Freo's View



Committee for Perth WA stats

The Committee for Perth released its latest Fact Sheet with this easy to read graphic.

Interesting to note that the huge state of Western Australia only has 10% of Australia’s population, so over-population is not something we have to greatly worry about here in the west.

While the unemployment rate is 6.3% in WA the forecast for employment growth is 2%, so let’s hope that will be at least the case as the nation’s average is 5%.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, local government, seniors, Uncategorized by freoview on October 30, 2017


The Committee for Perth has released their latest FACTBase research about our ageing population and Fremantle Council better take note off it.

Some of the key findings from the report were:

In 2016, 50% of West Australians were of working age, there were 29 children for every 100 people of working age, and 21 adults aged 65 for over for every 100 people of working age.

The Productivity Commission has predicted that the demographic changes in WA are going to happen so quickly that we will find ourselves in a demographic environment that is entirely unfamiliar to us.

By 2060, it is predicted that 1 in 4 West Australians will be aged over 65 and there will be 25 centenarians for every 100 children aged under one.

Most elderly people ‘age in place’. This could be a significant issue because urban design, transport systems and access to services in outer suburban locations tend to be less suitable for retirees.

A central tenant of delivering positive economic outcomes will be achieved by allowing older people to remain active and valued members of the workforce and the community.

There is currently a shortfall of 3,500 beds for the elderly across Western Australia.

Aged care providers say there needs to be reduction in red tape, so they can manage the demand for their services.

There needs to be more diverse conversations happening across the broader community about the issues and opportunities associated with an ageing population.

The success of delivering positive economic outcomes for ageing West Australians is to innovate, adapt, maximise public sector efficiencies and take advantage of technology to reduce the financial impacts of ageing and capitalise on the opportunities offered by living longer, healthier lives.



Posted in city of fremantle, committee for perth, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on August 14, 2017


The Committee for Perth wants WA to become even more Perth-centric and snub Fremantle, according to their latest Fact Finding Bulletin 55.

The CfP states that “Tourism marketing campaigns should focus on ‘Brand Perth’ to attract visitors rather than sub categories of Fremantle, Rottnest Island or other regions.”

Only recently the CEO of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce lamented that Fremantle was not included enough in Western Australia’s tourism marketing, but now the Committee for Perth suggest we should get even less promotion for one of our Sate’s most favourite tourist destinations. How bizarre!

The thousands of visitors we receive at the Fremantle Roundhouse each week often remark how beautiful and different Fremantle is and that Perth is like most other major cities and far less attractive that the port city.

Maybe it is time for Fremantle Council and the Chamber of Commerce to send a delegation to the Minister for Tourism and have a serious talk about this, as Fremantle needs and deserves to be promoted all over the world as a unique attraction.

Other facts from the Committee of Perth fact sheet:

The total contribution of tourism to the WA economy in 2016 was $10.64 billion, or 4.6% of the state’s gross value-added (GVA) economy. By comparison, 23.8% of the state GVA was generated by the mining industry, 13.6% by construction, 5.6% by health care and social assistance and 5.2% by professional and technical services.

The sector directly and indirectly employs 109,000 people.

Over the past 10 years, intrastate and interstate visitor numbers declined in the year ending March 2016-17. The state only attracted 4.6% of the total national interstate visitors during the same period.

The distance to WA from major eastern states attractions and capitals is a disadvantage.
Indigenous tourism experiences have been identified as a major tourism opportunity for WA, with 78% of people who visited WA in 2015-16 saying they wanted to have an Aboriginal cultural experience but only 24% had one.

WA attracts less than its population based share of visitors and visitor spend from key markets including China and New Zealand, but attracts more than its share of visitors from the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Singapore and Germany.

Of WA’s five defined tourist regions, tourists from Malaysia, Singapore and China are most likely to visit Experience Perth and Australia’s South West with only a small proportion travelling to Australia’s Coral Coast, North West or Golden Outback. By contrast, visitors from Germany, the USA and New Zealand are more likely to visit a range of destinations.


Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, community, development, western australia by freoview on September 5, 2016

I received the information below from the Committee for Perth today and since infill and higher density is very relevant to Fremantle I copy it below:

Lunch Learnings: Densifying the Suburbs

At the latest Committee for Perth’s Perth in Focus luncheon, Densifying the Suburbs, Planning Minister the Hon. Donna Faragher opened the event by talking about the soon-to-be released Design WA report.

The Minister said the report would ensure that good design was also cost effective, functional, liveable, vibrant and sustainable and that design review panels would be standardised and prioritised to support DAPs.

Emma Booth, Team Leader Design at North Sydney Council, explained how the council had an on-again, off-again love affair with density since the 1950’s. The council is now focused on creating 12,000-14,000 new residences and 10,000 new jobs by 2031. To achieve this, they spent three years preparing and implementing a design strategy.

The key findings from the strategy are:
Start by mapping urban renewal opportunities.
Do density once and do it well.
Measure the financial uplift of density and capture part of the value to deliver amenity that benefits the community.
Good design is achieved through a design process not a static plan.
Densifying the suburbs also means densifying the land use mix.
There is no point increasing density around train stations without decreasing car use.
Density must be supported by commensurate public benefits.
Value capture is possible with an endorsed strategy.

Keynote speaker, Associate Professor Julian Bolleter, from the Australian Urban Design Research Centre at The University of Western Australia spoke about the findings in his book ‘Scavenging the Suburbs: Auditing Perth for 1 Million Infill Dwellings’.

The book examined how many infill homes could be created by better utilising land around Perth.

Associate Professor Bolleter’s provocative views are that Perth could infill more and contain sprawl if:
Each person in Perth only had 75m2 of garden space instead of the current 132m2 it would create 115,000 infill dwellings.
50% of publicly owned carparks had homes built above them and carparks below it would create 203,000 dwellings.
Freeway reserves were reduced, 50,000 new homes could be created.
10% of light industrial areas were developed for housing it would create 95,434 affordable homes.
The amount of public park space was reduced from 40m2 to 28m2 per person 144,000 homes.
Golf courses were reduced to 9 holes it would yield 86,000 homes.
10% of the foreshore was used for development it would create 62,000 dwellings.

While admitting it was controversial, Assistant Professor Bolleter said that if all of the recommendations were followed it would create 913,879 dwellings, obviate the need for 97 masterplanned communities the size of Ellenbrook and no greenfield homes would need to be built in Perth until 2036.


I like the idea of the Future Bayswater organisers to hold a Speakers Series about urban infill and density and it is something the City of Fremantle and/or Fremantle Network should consider doing without bias and with a wide variety of opinions, not just the green one.

There is little use in playing the blame game and dividing communities when talking about inevitable urban infill and higher density and it will always get some form of NIMBY opposition.

Most reasonable people accept that the urban sprawl of Perth is not sustainable, but local and state governments need to be very careful to not destroy the unique character of older cities. Good sensitive infill and medium density in carefully selected pockets of Fremantle will be very good and might also help create badly needed affordable student accommodation just a 15-minute bike ride from the CBD.

At a recent forum of Future Bayswater Committee for Perth chair Marion Fulker expressed that heritage was often used as an excuse against infill, but I don’t agree with her. Heritage protection here is Fremantle and elsewhere has to be paramount and an absolute priority! That is not difficult to accommodate as there are many under developed areas just on the outskirts of the inner city where substantial residential development will help increase the amenity instead of damaging it.

That is the conversation we need to have in Freo so let’s get organise some forums. Good leadership is taking the community with you when implementing change!

Roel Loopers



Posted in committee for perth, employment, fremantle, western australia by freoview on May 16, 2016

The latest FACTBase 48 Bulletin by the Committee for Perth, called The Impacts of Employment Decentralisation on Commuting, examines the impacts of employment decentralisation and types of spatial organisation on commuting distances, patterns and travel times.

Some interesting points about Perth are that “The proportion of employees that have access to the CBD within a 45 minute drive commute is highest in Perth (93%) and Brisbane (54%), followed by Melbourne (45%) and Sydney (23%).

Access to the CBD within a 60 minute public transport commute is also highest in Perth (58%), followed by Brisbane (42%), Sydney (37%) and Melbourne (34%).

However in Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane, accessibility to employment by public transport and car is lowest for residents in outer suburbs where, in some locations, the share of jobs that can be accessed within 60 minutes by public transport falls below 1%.

The report found that decentralising metropolitan jobs from CBD and inner locations to middle and outer locations is promoted by planning and transport policy, with the primary aim of decreasing the distance between where people live and work.

In some decentralised regions, employment decentralisation appears to increase average commute distances. This is thought to be because dispersing jobs over a large spatial area can increase the total possible distance between where people live and work, thereby increasing the potential for excess commuting.






Posted in fremantle, perth, planning by freoview on March 4, 2016

The FACTBase reports by the Committee for Perth are always interesting reading and the latest one on the failure of decentralisation is another one worth reading.

CfP concludes that despite many strategic activity centres being created for decades, the City of Perth still remains the number one destination for workers. More than 123,000 people commute to Perth daily.

The objective of getting people to work closer to home has not been achieved the Committee for Perth said, and there is a disparity between the number of jobs on offer and the number of workers in areas such as Cockburn, Melville and Rockingham in the southern suburbs, as well as Joondalup, Wanneroo, Armadale and Gosnells.

Committee for Perth CEO Marion Fulker said that “Interestingly, many of the people who are commuting to work are actually living in or near strategic development centres.”

The strategic metropolitan centres are Fremantle, Rockingham, Mandurah, Joondalup, Armadale, Midland, Morley, Cannington, Stirling.

We in Fremantle have been waiting for years for the State Government to move departments here to help restart the economy and help Freo to become an activity hub with many more office workers coming to work here and hopefully relocating and becoming residents of Fremantle.

Traffic congestion during peak hours is becoming worse and worse and people reject public transport because of over-crowded trains and busses, so decentralised activity hubs that offer real job opportunities are very important for the future of the Perth metropolitan area that is rapidly growing, but not coping with the population boom.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on December 2, 2015

I have been thinking about the Committee for Perth suggestion that Fremantle should market itself as Little Italy because we have a high percentage of Italian restaurants and residents with an Italian background. It would be the same kind of  silly real estate marketing that suggests that Mandurah has a resemblance to Venice just because it has some canals.

Fremantle is Freo. It is unique and multicultural and has great character, and we have many Italians living here and many mainly mediocre ‘Italian’ restaurants. Let’s be honest, it is hard to find a true Italian restaurant in Fremantle that would be given more than a 12/20 rating by restaurant reviewers.

Our outstanding heritage architecture in the west end is British rather than Italian, so why should Fremantle pretend it is a little bit like Italy? It isn’t!

Fremantle is a fantastic summer festival city with the, in my opinion, outstanding Street Art Festival at Easter. That is what we should be promoting to overseas and interstate visitors, not the fact that we have a lot of restaurants who sell more or less the same kind of uninspiring pasta dishes.

Fremantle also has a real multicultural feeling with people from all over the earth living here, and making it even more exciting are all the international students at Notre Dame University who add colour and vibrancy to our city.

Fremantle does not look or feel Italian, it feels just like Freo and that is a very good thing and a great brand to promote, so why bother putting it into a drawer and pretend we are more Italian in Fremantle than Croation, English, Greek, German, Macedonian, Dutch, Irish, or whatever.

Freo is a great place to live and tourist who visit love it because it is so different from Perth. Only last week a couple who had just driven around Australia said for them Fremantle was the most beautiful city they had visited on their long journey. That is the stuff we need to be proud off and promote, not just one ethnic group who have made Freo their home.


Posted in city of fremantle, committee for perth by freoview on September 10, 2015

There was an interesting Future Freo public forum by the Committee for Perth at Notre Dame University today with speakers UWA Professor Matthew Tonts, city development expert and author of Urbanism without Effort Chuck Wolfe of Seattle, COP chair Marion Fulker and Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt.

It is about the “diversity of thought” Fulker said and that is a good base to start from I believe.

Chuck Wolfe is an international speaker but I thought in some ways quite David Engwicht-like, although he did not use the words place making once in his presentation.

City building is acupuncture with lots of little pricks, small achievable projects and goals and the rediscovery of simplicity we were told, and that we need to create places of comfort and scale. That is very much what the Freo community would like to see happen. Even more Freo was Wolfe’s suggestion that we need to recall the historic patterns of our cities and that the fundamental relationships between humans and cities need to be addressed in our planning.

Brad Pettitt presented his thought on the Liveable Cities tour he did a few months ago and observed that they were about density done well, cities of short distances, and that cities should not be designed around cars. In the German city of Freiburg for example car use is only 35 cars per 100 inhabitants while in Perth it is 60/100 so substantially more.

Brad said that higher density is best done when accompanied by green spaces and that the new European suburbs had a diverse range of affordable housing for all ages. It was important to “Building on your uniqueness.”

Marion Fulker compared facts and perceptions and said that crime in Fremantle was about the same as everywhere else in the metro area. The problem with parking was not insufficient parking bays but the accessibility to them, she said. There was also no clear evidence that Fremantle’s environmental role was any more significant than that of other regions.

The education sector is a major employer in Fremantle she told us, and that young people and renters were more satisfied to live in Fremantle than people over 40 and property owners, but that 86% of residents are satisfied to live here.

UWA Professor Matthew Tonts told us there is a steady population growth in Fremantle but it is well below that of the Perth metro. We have a slowly ageing population, are a critical hub for import and export, and have a higher rising unemployment rate than Perth. Freo people are stayers Professor Tonts said with half of the population staying in the same location between 2006-11.

I came out of the forum wondering if over-planning cities harms the natural organic growth of them because we are in such a rush for change, and if we should not let progress evolve and let it simply happen because of inevitable change.

Fremantle is only 187 years old while European cities have often grown organically for centuries, and most have a real connection to the past and past culture. Freo’s latest building have little reference to our heritage and don’t connect with the past. They fill up spaces with density but not with culture and don’t look at all like “density done well’ the Freo Mayor talked about.

Roel Loopers

Facebook: ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.

Authorised and written by Roel Loopers. 5 Maxwell Street. Beaconsfield 6162.


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

Like many port cities around the world, Fremantle is a good barometer of the economy and global, national and regional connections. The latest Future Freo report released by the Committee for Perth has found that in recent years the port of Fremantle has experienced significant growth in trade activity. It has also become a key employment hub, with people commuting not just from the Perth and Peel region but also from around Western Australia and interstate.

“The city-centric focus on the CBD and its business and economic activity has overshadowed the critical trading role that Fremantle plays and the important and sophisticated supply chains and connections it has around the globe,” said Committee for Perth CEO, Marion Fulker.

“In a global market, connectivity has become increasingly more important as a gauge of urban prosperity through trade, regional investment and economic competiveness. And how Fremantle connects to the rest of the world provides an interesting insight into its economic attractiveness and appeal.”

Between 2006 and 2014, the total number of container movements from Fremantle grew from 456,021 to 703,327, a rise of 54%.This was mainly due to significant increases to China – 103,310 containers, Singapore – 34,649, Malaysia – 32,778 and the United States – 8,545.

“The increase in total trade activity, both imports and exports, is largely due to WA’s resource-based economy, especially with major trading partners in the Asia-Pacific region, the United States, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand and a select number of western European partners,” Mrs Fulker added.

“This flow of imports and exports reveals Fremantle’s strong regional Asian focus and more broadly, Western Australia’s connectivity with the world. It also reinforces Greater Fremantle’s unique position within the Perth metropolitan area as an important hub in the network of sea and road routes between WA and the rest of the world.”

At a local and national level, the report found that Greater Fremantle is a well-connected employment hub, with workers travelling from across the country.

“By understanding the source, destination and movement of labour and goods through Fremantle, strategic policies can be implemented that target road, rail and port infrastructure improvement. All of which is critical to ensuring that Fremantle can maintain its capacity as a hub of Western Australian and global economic activity,” said Mrs Fulker.

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