Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, city planning, community, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on October 8, 2019


Kavi Guppta of Fremantle Radio celebrated the tenth anniversary of this Freo’s View blog with a long interview with me from 6.45am on this morning.

It is about Fremantle, the local government election, development, ignorance, the community, heritage, etc. so for those who missed it here is the link:

Roel Loopers joins me to celebrate 10 yrs blogging about fremantle, and discusses council candidates who campaign on opinions instead of facts (jump to 00:45:03).

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, election, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on October 5, 2019


In a fortnight today voted will be counted for the Western Australian local government elections, so have YOU voted for Freo yet?

Fremantle Council will change after October 19 because three sitting members have not nominated, so they can’t be re-elected.

Don’t be complacent and think that your vote does not matter much because it does! There notoriously is a small voter participation at local council elections and only a handful of votes can make the difference which of the candidates wins the election and gets a seat on Fremantle Council, so VOTE!

Local councils make crucial decisions for their local communities so it is real and tangible grassroots democracy where you are consulted and have a say in the future of your city and suburb.

Grab your ballot paper this weekend, tick a box, sign the declaration, stick it in the reply paid envelope and put it in a mail box.

Good luck to all the candidates and thank you for nominating and stepping up!

Roel Loopers




The news in the Sunday Times today that many council positions will not be contested at the October 19 Local Government Elections in WA,  because no one nominated, is a worry, because it is essential for good government to have balance. Different view points are desirable as long as it does not become fifty/fifty votes and a Mayor has the deciding vote on most issues. That would not be healthy either.

It is believed that community apathy about local government and the relentless attacks on social media are reasons for people not to nominate for local council, so that is disappointing. Local government is grassroots democracy where our vote and involvement really can make a difference, so don’t let the trolls frustrate anyone from participating!

Many people, mostly those who don’t like the council the community elected, say that councils should only worry about rates, roads and rubbish, but I believe that local government does have a role to play in other issues, such as climate change, racism, domestic violence, homelessness, etc. as they affect all of us in some way.

Every one of us at some point in life has believed we have an easy solution, but governance is never easy and always complex, and whatever the decision by our elected members it will leave some in the community disappointed and disgruntled, believing that they have not been listened to because the decision went the opposite way of what they wanted.

Politics is a bit like footy. One-eyed fans accusing others of wearing rose-coloured glasses, and neither side can see the positive things the other sides are doing, hence we have people who claim they do not have a political agenda, although all they want is to replace left-leaning politicians with right-leaning politicians, or vice versa. I don’t believe that is having the best interest of the city, the state, or the country at heart.

We need a strong opposition in our parliaments and in our councils, to keep those in power honest and on their toes. I would be worried if Councillors saw themselves as being part of Team Fremantle where sameness and mateship is embraced but opposing views ignored.

We will have at least three new Councillors in Fremantle after the election and there could well be a few surprises in our changing political climate, and that I believe is a good thing. It is up to us, to each and everyone of us, to create the councils we want and we can only achieve that by voting.

If you want the sitting member in your ward to stay, VOTE. If you want to kick out the sitting member in your ward and replace her/him with someone you believe will do a better job, VOTE! Not voting is not an option.

Roel Loopers





Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on September 26, 2019


The City Ward candidate forum in Tannock Hall of Notre Dame University was pretty good, although very little new came up, and fewer than 100 people attended.

John Dowson said that councillors needed to consider the annual community surveys more and act on them because the community is often angry about issues that do not receive enough attention.

He was also not happy with council selling off assets cheaply, and we need a council that can negotiate on our behalf.

Julie Morgan said that City Ward does not embrace families and that new development also ignored families. Seniors are an unrepresented part of our community.

She was also not happy that council rates kept rising, and said she had been told the FOGO bins would not be rolled out in the CBD, which was new to Councillor Pemberton.

Rachel Pemberton said that Kings Square was a once in a generation development that will renew the inner city and attract families, workers, shoppers, etc.

She agreed that antisocial behaviour was a real problem, but the city had been working closely with WA police.

John Dowson said that Arthur’s Head was one of our most important assets but had been disgracefully neglected, But Julie Morgan said that council probably did not have any money to do anything.

Both Julie Morgan and John Dowson did not believe council was doing enough to combat antisocial behaviour in Fremantle, while Rachel Pemberton said it was a complex issue that needed different ways to resolve it. “We spent $ 2 million a year on it!”

Morgan and Dowson said they would look into rate reduction if elected, but Pemberton said that was unlikely to happen as it was in-line with inflation. Dowson said that because of the new three bin FOGO project rates went up by 2% and that would continue year after year. And Morgan asked why they had to pay for it when they would not receive the third bin in High Street.

John Dowson lamented again that Fremantle assets have been chopped and chopped and sold and sold.

Julie Morgan questioned the number of workers moving into Kings Square, as she had heard the Corrective Services department would no longer move into the Sirona Capital building.

Rachel Pemberton said the city was using its assets to renew the city and that the sale of the Leisure Centre carpark was no longer in the new ten-year plan that will be released for community consultation later this year.

John Dowson said the Fremantle Arts Centre was a stand out gem and that Fremantle did very well with festivals, but let’s bring back a few things that celebrate our heritage.

Rachel Pemberton said the city invested $ 4 million in the arts, including the upcoming Biennale.

John Dowson said growing the Freo tree canopy and putting power underground would make a huge difference, but removing the street lights from his street(Mouat) was not good.

Arthur’s Head and the J Shed artists also attracted attention with Dowson saying it was extremely distressing what was happening as we should be telling the history of place. “It has been seriously neglected and I want the J Shed artists to stay!”

Julie Morgan also said that J Shed had been tragic and she supported the artists and Rachel Pemberton said she understood the predicament as the Bathers Beach Art Precinct has not worked. She had contacted the Roundhouse volunteers group to see how the city can better support them.

Both Morgan and Pemberton said CBD family living and mixing seniors with young people would be a good idea.

The forum was excellently moderated by a gentleman whose name I did not catch, so thank you to him!


Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, election, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 26, 2019


The Fremantle local government election is on October 19 and two wards are having a candidate forum tonight.

At 6.30 South Ward will meet at The Local hotel where people can ask questions to sitting member Jon Strachan and his opponent Maria Vujcic.

At the same time City Ward can come and listen to what their candidates have to say at Tannock Hall in Cliff Street, opposite the Fremantle Herald.

Come and listen to incumbent Rachel Pemberton and her opponents Julie Morgan and John Dowson’s plans for the future of Fremantle.

This election will definitely see three new Councillors for Hilton, Beaconsfield and East Ward, so Fremantle Council will change.


Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, elections, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on September 25, 2019


For reasons that do not make much sense Fremantle City Ward is considered the jewel at the local government elections, although Councillors from all wards vote on every item at the Ordinary Council meetings and all have the same influence and power.

Anyhow, there is a City Ward Candidates Forum this Thursday September 26 at 6.30pm in Tannock Hall in Cliff Street, with sitting member Rachel Pemberton, High Street resident Julie Morgan and Fremantle Society president John Dowson, so come and ask questions and listen to what they want to do to make Fremantle an even better place.

It is a shame the forum clashes with the South Ward one which is at The Local hotel in South Fremantle at the same time and date.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, community, democracy, election, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 24, 2019


Local government election candidate events are always interesting because the community is divided on many issues, but the packed room at The Local hotel showed that Fremantle people are passionate about their city.

The Trumpian quote of the night for me came from candidate Michelle Cunningham who told the crowd that she is a scientist and is not worried about climate change, because it really is very slow. Yep, that might well be, but we were talking about the future of Fremantle, with one public speaker warning that our heritage buildings would be two metres under water because of climate change and the rising oceans.

Chris Jenkins said he wanted a free public transport zone in and around Fremantle so people could come to Freo for free. I wonder if the State Government will be happy to fund that.

Gemma Hohnen wants more informal recreation for the community to connect, while Julie Morgan wants a seniors and disability shopping card and council to focus on local issues. Rachel Pemberton wants the community to have a say and to prioritise projects council wants to undertake, which would create genuine decision-making by the community.

Su Groome mentioned the Newcaste model of revitalising the inner city and that new buildings should be true to Fremantle’s character.

Lynn McLaren wants us to be able to take our bikes into buses, and pointed out that the community needs to target the decision makers if it wants change and improvement, e.g not much use yelling at council when it is a State decision.

Jon Strachan wants to embrace smart technology and said the Fremantle Hospital looks very sad.

John Dowson called to simplify the parking system and that the perception of parking issues is enough to discourage people from coming to Fremantle. Too many car parks have gone, what is the next one?

Bryn Jones hopes to get some 5,000 people living in a one kilometre radius of the Townhall.

Maria Vujcic said that if elected she will listen to the people and formulate policy from that. It does not matter what I think, it is about the community. South Beach looks tired and needs a generational upgrade.

Public speakers bemoaned antisocial behaviour and crime in Fremantle, but there was some passion when several said we needed to bring the sense of community back and work together across the divides.

There were no places were people on low income could meet for free and that creates isolation.

John Dowson said Council and the community need to lobby State Government that the planned new police station would be built in Fremantle, and Mayor Brad Pettitt said that police numbers were not the issue for Fremantle, but that not enough officers were actually on the beat.

Marija Vujcic said that council was low resolution consultation and she was not happy about the planned solar farm and the speedhumps in South Fremantle.

One public speaker called for the community to work together and “make Fremantle suicide free!”

Moderator Rob Delves called for the planting of many more trees so that cyclists could ride in the shade.

Another public speaker said that there are too many divided passionate voices and that we don’t work together. He said there was lack of new ideas at the meeting and that Fremantle is going through a revolutionary retail change.

It was great to see many younger people at an election event, so I finish with what one of them aid. “Community is a collective. We can all work together.”

It was a surprisingly positive evening that did not have the council bashing arguments from the previous elections. Yes indeed, we might not all agree, but this is a great community that should be able to work together despite our differences. Go Freo!

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, community, election, fremantle network, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on September 22, 2019


A reminder that this Tuesday September 24 the Fremantle Network will be debating How to make Fremantle a better place, with Chamber of Commerce CEO Danicia Quinlan.

It is on at The Local hotel on South Terrace in South Fremantle from 6.30pm and several Fremantle local government election candidates will be present, so it will be good to hear what ideas for improvement they might have, or not have.

This is a free event, but do support The Local as the kitchen and bar will be open.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, election, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on August 29, 2019


Fremantle Deputy Mayor Ingrid Waltham announced at the Ordinary Council meeting yesterday that she will not be nominating as a candidate for the October 19 Local Government election and will be retiring her role as East Ward Councillor and Deputy Mayor.

Waltham told her colleagues that it had been one of the toughest decisions she ever had to make, but said it had been good to be part of the council during one of Fremantle’s most exciting times and to make decisions that will ensure the city is headed in the right direction.

In my opinion it will be a loss for Fremantle that Waltham is leaving as she has been an excellent councillor who deeply thought about the issues at hand and never made a quick decision.

The softly spoken Councillor often explained her reasons for voting a certain way and expressed the challenges that came with it.

Ingrid Waltham has been a Councillor with real integrity who was not swayed by party politics or ego. She always voted for what she thought is best for Fremantle, and while I did not always agree with all her decisions I have the greatest respect for her.

The Fremantle community owes Ingrid a lot of gratitude for her commitment and honesty.

And Su Groome just announced she will be nominating for East Ward

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, community, democracy, elections, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on August 27, 2019


While Fremantle Councillors and community members are not normally shy in coming forward, it is still a mystery who will nominate for the Local Government election that will be held on October 19.

So far we know that City Ward Councillor Rachel Pemberton and North Ward Councillor Bryn Jones will try to get re-elected while Hilton Ward Councillor Jeff McDonald has declared he won’t contest the election.

Chris Jenkins of the Socialist Alliance has declared he will nominate for Beaconsfield Ward, but we have yet to hear from other members of the community who might like to step up and join our council.

Local Government is grassroots democracy where one can make a real difference, so show your dedication for our great city and community and nominate!

Roel Loopers

UPDATE!  I hear Frank Mofflin will nominate for Hilton Ward!

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