Freo's View

FACTS ARE ESSENTIAL TO COUNCIL CRITICISM

Posted in Uncategorized, local government, city of fremantle, fremantle ports by freoview on May 26, 2017

A letter to the editor in today’s Fremantle Herald:

Dear Brad

Why are you spending millions of dollars on Fremantle Kings Square and leaving our port in such a horrible state for our visitors who arrive. Think twice and see which is more important.

Abelle Wards. Cockburn Rd. Coogee

Dear Abelle,

Fremantle Port is a state agency and not the jurisdiction of Fremantle Council, so the City of Fremantle can do nothing, but ask, beg and plea for upgrades of the Passenger Terminal, etc.

However the City has revealed its South Quay Project plans for the development of Victoria Quay and beyond, but to realise those plans it will need collaboration from state government and Fremantle Ports.

I am making this point not to defend Fremantle Council and its Mayor but because I am getting very annoyed with the often-made ignorant and ill-informed comments about our hard-working council.

It is not very intelligent to not inform oneself and make comments that are baseless.

Yesterday someone posted that Freo Council are naysayers who have no balls, and the truck accident at Stirling Highway somehow could be blamed on them, but Mainroads is responsible for the long-overdue upgrade that was cancelled because of the Perth Freight Link plans. The upgrade at High Street is now back under the new Labor government.

Criticise Fremantle Council and Mayor Brad Pettitt as much as you like, as I regularly do, but base it on facts, not ignorance.

Roel Loopers

FREO MAYOR NEEDS MORE THAN RA RA RA

Posted in elections, fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 8, 2017

It is very disappointing that Fremantle Mayoral candidate Ra Stewart is engaging in cheap political point scoring.

This from her Facebook page: Why does Fremantle Council insist on focusing on issues beyond local government’s remit instead of those that truly impact on Fremantle like the loss of workers from Freo Hospital, the cleanliness of the city, decline in retail and the loss of cruise ships to Freo Port…?

I was expecting a lot more class, substance and fairness from Ra who was the Chair of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce for many years and who should know how local government works.

Ra is no doubt well aware that there is a (inter)national decline in retail and that shops are vacant all over the Perth metro area and around Australia.

Ra is no doubt also aware that Fremantle Council has no power whatsoever to direct WA government agency Fremantle Port or can influence the state government to do something about the ports of Broome, Geraldton and Exmouth. They are the main reasons P&O cruiseliners will no longer call Fremantle Port home!

Fremantle Council lobbied State Government for years to keep Fremantle Hospital and the emergency department going, but Ra could not be bothered to attend Councils meetings until she had her overnight calling to stand for Mayor.

Cleanliness can be an issue in Fremantle on weekends and festival days, but many overseas tourists at the Roundhouse tell me how impressed they are about how clean Freo is. Subjective. I know.

Very disappointing Ra and you are losing me fast!

Roel Loopers

CRUISESHIP DISASTER FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, cruiseliners, fremantle ports, tourism by freoview on May 8, 2017

The announcement by Australia’s largest cruiseship company Carnival Cruises that it no longer will use Fremantle Port as a home port for their cruises is a disaster for Fremantle and will come at a high cost to the local economy.

No P&O superliners will be based in Fremantle any more and that means that the number of cruises out of Fremantle will go down from 60 cruises during the 2016/17 season to only 17 during the 2018/19 season.

This will no doubt have a negative impact on retailers and the hospitality industry in Fremantle and that is hugely disappointing.

Carnival Cruises say that issues with WA Ports such as Geraldton, Broome and Exmouth are to blame and new WA Tourism Minister Paula Papalia says that outdated facilities at the Fremantle Passenger Terminal are also responsible for the pull out.

Passengers arriving or boarding in Fremantle have to pull their luggage for miles on either side of the railway line, rain or shine, to and from the railway station or inner city accommodation.

Now before anyone starts bleating and blame Fremantle Council for this, it has nothing to do with them but with State Governments of the past not being pro-active enough to relocate the passenger terminal closer to B Shed and the railway station.

Fremantle Council has suggested improvements for many years and does have significant plans for development of Victoria Quay with their South Quay Project, but it needs to be supported by the WA government and Fremantle Port, and that has not been forthcoming.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said: “It would be a serious blow to Fremantle retailers if we were to see a decline in the number of cruise ships coming to Fremantle. They play an important role in bringing more tourists not only to Fremantle but the whole of Perth.

While I understand a lot of the concerns are facilities in Broome, Geraldton and Exmouth, there is also a legitimate concern as to the experience passengers have when they arrive in Fremantle. Arriving in the middle of giant car park and a sea of cars is hardly inviting and I know many of us cringe when we see often elderly people pulling suitcases in the hot sun towards the Fremantle CBD.

But as they say where there is a crisis there is an opportunity. This will hopefully see a stronger focus on improvements to South Quay. The new ALP State Government have pleasingly made this one of their election commitments and I am looking forward to bring this to reality as soon as possible.”

Roel Loopers

WILL IT RAIN IN FREO TODAY?

Posted in fremantle, rain, Uncategorized, weather by freoview on May 4, 2017

 

morning 1

morning 2

Will we finally see some rain in Fremantle today and tomorrow after a rainless April?

There are some promising clouds this morning as the photos I took at the South Mole at 6.45am show.

Roel Loopers

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MARITIME MUSEUM REFLECTIONS

Posted in fremantle, fremantle port, maritime, photography, Uncategorized by freoview on May 4, 2017

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There are so many visual aspects to the Fremantle Maritime Museum that it pulls me back a few times a year to discover new angles to take photos from.

I have photographed the modern museum at the port during stunning sunsets and at sunrise during heavy fog, in rain and shine.

Yesterday I shot some reflections.

Roel Loopers

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VISION FOR GREATER FREMANTLE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, town of east fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on April 26, 2017

 

East Fremantle Deputy Mayor Michael McPhail is Australia’s youngest Deputy Mayor. His impressive presentation at the Fremantle Network of the vision plan for the East Freo Leeuwing Barracks and foreshore showed why he was elected by his peers to the position.

A lot of water will flow under the bridges before the plans will be realised as the Defence Department owns the land and will have the final say after all, but at least the Town of East Fremantle is pro-actively involved in what must be one of the most significant development projects for the town and greater Fremantle.

McPhail said this was Fremantle’s day and Fremantle’s time and that the area is an emerging area for opportunity thanks to Fremantle Council, and it needs a regional big picture view.

He said the two major future visions for river foreshore development in the Perth metro area are the Leeuwin Barracks and the South Quay project, and he showed East Fremantle’s Port to Point Vision, all the way from Fremantle Port to Point Walter. It is about how we reconnect Fremantle to its foreshore McPail said.

He rightly pointed out that the South Quay project is a long way away still, while the Leeuwin development is imminent with land sales starting later this year, and said the East Street jetty area could be beautified by Fremantle Council before that.

Riverside Drive is old and needs to be realligned to accommodate the vision plans and the huge Leeuwin development that would see some 1,400 new residents moving into new apartment buildings, a new hotel, shops and large green open spaces for residents and the wider community to enjoy.

The vision showed two major 15-storey towers on the 14 hectare site plus 4-8 storey buildings spread among the large public spaces that will connect to river boardwalks.

It will require careful planning by the Town of East Fremantle and Mainroads to accommodate the additional vehicle movement along Preston Point Road and Riverside Drive as the majority of the new residents and visitors will be driving cars.

Michael McPhail is right that he sees this as a huge opportunity for Greater Fremantle and I believe it is essential for the two local councils and State Government to work together on a vision plan for the foreshore area from the Fremantle railway station all the way to Point Walter.

Roel Loopers

GOOD FRIDAY FREO FUN DAY

Posted in fishing, fremantle, hospitality, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on April 14, 2017

 

The boring Good Fridays of the past are over in Fremantle and most cafes are open for business and were busy already just after nine this morning.

I have never seen so many people fishing on the South Mole as today, with (illegal) parking on both sides full.

Supermarkets are closed but the great Peaches in South Freo is open and so are the Fremantle Markets and the Fishing Boat Harbour traders.

The Fremantle International Street Arts Festival is on at the Esplanade from 12-5 pm and there is live music at J Shed from midday and a pancake stall to have some yummy food.

Just go for a wander and explore beautiful old Freo and find more traders open for business.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE D-SHED SPY STATION?

Posted in fremantle, fremantle ports, maritime by freoview on March 25, 2017

 

Beautiful early light made an interesting photo of the Fremantle Port D-Shed and parts of a Chinese ship at berth behind it this morning.

Roel Loopers

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REVIEW FREMANTLE PORT BUFFER ZONES

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports, western australia by freoview on March 18, 2017

One of the first requests the City of Fremantle should make to new WA Premier Mark McGowan is for his government to review the buffer zone boundaries for Fremantle Port, to enable serious and realistic planning for the development of South Quay.

At present the buffer zones do not allow for residential or tourist accommodation at the southern side of the port. In my opinion it is inconsistent that cruise ships with thousands of older people on board can stay within the industrial and dangerous goods buffer zone, but residential and overnight accommodation on land next to it is not permitted.

The emergency evacuation of a low-rise hotel would take considerably less time than evacuating thousands of geriatrics off a cruise liner, and it would take a long time for such a vessel to leave port in an emergency.

Roel Loopers

CONTAINERS GALORE AT FREMANTLE PORT

Posted in fremantle, fremantle ports, maritime by freoview on March 16, 2017

 

The arrival yesterday afternoon of the container ship Carl Schulte in Fremantle Port was pretty impressive. The vessel was packed full loaded with containers stacked eight high.

The Carl Schulte is 255 metres long and 37.3 metres wide and has a container capacity of 14t(TEU).

Roel Loopers

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