Freo's View


Posted in environment, fremantle, global warming by freoview on February 14, 2017

Professor Peter Droege of the University of Liechtenstein will talk about LIFE AFTER COAL on Thursday February 16 at the North Fremantle Community Centre from 6-8 pm.

The impact of climate change is noticeable all over the world, so it will be good to hear a European perspective on it that does not involve political Australian power games.

See you there!

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on LIFE AFTER COAL


Posted in australia, fremantle by freoview on July 3, 2014

Carnegy Wave Energy has announced it will develop the first commercial scale wave energy project in Australia, worth $ 46 million. The company will build a CETO-6 wave energy technology three-machine in the Indian Ocean off Garden Island.

That’s huge progress to the initial wave energy trial Carnegy conducted off the Fremantle North Mole, and hopefully a sustainable alternative energy project that will be viable and affordable in the future.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott might love coal to create power, but the environment is not at all keen on that.

Roel Loopers


Posted in australia, fremantle by freoview on March 7, 2011

Living in Fremantle, a city which claims to be carbon neutral, I thought it appropriate to write down my thoughts on the carbon tax debate:

While the Carbon Tax rages in Australia, with Doctor No, Tony Abbott, saying it is just another big tax, it appears we forget to look at the big, or should that be smaller, picture, on how each individual can make a difference.

Society has become a want all and want more pressure cooker, with multiple super size televisions, computers and other gadgets per household, each of them slurping up electricity, that somehow needs to be produced, hence more power stations, more coal and more gas needed.

The more we want and consume, the bigger our carbon footprints are going to be, but on a private level hardly anyone seems to take measures to reduce this. Lights are burning everywhere in rooms not used for hours, radios, televisions, music are left on without anyone watching or listening to it. Air conditioners are blasting in summer and heaters in winter, with doors and windows wide open at shops and homes.

How many of us have built new homes without solar power, roof insulation, double glassed windows, rainwater tanks, etc. with the house facing in the wrong direction and not taking advantage of sunlight? Sadly that is the case with the large majority of all new homes!

We keep hearing that THEY, the government, have to do something about it, while WE are unwilling to spend a few thousand dollars on making our homes more energy efficient.

It is time WE stopped the urge to buy everything new on the horizon that requires power, stop our desire for even bigger television sets and computers with more grunt. It is also time WE stopped driving the car to work, each one in our own car as we hate sharing, and started using public transport more. Riding bicycles and walking is also a good way of getting from A to B, and it makes you appreciate your surroundings more.

YOU could start reducing your carbon footprint today! Keep in mind that it’s not THEM who’ll change the world. It’s US!

Roel Loopers



Posted in Uncategorized by freoview on February 25, 2011


Hi all,

Am hoping you are so against mining for coal only 15 kms from the town of Margaret River, you might wish to add your names to an online petition at

An ad directing viewers to this link will be going to air on Channels 7 and 9 in the very near future and can be seen now on this YouTube link.

Mining coal for export to India, in one of the most beautiful and pristine regions in the world, is absolute madness and it seems the only way the mine can be stopped is if the Government legislates to quarantine the Margaret River Region from mining.

I’m not anti mining – we all know the importance of mining to the economy of W.A.  However even many who make their living in the mining industry agree that Margaret River is just too beautiful to mine and should be preserved for this and future generations to enjoy and cherish.

Margaret River is the South-West’s ‘Alamo’.  If it falls to mining then no place is safe and the whole of the South West corridor will be opened up to mining.

Pour yourselves a glass of pollution-free Margaret River vino (French wineries can’t believe we want to mine coal in one of the most pristine wine growing regions in the world!) and help save Margaret River from mining by adding your name to the petition… before it’s too late.



p.s. Please forward this to anyone you know who might also want help save Margaret River.

Comments Off on NO BLACK WINE!


Posted in australia, fremantle, perth, politics, sustainability, tourism by freoview on September 14, 2010

Below I paste a message from the NO COALalition group in Margaret River, which I believe is very relevant to the people in Fremantle. I have expressed in the past how I feel about the media gossip about Adele Carles and Troy Buswell, so time for those of us who don’t like it, to let the newspapers know what we think.

Roel Loopers

Subject: OK, it is Official – The Fremantle Herald thinks that Fremantle is more interested in Adele’s Personal life than Margaret River getting trashed.

You read it, they said it.  You go figure.  Ring your friends in Freo.   Apparently they sit around over coffee and all they think about is Troy and Adele.  My suspicion is that Freo isn’t really such a sad little place as that, but I don’t know much.     I only know what the Fremantle Herald tells me.  And it tells me that Adele’s personal life is Freo’s biggest issue.

Maybe you can all ask your friends in Freo if that is a fair depiction of the people of Fremantle.

Is it relevant to us?? – maybe not, but don’t forget – We don’t have many people fighting for us and Adele Carles did.  And she got no credit for it home. Home where Freo people who love Margaret River and who have investments here live.

Not much point having someone fighting for you if you don’t support each other.  I am pretty sure is not just a sentiment I have.

Jenny D’Anger is unrepentant and cannot find it in her heart to give Adele any credit for carrying our argument.  Sad really.

I decided you all had a right to know this, being so motivated to save your Community, but now I have to get back to the main problems.



Posted in australia, fremantle, perth, politics, tourism, western australia by freoview on September 10, 2010

This is the Hansard entry of the speech by Fremantle independent MLA Adele Carles about a proposed mine in the Margaret River region.:

When I think of Margaret River, I think of pristine surf beaches, vineyards, boutique industries, organic food, tourism, agriculture and native forest. All of this bundles into the Margaret River brand, which the local people have lovingly created over decades and are now being forced to defend. I do not think that anyone in this house associates a coalmine with the Margaret River brand, yet strangely, LD Operations thinks it can open a coalmine there.

There is a lot at stake here; what is clear is that this company intends to proceed, despite overwhelming opposition to this coalmine. In an article in The West Australian of Tuesday, 7 September, the general manager of LD Operations was quoted as saying — Similar to all other project developments in WA, we expect the Vasse coal project to be scrutinised by the Government under the same threshold requirements to meet each stage of project approval, In other words, LD Operations is seeking to pursue its legal right to mine coal in Vasse. Yes, it has the legal right to pursue approval, but there are political decisions that will have to operate alongside these technical approvals to make this mine site work.

The state government will have to be on side with LD Operations to make it work. The Bunbury port will need to be upgraded, presumably at taxpayers’ expense. There will need to be a road constructed through state forest, and there will be massive increases in heavy vehicle usage on local roads, all to the detriment of local people. I understand that this mine will generate one truck movement every nine minutes. I seek the Premier’s personal assurance that his government will not facilitate the taxpayer-funded infrastructure needed to support this coalmine. I urge him to spell this out to the proponent, so that it gets the message loud and clear: this mine is not welcome in the region and the pursuance of approvals will be a waste of time and money for it. While we are talking about legal rights, who will compensate the affected landowners—the local businesses that fall within the mine precinct?

This mine will be situated at a distance of 15 kilometres down Osmington Road from Margaret River, and every farm along that road has already been devalued by this proposal. How can they sell now, even if they wanted to? Compensation arguments cut both ways here. If this mine goes ahead, it will truly be the thin end of the wedge. Is the Premier aware that there are as many as 10 mining leases between Dunsborough and Augusta? If this one proceeds, how will he reasonably stop the others? The south west could become a coal province instead of the beautiful tourism region that it is now. Coalmining is clearly incompatible with the land uses, lifestyles and existing industries in the region. For example, Margaret River wine is of world-class standard.

Is the Premier aware that Cullen Wines of Margaret River has this week won an award in London for producing the world’s best chardonnay? Cullen Wines beat hundreds of chardonnays from around the world, including France and Italy, in the most fiercely contested categories. Winemaker Vanya Cullen said that while 2007 was a great vintage, the wine also reflected the biodynamic techniques used since 2004. What an achievement! I do not think such accolades would be possible if the grapes grown in the region were affected by contaminated groundwater, which is a serious risk from this proposed mine.

Underground coalmining is fraught with risks of environmental impacts. I could go on and on but I am limited by time. The greatest risk is contamination of the Leederville aquifer by toxic heavy metals liberated by acid mine drainage from the coal seam or hypersaline discharge. Once an aquifer is contaminated, it cannot be remediated; the aquifer is permanently damaged and will, in turn, ruin the crops it is used on and possibly harm the humans and animals who use water drawn from it. This may also cause negative impacts on underground water supplies that our farmers rely on and contribute to Margaret River itself drying up.

How many projects in WA have we seen approved by the Environmental Protection Authority with strict conditions and world’s best practice claims only to pollute and contaminate the air and water around us? The answer is plenty. We can take our pick from Cockburn Cement, Alcoa’s Wagerup refinery, the brickworks at Midland, acid contamination at the Beenup mine or lead contamination in Esperance. We do not need EPA assurances.

We can look to New South Wales where BHP subsidiaries operate an underground coalmine. The mine was recently identified as a source of hypersaline water waste contamination into the Georges River by independent researchers at the University of Western Sydney. The plume of saline groundwater travelled 15 kilometres before damaging the river and its ecosystems. I note that that is the distance of this proposed mine from our precious Margaret River. There are all sorts of other negative impacts that we can look to New South Wales for. A 2007 scientific report stated — Widespread cracking and draining of river and creek beds and underground aquifers, cliff falls, the draining of rare swamps, fish kills, methane gas bubbling to the surface, iron oxide pollution and the release of wastewater into river systems continue to occur across four coal mining regions of New South Wales as a result of longwall mining. I turn to the human face of this issue. The people who will be directly affected by the mine are those who live in close proximity to the site and whose businesses will be negatively affected. I had the privilege to speak to many of them last Sunday. They are living with uncertainty and stress. Some said they are considering selling as they do not want to live near a mine. Others wonder if they should move on from their businesses now. None of them wants to take this action but they are fearful of what they stand to lose.

I call on the Premier to act quickly and decisively to restore certainty and confidence for local people. Why should they live in the shadow of this proposal? I was very heartened to hear the Premier’s comments that he may be considering legislation along the same lines used in the Swan Valley. I urge the Premier to draft this legislation as a matter of urgency so that the mining sharks that are circling around Margaret River will leave that place alone and leave that region as the beautiful tourist destination that it is. I believe that the Premier will look back and see this as a defining moment. I urge him to step up to the plate and stand up for the people in the South West.

%d bloggers like this: