Freo's View


Posted in western australia, local government, city of fremantle, election, democracy by freoview on September 19, 2016



Facebook likes to rub it in and reminded me today that this leaflet was dropped in letterboxes in the Fremantle Beaconsfield Ward last October, when I attempted to become the next Beacy Councillor, but sitting member Dave Hume won comfortably.

As it turned out I became Beacy’s Biggest Loser and received the fewest votes of all three candidates, so just a little support from me for the three Beacy candidates who did not win the council election last Friday, when Hannah Fitzhardinge took the trophy.

Good on you Andrew Luobikis, Fedele Camarda and Peter Cruikshank for putting your hand up. You did yourself, your family and your community proud for showing your willingness to step up.

There is no shame whatsoever in not winning. Well done to you all and a big thank you from me!!

Roel Loopers



Posted in politics, western australia, local government, city of fremantle, election, democracy by freoview on September 9, 2016

It looks like the residents of Beaconsfield are finally showing some interest in local politics and getting off their lazy backsides to vote in the Fremantle Council by-election for Beaconsfield Ward.

Last year in October just around 20% of eligible voters in that ward bothered to vote, but the Electoral Commission says that the return rates this time are much higher at nearly 30 per cent.

There are four candidates for the Beacy by; Hannah Fitzhardinge, Andrew Luobikis, Fedele Camarda and Peter Cruickshank, so if you have not filled out and sent out your postal vote do it this weekend!

Votes will be counted next Friday September 16. May the best woman win!

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, community, election, local government, politics, western australia by freoview on August 31, 2016

The candidates’ forum of the Beaconsfield Ward by-election at the Hilton Bowling Club on Tuesday evening did not rock the boat but was still interesting for other reasons. One not often sees members of the Fremantle Society, FICRA and the Fremantle Residents and Ratepayers Association at these suburban meetings and none of them were at the election forum in Beacy in October last year when I was a candidate.

That might have had to do with the fact that candidate Andrew Luobikis is a big supporter of these community groups, so they were clearly out there to support him and possibly are helping him with letterbox drops etc.

Candidate Hannah Fitzhardinge also had her Labor party supporters in the public, with even Simone McGurk turning up, as did Councillors Dave Hume, Dave Coggin and Rachel Pemberton.

The same issues always come up at these forums; crime, antisocial behaviour, maintenance, parking and shopping, communication, transparency and accountability, and rates.

It was a pretty positive forum though where Andrew Luobikis was the candidate who criticised Fremantle Council most, especially about Kings Square, poor decision-making and poor community consultation.

Fedele Camarda said Fremantle has the same problems other communities have and that he intended to consult and listen, if elected. He would be guided by people in his decision-making.

Fedele said there needed to be other forms of revenue raising for COF and it needed good budget management. He also said the ugly entry to the city for cruise ship passengers needed to be beautified.

Peter Cruickshank said the vibe and culture of Fremantle is attractive, but that the city needs to develop smart and well, and maintain its heritage. He wants better value for money for rates and tangible infrastructure. He would be asking a lot of questions and seek advise .

Peter also believes State Housing density in Fremantle needs to be reduced and spread out more. I want to do what is best for my family, Beacy and Fremantle, he said.

Andrew Luobikis said the City was giving away the family silver with the Kings Square Project and that it made poor planning decisions. The KS project will have a profound affect on the City’s finances, he claimed.

Andrew wants a fair share for Beaconsfield and rates capped at CPI. Council is accountable to its shareholders and community consultation is essential. He also said the police did little to stop crime in the area and that there was too much party politics at council level.

Hannah Fitzhardinge is the only female candidate for Beacy and she made the important point that 51% of the Fremantle popultation is female but that there are only two female Councillors. Only one in five leadership positions in Australia are taken up by women, she told us.

Hannah believes the City of Fremantle should become a more responsive organisation with real community engagement and that she would be asking the right questions at the right time. She said it was very important to find the common ground by bringing in the community early in the conversation, and I absolutely agree with her on this!

She said there needed to be a masterplan for Beaconsfield that included the so-called Bronx but also the former quarry site. Fremantle has a history of inclusiveness we need to continue.

Hannah believes that Fremantle deserves much more support and investment from State Government as it is more than just a local council because of our historic importance and tourist town. The burden for that should not be on the ratepayers alone and the State should pay its fair share.

Local government is about local people and should not be by political parties, Hannah stated.

And while all that was going on there were dancing classes and silver shoes next door. It was a very Freo and mainly positive evening where I was  especially impressed with the level headedness and positive attitude of Hannah Fitzhardinge.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, community, TRAFFIC, western australia by freoview on August 30, 2016

There are two interesting events on this evening, sadly both at the same time, so it requires a choice on which one to attend.

At the Hilton Bowling Club the four candidates for the Beaconsfield Ward by-election will be grilled by the community on what their ideas and hopes for Fremantle are. It starts at 7 pm and is free. The postal election will be on September 16.

Also on at 7 pm at the Local Hotel  are the City of Fremantle’s proposed solutions for traffic calming and beautification of South Terrace between Douro Road and South Street, so a very important presentation for local South Freo people and those of us who frequent the area often. The event is free, bar is open and meals for sale.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, community, election, local government, western australia by freoview on August 24, 2016

Beacy forum


There are two important meetings on next Tuesday evening, August 30, and it is disappointing that they could not be coordinated better as we will have to make a choice to go to one of them as they both start at the same time of 7 pm.

The meeting at the Local Hotel in South Fremantle at 7 pm will see a city manager showing the plans for the upgrade of South Terrace from Douro Road to South Street. This is very important as the area is becoming more and more popular with new cafes and restaurants opening and new development in the pipeline.

Peak hour traffic also has become and issue along South Terrace, Douro Road and Marine Parade and needs to be addressed.

The second meeting is at the Hilton Bowling Club where the four candidates for the vacant Beaconsfield Ward will be scrutinised by the local community. It is very important to consider that whoever gets elected will be voting on all Fremantle issues, not just the ones in the Beacy Ward, so asking more general questions about the future of Fremantle, urban infill, density, protection of heritage, supporting local businesses, traffic and parking, etc. are all important.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, election, local government, western australia by freoview on August 12, 2016

There are four candidates for the City of Fremantle Beaconsfield Ward by-election that will be held on September 16. The election became necessary after Deputy Mayor Josh Wilson resigned and was elected the new federal MP for Fremantle.

The only female candidate Hannah Fitzhardinge has lived in Fremantle since 1983. She is a leadership consultant and was an advisor to former WA Premier Geoff Gallop.

Andrew Luobikis unsuccessfully stood for South Ward at the October election, so good to see he is putting his hat in the ring again. He works in the car industry and is active at the Beaconsfield Primary School and community groups.

Fedele Camarda is a lobster fisherman who coaches local cricket and football and has a bachelor of education.

Peter Cruickshank is a veteranarian who has lived in Beacy with his family for three years and wants a safe environment for our children.

From the four candidates the only one who has regularly attended Fremantle council and committee meetings and addressed them on behalf of community groups is Andrew Luobikis. I have never seen any of the other three show an interest in local government and that surprises and worries me. Would you apply for a job without knowing anything about the company?

Understanding the process of local government is in my opinion essential for someone who wants to represent the community as a Councillor, so why not do the homework required?

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, election, local council, politics, western australia, women by freoview on June 17, 2016

The Labor party is trying to hold on to the Fremantle Council seat of Beaconsfield that has become available now that former Deputy Mayor Josh Wilson resigned to contest the Federal seat of Fremantle. Hannah Fitzhardinge, a former advisor to WA Premier Geoff Gallop has put her hand up to sit next to Labor’s Councillor Dave Hume.

The by-election will be held probably in September at a date yet to be announced by the Electoral Commission.

Fitzhardinge told the Fremantle Herald that Fremantle Council does not have gender balance, which also applies to most local councils and State and Federal governments, and that she wants better pedestrian safety on South Terrace with mural gardens and street beautification. That process is already well under way of course and was only recently addressed by a large South Fremantle Precinct meeting.

Hannah Fitzharding also wants  the relocation of a State department to Freo and attract more State funding, which has been the aim of the City of Fremantle for years.

I am all for more women in power positions everywhere but the gender balance stuff does not cut it for me as I fear it can become tokenism. I believe Hannah can easily win this on her own merits and the voter participation will be very low. She would no doubt be a great addition to Ingrid Waltham and Rachel Pemberton and Fremantle Council, so I wish her the best of luck!

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on April 20, 2016

Residents of Maxwell Street in Beaconsfield are a bit in limbo at what to do with their cars. They received a notice from the City of Fremantle that the street would be resurfaced and cars needed to be off the road by 8 am till 4 pm from Monday the 18 to and including Wednesday 20. The letter also warned that access to the properties might be interrupted.

The profiling was indeed done on Monday but nothing has been done since, although everyone got up to move their car for the three days.

One can assume the new surface will now be put on this Thursday but that means the garbage truck won’t be able to enter the street and pick up the rubbish.

Roel Loopers

UPDATE! The machine broke down and they have just turned up but will do most of the resurfacing tomorrow, so get your cars off the road and out of your driveway early, Maxwell Street people!


Posted in city of fremantle, development, local government by freoview on February 18, 2016

The plan by Fremantle Council to increase density from R 20 to R 80 along parts of South Street and make modifications to Planning Scheme Amendment 65 has White Gum Valley and Beaconsfield residents worried.

People who live in small suburban streets off South Street believe their lifestyle and amenity could be negatively affected by medium density buildings which will overlook their backyards, increase traffic in the local streets and create parking issues. They also fear that new higher development could encroach deep, up to six blocks, into the urban community streets to create big blocks that will accommodate large buildings.

Local residents also fear that substantial development in the area will impact on the tree canopy of the many well-treed streets and mature trees of over 50 years old would have to make way for development.

There are also several heritage-listed buildings that could be affected.

I lived in Stokes Street, White Gum Valley for two years and liked the cosy feel of the street where off-street parking was essential for many as there is no, or not sufficient, on-site parking at some properties. New development that might have no parking bays or just one per apartment would mean new residents will also want to park in the small side streets, thus increasing traffic, becoming a danger to playing children and creating parking problems.

Trying to get to the bus to take a ride into Fremantle is very dangerous and even more so during rush hours as crossing South Street is nearly impossible as there are no traffic islands to take refuge on, so the City urgently needs to address that now, well before any higher density development gets off the ground.

South Street is not very attractive, like most major artery roads, and is in my opinion well-suited to accommodate medium density along a public transport corridor, but the impact on the small suburban side streets needs to be carefully considered by Fremantle Council now and not on the hop in the future.

As a community we also need to be aware that State Government demands higher density in all local councils and we are not even close to the target set by the government. I fear that if Councils do not comply, the State could well legislate and forcefully acquire properties along transit routes that would then be sold off to developers as larger blocks for medium and high density housing. That needs to be avoided!

The South Street development corridor and changes to PSA 65 need more detail and very considerate long-term planning, so that we do not see an exodus of residents from the urban street while trying to increase the number of residents in those suburbs.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, elections, local government by freoview on October 18, 2015

It is bewildering to me and extremely disappointing that so few people voted in the Fremantle local government election and I wonder what the reasons are. Do people believe democracy and politics are only relevant at State and Federal level or are they even more cynical about local politics than they are about the bigger leagues?

In the Beaconsfield Ward I stood for there were 3,539 eligible voters but fewer than 900 bothered to vote and I don’t believe that is acceptable and the State Government needs to change the rules.

What mandate do the successful candidates bring into the Council chambers around Perth when only a few hundred people supported them but the majority did not vote? How relevant does that make Local Government and who are the Councillors representing when the much larger part of the community did not vote for them?

People say that at least those who vote will have an informed view, but I believe that is unfair to those who did not vote. Most people in our society have political views and they write letters to editors and call talkback radio and many are members of political parties, so those who don’t vote are not the stupid uninformed silent majority, so why their complacency?

It was suggested to me that local councils should give people incentives to vote by giving them a rate reduction, but I don’t believe that buying voters is a good idea. Is postal voting supporting laziness, should the State make voting for councils compulsory? I don’t have the answers but I hope there is a way of getting many more voters to participate in two years from now.

And to Dour Johnson who told me it is now time to get back into my small box, and who find this blog irritating, and no doubt other who are rubbing their hands in glee that I did not win last night, let me assure you that I will not go away but will continue to make a positive contribution to my community.

Those who sit on their arse and never step up, but criticise people like me who selflessly give many hours a week to our community, are as pathetic as those people who could not be bothered to vote.

I am very proud of what I do for Fremantle and my personal endeavour to make Freo and even better place to live and work in, and to visit will continue!

Roel Loopers

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