Freo's View

RETHINKING J SHED WILL CREATE BEST OUTCOME

Posted in arthur head, city of fremantle by freoview on October 11, 2015

With the application by Sunset Events, for an events and live outdoor music venue for the next two summers at J Shed on Arthur Head, going to full council of the City of Fremantle on Wednesday, I think it is important to contemplate what the good, bad and alternatives are. Council still has the chance to make major changes to the application and I believe that is very important as I believe a good compromise can be found that would have the best outcome.

It is clear that Fremantle Ports, inner city residents, Aboriginal people, and the Roundhouse volunteer guides believe the application for live outdoor concerts for up to 1,500, or even 1,000 people is inappropriate for the area and should be rejected.

The Sunday Barbeque and other events for up to 400 people should be approved and even extended to a several day a week activation of the area. What the area needs is a place for quiet enjoyment of the important historic area. A small bar such at Strange Company or restaurant like Bread in Common would be ideal for the loaction. It would give visitors the opportunity to really embrace the sense of place and Bathers Beach amenity.

I don’t believe that there is anyone against a small hospitality and function outlet at the number one studio, not even the artists who currently work out of the J Shed studios. A good licensed cafe/bar which will attract more people there would be great. A nice big deck where people can sit sheltered from the Freo Doctor and watch the sunset would be fantastic, and it could be made even better with creative landscaping of the A Class Reserve. This would very much enhance the connectivity and wayfinding between the Maritime Museum and the Fishing Boat Harbour and would make it a real stepping stone, even more so with the new big deck at Kidogo Arthouse.

Fencing off the area for 12 large concerts in summer, plus the additional days the fences are being kept up, will be counter productive to activating the area as it will stop the connectivity from north to south for many days each month. It would also severely impact on the operations of the Roundhouse that is kept open by dedicated volunteers 363 days a year and attracts over 110,00 visitors a year.

The wheel does not have to be reinvented at Arthur Head by introducing large full day concerts that will create traffic, parking, noise and social problems in the area that is already struggling with anti social behaviour.

The objections to the proposal don’t come from anti development, anti progress or anti entertainment people, but from people who believe the scale of it is inappropriate for Arthur Head.

Patrons are queueing up at Strange Company and Bread in Common is very popular and it is that kind of activation that most of us would embrace at Arthur Head and it would make a great addition to J Shed.

Let’s rethink the project instead of stubbornly wanting to force it upon the community. We will get a much better outcome if we stop this silly us and them approach and work together for a better outcome. I strongly believe that can be achieved!

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.

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

FREMANTLE WILL WIN THE ECONOMIC BATTLE

Posted in fremantle, hospitality, tourism by freoview on August 9, 2015

MSC

mussel bar

It is disappointing to hear that the Mussel Bar in the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour has gone into liquidation with the owners  claiming they made substantial losses over the last two years.

There is no doubt it is hard to survive in Freo’s hospitality industry that essentially survives on weekend trade, so during the winter months and when Notre Dame students are not on campus it is survival of the fittest.

I noticed the XWray Cafe is no longer open for breakfast and lunch on weekdays and only opens at 3 pm, a sure sign that Freo has too many cafes and that is not sustainable.

But there is also no doubt in my mind that Fremantle is on the road to recovery and progress with a lot of development going on in the CBD and other building projects to start soon. This will be like a triple bypass for Freo, so I hope all those traders who are struggling can hang in there until more people live and work in Freo and many more tourists will be staying overnight in the new hotels. I am confident it is only a matter of time till Freo will be back in all its glory!

The MSC building on the corner of Cliff Street is nearing completion and the very classy Strange Company small bar in Nairn Street will open on the 14th.

Roel Loopers

GOOD BATHERS BEACH PROGRESS

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle by freoview on June 7, 2014

Bathers Beach 1 Bathers Beach 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is very positive to see the progress at Fremantle Bathers Beach, with the development of the former Fishermen’s Co-op building going well ahead and taking shape. It is estimated the new tavern there will open in late August , but there is still a lot of work to be done before it can become a real beach front destination for tourists and locals.

There is also improvement around Kidogo Arthouse. Big blocks of limestone pavers are being put around the building to help with the dust problems, and it will be looking very good once finished in two weeks. The dust suppression spray has not been a success because the constant coming and going of people and vehicles in the area creates dust that the easterly winds blow into the gallery spaces. A better solution for that problem should be found, because the new tavern will attract many more people to the area regularly, and more disturbance of the surface, and dust and art don’t go well together.

The boardwalk has been a real success. It’s a delight to see that there are now so many people there watching the sunset from there. In an ideal world the boardwalk should have gone all the way to J Shed, to create a promenade for Fremantle and real connectivity between Victoria Quay and the Fishing Boat Harbour. Who knows what the future brings in a world full of desires, hey.

Roel Loopers

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PLENTY TO DO IN FREO ON THE WEEKEND

Posted in fremantle by freoview on May 2, 2014

No matter what all the knockers say about our city, it is hardly ever boring in Fremantle, so get out of the house and join in some of the fun. Yes, the footy derby is on between the Dockers and West Coast on Sunday afternoon, but that does not mean you can’t come to the Growers Green super markets on Sunday morning. It is a huge one on the first Sunday of each month, so not only fruit, vegies, breads, meat, fish but also art and craft and fashion. It’s at the South Freo Senior High School from 8 am till midday.

Then join the unions and all workers for the big May Day parade at noon through the inner city, enjoy live music and have something to eat from the many food stalls. It’s all happening on the Esplanade from 12-4 but coffee and food will be available earlier than that.

I had a quick preview of some of the works of the photographic RAW exhibition at Greg James Sculpture Studio and Gallery at J Shed and it is quite impressive, so come and have a look and support the students of photographer Peter Zuvela. Opening is tomorrow, Saturday 5-7 pm. J Shed is at Fleet Street on Bathers Beach. Plenty of free parking at TAFE.

There is also a photographic exhibition about the Sri Lankan genocide at Victoria Hall.

Roel Loopers

Anything else good happening in Freo? Let me know so I can promote it! roel.loopers@iinet.net.au

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ALTERNATIVE LOCATION FOR SUNSET EVENTS BREWERY

Posted in fremantle by freoview on April 18, 2014

On this special day for Christians I would like to reach out to my friends at Fremantle Sunset Events and give them this tip:

As part of the Leighton Beach Reserve upgrade the City will be demolishing the building that was utilised as a kiosk and fabricating a new building as replacement. Applicants are invited to submit proposals to lease and fit out the new kiosk. The kiosk needs to cater for general beach goers by providing convenience take-away type snacks and be non exclusive, but may also include sit down facilities as well.

I know the City is only advertising for a kiosk, but should you at Sunset Events decide to put a proposal for a micro brewery and outdoor music venue there, I am certain it will be warmly embraced by most Councillors, who like to ignore their own Expression Of Interest requirements, so go for it!

You will find there will be less opposition by local residents, and less parking and noise issues at the Leighton location than at J Shed on Bathers Beach. There are also no heritage considerations at Leighton Beach.

Happy to have been of assistance to you, Sunset Events. No payment required. ; >)

Roel Loopers

MAGIC AND MADNESS AT FREO STREET ART FESTIVAL

Posted in art, fremantle by freoview on April 15, 2014

The fantastic, creative and fun Fremantle STREET ART FESTIVAL is almost upon us, so get ready for a great long Easter weekend in Freo. There are pitches(stages) all over the city and Marine Terrace will be closed for traffic. It’s fun for the kids and the grown ups, so don’t miss out!

From France we will see Le Chant Des Pavillons, inspired by Shaun Tan’s The Arrival, with weird instruments that are made of strings and horns. Men multi-tasking? I’ like to see that! Also from France is Claire Ducreax, who will be performing dance and physical theatre in Smile Of The Shipwrecked. There is more Vive le France from Acquacoustique who will be jumping into the Fishing Boat Harbour to perform Concert Eau In Sea Minor.

From my birth country the Netherlands come Close Act Theatre with SAURUS, the presumed extinct biggest animals that ever roamed the earth. Hold onto your parents, kids!!! Holland’s much hated next door neighbours Belgium(only when they play soccer against each other) brings Fallen Thoughts by Studio Eclipse who perform out of trees, so lay back and relax.

Leandre from Spain does No Se, but never knows what he will be doing as he improvises on the spot. It’s mad and magic!

From the United Kingdom comes Mat Ricardo. It’s sharp and fast and great tricks from a man with a smart mouth and nice suit. Also from the UK is Peter Mielniczek. The show was called “stupid, nonsensical, indulgent, pathetic and insulting” by the NZ Capital Times, but the critic then added “I loved it” and no doubt I will as well.

The beautiful Swiss Jessica Arpin will act out Kalabaza, about a young foreigner who fells in love with Australia and marries a local so she can stay.

From Israel come Cirque No Problem with trapez and rope walking. Great showmanship.

From the second country I lived in, Germany, comes Hilby The Skinny German Juggle Guy, so watch out for the Kraut.

There are many more performers from Australia, Sweden, Japan, etc. and it should be a weekend of great entertainment and fun.

If you don’t live in Freo, move in for three days, pitch your tent in a friend’s backyard, book a nice room in one of our many B&Bs, sleep on the couch of someone who feels sorry for you, or don’t sleep and stay awake for the international Street Art Festival. It’s my favourite Freo Fest and I’ll be taking photos every day, so check out for the slide shows.

Roel Loopers

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FREO EVENTS ARE CAFE TRADE KILLERS

Posted in fremantle by freoview on March 30, 2014

Yet again this morning there was an event on the Fremantle Esplanade and along Marine Parade that required the closure of Henry, Mouat and Cliff streets and I am wondering if the events organisors will be asked to pay compensation to the cafes whose trade were significantly down today. It is the third time in about six weeks that there was no car access to the Moore&Moore Cafe in Henry Street for example, so that was very bad for the breakfast business and is unfair to them.

I do realise our City masters want us all to only ride bikes around town, but it is not acceptable that time and time again the same west end businesses are out of pocket because of street closures due to events on the Esplanade. The burden needs to be shared around town and places like Fremantle Park could be used for some of these events.

A bad weekend morning trade can mean a very bad week for some small businesses and the City of Fremantle needs to be more considerate of that, because it can kill a business. We know that cafes are already struggling because we have too many of them in inner city Freo, so the COF needs to be more supportive and look after them better.

Roel Loopers

SECOND LAST BATHERS BEACH SUNSET MARKET

Posted in fremantle by freoview on March 28, 2014

This Saturday is the second last Fremantle BATHERS BEACH SUNSET FOOD MARKETS and we will be celebrating EARTH HOUR with a one hour drumming circle, so come along and support this outstanding community event that has been nominated for a Fremantle Chamber of Commerce Business Award.

It has been an absolute pleasure for me to work next to Georgie Adeane and with all the fantastic and likable stall holders. The food and atmosphere have just been great and I will be missing it, till we do it all over again from November.

Come and say G’Day, bring some friends and let the kids have fun.

Roel Loopers

BB sunset

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FREMANTLE’S ALL TALK COUNCIL

Posted in fremantle by freoview on March 28, 2014

I am disappointed to hear that the State’s Design Advisory Panel scrapped a requirement by the City of Fremantle for the developers of the Pakenham Street short-term accommodation project to liaise with the Fremantle Design Advisory Committee on further setbacks of the top-level of the building. It is also disappointing that only Councillors John Strachan and Andrew Sullivan on Wednesday voted against the development going ahead without the setback requirements.

A lot of promises were made by elected member in the past that they would make certain Fremantle would get quality buildings, but it appears this was all talk, as compromises are being made constantly to appease developers. No wonder this blog receives so many cynical comments about Fremantle’s all talk Council.

Roel Loopers

TOURISM COUNCIL BOSS IGNORES FREMANTLE

Posted in fremantle by freoview on March 25, 2014

It is quite astounding that Evan Hall, the CEO of the Tourism Council of W.A. hardly mentioned Fremantle is yesterday’s opinion piece in the West Australian. No word from Mr Hall about Perth’ most significant heritage tourist destination’s plans for significant hotel developments and a total face lift for Kings Square, while the Scarborough beach development is lauded.

Like State Government the Tourism Council appears to also only concentrate on Perth when it talks about the necessity of offering more to visitors of Perth. While Hall mentioned several hotel developments in Perth, he ignores the proposed hotel developments for Point Street and West Gate Mall and also the newly opened Hougoumont Hotel in Banister Street. There is also the substantial short-term accommodation at Pakenham Street in the pipeline and more hotel rooms at Challenger Harbour.

When was the last time the Tourism Minister and Premier officially visited Fremantle? Why do our State’s decision makers treat Freo as a third-rate destination that does not need financial support, but where the State happily allows the historic Warders Cottages next to the Fremantle Markets to rot away and remain the tourist eyesore they have been for years?

Fremantle has huge tourism potential, so instead of making the ugly convention centre in Perth bigger, as Hall suggests, a new stunning one could be build on Victoria Quay for example. Perth’s CBD is already bursting at the seam, while Fremantle is under developed and under used, so what about the State investing money in the port city and the tourism authorities better supporting and promoting it.

It’s time Fremantle received the recognition it deserves as one of Western Australia’s biggest tourist destinations. Time for a visit Premier Barnett, Mrs Harvey and Mr Hall. Be part of our story!

Roel Loopers

 

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