Freo's View

FREO’S VIEW IS NINE YEARS OLD

 

In October 2009, so nine years ago, I decided to start this Freo’s View blog, and what a labour of love it has become.

I daily wander and drive the streets of our lovely city to look for things to photograph and write about, and I attend most Fremantle Council and council committee meetings, precinct and community consultation meetings, etc.

In the nine years of Freo’s View I have published 9,200 blog posts and close to 30,000 comments by the public, so the blog has become an important community forum.

I started the blog as a community service and don’t make any money from it, because the integrity of the blog is more important than trying to make money through advertising.

There is no political agenda, no agenda whatsoever! I am only interested in getting the best for Freo, the city I love and am very passionate about.

If I know something happens in Fremantle I will blog about it, so keep me informed about new ventures, events, concerts, art exhibitions, etc.etc. Just email roel.loopers@iinet.net.au.

Thank you all for your support, and keep those comments coming!

Roel Loopers

FREO POLITICS IN THE PUB TONIGHT

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle network, pedestrians, politics, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on September 25, 2018

 

A reminder that the Politics in the Pub by the Fremantle Network is on tonight at The Local in South Fremantle from 6.30pm.

Topic of the evening is the question if Fremantle is pedestrian friendly, so it will be interesting to hear suggestions on how we can improve the pedestrian experience and make it safer.

Far too many motorists don’t give way to pedestrians when rounding corners, and only a  few of them stop during busy weekends on the Cappuccino Strip and Marine Terrace to let pedestrians cross. That lack of consideration, and how/if we can improve it needs to be discussed as well.

See you at The Local. It’s a free event, but meals and drinks available at the bar.

Roel Loopers

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DOROTHY TANGNEY 75 YEARS AGO FIRST WOMAN IN AUSTRALIAN PARLIAMENT

Posted in city of fremantle, elections, politicians, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on September 24, 2018

 

Dorothy Tangney

 

Seventy-five years ago Dorothy Tangney became the first woman to be elected in federal parliament, but we are still debating gender equality in our parliaments and political parties.

This artwork is in Fremantle’s Norfolk Street on the side of the Norfolk Hotel, so contemplate when you walk or drive by why it is taking so unacceptably long until we have real gender balance in our country.

It’s not just about equal pay but even more so about equal respect!

Roel Loopers

HAVE YOUR SAY ON NEW LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT

 

WA Local government Minister David Templeman has an article in today’s West Australian in which he encourages the community to get involved in the review of the local government act and make suggestions on how we can improve our local councils and administrations.

Here some information from the government website about it:

Phase one: modernising local government

Phase one of the review focuses on four key areas:

  • Meeting community expectations of standards, ethics and performance
  • Meeting public expectations for accountability, including gift disclosures
  • Electronic availability of information
  • Building capacity through introducing administrative efficiencies

Local governments and the community were invited to have their say throughout the consultation period. The phase one discussion paper was released on 8 November 2017 and public consultation closed on 9 March 2018.

Phase two: delivering for communities

​Commencing in 2018, phase two will ensure local governments are positioned to deliver for the community by examining:

  • Elections
  • Community consultation and engagement
  • Integrated Planning and Reporting
  • Financial management
  • Rates and charges
  • Beneficial organisations (council controlled organisations)
  • Local laws
  • Interventions
  • Administrative efficiencies

What you need to know

What is the Local Government Act review?

The Local Government Act review will introduce changes that will modernise the Act and ensure that local governments are positioned to deliver for the community into the future. The review is being undertaken in two phases. The first consultation paper released on 8 November 2017.

Phase two of the review is now underway.

Local government is real grassroots government so we should all take an active part in trying to improve the performance of our elected members and staff, and get greater transparency and better communication, so have your say!

Roel Loopers

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POLITICS IN THE PUBS ABOUT REFUGEES

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle network, refugees, Uncategorized by freoview on August 27, 2018

 

The Fremantle Network is taking on a different format with Politics in the Pubs this Tuesday August 28 in The Garage at The Local hotel in South Fremantle at 7pm.

Members of the Fremantle Refugees Rights Action Network-RRAN will start the discussion to explore the challenges, complexities, concerns and compassion of dealing with refugees.

I am disappointed that the Fremantle Network is changing, as it was always good to talk about Fremantle specific topics once a month. The Politics in the Pubs will no doubt largely be about federal politics, instead of being about the governance of Fremantle and WA, with topics closer to home and to our hearts.

The lines about refugees are clearly drawn in Canberra  with the Liberal/Nationals wanting to stop the boats and the Labor party not having the guts to have different policies.

I am personally very disappointed and disgusted about Australia’s lack of compassion for boat people and refugees because a rich and huge country like ours could offer safe haven to many more desperate people.

Roel Loopers

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FULL AGENDA FOR FREMANTLE COUNCIL

Posted in city of fremantle, community, democracy, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on July 23, 2018

 

Have a look at all the items Fremantle Council will have to consider this Wednesday at the Ordinary Council meeting. Those who believe our Elected Members are overpaid and under worked should come and have a listen!

Local government is very challenging grassroots politics that requires a lot of time from our Councillors. Come and witness it for yourself and scrutinise those we elected to represent us.

This is the agenda, which is available with all attachments, on line on the City of Fremantle website:

FPOL1807-2 Award of tender FCC511.18 Integrated Parking Management System, FPOL1807-3 Naval Stores Tender Report, FPOL1807-4 Report – One Planet Action Plan 2018 21 FPOL1807, Esplanade Park – Park Hub Project Update, FPOL1807-6 Dog Exercise and Prohibited Areas Policy Sir Frederick Samson Memorial Park, FPOL1807-7 Nomination of members to the South-West Joint Development Assessment Panel, FPOL1807-8 Disposal of Victoria Hall, 179 High Street, Fremantle,  42 SPT1807-01 42 SPT1807-02 45 SPT1807-03 63 SPT1807-04 67 SPT1807-05 74 SPT1807-06 Scheme Review (LPS4) – Proposed Process Potential Scheme Amendment 75 – New Sub Area White Gum Valley – Preliminary Engagement & Initiation Replacement of two Moreton Bay Fig Trees, Kings SquareStrategic Public Transport Links to Activity Centres and Growth Areas – South West Metropolitan Area Amendment 1 to Lefroy Road Quarry Local Structure Plan – Receipt Proposed Principles for Scheme Amendment – Lots 2, 1 and 8 Quarry Street Fremantle 79 13.Reports and recommendations from officers.

 

Roel Loopers

 

Henty's

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PROPER TRAINING FOR LOCAL COUNCILLORS A GOOD IDEA

Posted in city of fremantle, local council, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on July 22, 2018

 

Good to read that WA Local Government Minister David Templeman wants local Councillors to get a proper induction. New members would have to complete thorough training for the new job to learn the Local Government Act and financial literacy.

I have expressed my dismay in the past that people nominate to become local Councillors without ever having attended council or council committee meetings. I can not understand at all why people would not do their basic homework on local government before they nominate to manage our cities.

Templeman told the Sunday Times that there have been new Councillors in the past who did find out on the job that it was nothing like they expected, presumably because they did not go to council meetings or read the often very extensive agendas on line before nominating.

It is also a very good initiative by the WA Government that they want to put new legislation in place where they can sack individual council members and do not have to sack all elected members because there are some duds on council.

Roel Loopers

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DON’T FORGET TO VOTE AT THE BY-ELECTION

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, federal government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on June 16, 2018

 

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If you are not on the electoral roll you can not vote at the Fremantle federal by-election next month.

You have only till Friday to get yourself registered on the roll to be able to vote on Super Saturday on July 28.

My vote will go to former Fremantle Councillor and Deputy Mayor Josh Wilson who has served our community very well and who gave some excellent speeches during his time in Canberra.

Roel Loopers

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WE ALL GOT RED BLOOD AND BROWN SHIT

 

There is plenty of time for contemplation and soul searching during the cold and wet winter days and nights, so when it was suggested to me that I should try to speak at one of the new TEDx Fremantle events about Perception and Reality, I wondered what it was I would like to speak about.

My thoughts don’t comply with the TEDx Fremantle categories of; only good science, no political agenda and no religious proselytizing, so I decided to just write down my contemplations and publish it here on Freo’s View instead. Here it is:

When we talk about reality and perception we should start with the elephant in the room first, and that is that Australia is not the best country in the world. Simply because no country is! There are many great countries in the world. I lived in three of them.

Our soldiers are not braver than those from other countries, and there is nothing specifically Australian about people helping each other in a crisis. When there are floods in Bangladesh, earthquakes in Mongolia, or wars and disasters in other parts of the world, the communities rally to give a helping hand.

Australia has lived on the urban myth of being the fair go country, but how can we claim that when the British settlers mostly ignored Aboriginal culture and language and treated our indigenous people as primitive idiots. How can a fair country take children away from their parents to bring them up as Christians and does not allow them to speak their native languages, and how can a fair country allow many of these children to be abused and raped?

How can we believe to be the fair country when we ban genuine refugees from coming to Australia, but lock them up instead in camps of neighbouring countries, but want priority immigration for supposedly ‘endangered’ white South African farmers?

How can we claim that we live in the best country on earth, when tonight, like every night, 115,000 homeless Australians sleep rough in the cold and wet?

The perception of greatness has always confused the Australian identity and that’s why we are still looking for one. We are not the Akubra hat-wearing cowboys, who live in the red dirt outback, but 90% of our population lives on the coastal plains and in big cities.

You might be surprised now when I say that I really love living in Australia, and even more that I live in Fremantle. But we need to start cutting the crap and let go off the hubris, because to be able to move forward together as a community and nation we need to acknowledge the harsh reality that Australia is far from perfect and that there is a lot of room for improvement.

We at the grassroots need to insist that political debate is about issues and has substance, and is not about point-scoring and name-calling, and we need to let all politicians know that we will no longer put up with their infantile behaviour in our parliaments.

We need to stop believing in the urban myth of our own greatness and start by showing real compassion for the less well off in our society.

It is not acceptable that we spend millions of dollars on non-essential things when our pensioners are barely making ends meet, when our hospitals are over-crowded and have long waiting lists, as does social housing, and when so many suffer from serious mental health issues.

Australia joined the so-called war on terrorism, but why haven’t we begun a war on poverty, and a war on unemployment and homelessness?

We are not all equal when multinational companies don’t pay tax, but low-income earners, pensioners and people on social benefits constantly get scrutinised to the point that is causes anxiety and depression for many.

It is good to have dreams, but it is not good to live in dreamworld and ignore the pragmatic reality of Australian life. Racism is a daily experience for those who are not white, and verbal abuse is also a daily worry for Muslim women, who have become the easy targets for ignorant fools. Western Australia has the highest rate of domestic violence in the nation!

Australia is a beautiful country, and I strongly believe that most people are good, caring and tolerant, and even more so here in Fremantle, but there are also many intolerant haters, who do not positively contribute to our community.

The Australia I love was summed up pretty well one evening in the Fitzroy Crossing pub in the stunning Kimberly when a drunk and huge Aboriginal man looked down on me in the toilet and said “Isn’t it amazing brother that we both have red blood and brown shit.” Yes indeed. We have a lot more in common than what divides us!

My wish for Australia is to wake up to reality and stop claiming that this is the best country on the planet. There is a huge different between being proud of one’s nation or becoming dangerously-and unrealistically- nationalistic. We can only find Australia’s real identity when we stop the tokenism and engage in real reconciliation with our Aboriginal brothers and sisters. To do that we need to use the word RESPECT more often.

To show real respect we need to acknowledge Aboriginal people in our constitution, we need to build a substantial Aboriginal cultural centre in Fremantle, so that overseas visitors can engage and learn about our indigenous history and culture, and we need a memorial on Rottnest Island telling the awful story of the inhumane Quod Aboriginal prison, where nearly 400 boys and men from all over Western Australia died.

Only with real mutual respect, and only with real, deep and soul searching honesty can we make Australia the best country in the world. Dismissing and patronising others is only holding us back.

Roel Loopers

BLOGGER ALL ABOUT SUPPORTING FREO, NOT POPULARITY

Posted in city of fremantle, community, fremantle society, Uncategorized by freoview on May 23, 2018

 

Fremantle Society president John Dowson has sent yet another rant to the poor members of FS, accusing me of only wanting to be popular, because the narrow-minded no change advocate does not agree with what I publish on Freo’s View.

Mr President writes: The Heritage Council is a developer’s club, the National Trust is useless as an advocate, the Fremantle Herald cannot lead campaigns on its own, and the very few public commentators like the blogger Roel Loopers are only concerned with being popular.

I started this blog eight and a half years ago as a community forum, that does not create income for me. I spend many hours a week going to council, community and precinct meetings, talk to residents, do research, etc. and I do it because I love Fremantle and I love living here. I want to help make Freo an even better place than it already is for future generations.

Unlike Mr President I don’t try to be in the Fremantle Herald every week with negativity about Fremantle Council, developers, etc.

Unlike Mr President I don’t give negative lectures about Fremantle on cruise ships where I blast Fremantle development and Council.

Unlike Mr President I have written 33 positive reviews about Fremantle businesses and attractions for TripAdvisor, that were read by nearly 16,000 people last month. All because I believe that we all can make a small difference and support our local traders.

Unlike Mr President I don’t drive around in latest model Porsches while wanting the rest of Fremantle to still go by horse&cart, and unlike Mr President I’ll do everything I can to support good change, good development and good progress, because I don’t believe that living in the past and retaining the status quo is fair for future generations.

As for my perceived popularity; some people appreciate what I do for our community and others don’t, and so be it. I gain nothing personally or financially from my community involvement.

I am a volunteer tourist guide at the Roundhouse, unlike Mr President doing paid  lectures on cruise ships where he tries to sell his books.

It’s not about popularity John Dowson. It’s about integrity! You should try it.

Roel Loopers

 

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