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

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

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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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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LOOPY’S LOVE FOR FREO

Posted in city of fremantle, community, media, Uncategorized by freoview on November 21, 2017

 

Gazette

 

I thought I recognised that ugly mug in the Fremantle Gazette today, so now people can read all about Loopy’s love for Freo.

 

Roel Loopers

HERALD OWNER ATTACKS EAST FREMANTLE MAYOR

Posted in city of fremantle, east fremantle, elections, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 30, 2017

 

east freo

 

Andrew Smith, owner of the Fremantle Herald and former East Fremantle Mayor has attacked Mayor Jim O’Neill in a full page advertisement in the free-range Chook this weekend.

Smith claims that O’Neill refused to fight the proposed local government reform and amalgamation with Fremantle because he supported it, and that O’Neill had put his name up to manage the council merger for the WA government if it went ahead.

Smith says that the Mayor leads a divided council because of factionalism.

Jim O’Neill won’t be able to lead the plans for the future of East Fremantle Oval, Smith claims, because he lives next door to it, and that the town planning under O’Neill has resulted in massive development near the Townhall and that the Royal George Hotel site could go up to 18 storeys. The latter was denied recently on this blog by Deputy Mayor Michael McPhail.

Herald owner Andrew Smith also attacks the sacking of two CEOs, but for transparency reasons should have disclosed that sacked CEO Stuart Wearne is the brother of the Herald’s long-time advertising manager Natalie Hug.

It is clear that the mayoral debates in Freo and East Freo are heated, but that is alright for democracy as long as everyone tries to stick with the facts.

 

Roel Loopers

VOTE ROEL FOR CITY WARD! 

 

TOTALLY COMMITTED TO FREO

Posted in city of fremantle, community, Uncategorized by freoview on September 1, 2017

 

letter

 

I love Fremantle unconditionally, the way one loves a child. Out of town friends often ask me why, because all they can see when they visit is beggars, empty shops and the odd overflowing rubbish bin.

I think I love Freo because it is like we all are. We are great, but far from perfect.

I am committed to making a positive difference to the city I love, and one way is to write letters to the newspapers. This is the third one published in the West Australian in two weeks.

 

Roel Loopers

 

UNFAIR ROE 8 ATTACKS ON FREMANTLE HERALD

Posted in fremantle, fremantle herald, media, newspaper by freoview on February 15, 2017

I am disappointed to hear that the Fremantle Herald has received a lot of negative calls and emails regarding the Liberal Party wrap around they published a few weeks ago, which promoted the Perth Freight Link/Roe 8 highway project. People even told the Chook to no longer deliver the paper to them.

The Fremantle Herald is a very important institution for our city. It is so iconic that it should be heritage listed and it does not deserve the unwarranted attacks by narrow-focussed people.

It also published a wrap around by the Labor Party against the Roe 8/PFL project, so that pretty much balances it out.

Simple fact is that a small community paper like the Herald only can operate because of advertising revenue. Without substantial ads it can not pay staff and delivery people and we all would miss out on our only independent local paper.

Unlike our major daily newspaper that tries to brainwash us with right-wing opinion pieces by Andrew Bolt, Miranda Devine and Paul Murray the Chook is nowadays quite balanced, after a period of being extremely negative about the City of Fremantle.

Newspapers do not endorse the companies that advertise with them. An advertisement in the Herald for a cafe or restaurant does not mean it recommends you go there or that the food is great. If the Herald only published advertisement from companies and products they endorse, they would not survive. It’s as simple as that!

Fact is that the Herald does not get several pages of advertising each week from major department and retail stores, because we don’t have any in the Chook’s distribution area, so our local paper is struggling to survive, as many of our traders are.

I love Fremantle because of the many passionate and caring people and I am very impressed with the Beeliar Wetlands daily protest they have kept up, but to say that the Herald cannot publish ads of political parties you don’t agree with is very Hanson/Trumpish and it is a very unrealistic stand to take.

The Herald deserves a fair go and our support because without it Fremantle would be poorer for it.

Roel Loopers

FREO J SHED ARTISTS BIG IN WEST AUSTRALIAN

Posted in art, bathers beach art precinct, fremantle, j shed by freoview on October 22, 2016

j-shed

Fantastic to see Fremantle J Shed artists getting serious recognition in the West Australian today with an entire article by Annelies Gartner on the arts pages about their involvement with the CASTAWAY Sculpture Awards in Rockingham.

Greg James, Janet Nixon, Lesley Barrett and David Johansen all work out of Greg James’ J Shed studio at Bathers Beach and are all represented at the Rocky beach show that starts today, so go down south and have a look!

Roel Loopers

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