Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, economy, finances, Uncategorized by freoview on August 11, 2017


A small article in today’s West Australian reported that David Templeman, the Minister for Local Government, had announced that 15 per cent of, or 22 local councils in W.A. were considered to be high risk by the department.

They include the City of Perth, Fremantle, Kalgoorlie, Exmouth, Derby, Carnarvon, etc. but the article did not go into detail as to why these councils are judged to be high risk.

The claim about Fremantle’s finances has been made before, and rejected by the City, but I thought it would be prudent to ask them for a comment. Here it is:

Today’s page 14 newpaper article in The West Australian: ‘More councils high-risk’ has named the City of Fremantle as being identified by the Department of Local Government as ‘high risk’.

The City assumes it was included in this list due to a one-off low Financial Health Indicator (FHI) score for the 2015/16 financial year. The lower than usual score was caused by a combination of factors including a change in accounting methodology used by the City to simplify the way overhead costs are recorded. This change artificially inflated the year-on-year operating expenditure in 2015/16.

With this anomaly addressed in subsequent budgets, the City’s FHI score will normalise back to its long-term healthy trend when the 2016/17 audit is completed.

In previous reports issued by the Department of Local Government the City of Fremantle has not ever been classified as being in any risk category, let alone a high risk.

The City is independently audited each year and no audit has ever indicated any fundamental issues or problems with the City’s medium or long-term financial viability.

I wonder if it should not be a matter of course for the Department of Local Government to notify local councils of their findings and concerns and offer support to them, and clarify how they reached the findings.


Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, development, fremantle port by freoview on May 31, 2015

It looks like FREMANTLE PORTS is getting everything in shape for the asset fire sale by State Government. Painters are working on the port tower and were busy at the A and B Sheds last week.

Quite surprisingly they have also started on extending Peter Hughes Drive, that was planned to go all the way to Cliff Street as part of the Victoria Quay integrated development with the Phillimore Street and railway station upgrade.

C.Y O’Connor is a very important person to remember on W.A. Day and because the State coffers are empty Premier Colin Barnett has had another pipe dream about how to get drinking water to Perth. This time it’s not going to be a canal from the Kimberley but, to avoid expensive cost for desalination, we will now be pumping water from Kalgoorlie to Perth along the CY O’Connor pipeline. That would have made a good April’s Fool joke and of course I only invented it.

Roel Loopers

P.S. Why is there no WA DAY event in Fremantle, but for meditation and Tai Chi at the Esplanade tomorrow? Can I suggest that next year we do the biggest ever barbeque, where people bring their own BBQs to the Esplanade, or the lawn at the Round House and we can have a very Freo celebration.



Posted in city of fremantle, waves by freoview on January 18, 2015

The Sunday Times reports today that Flow House has applied to Fremantle council to install a wave simulator on the former Ampol fuel depot site at Port Beach about fifty-metres north of Salt on the Beach. Flow House already runs wave simulators in countries like the UK and USA. WA has only one wave simulator in Kalgoorlie.

Whilst I have been asking for years for more tourist attractions for Fremantle I am not sure that creating artificial waves at a beach with natural waves is something I would get excited about. Wave simulators are great in cities that are not near an ocean. For me it’s a bit like the gimmick of making a beach at Forrest Place in Perth. That might be a good idea for places like Berlin, that are hundreds of kilometres away from the ocean, but for a city like Perth that is built along the coast it is rather silly to have an artificial beach in the CBD.

Roel Loopers


Posted in art, fremantle, history by freoview on September 24, 2014

Charles Yelverton O'Connor

Engineer Charles Yelverton O’Connor is a very important man in Fremantle’s and Western Australia’s history. He created Fremantle Harbour and built the Perth to Kalgoorlie water pipeline. Sadly he killed himself at South Beach.

On Friday artist Jo Darvall will honour C.Y. when her exhibition C.Y.O’Connor-Myth&Legacy opens at the Moores Building Contemporary Arts Centre in Henry Street. Walking the Pipeline to the Waters End will be the first in a series of three shows.

For all who love history and art, this should be a great show, especially since Darvall also refers to Sidney Nolan and Ned Kelly in her work.

Roel Loopers


Posted in Uncategorized by freoview on May 7, 2014

The prospector missing since yesterday afternoon in wooded and undulated land out of Kalgoorlie is 76 year old Peter O’Shaughnessy, the father of Fremantle ABC radio personality Gillian and her sister Wendy, who is marketing officer at the City of Fremantle.

I sincerely hope that the helicopter on its way from Esperance to Kalgoorlie will find Peter before the rain starts in that area and that he will be found safe and well!

I also hope that when found there won’t be too many TV cameras around as it would be embarrassing for passionate Dockers supporter Gillian that her father is wearing a West Coast Eagles top.

Let’s put positive thoughts out and cross our fingers that all will be well with Mr. O’Shaughnessy!!

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on September 3, 2012

A Facebook group has demanded the removal of the artwork FACE of Cockburn at the train station there. They hate the digitally manipulated images put together out of hundreds of portraits of residents of Cockburn and made into large faces that are on display. Already another Facebook page has been set up to keep the art at the train station.

What is art? It is a bit like beauty and in the eye of the beholder I believe. What I like others hate and vice versa. Art really gets people to voice their opinion and that is good, what is not good is when people in power intervene as recently happened in South Perth, where the portrait of a former Mayor painted by Len Zuks was removed because councillors decided it was not appropriate.

That story reminded me of the Kalgoorlie Art Awards where years ago three professional art curators flown in from Perth judged the prize but were overruled by council who did not like their decision.

As the former Mayor of South Perth said on ABC radio, councillors have far more important work to do for their communities than to become judges of art works.

In Cockburn some hate and other like the Face of Cockburn artwork, so let the debate continue and art rule.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on May 30, 2011

The ITALIANS IN FREMANTLE exhibition of historic photographs is well worth a visit. I did not know much about that part of our history; the racism, the Kalgoorlie riots, the internment of Italians during the World War, etc. It is in the beautiful atrium of the Town Hall and is part of the very good 2011 HERITAGE FESTIVAL.

Also part of the festival is tomorrow’s Q&A at Victoria Hall the home of Deckchair Theatre. It starts at 7 and is free. Come and ask some provocative questions to make it a lively debate!

It promises to be a good evening with panelists ex Premier Carmen Lawrence, town planner Greg Smith, Mayor Brad Pettitt, History Society’s Anne Brake and others, while gorgeous ABC personality Robyn Johnston will be in charge. The evening is organised by the ever active Fremantle Society.

Roel Loopers



Posted in australia, perth, racism, refugees, western australia by freoview on July 29, 2010

It has taken a while but today the Western Australian state government announced a one off payment of over 3 million dollars to the widow and children of Aboriginal elder Mr. Ward, who was left to rot in the back of a prison van on the way to Kalgoorlie.

This is just one tiny step to get rid of racism and racist attitudes in this country and we will succeed. Racism is unacceptable at any level and need to be fought, be that for our indigenous people or for the boat people who are treated like trash and political footballs by our major parties. It needs to be stopped!

Roel Loopers



Posted in perth, politics, racism, western australia by freoview on July 11, 2010

Only a few hundred people braved the wet, cold and stormy weather today in the Supreme Court Gardens in Perth to protest about the DPP’s decision not to charge anyone with the death of Aboriginal elder Mr. Ward, who died in the back of a prison van on the way to Kalgoorlie.

This is yet another disgraceful death in custody that should never have happened.



Posted in fremantle, photography, western australia by freoview on February 5, 2010

Happy 65th birthday to Fremantle photographer and personality Roger Garwood!

Roger arrived here from England some 37 years ago and made a name for himself especially during the America’s Cup challenge off the W.A. coast. He also published several successful books on Fremantle, Broome and the gold diggers around Kalgoorlie.

Garwood has been a mentor and tutor to many young photographers and is always willing to share his knowledge and anecdotes about the photographic industry with anyone who wants to listen.

There are not many people in Fremantle Roger would not have had a coffee or drink with and who listened to his passion for the port city.

Roger will have an exhibition of his Blessing of the Fleet photos at this year’s FotoFreo.

If you want to say happy birthday to him, his email address is:

Roel Loopers

Roger Garwood by Roel Loopers

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