Freo's View

IS HERALD GRANT REFUSAL WORTH FRONT PAGE ?

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

FREMANTLE MAYOR WANTS FREO PORT TO STAY

 

The opinion piece by Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt in today’s West Australian about the pros and cons of an outer harbour, and the continuation of Fremantle as a working port is pragmatic and realistic, and without the political spin we are often getting about this important topic.

Brad Pettitt rightly argues that there is no immediate need for an outer harbour in Kwinana and that the environmental damage to Cockburn Sound might well be unacceptable. The Mayor also points out that shifting the port away from Fremantle would “erode Fremantle’s history and identity and lead to a big loss of economic activity…”

I agree with the Freo Mayor that the Perth Freight Link was a flawed plan that did not resolve how to get freight to the port, and that increased container freight by rail, with a new rail bridge across the Swan River, could see Fremantle continue as our much-liked working port.

It is a good idea to move the offloading of imported vehicles to Kwinana, or even Bunbury, and maybe also the scrap metal and live sheep transport.

A new rail bridge and rail line and better use of freight on roads, where we no longer see empty trucks running in and out of the port, and more freight by road during the evenings, are all part of the solution.

Fremantle Ports and the State Government should also become serious about part development of Victoria Quay and prioritise this by changing the buffer zones around the port, so that tourist and residential accommodation will be possible.

Moving the car imports away from Fremantle can be done very fast and does not need large infrastructure investment and the same applies to sheep trade.

I love the working port of Fremantle and would hate to see it become only a port for cruise ships. The container ships are part of Freo’s history and should continue to be so for many more years.

Roel Loopers

NO SPIN PLEASE IN WESTPORT PROCESS

Posted in city of fremantle, environment, fremantle ports, state government, Uncategorized by freoview on December 17, 2018

 

It is often difficult to see the facts through the haze of spin when important community, environmental and political issues are raised, as is the case with the strong lobbying for an alternative port at Kwinana by some community and political groups and by the Town of Kwinana council.

There were strong opinions for and against Roe 8, but it seems that now has been abandoned forever with the road reserve being canceled by the WA Labor government recently.

But when one reads Paul Murray’s column in the weekend West Australian a port at Kwinana would have the most negative and biggest environmental and social issues of Fremantle, Kwinana and Bunbury, with Fremantle Port having the lowest impact assessment.

It seems strange that there has been political interference by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti who, according to Murray’s article, edited the report released by the Westport Taskforce last week. If that is true that should worry us all, as the environmental assessment published by the MUA is no longer part of the report.

It is very clear that the traffic bottleneck in North Fremantle  will hamper any substantial growth of Fremantle Port, so what will the State Government do about that?

The Maritime Union of Australia is strongly opposed to a Kwinana Port, because it would see a loss of jobs, and they say that Fremantle Port could double its container intake and could operate for another 20 years, but at what cost to the traffic flow in effected suburbs?

The Westport Taskforce started with a big bang and the assurance that everyone would be consulted and that it would be a transparent process, so it is essential for the State Government not to interfere with the process and not “edit” any of the findings by the supposedly independent taskforce.

Roel Loopers

REPORT THE FREO FACTS

 

 

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

MORE SIGNS OF KINGS SQUARE PROGRESS

 

 

The first visual signs of the demolition of the City of Fremantle civic building are there. Specialist asbestos removalists have been inside the building for weeks, but today I noticed the first demolition signs of the exterior of the building on the roof.

Two more Moreton Bay fig trees are also in the process of being cut down, so it is all happening at our city square.

Disappointing though to read the lament of the retailers and the trend of the ABC article blaming Sirona Capital and the Kings Square development for the retail downturn.

Retail has been going down everywhere for quite some years now and Fremantle traders have long asked for rent reductions. There is little doubt that a big construction site will negatively impact on nearby traders, but the City of Fremantle and Sirona Capital have from the very start of the Kings Square Project communicated very well with all involved and try to support them and promote their businesses.

Unfortunately there is always short-term pain for long-term gain, but I absolutely understand that for a small business it is about surviving somehow.

Please do go and support the local traders around Kings Square! There is one-hour free parking along William and Queen streets, so make an effort. And try the yummy Italian food at Parlappa!!

Roel Loopers

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RECLINK CUP A FUN DAY AT FREO OVAL

Posted in afl, city of fremantle, community, media, music, Uncategorized by freoview on September 5, 2018

 

Sept 9 Reclinc Cup

 

The RECLINK CUP is on again this year, this Saturday September 9 at Fremantle Oval, so get out there for an afternoon of fun while supporting a good cause.

Fremantle Councillors, Freo celebrities, and all who can-barely-kick a footy will be playing a match of AFL between Musicians vs Media on the oval. There is also live music and entertainment, so come along!

Roel Loopers

 

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REFLECTION OF HISTORIC FREMANTLE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, fremantle herald, Uncategorized by freoview on August 26, 2018

 

reflection Cliff Street

 

Another one of my street photo reflections.  This one is in a window of Notre Dame University of Cliff Street on the corner where the Fremantle Herald is.

The Chook is our only real Freo community paper so please support it by advertising in it! Community papers are doing it tough because of declining retail and several of them have already closed around Australia, so if you want the Herald to be there ‘forever’ support it!!

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE ON THE RIGHT DEVELOPMENT TRACK

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, city planning, development, media, Uncategorized by freoview on August 23, 2018

 

Kate Emery’s article in today’s West Australian with the headline Kings Square Boost for Freo is good and positive and something Fremantle Council deserves.

Emery writes that contrary to a fall of development approvals in WA by nine per cent Fremantle had a record of building approvals to the sum of $ 313 million last year, largely due to the $ 270 million Kings Square redevelopment project by Sirona Capital and Fremantle City.

In Emery’s article the CEO of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce Olwyn Williams rightly points out that Fremantle also  needs more medium density residential development and better coordination with the State Government.

While Kate Emery mentions the WGV development in White Gum Valley and development in South Fremantle, it needs to be stressed that residential development also needs to happen outside of the CBD, to make sure there is affordable, student and social housing.

The Heart of Beacy project at the TAFE site will be a good and substantial start in that direction, and the options on the present Works Depot site at Knutsford Street are limitless if the City approaches the development of the area with creativity and an open mind and does not get side tracked into too much One Planet philosophical details, which would make development more expensive and less affordable.

There is no doubt that Fremantle is on the right track to attract more residents, more office workers and more businesses to the port city, but flexibility is a key requirement to move forward.

Roel Loopers

 

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN ON FREO’S FUTURE

 

The West Australian newspaper published a feature article by Ken Acott today about Fremantle’s future with the headline Freo ripe for new investment to retain its edge.

The article is based on analysis by PCW City Pulse and features the opinion of Nadia van Dommelen, who is a partner in that firm, and also Freo Mayor Brad Pettit.

A lot of what van Dommelen says is not new and she puts a lot of hope in a new waterfront development along Victoria Quay and the move of the container port to Kwinana, so that is still far too far away to be realised.

But Nadia van Dommelen rightly states that Fremantle needs to stop comparing itself with other cities and be proud of the special character and gritty uniqueness of the old port city.

While van Dommelen is excited about eventual waterfront development she believes that the working port, sheds and railway are all part of Fremantle’s charm, and any future development needs to be authentic. She says there is now major opportunity for transformative investment in Fremantle, and that is already happening

I believe Fremantle’s immediate future needs intensive city planning that deals with all the current and imminent development, and that the City’s Council and planners need to have a strategic plan for creating better and more public realm that connects the new developments in the CBD.

The Heirloom and LIV apartments at Queen Victoria Street will be joined in the next few years by the Little Lane apartments in Adelaide Street, the Hilton Doubletree hotel development and apartments at Point Street and the Adani Hotel on the Woolstores site.

Add to that the development of the Manning building, the huge Kings Square development, plans for a new Fremantle Oval Precinct, a small boutique hotel next to the Fremantle Markets plus a four-storey hotel at the former Court and Police site at Henderson Street, and one can envisage a huge change in the inner city that will require more detailed planning for people movement, parking, safety, and enjoyment.

It is imperative that Fremantle Council is very realistic and very pragmatic about what it needs to do and what can be achieved. This is not the time for pie in the sky ideas but for the elected members to have their feet firmly on the ground.

I hope it’s not a bad omen that the West Australian on-line article about Fremantle’s future features a photo of the Botega cafe that recently closed. ; >)

Roel Loopers

 

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COMMUNITY OUTRAGE ABOUT FREMANTLE HERALD’S F WORD USE

 

The front page of the Fremantle Herald does not have the head line Community Outrage About F Word, but the paper did publish several letters to the editor expressing outrage about last week’s article about the J Shed debate at Fremantle Council.

Editor and owner of the Herald Andrew Smith does however apologise to Aboriginal elder Herbert Bropho for publishing the awful F word headline above a photo of him.

According to Andrew Smith the F word headline reflected the mood of the council meeting and hence it was deemed appropriate by him to publish it.

The Herald then publishes it’s own Thinking Allowed-why not call it an editorial?- in which it claims that most community members miss the main point that Fremantle Council is ‘badly divided, split down the middle’ and argues it is time for a rethink about the activation of Arthur’s Head.

Fremantle Council is indeed divided about a tavern at J Shed but only 4 Councillors voted against it at the last meeting. Councillors Strachan, Pemberton and Waltham were absent and Councillor Wainwright did not vote, as he had declared a conflict of interest.

It is not a factual understanding of procedures to claim Fremantle Council is badly divided, but that probably comes from the fact that the Fremantle Herald very rarely has a reporter present at Council and Council Committee meetings.

The first things that needs to happen before Council can rethink the activation of Arthur’s Head is for the WAPC or the Liquor Licensing Authority to reject the tavern proposal.

While I too would love to see a substantial Whadjuk Noongar presence at J Shed it would be up to our indigenous leaders to decide if that would be an appropriate location for an Aboriginal cultural centre as a tourist attraction.

Roel Loopers

 

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