Freo's View

GOOD CITY COMMUNICATION A PRIORITY

Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 22, 2017

 

A major issue in Fremantle is the lack of proper community consultation. The resentment in the community about it creates an us and them attitude, where Council becomes the enemy of the people, so we need to make a real effort to change that.

It is essential in my opinion to take the community with you when Council makes decisions and unfortunately that has not always been the case. I know they will never be able to please everyone, but they have to do better.

The Australia Day controversy is a good example of that, where only one community group was consulted, but not the entire community, and not even the business community. That is not good enough.

It does not matter how well Councillors meant and that they showed great sensitivity toward the Noongar community, they should have taken the entire community with them on this extremely important journey on how we can improve celebrating our history. They did not do that, so the issue became divisive, and sometimes even racist, and that was very disappointing.

The fact that the date of Australia Day is now a national discussion is good, and I acknowledge that Fremantle Council started it, and I do support that, but surely this should have been handled so much better, and we need to learn from that.

The Smoking Ceremony during One Day was quite emotional and it was great to see so many people tun up to witness it, and so was the concert in the afternoon, but we need to have a chat with the entire community about how we can accommodate a better outcome that will be embraced by more people.

Communication is insufficient at many levels. Social media comments show that very many people in Fremantle do not know what goes on and are quite ignorant about facts, and that is due to lack of good communication by the City of Fremantle, I believe.

If thousands did not know that there are free parking permits for residents available, until it became a political election issue, that is a clear sign of bad communication.

The City needs to reach out more and better, as it cannot expect that people will try to find important information on websites or social media. The City of Fremantle needs to ‘home deliver’ information, not wait for people to come to them to find out what is going on.

Lack of communication creates an us and them sentiment in the community, where council becomes the enemy of the people, and that is plain silly. It also creates conspiracy theories and innuendo, because there is a lack of trust, due to a perceived lack of transparency and accountability. Excellent communication can solve most of these issues.

Councillors are part of our community, and we elect them to make the hard and good decisions. Many Fremantle City officers live in Freo and are our neighbours and friends, so let’s stop treating them as opponents.

If I get elected on Fremantle Council I would like to have monthly meetings with the board and committee of the Chamber of Commerce, Fremantle Society, FICRA, the Fishing Boat Harbour, Cappuccino Strip, West End, South Freo, North Freo traders, etc. and also attend precinct meetings, because only when elected members constantly listen to the community, and communicate with them, will they understand what the issues and priorities are.

We are all in this together, and the better we work together the greater the outcomes will be! There is a great future ahead for Fremantle.

Roel Loopers

VOTE ROEL FOR CITY WARD!

TOURISM SHOULD BE FREMANTLE PRIORITY

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on September 17, 2017

 

 

The rather optimistic prediction by Sirona Capital that the Kings Square Project innovative and exciting FOMO retail concept will double tourism in Fremantle made me think on how we can increase tourist numbers and offer a better tourism experience in the port city.

For reasons I cannot understand there is reluctance to sell the great brand of Fremantle in destination marketing, and our retail marketing is not anywhere good enough. Retail is hard to sell anyway, as Fremantle lacks variety in shopping.

There is lack of coordination between the major players, and I have the feeling there are a few egos in the way. The City’s marketing people don’t really believe BID is necessary and the Chamber of Commerce is also not a big fan of it, and the major players in town are often left out, so everyone does their own bit, instead of working together on major strategies.

There is an assumption of communication, simply because visitors to Fremantle can access the Fremantle Story on-line or go to different Facebook pages about festivals, etc.

Fact is though that there are many people who do not engage with social media and who can’t be bothered to do long searches to see what is available to them.

Why can’t a visitor to Fremantle, who is staying Tuesday and Wednesday night, find out where live music is on those nights, which pubs have got specials on, etc?

At the Roundhouse we are not supplied with information about events. Many of the volunteer guides don’t live in Fremantle, so they do not know what is going on. It should be a matter of routine that the City’s marketing department emails a list of events, etc. every Monday morning to the Maritime and Shipwreck museums, Fremantle Prison, the Roundhouse, etc. but that is not happening.

Every year we have to contact the City to beg for festival programs, flyers, even a small poster about the Winter, Beer, Chilli festivals, whatever, but it is not forthcoming.

The City of Fremantle does not see tourism as a priority and great opportunity to boost the retail and hospitality industries. If thousands more people come to Freo and stay longer they will shop, eat and drink and support our traders, but BID mainly does cutesy things for locals during school holidays and festivals, which already attract people, instead of being a conduit for all the major players, such as developers, Fishing Boat Harbour, museums, etc.etc. come together, and work on strategies for Freo’s tourism.

The majority of overseas visitors are looking for an indigenous experience, but can’t find it. There is an opportunity here for Fremantle, but we do tokenism better that high impact stuff. There is no big picture thinking on tourism.

We light up the Arthur Head cliff face at night, but close the Whalers Tunnel at 7 pm, so there is no direct access from High Street. Why?!

We should have substantial tourist promotion for Fremantle at the airport, in the Perth CBD, and in Kalgoorlie and Esperance for those who drive here, but we preach to the locals mainly.

The Roundhouse volunteers want to improve the displays, but the City is not pro-actively involved in supporting them, and appears quite happy to leave it to the mostly senior amateurs to sort something out, while they could do with good professional advise and financial support.

The City should lobby the Royal Australian Navy and ask them to reconsider putting the planned Sailor monument on the North Mole, and instead put it on Victoria Quay or in Pioneer Park, or even Kings Square, because tens of thousands of visitors to Fremantle will miss out on seeing it. The North Mole is too remote for people who don’t have a vehicle, and riding one’s bike there is a challenge with all the trucks in the area.

The City of Fremantle needs a think tank on tourism, something substantial and outcome based. We have plenty of talkfests and don’t even do those well, because they procrastinate into nothing.

Our traders deserve and demand support, and we need to have a more innovative approach on how we can sell brand Freo, because our promotion is stale, and Fremantle does not get much help from the Perth-centric state tourism promotions.

Many tourists to Fremantle comment on how different we are, and that Perth is just like other big cities, but we do not sell our heritage beauty well, or even our gorgeous High Street that ends up at Bathers Beach.

Fremantle needs creative people who are willing and able to think outside the box, and who don’t do same same every year, time and time again. Fremantle’s marketing is boring, uninspiring and not working!

Roel Loopers

VOTE ROEL FOR CITY WARD!

HISTORY HAS AT LEAST TWO SIDES

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, history, Uncategorized by freoview on August 28, 2017

 

MB 1

 

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt made a good point on his blog and here on Freo’s View about the Mailand Brown monument on the Esplanade, that tells both sides of the Langrange massacre that happened in the Kimberley in 1864.

This came in response to Councillor Sam Wainwright writing, a non council related article, that monuments of early explorers and settlers who committed crimes against Aboriginal people should be removed and street names changed.

The Lagrange history is controversial, as three explorers Frederick Panter, James Harding and William Goldwyer disappeared in the remote Kimberley, and a search party by Maitland Brown found them, allegedly speared and clubbed to death by Aborigines.

The alleged massacre saw some ten Aborigines killed by the search party.

Go and have a look yourself at the monument and read both sides of the story.

I wonder why the monument of Captain Fremantle that used to be on the Esplanade was removed some 20 years ago. There is controversial and contradicting history there as well.

Roel Loopers

AUSTRALIA DAY THREAT TO LOCAL COUNCILS

Posted in aboriginal, australia day, city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on August 15, 2017

 

Australia Day smoking ceremony in the Fremantle Roundhouse

 

According to a report in the West Australian today the Federal Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection has written to all 547 local councils in Australia, and warned them that they will be stripped off their right to hold citizenship ceremonies, if there are politically motivated attacks on Australia Day.

Fremantle Council this year stopped the Australia Day firework on January 26 and instead had a One Day event on the Esplanade on the 28th.

The fireworks still went ahead and were paid for by the Fishing Boat Harbour traders.

I am not sure that I consider the now national discussion about a more appropriate date to celebrate Australia Day as political motivated. It is only genuine consideration for Australia’s indigenous people, who consider January 26 as invasion day.

 

Roel Loopers

LET’S GET SERIOUS ABOUT ABORIGINAL TOURISM

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, indigenous, Uncategorized, western australia by freoview on July 26, 2017

 

When it comes to Aboriginal issues tokenism is always high, and walking the talk less of a reality.

Yesterday WA Minister for Tourism Paul Papalia stated that Aboriginal culture is WA’s secret weapon, but it appears the minister was only talking about giving tourists an outback experience, with no plans to offer an Aboriginal experience in Perth, Fremantle and other major cities around the state.

It is quite disturbing that neither of the two major cities has a serious Aboriginal cultural centre where overseas visitors can find out about Aboriginal history, culture, art, music, story telling, and food.

The City of Fremantle made a half-hearted attempt by running a small historic cottage at Arthur Head as the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre, but it was doomed to failure from the start, because of the inappropriate small building and location.

When one goes up to Derby the Mowanjum Aboriginal Centre is a great place to visit, as is the Aboriginal art centre at Warmun (Turkey Creek) and Mangkaja in Fitzroy Crossing, but there is nothing like that in the Perth metro area, but for commercial art galleries run by white fellas.

It is time the State Government started walking the talk and helped funding some serious Aboriginal cultural centres in our cities!

 

Roel Loopers

BEACH STREET KIOSK TAVERN

Posted in alcohol, city of fremantle, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on July 10, 2017

 

The owners of the KIOSK at Fremantle Beach Street, opposite the East Street Jetty, can thank their good luck that Fremantle Council did not sign off on handing over the former DADAA building next door to become the new location for the Aboriginal Cultural Centre.

I doubt that under those circumstances the City of Fremantle would have agreed to change the popular cafe from cafe to tavern, as they requested, and will be debated at the FPOL Committee this Wednesday.

The KIOSK wants to expand their business and have applied for a variation in license from 240 sqm to approximately 418 sqm, and they want to apply for a tavern liquor license to accommodate small functions and groups that is up to now restricted to table service.

The City of Fremantle is at present liaising with Aboriginal elders and groups to find out what they want to achieve with a cultural centre and then find an appropriate building in Freo for our Noongar friends.

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on BEACH STREET KIOSK TAVERN

FREMANTLE CELEBRATES NAIDOC WEEK

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, indigenous, Uncategorized by freoview on July 2, 2017

It’s the start of the annual NAIDOC Week and the City of Fremantle is hiolding an event from 1 pm this Sunday afternoon in the community centre in Paget Street in Hilton.

All are welcome to enjoy Aboriginal dance, music and food, so take the kids along to connect with our first nation people and learn about their culture!

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on FREMANTLE CELEBRATES NAIDOC WEEK

THAT FREO WEST END COMMUNITY FEELING

Posted in art, arthur head, city of fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on June 28, 2017

 

art 4

 

Aboriginal artist Peter Farmer has completed his artwork on the PTA switchboard along the railway line at Little High Street in Fremantle’s West End.

It is nice to see the local residents of the townhouses take so much pride and create their own community garden with furniture and plants along their properties.

It is a real shame the City of Fremantle killed off the delightful Arthur Head community, just opposite the railway line, when they  created the flawed Bathers Beach Arts Precinct and evicted the residents of the Pilot’s Cottages at Captain’s Lane.

Sunshine and Remedy of the Crookes family used to bring their friends from Lance Holt School home and play outside. They connected with tourists and sometimes had a small stall where they sold drinks and sweets from. Their gorgeous grey cat Hunter must have been one of the most photographed cats in the world as every tourist stopped to take his photo.

The Crookes held BBQs and family celebrations with friends, while next door the Fremantle Society held events, used their cottage for meetings and helped activate the area. We held bowls evenings on the grass where local could connect. I lived in the cottage as the caretaker for FS until we were told to move out.

The two cottages plus the one occupied by the Port Pilots were occupied 24/7 and that meant no homeless people invading the cottages at night.

Now we have a dark ghost town up at Arthur Head and people shooting up, defecating and using the verandahs and backyards as bedrooms.

Even during day time the cottages are rarely occupied and the artists studios and the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre have not done anything to activate the area. Only the very professional Glen Cowans Underwater Photography Gallery has made a positive impact at Captain’s Lane

It is a shame Fremantle Council does not admit it was a mistake and failure to change the  heritage precinct into an arts precinct, as it was much more activated when the Pilot’s Cottages were occupied 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on THAT FREO WEST END COMMUNITY FEELING

PUBLIC TRANSPORT ART IN FREMANTLE

Posted in art, fremantle, public transport authority, Uncategorized by freoview on June 26, 2017

 

The PTA has commissioned a new Aboriginal artwork on a switchbox at Little High Street in Fremantle, after local residents requested the beautification of the area opposite the Roundhouse.

I have no idea who the artists are, so if anyone knows, let me know please so I can credit them.

Roel Loopers

LOCAL COUNCILS WANT AUSTRALIA DAY CHANGE

Posted in aboriginal, australia day, city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on June 21, 2017

The decision by the Australian Local Government Association, which represents 560 local councils, to lobby the Commonwealth to change the date of Australia Day away from January 26 is a clear indication that the City of Fremantle’s decision to no longer have firework and celebrations on Australia Day was not a lunatic decision by some lefty socialists, but good and sensitive leadership that is now debated all around the country.

January 26, the arrival of the First Fleet in Botany Bay, Sydney, is seen as an insensitive date to celebrate Australia by many of our indigenous people, who regard the day as Invasion Day.

ALGA will at their July meeting decide what action to take, so stay tuned.

Roel Loopers

%d bloggers like this: