Freo's View


Posted in fremantle, photography, seasons by freoview on April 20, 2016


A few autumn photos I shot in Fremantle this morning.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, esplanade reserve by freoview on June 10, 2015

I had a wander around the Fremantle Esplanade Reserve this morning to get a better idea of what the draft new Masterplan for the reserve is all about and until I have seen detailed drawings I am not convinced that the proposed location for a so-called ‘park hub’ that would require the relocation of the long-established Carriage Cafe, is in the right spot between the ferris wheel and skatepark.

I walked it out and the distance from the path at the railway crossing into the Fishing Boat Harbour to the Youth Plaza is only 30 metres long, and it would only be a 20 short metres from the railway line that might well see more frequent container transport and double stacked containers to accommodate Fremantle Port. Is that the appropriate location for a cafe and shade structures where people would sit next to the very noisy trains and deal with dust, etc? I don’t think so!

When one looks south from the ferris wheel the triangular grass area to the right along the railway line will be developed into a half-size basketball court, so the noise of bouncing balls all day long is not a great invitation to sit and relax nearby and have a meal.

I talked to Carriage Cafe owner Kel Smith who told me he owns the structure and, as a structural engineer, he does not believe it can be moved without doing serious damage to the cafe, so have the officers and consultants considered that in their draft proposal?

The other issue is the extension of Norfolk Street to Mews Road. It would require Mainroads to do that and the PTA to create yet another railway crossing in the area. They spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on new railway crossings that were supposedly needed for the millions of spectators for the ISAF world sailing championships, who never arrived.

Will the PTA be willing to close one railway crossing to open up another one at considerable costs, and will State Government be willing to invest in extending Norfolk Street?

Extending Norfolk Street would likely increase traffic along Parry Street substantially, but the City of Fremantle has also flagged they want to use Fremantle Oval more often for events and concerts. How are we going to address thousands of people coming to a major event having to negotiate heavy traffic along Parry Street?

Moving events from the Esplanade is not going to happen fast as the Jerome Laneway festival received a 10 year lease, if I am correct. I don’t know what the arrangement with the Chilli and other festivals are and if they are long term, but the ice rink has a five year agreement as well.

So far for me the best thing in the draft Masterplan is to create to pedestrian crossings on Marine Parade. they are long overdue and I welcome them.

The proposed new Esplanade Masterplan needs a lot of thinking about details and consequences and it needs a very long period of real community consultation where Council will actually listen and implement what the inner city residents want on the Esplanade. There is still a lot of bad blood about the EYP and Council needs to do better this time.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, esplanade reserve, planning by freoview on June 9, 2015

The proposed new Masterplan for the Fremantle Esplanade Reserve will be debated at Council for the first time tomorrow at the Special Projects Committee and while it will delight local residents and businesses it will probably get heavy thunder from Carriage Cafe owner Kel Smith.

The draft Masterplan by the consultants and COF officers proposes to progressively relocating large commercial events away from the Esplanade, as it could be concluded that such festivals as the Chilli and Jerome Laneway have outgrown the park.

For Kel Smith and the Carriage Cafe it looks as if the planned extension can be put on hold till after his lease expires in 2019, as the Masterplan draft proposes to create a so called ‘park hub’ between the Esplanade Youth Plaza and the Ferris Wheel to accommodate a cafe, shade structures, bike repairs and other short term entertainment.

The consultants believe the current location of the cafe is inappropriate in the long term and might become detrimental to the trees and that could endanger the cafe, patrons and staff. They also believe the (low) heritage value of the Carriage Cafe will be more apparent closer to the railway line

Larger mulch areas around trees to protect them will reduce the grassed area by 40% an way finding paths and restricted truck access are all considered to protect the grass that is seriously damaged and needs to be replaced totally.

It will be interesting to hear the debate tomorrow and see what changes the Councillors want to make, and the excessisve financial costs might make this a very long term project.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on September 4, 2014

sign 2sign 1

It is good that this sign has been put up at Fremantle’s Bathers Beach to promote the art precinct at Arthur Head, but I question why the sign was not also made double-sided and more general. I would have liked it to also point out the Maritime Museum and Victoria Quay and the Rottnest ferry terminal.

Why it is one-sided though is beyond me. The back of the sign should have directed to the Fishing Boat Harbour, Esplanade Youth Plaza,  and Ferris Wheel, but instead it was left blank and black and that has attracted graffiti vandalism.

One wonders if one department at the City of Fremantle knows what the others are doing because this is another example of bad communication and collaboration between Freo’s officers, where the left hand often does not appear to know what the right hand is doing.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle by freoview on June 4, 2014

Carriage Cafe

The Planning Services Committee of the City of Fremantle will this evening debate to allow the alfresco extension of the CARRIAGE CAFE on the Esplanade Reserve. The cafe has become a real Freo ikon on one of our few inner city’s public green spaces, so I hope the CoF will be sympathetic toward the proposed changes. With the new Youth Plaza next to it the cafe will be catering for more people and needs more space, and the proposed changes are in my opinion sensitive to the environment and A Class reserve. The CoF officer recommends that the PSC will approve of them.

I have always wanted to see a small structure that would allow for weddings and wedding functions on the Esplanade and maybe the enlarged alfresco of the Carriage could at least accommodate small wedding parties.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on April 5, 2014

Tourist Wheel 1 Tourist Wheel 2



















The Fremantle Tourist Wheel on the Esplanade had some faulty lights, but it is now restored to full glory again and an impressive structure to see at night. It is also a great platform to get a sneak preview of the impressive new Youth Plaza, so on your way home from the Bathers Beach Sunset Food Markets tonight, go past the Esplanade and hop on the ferris wheel for stunning views over the city and Fishing Boat Harbour.

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on March 29, 2014

I finally found a way uploading photos by using a different browser, so here some stunning sunset shots I took on Wednesday evening at Fremantle Bathers Beach.

Isolated showers are forecast for today but we are still going ahead with the Bathers Beach Sunset Food Markets, so come along to celebrate EARTH WEEK with a one hour drumming circle, eat great food, and maybe we’ll have another amazing sunset.

Roel Loopers

ferris wheel sunset sunset 1 sunset 2


Posted in fremantle by freoview on January 3, 2014

One has to wonder how(if) the City of Fremantle plans maintenance around our city, with the announcement that parts of the grassed area of the Esplanade Reserve will be resurfaced from January 8 for two weeks. Why does this work need to be done during school holidays and the main tourist season, to the detriment of the Carriage Cafe and Tourist Wheel businesses? Cynics might just believe the City wants the park to look great for the Australia Day fireworks and Citizenship ceremony, when the media will be reporting about it.

With the Skatepark Youth Plaza construction and landscaping due in the next 4 months, one has to ask why the resurfacing could not have been coordinated to be done at the same time. New grass will be laid and new trees and bushes planted as part of the Skatepark, so wouldn’t it make more sense to do it all at once to limit the inconvenience for businesses, tourists and the Fremantle community?

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on November 1, 2013

Just an update on the Fremantle skatepark youth plaza work in progress. Taken at midday today, Friday November 1 from the Tourist Wheel.

Roel Loopers

skate park


Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 15, 2013

The dismantling of the Tourist Wheel on the Fremantle Esplanade has begun to make way for the construction of the Youth Plaza skate park, that will start coming Monday. The wheel only has to be moved about 25 metres and that is has to be done is an indication of a badly performing City of Fremantle administration, as only in February this year the larger Skywheel was replaced with the present one, and that would have been the opportune moment to put it in its new location, and would not have cost a cent extra. Now the relocation of the ferris wheel is going to cost an estimated $ 130,000!

I remember vividly the surprise of  Tourist Wheel manager Hendrik Dijkstra at the special electors meeting in the Town Hall, when he heard for the first time that the wheel had to be moved and he asked why no one had bothered to tell him.

The Fremantle community can be thankful that Hendrik is not a greedy man, because while he asked the City to cover the costs of the relocation he has also agreed to pay double the rent for the next 5 years, to compensate for it, and so that the people of Fremantle don’t have to pay for this blunder by the executive of our city.

On another note. Hendrik mentioned he is surprised the City is not advertising on his Tourist Wheel. Thousands of people photograph the tourist attraction and put it on social media and that is a pretty good way or promoting our city. I reckon he is spot on.

Roel Loopers

tourist wheel

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