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!

FREO TOP ENTERTAINMENT PRECINCT

Posted in city of fremantle, entertainment, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on October 8, 2017

 

 

A survey conducted by the WA Tourism Commission has found that Fremantle is the top entertainment precinct in the Perth metropolitan area, according to surveyed visitors.

Fremantle scored 7.3 out of 10 while Elizabeth Quay only came 7th on the list of favourite entertainment zones.

A high percentage of visitors said they would return to Fremantle and that they liked the precinct for its good range of venues and activities.

Fremantle is the most enjoyable precinct to visit, visitors said.

This is very much in line with the feed-back the volunteer tour guides get at the Roundhouse, where most visitors tell us they love Freo but find Perth a bit bland, and they love our stunning heritage buildings.

It is really good to hear something positive about Fremantle from an independent source during the negative local government election campaign, where some candidates have got nothing else to offer than to slam our city.

 

Roel Loopers

Vote Roel for City Ward!

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CHARGE EVENTS FEES FOR PUBLIC SPACES

Posted in city of fremantle, entertainment, esplanade reserve, events, Uncategorized by freoview on October 6, 2017

 

The City of Fremantle should stop giving financial concessions to events organisers who use the Esplanade, and relocate events which are too big for the reserve.

Events, especially those with no pass-outs, do not support local traders, but the City often hands over the Esplanade for free or at reduced rates, while the organisers make many tens of thousands of dollars profit.

I do understand that Fremantle wants to attract events and build on our festival city brand, but the very popular South Beach Sunset Markets pay rent and artists at Arthur Head also pay commercial rates for their studios and galleries, so why should large events be exempt?

Allowing events to overflow onto Marine Terrace has created traffic chaos in the West End, partly due to incompetent traffic management. As a result motorists could not be bothered and bypassed the area, to the detriment of local traders.

Residents and traders at Marine Terrace and surrounding streets are significantly inconvenienced by events that are too large for the Esplanade, so these events should be moved to Fremantle Oval or Fremantle Park, and fees should be charged for those areas as well.

No matter how much we want to keep and encourage events in Fremantle, the City should either charge commercial rent, or take a risk and receive a percentage of the profits for the use of our public spaces.

 

Roel Loopers

Vote Roel for City Ward!

LIVE STREAMING OF FREO COUNCIL MEETINGS

Posted in city of fremantle, communication, community, Uncategorized by freoview on September 28, 2017

 

Fremantle Council is considering live-streaming council and committee meetings to create more transparency and for the public to better understand local government process.

Looking at the lack of interest in local government I doubt that many people would watch council meetings on their computer or smartphone, but anything that will minimise community ignorance is good, because it is astounding how little Fremantle residents know about what goes on in our city.

At the second last council meeting before the election last night not even the candidates bothered to turn up and get a better understanding of what could be their future place of work.

There is quite clearly a lack of proper communication with the community when most people in South Fremantle and beyond are not aware that the rubber speedhumps in South Terrace are just temporary and that they will be replaced with permanent traffic calming raised platforms, and that street furniture and new trees will give the area a more residential appearance.

When only a small percentage of residents have applied for a parking permit that allows them to park for free twenty hours per day, that has been available for over ten years, that shows that the information does not get through to the people, hence they complain about perceived parking problems.

The Fremantle Festival parade is scratched because of lack of interest from the community, and not many people turn up any more to watch the Blessing of the Fleet, that used to be a big draw card, simply because they do not know it is on. Even at ANZAC Day there are fewer people watching than in previous years, so what needs to be done?

Having a massive decline in spectators does affect our local traders, so let’s start with the basics, improve communication, and get the message out there that Freo is alive and well.

Live streaming might interest only a few but it is worth consideration. It is important though that the privacy of public speakers is protected so that they don’t attract social media bullies.

Roel Loopers

VOTE ROEL FOR CITY WARD!

FREO COMMUNITY GETS BACK ITS OVAL

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle dockers, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on August 7, 2017

 

 

The City of Fremantle will get back the keys to Fremantle Oval this week after a deal was struck with the Dockers AFL football club to relinquish their 37-year-lease over the oval.

It has been a disappointing process as the Dockers insisted on getting paid for their clubhouse and Fremantle City after lengthy negotiations reluctantly agreed to pay the footy club $ 1,5 million over three years.

The City will now use the precinct for temporary staff accommodation during the construction of the new Civic Centre at Kings Square. It will also create 140 new public car bays on the Stan Reilly site next to the oval.

The very good news for the Fremantle community is that the city has a concept Fremantle Oval Project plan that will see the oval used again for concerts and events. This will help spread the load of all the festivals, events and concerts in Fremantle and will reduce the use of the suffering Esplanade reserve.

The Fremantle Oval Project, together with the Kings Square Project and the imminent development of the police and justice complex in Henderson Street by Silverleaf will positively change the southern heart of the CBD and connect Wray Avenue with the Cappuccino Strip.

I am delighted to see so much progress in the inner city, as long as we stop some of the the loony development proposals for the heritage West End.

 

Roel Loopers

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HAPPY FREO EASTER ALL!

Posted in Easter, fremantle, multicultural, Uncategorized by freoview on April 16, 2017

 

wattle

 

It’s Easter and the wattle is starting to blossom in Fremantle. It’s a brilliant morning that does not deserve or require negativity and it is a special and important day for Christians, so let us celebrate life instead of finding an excuse for attacking our Muslim brothers and sisters, as a columnist in the Sunday Times today does.

Religions are important and valuable for those who believe in their gods and who gain strength from it and it is not up to anyone to judge people because of their religion.

It is so irrelevant if some Muslim women don’t shake hands with men as culture, tradition and religions are all different. I have been to countries where I was told not to touch children on their head because of culture or religion. No big deal.

When I arrived in Australia 35 years ago it was the norm for men to shake hands with men but not with women. I never embraced that practice because I was brought up in the Dutch culture of shaking hands with men and women, but it never was a big deal, just different and for me slightly awkward to observe.

Many religious traditions have over hundreds of years become more cultural traditions with people often not knowing what it is we celebrate. How many of us will reflect today on the biblical Christian belief that Easter is about the resurrection of Jesus Christ who was nailed to a cross? This is very meaningful to all Christians but pretty meaningless to other religions and non-believers. No big deal.

Easter eggs and Easter bunnies have probably very little to do with Jesus Christ, but that is not a big deal either, as long as we all try to live peacefully and with mutual respect for each other.

This weekend is perfect to celebrate our great Australian multiculturalism and the acceptance of all different religions, cultures and traditions. When you walk around the Fremantle International Street Arts Festival the next two days that is what you will be witnessing; people living together in near perfect harmony.

Have a great Easter!

Roel Loopers

PIRATES AT THE DUYFKEN

Posted in dutch, fremantle, historic, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on April 12, 2017

 

The lovely little dove Duyfken replica is back in the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour and will have Pirate Days during the Easter school holidays, so go visit it while you are here for the International Street Arts Festival on the very long weekend!

It is at berth at the back of Little Creatures so easy to find from the Esplanade.

The work on the new Piazza in the Fishing Boat Harbour is also progressing well and will create another nice location to watch the sunset and enjoy fish&chips.

Roel Loopers

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A SIGN OF BAD MANAGEMENT

Posted in city of fremantle, event, sign by freoview on December 12, 2016

event-sign

 

The bicycle event this sign on the corner of High and Cliff streets refers to was held in Fremantle eight days ago on Sunday so why has nobody bothered to remove it?

It is a recurring nuisance that events organisers or traffic management companies forget to pick up all the signs around the city after events and they are just left there, or stuck on posts, etc.

Maybe the contract event organisers sign with the City of Fremantle should stipulate that all signs need to be removed on the day of the event.

Roel Loopers

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IMPRESSIVE FIGURES FROM FREMANTLE ANNUAL REPORT

Posted in city of fremantle, community, festival, fremantle arts centre by freoview on December 5, 2016

The annual Electors Meeting of the City of Fremantle will be held next Monday December 12 so it is an opportune time to quote some figures from the City’s annual report.

  • Customer Service received 66,000 phone calls and 31,000 face to face enquiries.
  • The Library had 210,000 visitors who borrowed 200,000 items.
  • Over 30,000 people used the free Wifi services.
  • The Fremantle Leisure Centre had 456,924 visitors.
  • Street Art Festival attracted over 100,000 visitors.
  • Hidden Treasures Music festival had over 1,000 visitors each Thursday.
  • Fremantle Arts Centre had 69,961 visitors looking at exhibitions.
  • Sunday Music session at FAC attracted 19,821 visitors.
  • 8 concerts on the South Lawn of FAC had 21,566 fans.
  • Christmas Bazaar had 23,000 visitors.

And the good news is that the CoF Annual Report states that there are plans for “New Major Festival Events in 2016-17.”

Roel Loopers

 

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FREO THE FESTIVAL CITY

Posted in festivals, fremantle by freoview on October 31, 2016

roundhouse

fbh

 

While wandering around the Little Italy by the Sea event at Bathers Beach on Sunday I took an interesting long lens photo of Arthur Head and one of the Fishing Boat Harbour.

It was disappointing to see all the cars and vans of participants parked at the Italian festival and also many unsafe power cords all over the place without mats on top or even stuck down with gaffer tape. That is always a big no-no for market operators and needs to be addressed if they put up the event again next year. Where was the City’s safety officer to check it out?

The vehicles are very unsightly and power cords are dangerous at a family event!

Roel Loopers

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