Freo's View

THE IMPACT OF FREMANTLE PLACEMAKING

Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on October 13, 2017

 

There were so many posts on Twitter yesterday about placemaking, that I contemplated overnight what the modern buzzword actually means in the context of local government and a small city like Fremantle.

Placemaking should not be about beautifying small pockets of the city, but should be about awareness of the whole and the reality that everything we do impacts on others, either positively or negatively. That really is the big challenge for local government to deal with.

An event will please many thousands of people, but can negatively impact on local residents or traders, as there will be noise, parking and traffic problems, so while it pleases some it upsets others.

At planning meetings we constantly hear people opposing development next to where they live, with claims of loss of privacy, overshadowing, etc. so whichever way council decide it will upset one of the parties.

Traffic-calming in South Fremantle might please most locals, but it could alter the flow of traffic to the CBD and have a negative impact on traders there. What is the right placemaking decision?

Placemaking is about wholeness, and making good choices for the common good, even if that upsets those with a NIMBY attitude. It requires courage of councillors to make the ‘right’ decisions, because the decisions they’ll make will never be right for everyone in the community. That’s the nature of us human beings that we never all agree on everything.

When I hear election candidates naively state that they will do what the community want, my immediate question is which part of the community do they mean, because there will be opposing views in the community. Councillors will have to vote one way or the other, displeasing those who are opposed to it.

It comes down to how much, and how negatively or how positively decisions we make in life impact on others. Loud parties, noise, dog barking, anti-social behaviour, where we park our car in the street we live, etc. it all impacts on others. So to make the right decisions we need to be considerate and constantly aware that our great personal lifestyle might not be considered so great by our neighbours.

What might be a good event that benefits local traders, could well have a negative impact on those who live nearby, and events can also be detrimental for local traders, so how do we find the right balance of placemaking in local government?

The Australian Hotel Association claimed in a survey they sent to local government election candidates that pop-ups negatively impact on their members, but surely that statement is not true for all pop-up events and for all pubs, restaurants, cafes and bars around Fremantle, because many of them benefit from events, even from markets, as they attract many more people to the area than would normally visit.

Should we embrace multi-storey development in the inner city to boost the local economy, or should we preserve the human-scale character of place, even in the run down east of the CBD that looks desolate and uninviting? What is the right placemaking and balance? You will hear very opposing views about that in the community.

Placemaking for me is about being extremely sensitive and understanding that there is no way in the world we can please everyone, and it is about not being selfish, and learning to acknowledge that the common good has priority over individual needs.

I know that it very difficult to accept when it impacts on one’s own life or business, but it is the only way good placemaking can become good governance, and hopefully council can take the majority of the community with them on the very challenging and delicate journey of progress, revitalisation and modernisation.

It is easy to understand that being a local councillor can be a very thankless task, so one has to admire all who nominated for this election.

VOTE to show you care about your community!

 

Roel Loopers

Vote Roel for City Ward!

LUCKY TO LIVE IN FREMANTLE!

Posted in city of fremantle, community, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on September 20, 2017

 

Fremantle is so much better than a small group of constantly negative individuals on social media want us to believe.

I love Freo because of its great community, the outdoor lifestyle, the music and art scene, the passion and compassion, and the willingness to care.

When I walk the streets I delight in the beauty of the old town and the funky quirkiness that is so very Freo.

I delight in the friendly smiles in cafes and shops and on the streets, where so many people acknowledge one with a smile.

I love the markets and the beaches, the heritage, and all that is good about Freo, and I like  that it is not perfect.

Fremantle has got character and is unique, and it is a very special place to live and bring up children.

Freo’s future is bright with massive development in the inner city and big plans for major projects.

And I am not the only one who thinks that as this post from someone on social media shows. Unfortunately I don’t know who the initial writer of the lovely positive post about Fremantle is.

I’m from Melbourne and I now live in Freo. Over the past 3 weeks I’ve had loads of friends and family come over to visit that had never been here before. They were all SO impressed, with one even moving here later this year after his trip. They all loved how user friendly it was, little traffic, nice beaches, good places to eat, close enough to the city (without being too close) good weather, they found it hilarious my dog could come to the pub and no one said anything, and that International bands were just a short walk from my door. They loved the diverse architecture, the history, they found the service friendly, and the communty vibe quite refreshing. 

It’s evident from reading this feed sometimes that not everyone is so content, and may have forgotten how lucky they are to live in a place like Fremantle. Yes sometimes there is crime, there is everywhere, yes sometimes you’ll get a shit meal, you sometimes have a miss and not a hit, everywhere. It happens. It’s a speed hump, not a land mine, slow down and get on with it. 

My good friend Paz rolled into Freo after riding his bike all the way from Melbourne, through NSW, QLD, NT and the top of WA…..and loved it here. He said Freo was the best town he’d been to. Be as smiley as Paz about living in Freo. You are all pretty lucky

Talking down our city is not going to support our struggling traders and the Fremantle image, and neither is the constant negativity about Fremantle Council during the election campaign.

Support Freo by sending out positive messages about what you experience and tell the world!

Roel Loopers

VOTE ROEL FOR CITY WARD!

TOURISM SHOULD BE FREMANTLE PRIORITY

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on September 17, 2017

 

 

The rather optimistic prediction by Sirona Capital that the Kings Square Project innovative and exciting FOMO retail concept will double tourism in Fremantle made me think on how we can increase tourist numbers and offer a better tourism experience in the port city.

For reasons I cannot understand there is reluctance to sell the great brand of Fremantle in destination marketing, and our retail marketing is not anywhere good enough. Retail is hard to sell anyway, as Fremantle lacks variety in shopping.

There is lack of coordination between the major players, and I have the feeling there are a few egos in the way. The City’s marketing people don’t really believe BID is necessary and the Chamber of Commerce is also not a big fan of it, and the major players in town are often left out, so everyone does their own bit, instead of working together on major strategies.

There is an assumption of communication, simply because visitors to Fremantle can access the Fremantle Story on-line or go to different Facebook pages about festivals, etc.

Fact is though that there are many people who do not engage with social media and who can’t be bothered to do long searches to see what is available to them.

Why can’t a visitor to Fremantle, who is staying Tuesday and Wednesday night, find out where live music is on those nights, which pubs have got specials on, etc?

At the Roundhouse we are not supplied with information about events. Many of the volunteer guides don’t live in Fremantle, so they do not know what is going on. It should be a matter of routine that the City’s marketing department emails a list of events, etc. every Monday morning to the Maritime and Shipwreck museums, Fremantle Prison, the Roundhouse, etc. but that is not happening.

Every year we have to contact the City to beg for festival programs, flyers, even a small poster about the Winter, Beer, Chilli festivals, whatever, but it is not forthcoming.

The City of Fremantle does not see tourism as a priority and great opportunity to boost the retail and hospitality industries. If thousands more people come to Freo and stay longer they will shop, eat and drink and support our traders, but BID mainly does cutesy things for locals during school holidays and festivals, which already attract people, instead of being a conduit for all the major players, such as developers, Fishing Boat Harbour, museums, etc.etc. come together, and work on strategies for Freo’s tourism.

The majority of overseas visitors are looking for an indigenous experience, but can’t find it. There is an opportunity here for Fremantle, but we do tokenism better that high impact stuff. There is no big picture thinking on tourism.

We light up the Arthur Head cliff face at night, but close the Whalers Tunnel at 7 pm, so there is no direct access from High Street. Why?!

We should have substantial tourist promotion for Fremantle at the airport, in the Perth CBD, and in Kalgoorlie and Esperance for those who drive here, but we preach to the locals mainly.

The Roundhouse volunteers want to improve the displays, but the City is not pro-actively involved in supporting them, and appears quite happy to leave it to the mostly senior amateurs to sort something out, while they could do with good professional advise and financial support.

The City should lobby the Royal Australian Navy and ask them to reconsider putting the planned Sailor monument on the North Mole, and instead put it on Victoria Quay or in Pioneer Park, or even Kings Square, because tens of thousands of visitors to Fremantle will miss out on seeing it. The North Mole is too remote for people who don’t have a vehicle, and riding one’s bike there is a challenge with all the trucks in the area.

The City of Fremantle needs a think tank on tourism, something substantial and outcome based. We have plenty of talkfests and don’t even do those well, because they procrastinate into nothing.

Our traders deserve and demand support, and we need to have a more innovative approach on how we can sell brand Freo, because our promotion is stale, and Fremantle does not get much help from the Perth-centric state tourism promotions.

Many tourists to Fremantle comment on how different we are, and that Perth is just like other big cities, but we do not sell our heritage beauty well, or even our gorgeous High Street that ends up at Bathers Beach.

Fremantle needs creative people who are willing and able to think outside the box, and who don’t do same same every year, time and time again. Fremantle’s marketing is boring, uninspiring and not working!

Roel Loopers

VOTE ROEL FOR CITY WARD!

CPR FOR A DYING CITY IS GOOD GOVERNANCE

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 3, 2017

 

Just a last thought for this Sunday, that we can all contemplate about before falling asleep:

I believe it is good governance when a council gives CPR to a dying city.

Unprecedented development in Fremantle, not seen for thirty years, and that’s a bad thing?!

It is a crime when a city does not progresses, develops and modernises and when its Council does not attempt to attract investment, development, new businesses, new residents, and new workers.

The world evolves every second of every day, and it is good that Fremantle is moving toward an exciting and vibrant city, while protecting our beautiful and significant heritage-listed West End.

Our focus needs to be on the future, as there is little benefit in lamenting the past.

 

Roel Loopers

UNION TRUTH ABOUT FREMANTLE PORT

Posted in city of fremantle, containers, freight, fremantle ports, Uncategorized by freoview on August 29, 2017

 

I was given a copy of an eight-page flyer The Truth About The Flawed Outer Harbour Plan, written by the Maritime Union of Australia WA Branch secretary and National President Christy Cain.

It’s always good to try to see all sides of an argument, so let’s have a look at the facts the MUA published in the leaflet.

# The MUA claims that Fremantle Port is only running at 50% capacity and that there is no need for a premature costly duplication of the port at Kwinana.

# The MUA supports the long-term vision of an overflow port at Kwinana when it is needed, but say it is not needed yet, and that the volume at Fremantle Port has been falling for some time.

# The proposed cap on Fremantle Port is lower than the current volume and would be anticompetitive, the union claims. It would prevent the current terminal operators to grow.

# 90% of containers to and from the port are on the road between 6am-6pm Monday to Friday. The port operates 24/7 but nearly all containers are handled in just 35% of all the hours available.

# Better coordination of road transport, plus general decline in volume has seen a 11% reduction in truck visits to Fremantle Port over the last two years.

# Rail is underutilised as is handles only 14.5% of containers, while it is designed to carry 30% of container traffic.

# The MUA says that if the outer harbour was built now, 20-30 years before it is needed, it would add $ 10 billion to the construction cost, making it a $ 15-16 billion dollar dud, that would cause a dramatic increase to freight costs.

# Fremantle Port supports 2,000 direct employees and an estimated total workforce of 6,000 direct and indirect employees servicing the port.

# The outer harbour would be automated and would have less jobs than Fremantle Port.

# Government Treasury predicts another 25 years of growth potential for Fremantle Port. It stated that artificial capping would result in earlier capital investment in the Outer Harbour and related road and rail infrastructure-imposing an unnecessary financial burden on the WA Government, container trades and the community.

If you have any questions it is best to contact the MUA as I won’t have the answers.

 

Roel Loopers

FREO KINGS SQUARE PROJECT NEAR START

Posted in city of fremantle, kings square, sirona capital, Uncategorized by freoview on August 29, 2017

 

KS fences

 

Fences are being put up this week around the Fremantle Kings Square Project for the start of the demolition of the Queensgate building, and the renovations and new facades of the former Myer building and carpark by Sirona Capital.

The fences are temporary ones, until more visually attractive fences have been created.

The City of Fremantle administration building will be demolished in January next year.

This is such a game-changing project for our city that I am really excited about. It will massively activate Kings Square and the surrounding streets and will be a real boost to our retail and hospitality industries and the city’s economy.

Fremantle is experiencing a very welcome unprecedented development boom and investment in our city, as a result of our Council actively promoting and encouraging Freo as a pro development city.

Not all the building we are getting are outstanding though, so we need to be careful not to get cheap and cheerful boring concrete boxes.

We are well on the way to great progress and the modernisation of the Fremantle CBD, that has been stagnant and tired for decades.

Roel Loopers

 

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FREMANTLE KINGS SQUARE WEBSITE LIVE

Posted in city of fremantle, kings square, sirona capital, Uncategorized by freoview on August 7, 2017

 

The Fremantle Kings Square Project website http://www.kingssquarefremantle.com is finally live, so check it out regularly to keep up to date with the development, and also keep an eye on their Facebook page.

This is part of the website page:

At the centre of Fremantle’s civic and commercial heart this once-in-a-generation project will transform the heart of WA’s favourite port city into a vibrant commercial and community hub in coming years – it’s the Kings Square Renewal Project…

It’s the largest public-private infrastructure project in Fremantle’s history. A precinct-wide renewal of the Freo city centre with project partners Sirona Capital and the City of Fremantle redeveloping the buildings and public spaces in Kings Square where you will be able to:

  • Eat and shop – with a retail and dining experience designed with Freo people in mind, unlike anything seen before in Australia
  • Work – new 5-star green star commercial spaces including office accommodation for more than 1,500 State Government employees relocating to Fremantle
  • Relax – a revamped city square complete with landscaped grassed area, shady trees, public art and new street furniture
  • Play – a major new children’s play space and baby change facilities
  • Learn and transact – state-of-the-art council customer service and community learning hub (which includes a new library)
  • Meet – new competition-winning City administration building with purpose-built indoor and outdoor community spaces and meeting rooms

The new Kings Square will also:

  • Boost the local economy –  more than 2,100 new local jobs and an estimated $358m injected into the local economy
  • Cater for everyone – designed for accessibility, the new buildings and public spaces will enable people of all ages and abilities to enjoy everything on offer in Kings Square 
  • Embrace technology – Free Wifi throughout the precinct with CCTV and enhanced lighting
  • Utilise ESD (Environmentally Sustainable Design) principles –  Energy efficient building design with the use of renewable energy and water saving technologies 
  • Be sensitive to local heritage – the buildings and public spaces  will fit with the unique character and history of Kings Square, enhancing the heritage values of the Fremantle Town Hall and church and becoming Freo’s future heritage

More workers, more activity during the working week, more people that may move to Fremantle to be closer to work in the city centre, more shops, more money for the local economy, more indirect jobs created, more community events, improved community safety and a better reputation for Fremantle. 

It’s a game-changer for Fremantle!

KINGS SQUARE PALMS RELOCATED

Posted in city of fremantle, kings square, trees, Uncategorized by freoview on July 28, 2017

 

 

The relocation today of two 12-metre tall and 20 ton heavy palm trees at Fremantle’s Kings Square is the symbolic start of the Kings Square Project development.

The tree are being re-alligned to fit in with the other palm trees in the square, and other trees at our city square will be removed in due course to accommodate the development.

It is the start of a bright new modern future for Fremantle and one that will kick start our retail and hospitality industries and make Freo a seven day a week destination again.

 

Roel Loopers

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REDLIGHTS FOR FREO’S WEST END

Posted in arthur head, city of fremantle, local government, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on June 21, 2017

 

Imagine Arthur Head

 

We all have them, those Eureka moments in life, when one wakes up and one has found the solution for a major problem, as I did this morning knowing I had found the perfect activation concept for Fremantle’s historic West End and Arthur Head.

Not even Jay Dee the Pres. of Ef Es could have anything against something that is older than heritage, and it is something most port cities of the world have.

My award-winning placemaking brilliance will see Arthur Head transformed into a red light district, mirrored on the famous Reeperbahn in Hamburg and the Walletjes in Amsterdam. It will guarantee 24/7 activation of the dormant West End and substantially add to Fremantle’s port city reputation.

Prostitution is one of the oldest professions in the world, so very heritage, and a port city without a red light district is like a ship without the ocean.

The area has been struggling since all the pubs in High Street were closed and Fremantle Council decided to make the heritage precinct into an arts precinct, and when our elected members thought that a 1,500 patron live outdoor music venue and 800 patron booze barn was exactly what they wanted when they asked in the Expressions of Interest for an art related cafe. They kinda got the wording of the EOI wrong, one has to assume. But no worries, Loopy comes to the rescue!

Imagine the cottages alongs Captain’s and Mrs Trivett lanes, and the Roundhouse all lit up in red at night, and girls offering their beauty behind the windows. Imagine what a fantastic and popular tourist attraction it would be!

I fondly remember the days when my mum insisted dad should take me with him when he delivered cigarettes to the aunties of the redlight district in the Hague. Especially during the Christmas period it was a sight to behold when the aunties lit up their bodies with flashing Christmas lights that wound around their substantial and well-exposed boobs, and to my bewilderment also in a V-shape between their equally well-exposed thighs. It took me many years of growing up to found out what was so special about that V-spot.

I also propose a Swingers Swap Market in the Roundhouse on Friday nights, where couples can exchange partners, or hook up for foursomes, and Sexpos in the old goal once a month there.

If the posts of the Curfew Bell were changed from square ones to round we could also have pole-dancing nights in the historic setting.

Instead of the proposed tavern train wreck at J Shed Sun Sex Erects could transform the Number One unit into a live sex venue with peep shows, striptease and simulated sex acts on stage, and a bar that sells cheap ‘champagne’ for exorbitant prices.

The rhythmic sound of many one hands clapping would go well with the industrial sounds of grinders and power tools coming from the Greg James sculpture studio next door.

I truly believe that this is an award-winning idea and that I have just written the perfect job application to replace the City of Fremantle’s director of economic development and marketing. Sorry Tom!

Someone more famous than I ever will be once said “Let there be Light!” so I’ll steal it from him and say Let there be Redlight Freo!

Roel Loopers

WE ARE LUCKY TO LIVE IN FREMANTLE!

 

SMILE!!!!!

 

Waking up this morning I thought how lucky I am to live in Fremantle. The sun is out and the sky is blue and it is a mild 23 degrees at the start of our winter.

We live in a very special and unique city but sadly there are those who only make negative comments and never see the beauty we have and the special close community we live in.

I don’t suggest for one moment that Freo is perfect and that there is not a lot of room for improvement, but I believe we are doing very well and that our city has a very positive future.

We are seeing massive unprecedented development in Fremantle, not seen in 40 long years, which means in the very near future we will have many more people living, working and staying overnight in the inner city.

That will create confidence for more developers and businesses and we’ll see new shops and bars, new hotels and more investment also from Fremantle council and state government.

But sadly there are those with a political agenda who don’t want to recognise the strategic and long-term planning our elected members have made.

The Kings Square, Fremantle Oval, Cantonment Hall, South Quay projects are huge for our city and so are the private developments of the Woolstores shopping centre, Heirloom, Liv apartments by Defence Housing and many more that are popping up around town or are planned.

Some people in Fremantle treat our democratically elected members as the enemy of the community and more often than not their criticism is based on ignorance.

Many people do not understand the separation between the councillors and administration and blame councillors when the streets are not clean or maintenance not done.

Fact is that council sets rules and regulations in place, makes policies and development approvals, but it’s up to staff to implement them. It is like a footy club where no one would consider the board of directors responsible for the players underperforming.

It is too simplistic, and unfair, to attack councillors and the mayor when it is out of their hands, and I often hear how frustrated too they are when things are not done.

There are the conspiracy people who frequently accuse council of being communists or socialists, but how ridiculous is that when the present council has done more to encourage and support capitalist development in Freo than the councils before them.

I am not a one-eyed supporter of Fremantle council and I don’t have the blinkers on. I also don’t care if councillors are left, right or centre of politics and I don’t socialise privately with any of them, but credit needs to be given where due and criticism handed out fairly. I have been doing that on this blog for nearly eight years and in letters to editors for over 25 years.

Whenever I talk to tourists they tell me how cute, clean, beautiful and special Fremantle is, but far too many locals I talk to only have negativity on their mind.

Many people do not engage with local government and fail to inform themselves adequately, hence there is a lot of misinformation out there and people are blaming Fremantle council for things outside their control and state responsibility.

We live in a community where people really care, where they are willing to stand up and make a difference and where many want to be part of the solution.

But the internet and social media has also created large numbers of people all over the world who are only interested in writing spiteful, nasty, insulting comments that are only meant to be personal attacks and hurt. That to me is not acceptable, hence I will speak out and defend our utterly decent and very likeable councillors, collaborate with them, put suggestions to them for improvement and show them the respect they deserve.

Fremantle is a magic and magnificent place to live. We have the stunning heritage West End, great beaches, markets, lifestyle, festivals, events and we actually care.

Be passionate about Freo, as I am, and stand up for what you believe in. I support anyone who wants to help make Freo a better place, no matter if you vote Liberal, Labor, Green or any other political colour, but please let us engage in respectful and informed dialogue and not ignorant hyperbole and hot air.

Have a brilliant week, Freo and acknowledge how green the grass is on this side of the fence!

Roel Loopers

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