Freo's View

LET FREMANTLE BECOME A LEADER IN INNOVATION

Posted in city of fremantle, innovation technology, roel loopers, technology by freoview on March 28, 2016

I just watched a very fascinating Q&A on ABC TV about innovation. Since innovation is a bit of the new black and has replaced placemaking, I wonder if the City of Fremantle would be interested in inviting Emergent Solutions CEO Holly Ransom for a public talk or forum.

The City has expressed it would like an innovation organisation to take up the former FTI space at the old Boys School and ENKEL has been given a long lease for the Naval Stores at Cantonment Hill, so why not get someone with real international know-how to inform us all what can be done to support innovation groups and individuals. Holly Ransom has been dealing with the world leaders in innovation technology Israel and Silicon Valley for years.

Wyatt Roy, the Federal Assistant Minister for Innovation, told Q&A that the Federal government is very keen for local governments and state governments to play a leading role in providing innovation hubs, so come on Freo, let’s be a leader in something I know very little about but am very keen to learn more about.

By the way, Holly Ransom is a really good down to earth speaker, so she won’t baffle us all with geek speak.

Roel Loopers

UTOPIA SATIRE AT FREO COUNCIL

Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on August 26, 2015

Coming home this evening from the Fremantle monthly Council meeting and watching the very funny UTOPIA on ABC TV straight after that I thought that often reality is funnier than satiric fiction.

I would not attend as many Council and Council committee meetings as I can, and I would not stand for Council at the October election, if I did not believe local government democracy is extremely important, but tonight I shook my head in disbelief as the Elected Members went on and on…. and on about what Councils three most important priorities are when applying for Lotterywest funding. And a bloody difficult and near impossible decision it was to make, and it did not help either that the Director was not much help.

Is the relocation of the Men’s Shed, one that most local governments would fund themselves, the number one priority for Fremantle when talking to Lotterywest to get money, or is it the proposal by the Fremantle Tennis and Bowling clubs to build a new clubhouse at Fremantle Park together with the Fremantle Workers Club? Or could it just remotely be the massive $ 4 million development of Cantonment Hill, a huge Kings Park-like area that will become an enormous attraction for tourists and locals? Hard to decide hey. Well, one would think not when one sits in the public gallery with other people who have a grain of common sense, but our Freo Councillors managed to just keep talking and asking more questions and changing the wording of motions.  It could have been an episode of Utopia or Yes Minister.

I think they agreed at the end that Cantonment Hill, one of the biggest projects Fremantle will undertake for years, is the number one priority and that the other two come second and third. And all that for funding from a State agency that is not guaranteed.

It would have helped the Elected Members if the officers had given more precise recommendations and information and it would have saved a lot of time and boredom.

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Truly independent.

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CUTE NORTH FREMANTLE LIFESTYLE HUB

Posted in fremantle, photography by freoview on August 11, 2015

I had a wander around the cute North Fremantle community hub where old and new blend so well together and did a photo essay of what I discovered.

North Freo and the port are special places for me and it concerns me greatly that the proposed Perth Freight Link and possible duplication of the Stirling Bridge would have a huge impact on the suburb and that parts of it might have to be demolished to make way for wider roads to Fremantle port.

While driving there I heard a debate on ABC radio about Perth Freight Link protest signs being stolen, with one man saying he took them away because he considers them litter. In a free country people have the right to express themselves and no one should censor that freedom by taking away signs they don’t agree with. Just put others up that support your view Mr Thief!

Roel Loopers

FREO’S SHARI’S BIG BREAK WITH BLACK COMEDY TV SHOW

Posted in abc, fremantle, screenwest, shari hutchison by freoview on July 29, 2015

I feel a bit like a proud father about this news as I have known Fremantle based Shari Hutchison since she was just one year old. I also had the privilege looking after her often while she was at Fremantle Primary School, taking her to hockey and swim training, doing homework with her and introducing her to German Vienna sausages and Dutch Pradera cheese, so it is great to hear about this fantastic achievement by her. Shari is a delightful and very beautiful and intelligent young woman with a lovely personality, so I could not be happier for her.

Here the media release from ScreeWest:

ScreenWest is pleased to announce Western Australian Indigenous producer Shari Hutchison has been selected as Kath Shelper’s producer attachment on the ABC television series Black Comedy Series 2, and is now on location in Sydney NSW.

Ms Hutchison is shadowing Ms Shelper (Samson & Delilah, Ruben Guthrie) throughout the series’ production. She will spend approximately 10 weeks with Ms Shelper for pre-production and filming.

Produced by Scarlett Pictures, Black Comedy is a sketch comedy show by Blackfellas…for everyone. The series features an ensemble cast of Indigenous writers and performers, and special guest cameo appearances.

Ms Shelper said the Scarlett Pictures production team are thrilled to have Ms Hutchison on board.

“The well-rounded skill set that Shari brings to the production is a bonus, and we hope that we are able to give her experience and insights into the production of sketch comedy for television in a professional environment,” she said.

“Shari will hopefully take some morsels of wisdom with her back to WA and plenty of contacts within the Indigenous community in particular.”

Ms Hutchison’s producer attachment is in keeping with the 2016 – 2020 ScreenWest Indigenous Screen Strategy, which aims to fast-track the development of Indigenous key creatives and support them over the long term with mentoring by experienced, high-quality professionals.

Roel loopers

NO AMALGAMATION LESS COMMUNITY CONSULTATION

Posted in development, fremantle by freoview on February 10, 2015

W.A. Premier Colin Barnett conceded on ABC radio this morning that he had failed with the local government reform and had put the white flag up. A big concern though should be Barnett’s remark that the government would take more responsibility on matters such as local government planning, which could mean taking more power away from local councils on planning decisions, so less opportunity for the community to have an impact.

That would be very dangerous, because the State’s DAP-Development Assessment Panel has overruled many local council decisions and allowed for inappropriate buildings to be erected at the loss of local amenity and unique identity. We can’t allow that to happen!

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE GARAGE SALE

Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 25, 2014

Fremantle celebrated the nation-wide GARAGE SALE at Kings Square this morning and St John’s jumped on the bandwagon and also had a sale.

I was expecting a lot more stalls and people, but ABC radio did a live broadcast with James Lush and Sabrina Hahn so that made it a little better. It was all to raise funds so the effort by those who participated is much appreciated!

Roel Loopers

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THE DEEP DARKNESS OF DEPRESSION

Posted in depression, fremantle, mental health, suicide by freoview on October 6, 2014

It’s MENTAL HEALTH WEEK and I have just watched a really good Q&A on ABC TV and decided to let it all out and make my own small contribution. I realise it is risky and that some people will judge me, but so be it. I have little to lose.  I hope that maybe it will help some people to speak up and ask for help. My story started here in Fremantle in 1994:

And you come back to Freo after stumbling 58,000 kilometres through Australia to find a place to die, and you start again, all over again not realising how much of your self-esteem has been sucked from you. You want to throw yourself back into the work you love doing, but have lost the confidence to go out and promote yourself, so you unconsciously create and artificial reality and build a cocoon around your depression.

You become a social advocate then an activist, supporting minority groups, you get deeply involved with your community and local politics, you become a volunteer.

Financially you start to struggle when the money from the sale of your house is drying up and not enough assignments are coming in, but after many years you even fall in love again. She is perfect of course until you find her in the arms of a friend. Your heart is broken and hatred destroys you, because she has taken what you valued most; trusting people.

Life goes on, it has to, but the cocoon you have created around your depression is not strong and it bursts, and another suicide attempt is gone. You have to admit that you are not brave enough to pull it through. Whoever said that people who commit suicide are selfish cowards have no idea about the intense darkness and aloneness, where death seems to be the only solution. The despair is so deep that it physically hurts, it’s a pain-and the fear off it- that never leaves you.

A few more failed love affairs and broken hearts, and little money left. Your lifestyle is getting worse and pulls you further down. What great relief and gratitude to have caring and generous friends and loans and food parcels, but it is equally devastating and demeaning. This is not the life you want to live.

The noose comes back and with it the fear for eternal darkness. You want to be dead but don’t want to die. You just don’t want to wake up tomorrow. And the worst thing is to know that you will never feel the relief you crave for and that you will hurt the people you love.

The GP tells you that you should just go to ”dancing halls” where a rich woman will pick you up and look after you. He also tells you not to worry about having no money for rent because you can sleep in your car, and not having food is also no issue ”because you have plenty of fat to burn.”

You feel like a total loser after that, someone who does not even get empathy from a medical professional.

But friends push you through and the psychologist is more understanding. What even he does not understand though is that the fear to deal with the almighty government department is too overwhelming and that you can’t make that call, you just can’t. They all think it is so easy and no doubt it would fast-forward to some sort of outcome, but the overwhelming anxiety is debilitating.

The amazing thing is that you are still very active and that you like who you are. You also realise that many people like you and even admire what you do, so you continue being the giver, he who does not charge for his services to help others, while being broke himself. You dream about helping others while being unable to help yourself. There does not seem to be a solution, but death, and that is hard to accept for someone who loves life and people.

There is no end-yet-to this long journey that started in 1994. I am still here but it is getting harder each and every day. Who knows, maybe I’ll be lucky one day soon and I won’t wake up with a chest full of anxiety, and there won’t be a tomorrow.

Roel Loopers

HOMELESS, NOT CAMPING!

Posted in fremantle, homeless by freoview on August 8, 2014

Having written only yesterday about homeless people, it is sad to hear on ABC radio this morning that a homeless man who sleeps in his car in Cockburn get’s fined for illegal camping. The man told Geoff Hutchison that he does not have a cooker or camping gear but only his personal belongings, but the rangers refuse to differentiate. Have a heart City of Cockburn and give the guy a break. He needs one!

Roel Loopers

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PACK YOUR BAGS!

Posted in fremantle by freoview on July 17, 2014

Fremantle is in the news for all the right reasons, with an ABC TV report last night on the proposed ban on plastic bags in our city. Fremantle Council will next Wednesday vote to adopt a local law banning single-use plastic bags, that is likely to go through council unopposed. There is already a ban on plastic bags in the ACT, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory. Freo Mayor Brad Pettitt said there’s a lot of support for the ban from the Fremantle community, and that the idea came from local community groups.

Fremantle Council last year introduced a plastic bag ban but it was rejected on a technicality in State Parliament by National and Liberal MPs. Under the previous law, customers would have been able to purchase environmentally-friendly bags but only if retailers charged 10 cents per bag. That mandatory charge has been deleted from the law that will go to Council next week, because according to legal advice, local government cannot legally impose a mandatory charge for retailers to collect.

If the proposed law gets approved, retailers who ignore it would face a fine of $150, while repeat offenders could be fined up to $2,500.

Brad Pettitt said while the thin non-degradable bags would be prohibited, alternatives such as paper and compostable bags would still be available.

 

Roel Loopers

THE LUCKY COUNTRY FOR SOME

Posted in fremantle by freoview on June 16, 2014

OXFAM asked the question Is Australia Still the Lucky Country? and the report they released shows that most Australians don’t believe it is. Nearly 80 percent of the people interviewed said the gap between the poor and the rich had widened, and over 60 percent claimed that inequality is making Australia a worse place to live .

According to the Oxfam report the wealthiest one percent of the population have more money that 60 percent of the population, and that the most wealthy Australians have too much influence.

It was interesting to listen to the ABC radio Geoff Hutchison program this morning. I did not hear it all but there were quite a few people who said they were leaving Australia, and others who said they were leaving W.A. because they could no longer afford to live here because of high living costs. One man told Geofff that he and many of his mates were going to move to Asian countries because they were fed up with the whingers and hand-out mentality.

I believe taking responsibility as a society is what it comes down to. Leaving the battle to others and going AWOL in another country is never going to be the solution, and neither is it to believe that it is someone else’s problem or that governments alone have to deal with it. We’re all in this together and we should all try to make life better for those who are not as lucky as others.

While (Western) Australia is not perfect, I still would not want to live anywhere else. Life runs its own course and while we are often in control of our own destiny, sometimes the universe has other ideas. Life is not for ever, so make the best of it and enjoy it while you can. I reckon it helps a bit to live in Fremantle, in a community minded place where people care.

Roel Loopers

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