Freo's View

VANDALS SET FIRE AT FREO’S J SHED

Posted in art, arthur head, city of fremantle, crime, fire, j shed, Uncategorized, vandalism by freoview on July 18, 2019

 

J Shed fire

 

There was again serious vandalism at Fremantle’s Arthur’s Head last night with idiots setting fire to the northern wall of the J Shed art studios.

No major damage was done but the power had to be cut off for safety reasons. It is just lucky that the fire brigade arrived early as otherwise the entire shed and some very important artworks could have been destroyed.

Although vandalism is frequent in the area there are still no CCTV cameras in the historic precinct.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE CHAMBER REJECTS WEST AUSTRALIAN CLAIMS

 

The Fremantle Chamber of Commerce has hit back at The West Australians article that casts doubt on Fremantle’s economic growth potential and position.

In a media release the FCOC wrote:

Unlike many urban centres in Australia, Fremantle is currently experiencing unprecedented investment and renewal underway, with the combined value of private and public investment in the pipeline totaling more than $1.3 billion.

The Fremantle Chamber of Commerce is actively connecting, uniting and assisting in the growth of a successful and vibrant business community that builds on Fremantle’s unique advantage, its heritage and its maritime focus.

Fremantle Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer, Danicia Quinlan said: “Fremantle, like most urban centres, is affected by the current wave of societal change in the way people gather, shop, dine, interact commercially and manage environmental challenges. Learning from other Councils, or even other cities locally,mand internationally, is an important way to navigate our way through these changes. We need Fremantle Councillors and the Mayor to be an active part of trying to find ways to manage all of these complex challenges.”

And more feedback from Fremantle traders:

The damage The West Australian is doing to Fremantle and its businesses far surpasses any perceived damage by council. Fremantle Markets is running at full occupancy with over 56,000 visitors last weekend for the 3 days period. Feedback from traders was “sales were excellent”.

Councils everywhere are going through a difficult time, however, the City of Fremantle Economic Development team and the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce regularly engage with businesses and continue to make many great improvements to the city” .

Natasha Atkinson – Chief Executive Officer Fremantle Markets and Winner Business News 2019 40 Under 40

Our focus is on Fremantle with our affordable and green residential developments. Our projects generally achieve an equity internal rate between 15-30% and we don’t see this slowing. Fremantle business has a great future as we focus on building on our competitive advantage of heritage, environmental consciousness and community spirit”.

Tao Bourton, Fremantle’s Yolk Property Group Director

It is exciting to see so many new businesses have decided to invest their potential in Fremantle not only for today, but for many years to come. We look forward to working together to build a unique and vibrant business community.”

Ivan Dezba, Fremantle Chamber of Commerce President and Managing Director, Benny’s

People more cynical than I am might well suggest the constant attacks on shopping in local councils are a PR exercise to promote urban shopping centres, from where more advertising dollars can be obtained than from the traditional High Street shopping destinations.

One week we read and see that all is wrong and violent in Cockburn, then it is Rockingham, Fremantle, Subiaco, Mount Lawley, Leederville, Perth, etc.

Is it PR, is it political to give less power to local councils, or is it just lazy journalism during slow news cycles?

A West End cafe owner told me that last Friday, Saturday and Sunday had been some of the busiest days they have experienced. Maybe it is time for the West and its sister TV and radio stations to be more balanced and allow Freo’s positive stories to come out in the open instead of always focusing on the negative aspects.

Roel Loopers

POLICE LOOKING FOR NEW FREO STATION

Posted in city of fremantle, cruise, law&order, police, property, Uncategorized by freoview on July 14, 2019

 

WA Police are looking for a new and more suitable site for a new Fremantle police station in the east of Fremantle, so there are a few options available to them.

The St John’s ambulance site in Parry Street will be vacated in due course when the ambos move to O’Connor, and there are two vacant sites near that, one next to St Patrick’s in Queen Victoria Street and one in Beach Street next to the Australia Hotel. The Shacks Holden car dealership sites  at Queen Victoria Street on either side of Finnerty Street are also for sale

While so much police presence in the West End has been reassuring for the community traders and shoppers will no doubt welcome the return of the parking bays in High and Short streets that are now reserved for police vehicles.

I only hope the new police complex will actually be in Fremantle and will not move further away to Melville.

Roel Loopers

IRONIC DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL FOR WEST END

 

I have to admit that I had a smile on my face when I read the agenda for Wednesday’s City of Fremantle Planning Committee and noticed that architect Shane Braddock is applying for planning approval for a two-storey addition at 33-37 High Street in Freo’s West End.

Braddock is a very loud voice constantly complaining on social media how unsafe Fremantle’s CBD is and the anti social behaviour that is allegedly happening next door to his property at the backpackers and on the street below.

It is a bit ironic then that he now wants to extend the property for his family with a living and dining area, a kitchen and bedroom, and adding a bridge between the front and rear buildings and also add a water tower.

But good luck to Shane. I welcome anyone who wants to commit to Fremantle’s progress, so good to see the officer’s recommendation is for Council to approve the proposed development.

Can the property owner please also remove the yellow foil from the facade of the building while he is doing the additions.

Roel Loopers

 

FREO’S LAST TEN YEARS NOT A FAILURE

There is a Not Happy Brad! whinge letter in the Fremantle Herald today by a Keith Manton, who blames the Fremantle Mayor for just about everything that is wrong in our city.

Drug taking, street drinking, begging. Blame the Mayor when everyone by now should be aware that WA Police is responsible for taking care of these issues and crimes and anti social behaviour. They do that pretty well with assistance of the Fremantle community safety officers.

The one point I agree on with Mr Manton is that lack of good quality architecture we are getting, but most of the major projects are approved by the state’s JDAP and not the City.

According to the director responsible for the removal of the yellow foil at High Street comes in under the $ 220.000 budget, so not anywhere near the one million Mr Manton claims it will cost. Can we get an update on that please Director Graham Tattersall. Thanks!

Vacant shops and the cry out for more diversity is nothing new. Retail vacancies are unfortunately happening everywhere around Perth and Australia and Fremantle Council cannot enforce lower rents or dictate to property owners which tenants and businesses to take on, although the economic development team has been trying hard to get more diversity in Fremantle’s shopping.

It was on expert advise that Fremantle Council decided not to renovate the old Civic Center and go ahead with an all new one that will compliment the Sirona Capital commercial development at Kings Square. To say that replacing the ailing building was totally unnecessary is being ignorant of the facts.

Have the last ten years of Fremantle under the leadership of Mayor Brad Pettitt been a failure, as Keith Manton claims? I don’t believe so, as the Kings Square Redevelopment Project will make a significant difference to the economic revitalisation of our city. It will require a bit more of our patience, and no doubt that is very difficult for many of our struggling traders, so let’s support them!

Could Fremantle Council and the administration improve? Absolutely, and I have no doubt they are aware of that.

Roel Loopers

 

LET’S TALK FREO UP!

 

Those people who constantly hammer Fremantle Council with criticism about vacant shops, homeless people, anti social behaviour and crime would do well to pay attention to recent media reports.

Shops, cafes and restaurants in Mount Lawley along once extremely popular Beaufort Street are closing in large numbers and they blame high rents and a drop in foot traffic for that.

The decline in retail is happening all over metropolitan Perth, Australia and the world as the traditional high street shopping destinations have been replaced with huge suburban shopping centres on the outskirts.

Media reports about excessive shop lifting and anti social behaviour in Cockburn, Rockingham, Canning, etc have become common, and the West Australian dedicated two pages of their weekend edition on the issues of homelessness in the Perth CBD.

There are no easy solutions for any of these problems and the call from traders for councils to demand that property owners charge lower rents is as unrealistic as it would be unlawful. Governments can not dictate what rents property owners can charge and while high rents in the present retail climate appear almost indecent and selfish there is very little local or state governments can do about it.

Some owners are better and allow pop-up shops to fill vacant shops, but only for a very limited time, so that is only a short-term ‘solution’.

Crime and anti social  behaviour are State responsibility and while Fremantle and most councils do have their own very good security officers they are often powerless as they do not have the right to issue move-on notices or arrest people.

There is no doubt though that the perception of not feeling safe will keep people away. Foot traffic numbers in the Cappuccino Strip have dropped dramatically while they have increased quite a bit in High Street in the West End. The latter is probably mainly due to Notre Dame University students pounding the pavement.

It is always strange to notice on busy Freo weekends how many people are walking along South Terrace but when I turn into High Street the street is nearly void of pedestrians.  Visitors seem to prefer Collie and Essex streets for their East West movement and ignore the far more attractive historic High Street.  Why is that, I wonder?

A prominent Freo business owner urged me last week to promote that we collectively stop talking our city down and that we have to start telling ourselves and our visitors how special Fremantle is.

Only yesterday at the Roundhouse two German tourists told me how much they liked Freo and how friendly people here are, and the volunteer guides hear those kind of remarks very often. We receive so much positive feedback from overseas and interstate visitors that it is hard to believe that some Fremantle residents and traders here have such a negative opinion about our gorgeous little city.

Freo is a great place but like most other suburbs has similar problems and struggles with the retail economy,  anti social behaviour and crime. Attracting more visitors to Freo will partly help with that, and that can only be achieved by not talking our city down, but by talking it up. Let’s give it a try!

Roel Loopers

 

FREMANTLE WORKING ON BETTER COMMUNITY SAFETY AND CRIME PREVENTION

 

safety

 

Fremantle residents, businesses and visitors to Freo are being asked for their input on the City of Fremantle’s new Community Safety and Crime Prevention Plan.

The development of the new plan is being overseen by the Community Safety Reference Group, which includes both the City of Fremantle and WA Police.

The Community Safety Plan will be guided by the feedback received during stakeholder and community engagement, and will set out clear timelines, targets and responsibilities for addressing community safety issues.

Police statistics show that crime in Fremantle is relatively low, but like all major centres there are issues and quite a few complaints about crime and safety on social media.

Fremantle Council believes that it will be really valuable for people to let them know what their recent experiences in Fremantle have been like – both good and bad – so that the City and WA Police know what’s working well and what areas they need to focus on in the new plan.

People can visit the City’s My Say Freo website to share their thoughts in a short survey and access information about current community safety initiatives.

They can also use an interactive map to pin point the places in Fremantle they like to visit and also the places where they feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

The City of Fremantle’s Community Safety Team patrols the city centre and surrounding suburbs from 7am-2am on Wednesday-Saturday, and from 7am-9pm on Sunday-Tuesday.

Fremantle is also one of just three local governments in Western Australia to have a CCTV network that is monitored in real time.

For more information and to complete the Community Safety survey visit the Community Safety and Crime Prevention Plan page on the My Say Freo website.

The survey closes on 12 April.

Roel Loopers

COPS ON THE BEAT NOT MEDIA BEAT UP IS WHAT FREMANTLE NEEDS

 

While the concerns of the Fremantle retailers about antisocial behavior, violence and shoplifting are genuine and need to be much better attacked by WA Police, it is not at all helpful for their businesses to get a silly tabloid headline such as “Is Fremantle On Its Knees?” on Channel 7 Today Tonight and negative articles on line in the West Australian and Perth Now/Sunday Times.

Big negative headlines in the media will no doubt have an impact on visitors and shoppers and while retailers claim shoppers stay away from Fremantle because they don’t feel safe, it is more likely they will stay away because of the negativity in mainstream and on social media.

The City of Fremantle does extremely well when one considers all the CCTV around town and the Community Safety officers patrolling the streets daily from early till late, but at the end it is the State Government that will need to demand from the Police Commissioner that we will get a regular and constant number of officers on foot, on bike and in cars in Fremantle, and not just for a few weeks after bad press.

Bad press is not helping Fremantle! We have read for years that parking supposedly was an issue, but it wasn’t really, and we had a former CEO of the Chamber of Commerce who loved to be photographed in front of vacant shops complaining that retail was declining-as it did everywhere else-and now we have the outrage about homeless people, vagrants, foul language, abuse, etc.

I do totally get the frustration of those who have to deal with this shit daily and are victims of it, in and in front of their shops, but it is much better to put pressure on the Police Commissioner, the Minister for Police and the Premier of this state to let them know that it is not good enough, no matter that incidents such as we have in Fremantle also regularly occur in Cockburn, Midland, Perth, Northbridge, etc.

Our traders, shoppers, tourists, residents, workers and everyone who comes into Freo deserve to have a good time. Feeling unsafe might just be a perception for many, but that makes it a reality for them and that needs to be stopped. Now! We want and need more police on the beat each and every day and indefinitely to prevent all the unacceptable and unlawful incidents happening, not to write reports after the event!

Roel Loopers

TYRES SLASHED IN SOUTH FREMANTLE

Posted in cars, city of fremantle, crime, law&order, police, Uncategorized, vandalism by freoview on February 11, 2019

 

 

Dozens of tyres were slashed last night in Kings William and Attfield Streets in South Fremantle.

Many cars did have two tyres slashed which required a mobile tyre repair company to attend this morning.

A lot of people are now hundreds of dollars out of pockets because of some brain dead idiot(s) who believe it is funny to vandalise other people’s cars.

This happened about two years ago as well in the same area with even more cars damaged, and I also had two tyres on my car punctured.

These vandals are fools and criminals, so I hope the police will catch them!!

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE’S SAFETY A WORRY FOR TRADERS AND SHOPPERS

 

FREO NOW-formerly BID-are writing to the Minister for Police and WA Police Commissioner about the escalating safety issues in Fremantle.

Shop owners are fed up with shop lifting, violence, anti-social behaviour and foul language in the CBD and want more police presence on the streets and stronger action taken.

Only a few months ago Fremantle residents and business owners were told that the crime statistics for Fremantle had been going down steadily, but that does not appear to be the case when one hears of a woman being assaulted at Mills Records and an armed robbery at Rip Curl.

Drug dealing and anti-social behaviour are daily occurrences in High Street near the backpackers on the corner of Henry Street, and so is shop-lifting all over the CBD.

When people feel unsafe in the inner city of Fremantle they will not come for shopping or to enjoy the entertainment our city often has on offer, so more needs to be done by WA Police because the City of Fremantle unfairly gets the flack for it.

More police walking the beat is essential to deter and prevent crime, but from my observations fewer officers are on the streets now than six months ago.

Our traders are doing it tough as it is, so they don’t need more stress and worries and getting abused by out of control vagrants.

Roel Loopers

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