Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, election, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on April 24, 2017

As flagged here on Freo’s View a few weeks ago former President of the Chamber of Commerce Ra Stewart will nominate for the position of Mayor of Fremantle at the October local government election, opposing present Mayor Brad Pettitt.

Stewart told Business News that she wanted to bring responsible financial management and enthusiasm back to council.

The latter shows Stewart should have attended more Freo Council meetings as there is definitely no lack of enthusiasm at the present council, clearly indicated by their drive for economic recovery, strongly encouraging massive development, which Fremantle has not seen for 30 years.

It will no doubt be a very interesting and hard-fought election and I am expecting at least another two people to put their hand up to oust Brad Pettitt.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, elections, local government, western australia by freoview on March 6, 2017

While WA is having a state election in five days here in Fremantle the knives are already out for the October Council election that includes electing a new Mayor.

Although Mayor Brad Pettitt has yet to announce if he will be standing and try to get another four years, former Mayor Peter Tagliaferri launched a major attack on Petitt in the Fremantle Herald, that was strongly criticised by Councillor Jon Strachan on his blog.

Strachan told ‘Tags’ that he had served under him and Pettitt and that the leadership of the two Mayors was poles apart. Strachan claims there was “deep division” in the Tagliaferri Council while the Pettitt Council professionally works together.

Strachan writes that during the greatest economic boom in W.A. Mayor Tagliaferri had failed to attract investment into Fremantle.

It is evident from all the building sites around the Fremantle CBD that the present Council headed by Mayor Brad Pettitt has opened the doors of Freo wide and very substantial development is happening in the port city and much more in the pipeline.

Jon Strachan asked Peter Tagliaferri who his candidate for Mayor will be in October. I wonder if it could be someone from the Labor party?

There are rumours abound that former state politician Adele Carles might put her hand up, but time will tell and we’ll need to wait and see if Pettitt wants to continue with the very-demanding and highly-criticised job.

On a personal note; although I have been asked by many Freo residents to stand for Council I will not contest the October election!

Roel Loopers


Posted in april fools, community, fremantle by freoview on April 1, 2016


Okay you delightfully gullible (April) fools, April Fools is over and I got quite a few of you.

Most of you did not believe that our Mayor Brad Pettitt would be the Liberal party candidate at the Federal election, but many more of you believe that the City is seriously considering making High Street west a pedestrian mall, and I am surprised there was so little protest.

Most of you did not pick up that the BIKEMATE was also an April Fools. I thought if I post three white lies I’ll confuse you, and it worked. One needs a slightly mad and creative brain to come up with this stuff, but hey, I am known for being Loopy. ; >)

I had fun and I hope you had as well.

Here some photos of the Blessing of the Fools at St John’s Church at Kings Square. They told me they also had a Catholic blessing at the Notre Dame University chapel.

Roel Loopers


Posted in elections, fremantle by freoview on March 4, 2016

The Greens have selected Freo lawyer Kate Davis, who also stood in 2010, to contest the federal seat of Fremantle now that Melissa Parke MP will retire.

Kate Davis is a lawyer at Tenancy WA and was at the Women’s Law Centre before that. She has been a member of the Greens since the age of 13.

This means Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt will not be in the running for the seat for the Greens, so will he try for another four years as Mayor, stand for State Government, or move back to academia?

We will know in due course if the Labor party will do the sensible thing and nominate Deputy Fremantle Mayor Josh Wilson or take a huge risk with MUA honcho Chris Brown to contest the Fremantle seat, that can no longer be seen as a safe seat.

Roel Loopers



Posted in elections, fremantle by freoview on February 19, 2016

It probably comes as no surprise to anyone in Fremantle that the West Australian reports today that Freo Mayor Dr Brad Pettitt is contemplating nominating for the federal seat for the Greens if Maritime Union of Australia organiser Chris Brown gets the nod of the Labor Party. Pettitt would not contest the seat if Deputy Mayor Josh Wilson gets the Labor party’s approval.

I believe it would be extremely foolish for the Labor party to believe they will win the seat with just anyone and that the quality and profile of the candidates does not matter. A strong campaign by the Greens and a very good Liberal party candidate will threaten the seat and will make it very hard for the Labor party to hold on to it. Brad Pettitt has a very large supporter base in our city and while it seems unlikely the Greens could win the seat they might just get enough votes to make Labor lose the seat

Fremantle demographics have changed considerably and even a weak candidate like Matthew Hanssen received a substantial percentage of votes for the Liberals at the last election, so the warning lights should be flashing at Labor HQ and they should be very careful to not let internal factional wins become party losses.

With the threat of an early election as early as July it is questionable if Labor would manage to improve the brand awareness and raise the public profile of the largely unknown Chris Brown, while Josh Wilson has been a household name around town for many years and is very well known and respected.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, kings square, local government by freoview on December 22, 2015

Godot 1 Godot 2


I took these photos of Samuel Beckett’s famous absurdist play Waiting for Godot about 40 years ago while working for the daily newspaper Abendzeitung in Nuremberg, West Germany. Looking at them today I think there is a likeness of the two characters with Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt and Sirona Capital managing director Matthew McNeillie, who are still waiting for something-ANYTHING!- to happen at Kings Square. Last year we were promised State Government would make an announcement in December 2014 of relocating the Housing Department to Fremantle but 12 months, and a very embarrassing budget, later there is still no word on it and the mighty economy reviving Kings Square project is still in limbo.

A few quotes from Waiting for Godot that could have been a conversation between Freo’s Mayor and the Sirona boss: “Let’s go!” “We can’t” “Why not?” “We’re waiting for Godot. Or this one: “Nothing happens. Nobody comes, nobody goes. It’s awful.” And the last quote from Godot probably sums up quite well what is going on at our City square. “There is no lack of void.”

So what will happen with the Kings Square project? The spin that there was a plan B, C and even D was basically hubris, so without Housing coming to Kings Square the contract between the partners will most likely become useless by April 2016. Will Sirona still buy the Queensgate building and will the City of Fremantle still build a new civic centre? Time will tell but Godot might never arrive in Fremantle either.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle society by freoview on November 15, 2015

The announcement that former Fremantle Councillor John Dowson has nominated to become the next president of the Fremantle Society made me contemplate how effective community groups in our city have been in recent years.

When I became the president of FS I wanted to get rid off the us and them thinking, with some committee members believing Fremantle Council was the enemy of FS. I believed we could achieve more with respectful dialogue, getting into the ears of the elected members, push for changes to development applications and policies and collaborate with the City of Fremantle. President Henty Farrar who took over from me, and I as vice president, very much continued that way, but I believe it has been a failure.

But it is not only the Fremantle Society who has failed to make any impact, and the demise started well before Henty and I were in charge, but the Fremantle Residents and Ratepayers Association and the Fremantle Inner City Residents Association also fell onto deaf ears when approaching Council.

According to Fremantle Council there is a large silent majority in our community who exactly want what all of us who speak up and participate in community consultation oppose, so we really have Buckley’s of finding any consideration for our views. That will not change under a Dowson lead Fremantle Society, it will just become more black&white and us versus them and more negativity. I don’t believe that is good for Fremantle, but neither was the previous respectful and collaborative way of dealing with the City, because our views were disrespectfully ignored.

A lot of blame should go to those who did not bother to vote at the last local government election, and contrary to some opinions I read it is not an endorsement of the sitting members or a rejection of those who nominated, but it was a vote for apathy, so Freo gets the Council it deserves because 75 percent of voters could not bother to vote.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt has turned from a community leader into a manipulative politician whose word can no longer be trusted. He will tell you face to face that black is black but will argue at Council that black is white and gets away with it. Pettitt has a lot of influence behind the scenes and uses that power to push his own sustainability agenda. While Pettitt believes he can demand respect as Mayor of our city he and Council have long stopped treating the community with respect. They treat community consultation as a necessary nuisance, a mere box that has to be ticked under local government laws.

In my opinion it will not make one iota of a difference if John Dowson or Elvis Presley becomes the president of the Fremantle Society because we are trying to communicate with people who have earmuffs on to stop that annoying noise the community makes.

Roel Loopers


Posted in arthur head, city of fremantle, local government by freoview on October 16, 2015

I thought I had heard it all but Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt showed just now on 6PR Radio that when it comes to spin he is the true master of BS. Basically the Mayor was disrespectfully belittling the protest against the Sunset Events project of live concerts at historic Arthur Head, and he was quite clearly lying.

Dr Pettitt told 6PR that yes the vast majority of submissions received had been against the proposal but the City and Elected Members had also received many other letters and submissions in support of it. What the Mayor suggested was that there was actually a balance of for and against and that the submissions, that were not tabled and not mentioned by the officers in the agenda item, were all in support of the proposal. What a load of utter crap.

So what the Mayor of Fremantle said publicly today is that the City is hiding public submissions that supposedly are send in by that infamous silent majority no one has ever met or spoken to.

Brad Pettitt you are a disgrace and should start a PR company!

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.

Written and authorised by Roel Loopers of 5 Maxwell Street, Beaconsfield 6162.


Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on October 9, 2015

I have been asked now numerous times why I did not report that Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt acknowledged on Wednesday at the Planning Committee that he had received a $ 5,000 donation from a member of the Chitty family for his last election campaign. David Chitty is a director of Sunset Events who want to develop at Arthur Head.

I did not report it because I have known about it for several years and because there is nothing untoward or illegal about it! Brad Pettitt, contrary to Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi, declared the donation on the register as is required by law and that register can be viewed on application to the CEO of the City of Fremantle, as I did.

The question if this could constitute a conflict of interest is probably one the State Government should look at about all donations made to all candidates at local and state elections, but as I understand it there is absolutely nothing wrong legally with Brad Pettitt voting on projects that involve Sunset Events, and let it be made clear that the brother of David Chitty is not involved in Sunset Events as far as I am aware.

I personally believe we should look at this, and if I should get elected on Fremantle Council I would prefer to see donations over a certain amount to Elected Members constitute a conflict of interest.  As it stands it does not matter if anyone believes it is morally wrong, and we should have a public debate about this, but the Fremantle Mayor has acted lawfully and impeccably.

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.

Written and authorised by Roel Loopers of 5 Maxwell Street, Beaconsfield 6162.


Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on October 9, 2015

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt has been outspoken on why he believes the Arthur Head A Class reserve needs a tavern, and now first a temporary two-year events venue with live outdoor concerts for up to 1,500 or maybe 1,000 patrons, depending on if full Council on Wednesday will accept the changes to the original application.

I lived at Captain’s Lane in one of the old Pilot’s Cottages for about two and a half years and absolutely loved it. I adored the historic feeling of the area, to sit in quiet at night on the veranda and look down at the harbour and see ships coming and going. It was a magnificent experience and so was the interaction with the delightful Crookes family next door. Kids from Lance Holt School played up on the hill, we held bocce nights for the locals, the Fremantle Society held events during the Heritage Festival, on Australia Day, etc. and we looked after the place.

The Captain’s Lane area is lovely. It was delightful to live there and to sit on the veranda and talk to people passing by. The kids from next door and I introduced many foreigners to ‘bush tucker’ lilly pilly, and the few homeless people who walked by came for a chat or yelled goodnight at me through the window. We were the passive and active surveillance of the area. I asked Council to put a proper path down Captain’s Lane so it would make access to the Roundhouse and to the lawn-for weddings more accessible, and they did.

I have suggested to light up the cottages from the front and make them a feature. It would surely not be a huge expense to put four lights below the wall and light it all up. I would love it if disabled people could get into the Roundhouse. I have suggested Council uses the grassed area for events and I have suggested an art market there.

I have asked for years if we could have a ‘stage’ at Little High Street during the Street Art Festival long weekend to encourage people to walk down High Street and discover and enjoy the far West End of town.

Georgie Adeane and I extended the Bathers Beach Sunset Food Markets all along the path from Kidogo Arthouse to J Shed and onto the A Class reserve, we lit up the tunnel beautifully and I have asked Fremantle City to at least put more attractive lights in the tunnel and make it a feature, but it fell on deaf ears. How many people see the lit up cliff face? I thinks it looks great but not many people visit there during the night.

The heritage area deserves more and better attention from the City. I can’t believe there is still no proper wayfinding signage in the area although we have asked for it for years, and that is not acceptable.

The Mayor sits in Council and tells us the area needs activation because nothing is happening at Arthur Head, but the City has failed to do the basic things. Where is the Arthur Head promotion, where is the signage, the lights, the events and a bit of tender love and care for the area?!

Yesterday the Whalers Tunnel was still closed at 9 am! I have alerted the City on numerous occasions that the security company either failed to open the gates, did it far too late and closed the gates too early at night, but who cares. I am just a geriatric nay-saying whinger who should shut up because Brad and his mates know best what’s good for us. Quiet enjoyment of the great historic area is not good enough. It needs to be destroyed by making it into a live outdoor music venue.

Only Councillor Ingrid Waltham got it on Wednesday when she suggested to only approve events for up to 400 people but not the 1500, or now maybe 1000 patrons, ticketed concerts.

We have been banging our heads against the wall for many years to get improvement at Arthur Head but all we’ve got is a few benches, but still no shade structures for tourist to sit under or a water fountain.

The City of Fremantle has failed the area and neglected it, and because they did that they now want to destroy it. They have been giving similar reasons for Pioneer Park. No one uses it so let’s build a multi storey building on it, when all it needs is some creative landscaping, seating and shade structures and a playground near Spare Parts Theatre. But that is just common sense low-hanging fruit placemaking the Mayor no longer seems to want to support, although it was he who brought out David Engwicht on several occasions to preach exactly those solutions.

Arthur Head needs better connectivity and wayfinding and signage all the way from the Esplanade and Fishing Boat Harbour to Victoria Quay and the Maritime Museum. It needs to be included in events. Bathers Beach needs a public toilet and shade structures and so does the grass area next to the Roundhouse.

Make the area a feature and light up the cottages, set standards for the art galleries and insist on professionalism and proper signage instead of some ugly banners hanging off the verandas. They need to be as professional and inviting as the Glen Cowans photography gallery!

There are many many small and inexpensive ways to make the area more attractive and safe that would reduce vandalism, but the City of Fremantle has no eye for detail and only wants to do the big picture stuff.

Roel Loopers

P.S. Those of you who have criticised my very critical and sarcastic article about the Planning Committee session as being disrespectful to Mayor Brad Pettitt should have witnessed how disrespectful the Mayor was to all those who addressed Council and who send in submissions.

Pettitt’s attitude toward Fremantle Society President Henty Farrar and historian and former Councillor John Dowwson was unacceptable, rude and arrogant. He had no right to interrupt Dowson’s address to the members and question if he had even read the agenda item on the Workers Club development. If the Mayor wants respect he needs to treat us with respect, so start earning the respect some still believe you deserve, Brad.

ROEL FOR FREO. Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.

Written and authorised by Roel Loopers of 5 Maxwell Street, Beaconsfield 6162.

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