Freo's View





Waking up this morning I thought how lucky I am to live in Fremantle. The sun is out and the sky is blue and it is a mild 23 degrees at the start of our winter.

We live in a very special and unique city but sadly there are those who only make negative comments and never see the beauty we have and the special close community we live in.

I don’t suggest for one moment that Freo is perfect and that there is not a lot of room for improvement, but I believe we are doing very well and that our city has a very positive future.

We are seeing massive unprecedented development in Fremantle, not seen in 40 long years, which means in the very near future we will have many more people living, working and staying overnight in the inner city.

That will create confidence for more developers and businesses and we’ll see new shops and bars, new hotels and more investment also from Fremantle council and state government.

But sadly there are those with a political agenda who don’t want to recognise the strategic and long-term planning our elected members have made.

The Kings Square, Fremantle Oval, Cantonment Hall, South Quay projects are huge for our city and so are the private developments of the Woolstores shopping centre, Heirloom, Liv apartments by Defence Housing and many more that are popping up around town or are planned.

Some people in Fremantle treat our democratically elected members as the enemy of the community and more often than not their criticism is based on ignorance.

Many people do not understand the separation between the councillors and administration and blame councillors when the streets are not clean or maintenance not done.

Fact is that council sets rules and regulations in place, makes policies and development approvals, but it’s up to staff to implement them. It is like a footy club where no one would consider the board of directors responsible for the players underperforming.

It is too simplistic, and unfair, to attack councillors and the mayor when it is out of their hands, and I often hear how frustrated too they are when things are not done.

There are the conspiracy people who frequently accuse council of being communists or socialists, but how ridiculous is that when the present council has done more to encourage and support capitalist development in Freo than the councils before them.

I am not a one-eyed supporter of Fremantle council and I don’t have the blinkers on. I also don’t care if councillors are left, right or centre of politics and I don’t socialise privately with any of them, but credit needs to be given where due and criticism handed out fairly. I have been doing that on this blog for nearly eight years and in letters to editors for over 25 years.

Whenever I talk to tourists they tell me how cute, clean, beautiful and special Fremantle is, but far too many locals I talk to only have negativity on their mind.

Many people do not engage with local government and fail to inform themselves adequately, hence there is a lot of misinformation out there and people are blaming Fremantle council for things outside their control and state responsibility.

We live in a community where people really care, where they are willing to stand up and make a difference and where many want to be part of the solution.

But the internet and social media has also created large numbers of people all over the world who are only interested in writing spiteful, nasty, insulting comments that are only meant to be personal attacks and hurt. That to me is not acceptable, hence I will speak out and defend our utterly decent and very likeable councillors, collaborate with them, put suggestions to them for improvement and show them the respect they deserve.

Fremantle is a magic and magnificent place to live. We have the stunning heritage West End, great beaches, markets, lifestyle, festivals, events and we actually care.

Be passionate about Freo, as I am, and stand up for what you believe in. I support anyone who wants to help make Freo a better place, no matter if you vote Liberal, Labor, Green or any other political colour, but please let us engage in respectful and informed dialogue and not ignorant hyperbole and hot air.

Have a brilliant week, Freo and acknowledge how green the grass is on this side of the fence!

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, community, food, Uncategorized by freoview on June 18, 2017


Federal Hotel Sunday music


What a brilliant Sunday again in Freo paradise!

Don’t stay home but get out and about to the Growers Green Farmers Market that is still on till midday and there is also a car boot sale on there today.

Fresh produce, breads, pastries, yummy breakfasts, great atmosphere, live music, animal touch farm, face painting. Bring the family, friends, dogs!

When there help reduce the us of plastic bags and take part in making Boomerang Bags.

From 3pm on the Federal Hotel in William Street opposite the Townhall will have free live music, so for those who miss the Irish music they used to play there when it was Rosy O’Grady, this might be a good afternoon.

And all the shops, pubs, bars and cafes are open in Fremantle, so support our small businesses and the bigger ones, all of them!

Roel Loopers


Posted in children, family, fremantle, Uncategorized, western australia by freoview on June 5, 2017




Children outnumbered adults in Fremantle today as large family groups, babies and prams came to celebrate WA DAY on the Esplanade and all around town.

Some cafes were closed and others charged a public holiday surcharge, but who cares, the sun is shining, the sky is blue and it’s pretty warm for a winter’s day.

Roel Loopers



Posted in community, fremantle, history, Uncategorized, western autralia by freoview on June 5, 2017


There is WA DAY entertainment at the Fremantle Esplanade all day today so go and enjoy the glorious day.

Spare Parts Theatre will be there with their puppets and Grace Barbe and band will perform in the afternoon.

There is a Freedom Fairy Show for the children, food stalls,  Bindi Bindi Dreaming, and Felicity Groom will also be performing.

A big sand sculpture will be created and the African Drumming Circle will be fun for young and old.

The Maritime Museum will have a stall and there is also the Perth Makers Market and more entertainment and music.

At Victoria Quay in Fremantle Port one of the world’s most high-tech research vessels, RV Sonne, will be open to the public.

Members of the public are invited to step on board, speak to the German and Australian marine scientists, check out the ship’s cutting-edge research technology and learn about current research campaigns in the Australian marine environment, and Australian-German research cooperation.

Have a fun WA DAY!

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, community, growers green markets, Uncategorized by freoview on June 5, 2017

It is WA DAY today when we celebrate the foundation day of Western Australia, and it’s yet again going to be a gorgeous day.

It is good to remind ourselves now and then what we love about the place we live in because we far too often complain about the negatives of life.

My visit to the Fremantle Growers Green farmers market yesterday made me aware again why I love Freo so much. There is such a great sense of community and people catching up over breakfast. Families, dogs, fresh produce, live music under a brilliant blue sky. How much better can it get.

I was barely out of my car when I bumped into Bryn Davies who often rigs himself up the mast of the Roundhouse to put new flag ropes up and makes repairs. He is studying and renovating his house, so he’s a busy boy.

I love having a chat with Farmer Damian, who has his patting sheep and ducks there for kids, as he is always down to earth and has a great sense of humour. We worked together on a couple of markets some years ago.

Then it was pollies time and receiving the warm smile from new Freo state Minister Simone McGurk and a hug from federal MP Josh Wilson, who was out food shopping with his wife Georgia and dog. Georgia works at Fremantle Press.

While there the person I have known longest in Australia crossed my path. Beautiful Michelle Broun, an Injbarndi woman who is now the curator for Aboriginal and Torrest Straight Islander art at the WA Art Gallery. She was there with her cousin Khris. I used to babysit Michelle’s sons Simon and Reuben, but now Simon has his own children and is  a teacher in Broome. Yep, I am getting old. ; >(

My mate Tom Fisher of Clancy’s fame was on stage doing fine tunes.

The foodstalls were busy so it’s not easy to have a chat with the operators, but I managed to have a few word with Nick who sells frozen yoghurt and who also builds food carts, musician and poet Dave Pensa was selling Mediterranean anti-pasto, and the always smiling Umir from Zab Salad served his yummy smelling and looking curries. You can buy them during the week at the restaurant he and his wife Kulsum have opposite Victoria Hall. Try it!

Also had a chat with Sarah and Shaun from the High Street Dispensary cafe, who also used to own Chalkys. They had their 14 month-old boy with them of course.

And last but not least I had a chat with Linda from Treacle Treat who sells Dutch Flavourites; stroopwafels, kroketten, bitterballen and the delightful tiny Dutch poffertjes pancakes. You need to try them!

Talking Dutch with Linda, who is a relatively new migrant, reminded me that I left the Netherlands 50 years ago for my first big adventure when I migrated to Germany. How time has flown and what an exciting life I have had. The grand finale is here in Freo for me, the place I love more than anywhere else in the world!

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, food, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on May 30, 2017



North Fremantle people will tell you that they are even more unique than the rest of Freo and looking at the lovely little hub there one has to agree with them.

Even parking is special in North Freo with the City creating parking bays that are partly on the road and partly on the footpath.

There are some quirky mural artworks and brilliant restaurants such as Habitue and Propeller, and the famous Mojo’s music venue, plus cafes, Mrs Brown and Flipside burgers.

Change your routine now and then and instead of going to the Freo CBD or South Freo, go and support the North Freo traders!

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, photography, Uncategorized by freoview on May 28, 2017



It such a beautiful Sunday that I had to go out and wander around Fremantle, and I took these street photos.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, development, recreation, sport, Uncategorized by freoview on May 25, 2017


The plans for a new clubhouse at Fremantle Park on Parry Street can finally go ahead after Fremantle Council approved it on Wednesday.

The clubhouse will become the new home for the Fremantle Workers Club, Fremantle Tennis Club and Fremantle Bowling Club which will share the two-storey premises.

The City of Fremantle also plans to build a public carpark next to it to accommodate inner city parking.

The $ 4,4 million project will be paid for by the Workers Club, the CoF and the Department of Sport and Recreation.

The Fremantle Workers Club will pay $ 1.85 million, as will the City. The State Department will pay $ 400,000, and Fremantle City will pay another $ 300,000 for the public carpark, if the use is approved by the state.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, community, TRAFFIC, Uncategorized by freoview on May 24, 2017


I thought at the South Fremantle Precinct meeting at The Local last night how frustrating it sometimes must be to be a City of Fremantle officer and Councillor.

Three CoF officers were invited to talk about the process on the traffic calming of South Terrace and Councillor Andrew Sullivan also attended.

Questions were again raised that had already been addressed at previous community meetings and the process is about two third underway, but I don’t blame anyone for that, as it is often the case that those who attend the first meeting(s) don’t come again, while other do. It is great to see a crowd of around 60 people at a precinct meeting because community involvement is essential for the officers and elected members to make the right decisions.

Underground power is planned but who is going to pay for it. Normally it is around one third Western Power, one third City and one third paid by property owners, but the latter are very reluctant to hand over cash.

Five speed reduction platform nodes were suggested at Douro Road, South Street, Lefroy Road and Charles and Silver streets, but one resident suggested some should be put where there is already more activity such as near Abhi’s and Manna’s.

Widening footpaths to accommodate more street furniture, dedicated bicycle paths and trees all along are also on the cards.

There were concerns from residents of Marine Terrace that traffic calming along South Terrace would increase traffic in their street but as one officer said we can’t solve all problems at once and if there is a knock-on effect we have to deal with that if it happens.

Another resident pointed out that the two streets are very different with South Terrace having more cafes, restaurants, hotels and heritage buildings and hence traffic calming there made more sense than doing it along Marine Terrace.

Illegal parking makes it very difficult and dangerous for local residents to pull out of side streets onto South Terrace and parking officers should try to be more attentive to that problem.

From my own experience driving down South Terrace many times a week is that where there are activity notes motorists will slow down at Abhi’s, the Local Hotel, Lefroy Road and near the South Beach Hotel hospitality hub.

That is also happening in Wray Avenue were traffic slows down near Frank’s and Gallati’s because cars are pulling out, car doors are opened and pedestrians cross.

One of the basic facts of life is that one cannot please everyone and every change will have an impact on different areas, unless we all stop driving cars and hop on public transport or bikes.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle network, notre dame university, Uncategorized by freoview on May 24, 2017


The delightful Vice Chancellor of Notre Dame University Celia Hammond was one of three speakers at the monthly Fremantle Network event at the National Hotel to talk about UNDA’s Urban Activation Project for the West End of Fremantle, that will see four activation and relaxation nodes being created for students, the community and visitors to Freo.

Celia Hammond said UNDA had been pushed for years, by Mayor Brad Pettitt especially to do more for street activation in the precinct and was shifting offices away from ground level to make way for commercial tenancies. “We love being a part of the West End and are trying to be a good neighbour.”

UNDA creates 700,000 visits a year to the West End, so that is a very significant number.

The university engaged CODA for the activation plan that is about mixed use and a dynamic precinct, collaboration with the City of Fremantle, increase visitations and duration of stay, offer a rest place for all, improve high quality urban spaces and ground level activity.

The Vice Chancellor also said that Notre Dame University is looking at student accommodation but not in the West End and that the uni has refused a students’ request for an ATM on campus as it wants to encourage its students to walk into Fremantle and support local traders, as they do on the UNDA student App.

Councillor Rachel Pemberton who organises the Fremantle Network deserves to be congratulated for the idea as it is a fantastic way to hear from all different parts of the community. Contrary to what some people say about the Network it is not about Greenies and socialists but it embraces the whole community and gives us a chance to work together, share ideas and feel a great sense of belonging!

Roel Loopers

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