Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on October 26, 2015

Special Fremantle Council and Council Committee meetings are on this evening after the local government election to elect a Deputy Mayor and chairpersons for the committees.

Present Deputy Mayor Josh Wilson will be challenged by Councillor Andrew Sullivan and that will be a close vote I feel. Both members are popular and very active and outspoken in the Chamber, so it could be decided by just a couple of votes. Not sure if the Mayor has a casting vote when it comes to selecting the Deputy.

The meetings start at 6 pm this evening, so go along and check out how local government ticks.

Roel Loopers


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

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt has been outspoken on why he believes the Arthur Head A Class reserve needs a tavern, and now first a temporary two-year events venue with live outdoor concerts for up to 1,500 or maybe 1,000 patrons, depending on if full Council on Wednesday will accept the changes to the original application.

I lived at Captain’s Lane in one of the old Pilot’s Cottages for about two and a half years and absolutely loved it. I adored the historic feeling of the area, to sit in quiet at night on the veranda and look down at the harbour and see ships coming and going. It was a magnificent experience and so was the interaction with the delightful Crookes family next door. Kids from Lance Holt School played up on the hill, we held bocce nights for the locals, the Fremantle Society held events during the Heritage Festival, on Australia Day, etc. and we looked after the place.

The Captain’s Lane area is lovely. It was delightful to live there and to sit on the veranda and talk to people passing by. The kids from next door and I introduced many foreigners to ‘bush tucker’ lilly pilly, and the few homeless people who walked by came for a chat or yelled goodnight at me through the window. We were the passive and active surveillance of the area. I asked Council to put a proper path down Captain’s Lane so it would make access to the Roundhouse and to the lawn-for weddings more accessible, and they did.

I have suggested to light up the cottages from the front and make them a feature. It would surely not be a huge expense to put four lights below the wall and light it all up. I would love it if disabled people could get into the Roundhouse. I have suggested Council uses the grassed area for events and I have suggested an art market there.

I have asked for years if we could have a ‘stage’ at Little High Street during the Street Art Festival long weekend to encourage people to walk down High Street and discover and enjoy the far West End of town.

Georgie Adeane and I extended the Bathers Beach Sunset Food Markets all along the path from Kidogo Arthouse to J Shed and onto the A Class reserve, we lit up the tunnel beautifully and I have asked Fremantle City to at least put more attractive lights in the tunnel and make it a feature, but it fell on deaf ears. How many people see the lit up cliff face? I thinks it looks great but not many people visit there during the night.

The heritage area deserves more and better attention from the City. I can’t believe there is still no proper wayfinding signage in the area although we have asked for it for years, and that is not acceptable.

The Mayor sits in Council and tells us the area needs activation because nothing is happening at Arthur Head, but the City has failed to do the basic things. Where is the Arthur Head promotion, where is the signage, the lights, the events and a bit of tender love and care for the area?!

Yesterday the Whalers Tunnel was still closed at 9 am! I have alerted the City on numerous occasions that the security company either failed to open the gates, did it far too late and closed the gates too early at night, but who cares. I am just a geriatric nay-saying whinger who should shut up because Brad and his mates know best what’s good for us. Quiet enjoyment of the great historic area is not good enough. It needs to be destroyed by making it into a live outdoor music venue.

Only Councillor Ingrid Waltham got it on Wednesday when she suggested to only approve events for up to 400 people but not the 1500, or now maybe 1000 patrons, ticketed concerts.

We have been banging our heads against the wall for many years to get improvement at Arthur Head but all we’ve got is a few benches, but still no shade structures for tourist to sit under or a water fountain.

The City of Fremantle has failed the area and neglected it, and because they did that they now want to destroy it. They have been giving similar reasons for Pioneer Park. No one uses it so let’s build a multi storey building on it, when all it needs is some creative landscaping, seating and shade structures and a playground near Spare Parts Theatre. But that is just common sense low-hanging fruit placemaking the Mayor no longer seems to want to support, although it was he who brought out David Engwicht on several occasions to preach exactly those solutions.

Arthur Head needs better connectivity and wayfinding and signage all the way from the Esplanade and Fishing Boat Harbour to Victoria Quay and the Maritime Museum. It needs to be included in events. Bathers Beach needs a public toilet and shade structures and so does the grass area next to the Roundhouse.

Make the area a feature and light up the cottages, set standards for the art galleries and insist on professionalism and proper signage instead of some ugly banners hanging off the verandas. They need to be as professional and inviting as the Glen Cowans photography gallery!

There are many many small and inexpensive ways to make the area more attractive and safe that would reduce vandalism, but the City of Fremantle has no eye for detail and only wants to do the big picture stuff.

Roel Loopers

P.S. Those of you who have criticised my very critical and sarcastic article about the Planning Committee session as being disrespectful to Mayor Brad Pettitt should have witnessed how disrespectful the Mayor was to all those who addressed Council and who send in submissions.

Pettitt’s attitude toward Fremantle Society President Henty Farrar and historian and former Councillor John Dowwson was unacceptable, rude and arrogant. He had no right to interrupt Dowson’s address to the members and question if he had even read the agenda item on the Workers Club development. If the Mayor wants respect he needs to treat us with respect, so start earning the respect some still believe you deserve, Brad.

ROEL FOR FREO. Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.

Written and authorised by Roel Loopers of 5 Maxwell Street, Beaconsfield 6162.


Posted in city of fremantle, election, local government by freoview on September 25, 2015

election 1 election 2

Nice to see the Fremantle Herald today reporting on the percentage for green space idea I have, to make sure that we will have ample public open spaces among all the new planned development in Fremantle. People living in apartments, office workers, hotel visitors and tourists all will want to enjoy green relaxation nodes with creative seating, trees and shade structures, so I believe it is important to put that in Freo’s planning policies.

Also great to feel appreciated and get the support of Little High Street residents who put some election signs on their apartment.

Ballot papers should be arriving from today so PLEASE DO VOTE, as Councillor Ingrid Waltham also promotes in a letter to the Herald today, and embrace your democratic right to elect the person who you believe will represent you and Fremantle best.

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, development, trees by freoview on September 8, 2015

I am all for good modern residential and commercial development but believe we need to do better looking after our established trees and green open spaces. Developers too often clear fell the entire development area and once it is finished they plant tiny new trees that will take forever to mature and don’t provide the shade and green lungs we need in our urban environment. The Kim Beazley site on Stevens Street in White Gum Valley is for example one where I would have liked to see more of the mature trees retained.

WA State agency Landcorp does have the power to enforce the retention of mature trees on new land releases and that should be done as a matter of course, but maybe local councils like Fremantle could create their own by-laws as City of Bayswater Councillor Chris Cornish suggests. He wants to put a value on our trees between $ 10,000 and $ 50,000 so that anyone who want to cut down trees will have to pay for killing them. I think that is a brilliant idea that I would support if I get elected on council.

Global warming demands we look after our green lungs and increase the tree canopy in our cities. I miss the many tree-lined streets of European cities, where one can walk in the shade and where there is shade for bikes and cars to park underneath.

If Fremantle is serious about being an environmentally friendly city it needs to concentrate more on doing these basic things right. We have to look after our green public spaces better and retain more of our mature trees. Planting tiny new ones is good but not enough.

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.

Written and authorised by Roel Loopers. 5 Maxwell Street. Beaconsfield 6162. 0410 850981



Posted in city of fremantle, elections, local government by freoview on August 31, 2015
I don't like selfies much. ; >)

I don’t like selfies much. ; >)

I believe it is essential for a candidate standing for the Fremantle local council election on October 17 to have total independence and integrity and not be influenced by political party politics and ideologies. For that reason I will not ask for or accept donations to run my campaign and while I am very aware that might affect my chances of being elected, I believe it is the right way to go.

I will not have the finances for glossy media campaigns in the local papers and I won’t have party supporters doing door knocking or handing out pamphlets either, so my ever smiling face, my common sense and my sense of reality will have to convince you to vote for me.

I am a great believer in true and sincere community consultation and consistent governance. As someone who was born in a room behind my parents corner shop, and lived there and helped out in the shop for the first 18 years of my life, I understand the hardship of retailers. I started my own small business in Perth in late 1984 so I understand the issues we business operators all face.

I have worked as a shop assistant, DJ, kitchenhand, cook, waiter, market researcher, tutor, supervised summer markets, edited blogs, and worked as a photojournalist for newspapers and magazines. This has given me a broad knowledge base to help me make informed decisions.

Art is one of my passions and I have been supportive of the WA arts industry from the day I arrived here. I was a-not so-silent partner in an art gallery, have curated exhibitions and have had many solo and group shows. I have also been a strong supporter of the Fremantle Chamber Orchestra and the Bathers Beach artists.

Good governance, like life, is all about balance and about considering everyone, and it is about being realistic. Local government in my opinion has to be first and foremost about the immediate needs of community and that also requires long-term and consistent planning and not ad hoc policy making on the hop.

Freo’s heritage can not be compromised and needs to be preserved and protected at all cost!

I am a realist who works toward achievable outcomes by prioritising what is essential and needed first. I love city planning and placemaking and creating how a city can grow and improve. Fremantle needs change but it only needs good change that is a real improvement, not superficiality that makes good media headlines.

My only motive for putting my hand up for Council is because I deeply care about Freo and the community.

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Truly Independent.

Written and authorised by Roel Loopers of 5 Maxwell Street, Beaconsfield WA 6162. Phone 0419850981


Posted in city of fremantle, lightrail, roel loopers by freoview on August 30, 2015

Fremantle Council never stops surprising me, so the news report on Channel Nine this Sunday with Councillor Rachel Pemberton, who quite clearly is on the election campaign, announcing the City of Fremantle might implement a percentage for lightrail on parking fees as early as next year, was yet another indication of a lack of reality.

I love lightrail but there is something rather green-as in naive-about the idea. One also has to question why a junior Councillor would announce such a huge project on national televison when it has not even yet been to any of the Council committees. I suppose it is a case for Pemberton of just  getting her face in the media, no matter the lack of substance, and people in City Ward might actually vote for her at the October 17 local government elections.

I quite like Rachel and she is a pretty good performer in Council chamber, but she has not explained why people parking in Fremantle, and  hence Freo ratepayers, would want to fund lightrail to Cockburn and Fiona Stanley Hospital.

I suggested on Mayor Brad Pettitt’s blog a few weeks ago that if he believed there is so much support for lightrail he might want to start crowd funding, as least that would mean those Fremantle ratepayers who want to pay for it can elect to do so, and it might attract funding from far and wide and not only tiny Freo.

Lightrail and all public transport is a numbers game and the Fremantle area needs far more residents before any state government or private operator would invest in it. For Freo that is at least 15 to 20 years away still.

Public transport infrastructure is a state government responsibility and for a small council like Fremantle to want to do it on its own is naive to the extreme, even more so when there never appears to be enough money for basic maintenance of COF properties and important parks like the Esplanade.

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Truly Independent.


Posted in city of fremantle, elections, local government by freoview on August 10, 2015

Roel at Kings Square

ROEL for FREO! Today I announce that I will be standing at the October Local Government elections for Fremantle City Ward.

I have for many years been asked by a large number of people to step up because of my strong involvement with the Fremantle community and my passion for this city, and the time is right for me to do so this year.

My election campaign will not be about bashing Fremantle Council or sitting members but about what I can do for Fremantle and bring to the Chamber.

As a professional photographer I am a realist with and eye for detail and the ability to understand complex matters. I believe in strong community consultation, consistent decision-making, long-term integrated planning, and active support for our traders.

I have lived in Fremantle since the early 1990s at Arthur Head in the West End, and Swanbourne Street, Bolton Place, Forrest Street and also in Hilton, White Gum Valley and Beaconsfield.

I walk the streets of Fremantle every day and catch up with locals for a chat for real community consultation. I know what goes on in Freo and understand how local government works.

I will add common sense and balance to the development debate we have to have, and support architecturally outstanding human-scale modern buildings that enhance our great heritage. Economic development will only happen in Fremantle when more people live and work in the inner city and when we sensitively develop the outer areas as well. There is plenty of scope to develop and improve South Freo, Hilton, North Fremantle, White Gum Valley and Beaconsfield, which are only a short distance from the CBD, but it needs to be done with restraint so we do not destroy the unique character and lifestyle of those areas and Fremantle in general.

Fremantle is in my opinion on the cusp of growing into a great city with new residential, commercial and tourist development, but it is also essential that as a community we look better after those who need our support. We need to get the housing mix right so that people from all walks of life can live in Fremantle.

I am a supporter of Notre Dame University and have collaborated on events with them, so I hope to be able to get them to integrate more and work closer with the COF and the community. I also want reactivation of the street level of UNDA buildings as a priority to revitalise the west end of town.

Fremantle needs to look after its green open spaces better and needs more open space when development happens. I support a percentage for open space in appropriate areas of the city.

Festivals and events need to be rotated around Freo and be held in different locations to protect the Esplanade and inner city residents, and to bring entertainment to the other areas of the city.

While I do support Freo’s youth policy and love collaborating with young people, I believe it is essential to acknowledge the fast ageing population and we need to cater better for them as well.

I have for years worked closely with many community and volunteer groups like the Bathers Beach Art Precinct, West End Traders, Fremantle Society, Roundhouse tour guides, Sculpture@Bathers, BID, Fremantle Heritage Festival, etc. and I attend as many Council and Council committee meetings as I can. On Australia Day 2013 Mayor Brad Pettitt presented me with the Premier of WA’s Fremantle Citizen of the Year award for my community involvement.

I am the president of the Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides and Vice President of the Fremantle Society. I have published my very popular Freo’s View blog for nearly five years now, supporting retailers, events, artists, etc. and reporting on Council issues and all things Freo.

Over the next weeks I will make more statements about my plans for Fremantle on my blog and my new Roel for Freo Facebook page.

You can email me on if you wish to have a chat with me, so we can arrange for a face-to-face meeting.

Roel Loopers

Written and authorised by Roel Loopers of 5 Maxwell Street, Beaconsfield. WA 6162. Phone 0419850981


Posted in local government, town of east fremantle by freoview on July 24, 2015

lh 1 lh 2

I am outraged to read in the Fremantle Herald today that the Town of East Fremantle allowed the heritage-listed former Lauder&Howard building to be destroyed to the point where only a part of the facade is kept to make way for development.

It is unbelievable that Council would have got such bad advise from its planning department and heads should roll over this disgraceful act of heritage vandalism. How ironic that the building was owned and occupied for many years by heritage stallward Les Lauder who started the Fremantle Society over 40 years ago to prevent the destruction of our heritage buildings.

The Herald quotes Councillor Cliff Collison saying “We probably did get it a bit wrong” No Cliff you did not get it “a bit wrong” but very very wrong! It is outrageous that you allowed for the historic1901 erected building to almost be demolished and East Fremantle Council and its planning staff should be ashamed of themselves!

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, local governmet, perth freight link, western australia by freoview on July 17, 2015

Cottesloe Councillor Sally Pyvis is going to try to get Cottesloe Council to join the protest against the PERTH FREIGHT LINK by putting a motion up at the next council meeting. The last motion on the PFL was defeated because Mayor Jo Dawkins used her casting vote against it.

Experts have predicted a severe increase in truck and general traffic along Curtin Avenue should the PFL be built.

There have been two public meetings in Cottesloe that were critical of the PFL proposal by State Government and it was the top topic at the Cottesloe Ratepayers and Residents Association meeting earlier this month and a resolution was passed to oppose the project.

The Fremantle Townhall meeting this Tuesday is booked out, but weather permitting, will be broadcast on Kings Square.

Roel Loopers


I have up till now never heard of Liberal MP Peter Katsambanis, but it appears the faceless man is standing in the way of the City of Fremantle becoming a plastic shopping bag free council.

Katsambanis will lodge a motion of disallowance in state parliament today for later hearing. He argues that a ban like this should be done by state government and not just by a single council, and that a ban on plastic shopping bags in South Australia had increased the sale of bin liners by 85 per cent, making the ban counter-productive and a bigger environmental problem.

WA Government disallowed the previous local law because of the 10 cent levy per bag, but it might do the same with the amended one.

Acting Mayor Josh Wilson told me last night he was very disappointed and said to WA TODAY “We have done everything by the book. We have consulted local businesses and the wider community and we have a broad consensus to the initiative,” He said the city was progressive by philosophy and was keen to provide leadership on what it saw as a social issue an important contributor to reducing plastic waste.

I use my plastic bags as bin liners and to put the rubbish out and they are very handy for that, but the Fremantle BID group has just got the first FREO 6160 calico bags so retailers can order them from BID and sell them to their customers. I will certainly do that, although I always end up with more and more bags at home because I keep forgetting to put them in my car, and when I stop to do my shopping on the way home I have to get new bags. Can we make bags that whistle when we leave home without them? ; > )

Roel Loopers

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