Freo's View


Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, culture, indigenous, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on June 26, 2019


Ordinary Council of the City of Fremantle signed off on the Walyalup Reconciliation Action Plan on Wednesday evening, which I believe is another big step-many small steps-forward for real reconciliation in our city.

Here from the agenda:

The City is developing a WRAP for many reasons but primarily to engage better with Aboriginal people and the general community to advance values of inclusiveness and equality. It’s been almost 20 years since council committed to developing a Policy on Conciliation, Respect and Recognition and 3 years on from an Aboriginal Engagement Plan.

A key learning from this is that maintaining relationships with Aboriginal people is like an investment with the more invested the better the return. This WRAP will add to this work and form an overarching framework for what is occurring now and to update and measure future deliverables.

Reconciliation Australia determines four types of RAP’s – Reflect, Innovate, Stretch and Elevate. Reflect is for organisations that are new to the reconciliation journey; Innovate is for organisations that are trialling different approaches to reconciliation and are testing where their resources are best invested; Stretch is for organisations that are setting measurable outcome targets for their activities, and Elevate is for organisations that are considered leaders in reconciliation, have a wealth of experience and knowledge, and can assist Reconciliation Australia and other organisations.

In consultation with Reconciliation Australia it was determined the most appropriate RAP type for the City would be the Stretch RAP which was named by the City’s RAP Working Group as the Walyalup Reconciliation Action Plan (WRAP).

The purpose of the City’s WRAP, specifically a Stretch RAP, is to raise awareness and support through the development of solid foundations, governance models and future commitments that promote sustainable opportunities in areas such as employment, economic development and procurement all the while celebrating and recognising Aboriginal culture.

The City’s Stretch WRAP sets out the actions and deliverables required to prepare the City for reconciliation in successive RAPs. The first community forum in September 2018 was well attended with over 100 people who provided input to 15 actions and 74 deliverable outcomes. Media coverage attracted significant interest in the City’s WRAP and in particular the dual naming opportunities identified in the plan. Feedback was sourced from the wider community along with some mandated requirements from Reconciliation Australia, bringing the total of 19 actions and 99 deliverable outcomes over the next three years.

The high number of people accessing the WRAP document along with the robust conversations resulting on social media and throughout the community could be seen as an indication for overwhelming support, in addition to the proportionally low number of raised concerns.

The WRAP will be a whole of organisation approach, guided and championed by the Walyalup Reconciliation Reference Group. The plan will be reviewed every 12 months in alignment with the financial year. The plan will be reviewed with Reconciliation Australia after two years. Reports will be provided annually to Reconciliation Australia, and annually in the City’s Annual Report.

The City’s vision for reconciliation is to create an inclusive, caring community where Aboriginal people experience the same life outcomes as other Australians, and where their special place in our nation and our City is recognised. We want a community and an organisation in which Aboriginal people are acknowledged, listened to and understood; a community and organisation that respect and tell the truth about history, and where healing and growth is nurtured by all of us. Ultimately, we want this to be a shared vision for Fremantle, where the City embraces culture and heritage, and where Aboriginal people are part of making decisions and improvements for community wellbeing.

The City recognises the importance of meaningful engagement, mutual respect, creating trust and utilising culturally appropriate practices and protocols to truly understand its local communities. The City has a strong commitment to working collaboratively with the Aboriginal community.

The resulting document captures this vision and demonstrates the City’s commitment to help increase respect, foster relationships and develop opportunities for Aboriginal people in 19 actions and 99 deliverables.

Roel Loopers


Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, community, indigenous, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on April 29, 2019


RAP Working Group


Here a photo taken about an hour ago of the Fremantle RAP Working Group. RAP stands for Reconciliation Action Plan, as explained in the previous blog post below.

We all can make a positive difference at local level, so get involved and get your voice heard!

Roel Loopers



The City of Fremantle Strategy and Project Committee last night debated the Greater Fremantle Parking Plan 2020.

According to the agenda the plan will provide a city wide car parking plan to enable the City to move past a predict and provide supply approach to parking to an efficiency and management approach.

The plan will focus on enabling the progressive implementation of major new carparks to the periphery of the city core along with providing analysis of current on and off street parking provision and understanding of potential future parking needs within the greater city area.

The Greater Fremantle parking plan is structured using a staged approach, each with individual engagement approaches and individual outputs.

Parking in Fremantle is a constant community issue with the perception that there are not enough parking spaces in Fremantle and that parking is too expensive. Statistics show clearly that this perception is wrong and that especially multi-storey carparks have a lot of vacant spaces on weekdays. There is also first one-hour free parking for all and free parking Freo residents with permits until 11 am and from 3 pm.

In its desperation to revive the retail economy the City of Subiaco has just introduced three-hour free parking in one of its carparks and maybe that is something the City of Fremantle could look at for the Queensgate carpark for the first days of the week to attract more shoppers.

Roel Loopers



Posted in alcohol, city of fremantle, local government by freoview on August 26, 2015

Consistent governance is not a strength of Fremantle Council. If they want something they’ll find arguments to support it and if they don’t like something they’ll find arguments to oppose it.

This is the same mob who on the same night signed off on an alcohol policy that supports small bars and responsible drinking, and signed off on a 850 patron tavern and outdoor music venue for 1.500 people at historic Arthur Head on that same night. DUUUH?

This evening we heard all the arguments why Council should support the Corona beer and music festival at South Beach. It’s an international event sponsored by the Corona brewery, but according to Councillors it is not about promoting drinking of alcohol but about offering a lot of food and putting Fremantle on the map. Maybe that Councillor did not mean map but coaster. It is hard to find the right words when one tries to argue that mass drunkenness is part of Council’s responsible alcohol policy.

Oh yes, another Councillor piped, we could use this to promote the responsible use of alcohol, whilst another said that you don’t change culture through prohibition. No one was talking banning alcohol from Fremantle of course, but no big deal missing the point that we are talking about inviting a few thousand people to a beer promotion event on one of our public beaches.

It is an advertising event for Corona and Fremantle, one Councillor enthused. Yep, tell that to the Police and locals who will have to put up with drunken idiots on the night.

Councillor Dave Hume should get out more, as he claimed the Beer Festival on the Esplanade had shown there is no excessive drunkenness at these kinds of events. Not so according to several of my friends who left the event in disgust at 4 pm because of all the drunks falling over themselves. None of those friends of mine are wowsers, but people like me who like to have a good glass of wine or beer in a nice environment and socialise.

At the end teetotaller Bill Massie and Jon Strachan, who likes a drink now and then, voted against the proposal. Strachan’s South Fremantle seat is up for grabs at the October election, so one could be cynical and believe it was simply a tactical vote to appease those whose votes he will be needing, but let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.

The City of Fremantle alcohol policy is a joke and has come to the attention of the McCusker Foundation, which received many complaints when they shortlisted Fremantle for their responsible alcohol award.

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Truly independent


Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle by freoview on July 4, 2014

MSC building


Scaffolding went up today at the MSC-Mediterranean Shipping Company building in Cliff Street, so it appears that the erection of the new building on the carpark site adjoining it will be happening soon as well. It is disappointing an archaeological survey of the carpark area was not demanded by the City of Fremantle, as was requested by Notre Dame University.

There seems to be controversy on the historic importance of the site, with the planning director saying there was only a shed there. However former Councillor John Dowson points out in his letter in the Fremantle Herald today that the City’s history library has  maps that show that in 1844 there were stone structures there and in 1855 a cottage. One has to wonder why the Director of Planning is not aware of that.

I suggested to Mayor Brad Pettitt, during a monthly Fremantle Society meeting with him on Wednesday, that instead of having a, rather ineffectual, archaeological policy, the City should make archaeological digs on development sites in the West End and other heritage sites in Fremantle compulsory and part of the act, so that it is not at the discretion of the officers. He promised to explore this suggestion further.

We had a bit of a win at the Planning Committee on Wednesday evening when an item came up the development of a new building and for the demolition of two heritage cottages in Jewel Parade, North Fremantle. The Fremantle Society opposed it because it was a Demolition by Neglect example in our opinion, and the Planning Committee rejected the development application.

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on July 3, 2014

Recent articles in the Fremantle Gazette and Fremantle Herald, about the City of Fremantle not demanding an archaeological dig of the Mediterranean Shipping Company development site at 13 Cliff Street, need to be examined.

The City has a policy for this, but according to the director of planning there is not enough historic information to warrant a dig, because there was only a shed in that location. However historian Dr Shane Burke of Notre Dame University believes there could be significant historic artifacts there relating to the first settlers.

How did the City’s heritage and planning departments and UNDA come to such opposing conclusions when they presumably have the same historic facts available to base their views on, and would it not have been more prudent to have an archaeological survey of the site anyway, just in case?

Another question is why UNDA did not approach MSA directly and ask the property owners if they could do a dig for a limited time, prior to commencement of development. It is likely MSA want to be a good new corporate citizen in Fremantle and might have given the okay.

That leads to the point to suggest that the few remaining non-developed sites in the West End should all be checked for historic remnants, and that should be one of the requirements of the planning act, and not, as is the case at the moment, a seemingly useless policy that can be ignored at random.

The Pakenham carpark site, just sold by the City, is such case, but also the long-vacant carpark site on the corner of Cliff and High streets, next to the former Tram building and owned by UNDA, should be a priority for archaeological inspection.

I am wondering though why Fremantle Council makes policies they often ignore. What is the use of lengthy deliberations and consultation and creating new policy, when councillors and officers can ignore those same policies at will because they are not binding. It appears a huge waste of time, like MOUs, which are also not worth the paper they are written on.

Councils try to reinvent the wheel time and time again with new policies and new master plans, while ignoring existing ones. Why create them when they can’t be enforced and get bypassed so often? That does not appear to be excellent governance to me.


Roel Loopers




Posted in fremantle by freoview on February 6, 2014

I am sorry to have to write another blog article that questions how the City of Fremantle plans and works. Mayor Brad Pettitt claims I have made the City the whipping boy of my blog this year, but that is not by choice. I would rather write positive stories about our City, but too many things just can’t be left without commenting on it.

The article I published yesterday about Planning Services Committee being asked to lower the Affordable Housing percentage from 15% to 10%, as part of the only recently introduced PSA 49 discretionary additional height allowance, made me wonder where the Planning Department gets advise from. Who are the experts they talk to before writing recommendations for the Elected Members, do they talk to industry experts like architects, builders, state government departments, etc?

How is it we now suddenly hear that 15% affordable housing would result in only mediocre buildings, as developers would not ask for additional height, because they see the affordable housing rule as a negative. Why is it CoF now finally discovers that there is no huge need for office space in our city and that the Kings Square and Victoria Quay developments will cater for most of that need? Did anyone do any research on that before PSA 49 was suggested and implemented?

Has anyone done research on how much residential development is needed in Fremantle, and I don’t mean Council wanting more people to live in the CBD, but figures from the Real Estate Institute telling us there is high demand for Freo inner city living. Do we know or is it just a wish?

The Design Advisory Committee ‘rules of engagement’ appear to have been a piecemeal document that now is being revised, because the way the DAC reported back to Council was unsatisfactory. Why wasn’t it done properly in the first place, and why did it have to become a shambles that was questioned by one of its members who resigned, and by the public, who were as always dismissed by Elected Members, who tell us we don’t know what we’re talking about.

How serious is Fremantle really about Affordable Housing? I keep hearing all the right words, but no one seems to be walking the talk, but for Councillor Sam Wainwright, who is genuine in his desire to get a lot more good affordable, and I mean affordable!, housing in Fremantle.

The City of Fremantle is not my new whipping boy, but it needs to realise it can no longer get away with empty promises, bad piecemeal planning, unsatisfactory community consultation, and ad hoc on the run decisions.

Handing over the City to developers, who are not at all interested in delivering high quality buildings and affordable housing, just because this Council is so desperate to want to implement change for change’s sake, is not acceptable. The Fremantle community expects and demands better from our intelligent and passionate Elected Members, and we demand much better performances from under-performing officers, and the CEO needs to address the mediocrity in his ranks.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on November 29, 2012

Last night’s full council meeting of the City of Fremantle had a very full agenda and public gallery with many people addressing council. The Contribution for Public Art and/or Heritage Works is probably the outstanding decision of the evening. It was adopted that Council can require certain types of commercial and multiple residential development to contribute one percent of the project’s total development costst to the development of art or heritage. Fremantle does not have a great public art collection and the maintenance of heritage buildings has a poor record so hopefully we will see serious improvement in both in the next ten years.

The controversial West End Working Group boundaries were also approved as were the two new members Kate House and Anne Brake, while the third nominee John Dowson was surprisingly left out.

The proposal for the City to manage the Arthur Head art hub was also adopted, so it will be interesting to see where the City will find the money to repair and alter all the buildings, who are in dire need of maintenance.  I am doubtful the $ 150,000 allocated for it is anywhere near enough for what will be required. I am not in favour of making an exemption and leaving the port pilots in their office as this is not an art or culture related business. If the heritage connection is seen as a valid reason for them to stay, the family at number 10 Captain’s Lane should also be allowed to stay as there has always been a residential component on Arthur Head with harbour master and family living up there. The best idea for reactivating Arthur Head is the plan to make a bar/cafe/restaurant out of the most southern J Shed studio. That will bring residents and visitors to the area.

What will also bring people to the West End is the four months trial of a Saturday twilight market at Bathers Beach. It will be fantastic to browse for art and craft and eating international food while watching the sunset over the Indian Ocean from the new boardwalk. I could see that market moved to the front of J Shed once the art hub and bar/cafe there become a reality.

The approval for the design of a Skate Park/Youth Plaza on the Esplanade was also signed off on.   This substantial $ 600,000 project would see serious changes been made to the relaxing and quiet park and a loss of grassed area. While I like to see many more young people having a great time in our city, I believe building the skate park on the carpark directly adjacent and south of the Esplanade would have been better. I suggested it be moved to the carpark in front of the Shipwreck Museum because of its proximity to Notre Dame University, Bathers Beach, the CAT bus and food outlets in the Fishing Boat Harbour.

It is always good to see democracy at work and while not everyone did get what they wanted, big steps were made to move forward and make changes to make our city more vibrant.

Driving home through wild weather I saw the new Christmas decorations light up High Street. They look fantastic and show that semi permanent colourful banners in that street would catch the eye and entice people to wander down the West End. It’s time for the West End Traders to step up and start organising this.

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on November 2, 2012

The City of Fremantle revised GRAFFITI POLICY is out so click on the link to read it and participate in the community consultation process by voicing your opinion.

What might be ugly vandalism for some is important public art for others and somehow as a community we need to get the balance right. While tags should be removed asap, other graffiti art can have artistic merits that needs to be considered. Of course the rights of property owners to remove any form of graffiti also needs to be respected.

Go to the link above and participate in the community debate!

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on April 9, 2012

The Draft Management Criteria for Arthur Head Policy by City of Fremantle director of Community Development, Marisa Spaziani will be considered by the Strategic&General Services Committee on Wednesday. Having read the document I have to say that it is an unimaginative, boring, non-creative and lazy document that lacks vision and does not look at the bigger picture, and if implemented will do nothing to create more activity in the far west end of High Street.

It looks as if less activity will occur, because of part-time artists taking over spaces that are now used throughout each day of the week by residents, the Fremantle pilots, professional full-time artists, galleries, small businesses, and community groups like the Fremantle Heritage Guides and the Fremantle Society.

The policy does no mention at all the heritage significance of Arthur Head, as it is obviously not part of the consideration. It also does not include Kidogo gallery, which is part of the Arthur Head precinct, so why is that left out?

Proposed artist-in-residents cottages could also be used by arts administrators for up to six months. How will that revitalise the area?

Under the policy occupants of studios will have to be professional practicing artists, but they are only required to be in the studios for 20 hours per week. That is only 3 hours a day and can’t be accepted as professional working hours. Will this revitalise the west end?

“Studios will be used as a non-commercial fine artist’s studio.” That is an oxymoron. Professional artists are small businesses, who create works that are for sale, so the studios are commercial spaces because of it. They are also required to have studio open days. Without being allowed having their art for sale?

Although the policy mentions “the possible inclusion of a commercial element such as a café, retail outlet, gallery or performance space” it does not pro-actively promotes one or the other.

The document implies getting rid of the people who occupy Arthur Head buildings and start from scratch, this would mean evicting highly successful professional full-time artists, who have been paying commercial rents for many years, and replacing them with part-time artists, who will get subsidised rents and who are only required to work 20 hours a week. And who would police how long they work anyway?

Already the subsidised Artsource studios at Phillimore Street are hardly used during daytime, as most of the studio occupants, but a few, have jobs and only create art in their spare time. The same would happen at Arthur Head.

Marisa Spaziana is on record saying she would need an extra officer to manage Arthur Head if this policy goes ahead, so the city will receive less rent, but will have more expenditure, especially since all properties will need serious maintenance and upgrades as well, and the huge J Shed would need to be subdivided into smaller art studios. The shed also has no toilets and other basic facilities.

This mediocre draft does nothing to convince me it is the right proposal for Arthur Head. It will create a ghost town in the evenings, because no one will be occupying the buildings, and it is likely the same will happen on weekends.

This is a very poor draft policy and should be thrown back at the officer for wasting councillors’ time. It is bad and boring and will do nothing at all for this end of town. It enhances the risk of vandalism to the heritage buildings, and unlawful entering and occupancy.

We need something that attracts locals and tourists to the west end of Fremantle, but this policy would achieve the opposite.

This is not an outcome-based policy. What does it try to do? Does it want to attract people to the area? How can that be achieved?

Here some ideas from the top of my head: A big picture visionary policy could have included the proposal for an Aboriginal Cultural Centre at J Shed, with a retail outlet to sell art, a café and a performance space, or it could have been suggested to put a Migrant Museum in this heritage location. I would have strongly supported both of these ideas, as they would attract many people to the west end.

A big picture vision should also have suggested the extension of the boardwalk from the Fishing Boat Harbour all the way to J Shed to create a steady flow of people, who would then also use the Whalers Tunnel and walk through High Street, where traders are desperate for more customers.

A mixed use would also be good. Make an art gallery out of the two front rooms and hallway of cottage number 11, presently occupied by the Fremantle Society, leaving space in the backrooms for artists’ studios, allow the Abbott family to stay in their cottage at no 10, as caretakers of Captain’s Lane, make a small historic museum out of cottage 12, at present the offices of the Fremantle port pilots, make small studio spaces out of the wood factory at J Shed, retain artists Jenny Dawson and Peter Zuvela, but subdivide the space, so part of it becomes a dedicated art gallery, keep sculptor Greg James and his gallery, and make a café/wine bar, gallery with alfresco seating out of the studio closest to Bathers Beach.  The KELP bar at Kidogo during ISAF showed the people of Fremantle support that.  I have talked to a very successful operator of an arty west end café who is keen to take it on.

Creating all of this would also give scope for a regular weekend art market in the area.

This would create the vitality the west end of Fremantle desperately wants. That is the kind of big picture thinking needed for Arthur Head!

Roel Loopers

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