Freo's View

RED TAPE PREVENTS LOOPY RESURRECTION

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, city planning, Easter, religion, Uncategorized by freoview on April 22, 2019

 

Easter is a time of contemplation, and even more so for me this year because I have hardly been able to participate in the Fremantle Street Arts Festival due to sciatica and hay fever medication, which when combined made me feel like a zombie today.

But I was thinking how lucky JC, the one from the Bible, was that red tape and nanny-state did not exist when he was resurrected, because it would probably not be allowed in our modern and very restrictive times.

As a forward-looking and future-focused person I have of course started to plan my own resurrection, but red tape has made it extremely frustrating.

I admit that the Fremantle Planning Department in the past have issued warnings about the demolition by neglect of my own heritage body, but surely they could be a bit more flexible when it comes to my resurrection.

My planning/resurrection application for a slim 210cm body with great film star looks was considered to be unrealistic and the additional discretionary height-up from 175cm- was rejected because there was no evidence that my new looks would be anywhere near as good as the architect’s plans suggested. Dare I mention that there was also  extremely strong community opposition to my resurrection. There was even a petition with 57,000 signatures, which shows not even the people in mediocre Cockburn and Melville like me!

I did go to JDAP and SAT but they too believed my resurrection was of no great benefit to the Fremantle community. It’s a shame, because now you will all be missing out on another long weekend after Loopy is a goner. 😡😍 😴😲 😇 😳

I hope you had a brilliant long weekend in Freo!

Roel Loopers

PS:  I was raised a Protestant and was Christened, so absolutely no intention to be disrespectful to the believers! It’s just a bit of lighthearted fun. Relax.

OLD NOSTALGIC FREO PHOTOS

Posted in architecture, cafe, city of fremantle, fremantle port, heritage, historic, Uncategorized by freoview on April 20, 2019

 

heritage 1

heritage 2

 

There has been so much talk over the last couple of months about the preservation of Fremantle heritage and the need to stabilise Arthur’s Head and preserve the Roundhouse that these two old photos I noticed at Sandrino’s yesterday made me feel a bit nostalgic.

The old Tram building facade in High Street is still standing and is now home to the lovely Chalkys cafe. Unfortunately a previous council allowed the horrendously ugly No 1 High Street building to be built which is an eyesore when one looks down on it from the Roundhouse.

Victoria Quay is still a feature for Freo but the old sheds have been neglected badly and Fremantle Ports really does need to do some urgent preservation work on the A and C sheds.

There are other heritage photos on display outside Sandrino’s so go and have a look-and a pizza!

Roel Loopers

HERITAGE PRESERVATION IS NOT OPTIONAL BUT OUR DUTY

 

round house- arthur head

 

Fremantle’s Ordinary Council meeting this evening decided to try to get State and Federal funding for the stabilisation of historic Arthur’s Head. Estimated cost for the preservation work are $ 1.8 million, plus $ 500.000-1million for renovations to the Roundhouse.

1. Endorse the Arthur Head design and documentation package as detailed in the Arthur Head Cliff Stabilisation Final Report, provided in Attachment 1 of this report in the Finance, Policy, Operations and Legislation Committee Agenda (10 April 2019).
2. Request the City proceed with referring details of the proposed works to the relevant state government agencies under public works procedures and obtaining all necessary statutory approvals.
3. Request the City seek State and Federal funding in order to progress the required remediation projects.
4. Request the City investigate the impact of vibrations from trains to the topography and buildings at Arthur Head.

I believe this is not far-reaching enough as the City of Fremantle should lobby the State and Federal Governments for ongoing annual financial support to preserve one of Western Australia’s most significant historic precincts.

As French President Emannuel Marcon said yesterday after the Notre Dame cathedral fire “We owe is to our history to preserve it.” And as I said to the Elected Members today that is not optional but a duty we have.

I also pointed out that the Roundhouse is the only one of the four Fremantle museums: Shipwreck Museum, Maritime Museum and Fremantle Prison that does not get any funding, not from the City, not from the WA Government and not from the Federal Government. That is not fair and reasonable.

The oldest public building in Western Australia welcomes around 140.000 international and national visitors a year, but is managed by mainly senior volunteers. Just 30 of them keep the Roundhouse open 363 days a year and fire the 1pm cannon.

The Roundhouse needs and deserves much more support from the City of Fremantle and State Government and it needs to happen as a priority!

Roel Loopers

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TODAY TONIGHT FILMING ARTHUR’S HEAD NEGLECT

 

 

A team from Channel Seven-Today Tonight spent most of the morning in Fremantle to film a story about the neglect of historic Arthur’s Head and WAs oldest public building the Roundhouse.

They interviewed a structural engineer about stabilisation solutions for the rockfall problem and a Roundhouse tourguide about the historic significance of the area.

It will be screened tomorrow, Wednesday at 6.30pm so make sure to watch it, and hopefully WA State politicians will watch it as well and put their hands in their pockets and fund the essential maintenance and repairs as a priority.

Send an email to Heritage Minister David Templeman, Premier Mark McGowan, Tourism Minister Paul Papalia and Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk, and urge them to preserve one of Western Australia’s most significant historic precincts!

Roel Loopers

NAVAL STORES WORK CONTINUES FOR ENKEL

Posted in cantonment hill, city of fremantle, development, enkel, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on April 16, 2019

 

Naval Stores

 

Work on the former Naval Stores at Cantonment Hill is continuing, to create a new home for the ENKEL group.

The windows have been gutted but the inside still looked much the same when I had a peak through the wide open door on Monday afternoon. A large steel beam has been put along the entire north side, as you can see though the open windows

I have no idea what the timeline is for Enkel to finally move in after delays and reduction of Fremantle Council budget for renovating the old shed.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE PORTS SPONSORS ROUNDHOUSE CANNON FIRE

 

cannon-fire

 

It is personally rewarding for me to see that my call for support for the Fremantle Roundhouse has not been just weeing in the wind, but that Fremantle Ports responded generously and are now official sponsors of the One O’Clock Cannon Fire at the Roundhouse.

That the Fremantle Ports sponsors WA’s oldest public building is special to me since I did 14 years of photography for the Ports, so I very much feel like being part of the crew there.

When I complained in a letter to the West Australian and on this Freo’s View blog a few months ago about lack of support for the Roundhouse Fremantle Ports contacted me and asked how they could support the Roundhouse heritage guides.

The gun deck overlooks the site of the first Fremantle port, the long jetty, and also the current port, so it is very much part of our maritime history.

The cannon was fired and the time ball lowered for the early mariners to adjust their clocks, so that the calculation of longitude would be precise. The Roundhouse volunteers fire the cannon 363 days of the year, unless inclement weather prevents it.

People can book the firing of the cannon on http://www.fremantleroundhouse.com.au and are given a certificate to show they were the honorary gunner of the day. I suggest we reprint the certificates with the Fremantle Ports logo on it.

As part of the Fremantle Ports sponsorship the Roundhouse volunteer guides will participate in this year’s Maritime Day on Victoria Quay. I’ll see you there!

I hope the State and Federal governments will now also financially assist with the Roundhouse maintenance and management and the much needed stabilisation of Arthur’s Head and the Whalers Tunnel.

Roel Loopers

 

PEACE IN FREO’S YELLOW WAR

 

yellow 1

 

There appears to be a peace agreement in the Fremantle yellow art war with former Mayor Peter Tagliaferri agreeing that the City of Fremantle remove the yellow foil and repair and repaint his building on the corner of Cliff and High streets.

I am not sure if Tagliaferri has withdrawn his $ 50,000 writ against the City but that seems logic.

The removal of the fantastic and highly popular Felice Varini Arcs D’Ellipse, which was installed for the 2017 Fremantle Festival, proved far more difficult than anticipated and forced Fremantle Council to increase the removal/repaint budget from $ 15,000 to $ 220,000, but I have been told the final cost will be much less than that.

The repainted buildings along High Street look better than they have in 20 years and the workers are now painting the entire facade of the building that houses the Roma restaurant and Blink cafe.

The City will also install four large planter boxes along High Street from Cliff Street to Chalkys cafe to hide the unattractive Notre Dame University carpark there. As a quirky reminder of the great Varini artwork and controversy removing it the boxes will have a yellow stripe on them. Great idea!

Roel Loopers

AUSTRALIAN CULTURAL ATTRACTIONS IGNORE WA’S OLDEST PUBLIC BUILDING

Posted in city of fremantle, culture, fremantle prison, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on April 10, 2019

 

 

I just became aware of a new website Cultural Attractions of Australia and of course wanted to find out what this site is all about and how well it promotes Western Australia and Perth, and especially Fremantle.

When I clicked on Perth only two attractions appeared, the Fremantle Prison and the Maritime Museum, no other historic and cultural attractions in Perth or Freo, such as WA’s oldest public building the Roundhouse popped up, so that is not actually giving comprehensive information to all those around the world who are interested.

But it became more clear what the site is all about when I Googled it:

Cultural Attractions of Australia will provide a single point of contact for travellers, trade partners and media to access premium, behind-the-scenes cultural experiences in iconic locations. As a collective, its strength lies in the diversity and iconic nature of the sites and collections represented, as well as the direct connection they hold with the people and cultures of Australia.

The founding members of Cultural Attractions of Australia are: Adelaide Oval, Arts Centre Melbourne, Australian War Memorial, WA Maritime Museum, Fremantle Prison, Melbourne Cricket Ground, MONA, National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Opera Australia, Parliament House, Port Arthur Historic Site, Qantas Founders Museum Longreach, Sovereign Hill and Sydney Opera House.

It is just plain self-promotion of certain cultural attractions and is not at all as inclusive as what the name lets us to believe. Very disappointing!

Roel Loopers

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URGENT CARE NEEDED FOR FREMANTLE ROUNDHOUSE

 

round house- arthur head

 

While the possibility of a brand new Aboriginal cultural centre at Fremantle’s Arthur’s Head would be great the entire area needs a lot of TLC and large financial investment, as the officers’ report in the FPOL Committee agenda for this Wednesday shows.

As a volunteer at the Roundhouse and someone who visits Arthur’s Head daily I have found the neglect of the heritage precinct a disgrace and an insult to our history. If we do not respect the past we ignore our roots and that is not acceptable to me.

A few months ago I questioned in a letter to the West Australian and on Freo’s View why the Roundhouse, Western Australia’s oldest public building, does not receive annual funding from the State and Federal governments, and that extends to entire Arthur’s Head, because a city with a small ratepayers’ base like Fremantle simply does not have the money required to properly maintain the old building and limestone cliff area. That needs to change with urgency and priority!

Here some of what the FPOL agenda states:

The condition of the cliff faces and man-made walls at Arthur Head Reserve were found to range from poor to good. The recommended remediation for different areas varies from minor works such as removal of vegetation and repairs such as repointing of existing masonry walls through to major works including the extension of the Whaler’s Tunnel portal in areas where there is significant potential for collapse and risk of harm to visitors.

The condition of the limestone walls of the Round House has been deteriorating for some time. Major conservation and restoration work is required to maintain this important historical building.

Previous conservation and stabilisation works undertaken between 2001 and 2018 were completed in a piecemeal manner. Some of these works included shaving the cliff faces to address safety issues of rock fall did not consider or address the issue of erosion and only accelerated the retreating of the cliff face towards some significant heritage buildings.

The Round House which is recognised as being Western Australia’s oldest public building and is one of this State’s most significant heritage buildings is one of the biggest attractions in Fremantle with an estimated 100,000 persons per year visiting the building annually.

The last major conservation works of the Round House were undertaken in 2004. Since then small amount of maintenance works have been carried out each year under the City’s building maintenance budget.

Due to the exposed marine environment, vandalism and the well-intentioned but damaging repairs carried out during the twentieth century the building is now in need of some urgent conservation works. In particular, works are urgently required for the remediation and repair of the limestone walls.

Given the heritage significance of Arthur Head and its buildings, a long term solution to stop the erosion of the cliff faces and repair of the Round House walls is required to ensure that the assets in the Arthur Head Reserve survive for future generations to enjoy.

The pre-tender estimate completed in March 2019 which was developed from the completed designs and contract documentation indicates the total project cost for all remediation works to the cliff faces to be in the order of $1.8 million (Exc. GST).

The remediation works can be undertaken in stages which could be sequenced based on risk.

The conservation and remediation works to the Round House are estimated at between $500 000 and $1 000 000.

I am surprised that the officers put an estimation of 100,000 visitors for the Roundhouse as the exact visitors numbers are available. They are recorded each and every day by the team leader of the day, who has a clicker counter to record everyone who enters the Roundhouse and that comes to 140,000 -150,000 annually, which is well above the estimated number.

Roel Loopers

YOU ARE HERE-BUT ARE WE THERE YET?

 

e

 

I went to have a look at Fremantle’s new branding along the Cappuccino Strip this morning and like I said in my previous blog post I am less than impressed with it.

THIS IS FREMANTLE might as well have been replaced with YOU ARE HERE, since that has been successfully used for decades in national parks and cities around the world.

I acknowledge that shit happens and that only recently a plane flew from London to Edinburgh instead of its Dusseldorf destination, but that is rare.

I doubt very many visitors to Fremantle will be surprised to learn that they are in Fremantle, and not in Bratislava or Margaret River, so what the hell is going on spending $ 300.000 on a campaign that does the contrary to what the Mayor and the media release say?

This is NOT “a bold new marketing campaign” and the new brand DOES NOT “highlight Fremantle’s vibrancy and culture.”

It’s more like being on the train where the voice says at every stop this is Daglish, this is Subiaco, etc.

This Is Fremantle, but Are We There Yet? Not by a long stretch as far as the marketing of our delightful city is concerned. I am so very deeply disappointed that I am disgusted!

Roel Loopers

and here the two-minute video, which I do like. It is the 30 second promos I have got an issue with, and the uninspiring banners around the city.

https://cofremantle.wordpress.com/2019/04/05/this-is-fremantle-video/

 

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