Freo's View


Posted in fremantle, fremantle herald, media by freoview on June 5, 2015

To its credit the Fremantle Herald today published 15 letters to the editor that expressed outrage about the insensitive gossip tabloid ‘journalism’ written by Herald owner Andrew Smith about the murder of Reuben Stack in East Fremantle.

Last week’s front page article was a mix of rumours, innuendo and an opinion piece that had very little substance. It is laudable that the newspaper published so many letters, but to his discredit Chook owner Andrew Smith did not have the grace to respond and apologise for his highly inappropriate article.

Many Fremantle people have been bewildered about the Herald, which was our favourite paper. It was always controversial, a bit quirky, informative about upcoming events and reporting on those that happened, but that has all changed. We realise it is difficult in this age of immediacy to remain relevant as a weekly paper because of on-line papers, bloggers and social media, but the free range Chook standards have dropped to a level where I sadly hear many people say they no longer read it. I hope that can be reversed.

A unique city like Fremantle deserves and wants a unique community paper the Fremantle Herald once was. I for one hope that they will go back to becoming the talk of the town again and have that very Freo spirit and reporting they had years ago. The Fremantle community rightly expects from the Herald that they scrutinise Council, but also that they support what is happening in our city and by doing that support our local businesses.

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on March 4, 2014

I might be considered an obnoxious weed by those I dare to criticise, but I am trying to be fair, so here a plug for the good editorial by Fremantle Gazette editor Rachel Watts, who rightly is confused why Fremantle Council passed the J Shed pub proposal. Read it in the Gazette out today!

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on February 18, 2014

I like Rachel Watts, the Editor of the Fremantle Gazette. I don’t think that Rachel is a shallow or unintelligent person, so why does she so often write simplistic editorials? Her piece on J Shed in today’s edition is missing the point pretty much. Instead of doing some in-depth analyses of the issue, and the pros and cons of the Sunset Events proposal, Ms Watts finds it much easier to claim that Fremantle is divided into Yes Men and No Camp people, and that the latter want to keep Freo sleepy and underperforming. Rachel Watts also writes that “waving goodbye to exciting proposals is the last thing the city can afford.”

Many people belonging to FICRA, the Fremantle Society, and the Ratepayers&Residents Association are business people and not many of them are against progress or development in our City.

Rachel Watts has allowed herself to be wrongly influenced by the pro-development lobby and some Councillors who want change at all cost, no matter how damaging it might be to Fremantle. It has been their argument for years that there is a large anti-development group in Freo, when in fact all we ask for is restraint, good decision making, exceptional new modern buildings, and proposals for the J Shed to be appropriate for the significant historic area and arts precinct.

I don’t know a single person in Fremantle who is against progress and growth, not a single person who wants to keep Freo a sleepy backwater, and not a single person who delights in Fremantle underperforming.

Maybe it’s time to leave the writing of editorials to journalists who don’t get sucked in by spin, Rachel.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on December 13, 2013

Let me share the last part of a letter published today:

“…when kids would have chosen to work on the ports or constructed railways, rather than ride skateboards high on various nefarious substances before moving onto a Rohypnyl and metamphetamine-fuelled night of probable daterape and gang-violence at some so-called boutique brewery”

I consider this letter in the Fremantle Herald, written by Owen Fry of York Street, Hamilton Hill, highly defamatory to a very large group of young people. To make a huge generalisation and accuse skaters of taking drugs, date-rape and gang-violence is absolutely outrageous and I can’t believe the Herald published this fascist rant.

I am 65 and have never used a skateboard, but I know many very decent young people who do. Many of the baristas and people waiting in cafes come and go to work on their skateboards, many university and high school students also love them. These young people do not deserve to be accused of unlawful activities just because one of their hobbies is riding skateboards. Shame on you Herald for publishing this rubbish. An appololy to skaters is due!

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on November 27, 2012

Fremantle Gazette editor Rachel Watts likes to write an editorial each week. They are most of the time pretty bland and without much substance. This week Watts attacks the people who oppose Planning Scheme Amendment 49 and highrise in inner city Fremantle, saying it “has a sense of Little Chicken about it.”

Miss Watts writes “It hardly seems necessary to shriek that the sky is falling over a change in the City’s planning guidelines….” and that “city centres such as Fremantle would do well to resist the reflex opposition to greater density.”

This shows Rachel Watts does not seem to bother to read her own newspaper and the opinion of those opposed to PSA 49. The Fremantle Society and I have consistently expressed that we are not against development or greater density, but that we do not believe that higher density equals highrise. We are opposing highrise in the inner city not increased density, dear editor, and that should have been clear to you if you had bothered to read and hear our opinion.

Watts also writes that “protecting heritage means nothing if the city ends up a wasteland of vacant shopfronts.” She absolutely ignores that empty shopfronts are not unique to Fremantle and that retail all over Australia is suffering, as the closing of shops in posh Kings Street in Perth shows.

With all the massive development plans all around Fremantle and on Victoria Quay the city could well end up with a whole herd of white elephants empty buildings dwarfing our heritage ones. Is that Watts’ preferred new look for Fremantle?

According to Watts people are the most valuable heritage, what a shame then we die on average around 85 while heritage buildings around the world are still standing after hundreds of years.

Posh new inner city highrise buildings will not offer housing for low income people, students, artists and the older generations, they will only be pushed out further away from Fremantle thus creating a yuppie town for the well off and investors who do not a give a damn about the unique character and lifestyle of our city.

Watts would do well to inform herself and reflect on what she writes before she publishes her editorials. This latest one shows she’s really not up to it.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on August 10, 2011

Dear writers of letters to the editor of the West Australian,

Before you point this out yourselves, I know that you are very tolerant and not racist and do have foreign friends, some even with darker skin than your own. All you were doing with your letters of course was only pointing out the obvious. Obvious to you was that there was clearly a racist, Muslim, migrant, and coloured element that started the London riots, and that shows that multiculturalism just does not work and is dangerous. This of course should then be a warning for Australia and we should stop all those foreigners from coming here. Our policies are too humane and those boat people only cost us a lot of money.

Like you, dear letter writers, I too watched the news, read newspapers and listened to radio reports, but unlike you I noticed that the majority of people rioting were Anglo-Saxon, and God forbid might even have been Christians. I also noticed many were just schoolkids, obviously bored with school holidays, so a riot seemed a brilliant idea to have some fun. Police picked up kids who were just around ten years of age.

On ABC radio this morning they played an interview with two young women with very broad London accents, who told the reporter it was all just quite fun and they wanted to show the police that they could do whatever they wanted. It was also great to have free drinks, after they had looted a bottle shop.

So dear non racist letter writers, before you point the finger at minority groups, you might like to check your facts first next time and take your coloured glasses off, so you can see the TV pictures more clearly.

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on LONDON LETTERS


Posted in fremantle by freoview on June 24, 2011

I am amazed to see today that the FREMANTLE HERALD did not publish a single word or photo about the DALAI LAMA talk at the Town Hall. This was a huge event for Fremantle with a sold out Town Hall and over a hundred people listening to the broadcast outside at King’s Square.

It is not as if the Herald has a policy of not publishing events that happened the weekend before, as they have often bought and published my photos of weekend events, in fact their reporter Jenny D’Anger specifically asked me on Tuesday to supply them with photos of the Dalai Lama talk, which I did.

Nigel of Bitches Brew framers in High Street told me an hour ago everyone is still talking about it and that retailers told him they had a very good Saturday last week when the Dalai Lama was in town.

I often speak out in support of the Herald, but this time they deserve to be criticised. A full page article with a lovely photo of the Gyuto Monks at Kulcha is no substitute for an article on the Dalai Lama visit to our town! With editor Andrew Smith on holidays, those who made the decision not to report on the Dalai Lama made the wrong one.

Roel Loopers





Posted in fremantle by freoview on April 27, 2011

The constant attacks on the dress habits of Muslim women in letters to the editors and on talkback radio are the voice of intolerance. The “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” argument is a shallow one. If this applied why do thousands of Australians visiting Bali each year totally ignore the culture and habits of the people there, and have those who complain about the Muslims given one thought to the fact that when the English invaded Australia they absolutely ignored and dismissed the culture and tradition of the Aboriginal people who had been living here for many thousands of years?

Those who believe people coming here should change should walk the talk themselves. Freedom also means freedom of fashion, and thankfully the elegantly and colourfully dressed Muslim women often stand out in a crowd of overweight women in mini skirts, as I witnessed again on the Fremantle Esplanade on Sunday.

Rome is a long way away and also where the Vatican is, which is not actually an icon of tolerance. When in Rome…

Roel Loopers

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