roel Loopers

 

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