Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, internet, photography, rain, Uncategorized, weather by freoview on December 15, 2018


B&W rain


Hello Freo. I am back!

Finally back on line as my browser suddenly did not work this morning, probably due to my 10-year-old Mac. If anyone got a more recent one they want to sell for not too much please let me know.

Not much to report today, but the weather forecast is not too good for tomorrow so I am posting one of my favourite rain photos of 2018 again.

Roel Loopers



Posted in fire, fremantle, politicians by freoview on January 4, 2016


A large fire broke out at the property of Liberal party politician Matthew Hanssen this morning on the corner of Central Avenue and South Street in Beaconsfield. The building contains Mr Hanssen’s home, the Hanssen computer business and the Zedz fish&chips shop.

Matthew told me he had no idea how the blaze started but that the property is insured.

It is not a very good start of the year for Matthew Hanssen who stood for federal parliament against Melissa Parke and for state parliament against Simone McGurk. He also contested the Mayor of Fremantle election two years ago.

I feel very sorry for Matthew and the business operators as this is one of the worst starts of the year imaginable.

Roel Loopers

Photos COPYRIGHT Roel Loopers/ROEL.COM.AU 


Posted in fremantle, photography by freoview on July 29, 2014

Info session

A man an his tablet talking to the world on Fremantle’s Kings Square.

I love street photography.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle by freoview on June 6, 2014

people counters













It is always good to see Fremantle in the limelight for positive reasons, so the Today Tonight report on Channel 7 this week about the adaptive re-use of heritage buildings was a great promotion for the city, showing Bread in Common, the National Hotel, the Hougoumont Hotel, and the Heirloom by Match project of the Fort Knox woolstores.

I also noticed Fremantle based Nicholas Takacs, owner of ABEAUTIFULCITY, on the front page of the Western Suburbs newspaper. Nicholas offers people counting services to local councils, shopping centres, etc. and the article was about what kind of technology local councils use to collect data about the number of people that visit, and their movement around town.

Fremantle BID(Business Improvement District) has four people counters installed by abeautifulcity that count the numbers of people passing underneath them. They are in Market, High and Adelaide streets and South Terrace. The City of Fremantle is also in the early stages of a people counter trial with mobile phone technology, using the WiFi signals of mobiles, which enables the tracking of the movement of people from one area to another, e.g. where do people go before and after they visit an event on the Esplanade.

Both technologies are not perfect because people counters count the same person passing underneath them more than once as multiple people, while the mobile phone technology has its shortcomings that it does not count children and people without a mobile, and those who have not enabled WiFi on their phone.

There have been privacy concerns raised in Australia and overseas about using the WiFi tracking people method, but the “IINSIGHTS” technology tried by the City of Fremantle does not take mobile phone data of individuals. Of course CCTV cameras can also be used for people counting and are now often used with face recognition technology to assist Police in solving crimes.

It’s funny to think that I was blown away by the incredible technology of fax machines not that long ago. Technology in my lifetime has changed dramatically and a lot of it has been very good and positive. I could not do without my mobile or email any more, but privacy concerns will remain an issue and governments and the community need to be prudent and stay alert that Big Brother does not record all our movement and communication.

But for all the technology it is Fremantle’s lifestyle and character that attract people to our city, so I’d like to quote Luis Puig, the City’s Economic and Marketing coordinator:  I always like to think of Freo as playing a good old classic vinyl record, instead of downloading a mp3 song from iTunes – do you know what I mean? Playing that vinyl record is an experience many people like, it has that character, charm and history that we like here in Fremantle.

Roel Loopers



Posted in architecture, fremantle by freoview on January 18, 2014

The plans for the Fremantle Spicer site development on the corner of Henderson Street and William Street made me contemplate the effectiveness of height as a measure of what should, and what should not, be allowed to be built in the inner city. In a way the architects have offered us to make a decision on either of two options; a relatively plain design with a flat roof, or a far more exciting design with a saw-teeth roof that could well become an iconic building in the CBD. But to get the latter they want to increase the building height from 21.5 to 28.5 metres, an increase of one third.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of that. The 28. 5 metres design does not increase the leasable floor space, as no floors will be added, so in effect the developer is willing to add a visual and aesthetic feature to the building for the benefit of the community, at additional costs to them without gaining economic benefit from it. Should we therefore allow the additional height, or should we just allow the 21.5 metres? Of course one could also ask for a compromise by lowering the 7-metre feature to let’s say 4 metres and keep the architectural appeal by adding narrower and more teeth to the roof feature to achieve a similar effect. That would still create a 25.5 metre-high building, but might be more palatable to those Freo purists who don’t like height at all.

On the development at Queensgate, Point Street and other future new buildings, there is also a discussion the community and groups like the Fremantle Society and FICRA need to have about what is relevant. Let me be the Devil’s advocate here and suggest that a new seven-storey building will become the new reference for a street scape, and architects should not be forced to add significant reference features of already existing buildings that are substantial lower, because the new building, not the older ones, will become the reference for later buildings. That does not mean however that a boring and bland building , like the proposed Point Street one, should get the go ahead. We need to insist on greatness and exceptional design for our city, nothing less should be good enough.

Buildings are a bit like trees; we build them for the future and for future generations. That is important from an exterior point of view but also for the interior layout of floor space. Office workers will probably become more ‘nomadic’ in the sense that they no longer need to be inside an office at a desk with a computer, because with widely available wi-fi their ‘office’ can be a café, park, or Kings Square.

At a recent international computer convention, that showed all the latest gadgets, there was not a single desktop computer on display, a clear sign that in the near future we will be working only with tablets, laptops and larger smartphones.

The world is an ever-evolving place, and Fremantle can ill afford to ignore it and try to stay the same and fight change. I personally am really looking forward to some stunning and exciting modern buildings in the inner city. They will hopefully enhance Freo’s beauty, but also give us a bit more international flair, as a clear sign of our progress.

Higher density living makes sense, as do people living closer to their place of work, and less commuting. Our buildings need to reflect change and point towards our future, while embracing our past and heritage. It is a huge challenge to get it right and we need to openly discuss these things in community and expert forums. I encourage the City of Fremantle to start this dialogue now!

Roel Loopers

Spicer site


Posted in fremantle by freoview on November 20, 2012

Today and every Tuesday in November volunteers are uploading information about Fremantle onto WIKIPEDIA for the FREOPEDIA project that will see all significant buildings and sites of our city being QR coded so we’ll have a virtual tour guide and great education tool of our city via smartphones. The project was initiated by the Fremantle Society.

Come and give us a hand from 5 pm today and also write Saturday December 1 in your diary when there is a WIKI Edit afternoon from 12.30.

It is all happening at the Fremantle Library at the back near the history library. Laptop needed!

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on November 12, 2012

Young and old, tourists, backpackers, students and locals enjoy the free Fremantle WIFI all over the city, from the Moores Building Art Centre, to the Esplanade, the Fremantle Arts Centre and Kings Square. This man enjoyed the shade of the old tree at our city square to stay in touch with his world.

Roel Loopers

Free WIFI at Fremantle’s Kings Square.


Posted in fremantle by freoview on November 7, 2012

ALL THINGS TECHNO  is a very good initiative by the One Stop Shop at the City of Fremantle.

If you’re not 100%  computer literate but want to know how to use your new lap top, iPod or mobile phone, or would like to learn to Facebook or Skype, the One Stop Shop provides one on one tuition by young experts who are students at the Christian Brothers School.

Bring along your charged item with cords and instruction booklets.
Monday 12, 19, 26 November 3.30pm to 4.30pm – One Stop Shop Fremantle
Booking enquiries 94329812

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on November 2, 2012

If you love WIKIPEDIA come along to the FREOPEDIA info sessions each Tuesday in November from 5pm at the Fremantle Library where Sam Wilson and Gideon Digby will introduce you to the Fremantle Society project of QR code mapping all significant buildings and sites in Fremantle. It will highlight with a ‘WIKI Edit’ on Saturday December 1 from 12.30- 5 pm at the Freo Library where we will be uploading to WIKI as much information on Fremantle as possible. You’ll need to bring your own laptop!

This is a great project for people interested in history and research and once finished will be a fantastic smartphone virtual tourguide of the city and a very good way of learning about our history for educational purposes.

Organisations and individuals who already have historic information of the port city are encouraged to upload it to WIKIPEDIA, so it can become part of the QR project.

If you need to know more please do contact me via email:

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 30, 2012

I believe planet earth needs a STOP TO THINK Day. We are hunting progress at such a speed and with such ferocious appetite for more that we hardly have time to contemplate or do some real deep thinking and listening. Our governments at all levels are making decisions on the run that have often not been thought through properly. Plans for our future are made in panic mode and haste as if there is no tomorrow, and far too often policies are proven to be wrong and need to be revised, or scrapped all together.

We have no time to take our time for anything. When getting together with friends we feel the need to answer mobile phone calls, send emails, receive text messages and we are quite happy to rudely and impolitely interrupt our conversations because we feel the need to be up to date about everything every minute of the day. How often do we see four people having lunch and all chatting on the phone. It’s rude and ridiculous!

Trades people don’t give us value for money anymore because they turn up at our homes and offices but instead of concentrating on the job at hand they constantly answer phone calls from new customers, wasting our time and money.

We live in a selfish world where more and bigger is always better and we expect to have more next year and the year after. Care and courtesy are nearly forgotten words, because we are in such a hurry to make progress.

We use social media as a weapon and destroy people’s reputations with a few nasty words. There are more haters than lovers in cyberspace and most of them are too gutless to use their real name.

We rush through life without realising how special it is and how much we already have got. We don’t appreciate the beauty of our country, the value of good friends, or the fact we never go hungry. We just want more and it needs to come faster.

We are on a bullet train to nowhere and the speed of our present life is not sustainable. We need to stop and think and relearn to appreciate the beauty of life. We need to start sharing and caring again and we need to look after our extended family, our community, better before we run amok in the global village.

We need a day of contemplation, relaxation and meditation to tell ourselves what a wonderful life we already have and that we might not need all those things we are striving for and dreaming off, a day where we are simply happy with what we’ve got, like our children, pets, clean air, a home, fresh water, stunning nature, safe cities.

We should lay down and watch the stars, wake up to a gorgeous sun rise, sit still more often without doing anything, and leave that bloody mobile phone at home or at least turn it off now and then. The world can do without all of us for a few hours a day no matter how busy we think we are. We don’t have to be contactable 24/7. We are not that important!

Relax! Have a Stop to Think day today! We might get more things right and make better decisions if we chill a bit.

Roel Loopers

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