Freo's View



Fremantle is well served in the West Australian today with a full page interview with Nicole Lockwood the Chair of the WestPort Taskforce which are looking into the future of Fremantle Port and a new port at Kwinana. Good read!

Freo is also getting a wrap about the new winter Fremantle Festival, but strange that info was not released to local media as well, so I’ll ‘quote’ from The West.

The Fremantle Festival will be held for the first time in its 113 years during winter from July 12-22 and it is called 10 Nights In Port.

Freo festival co-ordinator Kathryn Taylor told the West that they “wanted it to be the harbour in a storm” where the community warmth at the fire. That means people will be able to enjoy glasshouses and relax in a steamy hot bath while enjoying entertainment. Sounds corny and a bit like the swimming pools at the Big Bash 20/20 cricket.

The Hidden Treasures music festival in the West End will grow with Future Treasures at Freo.Social to nurture young bands, while the Festival Club will be in the Moore&Moore cafe in Henry Street.

The late Bathers Beach ceramicist Joan Campbell will be honoured with Fired Up, where people will make small vessels at the Fremantle Arts Centre and taken to Bathers Beach where they are fired in an outdoor kiln.

There is a lot of other stuff and I hope there will be plenty of free things to do and not just ticketed events lower income people can’t afford to enjoy.

Roel Loopers



Posted in alcohol, city of fremantle, hospitality, local council, Uncategorized, west australian by freoview on January 3, 2018


Although the City of Fremantle put out a media release yesterday correcting the non-factual report in the West Australian about Fremantle Council wanting to introduce non-alcohol sections in pubs, the newspaper continues today spreading the fake news.

Inside Cover states on page 2 that this needs to be monitored, while the letters to the editors page published a letter by a Leeming man who blames the lefty, greeny, loopy Freo council for the nonsense.

Fact is that Fremantle Council, at the initiative of Deputy Mayor Ingrid Waltham, has asked officers to investigate how Freo City can ensure that there won’t be too many taverns in the CBD, after the applications for new taverns at the Warders Cottages hotel, the Police and Justice complex, both in Henderson Street, the Manning building and the Woolstores shopping centre development.

This is actually not all that new as Fremantle Council also looked at more diversity in shopping a few years ago and how it could control more cafes opening.

So to set the facts straight, there are no plans for restricted non-alcohol areas in pubs in Fremantle, but Council does not want the CBD to just be a boozers’ paradise that will impact on the family amenity and public safety.

It is time the West Australian corrected the nonsense they published!


Roel Loopers



Two interesting articles about city development in the West Australian property section drew my attention this morning.

The first one “Giving residents first priority” is something I have been calling for for many years, as I believe proper community consultation about new development at the earliest possible stage will take a lot of negativity out of the process, and does not force community groups to be reactive when it is often too late, and subsequently being branded as nay-sayers.

The West reports that RobertsDay‘s studio leader Duane Cole said “Developers tapping into  a community’s values and culture should start with genuine collaboration to build trust.”

Duane Cole told the West “…residents needed to be first in the process, not an afterthought.” and I could not agree more with that sentiment.

I do realise that Councils and developers might be reluctant to take this on as often the NIMBY attitude makes collaboration with the community difficult and frustrating, but building resentment by ignoring the wishes of the community is definitely not the way to go.

The second article is by Dr. Anthony Duckworth-Smith of the Australian Urban Design Research Centre in Perth who writes that AUDR has been working with the City of Fremantle to explore ways of finding the right balance for infill.

Duckworth Smith writes in the West that if Fremantle wants to keep its diverse social mix it should be looking at building smaller homes in suburban areas, because in the past two decades the vast majority of new homes in Fremante were four or more bedrooms, although households have become smaller and more diverse.

He warns however that the suitability for small houses is limited and does not cater for those who want to own. a house.

Modified local planning and design guide lines that respect the character of suburban areas could be developed to achieve urban infill the community accepts.

The City of Fremantle is willing to lead to find solutions to fill the gap between single residential and high density apartment buildings, Duckworth-Smith writes.

I believe that good infill in suitable targeted areas is the way forward, not just random infill and higher density because a property becomes available for development. That requires long-term planning and a vision for the ‘burbs’.

It has become quite clear that especially in older character suburbs many residents are against substantial change, infill, high density and medium and high rise buildings. That does not make the task for local and state government any easier. Some people believe the urban sprawl is inevitable to continue the great Australian dream of owning a large house with front and back garden, even when we have limited water supplies and urban sprawl is very expensive because it requires ever expanding roads, rail, power, water and gas to suburbs many tens of kilometres away from the CBD. This of course also causes traffic nightmares during peak hours.

Like with most things in life there are no easy solutions that will please and satisfy everyone, but I believe tough decisions have to be made now because future generations will suffer from the lack of foresight and leadership of our state and local governments.

Roel Loopers



Posted in business, fremantle, perth, west australian by freoview on November 11, 2015

Articles in the West Australian today made me contemplate to what extend corporate responsibility should go. The argument-and hope-that private investors could finance lightrail in Perth because it would be good for their workers and hence the bottom line is an interesting one and has some merit. Staff that needs to travel less to and from work will be happier and healthier and would probably be a more productive workforce so that should be good for the employers. I read though that there is little demand for office space in the suburbs and that indicates to me that employers don’t get it or don’t care about the big picture.

Decentralisation of the workforce away from the Perth CBD and the creation of so-called satellite cities should be a priority for our State Government and large employers because traffic congestion is affecting the productivity and bottom line of businesses.

Fremantle is desperate for economic recovery and revitalisation but it has been near impossible to get commitment from the State and larger corporations to move staff to Freo. Sirona Capital is hamstrung with the Kings Square development because no one wants to commit to moving to Fremantle, and even substantial residential and hotel development alone will not be enough to make Fremantle the state’s second city again. We need more office workers in Fremantle and more medium to large retailers to make the port city vibrant again.

There are huge development plans for the Coogee coast just south of Fremantle and somehow our retailers need to be able to tap into that potential and that requires better public transport along that southern corridor, ideally in the form of lightrail. It should also encourage businesses to open offices in Freo, close to where the workforce lives, but that has not been forthcoming and I wonder why that is.

Is it more prestigious for companies to have offices in big towers in Perth than four floors in a Fremantle low to medium rise, and is the corporate image more important than looking after one’s employees and the general community?

The urban sprawl in Perth cannot be allowed to continue because long commuting to work  is bad for personal health, bad for traffic and bad for the environment, and it costs money so it is bad for the bottom line. It is time for big businesses to make a move to the satellites of the metro area and for quite a few of them to make the move to Fremantle, so their workers can enjoy the unique lifestyle of our city. Procrastinating in the Perth CBD and complaining about congestion and public transport is not helpful or being part of the solution. Change is required! Make the move to Freo!!

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, perth freight link, west australian by freoview on November 8, 2015


One has to wonder what is going on at the WA Mainroads department and the controversial Perth Freight Link and Roe 8 highway extension. The Sunday Times reports today that although contracts have been signed with a consortium of builders the required land acquisitions for Roe 8 still have not been completed.

ST also reports that the necessary amendments to the Metropolitan Region Scheme still need to be completed and might need to go through parliament for legislation.

Is it a surprise the community is highly sceptical about the PFL and the whole process when this piecemeal governance is going on?

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, navy, united states of america, west australian by freoview on June 29, 2015


It’s going to be quiet again in good old Freo with some 4,000 American sailors leaving today after four days of R&R here.

The USS Bonhomme Richard, USS Preble and USS Green Bay will take part in navy exercising north of here. Thank you for visiting Fremantle and boosting the retail economy. You have been very respectful visitors to our city.

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle, politics, west australian by freoview on June 1, 2015

Barnett on Port sale

The West Australian and Channel Seven are doing Q&A sessions with WA Premier Colin Barnett and this following section was aired last night:

(Interviewer Gareth Parker)

GP: Premier you announced in the Budget that you’re going to sell off, or lease, Fremantle Port. Natalie Greenham wants to know why not build a bigger port at Kwinana and ease the truck traffic through Fremantle?

CB: Well to build a new port at Kwinana is probably going to cost $4 billion or $5 billion. It’s a huge expense. It will come. But it is probably not needed for another 15 years or so. So for the moment we will maximise the use of Fremantle. But yes, in 15 years or so’s time there will need to be a new port. That will probably be a privately funded port.

GP: But even after that 15-year period, will Fremantle Port still continue to operate as a working container port?

CB: Yes, I would expect it would.

I find it very hard to accept that politicians of all colours and all parties lie to win elections and get into power or hold on to it. They always find excuses and blame another party or the economy for their change of mind and I don’t believe we should put up with it any longer.

The sale of Fremantle Port and the building of the Perth Freight Link will be negative for Fremantle and the progress of our city. It is piecemeal on the hop governance that has no place in a modern and wealthy state like ours.



Posted in art, bangladesh, fremantle, west australian by freoview on May 29, 2015

I received the email below from my friends Ros and Ian de Souza, so check out the crowd funding site and support them:

For the past 18 months Ian and I have been working with a group of artists from Western Australia developing an arts in health project called DRAWNTOGETHER – the Art of Life.

Our DRAWNTOGETHER team has been invited by UNAIDS to deliver a community arts workshop program in 2015 for people living with HIV/AIDS in Bangladesh.

Please take 3 minutes to view our Pozible campaign on and, if you can, please spread the word to your networks with this link to help us get to Dhaka in July. It will make a real difference where it is most needed.

Thanking you in anticipation.

Ian and Ros de Souza



The Fremantle Society has the No 1 letter in the West Australian about the planned changes to the local council planning process. Here it is:

The Fremantle Society is very concerned about State Government’s latest plans that will further erode the power of local communities to influence or decide their destiny. Sterile sameness will be the result of taking planning approval away from local Councils. The individuality and uniqueness of suburbs and the amenity of these will gradually disappear as the development industry does it business. For example, Fremantle is not Ferndale and Cottesloe is not Cullacabardee, so why mandate the removal of the tools that help create and maintain this identity.


The plans by Colin Barnett should worry all of us who believe in local government, community engagement and the essence of locality through local planning. Taking away more and more power from councils is a serious erosion of our democratic rights. We wonder what the alternative government might do about these and other so-called reforms that strip power from community.


Henty Farrar

President Fremantle Society



Posted in australia, fremantle, racism, west australian, western australia by freoview on November 5, 2010

I just started to enjoy the second day of the 2010 Fremantle Festival over a cup of coffee at the Moore&Moore Cafe, when an article on page 3 of the West Australian shocked me back into reality.

During a protest against the proposed asylum seeker detention centre in Northam, two women were wearing T-shirts with the slogans “Bomb Their Boats” and Sink Their Boats” That is absolutely disgraceful to me. How can anyone advocate bombing and sinking boats full of men, women and children? What an inhumane, fascist, and selfish attitude is that!

One of the women, Belinda McKinnon, claims that refugees committed an illegal act when trying to enter Australia, while the fact is that under international law asylum seekers can seek refuge in any country they like.

‘Ladies’, you are inciting racial hatred.  THAT is illegal in Australia. You are a disgrace to this nation.

Roel Loopers

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