Freo's View


Ordinary Council of the City of Fremantle this evening rejected the proposal by Sunset Events for an 850 patron tavern and 1,500 patron outdoor music venue, plus micro brewery and coffee roaster at J Shed on historic Arthur Head, to the delight of community and heritage groups and local residents, who have been fighting strongly against it for over two years. This is however still not the end of it as the final authority for the development is the WA Planning Committee.

Mayor Brad Pettitt and Councillors Wainwright, Pemberton and McDonald all declared a conflict of interest and were not part of the deliberations and voting. Only Councillors Hume and Sullivan voted for it, while Deputy Mayor Dave Coggin and Councillors Waltham, Strachan, Naber and Jones were against the development.

The many residents, representatives of community groups and neighbouring artists stated that the J Shed/Arthur Head area can be activated in a more respectful and appropriate way than was proposed and that from 78 submissions sent to council 76 were against the tavern and live music venue. It was also clear that the excessive noise levels of 0ver 100 decibel recorded during the trial period this summer violated the Environmental Protection Act.

Sunset Events director David Chitty said the trial period was to show how the large concerts would work and that they wanted an answer if the development could go ahead or they would move on.

Councillor Jon Strachan, as the Chair of the Planning Committee, explained why the committee had rejected the approval three weeks ago and said that any fair and reasonable assessment of the proposal showed it did not comply with many of Council’s own policies. He said the proposal did not fit in with his vision for the site.

Only Councillor Andrew Sullivan spoke in favour of the proposal, saying that this was only about planning approval and not about the concerts. I am nonplussed about this statement as one cannot recommend the building of a tavern without also agreeing with the purpose it is built for. It’s a bit like approving a sewer but then rejecting that faeces run through it.

Councillor Bryn Jones said a tavern and live music venue does not compliment the work of the artists at J Shed and is very inconvenient for them. “Are we going to have a 21 year war or buy the artists out and make the whole building into a tavern?”

The question now is if Sunset Events will be a good corporate citizen and accepts the vote of Full Council and the Planning Committee and withdraw its application at the WAPC, or if they will try to get approval against the wishes of Fremantle’s Elected Members and the Fremantle community. Common sense should prevail and they should pull out, I believe.

Roel Loopers


Posted in art, concerts, fremantle, j shed by freoview on April 2, 2016

J Shed


I had a bit of a laugh about the letter in the Fremantle Herald by San Cisco band manager Philip Stevens, who reacted to the article the newspaper published last week about the excessive noise of the concert.

As I have mentioned here before I think San Cisco plays great music and I am delighted for them they are so successful. The people in the band are also very nice people and no one claimed the band did anything wrong.

But for the manager to say the J Shed artists should just take a break from their work activities when a band does sound checks is very unrealistic. It is their livelihood and if they have to stop every time Sunset Events has something on they would not be very productive.

The sound check also interfered with the Roundhouse guides firing the cannon as the tourists could not understand the talk by the guide, so that is not on.

The funniest part of the letter in the Herald is the manager claiming that the 1,000 patrons to the concert “engaged in a healthy activity” that might inspire them to take up a career in the arts. There was no access to the artists studios from the live music venue compound, so what would have inspired them? Portaloos and seacontainers are not artworks. I doubt also that the Australian Medical Association would agree that drinking alcohol and popping pills while listening to music is a healthy activity.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, fremantle ports, western australia by freoview on April 1, 2016

There is a protest meeting on Saturday April 2 at 2 pm at the South Beach lawn near the Sailing Club where people want to start a petition to stop freight train movement to and from Fremantle Port between 11 pm and 7 am. I find the notion utterly ridiculous as Femantle has had a 24/7 working port for as long as I know.

What is next, demanding the trains don’t run on weekends and public holidays either so that those who bought apartments and houses near the railway line have their peace of mind?

This is the same mentality as people who buy property near a pub and then complain about music noise and patrons leaving. I am aware Fremantle Ports have received complaints from people who bought apartments in new buildings in North Fremantle and who demanded port operations stop at 7 pm.

I lived for two and a half years next to the Roundhouse in one of the old Pilots Cottages there and never had an issue with the trains passing by, and I also heard noise from the port but that did not bother me either, because I knew when I moved in that I was only a few metres from the railway line and a few hundred metres from the port.

The call for action on Facebook mentions the name of Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk and I am very surprised she would want to get involved in this as the Maritime Union of Australia will start kicking ass, and rightly so.

The annoying wheel squeal of the trains can be solved with water spray, so why not suggest that this will be installed instead of the totally unrealistic demand for trains to only run between 7 am and 11 pm. Do people even realise how many thousands of dollars it costs to keep a ship in port?

Move to the east of Fremantle where you can start complaining about traffic noise that goes on 24 hours a day!

Roel Loopers


Posted in busking, city of fremantle, local government by freoview on April 1, 2016

The announcement by the City of Fremantle that buskers who use amplified music will have to get a permit is already a controversial one and not much liked in the muso community.

I quite understand the outrage in our over-regulated society that yet again a new permit is needed to just be creative and earn a bit of cash, but I also understand that it can be highly annoying for people in shops and cafes to have to listen to music that is too loud.

But what will happen to music like drums, that is not amplified but can still be very intrusive, and will the buskers outside the Fremantle Markets also need to apply because many of them use amplifiers to enhance their voices, play taped music or increase the sound of their instruments.

As with all things permits probably cost money, money some buskers might not have and is the reason why they busk.

Often the level of the music is not the issue and Council regulation is not what is required, instead what is needed is a really good and honest friend to tell some buskers they can’t sing.

The City of arts is pandering to the business community, which would prefer a sterile shopping centre atmosphere in Fremantle, one without beggars, buskers, food trucks, etc.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, concerts, events by freoview on March 31, 2016

I hope the City of Fremantle will follow the lead of the City of Perth, which will no longer make free tickets for Councillors and staff a requirement when approving events.

From social media feedback it appears the Mayor and some Councillors attend all the Sunset Events J Shed concerts and there is really no need for that as these concerts are not one off events. Instead concert noise levels should be checked by an officer of the City.

One Councillor often advertises on Facebook that he has got free tickets to events and if anyone wants to come along.

With all the mateship accusations levelled at Elected Members it would be in their own interest if they no longer accepted freebies from events organisers, no matter if these tickets are distributed by the Director or not.

If there is a need to monitor events it should primarily be done by officers and maybe there could be a roster system so that two Councillors also attend events on behalf of Council and report back to them, that way all the conspiracy crap can be eliminated.

On a similar note can I also observe that there must be a lot of patrons leaving J Shed events with bottles of alcohol as we find a lot of empties around the area afterwards. I doubt the organisers have a take away liquor license, so they should stop people from taking alcohol out of the compound.

Roel Loopers


Posted in arthur head, city of fremantle, concerts by freoview on March 30, 2016

The FREMANTLE INNER CITY RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION-FICRA have sent a letter to the City of Fremantle and the Liquor Licensing Board in protest of the noise, vandalism and heritage disrespect by Sunset Events and its patrons at its J Shed outdoor live music venue.

The residents claim excessive noise from the San Cisco concert and related vandalism, and they say the portaloos and seacontainers  left in the historic area by the events organisers are inappropriate and disrespectful to the heritage significance of Arthur Head and Bathers Beach.

The residents also say that the promises of an arts venue and collaboration with local and J Shed artists also have not eventuated.

I hear on the grapevine that the City of Fremantle is also not happy with Sunset Events, and I know Director Glen Dougall had a meeting at Chalkys with SE director David Chitty ten days ago.

This weekend Koi Child will be playing at the J Shed venue, so let’s see how the noise levels are controlled then.

Roel Loopers



Posted in freight, fremantle, trains by freoview on March 26, 2016

People living along the railway line that goes through the west of Fremantle are calling for a curfew, claiming that there are more trains running at night and the noise wakes them up.

The railway line has been there for as long as I have known Fremantle and so has Fremantle Port, which is a 24/7 working port.

I agree that the wheel squeal should be fixed as they did near the Roundhouse for the residents of Little High Street. After many trials one Saturday the best solution to combat the annoying noise was water spray and that was installed so that whenever a train comes through the rails are kept wet and there is very little wheel squeal nowadays.

I lived in one of the Pilots Cottages at Arthur Head and enjoyed the sounds of the trains passing by and also the sounds of the working port. It made me feel alive and part of the big beautiful world out there.

People who buy or rent near a railway line, pub, busy road, port, etc. should be aware that they will be inconvenienced and it is unrealistic to demand Fremantle Ports should be a daytime working port only.

I was told that people who bought apartments in North Fremantle would call Fremantle Port to complain about night noise and demand it should close from 6pm till 6am. That is pretty ridiculous and so are the calls to put a curfew on the container trains that supply the port.

Ideally one day the freight will go down another rail track and the one through the West End of town can be used for lightrail to South Beach, Coogee and Rockingham.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, concerts, local government by freoview on March 22, 2016

Fremantle inner city residents are taking legal action against what they believe is unacceptable behaviour and lack of care by events organisers. Two Cliff Street residents told me on Sunday that during the St Jerome Laneway Festival they have many people climbing onto their roof to gain free access to the event. Those people enter from the driveway next to the former Vila Roma restaurant in High Street and then proceed to walk over the roofs. They said that talking to the events managers and City of Fremantle was useless so they are taking it to court.

Residents of Little High Street are complaining about the “very loud” San Cisco concert on Saturday and vandalism afterwards that was reported to the police. I myself noticed a lot of drink bottles all around the area on Sunday morning.

Roundhouse guides have also observed groups of young people gathering up at Arthur Head to listen to concerts that are below at J Shed.

I think told you so is not out of order and not arrogant, but I and others warned the City of Fremantle this would happen, as we warned them homeless people would invade the cottages at Captain’s Lane once they evicted the residents and port pilots.

Fremantle Council is responsible for the mess it has created at Arthur Head, our State’s most significant historic area, and it is now time for them to lose their arrogance and start cleaning up the mess they created and stamp down on organisers who promise the world.

Roel Loopers



Posted in busking, city of fremantle, music by freoview on February 23, 2016



The inner city residents group FICRA is not happy with buskers who play amplified music in the inner city and want the City of Fremantle to do something about it.

I believe COF already had decided to turn down the music that is sometimes far too loud, and sadly often those who sing out of tune do it at high volume. I always wonder, like at TV talent shows, why friends and family don’t tell people they can’t sing before they publicly humiliate themselves, but that’s another story.

Buskers are great and help activate the city and make it feel vibrant and lively but is amplified music and whole drum kits still busking?

On the other hand I strongly believe that Western Australia is far too over-regulated. There are so many things we are no longer allowed to do that it makes overseas visitors question our free and easy and fair go urban myth that no longer appears to be current.

No one hopefully will want to stop the music and the fun, but I appreciate it can be highly-annoying to have to listen for hours to bad music played at high volume.

Roel Loopers


Posted in arthur head, city of fremantle by freoview on October 27, 2015

The temporary two-year live music events proposal at historic Arthur Head by Sunset Events depends very much on Fremantle Ports. The West Australian reports today that the organisers have met with Port management to iron out details and to see if FP would grant them access to Fleet Street for deliveries.

The latest info is that the first event planned is a two-day concert on the Australia Day long weekend on the 24th and 25th of January, so that would be a good test to see what works and what doesn’t, and how/if it will effect the West End of Fremantle with noise, parking and anti-social behaviour issues. There are also serious concerns about the effect live concerts could have on the tourist operation of the Roundhouse and on the many weekend weddings in the area.

I need to stress though that my concerns are not with Sunset Events, who are very good event organisers. I like the Blues&Roots and Laneway festivals and I hope the Drillhall-former Fly by Night- will become and outstanding music venue for Fremantle, but in my opinion Arthur Head is just not the right location for live outdoor concerts.

I still believe Fremantle Council made the wrong decision recommending approval of the project to the WA Planning Commission and I hope the proposal will be stopped by the WAPC because of the concerns of heritage groups, residents, Fremantle Ports and others. 76 out of 78 submissions to the City of Fremantle were against the proposal!

Roel Loopers

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