Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, media, publishing, Uncategorized by freoview on January 3, 2020




It is a bit disappointing to see that the editor of the quarterly Freo Street Wise magazine has found it challenging to source Fremantle relevant articles for its latest edition.

‘Fremantle’s independent street magazine’  has articles about Karratha, Cossack, Jarman Island, more Cossack, sand dunes, and the Pilbara on twelve pages of the publication, plus two pages about stars, and ten pages that are not about Fremantle.

There is also an article written by new South Fremantle Councillor Marija Vujcic, who was strongly supported during the election campaign by Freo Street Wise, and an article titled Booze City, where Fremantle clinical psychologist Rachael O’Byrne speaks out against Fremantle Council approving development applications for small bars and taverns.

O’Byrne is wrong though to say “Approving tavern licenses in the hope they’ll run as small bars is irresponsible.” Bar, tavern, restaurant, etc. licenses are not issued by local councils but by the liquor licensing authorities. and they are very strict in what they approve.

Little magazines such as Freo Street Wise are a welcome addition to our local community, so I hope that the editor will find more Fremantle content for the next issue.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, festival, heritage, media, notre dame university, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on April 30, 2019



Renowned Australian journalist Peter Greste, who was a political prisoner in Egypt for a considerable time, will be the keynote speaker at Notre Dame University during this year’s Fremantle Heritage Festival.

Fake News and False History: The use and abuse of truth and lies will be the topic of Greste’s talk in Tannock Hall in Cliff Street.

The free event is on May 17 at 6pm and registrations are required at

Roel Loopers




Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle herald, media, newspaper, publishing, Uncategorized by freoview on January 11, 2019


I am not sure why Andrew Smith, the owner, publisher and editor of the Fremantle Herald and Perth Voice, believes the fact that his company did not get a Federal Government grant is worth a large comment on the entire front page of today’s Chook. Is it really THAT important to the readers of the Herald and the Freo community? I doubt it.

Rumours that Smith will now publish front page comments by any Fremantle individual and company that did not receive the grants they applied for are malicious nonsense of course. ; >)

But far more important to me is the fact that Andrew Smith “had sought funding to train ‘citizen’ journalists for online publishing” So-called citizen journalism is basically amateurs doing the work for free for which professional journalists should get paid, so does that really deserve a government grant, I wonder?

Journalists are being sacked in droves by the big media companies, which are all stream lining their operations, hence there is very little difference in the reporting of the West Australian, Sunday Times, Perth Now and Channel 7, all owned by the same owner, where journos are sharing the same newsroom, and the same articles and photos are shared and published in all of the publication on-line and in print.

But to put Andrew Smith’s lament in perspective though, from 186 applicants across Australia for the new innovation fund grant, not one from WA received one, so that is indeed a worry as it feels far too much like election pork barreling.

Roel Loopers




It would be nice if the West Australian would get their stories about Fremantle right.

Yesterday they published a lament by Silverleaf Investments about the Woolstores shopping centre development, with a photo that was supposed to be the new development, but isn’t.

Today they report about angry locals who are upset by the removal of the Moreton Bay fig tree- Christmas tree, and claim it will be replaced with a London Plane tree, when in fact it will be replaced with another mature and healthy Moreton Bay fig.

There was lengthy community consultation about this, and it did not at all come out of the blue that the two last fig trees, which were removed yesterday, were very sick and a danger to public safety, so there is really no need for a beat-up story in our only daily newspaper.

Please facts over fiction, West Australian, you are journalists, not politicians!

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, perth freight link, western australia by freoview on April 25, 2016

Economic Editor Shane Wright reports in the West Australian today under the headline Fremantle port proposal not in freight link plan that the reasons the State Government gave for building the Perth Freight Link can now be questioned, with Treasurer Mike Nahan saying Fremantle Port container capacity could be tripled to two million containers per annum and that an outer harbour at Kwinana would not be needed for another 25 years.

Shane Wright points out that the cost-benefit figures for the Perth Freight Link were based on Fremantle Port only handling around 1,2 million containers per year and that the State Government had said the new outer harbour was a key point behind the plans to build the PFL.

This article shows again what piecemeal ‘planning’ the PFL is with different ministers and Premier Barnett giving different time frames for when an outer harbour is needed and now officially saying there is no need to build Stage 3 that would link the tunnel from Stirling Highway into the port of Fremantle.

Shane Wright also questions if the increase of containers by road would have an impact on the maintenance cost for the PFL and if there could be an overflow effect of trucks on other roads such as Leach Highway.

I believe it is highly likely truck drivers will start using alternative roads when they find out that there is one big traffic jam at the end of the tunnel and that the time they might have saved on the new road will be eaten up by traffic jams at the end of the tunnel.

Those who keep telling me there won’t be more trucks on the road when the PFL is built will now have to explain how we can triple port capacity without more trucks as it can’t happen on the present rail line. Drones?

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, community by freoview on April 9, 2016


Thank you so much you weird and wonderful people of Fremantle and beyond for increasingly supporting this Freo’s View blog.

Yesterday’s visitors’ numbers of 7,056 were an absolute record in the five and a half years of Freo’s View and a vindication of all the hard work and commitment I put in to keep this blog relevant, up to date and interesting, and ideally a wee bit controversial and weird.

High fives for all who participate with comments and who send me information about what is going on in good old Freo! Thank you.

Roel Loopers


Posted in bathers beach, city of fremantle, heritage, kidogo arthouse by freoview on March 17, 2016

kidogo 1


OnePerth reports that the State Heritage Office is investigating the unauthorised erection of a large timber deck on the northern side of Kidogo Arthouse at Fremantle’s Bathers Beach. The building is also known as the  heritage listed Kerosene Store.

The gallery received permission in July 2015 to build a small toilet block and deck of a total area of 13.6mx3.8m but instead only built a large deck of 13.6mx5.12m but not the toilet block.

The State Heritage Office says the deck is inappropriate in material, height and size and built over a significant archaeological area, and that is detrimentally affects the cultural heritage significance of the building.

A state committee will decide on March 22 if retrospective approval will be given or the owner forced to demolish the $ 75,000.00 deck that already has been used for the pop-up Kelp bar, weddings and functions and the recent World Match Racing Tour.

This is not good news for owner Joanna Robinson who fought with Fremantle Council for years to get approval to build toilets, why she changed her mind after approval for that was finally given is anyone’s guess and might cost her dearly.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on July 18, 2015

A comment by reporter Steve Grant, in a news article on the front page of the Fremantle Herald, concerns me greatly and I believe the City of Fremantle needs to reply to it and explain why it gives more advertising to the Fremantle Gazette than the Chook.

Grant writes that 70 per cent of those participating in the latest council Catalyse survey responded that they source their information from the Herald, but he then claims “That’s a problem for the council because-as punishment for our independent journalism-it severely limits advertising with us, cutting itself off from most of its constituents”

The Herald has for many years claimed the only reason the City of Fremantle uses the Gazette more for advertising is because it does not like the critical journalism of the Herald, but I would like to see the facts and want to know if it is true the COF marketing department favours the Gazette because it does not like the attacks on council by the Herald.

At a Council meeting a few years ago the marketing manager explained they believed they got better value for money because the Gazette had a better on-line presence, but since then the Herald has improved its on-line newspaper and it even gets picked up by the Fremantle Society initiative Planet Freo aggregator, but the Gazette articles don’t appear on that information source.

This stand-off between the City and our major local newspaper needs to be resolved as a de-facto censorship by withdrawing advertising dollars from the more critical of the two community papers would not be acceptable.

My question to CEO Graeme McKenzie is: What is the reason the City of Fremantle spends more of its advertising budget with the Fremantle Gazette than with the Fremantle Herald? On what figures is this decision based?

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of vincent, fremantle, local government by freoview on July 2, 2015

It is interesting to read in the article by Kate Emery in the West Australian that the City of Vincent council is pushing for changes to the Local Government Act and in a motion have asked the W.A. Local Government Association-WALGA-to suggest the State Government change the act “To enhance governance, transparency, accountability and consistency.”

I am all for that as many of the gripes the Fremantle community has with Council are basically all of the above, but it also should apply to State and Federal government where inconsistent governance has become a rule rather than an exception. The community gets very annoyed about piecemeal planning and ad-hoc decision-making.

Transparency buried in spin is also highly annoying, as is hiding behind commercial confidentiality, as the Kings Square project business plan debate has shown.

The City of Vincent also wants changes to the declaration of gifts and restrict gifts to Councillors. At present the maximum gift allowed is $ 300.00 but the City of Perth would like that to be pushed up as far a $ 1,000.00 because otherwise Elected Members would not be allowed to accept free tickets to events that cost more than $ 300.00.

I believe the whole free tickets for Councillors should be scrapped and only two Councillors per event should be delegated as observers and report back to Council. I have seen Facebook posts where Councillors ask who wants to come with them and that is not the way free tickets for Elected Members should be used.

There is no doubt for me that most Councillors work very hard and that it is almost a full time job to be on Council for a remuneration of under $ 30,000 a year, but I would like to see the standards lifted, especially more consistency and much higher transparency. It would keep all the cynicism and negativity away from social media, letters to editors and blogs and that would be a good thing.

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle, fremantle herald, media by freoview on June 5, 2015

To its credit the Fremantle Herald today published 15 letters to the editor that expressed outrage about the insensitive gossip tabloid ‘journalism’ written by Herald owner Andrew Smith about the murder of Reuben Stack in East Fremantle.

Last week’s front page article was a mix of rumours, innuendo and an opinion piece that had very little substance. It is laudable that the newspaper published so many letters, but to his discredit Chook owner Andrew Smith did not have the grace to respond and apologise for his highly inappropriate article.

Many Fremantle people have been bewildered about the Herald, which was our favourite paper. It was always controversial, a bit quirky, informative about upcoming events and reporting on those that happened, but that has all changed. We realise it is difficult in this age of immediacy to remain relevant as a weekly paper because of on-line papers, bloggers and social media, but the free range Chook standards have dropped to a level where I sadly hear many people say they no longer read it. I hope that can be reversed.

A unique city like Fremantle deserves and wants a unique community paper the Fremantle Herald once was. I for one hope that they will go back to becoming the talk of the town again and have that very Freo spirit and reporting they had years ago. The Fremantle community rightly expects from the Herald that they scrutinise Council, but also that they support what is happening in our city and by doing that support our local businesses.

Roel Loopers


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