Freo's View


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, planning, Uncategorized by freoview on July 7, 2017


I just noted on Twitter that Fremantle architects and city planners CODA are celebrating their fifth anniversary, so happy birthday from me!

The Tweet reads: CODA 3.0 : frantic + fun 5 years in which we celebrated the delivery of public work, an expanded design team and our move into central Freo!

I am a fan of CODA and have been impressed with the work they have been doing and the very good community consultation projects they have been involved with in Fremantle.

The one project that stands out for me were the many sessions for Fremantle Ports about the Victoria Quay development. CODA director Kieran Wong was excellent and showed that leaving ones ego as home results in better outcomes.

Roel Loopers



Posted in architecture, development by freoview on October 16, 2016



The Fremantle WGV development on the former Kim Beazley school site in White Gum Valley has won the Australia Award for Urban Design, Policies, Programs and Concepts – Small Scale for Fremantle architects CODA, Landcorp, Urbis and Josh Byrne.

The Jury citation states that “White Gum Valley aims to realise a diverse, highly sustainable infill development that reflects and enhances its suburban surrounds. The highly collaborative process embraced multiple entities and disciplines and has initiated a new nationally significant model for higher density infill development. The project incorporates and celebrates sustainability across ten ‘one planet living’ principles, and ties this to the creation of a thriving, resilient and diverse community. WGV at White Gum Valley is a project of genuine innovation and leadership.”

It says about the entry that as an “Innovation through Demonstration” project, WGV demonstrates the economic and social benefits of sustainable development and creates a blueprint for the planning and development of small infill sites within an established suburb. The success of WGV is testament to the collaborative and forward-thinking approach of its multi-disciplinary design team.”




Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, fremantle, local government, western australia by freoview on July 4, 2016

I was curious to find out who the two new City of Fremantle Design Advisory Panel members were, who were selected in a confidential Council sitting of item PC 1606-1 on June 22 this year, so I checked the Minutes of the meeting.

Joining Chair Geoffrey London, Dominic Snellgrove and Melinda Payne are Kieran Wong and Patrick Kosky. The latter moved up from one of the two deputy positions and Marion Frederickson was appointed as a new deputy to join Phillip Gresley.

So far so good, but why on earth did Mayor Brad Pettitt not declare a conflict of interest for this item, while he declared a conflict of interest for the Sunset Events J Shed item that same council sitting because his partner works at CODA Architects. Kieran Wong is the principal director of CODA, so surely the Fremantle Mayor should have excused himself from the council debate about Wong’s appointment.

It looks as if a conflict of interest only is declared under public scrutiny and not when items are confidential. That is a great worry for transparency and accountability at Fremantle Council, as Council decides which items are considered confidential. Why did the CEO not point out to the Mayor that he was being inconsistent by not declaring a conflict of interest for the item that appointed his partner’s boss to the DAP?

It might just be a minor item, but if it is considered to be important enough to be declared confidential and away from the public gallery, the Freo Mayor should have been more transparent and stay out of it as it simply does not look good.

Roel loopers


There have been a few comments in regard to yesterday’s article about Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt declaring a conflict of interest on the Sunset Events proposal for J Shed because his partner works at CODA, the architect consultants for Sunset for that project.

Brad Pettitt has responded stating that legal advise he received pointed out that now that his partner has moved in with him, she is legally his de-facto and hence the conflict of interest. She is by the way not a CODA director, as far as I am aware

Those who believe it would have been more transparent if the Mayor had declared earlier that he was in relationship with a CODA employee do have a point, but before throwing stones should check the rules and regulation for Councillors in the Local Government Act.

I have no issues with the debate and people criticising elected members, but I want to make it absolutely clear that CODA should not be tarred with anything as they have done nothing wrong and only tendered for City of Fremantle contracts.

CODA are a very professional and reputable architect and city planning company that has received national awards. I have had the pleasure of dealing with CODA director Kieran Wong on several occasions during community or stakeholder sessions on Victoria Quay, Kings Square and Cantonment Hill and was very impressed with how thorough Kieran was.

Wong is a very likeable person who does not bring a big ego to meetings and does not patronise and talk down to people. He gives you the facts, the opportunities and limitations and then he carefully listens and takes on board suggestions and ideas. That was clearly shown when he delivered three options for Victoria Quay, and while the preferred plans by Fremantle Ports don’t please everyone, CODA did a very good job in my opinion.

The reality of commercial life is that people work with those they feel comfortable with and who will bring the desired outcomes, so there might well be a slight bias at the City administration toward CODA because they worked on projects together before. That happens in other departments and government agencies as well. For example Fremantle Ports has used the same graphic designer, Acorn, for twenty years although every 3-4 years the contract goes out to tender. It is clear there is a preference toward that company but that does not in any way indicates anyone goes to bed with anyone.

I photographed for 11 years for the Midland Redevelopment Authority, 13 years for Fremantle Ports, 8 years for the State Energy Commission and had many other lengthy assignments for government departments and agencies without bribing anyone or having relationships or affairs with staff, so let’s chill about it.

I believe it is good that the City of Fremantle uses highly professional and experienced local consultants instead of people from interstate. If anyone believes proper tender process has not been followed at the City of Fremantle it is best to send questions to the new CEO Phil StJohn. And let me point out yet again that Mayor Brad Pettitt can not make decisions like granting contracts on his own. Full Council does make decisions for the City of Fremantle, not individual elected members!

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, development, j shed, local government, western australia by freoview on June 15, 2016

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt will next week at the full council meeting declare a conflict of interest for the debate on the Sunset Events proposal for a tavern and live outdoor music venue at J Shed at Bathers Beach. The Mayor will declare the conflict because his long-term partner is an employee of CODA, the architects assigned by Sunset Events to design the tavern.

While this is the correct procedure one has to wonder why that conflict of interest did not exist last year when the temporary approval for live concerts was given, when the Mayor already was in a relationship with the CODA staffer.

Cynics might see this as a convenient way out for the Mayor who now won’t have to take part in the debate and won’t have to vote, so whatever the outcome no one can blame him.

Thinking about J Shed I feel this is a lost opportunity to create something special at historic Arthur Head. J Shed could have been a community and arts hub like the lovely Fibonacci Centre in Blinco Street that has artists and yoga studios, a small exhibition and performance space, a cute cafe and a nice deck to sit on. The Fib has small concerts, poetry readings, exhibitions, functions, a monthly flea market, etc. and is such a relaxing venue. Imagine something like that at Bathers Beach, a small deck for alfresco enjoyment of the Indian Ocean and sunset, a space suitable for weddings and wedding function, for art exhibitions and collaborations with the artists at J Shed.

Then imagine the City, with a grant from Lotterywest, uncovering the remnants of the old Whaling Station and creating another historic tourist attraction in the area. Increase the connectivity between the Fishing Boat Harbour and the Maritime Museum by extending the board walk and one has a jewel that will attract people from all over the world and many locals.

Fremantle does not need another entertainment precinct. We already got that well covered in the CBD and we know the often negative impact that has on the community. Check out the FARE (Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education) website or their DRINKTANK blog to see what impact drinking has on the community and our national health system, and it might be time for the City of Fremantle to consider their own alcohol policy.

Roel Loopers


Posted in development, fremantle, planning, western australia by freoview on May 13, 2016

The sustainable Fremantle White Gum Valley project by LandCorp, CODA and Urbis was awarded the ‘Best Planning Ideas Small Project’ at the 2016 National Awards for Planning Excellence in Queensland.

There were 15 awards giving in 13 categories and the judges said about the WGV project:
“WGV @ White Gum Valley exemplifies a unique urban infill project that was achieved through the collaboration between a developer, the local government and the community. The project is an excellent example of extending beyond current subdivisional and development practices, creating a best practice blueprint for other infill sites.
The project is exceptional for its ability to demonstrate the economic, environmental and social benefits of sustainable development. It provides a range of affordable and inclusive living options, incorporates elements of the natural environment and retains a connection with the sense of place for the existing local community. All this was achieved whilst transitioning to a contemporary urban form.
This project showcases a highly innovative and environmentally responsible approach to improving diversity of housing opportunities in urban areas, with an exciting outcome from engaging different partnerships to get the best out of sustainability at an affordable price.”


Posted in city of fremantle, development, fremantle ports by freoview on April 9, 2016



There is an interesting report by Kent Acott in the weekend West Australian today about the City of Fremantle’s plans for Victoria Quay, which the consultants call South Quay.

The report by MacroPlan Demasi for the City of Fremantle is interesting because it basically is nothing new and the plans ‘revealed’ have been debated for quite some time in Fremantle.

The report wants waterfront homes and a cruise ship terminal of international standards and claims it could make the State Government $ 946 millions over twenty years.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt told the West Australian that this could be a special project for the W.A. bicentennial celebrations in 2029.

During the Victoria Quay development community consultations the idea of a convention centre, entertainment area, retail, office space, etc. all came up, so I see no need to again pay an external consultant fees for this and reinvent the wheel. With the present buffer zones in place residential or hotel development along Victoria Quay is not possible.

There are extensive plans by Fremantle Ports for Victoria Quay designed after very good community consultation by Fremantle based architects CODA. This involved stakeholders such as the City of Fremantle, Public Transport Authority, Chamber of Commerce, etc, so why the COF needed another report is hard to understand. I wonder if we will be told how much the report cost Fremantle ratepayers.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, development by freoview on November 10, 2015

The Planning Institute of Australia last night awarded the Fremantle White Gum Valley project the Best Planning Ideas-Small Project and Planning Minister’s Award.

The project is a collaboration between Landcorp, Freo’s CODA architects, URBIS and the City of Fremantle.

The judges said the development exemplifies a unique urban infill project through collaboration between a developer, local government and the community. It was praised for its ability to demonstrate the economic, environmental, and social benefits of sustainable development.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, fremantle ports by freoview on October 1, 2015

Australia’s peak body for the planning industry has announced the winners of the 2015 Australia Award for Urban Design, with the Fremantle Ports Victoria Quay development  taking one of five main awards.

Victoria Quay Enabling Precinct Plan designed by Fremantle-based CODA Architects takes the award for small-scale policies, programs and concepts, aiming to unlock the potential of the quay, station and park precincts of Fremantle Port to transform them into commercial destinations.

Although the plans are still controversial in the Fremantle community with criticism about height and the idea to build on Pioneer Park, it is good to see a local Freo company acknowledged for the work they are doing, so congratulations to the CODA team!

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, coda, park(ing) by freoview on September 15, 2015

coda pic

Fremantle CODA architects will be participating in the City of Fremantle PARK(ing) Day, which will be held this Friday September 18. They have connected the day with their own fundraising activities and are hoping to raise money for the Fremantle Migrants Centre.

For the last few months CODA has been raising money internally to assist the centre in their Pursuit for a Ute to be used to help welcome and settle people in WA. For each cake that CODA staff eat in the studio (and that’s a lot!) they get asked to make a gold coin donation.

On PARK(ING) DAY CODA will give away little potted lettuce and tomato seeds at their parklet for a gold coin donation. They have been supported by Dawsons, The Green Life Soil Co, Supafresh Leaves and Creation Landscape Supplies, who have all contributed to make it possible. The CODA team have been madly making little recycled pots all week long, as the photo shows.

Their parklet will be decorated with plants and hay bales and will be a fun place to stop off and visit. It looks like the parklet will be located near Il Cibo in Market Street.

This is a great initiative by CODA so look for the well-dressed overweight cake-eating creatives and support the fundraiser! ; >)

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.

Authorised by Roel Loopers. 5 Maxwell Street. Beaconsfield 6162


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