Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports, maritime, rottnest island, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on January 4, 2019


port 1

port 2


Maybe I am just an unrealistic romantic, but I hope that Fremantle Port will remain a working port with container ships, cranes, cruise ships, ferries and all the things that make ports exciting, for as long as I live, so for another 5-10 years. ;>)

Seeing the cranes and ships as a background for gorgeous heritage buildings is something very special and very Freo.

I get all the political, environmental, NIMBY and other reasons for the port to be moved away from Fremantle, but there are many who just like it the way it is, as I do.

No doubt North Quay and Rouse Head are prime real estate areas, but so are Arthur’s Head, the West End, Monument Hill and Cantonment Hill, so shall we just develop all those significant places?

There is a much stronger case in my opinion to start developing Victoria Quay. It does not all have to be done in one go, but Fremantle Ports really should start on it.

I took the photos above this morning, with the ferries to Rottnest being very popular during the school holidays.

Roel Loopers



The opinion piece by Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt in today’s West Australian about the pros and cons of an outer harbour, and the continuation of Fremantle as a working port is pragmatic and realistic, and without the political spin we are often getting about this important topic.

Brad Pettitt rightly argues that there is no immediate need for an outer harbour in Kwinana and that the environmental damage to Cockburn Sound might well be unacceptable. The Mayor also points out that shifting the port away from Fremantle would “erode Fremantle’s history and identity and lead to a big loss of economic activity…”

I agree with the Freo Mayor that the Perth Freight Link was a flawed plan that did not resolve how to get freight to the port, and that increased container freight by rail, with a new rail bridge across the Swan River, could see Fremantle continue as our much-liked working port.

It is a good idea to move the offloading of imported vehicles to Kwinana, or even Bunbury, and maybe also the scrap metal and live sheep transport.

A new rail bridge and rail line and better use of freight on roads, where we no longer see empty trucks running in and out of the port, and more freight by road during the evenings, are all part of the solution.

Fremantle Ports and the State Government should also become serious about part development of Victoria Quay and prioritise this by changing the buffer zones around the port, so that tourist and residential accommodation will be possible.

Moving the car imports away from Fremantle can be done very fast and does not need large infrastructure investment and the same applies to sheep trade.

I love the working port of Fremantle and would hate to see it become only a port for cruise ships. The container ships are part of Freo’s history and should continue to be so for many more years.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, freight, fremantle ports, maritime, state government, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on December 18, 2018


I received the below message about the High Street upgrade for freight to Fremantle Port from Main Roads, so important to share it with the Fremantle community:

As part of the environmental approvals process the High Street Upgrade project was referred to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). On 6 November 2018 the EPA determined that a public environmental review will be held for the project. As part of the environmental approvals process, we are releasing an Environmental Review Document for a public comment period from Monday 17 December 2018 to Friday 18 January 2019.

In the meantime we are continuing to progress planning and project development. You might have noticed us out and about undertaking a range of geotechnical and site investigations as we further develop the preliminary design.

In October we called for expressions of interest from industry as the first step in engaging a contractor to design and deliver the project.

Our noise assessment process also identified that the project requires noise mitigation in line with the Western Australian Planning Commission Road and Rail Noise Policy (State Planning Policy 5.4). Letters went out to property owners in October providing some initial information about noise mitigation.

Main Roads is also working with the City of Fremantle to develop a landscaping and urban design framework to guide the project.

Look out for future updates early in 2019 or visit the High Street Project page for more information.



Posted in city of fremantle, environment, fremantle ports, state government, Uncategorized by freoview on December 17, 2018


It is often difficult to see the facts through the haze of spin when important community, environmental and political issues are raised, as is the case with the strong lobbying for an alternative port at Kwinana by some community and political groups and by the Town of Kwinana council.

There were strong opinions for and against Roe 8, but it seems that now has been abandoned forever with the road reserve being canceled by the WA Labor government recently.

But when one reads Paul Murray’s column in the weekend West Australian a port at Kwinana would have the most negative and biggest environmental and social issues of Fremantle, Kwinana and Bunbury, with Fremantle Port having the lowest impact assessment.

It seems strange that there has been political interference by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti who, according to Murray’s article, edited the report released by the Westport Taskforce last week. If that is true that should worry us all, as the environmental assessment published by the MUA is no longer part of the report.

It is very clear that the traffic bottleneck in North Fremantle  will hamper any substantial growth of Fremantle Port, so what will the State Government do about that?

The Maritime Union of Australia is strongly opposed to a Kwinana Port, because it would see a loss of jobs, and they say that Fremantle Port could double its container intake and could operate for another 20 years, but at what cost to the traffic flow in effected suburbs?

The Westport Taskforce started with a big bang and the assurance that everyone would be consulted and that it would be a transparent process, so it is essential for the State Government not to interfere with the process and not “edit” any of the findings by the supposedly independent taskforce.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, freight, fremantle port, heritage, historic, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on December 16, 2018



The lovely little old weighbridge building in the Phillimore/Cliff street roundabout is getting a make over.

Tuck pointing has finished and the City of Fremantle painter will be doing the rest to make it look good again, but I don’t think anyone has showed interest to move in and do something with the building.

The plans for a small bar there have been abandoned and that is probably better, as the roundabout is quite dangerous with motorists traveling against one way directions out of the car park and Fleet Street daily.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, containers, freight, fremantle ports, maritime, Uncategorized by freoview on December 13, 2018



The first progress report by the WESTPORT Taskforce is an interesting read. It came out yesterday, so check it out on-line as it is quite substantial.

I had a quick look at the WHAT HAVE WE FOUND SO FAR report and there are two points I consider very important for Fremantle. The first one is that the report states that Fremantle Port would be capable of handling double the number of containers it does now, as long as improved road and rail access to deliver and pick up container freight is part of the development.

The second one is maybe even more important as it means that residential and other development along Victoria Quay does not have to be halted until the port stops accepting containers.

The reports states: However, the Fremantle Port buffer is a guideline rather than a State statutory and use planning instrument. It does not preclude planning for additional residential development, even in the area closest to the port, and is dependent on local governments to regulate.

This is really important, because so far any attempt at wanting to build residential or hotel accommodation at Victoria Quay has been dismissed as not being possible because of the buffer zone around the port. It might just need a different, less rigid, approach by the Fremantle Ports board and management.

And a few more snippets from the report:

Changing community expectations about what is shipped from the port should be recognised as a constraint to development in the Fremantle study area. With the relocation of some trades, the port could expand its container operations or alternatively, use the space for non-port purposes.

Changing land use within the port buffer could open opportunities for a range of recreation, commercial and residential activities around Victoria Quay and in North Fremantle.

Key considerations of future work will be to: determine how long Fremantle’s Inner Harbour can efficiently and safely operate alongside the increasingly urban environment of the City of Fremantle; assess the impacts that trucks and other traffic has on suburbs west of the Kwinana Freeway as well as on access to the port; identify opportunities to facilitate and grow trade; assess if and when any trades should be moved to a different port location; and plan for the infrastructure required to keep freight moving efficiently and the economy growing for decades to come.

Any change to Fremantle Port operation will be long-term and won’t be happening for many years. It is quite clear from this progress report that there is no immediate need to move all port operation to Kwinana or Bunbury, but that a long transitional period might be required to move some operations.

The Westport Taskforce will continue to work, explore and consult with all affected communities and stakeholders, and nothing will happen overnight, or next year.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, freight, fremantle ports, local government, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on November 10, 2018


FERN, the Fremantle Environmental Resource Network will be served with a notice that their monthly lease at 26 Montreal Street will be terminated to make way for the upgrade by Main Roads WA of the Stirling Highway/High Street intersection.

FERN has been on the site on a monthly lease since March 2009, so they have been aware for a long time that they will have to move out to accommodate the upgrade of the busy freight link to Fremantle Port.

The community facility will be demolished and the site cleared by the City of Fremantle, but costs for that will be reimbursed by MRWA.

Start for the construction of the intersection upgrade is planned for mid 2019.

Roel Loopers






The WA State Government will today introduce legislation in Parliament to scrap the  Perth Freight Link/Roe 8 highway extension road reserve, and rezone 86 hectares of the Beeliar Wetlands into parks and recreation in the Metropolitan Region Scheme.

It will be a challenge to get it through the Legislative Council though and might need cross benchers to achieve the goal.

While I welcome the protection of the Beeliar Wetlands I wonder if this move is not premature with the Westport Taskforce handing its first report to the Minister soon, which will state that there are no ‘fatal flaws’ for the expansion of Fremantle Port, Kwinana and Bunbury Port, so road connectivity will have to be part of the considerations to either expand Fremantle Port, or move part of the port operations to Kwinana and/or Bunbury.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, containers, fremantle ports, maritime, stevedores, Uncategorized by freoview on September 26, 2018





The Chinese vessel Zhen Hua 24 departed Fremantle Port at sunset on Tuesday evening, heading for Brisbane to deliver one of the massive 50metre-high container cranes there, as she had also done in Fremantle.

The cranes are for DP World operation around Australia and four of them were still onboard when the ship left, which made for a very impressive sight, and is one of the many reasons why I love the working Freo port.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, containers, freight, fremantle ports, Uncategorized by freoview on September 22, 2018


cranes 1

cranes 3


The Zhen Huan 24 was scheduled to leave Fremantle Port at 1.30pm on Friday, but it did not happen, although the mooring ropes had been released and two tug boats were waiting for over an hour.

I wanted to take a photo of the five huge 50-metre-high cranes onboard the ship dwarfing the green lighthouse on the South Mole, but unfortunately that did not eventuate, so I waited in vain for an hour and a half.

I took these two photos instead, the one with the railway station showing why a working port is such a unique attraction for our city.

Roel Loopers


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