Freo's View

REDLIGHTS FOR FREO’S WEST END

Posted in arthur head, city of fremantle, local government, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on June 21, 2017

 

Imagine Arthur Head

 

We all have them, those Eureka moments in life, when one wakes up and one has found the solution for a major problem, as I did this morning knowing I had found the perfect activation concept for Fremantle’s historic West End and Arthur Head.

Not even Jay Dee the Pres. of Ef Es could have anything against something that is older than heritage, and it is something most port cities of the world have.

My award-winning placemaking brilliance will see Arthur Head transformed into a red light district, mirrored on the famous Reeperbahn in Hamburg and the Walletjes in Amsterdam. It will guarantee 24/7 activation of the dormant West End and substantially add to Fremantle’s port city reputation.

Prostitution is one of the oldest professions in the world, so very heritage, and a port city without a red light district is like a ship without the ocean.

The area has been struggling since all the pubs in High Street were closed and Fremantle Council decided to make the heritage precinct into an arts precinct, and when our elected members thought that a 1,500 patron live outdoor music venue and 800 patron booze barn was exactly what they wanted when they asked in the Expressions of Interest for an art related cafe. They kinda got the wording of the EOI wrong, one has to assume. But no worries, Loopy comes to the rescue!

Imagine the cottages alongs Captain’s and Mrs Trivett lanes, and the Roundhouse all lit up in red at night, and girls offering their beauty behind the windows. Imagine what a fantastic and popular tourist attraction it would be!

I fondly remember the days when my mum insisted dad should take me with him when he delivered cigarettes to the aunties of the redlight district in the Hague. Especially during the Christmas period it was a sight to behold when the aunties lit up their bodies with flashing Christmas lights that wound around their substantial and well-exposed boobs, and to my bewilderment also in a V-shape between their equally well-exposed thighs. It took me many years of growing up to found out what was so special about that V-spot.

I also propose a Swingers Swap Market in the Roundhouse on Friday nights, where couples can exchange partners, or hook up for foursomes, and Sexpos in the old goal once a month there.

If the posts of the Curfew Bell were changed from square ones to round we could also have pole-dancing nights in the historic setting.

Instead of the proposed tavern train wreck at J Shed Sun Sex Erects could transform the Number One unit into a live sex venue with peep shows, striptease and simulated sex acts on stage, and a bar that sells cheap ‘champagne’ for exorbitant prices.

The rhythmic sound of many one hands clapping would go well with the industrial sounds of grinders and power tools coming from the Greg James sculpture studio next door.

I truly believe that this is an award-winning idea and that I have just written the perfect job application to replace the City of Fremantle’s director of economic development and marketing. Sorry Tom!

Someone more famous than I ever will be once said “Let there be Light!” so I’ll steal it from him and say Let there be Redlight Freo!

Roel Loopers

SUNSET EVENTS DOES NOT DESERVE COUNCIL GENEROSITY

Posted in city of fremantle, hospitality, sunset events, Uncategorized by freoview on June 17, 2017

 

The request by Sunset Events to delay the commencement of their lease for Unit One of J Shed at Bathers Beach will have to be decided by the City of Fremantle full council in a few weeks.

The Officer’s Recommendation is for Council to reject the application, but there is also an alternative recommendation that some Councillors at the FPOL Committee felt would give the City  more power and get Sunset Events to move faster, as they did not do anything for the last eight months, after the WAPC rejected the tavern application and live outdoor music venue on the A Class reserve.

I believe the alternative recommendation is far too generous and suggest to change it to following:

  • Commencement of the lease is January 1, 2018 and the agreed 25% of the rent is payable for six months.
  • The second year of the lease starts on July 1, 2018 where the rent is 50% of the $ 83,950 annual rent +GST.
  • Sunset Events needs to have all planning and liquor licensing approvals by September 30, 2018 otherwise the lease will be terminated.
  • If approvals granted start of building no later than January 31, 2019.
  • Personal directors’ guarantee that Sunset Events is in a sound financial position to pay for the building costs and rent.

 

I believe though that it is unlikely the WA Planning Commission will approve the tavern because it was deemed unsuitable use of the A Class reserve, and the new plans differ little from the previous one.

One way or the other, this can’t go on indefinitely and Sunset Events needs to get a kick in the bum to get started fast or move on.

Roel Loopers

SUNSET, SHIT OR GET OFF THE POT!

 

The City of Fremantle FPOL debate about the Sunset Events proposal for a tavern in J Shed at Bathers Beach was a bit of a lengthy, but futile exercise in democracy as three members declared a conflict of interest, so the committee had no quorum, but it has to be a full council decision anyway.

There were quite a few residents and artists who spoke against the J Shed proposal but Chairperson Andrew Sullivan explained in detail that this was not a case of ripping up the contract between the City and SE and that the process had to run its course.

Sunset Events is asking for a one-year delay in starting the lease, until July 2018, so that they don’t have to start paying rent from July this year on, but none of the Councillors believed that was acceptable.

It was questioned why it had taken the events organisers so long to apply for planning approval and a liquor license and that they had wasted eight months since their first proposal was rejected by the WA Planning Commission.

The sentiment in the chamber was that Sunset Events needs to get a move on, or as Councillor Sullivan put it eloquently “Shit or get off the pot!”

A spokesman for the proponents said that Sunset Events had no intention to walk away from the J Shed project and that the stable was strong and ready to invest and committed to it.

The Officer’s Recommendation of not supporting the proponent’s request for a delay was the voting outcome by the committee, but it will now all be debated again at full Ordinary Council meeting in a few weeks.

Roel Loopers

ARTHUR HEAD WALL NEEDS REPAIR

Posted in city of fremantle, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on June 11, 2017

 

 

The wall in front of the Fremantle Roundhouse needs some tender loving care as it is falling apart again, and the risk is that rocks will fall down onto the steps where thousands of tourists walk.

The crumbling wall is an ongoing problem that needs long-term maintenance rather than the infrequent patch-up jobs it receives.

Roel Loopers

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SUNSET EVENTS WANT LEASE DELAY FOR J SHED TAVERN

Posted in arthur head, city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on June 10, 2017

 

The sad saga of Sunset Events proposed tavern at J Shed on historic Arthur Head in Fremantle continues. The company has asked the City of Fremantle to delay the start of their lease for a year until July 2018, but the officer’s recommendation is for Fremantle Council to reject the request.

For me the proposed tavern at Bathers Beach is a black mark on Fremantle Council and its failed concept of making an arts precinct out of one of Western Australia’s most significant heritage precincts.

I fail to understand how our Elected Members ever thought it would be appropriate to put a large watering hole on the A Class Reserve just below the Roundhouse, and the Western Australian Planning Commission agreed with that and rejected the proposal.

To be fair, after the initial Council approval, they too rejected the live outdoor music venue and tavern because of its scale and purpose. One has to wonder though why they entered into a lease agreement with Sunset Events in 2014.

Sunset Events now says it will need at least a year to receive planning and liquor licensing approval, but that was pretty clear from the very beginning, so why didn’t they start on that process long ago.

The WAPC rejected the proposal in September last year so it has taken SE eight months to now hope they don’t have to start paying rent. Let’s not forget they are only required to pay 25% of the rent in the first year!

Media reports have indicated SE might be in a bit of financial bother, so maybe they are taking too much on as they need to spend a few millions on the renovation of the heritage Drillhall at Parry Street, which was the former home of the Fly by Night club.

The West End community, heritage groups, Fremantle Ports, the Arthur Head artists, and the Roundhouse volunteer guides all don’t want a tavern at J Shed so why not let it rest and find a better solution for the site.

From the FPOL agenda for June 14, 2017:

The City has received a request from Sunset Venues Pty Ltd (Sunset) for an extension of the lease commencement date from 1 July 2017 to 1 July 2018 for Unit 1, J Shed, Fleet Street, Fremantle.

Sunset has requested the extension to allow further time to gain development approval, a liquor licence, and to minimise the time they are required to pay rent without the ability to trade effectively.

This report recommends that council reject the request from Sunset for an extension of the lease commencement date on the basis that the lease already provides for this scenario.

 

Roel Loopers

REINSTATE THE MISSING ROUNDHOUSE CELLS

 

Roundhouse

 

 

The suggestion by the FRRAemantle Society that Notre Dame University should reinstate heritage features on buildings they own in Fremantle’s historic West End is very unrealistic.

Notre Dame is a business and not the National Trust so why should they reinstate features of building that were removed before they bought them, and is FS suggesting all owners of heritage buildings should reinstate details that have been removed over time?

FS does not believe it is too much to ask Notre Dame to reinstate verandahs at the former Watsons building at High Street, and the corner cupola on the former P&O Hotel, and the verandahs of His Majesty’s Hotel at Phillimore Street.

And why stop there, as the Society seems to believe that UNDA has unlimited funds, so the university should also add the verandahs and original openings of the Traveller’s Rest on Marine Terrace, reinstate the verandahs at the Cleopatra Hotel, and the Fremantle Hotel needs to gets it’s missing tower and cupola back.

Financial reality no doubt dictates how much Notre Dame University can afford to make improvements to the buildings they own and the dream list of the FRRAemantle Society is nothing more than unrealistic media attention seeking.

Why does the FRRAemantle Society not try to get funding, instead of badgering UNDA, to reinstate the interior wall and the four demolished cells of the Roundhouse as a bicentennial project when W.A. will be 200 years old in 2029. It’s after all the oldest remaining government building in the state. Now that would be a worthwhile project!

Roel Loopers

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ROUNDHOUSE IS ABOUT ALL HISTORY

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, history, roundhouse, Uncategorized by freoview on June 2, 2017

I am disappointed to read Mayor Brad Pettitt’s comment in the Fremantle Herald today about the Roundhouse.

The Mayor told the Herald that the Roundhouse could talk better about the history, in regard to the indigenous people.

I suggest the Mayor and all Councillors read the proposal for new displays in the Roundhouse that was produced by museum designers two years ago and where one of the four cells would be dedicated to the Whadjuk Noongar history of Fremantle and the Roundhouse.

We have a very thick proposal that the Roundhouse volunteer guides’ president no doubt would be delighted to leave at Freo Council for a couple of weeks so that the Elected Members can see the plans in detail.

But we have not been able to get the City of Fremantle to commit to funding to connect power to the Roundhouse, so we can get started on modern displays.

I for one always talk about the Noongar history, the atrocities, the Rottnest Quod, etc. Especially visitors from Canada and North Ameraica are interested as they see the similarities with their Inuit First Nation People and what displacement did to them; the alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence, child abuse.

The Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre just a stone’s throw from the Roundhouse was a missed opportunity to tell visitors about the Noongar history of Fremantle.

The Roundhouse would love to have a real display about Aboriginal history of Arthur Head and Fremantle, but we need power and financial support to make that work!

Roel Loopers

FREO ROUNDHOUSE ENLIGHTENMENT

Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on May 11, 2017

After some grumpy looks and words from Arthur Head and Freo’s View toward the Fremantle Townhall there has been a bit of action regarding putting power into the historic Roundhouse, so that the volunteer guides can get started on their plans for a big $ 200,000 new displays project.

City staff and electricians came to WA’s oldest public building today to check it out and see what can be done and according to them it should not be a big deal to supply the old goal with power needed for the displays.

Now hoping Council and administration will make it a priority as Lotterywest funding takes a while to get approved. Stay tuned!

Last year 145,000 visitors walked through the door of the Roundhouse, so a significant contribution to tourism in Fremantle and W.A.

Any corporate sponsors out there to help fast track getting the displays up?

Roel Loopers

 

BATHERS BEACH ART BONANZA AT J SHED

Posted in art, arthur head, city of fremantle, culture, j shed, Uncategorized by freoview on May 10, 2017

My friends at the Fremantle J SHED art studios on Bathers Beach are having an open studios day this Friday May 12 from 6 pm.

There will be eclectic shows in the four studios, from ceramics, to sculptures, paintings and photography and there is even a stunning camper van work in progress at the number 1 studio.

Photographer Peter Zuvela has used interesting Photoshop techniques for his old crane port photos, while next door Axel Kayser has done some stunning wildflower photos and also fascinating aerial photos of very creative crop creations.

Ross Potter will show his integrate pencil drawings, Brett Todman paintings and sculpture and Jenny Dawson ceramics.

The A Class reserve has been transformed into a sculpture park, so come a bit early to watch the sun set!

The artists received a phone call from a City bureaucrat to tell them they do not have a license to play live music at the opening and that is just plain bloody stupid!

Many art exhibition openings have live music and Fremantle Council has been keen to activate the Bathers Beach Art Precinct for many years, but when the artists collaborate and initiate new ideas, some red tape addict wants to stop them from attracting the community to the event by banning live music by local musos who donate their time and talent.

Just get a life City of Fremantle. Your management of the Arthur’s Head arts precinct is less than satisfactory!

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the delightful Janet Nixon! Enjoy the bubblies Greg James just brought in. ; >)

Roel Loopers

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ROUNDHOUSE CELEBRATES VOLUNTEER WEEK

Posted in fremantle, heritage, roundhouse, Uncategorized, volunteers by freoview on May 9, 2017

 

Royndhouse volunteers

 

It is National Volunteer Week and the Fremantle Roundhouse volunteer guides took that as an opportunity to celebrate the commitment of the 40 mainly senior volunteers who open the Roundhouse every day of the year, but for Christmas Day and Good Friday.

They met for breakfast today at the Moore&Moore cafe and moved on for this group photo.

The guides at Western Australia’s oldest public  building welcome over 130,000 visitors through the door every year.

They are there in 40 degree heat and in rain, storm and winter cold and always with a smile on their face and a joke to share with people from all over the world.

Every day at 1 pm the cannon on the gun deck behind the Roundhouse gets fired and they are always looking for a visitor to push the button. Those who do are given a signed certificate to take home.

Tell your visitors about historic Arthur Head, Bathers Beach and the gorgeous West End!

Roel Loopers

 

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