Freo's View

SLEEP OUT UNDER THE FREMANTLE STARS

 

May 5 Sleep uner the Stars

Only a week to go until the Sleep Out Under The Stars fundraiser for homeless people will be held at the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle on May 5.

The great people from St Patrick’s yearly organise this event that is well worth participating in. Contrary to the plight of those forced to sleep on the streets the event is a bit of fun with live music, activities for children, etc.

It costs only $ 25 for adults, $ 10 for kids and $ 15 concessions, or a family $ 60.

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE STABBING IN FRONT OF FOUR-YEAR OLD

Posted in city of fremantle, crime, law&order, Uncategorized by freoview on February 2, 2018

 

I have not reported the stabbing of a man in front of the Fremantle courthouse on Wednesday the 24th of January out of consideration for the victim and his parents, whom I have known for over twenty years. But the Fremantle Herald and 6PR reported about it today, so no need for me to hold back any more.

The victim is the son of a long-time High Street business operator and the family are all in shock and have totally lost their sense of safety in Fremantle since the attack.

The victim, his partner and their four-year old daughter had been to the Peace Boat event at B Shed and had a meal at the Upmarkets afterward.

When they returned to their car they were threatened by two men, with one of them stabbing the victim in his upper chest with a screwdriver and smashing a car window with a beer bottle, all in front of a terrified child.

While Fremantle community safety officers and police do a good job, there is not enough police presence in Fremantle at night on weekdays, and that makes walking through Freo pretty risky at times, depending on if one happens to come across a drunken or drugged lunatic.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE FORUM ON SAFER VENUES FOR WOMEN

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle network, hospitality, Uncategorized, women by freoview on January 27, 2018

 

The Fremantle Network presents a forum on respect and safety for women in our community and at events at 6pm on Monday 29 January, upstairs at the National Hotel, Fremantle.

Safer Venues WA is a newly established advocacy group that aims to improve standards of inclusivity and safety in Perth’s music and entertainment spaces.

They are doing this by:
• identifying harmful behaviours such as harassment, discrimination and assault as barriers to safety and inclusion,
• working with venues, audience, artists and industry to initiate a collective responsibility for change,
• using communication and research as tools to develop resources and frameworks for tangible change.

Research by Safer Venues WA found that over 67% of punters have experienced harassment (primarily experienced by women).

Perpetuation of discrimination against women based on their choice of dress, their state of intoxication or other forms of victim blaming continues in our community.

The Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services is a state-wide peak organisation committed to improving the status of women and children in society. Their work includes the transformative school-based “Promoting Respect Project”.

Kate Davis has worked in the community legal sector for over 15 years, including 5 years as Managing Solicitor of the Women’s Law Centre. Her career reflects her personal commitment to women’s rights and supporting disadvantaged women facing violence or homelessness.

Featuring:
Rebecca Sneddon and Will MacDonald, Safer Venues WA
Angela Hartwig, Women’s Council of WA
Kate Davis, community sector lawyer and local feminist

Whether you’re a man or a woman, a party goer, a venue operator or a by stander, you can make a difference in promoting respect and safety.

 

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THAT FREO WEST END COMMUNITY FEELING

Posted in art, arthur head, city of fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on June 28, 2017

 

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Aboriginal artist Peter Farmer has completed his artwork on the PTA switchboard along the railway line at Little High Street in Fremantle’s West End.

It is nice to see the local residents of the townhouses take so much pride and create their own community garden with furniture and plants along their properties.

It is a real shame the City of Fremantle killed off the delightful Arthur Head community, just opposite the railway line, when they  created the flawed Bathers Beach Arts Precinct and evicted the residents of the Pilot’s Cottages at Captain’s Lane.

Sunshine and Remedy of the Crookes family used to bring their friends from Lance Holt School home and play outside. They connected with tourists and sometimes had a small stall where they sold drinks and sweets from. Their gorgeous grey cat Hunter must have been one of the most photographed cats in the world as every tourist stopped to take his photo.

The Crookes held BBQs and family celebrations with friends, while next door the Fremantle Society held events, used their cottage for meetings and helped activate the area. We held bowls evenings on the grass where local could connect. I lived in the cottage as the caretaker for FS until we were told to move out.

The two cottages plus the one occupied by the Port Pilots were occupied 24/7 and that meant no homeless people invading the cottages at night.

Now we have a dark ghost town up at Arthur Head and people shooting up, defecating and using the verandahs and backyards as bedrooms.

Even during day time the cottages are rarely occupied and the artists studios and the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre have not done anything to activate the area. Only the very professional Glen Cowans Underwater Photography Gallery has made a positive impact at Captain’s Lane

It is a shame Fremantle Council does not admit it was a mistake and failure to change the  heritage precinct into an arts precinct, as it was much more activated when the Pilot’s Cottages were occupied 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Roel Loopers

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SMALL BAR PROTEST NOT ABOUT PATIENTS

Posted in alcohol, bar, city of fremantle, health, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on June 8, 2017

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There appears to be a bit more to the small bar protest story in Fremantle’s High Street than the initial newspaper report this morning revealed.

This is not just the case of a psychiatrist wanting to protect his patients who have drug, alcohol and suicide issues, but much more about protecting his own patch. It’s classic not in my backyard stuff.

It turns out the good doctor actually lives at the premises and works from home next to the proposed bar and he clearly does not want his evening peace disturbed.

The bar proponents tell me it will just be a tiny 50-patron bar in the cellar with table service and no outdoor area.

Living in the inner city means one has to compromise and realise there will be bars and pubs and entertainment, and a tiny bar operated by responsible operators won’t create anti-social havoc in the West End that is in dire need of  night-time activation.

To put a mental health clinic in an entertainment area is puzzling.

Roel Loopers

FREO PSYCHIATRIST BELIEVES BAR NEXT DOOR WOULD BE STRANGE COMPANY

Posted in city of fremantle, health, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on June 8, 2017

 

I find it rather strange to read on Perth Now/Sunday Times on-line that a Fremantle psychiatric clinic operator objects to a new small bar proposal at 10 High Street in the historic West End.

Psychiatrist Dr Keven O’Daly told Perth Now it would be totally inappropriate to have a bar next to his premises where they deal with drug, alcohol and suicide issues.

The proposed bar would be a sister bar to the great Strange Company bar in Nairn Street that is very popular and last Monday even introduced a book club. The new bar would operate from 4.30 pm to midnight, so mostly when the clinic next door would be closed for business.

It is rather bizarre that Dr O’Daly opened his clinic in High Street where there are already licensed premises when that is a concern for his clients. The temptation to grab a drink would be a lot less outside the cbd one would think.

Roel Loopers

BEHAVE OR PACK YOUR BAGS!

Posted in accommodation, backpackers, city of fremantle, law&order, Uncategorized by freoview on April 17, 2017

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A heated exchange has been happening on social media about Fremantle West End residents having problems with the anti-social behaviour of backpackers from the Fremantle Beach Backpackers hostel in High Street.

Emotive accusations are flying high and residents have erected an arty gate, set back from the street, in Henry Street to try to keep drugged and drunken backpackers from invading their property.

Councillor Rachel Pemberton has accused the owners of having put the fence up without proper planning approval while they say the inner city Councillor is not supportive enough to help solve their problems. The ugly sliding fence the hostel erected to put rubbish bins behind reportedly also did not receive planning approval.

There is an irony in the fact that the owners are allegedly breaking the law to protect themselves from alleged law breakers but I do have sympathy for the fact that the safety of their small children and family is their priority and not planning laws.

The saga with the backpackers has been going on for far too long with some of them recently climbing onto the roof of the house of the young family one night, trying to get into their backyard, and the family’s children no longer feeling safe in their bedroom.

That is not on as the number one priority of society should be the protection of innocent children, so Fremantle Council, which approved the backpackers hostel, needs to take stronger action.

The community policing model introduced by the Commissioner years ago is not working as there are not enough cops on the beat and police presence in Fremantle is often next to nothing, especially during the evenings and nights.

It is not acceptable that visitors to Fremantle have disregard for the law and the residents of our city. We welcome them with a smile and hospitality and treat them with respect, and we have the right to demand the same attitude from them.

Roel Loopers

ANTI SOCIAL FREO WEST END BACKPACKERS

Posted in anti-social, backpackers, city of fremantle, law&order, tourism by freoview on March 22, 2017

 

Residents in Fremantle’s West End in High and Henry streets are very concerned about the Fremantle Beach Backpackers hostel above the Orient Hotel.

They claim excessive noise from parties, drug dealing and drug taking, drunks, urination and overflowing rubbish bins.

The residents have a meeting with Fremantle security officers and police this afternoon and will also attend the BID security event for the East End tomorrow evening.

They claim people and university students, especially women no longer feel safe in the area and that the problems are 24/7 but the police station in High Street only has one receptionist officer at night and move-on notices do very little to stop the problems.

Anti-social behaviour has been an ongoing problem in Fremantle for many years and WA Police simply does not do enough to control it, and the City’s security officers can’t be everywhere.

Fremantle is the second highest destination in Western Australia for international tourists and the historic West End is one of the main attractions, so the Fremantle Beach Backpackers management need to be told to stop the noisy parties, drunks and drug use and dealing. It’s not on, so close them down if they can’t comply!

We all want our visitors to Fremantle, including backpackers, to have a great time, but they need to show respect for the community they are temporarily guests in.

Roel Loopers

URGENT FENCE REPAIRS AT ROUNDHOUSE NEEDED

Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, roundhouse, tourism, western australia by freoview on August 11, 2016

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No criticism, just hoping the City of Fremantle will be able to repair these fences at the back of the historic Roundhouse asap as they are a public health hazard.

Hundreds of people, and a lot of the kids and school students, walk along this path every day. The rusty and sharp chicken wire has come detached from the wooden fences and sticks out and is dangerous to those who walk by.

Could we also see the return of a needle container as I yet again picked up a used drug needle just next to the public toilets at Arthur Head this morning. There used to be one of those safe needle containers on the wall of that toilet, but when I looked for it this morning it was no longer there.

Thanks you Freo City!

FREMANTLE HOMELESSNESS NOT A LIFESTYLE CHOICE

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, community, homelessness, st patricks, western australia by freoview on July 13, 2016

I am a big fan of the monthly Fremantle Network events at the National Hotel because we can hear first hand and face to face what is going on in Fremantle and the vision people have for our city. We can contribute by sharing ideas and asking questions, so that we can make informed decisions.

Last night TFN presented Victor Crevatin who is the director for homelessness and support services at St Patrick’s, which was established in Fremantle in 1972.

Victor told us that 200 people a day come to Freo’s St Pats and that they provided 16,300 meals in six months, some of them served by primary school volunteers. They also provided 1,800 free health services in the six months.

Crevatin said St Pats were branching out and diversifying their services, reaching out to women with The Sisters Place, free dental health care for homeless people, youth and mental health housing programs, women shelters, etc, but disappointingly they could not assist 300 people due to lack of resources.

The yearly Street Register counted 68 homeless people over two mornings, but there are many who don’t want to be caught and counted within the system. Nearly 60% of those counted were Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders and that is a big concern that needs to be addressed, Victor said. He also urged for a special health service for this group.

Most homeless people in Fremantle were 25 years and older and homeless for five years while those under 24 years had been homeless for six and a half years.

Victor Cretavin said that agencies needed to collaborate better but egos at management levels were often in the way and the fact that the agencies were all fighting for the same limited pot of gold of funding.

He said it was not good enough to just offer affordable housing but that support needed to be provided to the tenants to make it work. But he said affordable housing needed to be accepted by the community as there was a NIMBY attitude to providing accommodation because of perceived social issues.

“Homelessness is not going away and we need to do something together as a community!”

Cretavin said he was disappointed that the recent long Federal election campaign had not addressed homelessness and housing and he put new Fremantle MP Josh Wilson who was in the audience on the spot to say a few words about that. It was probably Josh’s first public talk since being elected.

Wilson said the challenge is one for all of us and that in real terms public housing was the same as twenty years ago. “We need a common ground model for agencies to work better together.”

The Labor party understands that homelessness is a huge issue with some 100,000 homeless people in Australia, Wilson said and that while in government Labor had a policy of halving homelessness by 2025.

Victor Cretavin then took over and told us that many homeless people were on the streets because of domestic violence, alcohol, mental health and drug issues, etc and that many are just scared. The system is so bogged down in risk assessment that it turns down people who end up living on the streets.

We need better education and plant the seeds of community awareness so the community understands the issues around homelessness better, and that should start in primary schools. “Homelessness is not a lifestyle choice!”

He said an 11-year-old boy had made 200 homelessness packs and there was scope for all kind of volunteers, even data collecting.

We are looking for small little wins, Victor said and suggested the City of Fremantle could make a carpark available for those who sleep in cars, to create a safer environment for them.

I believe if that was done portable toilets and showers would also need to be provided and of course on site security, but would the community near that designated carpark accept it and how to stop it from becoming another backpackers camping ground?

These are huge challenges but we need to address them as a community. Homelessness is not acceptable in our wealthy country and it is not a pretty sight. It’s a bit like looking in the mirror and seeing shit on your face.

I am convinced that especially here in Fremantle with all the caring and warm-hearted people we can and must do better!

Roel Loopers

 

 

 

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