Freo's View


Posted in cancer, fremantle, health by freoview on October 1, 2014

cancer a cancer b

Fremantle’s America’s Cup legend John Longley launched the SUN, SKIN, HEALTH book by Terry Slevin, Director of Education and Research at Cancer Council W.A. on board the sailing training ship  STS Leeuwin in Fremantle port today.

Slevin said that “This book is about understanding how to get the very best out of our sunny climate, while minimising the risk that is inherent in it.”

Australia is the skin cancer capital of the world with 2,000 people dying from skin cancer in Australia each year, so slip, slap, slop continues to be the message.

Leeuwin crew member Ashleigh Tapper climbed up the 33-metre high mast to show that if 2,000 books were stacked up to represent those who die each year from skin cancer, it would go all the way up to the top of the mast.

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 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 January 6, 2012

The report by Carmelo Amalfi in this week’s Fremantle Herald reveals that Perth ISAF 2011 boss John Longley needs a big dose of reality injected soon, as his statements about the number of visitors, or visitations, to the event have become a farce. Maybe Longley should contemplate a new career as a stand up comedian, like his family member Sam.

Amalfi reports in the Chook that ISAF received 17 million dollars of taxpayers money, although they have not reached the performance benchmarks, one of which was that ISAF had to show 175,000 people visited the Worlds Village at the Esplanade. Longley claims that figure will be reached easily. Why did no one see those 11,000 visitors a day though, when John Longley claims they were at the Esplanade?

It is truly unbelievable that Longley and ISAF keep claiming these huge visitors’ figures while everyone in Fremantle knows not even ten percent of them came to town. The Worlds Village was a failure, there is no other word for it! Food stall traders left, the fencing off made it into a fortress that made it hard to get onto the Esplanade and through to the Fishing Boat Harbour, where traders also complained about the low numbers and loss of income. Hendrik Dijkstra, the SkyView ferris wheel operator told me he averaged 2000 people per week less during ISAF compared to other weeks.

Longley’s comment in the Herald that “the only people who complained are those who tried to make money out of the event” is a slap in the face of all those people he approached to tell them to put more staff on, keep kitchens open till late, etc. He is the one who created the hot air and huge expectations. He is the one who knew everything so well, so let him now get down from his high horse and admit he got it wrong and fed all of us, including WA state agency Eventscorp, hugely inflated figures. Figures thrown around town are that John Longley received up to $ 300,000.00 per year over three years as director of the event, which shows Longley wasn’t doing any charity work himself, so why blame traders for wanting to make a quid from a supposedly huge international sporting event?

Roel Loopers

P.S. Also read the very good letter by Roger Garwood in the Herald about ISAF and John Longley!


Posted in fremantle by freoview on December 30, 2011

2012 is going to be a big year, according to Fremantle’s most famous carrot tart and cricket ball readers, with some saying it could be as huge as 366 days. But as a cynical urban guerrilla I had to do my own wine stain and bolognaise blobs readings. Here are my- extremely tongue in cheek- predictions for the New Year:

* Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt orders that all internal doors at Town Hall are to be removed so people can’t accuse him of doing deals behind closed doors. He will also broadcast all meetings he has via loudspeakers onto Kings Square.

* Fremantle Society president Roel Loopers announces the group will apply to build a 15 storey, fully sound and sight proof retirement tower on the Target site, so older people who want the inner city living experience don’t have to endure the noise and sight of people enjoying themselves.

* John Longley reveals the ISAF 2011 visitors numbers: 3.7 million people came to Fremantle for the sailing event, leaving 89 million dollars in the coffers of local businesses. It’s bigger than ISAF is now a common expression in the port city.

* The state government makes the relaxation of the liquor licensing rules, introduced for ISAF, permanent but with restrictions. People can stand up while drinking but must hold on to specifically installed drinking poles in places like the XWray café.

* News helicopters are seen over Fremantle, while on the ground photographers and cameramen are scrambling to get photos of CEO Graeme McKenzie, who has never been seen walking the streets of the city before. In a doorstop interview the CEO promises his team will get at least one thing right in 2012 and do it 100% instead of the traditional 70% is good enough work attitude we are used to in this city. Graeme also mentions pigs do fly.

* Fremantle Herald owner Andrew Smith promises his journos will get all the facts right next year. Andrew also says he deeply admires Freo council and that pigs can fly.

* Compulsieve blogger Roel Looopers pledges his Englisch will bee perfact next yea. Roel also mentiones his disloike for red whine and typos and that piks can fly.

* John Longley calls an urgent media conference to apologise for getting the ISAF numbers wrong. The correct figures are that 5.2 million visitors came to Fremantle, spending 101 million dollars here.

* Artsource advises the City of Fremantle that making Arthur Head into an arts hub won’t create the vibrancy needed in the West End, but making it into a red light district would.

* Former councillor John Dowson can’t find anything to complain about in 2012 and tells close friends deep in his heart he always wanted highrise in Fremantle as it compliments his modern black Porsche better than heritage buildings.

* Kidogo Art House operator Joanna Robinson baulks at the suggestion she’d have to pay full commercial rent for the space if she continued with the Kelp beach bar, because she I supplying a community service, she claims.

* Councillor Andrew Sullivan admits he spends a lot of time on Rottnest Island because he likes the human scale there and that Fremantle’s multi storey buildings depress him.

* A survey asking Transperth bus drivers what they think of the new Wray Avenue roundabout receives the same answer from all drivers; what roundabout?

* The W.A. Circus School is told by Artsource supremo Jude van der Merwe the sky is the limit or to buy a big top.

* Highly paid placemaker David Engwicht does daily workshops throughout 2012 on how to revitalise Kings Square, because the City of Fremantle killed the city square by allowing the only activity there, the Village Market, to falter.

* Adele Carles announces she will contest the seat of Fremantle for the Liberal Party, while councillor Bill Massie joins the Greens.

* After ten losses in a row the Fremantle Dockers football club beg Mark Harvey to come back and be their coach again. He tells them where to stick it.

* Western Power believes John Longley is the solution to the state’s energy problems, because of his uncanny ability to produce hot air. “That is a real asset we need to utilise.” a spokesperson enthuses.

* Fremantle’s light rail gains weight with the existing Perth-Fremantle passenger service to be extended to Coogee, using solar power.

* Premier Colin Barnett announces that he new Fremantle traffic- bridge will be a copy of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Copyright on the harbour bridge plans has expired, so we can get the design for free, the premier explains.

* The old South Fremantle Power Station will become a wind farm. The draught created through all the broken windows will be harvested.

* John Longley calls another media conference where he mumbles something about getting old, as the real figures for ISAF are now 6.9 million visitations and 15.76 million of Monopoly dollars spent in Fremantle.

* Digital parking signs are rejected by the Greens on council, who support a huge parking area at North Quay, where motorists will receive free bicycles to ride into town.

* State tourism agency Eventscorp apologises to the people of Fremantle for naming Perth Isaf 2011. They thought Fremantle was in Tasmania and only recently discovered there is also a Fremantle in W.A.


 Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on December 16, 2011

I walked into Fremantle ISAF 2011 director John Longley yesterday and had a short chat with him about the low visitors’ numbers. John told me he had heard from many quarters that Australia had become too expensive for many countries, especially the Europeans ones. He said ISAF visitors had told him they could not afford to go out eating, but that was to the benefit of Coles and Woolworths.

While visitors’ numbers at the Round House were down the last two weeks I worked there, John Longley told me the Maritime Museum had received a boost in people who came to visit it.

While I do agree with John that the large international media coverage, especially the television broadcasts will benefit Fremantle in the long run, one has to ask how it came that ISAF did not get the Fremantle community involved. The Worlds Village on the Esplanade has been a dud with bands playing for a handful of people only, and stall holders moving out in disgust about the low numbers.

The only true success story is the KELP beach bar on Bathers Beach and that Fremantle’s most underutilised beach has finally been discovered. It is important the City of Fremantle keeps that energy going by extending the boardwalk to J Shed as soon as possible and put showers and shade structures on the beach.

I anticipate a really good atmosphere around Fremantle for the final ISAF 2011 weekend and encourage all locals to make it a celebration of our unique city and lifestyle.

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on November 6, 2011

Good to see that the Sunday Times has taken on my blog exclusive of the huge P E R T H letters being displayed under the Fremantle Round House for the ISAF 2011 sailing championships off Fremantle’s Bathers Beach.

I am not convinced the event should have been called Perth ISAF 2011, but that is what the events organisors did, and out of our hands. What is not acceptable though is that the Western Australian government agency EVENTSCORP insist on having the Perth sign on the Fremantle beach. Eventscorp is not a Perth agency and should promote the whole of the state, not just the capital city.

ISAF 2011 director John- 500.000 visitors- Longley seems to make things up as they go. Let me quote from the Sunday Times: ” People must not forget that the event is funded by all taxpayers in WA and the benefits need to accrue to the common good, not just a small part (of the state).”

If that is the case, John Longley, the sign under the Round House should read W E S T E R N   A U S T R A L I A, not Perth!!

It is an insult to the City of Fremantle and its residents to have the Perth sign on our foreshore and the Premier and Tourism Minister should put a stop to the ridiculous idea!

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 12, 2011

The Fremantle built replica of the HMB ENDEAVOUR arrived back in Fremantle harbour after many years on the east coast and a voyage to Europe. It was in Sydney’s Darling Harbour for a long time.

Fremantle Ports welcomed the ship by handing out flags, the Windjammers played music, and kids could get their face painted.

The HM Bark Endeavour was Captain James Cook‘s ship for his first voyage of discovery  to explore the southern seas for Terris Australis Icognita, or the unknown southern land. It sailed from Plymouth in England in 1768 and was almost lost when it ran aground near what is now known as Cooktown in northern Queensland.

In 1988 infamous Alan Bond assigned John Longley, now CEO of ISAF 2011, to build a replica of the Endeavour. Bond later pulled out for financial reasons, but the replica was finally finished in 1993 when it slipped in the water at Fishing Boat Harbour in Fremantle.The event was considered so important that there was a live telecast on TV at the time.

Roel Loopers

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Posted in fremantle by freoview on May 2, 2011

The newly established Perth-based company NORTH STREET PRODUCTIONS,  run by Annalisa Oxenburgh and Bourby Webster have been appointed the Cultural Programme Manager for ISAF 2011 and will be responsible for the Cultural Festival held in Fremantle late this year.

May the festival be bold and fantastically creative. Good luck ladies!!

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on April 2, 2011

I am not surprised at all Fremantle has not taken to the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing Championships.

Perth 2011 CEO John Longley’s statement that it is tradition to name the event after the capital city is ludicrous. Would they still have called it Perth 2011 if the races were held off Mandurah, Albany or Geraldton? Perth is 25 km away and this is the City of Fremantle, not a suburb of Perth! Should the Margaret River Surf Classic be renamed because competitors and visitors land in Perth? What a load of bull. It should have been called Fremantle 2011 ISAF because that is where the races are being held. I suspect the only reason it is a Perth event is because of sponsorship money.

The huge numbers of visitors, 500,000! John Longely claims will be coming might be a result of his stature. He is a tall man who seems to like tall figures. Many visitors to Fremantle I talked to in the last few months have been complaining how expensive Australia has become because of the strong Australian dollar, and Fremantle is known for expensive and hard to get accommodation, so many overseas visitors will not be able to afford to come here. How would we accommodate half a million visitors anyway and where would they view the races from?  Are we having a tent city on the Esplanade and huge viewing stands on Bathers Beach and the South Mole, and where would they all park their cars?

Apart from claims on numbers of visitors and money they will spend, what actually will ISAF do for Fremantle? What benefits are there for the population but a party for two weeks? The city seems intend on spending money on it, but will it be money well spend for years to come, or is it a short term investment based on Longley’s hopes and dreams only?

Longley says Fremantle businesses have not embraced the event. I am happy to get involved, John, call me!

Roel Loopers

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