Freo's View

FREMANTLE CONVICT PHOTOS DISCOVERED

Posted in fremantle, fremantle prison, history, western australia by freoview on March 25, 2017

 

Fremantle people interested in history should go and buy the West Australian today as there is a fascinating article by Ken Acott about historic photos-mug shots-found of convicts.

Seventy-four of them were discovered by the State Record Office, some as old as 130 years-old.

WA  became a penal colony in 1850, 21 years after the first British settled in Fremantle and started the Swan River Colony.

The first convicts who arrived here had to build the Fremantle Prison which has now become a major tourist attraction, backpackers and art gallery.

Roel Loopers

P.S. Not interested in history? Buy the West anyway and read about the GST shambles where our state only gets 34 cents in the dollar. It is an outrage!

SPICER SITE DEVELOPMENT DELAY

Posted in city of fremantle, development, kings square, local government by freoview on March 20, 2017

 

Sirona Capital has requested that the settlement with the City of Fremantle of the sale of the Spicer site on the corner of William and Henderson streets will be delayed for 12 months to May 9, 2018.

The site was sold to Sirona for $ 6.65 million and according to expert advise the market value of the property has remained the same.

The Spicer site development is part of the Kings Square Project where Sirona develops the former Myer and Queensgate buildings, build a new Civic Centre and develop the Spicer site with a five-storey building.

It would probably be a big task for any developer to do all that development in the same area at the same time, so Council will probably approve the settlement delay at Wednesday’s full Council meeting.

Above another historic photo taken from the top of the Townhall that shows the Kings Square and Fremantle Oval Project development areas, and of course the Henderson Street Courthouse/Police precinct will also be developed by Silverleaf.

Roel Loopers

KNIVES OUT FOR FREMANTLE MAYORAL ELECTION

Posted in city of fremantle, elections, local government, western australia by freoview on March 6, 2017

While WA is having a state election in five days here in Fremantle the knives are already out for the October Council election that includes electing a new Mayor.

Although Mayor Brad Pettitt has yet to announce if he will be standing and try to get another four years, former Mayor Peter Tagliaferri launched a major attack on Petitt in the Fremantle Herald, that was strongly criticised by Councillor Jon Strachan on his blog.

Strachan told ‘Tags’ that he had served under him and Pettitt and that the leadership of the two Mayors was poles apart. Strachan claims there was “deep division” in the Tagliaferri Council while the Pettitt Council professionally works together.

Strachan writes that during the greatest economic boom in W.A. Mayor Tagliaferri had failed to attract investment into Fremantle.

It is evident from all the building sites around the Fremantle CBD that the present Council headed by Mayor Brad Pettitt has opened the doors of Freo wide and very substantial development is happening in the port city and much more in the pipeline.

Jon Strachan asked Peter Tagliaferri who his candidate for Mayor will be in October. I wonder if it could be someone from the Labor party?

There are rumours abound that former state politician Adele Carles might put her hand up, but time will tell and we’ll need to wait and see if Pettitt wants to continue with the very-demanding and highly-criticised job.

On a personal note; although I have been asked by many Freo residents to stand for Council I will not contest the October election!

Roel Loopers

GREAT SHOPPING IN FREO’S WEST END

Posted in fremantle, heritage, retail, shopping by freoview on March 1, 2017

 

High Street in Fremantle’s historic West End is the most beautiful street in Western Australia in my opinion.

It is also a fantastic old-style high street shopping experience that has a sense of wonderment about it. If it had a roof over it it would be one of the world’s most stunning shopping arcades.

There is such a large variety of traders in the Goldrush period buildings that I thought to mention them all, because there are probably quite a few you don’t know about:

  • The National and Orient hotels, Lapa Brazilian restaurant, Roma Cucina Italian restaurant.
  • Chalkys, Blink, Hush, Breakers, High Street Dispensary, Piccolo, Cafe 55, Quinlans, and Common Grind cafes.
  • Japingka, Adam Monk, Artisan Store galleries.
  • New Edition and the Second Hand bookshops

and there is a whole lot more!

Clara Beauty, Remedy, Bousfield, Adulshop, the Police station, Notre Dame University, Enzo D’Allessandro hairdresser, Djurra, Ugg Australia shoes, Three Stories fashion, Common Ground fashion, Fremantle Beach and the Sundance backpackers, Printline, Bitches Brew framers, Unique Hair, Bodkins Bootery, Anjel MS fashion and Fremantle Art Space, Kartique. Ame Belle fashion, Port Stationary, Dreske Somoff leather, Tuart Place social services, Australian Maritime Officers Union, West Coast Cruise&Travel Centre, High Street Chemist, Haute on High fashion, Lee’s newsagency, Compendium, Ancient Earth, Lavita hairdresser, Finishing Touch gallery, Rialto Apartments, The Record Finder with two shops, Port Jarrah furniture, Absolutely Adult, the Buffalo and Navy clubs, ACAI Bros raw food, Brazilian Butterfly beauty, Miss Chats Bar.

You still want to argue there is no shopping variety in Fremantle? This is just one street full with it!

To top it all off Freo’s most gorgeous street ends at WA’s oldest public building the Roundhouse and the lovely Bathers Beach.

It is anyone’s guess why the City of Fremantle and BID don’t do more to promote High Street as a great shopping experience that has character, is very Freo, and very different from the sterile shopping boredom in the major centres.

Roel Loopers

ADELE WINS FREMANTLE ELECTION FORUM

Posted in democracy, election, fremantle, politics by freoview on February 28, 2017

There was a clear winner at Tuesday’s Fremantle Candidates Forum at Notre Dame University and that was Adele who was singing at Subiaco Oval and kept the Fremantle audience to one of the lowest I have seen in many years. Very disappointing!

But to be honest, those who stayed away did not miss out on much as it was a pretty dull event. It is basically a Q&A that does not encourage debate between the candidates, so everyone claps politely for the other candidates, no matter what they say. Boring!

Is it voter apathy or lethargy or was it just me being a bit tired of hearing the same stuff, but I left without feeling inspired by anyone, but for the lovely slogans by Chris Jenkins of the Socialist Alliance Party.”Vote for the idea that a better world is possible! And “If we lived in a community that nurtured each other more mental health cases would go down.”

Ceo Olwyn Williams of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce rightly questioned why we rarely see an image of Fremantle, WA’s second most visited destination, in tourism promotions for the state.

Janetia Knapp of the Julie Matheson for WA Party said they were the only party that would introduce legislation to keep WA’s GST in WA and not send it to Canberra. That probably would involve WA pulling out of the federation and secede, but who cares.

Knapp also said we need to create Aboriginal cultural tourism in Fremantle and show it to the world, and I absolutely agree with her.

Labor’s Simone McGurk and Greens’ Martin Spencer both want to develop South Quay for tourism and residential, so good luck with that with Fremantle Port remaining a working port for at least another 25 years, no matter if the outer harbour is built immediately or in ten years.

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation candidate Warren Duffy said he likes the Perth Freight Link because he likes to drive cars and that although Hanson is against the PFL the West Australian party made up their own mind.

McGurk said if Labor wins they’ll stop work on Roe 8 straight away and they would get on with the outer harbour during their first term in government.

An inquiry, maybe a Royal Commission should look into the Perth Freight Link contracts some candidates said.

All candidates agreed that more resources need to be directed toward mental health care.

We heard a few times that Fremantle is unique, but we knew that already.

Maybe I should have robbed a bank and go to Adele in Subi after all, because the forum left me very flat and with little hope for real change.

Roel Loopers

NEW FREO BID CEO A BREATH OF FRESH AIR

Posted in bid, business, chamber of commerce, city of fremantle by freoview on January 26, 2017

I hear there will be fantastic news for the Fremantle business community when the former CEO of the Chamber of Commerce will be signed up as the new CEO of the Fremantle BID-Business Improvement District.

Unlike other FCoC heads the ever-smiling Milsom hardly ever complained about Fremantle council but with his can do attitude proactively initiated events to the benefit of everyone in Freo.

I fondly remember when Milsom suggested to have an Indonesian show at the Bathers Beach Sunset Food Market and he found out on the Saturday morning that the musicians had arrived but without instruments. No worries for Milsom who borrowed, begged and hired the instruments required and the evening was a great success.

That is the kind of positive problem solving attitude that Fremantle needs, so welcome back Tim. I am delighted!

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE KINGS SQUARE PROJECT DESIGN

Posted in city of fremantle, development, kings square, planning by freoview on January 25, 2017

Ordinary Council of the City of Fremantle will this evening debate the design of the Kings Square project buildings and if it should recommend approval to the State’s Joint Development Assessment Panel, which is the decision-making authority for the development.

Most important for me here are the comments by the City’s Design Advisory Committee, and they have several issues with some details of the proposal.

While the DAC says they are overall in support of the proposal and opportunities this brings to the retail core of the city centre, they believe that improvements can and should be made, so I suggest Council defers the matter until the architects have made the changes the DAC has suggested.

The DAC clearly states that the design is at a stage where the committee cannot recommend support or not for the proposal and they need to get more refined and detailed plans before making a recommendation.

I support the Kings Square project but it is such a huge and significant development for Fremantle that we need to get this right and every detail is fine-tuned before Council should recommend approval.

The height is within Planning Scheme Amendment 49, so not much use arguing about that now, but for the developers to show a night shot with lots of people on the roof is bad and unnecessary spin, since this is an office building that will not be occupied after office hours, but for maybe a couple of office parties each year.

Let’s stick with the facts, and that for me this is the most essential development project for Fremantle in its aim for economic recovery. Let’s do it well and make it a new attractive feature for our city!

Roel Loopers

 

KINGS SQUARE DESIGN ON FREO CITY AGENDA

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, kings square, local government by freoview on January 23, 2017

Ordinary Council of the City of Fremantle will on Wednesday evening debate the design of the Myer and Queensgate buildings that will start the Kings Square development.

The planning authority for the buildings is the WA Joint Assessment Panel, not CoF, but Councillors will send a recommendation to JDAP, so it is important still for the community to have their say on it.

I like it that the initial design has evolved and the buildings are now separated through a shopping mall between them that will go from Newman Court through to William Street. For security reasons there will be gates on either end so it will not be accessible to the public, and anti-social elements, after hours.

There is also a five cinema complex part of the development and plans for bars, restaurants and cafes to make Kings Square a 24/7 destination.

The new Civic building will also be built at the same time and should be ready to move in by the start of 2020 if all goes to plan.

I support the development of Kings Square as I believe it is essential for the economic recovery of Fremantle, so bring it on asap!

You can view the plans and proposal on the City of Fremantle website. Click on Minutes and Agendas on the top left of the page and download the agenda.

Roel Loopers

 

FREMANTLE PERCEPTION AND REALITY

Posted in city of fremantle, economy, retail by freoview on December 5, 2016
The new Cotton On opened in the Atwell Arcade.

The new Cotton On opened in the Atwell Arcade.

I picked out a few more figures from the City of Fremantle annual report to show facts that sometimes do not support the perception(s) people have of Fremantle.

The lament that businesses constantly close in Fremantle is a real but the annual report figures show that 64 new businesses opened while 37 closed and 11 relocated within the city. Not great figures and I’d love to see no shop closures at all and new big retailers opening up in Freo, but the facts are better that community perception.

And here a copy and paste below from the annual report:

Compared to Perth’s metropolitan population, Fremantle shows a lower proportion of people in the younger age groups (0 to 17 years) and a higher proportion of residents in the older age groups (50+ years). Overall, 18% of the residents are under 18 years of age, 8% are between 18 and 24 years, 37% between 25 and 49 years, and 38% are aged 50 years and over.

Fremantle households tend to be smaller than the Perth average with 70% of dwellings housing one or two people, while only 4% have five or more residents. Car ownership reflects this, with 13% of households having no vehicles and fewer than 10% having three or more cars.

Fremantle people are well educated, with 29% of residents holding a bachelor’s degree or higher. At 6.4%, unemployment in the city is slightly higher than the national average.

The Fremantle economy is diverse, with 4 456 registered businesses operating across a wide range of sectors. Many of the city’s enterprises are small businesses, with 20% of active businesses employing fewer than five people.

Interesting about these statistics for me is the average age of the Fremantle population with 38% over the age of 50 years and 37% between the ages of 25 and 49 years of age. This means 75% of Fremantle residents are older than 25 years of age, but there is a strong emphasis at Fremantle Council to create a youth culture in Fremantle that tends to ignore the population reality. I support having a Youth Council but we should also have an Aged Council that represents the vast majority of the population!

Roel Loopers

MORE IMPACT WITH BALANCED FREMANTLE SOCIETY

Posted in city of fremantle, community, development, fremantle society by freoview on November 28, 2016

The Fremantle Society will have its AGM on December 7 where president John Dowson will be re-elected unopposed.

The Society has played a very important role in protecting Fremantle’s heritage for more than forty years, but I believe it has lost its way by being too negative and too narrow focussed, and rumblings within the membership suggest that Downson’s anti-height, anti-development and anti-change rhetoric is wearing thin not only outside the Society but also among the community group’s members.

It is a shame that the negativity is making the Society irrelevant, as many people in the community, Councillors and CoF officers no longer take Dowson’s criticism serious and stop listening to what the Fremantle Society has to say about the future of Fremantle.

The Society needs to find some balance and a strong committee that will guide its president and stop the relentless negativity in the media, as it is counter productive.

I have no doubt at all that John Dowson means very well and that he is passionate about protecting Fremantle’s heritage, and so am I, but blaming Fremantle Council, particularly Mayor Brad Pettitt, for development rejected by CoF but approved by state agencies DAP or SAT, is unfair and makes one question the integrity of the Fremantle Society.

The Society always had a very strong voice and was respected and listened to and while it did not win all the battles, it has done some remarkable work. Instead of whingeing about a down pipe in the wrong location Dowson should have been proud of the great outcome of the Warders Cottages, for which FS fought so hard, and also for the Society’s achievement finally getting the Gunners Cottages at Cantonment Hill restored.

I agree with Dowson that a lot of new development in Fremantle is ugly and inappropriate and I will stand side by side with him and FS fighting the Notre Dame University proposal for the corner of High and Cliff streets and other mediocre and inappropriate buildings, such as the one proposed by the Yolk developers for the former Spotlight site in Adelaide Street.

The Society needs to do what it does best and find the right battles to combat instead of the blanket approach of no change, no height, no development, because Fremantle is in desperate need of residential, commercial and tourist development and the Society should be supportive of positive change and progress in our city.

I sincerely hope John Dowson and the new committee will find a more balanced and respectful way of expressing their views, so they have more impact and will be taken serious again.

Roel Loopers

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