Freo's View



It is unacceptable that the WA State Government neglects Fremantle’s significant heritage, which is a huge tourist attraction for the port city and WA.

World heritage listed Fremantle Prison needs more than $ 13 million to do conservation work as the roofs of several cells have collapsed, but all it will be getting from the State Government is $ 3.5 million and that is not good enough!

The Fremantle Roundhouse, and Arthur’s Head on which it is built, need stabilisation works worth $ 1.8 million but so far the State Government has shrugged their shoulders as if it is of no great concern to them.

The WA Labor government spend millions, if not billions, on getting sport stars and rugby and soccer clubs to Perth to help increase tourist numbers, but two of the state’s major and most significant tourist attractions get F… All from our government.

We have millions to spend on a Quokka Birthday Party on Rottnest Island but let the state’s oldest public building the Roundhouse and it surroundings just fall apart and rot away.

Demolition by neglect is unlawful in Western Australia, so who is going to prosecute the State Government?

Roel Loopers


Posted in art, city of fremantle, creative, culture, Uncategorized by freoview on October 3, 2019


I just received this message from SPACEMARKET who will be activating Fremantle’s historic Victoria Hall for at least two years.

Below an edited version of the message they sent out:

Exciting news — this week we’ve been handed the [space activation] keys for the next two-years to one of Fremantle’s most stunning buildings — the historic Victoria Hall on High Street! 

We propose to inject life back into this special building with workspaces for arts & cultural organisations, the re-opening of the tiny bar alongside, and the return of the hall to the community as an affordable venue and event space. This is an interim activation over the next two years, while the new Civic Centre is built in King’s Square. 

Within the building, we have office space for up to six cultural production and creative service businesses. We’ve got a particular focus on film and broadcasting – think production offices, rehearsal space, screenings, workshops and filming – but also music and performing arts, publishing and visual arts, and services such as advertising and marketing, architecture and design, creative software and digital content. Note, this building isn’t suitable for art studios, but we’re on the hunt for new maker spaces as I write this.  

As for the hall itself, it has capacity for up to 280 persons and we’d love the calendar to be bursting with every type of local event you can think of —meetings, fundraisers, school shows, performance, workshops, clothes sales, markets, music, weddings, club meets, dance classes, yoga classes — you name it. It’s going to take a mo to get the venue hire booking system up and running, but we’ll be back to you as soon as we’ve made the online hire process smooth and easy for you to use. 

In the meantime, if you’re a small film biz, design outfit, a production company, a not-for-profit org, an architecture firm, a dance school etc. and looking for a new home (in a stunning space right in the centre of Fremantle) please get in touch. Likewise, if you need a space for reoccurring meetings / get-togethers / rehearsals etc – let us schedule you in before we start booking in the one-off events. 

We’ll be taking expressions of interest throughout October, to apply please fill out an EOI form here and we will be back to you shortly. If you would like to look at booking the hall for a re-occurring event or for more info please email us at at or with VICTORIA HALL RENTAL as the subject line. 

Roel Loopers


Posted in accommodation, backpackers, city of fremantle, hospitality, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on October 2, 2019




The controversial Fremantle Beach backpackers above the Orient hotel in the West End is no longer.

Twiggy Forrest bought the historic hotel, and the backpackers has now been renamed to Hostel Orient,  and I assume has got new management as well.

The former backpackers received a lot of complaints from local residents about anti social behaviour and alleged drug dealing, so hopefully that will now have improved.

Roel Loopers



When the City of Fremantle many years ago evicted the long-term residents and Port Pilots at Captain’s Lane on Arthur’s Head to create the Bathers Beach Art Precinct I warned they would be creating a ghost town at night that would attracts vagrants, homeless people and anti social behaviour, and I was right.

Fremantle Council is now finally acknowledging that the BBAP does not work in its current conception, so one has to wonder what will be coming next.

The J Shed artists have been stressed for far too long about their future at Arthur’s Head, with having to fight the ridiculous decision by Fremantle Council  to lease the shed for a tavern and outdoor music venue to Sunset Events. That madness was only stopped by the WA Planning Commission after years of protests from residents .

Now the J Shed artists have not got their four-year leases renewed because Council is dreaming about an Aboriginal culture centre there, so what is the future for Greg James, Jenny Dawkins, Janet Nixon, Lesley Barrett, Jina Lee, Peter Zuvela and others?

Fremantle Council has been talking for years about activating Arthur’s Head and the West End of town, but have spent very little money on the area. The tavern nonsense would have given them sewerage and public toilets, paid for by others, and they have neglected one of our state’s and the city’s most significant historic precinct for yonkers.

The City should have built public toilets, a small cafe at J Shed, and extend the boardwalk from the Bathers Beach House to J Shed, but instead they have been living in LaLa land in the hope that commercial investment will do what the city does not want to finance.

Arthur’s Head is falling to bits with rock fall forcing the fencing off of large areas. It looks terrible!

For twenty years Fremantle Council has shown no interest whatsoever in the management and running of the Roundhouse. The oldest public building in Western Australia receives no annual funding from the city, it does not get financial and in kind support for marketing, or uniforms or anything, and it is a struggle for the volunteers to get the smallest repairs done.

The Roundhouse receives around 150.000 visitors a year so it is a significant tourist attraction, but the City says when the volunteers started they wanted to be autonomous, so what?! That does not mean Council should not show a very close interest in how it is working out and if the volunteers might just need a bit of help and TLC now and then. The mainly senior guides definitely deserve it, as they keep the old goal open seven days a week throughout the year. That’s a massive effort!

When the Crookes family, the Fremantle Society and the Port Pilots were still up on Arthur’s Head there was 24/7 activation. The kids brought friends home from Lance Holt school. They played on the grass, had lemonade stands to sell drinks to tourists, the Society held Bocce nights, heritage festival and Australia Day events, etc. And there was a lot of interaction from the verandas with passing visitors, but all that was not good enough for our elected members.

The place has now become an eyesore after many artists failed to succeed in the residential former pilots’ cottages, and even the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre does not have a big impact there.

Fremantle Council wants more activation, but closes the Whalers Tunnel at 7pm, which is well before sun set in summer. It could have made the pilots’ cottages into B&B to guarantee activation of Captain’s and Mrs Trivett Lane, but instead they added them to the artist studios program of the Fremantle Arts Centre, which means that many don’t even have to, or are allowed to, open to the public.

Arthur’s Head is shambles, it brings shame on Fremantle, and it is a sign of very bad governance of the area. And of course the State Government conveniently states that the cliff was vested in the City of Fremantle so it is not their problem to stabilise the cliff face, do urgent repairs and beautifications, and show a serious interest in the historic Roundhouse. All that while Fremantle Prison and the Shipwrecks and Maritime museums are getting all the financial support they need from the state government.

It is not good enough Fremantle Council and Premier Mark McGowan!

Roel Loopers


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on September 21, 2019




High Street in Fremantle’s historic West End is my favourite street, as the beauty of the old Gold Rush Period architecture never disappoints.

Just before 7am this morning, on my way for coffee at Chalkys cafe, I took this reflection in the windows of the Roma Cucina.

Roel Loopers




Facelift 1


It is really exciting for me that there is so much going on in Fremantle and that good old Freo is getting a well-deserved facelift all over town.

At Kailis in the Fishing Boat Harbour work has started on the new 80s cafe that will feature more affordable fish such as herring and mullet and will have a raw fish section. I love sashimi so I’d better win Lotto so that I can become a regular at the raw fish bar.

In gorgeous High Street another heritage facade is being restored while at ground level the Breaks cafe is being renovated.

And at Kings Square the raised tree beds are being removed so that the new pavement can be put down.

Fremantle’s rejuvenation has been a long time coming but I hope and believe that brilliant times are the future of our beautiful city.

Roel Loopers


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, conversation, development, heritage, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on September 4, 2019


M 6

M 1


The veranda posts of the Manning building along Market Street are being put in and looking very good, while workers are now removing the paint on the facade in the High Street mall and William Street.

In Paddy Troy lane one really becomes aware of how significant this development is, so go and have a look!

This is an important development of the historic building by Fremantle based Silverleaf Investments which are one of the major players in our city.

Roel Loopers






I disliked the ugly signs, all five of them, at the Fremantle B&B in Mouat Street from the moment they were put up some years ago, and every time I walk by I wonder why there is no council policy or by-law that prevents these kind of awful signs on heritage buildings.

I am not alone in this as Freo people often mention the visual pollution at the lovely Tarantella building that has such a colourful history.

Roel Loopers


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on August 26, 2019




I have mentioned the development of the Manning building in the centre of Fremantle previously and believe it is a positive step for our city.

The renovated facade along Market Street has been revealed now that the scaffolding has come down and it looks great, but I wonder if the corrugated awning is really the best Silverleaf Investments can do.

The veranda at William Street will be reinstated and be financed from the percentage for the arts money Silverleaf have to invest, so a shame that a more appropriate solution was not used for Market Street.

At the back in Paddy Troy lane the big tavern, brewery and distillery development is starting to look very impressive.

Roel Loopers




I was a tourist in my own town today and took these photos of Fremantle during a two hour walk.

We are blessed to live in such a gorgeous city!

Roel Loopers

Click on photos to enlarge!


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