Freo's View

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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RESPECT THE WAY FORWARD FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government, social media, Uncategorized by freoview on May 31, 2018

 

Firewoks Fishing Boat Harbour

 

The editor of the Fremantle Herald must have thought it clever to repeat as a headline the F*** You Brad shout a member of the public made at the council meeting about the proposed J Shed tavern, but what the newspaper did was lowering itself to the standard that has become the norm on social media platforms such as Freo Massive.

Bullying, slander, name-calling, conspiracy and defamation and a total lack of respect for anyone who dares to have a different opinion has become the norm on social media in Fremantle and that is very disappointing.

With WA DAY coming up this long weekend I wish and hope that our community can return to respectful dialogue, and robust but fair debate about the issues we are passionate about.

People who have never met and who know very little about one another make assumptions and accusations, and a large part of the vile debate it just opinionated ignorance by people who refuse to inform themselves before embarrassing themselves by posting utter nonsense.

There is no reason not to know what is going on in Fremantle as all council agenda, minutes, planning proposals etc. are posted on the City of Fremantle website, and other information is out on Facebook, Twitter and through local media.

We often read and hear the accusation of Fremantle Council not following process and community consultation, even when we had lengthy periods of it, e.g Cantonment Hill, traffic calming along South Terrace in South Fremantle, J Shed, etc.etc. The issue is that far too many members of the public can’t be bothered to check what is going on in their own city and then blame council and the administration for their own ignorance.

Respect and courtesy are beautiful things and make life so much more pleasurable and easy. No one wants to be abused or intimidated, and not many people will want to engage in what should be a healthy community debate when they fear abuse and slander.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with anyone having a different opinion. They don’t suddenly become the enemy because they don’t agree with you, and cheap point-scoring and name-calling is not at all helpful to moving forward together as a community.

Good debate can help find new solutions, as long as we show tolerance and respect for the ideas of others. Life is not black&white but complex, and local government is even more so.

Respect for others is the key word for me because we need to accept that whatever we do and say will have a positive or negative impact on others, so think about that before you call someone a @#&*%@# so and so next time. Stick to the facts and let’s have an informed, mature and civil debate.

We are very lucky to live in a unique place like Fremantle and to have such a diverse and unique community. We need to build on that by challenging and rejecting disrespectful social media posts, and we should condemn the headline in the Herald for what it is-immature juvenile Schadenfreude.

Have a happy and respectful WA Day!

Roel Loopers

FIREWORKS at the Fishing Boat Harbour at 6pm this Sunday!

MORE CREATIVE WAYS TO ACTIVATE ARTHUR’S HEAD

 

In context to the controversial tavern proposal for Fremantle’s J Shed there is a timely article in today’s property pages of the WEST AUSTRALIAN by Brett Mitchell, who is a lecturer at Curtin University at the School of Design and Built Environment.

The article Past, present populate our cityscape argues that we can no longer treat development sites as terra nullius.

Brett Mitchell writes “Our past history and future aspirations should be entwined as creative starting points for making meaningful places.”

He writes that before moving forward we have to look back first. Mitchell uses the heritage-listed cemetery in East Perth as an example where development dictated the shifting boundaries, and that once important meeting places for Whadjuk Noongar people became surrounded and claimed for expansion.

“With an awareness and retelling of our embedded stories the built environment also offers us a chance to reveal the past within the present” writes Brett Mitchell.

These are the things Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt clearly did not consider when he wrote his block post about the, in his opinion, historic irrelevance of the A Class Reserve at Arthur’s Head that is home to J Shed.

The cliff that was once there was the point of the first lighthouse in Fremantle, probably just about where J Shed now is.

We should never ever try to rewrite history to make political points, because it is flawed and very wrong. Arthur’s Head is arguably the most significant historic site in Western Australia and any development there needs to be done with respect for the past.

The desired activation of  Arthur’s Head can be achieved in better and more creative ways than building a tavern there. It is only Council’s shortsightedness and stubbornness that has prevented better outcomes.

 

Roel Loopers

 

 

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FREO NO 2 ALTERNATIVE CAPITAL CITY IN AUSTRALIA

Posted in city of fremantle, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on May 12, 2018

 

The AUSTRALIAN TRAVELLER rates Fremantle No 2 in their long list of Alternative Capitals, after Bendigo in Victoria which was rated No 1.

Also on the list of gorgeous alternative cities are No 3 Bundaberg, QLD, No 4 Newcastle, NSW, No 5 Townsville, QLD, No 6 Ballarat, Vic, No 7 Alice Springs NT, No 8 Launceston, Tas, No 9 Mount Gambier, SA and No 10 Armidale NSW.

AUSTRALIAN TRAVELLER wrote about Fremantle: #2: Alternative capital – Fremantle, Western Australia Eat : Port city Fremantle is known for its precincts of late Victorian and early Edwardian buildings that were spared the wrecking ball when the (wheat and gold) glory days ended and economic activity shifted to Perth. A wander down the lively stretch of South Terrace known as Cappuccino Strip provides a great snapshot of this. Stop for coffee, of course, but also restaurants, pubs and breweries and the nearby Fremantle Markets. Drink: Fremantle’s iconic Little Creatures Brewery is based out of a huge waterfront shed that was once a crocodile farm. If that isn’t enough to pique your interest, perhaps the lure of a pale ale and pizza in the buzzy Great Hall or in the sunny backyard will do the trick. Play: Housed in a former asylum built by convicts, today the Fremantle Arts Centre is a contemporary cultural space. It hosts exhibitions such as Revealed Exhibition: New and Emerging WA Aboriginal Artists (until 21 May), talks and gigs – from local musicians to big-ticket international acts – across its ample grounds.

Roel Loopers

 

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