Freo's View

TODAY TONIGHT FILMING ARTHUR’S HEAD NEGLECT

 

 

A team from Channel Seven-Today Tonight spent most of the morning in Fremantle to film a story about the neglect of historic Arthur’s Head and WAs oldest public building the Roundhouse.

They interviewed a structural engineer about stabilisation solutions for the rockfall problem and a Roundhouse tourguide about the historic significance of the area.

It will be screened tomorrow, Wednesday at 6.30pm so make sure to watch it, and hopefully WA State politicians will watch it as well and put their hands in their pockets and fund the essential maintenance and repairs as a priority.

Send an email to Heritage Minister David Templeman, Premier Mark McGowan, Tourism Minister Paul Papalia and Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk, and urge them to preserve one of Western Australia’s most significant historic precincts!

Roel Loopers

BEAUTIFUL FREMANTLE WITH GREAT COMMUNITY

 

 

There is so much noise and chatter about the negativity of social media currently, with many politicians and those in the mainstream media ignoring they are part of the problem, that it is time to remind ourselves that while not everything is perfect here Fremantle is a very special place to live in with people who have a great sense of community.

So here just a few photos I took yesterday afternoon while trying to walk off my hay fever.

Opening your eyes, heart and mind to beauty is so much better than focusing on the few negative aspects of life. Most people in the world are good people, so let’s not concentrate on the few bad apples.

Roel Loopers

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RESPECT CREATES A BETTER COMMUNITY

 

There is a lot of hypocrisy gong on in the mainstream media and from politicians in the wake of the white supremacist terrorist attack on two Christchurch mosques.

Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon to play the blame game about irresponsible social media without taken responsibility for their own contributions.

Mainstream media has moved so far right that it is not funny, with the West Australian newspaper becoming the mouthpiece for the Liberal/National Federal government and right-wing  columns by  Andrew Bolt, Paul Murray, Gemma Tognini and others.

Federal politicians have been engaging in fear mongering about Muslims and refugees, while the ultimate hypocrites must be Sunrise which puts Pauline Hanson on a weekly panel to sprout her racist nonsense, but suddenly attack her for those views after the Christchurch massacre.

There is no doubt though that social media has created a terribly negative community conversation that spreads hatred, ignorance, racism, innuendo, conspiracy and name-calling and where all respect for people with a different view point has disappeared, and that also happens on a local level here in Fremantle.

I want to believe that Australia is better than that! I want to believe that we are still the fair-go and tolerant multicultural country, where every law abiding person from all over the world can make a new home and where we welcome those who need a safe haven away from war, violence and abuse.

But we all need to be more aware of what we are writing on social media and try not to engage so dismissively and angrily when we don’t agree with posts of others, and the mainstream media needs to start to be more considerate and respectful as well and understand how damaging sensationalist reporting can be to individuals. The Jesse Hogan story of the Fremantle Dockers is such a case. This young man does have a mental health issue and he does not need to be humiliated in the media for that. Leave him alone and let him heal!

We should all take a lesson from New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. What empathy and compassion, what dignity, strength and integrity, and what outstanding leadership!

Roel Loopers

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COPS ON THE BEAT NOT MEDIA BEAT UP IS WHAT FREMANTLE NEEDS

 

While the concerns of the Fremantle retailers about antisocial behavior, violence and shoplifting are genuine and need to be much better attacked by WA Police, it is not at all helpful for their businesses to get a silly tabloid headline such as “Is Fremantle On Its Knees?” on Channel 7 Today Tonight and negative articles on line in the West Australian and Perth Now/Sunday Times.

Big negative headlines in the media will no doubt have an impact on visitors and shoppers and while retailers claim shoppers stay away from Fremantle because they don’t feel safe, it is more likely they will stay away because of the negativity in mainstream and on social media.

The City of Fremantle does extremely well when one considers all the CCTV around town and the Community Safety officers patrolling the streets daily from early till late, but at the end it is the State Government that will need to demand from the Police Commissioner that we will get a regular and constant number of officers on foot, on bike and in cars in Fremantle, and not just for a few weeks after bad press.

Bad press is not helping Fremantle! We have read for years that parking supposedly was an issue, but it wasn’t really, and we had a former CEO of the Chamber of Commerce who loved to be photographed in front of vacant shops complaining that retail was declining-as it did everywhere else-and now we have the outrage about homeless people, vagrants, foul language, abuse, etc.

I do totally get the frustration of those who have to deal with this shit daily and are victims of it, in and in front of their shops, but it is much better to put pressure on the Police Commissioner, the Minister for Police and the Premier of this state to let them know that it is not good enough, no matter that incidents such as we have in Fremantle also regularly occur in Cockburn, Midland, Perth, Northbridge, etc.

Our traders, shoppers, tourists, residents, workers and everyone who comes into Freo deserve to have a good time. Feeling unsafe might just be a perception for many, but that makes it a reality for them and that needs to be stopped. Now! We want and need more police on the beat each and every day and indefinitely to prevent all the unacceptable and unlawful incidents happening, not to write reports after the event!

Roel Loopers

MAYOR’S REASONS FOR NEW FREO CIVIC CENTRE

 

Interesting to read on page 3 of the Fremantle Herald the explanations given by Mayor Brad Pettitt for the building of the new Civic Centre and the Kings Square Redevelopment Project.

The Mayor responds to some of the criticism the development has received and points out that a previous council in 2003 saw the need to replace the ailing and outdated former centre.

An expert report in 2012 noted that it would cost the City of Fremantle $ 28 million to meet minimum standards plus another $ 50 million to add needed extensions to the building and upgrade and refurbish it.

Dr Pettitt points out that the new Civic Centre is much more than just a new home for Councillors and staff and that it will have a big library, double the size of the previous one, with courtyards, a library lounge, a better history centre, computers, gaming consoles, etc.

The former library attracted 14,000 people a month, so one can imagine this will increase when the library has more to offer.

The Mayor states that the $ 41.3 million civic centre project will be funded over the next four years, so it won’t be, as some critics allege, a financial burden on future generations of Freo ratepayers.

All I see is that some people disagree with the City’s expert officers and consultants, so who is right? I suppose the future will tell us.

Now that the contract with Pindan has been signed we need to move on and hope that it will all work out and that Fremantle will be an amazing and vibrant city again in a few years from now.

Roel Loopers

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STOP WHINGEING AND LET’S GET ON WITH CREATING AN EVEN BETTER FREMANTLE!

 

Kings Square Redevelopment Project seen from Monument Hill

 

There was a nonsensical letter in the West Australian yesterday calling for Local Government Minister David Templeman to get rid of Fremantle Council because they are building a new civic centre and selling off council property.

The claim that this is just an exercise in creating a palace for Mayor Brad Pettitt and Councillors is absolutely ridiculous and just cheap political point scoring by those who  do not want to accept the democratic process.

I emailed my response to the letter to the West late yesterday, but they receive many letters daily so mine might not get published. Here it is:

It is quite wrong to suggest that the new Fremantle Civic Centre is some kind of extravagant palace for the Mayor, Councillors and staff. The name says it all! It is the Civic Centre for the entire community with a new great library, community meeting rooms and the public council chambers where we can observe grassroots politics at work.

Our democratically elected members decided to sign off on the Kings Square Redevelopment Project in collaboration with Sirona Capital many years ago, to help revive the ailing economy of Fremantle and get more people working, living and visiting Fremantle.

Tourist hotels are being built, and so is the State Government required urban infill through medium density residential development.

To suggest now that we should just stop the project, disregard legal contracts with Sirona, and build the new civic centre somewhere else is ridiculous.

The whole idea was to get more people into the CBD, not to let hundreds of staff and civic centre visitors go to the suburbs.

And I bet all those who now suddenly say that the City of Fremantle should simply transform the site into an open public space will no doubt be the first ones yelling and screaming when vagrants and beggars make the Kings Square park their new home, just opposite the new FOMO retail concept.

The Kings Square Redevelopment Project was decided on over six years ago, so what is all the whingeing about now suddenly? It’s pathetic.

Roel Loopers

NOTHING NEW ABOUT FREO’S YELLOW ART IS NOT EXCLUSIVE!

Posted in architecture, art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on January 22, 2019

 

 

The integrity of the West Australian newspaper is on the line with yet again another claim of exclusivity when in fact the article reports absolutely nothing new.

It has been well known in Fremantle for months that former Mayor Peter Tagliaferri has taken a writ out against the City of Fremantle and wants $ 50,000 to repair and repaint the facade of his building on the corner of High and Cliff streets for the removal of the yellow foil of the Felice Varini artwork.

But that has not stopped the only daily newspaper in Perth from claiming today that the article is exclusive. Bull….!

In the meantime painters are working hard to remedy the damage and the first three buildings they have almost done look pretty good to a layman like me.

Roel Loopers

 

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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

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