Freo's View


Posted in fremantle by freoview on June 5, 2012

An independent report compiled by Asset Research on behalf of the City of Fremantle shows that this year’s Easter long weekend Street Art Festival was a huge success and injected up to $ 3.75 million into the economy.

The reports shows that over 105,000 visitors came to Fremantle during the three days, with 53% of those indicating they specifically made the trip to Freo for the festival.

To put that in perspective; some 80,000 more visitors came to Fremantle for the three day festival than for the ten day ISAF 2011.

The Fremantle Markets also reported that visitors’ numbers were up 24% compared to the Easter weekend the previous year.

I love the Street Art Festival. It is my favourite Freo festival because of its vibrancy and atmosphere. Well done to the CoF Festival Team!!

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on May 15, 2012

If as rumoured the Western Australian Liberal Party will put up America’s Cup sailor John Longley as their candidate for the seat of Fremantle at next year’s state election, I’ll predict he’ll win by 500,000 votes. The landslide election win will be even bigger than ISAF!

But as ISAF showed, sometimes reality takes over and dreams remain just dreams.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on May 14, 2012

According to a report in today’s West Australian three out of four Fremantle businesses were unhappy with last year’s ISAF World Sailing Championships, which were held off Bathers Beach, according to an analyses by Perth marketing consultants Metrix.

The 16 day event attracted only 7800 people from interstate and overseas, not the 500,000 ISAF director John Longley had predicted. It shows how far ISAF over estimated the visitors numbers and how unrealistic Longley’s figures were.

Of course Western Australian Tourism Minister Kim Hames called the event a big success, presumably so he does not have to acknowledge Eventscorp did not do their homework and blindly believed the figures given to them by ISAF.

The media value of the coverage was worth $ 16.6 million, while the event together with the numerous training camps held in 2010 generated $ 38.6 million for the state.

Eventscorp only sponsored ISAF with $ 8.8 million, so we’ve got a bargain, I think is how the Dr. Kim Hames would put it. Well, go tell that to the Fishing Boat Harbour and Worlds Village traders, who all lost money!

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on March 27, 2012

I like Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt and I like most of the Fremantle councillors. I’d be happy to have a drink with any of them any time!

But sometimes hype and spin take over, or is it the exuberant naivety of youth? Such is the case in today’s Fremantle Gazette community newspaper, where Brad Pettitt is quoted about ISAF 2011 “Our handling of what was a world-scale and complex event has given both the council and the community extreme confidence that Fremantle can and should host other events of this scale.”

In case you don’t remember, ISAF 2011 was the international sailing event held off Bathers Beach, that was predicted to attract up to half a million visitors to Fremantle, but sadly only a few thousand made it to our coast.

We already knew Fremantle could handle world-scale events like the America’s Cup and other big sailing events, but what was not proven though is how Fremantle would handle 500,000 visitors over a two week period. How would the city cope with traffic jams, how with the influx of foreigners wanting to dine and wine, where would we have accommodated them had they turned up, how many would have been injured trying to cross Marine Parade where we still have no pedestrian crossings, how would public transport have coped, etc?

These are the kinds of issues the City of Fremantle needs to address before trying to get future events to the city, because there might be events that could attract huge numbers, unlike ISAF 2011. ISAF 2011 only showed Freo can handle lots of sailing races, it did not prove much else.

It is o.k. to try to put a positive spin on things for Freo’s sake, Brad, but there needs to be some semblance of reality in it.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on March 16, 2012

It is disappointing that W.A. Liquor and Gaming Minister Terry Waldron has rejected a request by Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt to extend the relaxed liquor licensing laws that were in place for ISAF 2011. Waldron wrote that it would be a significant change in liquor regulations that might undermine the existing license classification system.

Brad Pettitt believes this is an opportunity lost and wants to keep fighting for the changes.

The changes were pretty minor as far as I recall. Some 14 restaurants were allowed to serve alcohol without a meal, while at places like the XWray Cafe were were allowed to stand while drinking, but now we will have to be seated again. It’s a pretty ridiculous law really!

I find the thinking behind it even more ridiculous. We are grown up enough for four weeks to have a drink while standing and not eating, because there are some international sailors in town, but after they have gone we are no longer mature enough to do the same. It’s utter rubbish, Minister Waldron, and it should be changed fast!

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on March 8, 2012

While Fremantle retailers are complaining and visitors numbers at the Round House are down, surprisingly Western Australia has recorded the biggest increase in overseas visitors in the nation. This is due to a surge of tourists from Scandinavian countries.

Scandinavian visitors to W.A. increased by a huge 43.4 percent in 2011, while overall we had 7 percent more international visitors to our state.(I assume John Longley and Eventscorp will claim this was due to ISAF 2011)

The United Kingdom still tops the lists of visitors to W.A. with Singapore at number two, New Zealand at three, Malaysia at four and the USA taking fifth spot.

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on March 7, 2012

I nearly collapsed with laughter as I read ISAF 2011 director John Longley’s comments in the Fremantle Gazette. Some people just don’t have any shame. Longley told the Gazette that “another legacy is what we left for Fremantle. Like the Mews Road crossing, the refurbishment of Bathers Beach and the cleaning up of the old Woolstores.”

Thank you so much, John, for fooling our local and state governments with your hugely inflated visitors’ predictions, so they spent enormous amounts of money trying to get your estimated half a million visitors from Bathers Beach to town and vice versa. We now have too many, not needed, railway crossings near Bathers Beach that did cost the tax payers tens of thousands of dollars that could have been spent on more important things.

As for the Woolstores artwork legacy. Could you please pack it up and take it home, John, because it is a piece of ramshackle, anything goes, example of mediocrity. It should match your ISAF 2011 visitors numbers quite well. A perfect match in fact, I reckon.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on March 1, 2012

It is interesting to read this morning that the city of Weymouth in England, which will be hosting the London Olympics sailing events, is only expecting 60.000 visitors. That puts the ridiculous predictions made last year by ISAF 2011 director John Longley, that the sailing event off Fremantle would attract half a million visitors, in perspective. It’s time Western Australian government agency Eventscorp demanded some of the millions they paid ISAF back for making unsubstantiated claims

I heard Longley is walking around town claiming he is working on something even bigger than ISAF, so expect the winter Olympics to come to Fremantle in the near future. * >)

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on February 27, 2012

It is quite unbelievable to read in the West Australian today that the Western Australian state government is the second lowest spender on tourism in Australia. This is even more amazing when one knows how much money was squandered on the ISAF 2011 sailing championships, where  the estimated half a million visitors stayed well away from Fremantle, to the surprise only of the organisors and Eventscorp.

The W.A. Tourism Council wants the Barnett government to invest an additional 27 million dollars a year to promote the state’s tourism industry, which is struggling badly, partly due to the high Australian dollar. Our state government only spend 0.18 percent of its revenue on tourism.

This government is not different from any other, and obviously prefers to spend money on building icons to show their greatness, with a new stadium (in the wrong location), and the Perth foreshore development (too big, high, and all wrong). This money could be better spend on infrastructure, more train carriages, supporting and promoting the struggling retail and tourism industries. That however does not give politicians enough media headlines. Let’s build more white elephants like the Bell Tower, hey mister Premier.

Roel Loopers

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