Freo's View

UNCONVINCING MAYOR CANDIDATE

Posted in city of fremantle, election, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on April 27, 2017

Interesting to listen to an interview of Fremantle Mayoral candidate Ra Stewart on 6PR’s Perth Live show with Oliver Peterson.

Stewart cited a decline in retail and vacant shops as a Fremantle Council problem, when everyone knows that retail has been in decline for years everywhere in Perth and Australia.

The Australia Day changes were divisive and not the role of local government, Stewart said and that Fremantle had failed to take its position as the jewel in the crown because everybody loves Freo.

Interesting to note in that regard that other councils such as Cockburn, Hobart and others are also considering changes to their Australia Day activities.

Ra Stewart said she would bring Council back to basics, if elected, and implement sound financial management of city assets. I believe that is a fair point as Freo’s finances are not great and could have been handled better.

She also believes Council need to consult with the broader community and find out what their priorities are. The City of Fremantle did that with its Visioning Fremantle 2020 extensive community consultation sessions a few years ago, that lasted nearly a year.

Stewart believes there are lots of opportunities for Fremantle, and when asked about it by Oliver Peterson said that Mayor Brad Pettitt showed a lot of promise in his first term and that “there had been some investment in the city”

That must be the under-statement of the millenium as Fremantle has not seen the kind of enormous investment through development it is experiencing in over thirty years. Some development alright!

Ra Stewart also said she believes she would be able to pull all the community groups together. Anyone in politics knows that this is an extremely naïve statement, because for every person one pleases, someone else will be dissatisfied with government decisions.

One thing I do agree with is that Ra Stewart believes the City of Fremantle should have organised a big celebration of the anniversary of winning the America’s Cup. That is definitely an opportunity lost that the City’s marketing department, and BID, and the Chamber of Commerce, and the yacht clubs all missed.

Anyone who wants my vote to become the next Mayor of Fremantle needs to have realistic and achievable ideas, substance, a long-term vision for our city, and good knowledge of how council works.

The unconvincing interview I heard did not give me the feeling that Stewart would do a better job than the incumbent, so let’s wait and see if more impressive candidates nominate.

Roel Loopers

SUPPORT FREO TRADERS DURING DEVELOPMENT

Posted in cafe, city of fremantle, development, kings square by freoview on April 5, 2017

The problems traders in Scarborough face, and business closures because of the massive redevelopment there, sends a message to Fremantle Council to be pro-active and assists retailers and the hospitality industry over the next 3 years during the Kings Square project development that will have serious short-term negative implications for businesses in the area.

While the City of Fremantle is not exactly rolling in money it might be a good idea to stop charging cafes alfresco fees during the development period and also to allow retailers to move out into the streets to show their wares.

Free parking at the Parry Street and Beach Street carparks could also be a consideration for the start of the week to try to support our local traders. If they can hang in there for the next three years they will all benefit from an invigorated Freo economy with new hotels opening, new office workers coming to Fremantle and many more people residing in the inner city. The long-term future for Fremantle is a very good one and well worth investing in!

We don’t want more shop closures, vacant buildings and people going broke, so we need to support them as well as we can. Let’s start talking about it now as a priority!

Roel Loopers

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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!

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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

 

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