Freo's View


Posted in bid, city of fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on August 16, 2017


Fremantle BID is currently seeking to fill the position of Chief Executive Officer. Full details are below:

Fremantle BID
Chief Executive Officer

(Part-time position 22.5 hours per week contracted to 30 June 2018)


The Fremantle Business Improvement District (BID) was established in 2013 and was the first BID in Western Australia.

As an independent, not-for-profit company, the Fremantle BID operates on behalf of its members – the Fremantle CBD businesses and property owners – to improve the business environment. The BID takes a collaborative leadership approach to activation to build the economic wellbeing of the CBD.

CEO Role:

The CEO role is fundamental to the success of the Fremantle BID.  This position is a key strategic role within a small organisation and requires a high level of skills in relationship building, management and governance, setting and implementing strategies and business plans and working to a budget within limited time frames.

The ideal candidate will have the ability to lead and manage proactively, be self-motivated and able to formulate and drive ideas with a ‘can-do’ attitude. The candidate will preferably be well connected, respected and influential in the Fremantle community.

This position reports to a Board of Directors.

Salary range: $50,000 – $55,000 (to be negotiated)

Essential requirements:

  • Strong oral communication and relationship building skills
  • Ability to manage and work within a small team – including Board members.
  • Governance and budget/finance management skills
  • Report and written communication skills
  • Ability to work under pressure and with a range of different stakeholders including contractors, retailers, business owners, developers and government organisations and agencies

 Preferred requirements:

  • Relevant degree
  • Financial knowledge
  • Retail background
  • Marketing and customer service skills and experience
  • Broad knowledge and experience in the Fremantle community/business
  • Experience reporting to a Board
  • Fund raising and grant experience

To apply:

  • To apply, please send your application to by 5pm, Friday, 1 September 2017
  • The detailed position description is available HERE
  • Applications close at 5pm, Friday, 1 September 2017


Posted in city of fremantle, local government, western autralia by freoview on May 2, 2016

Fremantle has a new CEO as from today so I copy this blog post from Mayor Brad Pettitt:

Today is a significant day at the City of Fremantle. Today our long-serving CEO Graeme Mackenzie officially handed over the reins to our new CEO, Philip St. John (St. John is pronounced ‘sin-jin’).
I’m very pleased to welcome Phil to lead the City of Fremantle through its next exciting phase. He was chosen from more than 100 candidates nationwide because he’s known for his innovative thinking and ability to get things done.
Phil will continue to drive the bold vision for Fremantle’s revitalisation, including implementing council’s recently adopted 2015-2025 community strategic plan.
I’d like to thank Graeme not only for his almost 12 years as Fremantle CEO but for his 43 years of service to the local government industry. Fremantle’s foundations are now very strong and Graeme’s guidance has been instrumental in getting Fremantle back on track. I know Graeme will be following our progress very closely, even after his retirement.
Progress has been a key theme over recent years and I’m pleased to say the future of Fremantle is looking very bright thanks to Graeme and the teams hard work. We have an unprecedented $1.4b pipeline of development coming on line over coming years and we continue to be a world-renowned festival and music hotspot as well as an industry leader in sustainability, being one of only two internationally recognised One Planet certified councils in Australia.
All of this was all capped off by our selection by Lonely Planet as a Top 10 city to visit in 2016 – an unexpected but nonetheless huge honour the whole community can share.
But there is lots more to do and I know Phil is up for the challenge.

Brad Pettit-Mayor of the City of Fremantle



Posted in Uncategorized by freoview on April 16, 2016

The West Australian reports today that City of Fremantle CEO Graeme McKenzie will recommend to Council to extend the contract for the Kings Square project with Sirona Capital for six months, to see if the State Government will commit to relocate the Department of Housing to the former MYER building. According to McKenzie a decision is due mid year. A decision was also expected by November last year and the year before, so I won’t be holding my breath.

The Freo CEO told the West reporter that the department is looking at two locations, the second one presumable the Woolstores shopping centre development.

Should Council decide not to extend the contract, my bet is they will, Sirona could go it alone and buy the Queensgate building fom COF, but it is questionable if the Civic Centre still would be built if there is no partnership, so what would happen with that idea? Could the City afford to build the Kerry Hill designed building and if not where would all the staff be accommodated?

The reality is that there is a 50 per cent chance that Housing will move to Kings Square. We have waited a long time, so my gut feeling is to grant the extension, maybe not even for six months but until the State has made a decision on the relocation.

There is no doubt for me personally that the development of Kings Square is essential for the revitalisation of the Fremantle CBD. I still believe it needs to be 24/7 activation and that means residential should be put in the mix as we otherwise will only have daytime activation and the same old dark city square at night. The area needs passive surveillance and that can only happen when people live there and frequent the area day and night, for that reason alone a hotel would have been good.

Roel Loopers

P.S. The West must be getting desperate claiming the story about the Fremantle Oval development is an exclusive. It is an agenda item for Wednesday’s committee meeting for heaven’s sake, so there is nothing exclusive about it.


Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on February 9, 2016

Quite a few people have contacted me to ask about the process the City of Fremantle engaged in to appoint the new CEO Phil St John, a former Director of Planning at Fremantle.

I asked the City and received following answers:

# There were 102 applicants of very high quality.

# Around 20 of them were short-listed.

# 7 selected for detailed interview with the selection panel.

# 4 invited for follow-up interview with the panel.

# Preferred candidate recommended and endorsed by full Council.

# HR consultant Geoff Blades of Lester Blades worked with the COF panel.

# Panel members were Mayor Brad Pettitt, Deputy Mayor Josh Wilson, and Councillors Doug Thompson, Dave Coggin and Rachel Pemberton.

I also clarified that the Fremantle Gazette report today that CEO Graeme McKenzie will stay on till the end of the year is wrong. The hand-over period will be till the end of the financial year and the new CEO will start on May 1.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on February 4, 2016

New Freo CEO


The City of Fremantle announced today that they have appointed Phil St John as the new CEO of the City, taking over from Graeme McKenzie who was in the position for 12 years.

St John is well known in Fremantle as he was the Director of Planning at COF for eight years before moving to the City of Wanneroo in late 2014.

I must admit I found it a surprising decision, as St John is not exactly the new broom I believe the COF administration needs. There could well be too much familiarity with staff already. No doubt though that St John is a highly professional and very likeable administrator, so I hope he will put his own stamp on it soon and make some necessary changes and improvements.

Welcome back, Phil!

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on February 2, 2016

Fremantle full Council will have a special non-public meeting this week to decide who will become the new CEO of the city after the retirement of Graeme McKenzie, so stay tuned to see who will lead Freo’s administration during the important times of change and progress.

It will be fascinating to watch how/if the new Chief Executive Officer will find a way out of the Kings Square project mess and if the City of Fremantle will become more transparent during his reign.

Roel Loopers


Posted in ceo, city of fremantle, local government by freoview on September 21, 2015

While campaigning for the Fremantle Council election I have been asked by members of the community what the process is to select and appoint the next Chief Executive Officer for the City of Fremantle, so I asked the present CEO Graeme McKenzie, who will only retire in June next year. Here is his response:

The Council is responsible for the appointment of the CEO – it is the only appointment the Council can make.  The process that is being undertaken is as follows:
A Working Group has been formed that consists of the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, and Councillors Coggin, Thompson and Pemberton.  They will oversee the process and work with the recruitment consultant (Lester Blades) to get to a short list.  I’m not personally involved in the recruitment, but I understand that the group will conduct first round interviews of shortlisted applicants to get to a final shortlist of 2 or 3 that will then be required to present to the full Council.  The full Council will then select the preferred applicant.  In terms of timing, the appointment should be completed in December with the new CEO commencing around April/May next year.  Given that I don’t actually finish until 1 July there will be a reasonable period for transition and transfer of corporate knowledge.

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 September 21, 2015

Here an email I received from the City of Fremantle CEO.

It is important to me to try to be fair and balanced so I publish it as a post instead of just a comment:

I’ve been away for a couple of days and just catching up on a few things. I noted your comment last week about the PULSE newsletter and wanted to respond to your criticism. PULSE is a new quarterly newsletter and we wanted the first edition to go out in spring, after the new website was launched and in time for Festival news. The timing was based on this and this alone. Elected members had no involvement whatsoever in the content or timing of this publication. In fact, you’ll notice that no councillor even gets a mention and the only reference to elections is encouraging people to vote. It is and will continue to be focused on City operations and is in direct response to resident feedback from the last Catalyse survey that they would like more direct communications from the City. You’ll be pleased to know that PULSE is printed on 100% recycled paper and the plastic cover is biodegradable.
Graeme Mackenzie
City of Fremantle


Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on September 12, 2015

The City of Fremantle is looking for a new Chief Executive Officer with current CEO Graeme Mackenzie announcing his  retirement for next year.

Graeme was the ever-smiling CEO of Fremantle for 11 years and worked prior to that for four years as the Director Corporate Services

Mayor Brad Pettitt said “Since Graeme informed me several weeks ago about his intentions, we’ve been working together to ensure his wealth of corporate knowledge and experience is incorporated into the next phase of the City’s administration. Part of this will involve Graeme being there to handover his role to his successor over a period of months next year,”

Mr Mackenzie said he was proud of what he had achieved in his fifteen years with the City. “Serving the Fremantle community has been a challenging but highly rewarding role and I’m particularly proud to have been a part of the many innovative projects that have brought new life to Fremantle in recent years,” Mr Mackenzie said.

“I’ve met a lot of great people and had the privilege of working with some talented and committed mayors, councillors, and City officers over the years. I will leave knowing Fremantle is on a solid and sustainable path of revitalisation and in very good hands.

Council is seeking to appoint a CEO who can continue to drive the bold vision for Fremantle’s revitalisation and has a proactive approach to new investment and attracting new industry and cultural activity to the port city.

The successful candidate is anticipated to join the City of Fremantle by April 2016 to allow for a transition period with Mr Mackenzie until the end of June 2016.

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.



Posted in fremantle, local government, state government, western australia by freoview on August 7, 2015

One has to wonder about W.A. Premier Colin Barnett’s expressed desire to “Just fix local governments up” and get more involved with them, as State interference could mean a serious erosion of democracy at local council level.

Is there a need for it or is Barnett just having a fit of sour grapes because of community and councils opposition to the DAP(Development Assessment Panel) that simply rubber stamps over 90% of development applications, many against the will of Local Governments and communities?

Maybe the Premier is still irate about the failed Local Government Reform and council amalgamations, which he and Minister Tony Simpson so disgracefully messed up.

Some Council reform and amalgamations might be needed, as is a control on rate rises, and I quite agree that a CEO running a small Council administration should not be earning as much as a Minister, but does that warrant strong, democracy threatening, action by the State?

Local Government is the closest form of democracy. It is hands on and the community has the opportunity for easy access to its elected members, so any form of interference from State Government should be viewed with suspicion about the real reasons.

Maybe the Premier does not like it that, as he called it, we bite the hand that feeds us, and pipe up against the inadequately  and amateurishly planned Perth Freight Link that will be a disaster for some southern suburbs including Fremantle. Maybe Colin Barnett believes democracy is simply a waste of time and we should allow him to squander taxpayers’s money. Maybe the Emperor even believes there is nothing wrong with building a new train station that will only operate on match days near the new football stadium. Maybe we should all just shut up because our divine leader knows what’s good for us.

Democracy, dear Premier, is listening to what the people want, not dictate to them what you want. If you no longer want to represent the community it might be best to step down or have an early election, so we can show you what we think of the shambles you have made of democracy in this state.

Roel Loopers

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