Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on October 9, 2015

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt has been outspoken on why he believes the Arthur Head A Class reserve needs a tavern, and now first a temporary two-year events venue with live outdoor concerts for up to 1,500 or maybe 1,000 patrons, depending on if full Council on Wednesday will accept the changes to the original application.

I lived at Captain’s Lane in one of the old Pilot’s Cottages for about two and a half years and absolutely loved it. I adored the historic feeling of the area, to sit in quiet at night on the veranda and look down at the harbour and see ships coming and going. It was a magnificent experience and so was the interaction with the delightful Crookes family next door. Kids from Lance Holt School played up on the hill, we held bocce nights for the locals, the Fremantle Society held events during the Heritage Festival, on Australia Day, etc. and we looked after the place.

The Captain’s Lane area is lovely. It was delightful to live there and to sit on the veranda and talk to people passing by. The kids from next door and I introduced many foreigners to ‘bush tucker’ lilly pilly, and the few homeless people who walked by came for a chat or yelled goodnight at me through the window. We were the passive and active surveillance of the area. I asked Council to put a proper path down Captain’s Lane so it would make access to the Roundhouse and to the lawn-for weddings more accessible, and they did.

I have suggested to light up the cottages from the front and make them a feature. It would surely not be a huge expense to put four lights below the wall and light it all up. I would love it if disabled people could get into the Roundhouse. I have suggested Council uses the grassed area for events and I have suggested an art market there.

I have asked for years if we could have a ‘stage’ at Little High Street during the Street Art Festival long weekend to encourage people to walk down High Street and discover and enjoy the far West End of town.

Georgie Adeane and I extended the Bathers Beach Sunset Food Markets all along the path from Kidogo Arthouse to J Shed and onto the A Class reserve, we lit up the tunnel beautifully and I have asked Fremantle City to at least put more attractive lights in the tunnel and make it a feature, but it fell on deaf ears. How many people see the lit up cliff face? I thinks it looks great but not many people visit there during the night.

The heritage area deserves more and better attention from the City. I can’t believe there is still no proper wayfinding signage in the area although we have asked for it for years, and that is not acceptable.

The Mayor sits in Council and tells us the area needs activation because nothing is happening at Arthur Head, but the City has failed to do the basic things. Where is the Arthur Head promotion, where is the signage, the lights, the events and a bit of tender love and care for the area?!

Yesterday the Whalers Tunnel was still closed at 9 am! I have alerted the City on numerous occasions that the security company either failed to open the gates, did it far too late and closed the gates too early at night, but who cares. I am just a geriatric nay-saying whinger who should shut up because Brad and his mates know best what’s good for us. Quiet enjoyment of the great historic area is not good enough. It needs to be destroyed by making it into a live outdoor music venue.

Only Councillor Ingrid Waltham got it on Wednesday when she suggested to only approve events for up to 400 people but not the 1500, or now maybe 1000 patrons, ticketed concerts.

We have been banging our heads against the wall for many years to get improvement at Arthur Head but all we’ve got is a few benches, but still no shade structures for tourist to sit under or a water fountain.

The City of Fremantle has failed the area and neglected it, and because they did that they now want to destroy it. They have been giving similar reasons for Pioneer Park. No one uses it so let’s build a multi storey building on it, when all it needs is some creative landscaping, seating and shade structures and a playground near Spare Parts Theatre. But that is just common sense low-hanging fruit placemaking the Mayor no longer seems to want to support, although it was he who brought out David Engwicht on several occasions to preach exactly those solutions.

Arthur Head needs better connectivity and wayfinding and signage all the way from the Esplanade and Fishing Boat Harbour to Victoria Quay and the Maritime Museum. It needs to be included in events. Bathers Beach needs a public toilet and shade structures and so does the grass area next to the Roundhouse.

Make the area a feature and light up the cottages, set standards for the art galleries and insist on professionalism and proper signage instead of some ugly banners hanging off the verandas. They need to be as professional and inviting as the Glen Cowans photography gallery!

There are many many small and inexpensive ways to make the area more attractive and safe that would reduce vandalism, but the City of Fremantle has no eye for detail and only wants to do the big picture stuff.

Roel Loopers

P.S. Those of you who have criticised my very critical and sarcastic article about the Planning Committee session as being disrespectful to Mayor Brad Pettitt should have witnessed how disrespectful the Mayor was to all those who addressed Council and who send in submissions.

Pettitt’s attitude toward Fremantle Society President Henty Farrar and historian and former Councillor John Dowwson was unacceptable, rude and arrogant. He had no right to interrupt Dowson’s address to the members and question if he had even read the agenda item on the Workers Club development. If the Mayor wants respect he needs to treat us with respect, so start earning the respect some still believe you deserve, Brad.

ROEL FOR FREO. Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.

Written and authorised by Roel Loopers of 5 Maxwell Street, Beaconsfield 6162.


Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on October 7, 2015



There were a lot of Curtin University students at this evening’s Fremantle Council Planning Services Committee meeting. Their teacher told the Councillors and packed public gallery the students have to write 1,500 words about their observations, so let me help them out and suggest they start with the word farce.

Farce is probably a too nice word to describe the shambles Fremantle Council has become under Mayor Brad Pettitt’s it’s my way or the highway leadership.

And didn’t our Bradman, he who was sent from space to rescue Fremantle from boredom, make it very clear that he did not give a damn about community submissions and the people who had just addressed Councillors. Oh no, Bradman was sick and tired of that boring place called Arthur Head, a place where nothing happens, the White Gum Valley resident told the people who actually live a stone’s throw away. Braddy knows it so much better than those who have lived there for years, and than the Roundhouse heritage guides who welcome more than 110,000 people a year into the old goal.

Naw, we need activation the Mayor lectured us all, because basically that heritage stuff is boring like bat shit. Might I remind you that under his leadership Arthur Head was made into a ghost town when his Council signed off on the Bathers Beach Art Precinct that has attracted many undesirable people and anti-social behaviour to the heritage area.

Councillors tried to pacify the residents by proposing little motions and passing them, and it felt a bit like they were trying to smooth small ripples in a tsunami, because the community had already expressed they did not want a music venue and alcohol outlet at J Shed.

Forget the new alcohol policy and anti-social behaviour, drunks, etc. It’s insignificant in the big picture. His Worship told us it is just a two-year trial and might not turn out all that bad. That was very reassuring especially since advertising of alcohol would be restricted maybe somehow, or whatever, but not the consumption off it.

His eminent Worship told us there are no complaints when the Fremantle Arts Centre have concerts for 3,400 people in that heritage area, so why would that be different in a venue whose core business it is to sell alcohol. Yes sorry Brad, we are not as intelligent as you are and did not make that connection.

The Mayor was leading the way to get approval for the Sunset Events proposal one way or the other. Brad, like a spoiled single child, gets what he wants or he bang his fists on the table and tells officers off, as he did tonight but without the banging of the fists because that is not a good look in public. It appeared he intimidated and influenced the decisions of some Councillors anyway.

But the next item on the agenda  showed the real farce of it all when Bradman told us that the facade of the former Workers Club in Henry Street “tell an important story of how we evolved in Fremantle.” That apparently does not apply however to the extremely historic significance of Arthur Head, that just needs to be activated according to the Mayor, who even offered the locals to come and show them nothing is going on there, apart from some 110,000 people visiting the heritage site every year. Bradman is also happy to replace the successful family fun Bathers Beach Sunset Food Markets, that attracted up to 5.000 people each Saturday in summer, with herding 1,000 people into a small fenced off area for ticketed events.

There is little use boring you with all the things people said when they addressed the Council Committee this eve, because most of it was ignored by our Elected Members and barely mentioned in the debate. In the City of Fremantle community consultation is like toilet paper. One flushes it down ideally without looking at it.

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent. 

Written and authorised by Roel Loopers of 5 Maxwell Street, Beaconsfield 6162.


Posted in arthur head, city of fremantle, local government by freoview on October 7, 2015

It is disappointing to read Fremantle City Ward Councillor Rachel Pemberton’s disingenuous blog post on the proposed Sunset Events temporary tavern and music venue at historic Arthur Head, where she compares the proposed venue with the Fremantle Arts Centre. I believe that Pemberton is a relatively good performer in the Chamber who does her homework, so why did she write a post like this one?

Like Rachel I go to many of the concerts at the FAC, especially the Sunday afternoon ones, so I know the proposed J Shed venue will be nothing like the FAC experience.

The plain fact is that the main purpose and core business of the FAC is art and culture, while the core business and main purpose of a tavern is the sale of alcohol. The vast majority of people who frequent pubs go there to drink alcohol and only a small percentage also have food. The tavern no doubt will have many beers on tap while at the FAC one can buy only one brand of mid strength or one brand of full strength beer in a stubby and one brand of white or red wine and a cider.

I did not read a mention of restricted alcohol sales and no spirits for the J Shed temporary tavern proposal and neither is there a mention of under 18 alcohol-free events, so let’s stop the spin and pretend the tavern will be similar to the FAC. It will be nothing like it!

State agency Fremantle Ports is against the proposal because it is worried about anti social behaviour, parking and traffic issues, etc. The Roundhouse volunteer guides are against it because it will severely impact on the tourist experience and amenity of Arthur Head and their operations there. The arts businesses and local residents are against the J Shed venue proposal and so are the Whadjuk Nyoongar people. The hospitality operators at the Fishing Boat Harbour are not keen on it either but because of some bewildering solidarity don’t want to go public with their opposition to the J Shed pub.

Connectivity between Victoria Quay and the Fishing Boat Harbour will be interrupted when the area is fenced off. Ugly portable toilets and other semi-permanent structures will visually pollute the Bathers Beach experience for visitors to our State’s most significant historic precinct that stars the oldest public building in Western Australia, the Roundhouse.

And then when Council has approved the proposal after all because it does not give a four X about community opinion the Fremantle Doctor will take care of it all and will make the experience a very unpleasant one, as we found out when we extended the Bathers Beach Sunset Food Markets to J Shed one year. Or would they dare to take the Indian Ocean vista away by planting double-stacked sea containers there as a wind break?

I think this issue is far too important to be rushed. Council should more or less be in caretaker mode when half of Council is up for election on October 17, so why not defer the item till after the election, so people can vote for Councillors who are for or against the proposal, whatever their preference is. Sounds fair to me.

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.

Written and authorised by Roel Loopers of 5 Maxwell Street, Beaconsfield 6162


Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on October 6, 2015

There is something about Fremantle Council I have been worried about for a few years now because I do not understand what community consultation means to them and why the elected members ignore what the outspoken members of our community tell them.

Councillors pretend they are closer to the community than you and I and everyone else, we who also live in this community and who also talk daily to our fellow community members. There is an certain arrogance when Elected Members believe they connect better with the ‘silent majority’ than all of us do.

Council gives us the impression that they are following the wishes of that so-called silent majority, the same majority that did not bother to vote for them, and will not vote for the candidates at the October 17 election, because they simply are not interested in local government.

So what is the mandate Fremantle Councillors have if they don’t listen to the ‘vocal minority’ that voted them in and who constantly engages with them. Is second-guessing the ‘silent majority’ better governance than listening to those of us who speak out? I don’t think it is.

Fremantle Council ignored the wishes of a very vocal group of people on Planning Scheme Amendment 49, on the Esplanade Youth Plaza and on the J Shed tavern, to name just a few.

It is not important that the EYP is a great success because hardly anyone was against the skate park. We just wanted it shifted off the grass and into the car park to the south. The heritage of the future buildings that were promised during the PSA 49 debate never happened, we got boring bland boxes instead.

Councillors compare the J Shed tavern and outdoor live music venue with the Fremantle Arts Centre. but the issue is not about a whole lot of people hating live music, but about the fact that the location for the venue is in an inappropriate area of our city. It is an area that attracts thousands of people each week because of its heritage significance. The area does not need to be changed into an entertainment area that will diminish the historic importance Arthur Head is for our city and state, but somehow the Councillors don’t seem to get that, like they did not get the EYP protest.

Some of the J Shed artists are themselves musicians, so are some of the people who live in the West End of Freo. They are not over the hill geriatric music and fun haters who have something against Sunset Events or young people. They are a cross section of the community who believe Fremantle Council is yet again trying to make something fit in the wrong place for the wrong reasons.

The Bathers Beach House has helped to activate the area and Kidogo Arthouse is in the process of building a big deck, the Ball&Chain bar at the Esplanade Hotel is opening a large alfresco area on Friday and Little Creatures has been a huge success. There is no need for another entertainment venue near Bathers Beach and there are much better locations for outdoor concerts than the small A Class reserve at Arthur Head.

No one will be able to enjoy the lovely city beach, no one will be able to have a quiet wedding at the Roundhouse and Kidogo because music from the concerts will spill all over the West End and will become nuisance noise and nothing else.

The people have spoked Councillors! It is time to listen to those who vote. Stop pretending you are representing a majority, and stop ignoring our written and verbal submissions and our special electors meetings.

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.

Written and published by Roel Loopers of 5 Maxwell Street, Beaconsfield 6162


Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on October 5, 2015

The City of Fremantle officers suggest that this little green oasis with several mature trees along Fleet Street in the West End could be made into a service access road to the proposed J Shed events venue of Sunset Events, because Fremantle Ports will not allow the events operators to use Fleet street for their delivery trucks and other commercial vehicles.

The question is why Fremantle should lose another green strip to accommodate a private business setting up in an inappropriate location and why should Freo’s ratepayers pay for that new road?

It’s not on and Council needs to reject the proposal for a ‘temporary’ events venue for the next two summers on historic Arthur Head.

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent. It’s time for sanity!

Written and authorised by Roel Loopers of 5 Maxwell Street, Beaconsfield 6162


Posted in city of fremantle, heritage by freoview on October 5, 2015

atwell 3

It is very disappointing that the City of Fremantle on Wednesday has to discuss the unauthorised removal of a section of the heritage listed first floor of the Atwell Arcade building at Cantonment Street. The developers are now seeking retrospective approval for it but that is not recommended by City planning and heritage staff.

The developers cut a 16 sqm hole in the jarrah floor to accommodate the erection of a crane without seeking approval from the City to do so. The agenda item states “No consultation with City staff to locate the crane within the heritage listed building.”

The developers Silverleaf claim the removal of part of the heritage floor is only temporary and that it will be reinstated, but that is not the same as keeping it in it’s original status.

The building is within the West End Conservation Area and belongs to a series of significant heritage buildings within the Fremantle CBD that makes our city unique and a tourist attraction.

While I support the development of the site it is disappointing that year after year we hear about this kind of heritage vandalism, where developers simply ignore the planning process because they know that most of the time they will get away with it and will receive a slap on the wrist in the form of a small fine. That is not good enough and needs to be stopped with hefty fines or even insisting on the relocation of the crane and immediate re-instalment of the illegally removed floor section.

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.

Written and authorised by Roel Loopers of 5 Maxwell Street, Beaconsfield 6162.


Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on October 4, 2015

The Planning Services Committee of the City of Fremantle will this Wednesday decide if it is going to approve an application by Sunset Events for an event space and low-key music concerts at J Shed on historic Arthur Head. SE wants to open the venue from October 1, 2015 to May 31, 2016 and from October 1, 2016 to May 31, 2017 and hold 12 concerts for 1,500 patrons per period on any day of the week from 12 noon to 10 in the evening, and other events such as Sunday BBQs for up to 400 patrons.

The agenda item reads as if it was written by the president of the Sunset Events fan club and not by COF planning officers. It is what I would call an enabling document where every reason is given to make the unacceptable acceptable and the unworkable workable.

Let’s start with the most important acknowledgment in the document and one that should have thrown out the idea of a pub at J Shed from the start. The officers say “Much of the site, including to the south west of J Shed is of exceptional archeological significance”

 Irrespective off this the officers then dare to suggest that the historic Whalers’ Tunnel could be used for commercial vehicles to get to J Shed because Fremantle Ports objects Fleet Street to be used to get to the entertainment venue. Fremantle Port believes the proposal has the potential to negatively impact the operations of the tenants, noise, vehicle access, parking issues and an increase in anti-social behaviour.

 But the officers assure the Elected Members that “Anti-social behaviour is not a valid planning consideration.” So who cares if drunks and drug affected fools will try to climb the cliff face and fall to their death or end up in a wheelchair, don’t worry that they will invade the heritage cottages, sleep, fornicate and defecate on Bathers Beach, and in general will become a nuisance for the West End of Fremantle. It’s not a big deal the officers assure us.

Parking problems? Oh no not at all! Freo has “significantly under utilised public car parking capacity in the centre” according to a recent survey and as the officers stress it is a mere 700 metre walk from J Shed to the Queensgate carpark and of course those 1,500 people will be all too happy to walk all the way there instead of parking in the West End. These officers would also swear they have seen pigs fly over the town hall, it seems.

Noise? What noise? The officers reassuringly write that West End residents are already used to noise from the trains and the working port, so noise is no big deal. Do the officers really believe the doof-doof noise of a ten-hour concert can be compared to the occasional banging sounds from the port or from six trains passing through during the day for five minutes? Who are they kidding and what are they on, happy pills?

I read the agenda item on Friday evening and I have had a stiff neck since because I have been shaking my head for days now.

Oh, and another significant and unbelievable fact. Which consultants do you think the City of Fremantle contracted to find ways of accessing J Shed when Fleet Street is off limits? Yep, the same architects who are assigned by Sunset Events to design the tavern and entertainment venue. In anyone else’s books that is a clear conflict of interest, as the architects of course want the proposal to be approved for their own financial interest. I don’t blame the architects or question their integrity, but it is unacceptable that the COF officers did not identify conflict of interest as an impediment to contract the same company.

It is worth reading the entire item in the agenda on-line because it looks like Fremantle City will be spending a lot of your ratepayers’ money on trying to accommodate Sunset Events, and only God knows why. Maybe COF will build a new access road alongside Fleet Street. It would mean removing trees, bushes and grass but that has never been a problem for our Concrete Green city. COF might even put a whole new roundabout at Cliff/Phillimore/Fleet streets and we will be paying for it all so that a private company can make a shitload of money out of getting people pissed, or maybe they aren’t.

Let me ask Sunset Events how many of their events will be under 18 and alcohol free. I bet you none! Let me ask Sunset Events what they mean with low-key concerts for 1,500 people. Are we talking about Mandolin and Triangle concerts, soft hand clapping, whistling, or maybe some of those large crowd-pulling Ukelele events and poetry reading? I think not!

Ten-hour concerts will severely and negatively impact on tourism at Arthur Head, where more than 110,000 people a year visit the Roundhouse, the State’s oldest public building, and Whalers’ Tunnel. It will kill the firing of the cannon at 1 pm each day because no one will be able to hear the guide’s talk and explanation over the noise of the music. Commercial vehicles using the tunnel would clash with hundreds of people, school students and bike riders along the narrow dual use path, but I bet you that nothing, absolutely nothing will stop the City of Fremantle from approving this madness. It is an outrage!

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.

Written and authorised by Roel Loopers of 5 Maxwell Street, Beaconsfield 6162.



Posted in alcohol, city of fremantle, vandalism by freoview on September 28, 2015

What a shame to see that idiots vandalised Arthur Head this weekend with heavy wooden tables and benches thrown down the rock face, walls defaced with stupid tags, etc.

Arthur Head has become the preferred destination for those who believe anti-social behaviour is a way of life and who take drugs, get drunk, shoot up and leave a stinking mess behind them. All this is happening because Fremantle Council insisted the historic area had to become the Bathers Beach Art Precinct and long term tenants such as the Port Pilots, the Crooks family and the Fremantle Society were evicted to make way for art studios.

Fremantle City was warned that they would create a ghost town and attract undesirable people because no one would live at and look after Arthur Head at night, and even at daytime most art galleries are only open for a few days a week, but they ignored that.

While Fremantle Council signed off on a responsible alcohol policy it also approved a booze barn and outdoor music venue for 1500 patrons at Arthur Head, although everyone in the West End of town is in uproar about it.

Police figures show that 35 per cent more people were barred from licensed premises in Perth metro than last year because of violent and anti-social behaviour, but the City of Fremantle allows a large new tavern in a heritage tourist area, and adds another alcohol event with the Corona beer festival on South Beach.

Fremantle residents, workers and visitors no longer feel safe in Fremantle because there are too many unsavoury people who are abusive and drunk and who use foul language unsuitable for families who might want to spend time in Freo.

I keep hearing at Council that events put Freo on the world map, but do we really want Freo on a world map that is connected to massive sales of alcohol and the promotion of it to young people? Is that really where we want to position the brand Fremantle?

Why does the City of Fremantle not encourage alcohol-free and under 18 concerts when it keeps telling us they want to support and promote a youth culture in our city? The Esplanade Youth Plaza attracts many young people and is a great success, and I have not yet seen a drunk or drug affected person there. It shows young people do not need booze to have a good time.

Arthur Head has got a lot worse since residents and harbour pilots were forced to leave and it will get a  lot lot worse once it attracts 1500 alcohol and drug filled people to live concerts there.

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.

Witten and authorised by Roel Loopers of 5 Maxwell Street, Beaconsfield 6162.


Posted in art, city of fremantle, hospitality by freoview on September 17, 2015

What a breath of fresh air and wanting to make a positive PIMBY(Please In My Back Yard) contribution to the inner city last evening’s address by Nairn Street resident Helen Hewitt to the City of Fremantle Strategic and Planning Committee was.

Helen explained she and her elderly husband Bob did not intend to speak but only came when they heard the City officers had recommended not to approve the proposed alfresco parklet at the stunning new Strange Company bar opposite their home.

Helen said the new bar and Bread in Common around the corner in Pakenham Street were a positive benefit to the inner city and had brought a better environment and people to the area. It was a real improvement to the street amenity and the noise others had complained about was merely “A warm bubbling murmur.” Strange Company is a wonderful asset to Nairn Street she told Councillors.

With the proposed closing of Little Market Street behind Gino’s that will become a piazza, the unattractive area might well become a real vibrant part of the CBD, especially should the run down buildings on the Southern side of Nairn Street be developed.

Small bars is exactly what the City of Fremantle should be supporting instead of allowing totally inappropriate live concerts and a large tavern at J Shed on Arthur Head that will have severe and negative impact on the West End amenity for residents, visitors and businesses. Why do we need more outdoor summer concerts in the inner city when they are well catered for at Port and Leighton Beach, the Fremantle Arts Centre, the Blues&Roots and Laneway festivals and live music venues like the Fly by Night, Clancy’s, Norfolk Hotel, Sail&Anchor, etc?

Saturday concerts almost every weekend in summer at Arthur Head could well kill off the very popular and family friendly Bathers Beach Sunset Food Markets as parking would become a huge issue in the area and the music invading from the concerts would create a very unpleasant second-hand noise environment that would drown out the market music by local musicians.

I am not against live music. I am not against, mainly young, people having fun outdoors, but it needs to be done in the right locations around our city and not in our most historic precinct where a sculpture park on the A Class reserve at Arthur Head in front of the J Shed art studios would attract tourists seven days a week throughout the year and make the Bathers Beach Art Precinct cohesive.

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO!. Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.

Written and authorised by Roel Loopers of 5 Maxwell Street. Beaconsfield 6162.


Posted in fremantle, tourism by freoview on September 16, 2015


The Fremantle BID-Business Improvement District-group has placed a few more seats around town. Two at Little Hight Street near Chalky’s Cafe facing the historic Round House, which is a great idea!

The art studios at J Shed also received two new benches on the Arthur Head Reserve and will paint them in some creative colours.

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO. Baconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.

Written and authorised by Roel Loopers. 5 Maxwell Street. Beaconsfield 6162


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