Freo's View




Main Roads is now finally seeking community input about the planned new Fremantle Traffic Bridge, but from the media release, which I partly paste below, it is unfortunately clear that most of the decisions have already been made. I publish some significant points in bold.

The project team is now keen to hear from the community during the next planning phase to achieve the best possible outcome for this exciting piece of infrastructure.

As such, the State Government is launching a community survey and several community meetings that will provide key input into design elements for the project, working within a number of technical and environmental constraints.

Community feedback will help inform heritage interpretation, design objectives, urban design and pedestrian and cycling connectivity.

There are several engineering and operational constraints that mean the general alignment of the new structure needs to situated east of the current traffic bridge. Key factors include:

  • new bridge must be built east of the existing bridge to enable parts of old structure to be retained and traffic to remain open during construction;
  • there is insufficient space to fit a new, modern-standard structure between the existing road and rail bridges;
  • the heritage-listed ferry capstan and current traffic bridge would be impacted by an alignment between the existing road and rail bridges;
  • building west of the existing rail bridge would disrupt freight and passenger rail movements, as well as port operations, during the two-year construction phase;
  • building west of the existing freight bridge would also require relocation of infrastructure such as Western Power’s sub-station.

The State Government is committed to retaining a significant part of the existing Fremantle Traffic Bridge on the southern foreshore. Full retention is not possible due to constraints including:

  • after 80 years of service and costly ongoing repairs, the existing structure is at the end of its life and retention presents a safety risk; and
  • retaining pylons will create further navigational hazards for boat users on this busy part of the Swan River.

To help inform project planning as it enters its next phase, the Community Survey and information sessions will provide valuable grassroots input. Consultation will then be reviewed, with key outcomes reported back to the community.

In addition to community input on the new Fremantle Traffic Bridge, the final concept will be subject to review by the independent State Design Review Panel. Heritage and architectural leads will also form part of the alliance project team that will develop, design and construct the project.

Details on how to provide feedback can be found at including information on an online community survey and community drop in sessions to be held in August and September.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, development, heritage, historic, Uncategorized by freoview on August 6, 2020


Manning 1

Manning 2


Silverleaf Investments have beautified the Manning Arcade even more by putting up two large historic photos of Fremantle at the High Street Mall entrance.

Roel Loopers


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on August 5, 2020


The City of Fremantle is seeking community opinion about possible changes to the West End Heritage Area Policy and potential scheme amendment:

We’re seeking feedback on a draft local planning policy (LPP) for the West End Heritage Area. We’re also seeking input on a potential amendment to the City’s local planning scheme relating to upper storey setbacks in the West End.

This is very important as it is all about preserving the heritage integrity of the West End and no longer requiring the fourth storey of new buildings there to be set back.

The opinions about that will no doubt differ, so have your say, read the entire document on the link above.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, history, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on August 5, 2020


Pipes 1

Pipes 2


The Pipes for Fremantle work in Phillimore Street has been stopped to assess what might be a historic wooden box channel, in which water pipes were laid in the past. Archeologist will check out the side before the laying of new pipes can continue.

Jarrah paving blocks were uncovered near the intersection of High and Mouat streets a few weeks ago, which are great historic treasures for Fremantle and should be put on display.

Roel Loopers


Posted in architecture, art, city of fremantle, city planning, development, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on August 3, 2020


M 1


The Paddy Troy Lane Plaza of the Manning building redevelopment by Silverleaf Investments is almost finished with some mature trees and benches added to the landscaping.

The large chook mural by Amok Island is a lovely feature and so is the arcade with the creative ceiling lights.

Work has just started on a mural at the Grumpy Sailor cafe and Captain Walker’s bicycles have also opened in the arcade. Go and check it out. Freo is on the upward move!

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, historic, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on August 1, 2020





Really nice to see the flags flying again above the Fremantle Roundhouse and the oldest public building in WA re-opening to the public.

The Covid-19 pandemic forced the Roundhouse volunteers to close the old jail, but they are finally back with a smile on their faces, and so were surprisingly many visitors this morning.

The Roundhouse is open daily from 10.30am to 3.30pm and the Glen Cowans underwater photography gallery next to it has also re-opened.

Go and sag G’day!

Roel Loopers






The Covid restrictions in the Tannock Hall of Notre Dame University created a graphic entrance to the very first DesignFreo event Old Bridge/New Bridge, with a forum of Member for Fremantle Minister Simone McGurk, City Planner Russell Kingdom, Aboriginal coordinator Brendan Moore, Community Consultant Rebecca Clarkson and Designer and Engineer Dr Anthony Duckworth/Smith, that was well moderated by Meri Fatin.

I really like community forums but was skeptical from the beginning about the fact that Main Roads had not sent a representative, because I feared that all we would be hearing was going to be based on not knowing the facts, constraints and opportunities of this important project for Fremantle.

While Simone McGurk tried hard to convince us that there would be appropriate community consultation by Main Roads it has been rumoured that the design of the bridge had already been commissioned, so that is the end of community consultation to get an iconic bridge that will be a stunning entry statement to Fremantle.

As Anthony Duckworth/Smith said Main Roads is very good at delivering transport functionality, and that is going to be an issue for the Freo community, that would like to see the creation of new public realms at the foreshores at Beach Street and North Fremantle.

There should also be significant acknowledgment of Noongar culture and respect for the Wagyl river serpent, but can Main Roads be bothered about a ceremonial entrance to Freo, when all they want is move as many vehicles as safely and fast a possible over the bridge?

It is going to be a very complex issue because of the existing bridges and the narrow opportunity of location and the challenge will be to not destroy the North Fremantle town centre, or build the bridge too close to the apartments there.

Is keeping the old bridge technically possible, will it be cost effective to keep it and will it create the best outcome? These are things community consultation could address if Main Roads actually told us what the constraints and requirements are, but not even our local Cabinet Minister knew any details about that.

It was agreed that not enough community consultation has happened so far and that is an unacceptable shortcoming by Main Roads, which no doubt will present us with a done deal that we can comment on and that is ‘community consultation’ ticked off for them. Where is the broader conversation of what the gateway in our city should look like? Where is the desire to create great new public realm? Where will the reference be that the area was a significant Derbal Yaragan river crossing for the indigenous people?

The new bridge is going to cost about $ 230 million, so we might as well get it right and spend a lot of time with stakeholders and the community and stress the importance of place making over functional bridge building. As Anthony Duckworth/Smith said ” We need to look at it from a human perspective not a vehicular one.”

I left the forum feeling flat because there were no answers to any concerns, no facts about constraints, options and opportunities, and that gut feeling that what the Freo community wants is a long way away from what Main Roads will give us.

Roel Loopers







More great news for Fremantle! WA Heritage Minister David Templeman will tomorrow, Friday July 31 announce that the state government will match the $ 500,000 the City of Fremantle has allocated for the urgent repairs of historic Arthur’s Head and the Roundhouse.

The $1milion project will be the first significant conservation work to be undertaken at the Roundhouse in more than 15 years and the State Government’s contribution is part of a program of capital works and maintenance projects to help support the State‚Äôs economic recovery from COVID-19.

Works to be undertaken include restoration of the cliff face, stabilisation of the building, stonework repairs to the Roundhouse and Whalers Tunnel and construction of a new rock fall canopy.

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage will work with the City of Fremantle to implement the works program and minimise disruption to Roundhouse operations.

Brilliant and well overdue news!

Fremantle Council, the Freo community and the Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk have all been lobbying really hard for this, so thank you!

I have one concern though. It was reported that the City of Fremantle said it will cost $ 1.8 million to do all the work, so what short cuts are being made and what will not be done when only half the money is being spent?

Roel Loopers

PS: The Roundhouse will re-open from August 1.




The-sold out-DesignFreo forum about the new Fremantle traffic bridge this evening will be interesting, even though it looks as if no one from Main Roads will attend.

I am one of many who, for historic and sentimental reasons, would love to see the old wooden bridge retained, but I hear that the state government is keen to demolish it and if they’ll leave anything of the bridge it can’t extend over the Swan River.

It would be a real shame to lose the bridge. I for one would have loved the long jetty at Bathers Bay to also still be there, as it would have been a huge tourist attraction, but sadly not every dream becomes a reality.

Being pragmatic one has to ask if it is the best use of taxpayers’ money to keep the old bridge, just for heritage and sentimental values, because it would be costly to have to maintain two bridges and the City of Fremantle is in no position financially to look after the old timber structure. We are still hoping for the state government to take over the responsibility to repair Arthur’s Head and the Roundhouse because Freo City does not have the money for it.

The forum will be filmed and that will be made accessible soon after the event to those who can’t attend due to the Covid-19 restrictions of the Notre Dame University venue.

I’ll report on the forum tomorrow morning.

Roel Loopers




It is such a brilliant winter day with bright blue sky and sunshine that I went out and explored some of the amazing heritage architecture in Fremantle.

This is Freo, the city I love because it is very special and we should never forget that!

Roel Loopers

and the slide show:

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