Freo's View

COMMUNITY NEEDS TO SUPPORT LOCAL TRADERS

Posted in city of fremantle, hospitality, local government, parking, retail, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on June 7, 2019

 

retail

 

There is a bit of a discussion going on on Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt‘s Facebook page about the decline of retail when he posted the good article by Nathan Hondros on WATODAY about it. Hondros’ article “Striponomics’ The reasons Perth’s main streets are struggling is no big secret is worth a read.

The usual quick fixes are suggested by some readers; free parking and councils forcing property owners to reduce rents, but neither is a solution in a world where retail has been declining for at least five years and where major shopping centres have replaced traditional high street shopping.

I don’t know all the reasons for the decline in Perth, Mouth Lawley, Subiaco and elsewhere but I do know that the City of Fremantle has been trying hard to keep and get a diversity of retail in the city, instead of more and more cafes and taverns.

Fact is that councils can’t force property owners to lower rents and that many retailers are struggling because of rising outgoings such as power, water and gas. More competition might lower coffee prices for patrons but at the end that is not sustainable either for the operators.

Pop-up shops are the flavour of most councils but they are not a long-term solution because most of those who start a pop-up realise they can’t earn enough if they have to pay full commercial rates plus outgoings, so pop-ups do what their name suggest; they pop up and die after three or six months.

The always suggested free parking is not at all a solution because free parking will be taken up all day by commuters from Fremantle to Perth, backpackers, and Notre Dame students, so that would not leave too many bays for shoppers.

There is plenty of parking in Fremantle on weekdays and residents get free street parking before 11am and after 3pm.

Fremantle Council has a small ratepayers base so parking fees and fines are essential income for our city. Free parking would mean higher rates and I doubt property owners would agree that they had to pay for free parking of others. If it happened they would pass on the council rate increase to their tenants.

On very busy Sundays Fremantle might have the occasional parking issue, but surely no one expects Council to cater for weekend parking by creating more parking bays that would be vacant the rest of the week. It is like suggesting we should have 16-lane freeways to cater for rush hour traffic when for the rest of the day six lanes are sufficient.

I love the feeling of a good old high street, where there is a diversity of shops and were shop operators live above or behind their shops, as was the case in my home town of Hague in the Netherlands, where our family of seven lived behind the corner shop my parents ran, the pharmacist family on the other corner lived above their shop, the grocery shop people and the bookbinder next door lived behind the shop, as did the butcher on the other side of the street.

But times have changed and 25% of Australians engaged in on-line shopping last year, and money is tight with too many unemployed people.

There are never easy solutions, but we can all help by shopping local, even when it costs a few dollars more. Councils can not enforce shopping diversity or lowering of rents and we can only keep asking for property owners to keep the rents as low as possible so that our traders can survive and new traders are more willing to take the risk of starting in Freo.

Roel Loopers

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COMPARING SHOP VACANCIES

Posted in city of fremantle, retail, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on March 23, 2019

 

Retail vacancies

I pinched this graph from Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt’s blog who responded to some of the negativity on social media on his blog. Read his blog post here: https://cofremantle.wordpress.com/

This one is about comparing the retail vacancies in the major shopping streets in the Perth metro area. It is always good to have the facts at hand and it shows that there are a lot of empty shops in a lot of streets.

Roel Loopers

BUSINESS OF NEW FREMANTLE CHAMBER CEO IN LIQUIDATION

 

What a strange coincidence that the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday last week announced that its new CEO will be Danicia Quinlan, but in today’s West Australian it is reported that Quinlan and co-owner Michael Taylor have closed their Fromage Artisans in the Perth CBD and called in the liquidators because the business is not financially viable.

Roel Loopers

COMMITTEE FOR PERTH LATEST WA STATISTICS

 

Committee for Perth WA stats

The Committee for Perth released its latest Fact Sheet with this easy to read graphic.

Interesting to note that the huge state of Western Australia only has 10% of Australia’s population, so over-population is not something we have to greatly worry about here in the west.

While the unemployment rate is 6.3% in WA the forecast for employment growth is 2%, so let’s hope that will be at least the case as the nation’s average is 5%.

Roel Loopers

EPIC JOURNEY FOR MODERN DESIGN

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, design, sport, Uncategorized by freoview on January 30, 2019

 

 

dsc_3050

 

 

When you think about explorers, forget Burke and Wills, Dampier, Cook, Hartog, Tasman and Flinders and start thinking Loopy instead.

I double checked so that I would not claim anything that can’t be substantiated, but when I Googled epic journeys, the journey I just completed did not even appear, probably because it was far too daunting a task for even the bravest to contemplate.

So here I am claiming to be the very first person ever to have walked all the way from the Perth train station to the new Perth Stadium and back. I endured hardship in the East Perth wilderness where food and water were hard to find, and I suffered from exposure, heat stress and dehydration, but I survived.

And I endured all that because I love creative modern structures and needed to see the Matagarup Bridge over the Swan river with my own eyes, and it’s a beauty!

Yet, I pondered that one major question on the train back to my beloved Freo. If the State Government can build such and expansive and expensive new footbridge for a stadium that operates mainly on weekends, why can’t it build a much-needed new rail and traffic bridge at Fremantle that will be used 24/7?

Roel Loopers

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF TELLING OUR STORIES

Posted in aboriginal, architecture, art, city of fremantle, city planning, culture, history, Uncategorized by freoview on October 1, 2018

 

 

I had no idea how big and impressive the new WA Museum at the Perth cultural centre was going to be until I saw the building site yesterday.

Museums, cultural centres and state galleries are such important places to tell our stories, so I hope he WA State Government will in the near future also make an investment in Fremantle and build a migrant museum on Victoria Quay and an Aboriginal Cultural Centre as well.

Fremantle Ports is creating two new websites, one for normal port business and the other specifically for Victoria Quay, so it looks like they might go ahead with development there after all, and connect the port better with Kings Square.

 

 

While in Perth, during one of my very rare visits to the big smoke, I also noticed the SKS Group building the Hilton Doubletree hotel at Elizabeth Quay, so now hoping they will prioritise the Fremantle one at Princess May Park as well.

And isn’t it nice to see that there are actually architects who design nicely curved and round buildings, instead of the boring and predictable rectangular ones. Yes, these buildings are too high for Freo, but I’d love to see some rounded corners at new developments.

Roel Loopers

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HUGE CROWDS AT WEST COAST EAGLES CELEBRATION

Posted in afl, city of fremantle, football, sport, Uncategorized by freoview on September 30, 2018

 

premiers AAA

 

I know there are a lot of West Coast Eagles footy fans in Fremantle, even when some Dockers supporters believe that one needs to hate the Weagles when one loves the Dockers.

So I hopped on the train to Langley Park in Perth to get a glimpse of the celebrations of the new AFL premiers, who did not end up with the wooden spoon.

Thousands made the long pilgrimage from  the Esplanade train station to the far east end of Langley Park and the queues to get the very first and freshly printed Premiers merchandise were huge already at 12.30 pm as these photos show.

I am not a big fan of big crowds so hopped back on the train and did not wait for the team to arrive.

Go the Eagles!! I hope the premiership of their local rivals inspires the insipid Dockers.

Roel Loopers

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WET, WET, WET, A GOOD DAY TO STAY IN BED

Posted in city of fremantle, city of melville, perth, photography, rain, Uncategorized, weather by freoview on August 9, 2018

 

B&W rain

 

Because it is a bit of a slow news day today, and because it rained a lot over night, and because I am not looking forward to a very wet day volunteering at the Roundhouse, I republish the photo I showed yesterday, but this time in Black&White.

It was taken on the Melville foreshore just up from Point Walter, and if you look carefully you can see the Perth skyline through the rainy mist, on the right hand side.

Roel Loopers

 

Henty's

RALLY FOR REFUGEES TOMORROW!

Posted in asylum seekers, city of fremantle, refugees, Uncategorized by freoview on July 20, 2018

 

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Many people in Fremantle will be interested in this so hence the announcement that a RALLY FOR REFUGEES will be held tomorrow Saturday July 21 at Forrest Place in Perth from 1-3pm.

I found the way Australia treats refugees disgraceful and am very disappointed that the major parties support overseas detention centres, so there is little hope the Labor party would change the policy should they win the next federal election.

If the refugees where white Christians they would not be banned from Australia, but skin colour still makes a huge difference in Australia.

Roel Loopers

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