Freo's View

THE FUTURE IS OURS TO IMPROVE

 

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With the start of a new year there is a time for reflection, and also a time for hope, wishes and New Year resolutions, but I believe it is also a time to be realistic and stop all the nonsense that somehow Australia is the best country on earth.

I love living in Australia, but I have lived in other really good countries and traveled to many more that were also great, and I only have to think about New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinta Ardern to realise that one of the things missing in Australia is good leadership and a good PM.

We cannot claim to be the best country in the world when we have one of the highest rates of domestic violence, when racism is still happening daily, and when Australia is still sending refugees to overseas detention centres.

We are not the best country in the world when we have tens of thousands of homeless people and when we still have Aboriginal people living in third world conditions.

We have to do much better also at caring for the elderly and for the environment, so let us not be complacent because of national pride, and fool ourselves that we are living in a perfect country, when there is a lot of improvement needed still on many levels.

I love living in Fremantle because of the very good community we have, but even our small city is far from perfect and needs improvement, and that has already started.

All I read on social and in the mass media is anger, division, people attacking others, and engaging in political point-scoring.

But there is a huge lack of real leadership both in government and the private sectors, when as a community we should work together, collaborate, create bridges of tolerance and acceptance, and reach out to those who need our support, and also reach out to those who are different and have a different opinion.

We all have to share this beautiful country and this amazing planet, and we all have to work together to preserve what we have and try to improve it for the generations after us.

Have a great New Year. Hug more and argue less. Love and smiles can conquer everything!

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE NEEDS TO GROW TO PROSPER

 

Now that we are nearing the end of the year, and the end of the decade, it is good to reflect on Fremantle’s progress and opportunities.

While other councils refused to accept the State Government’s direction of higher density infill Fremantle Council was more realistic about the fact that urban infill is necessary because the urban sprawl won’t be sustainable.

Fremantle introduced new planning schemes that encouraged developers to invest in Freo, especially the CBD, and it worked with Sirona Capital on the much-needed modernisation of Kings Square that will see many more people working in the city centre from early next year.

It took a while until developers saw the unique opportunities to build in Fremantle, but they came and we saw the Heirloom and LIV residential apartments being built, plans approved for the Little Lane residential development on the former Spotlight site, redevelopment of the Manning building and the Atwell Arcade office building, plans approved for the development and hotel on the former Police&Justice complex in Henderson Street, the start of the Warders Cottages hotel and tavern development, and new hotel plans will soon be approved for the Woolstores shopping centre site.

Plans have also been approved for a wood frame commercial development in High Street, just east of Kings Square, and we are still waiting for the Match group to start on the development of the former Energy Museum, and for the SKS Group to finally commence the Hilton Doubletree hotel building in Point Street.

The residential development of the former Workers Club in Henry Street is nearing completion, there is substantial development in the Knutsford Street area, and there is development in South Fremantle.

Top that with the Freo Social and Old Synagogue attractions and big plans for the Fishing Boat Harbour and no one can argue that Fremantle has not positioned itself very well for an exciting future that embraces old and new, and low and medium high buildings.

Already the second part of this year Fremantle has seen an increase in visitors and there is little doubt that the new FOMO retail and hospitality precinct, with supermarket, at Kings Square will become an attraction, and the four new hotels will create the 24/7 activation of the CBD that is badly needed.

When one compares Fremantle with Subiaco, where council has been reluctant to embrace urban infill, and have now been told by Planning Minister Rita Safiotti that they will have to approve buildings of up to 20 storeys near the train station, one has to be grateful that Fremantle Council took our city’s destiny in their own hands and kept building heights to a more Freo-friendly level. Future Fremantle Councils will need to start planning for a port city without a container port, as there is little doubt that the Westport Taskforce will recommend to the State Government a relocation of the port to Kwinana.

There is sometimes fair criticism about the architectural quality of buildings, but that is an issue that needs to be addressed at State level, and I am not alone to wish for a bit more colour in our city, instead of the drab colours we have been getting.

I honestly believe that Freo’s future is great and that we all have a lot to look forward to. Anti development sentiments constantly expressed by a few people who are disgruntled with Fremantle Council are not very helpful. Fremantle needs to grow to prosper!

Happy New Year!

 

Roel Loopers

PS and former North Fremantle Councillor Rob Fittock chastised me rightly for not mentioning the Leighton Beach and other development in North Freo. Mea Culpa!

GOOD PEOPLE TOGETHER CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Posted in city of fremantle, community, culture, people, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on December 4, 2019

 

Now that the year is coming to an end I want to reflect a little bit about life in general, and I want to make the statement that I love almost everything about life.

I love nature, music, theatre, culture, history, art, books, good food and cooking, wine, animals, coffee and cafes, etc. and I am totally in love with Fremantle, but what I love about life most is people.

While none of us is perfect, people make the planet the very special place it is, with all our opinionated righteousness, with our willingness to care and share, and with our efforts to make the world a better place for future generations, and yes, we fail at that quite often.

We love, disappoint and are disappointed, we fail and succeed, and hopefully we succeed more often than we fail. Not trying to make a positive difference is not an option, even when one’s opinion is often criticised aggressively on social media.

We are all different, and we all have different tastes, solutions and opinions, but no one has all the answers and solutions, so we need to learn to respectfully disagree, instead of defamation, insults and name-calling.

Our cynicism about politicians is often warranted, because politics appear to be mainly about power, rather than about good governance. Only this morning on Twitter I got so frustrated about politicians from all parties engaging in silly point-scoring and blaming others, instead of engaging in positive dialogue and collaboration in the best interest of Australia.

I adore people, although I have been deeply hurt a few times, and I have no doubt I have also hurt people, but I am absolutely convinced that most people around the world, no matter what their culture or religion is, are good people, and good people together can make planet Earth and even more brilliant place to live on!

Smile at strangers, hug the ones you know and tell them they are special, keep an open mind about everything, accept change, and don’t fear those who are different.

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy 2020. It is going to be a very big year of change for Freo.

Roel Loopers

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NOT VOTING AT COUNCIL ELECTION IS LAZY!

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, election, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on October 8, 2019

 

With only ten days to go until the local government election votes will be counted on October 19 the low participation in Fremantle is very disappointing so far, so people get off your lazy arses, instead of complaining throughout the year!

East Ward has had a voter participation of only 14.65%, City Ward 19.65%, South Ward is second best with 21.02% and North Ward is second last with only 16.28% of voters having returned their ballot paper.

Hilton tops it with 20.04% and Beaconsfield is also low with only 17.96% of voter participation up till the close of business today.

It really is not good enough to whinge about and criticise our council when the vast majority of people can’t even bother to do a postal vote. We should be better than that and more engaged with local politics, Freo!

Roel Loopers

FREO’S VIEW TEN YEARS CELEBRATED ON RADIO FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, city planning, community, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on October 8, 2019

 

Kavi Guppta of Fremantle Radio celebrated the tenth anniversary of this Freo’s View blog with a long interview with me from 6.45am on this morning.

It is about Fremantle, the local government election, development, ignorance, the community, heritage, etc. so for those who missed it here is the link:

http://203.59.4.85:8001/shows_this_week/tue-06_00.mp3?fbclid=IwAR1ZVqf9f85yhfBtclOqFPCuLQ2vsHgnD60YToaxmTxscXhdtQ-NkBeT5FM

Roel Loopers joins me to celebrate 10 yrs blogging about fremantle, and discusses council candidates who campaign on opinions instead of facts (jump to 00:45:03).

Roel Loopers

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IGNORANCE IS NO EXCUSE FOR COUNCIL CANDIDATES

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, election, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on October 6, 2019

 

Nothing irritates me more than political candidates making statements and accusations based on ignorance, which again is often based on pure laziness because they refuse to inform themselves.

Such is the case with Michelle Cunningham, the candidate for East Ward of Fremantle Council at this year’s local government elections.

Fist I read on Facebook, on the South Ward Precinct page, that Cunningham had heard that precincts carefully groom political candidates. If she attended precinct meetings she would know better. It is also insulting to say this because the precinct convenors give their time to the community to organise meetings and events and liaise with City staff and councillors.

Then Cunningham accuses the City of Fremantle of doing noting about the Fremantle Public Golf Course, that will be affected by the widening of High Street for the High Street Upgrade Project freight improvements by Mainroads WA.

It is public knowledge and was reported in the media and here on Freo’s View that the City has appointed a design team with a golf course designer and architect to redesign the golf course so that it won’t lose two holes.

As also reported here yesterday the coming FPOL Committee of Fremantle Council will this Wednesday consider a project for a new clubhouse and cafe on the edge of the public golf course and Booyembara Park.

My suggestion to Michelle Cunningham is that before she shoots off at the mouth she actually takes the time to inform herself, because she is just looking very stupid by making these ignorant comments. She does not look like a very good option for a new councillor for East Ward in my books.

For Cunningham’s information here the facts:

The proposed collocation of the building provides the City with numerous potential benefits, these include:

  •   design and construction cost efficiencies
  •   shared services
  •   shared amenities
  •   increased capacity and activation
  •   improved passive security
  •   shared car parking
  •   reduced operating costs.

 

In reaching agreement to proceed with MRWA and key stakeholders, the City has committed to ensuring a suitable replacement community facility and the provision of a remediated Fremantle Public Golf Course with similar facilities and functionality, these include:

 A 9 hole golf course
 Minimum par 34
 Maximised course length
 Similar sized driving range facility (including an equivalent number of bays)  Comparable practice facilities including putting green
 Similar size / function of clubhouse facility
 Full irrigation system
 Minimal tree removal – offset by new tree planting
 Safety compliance
 Suitable car parking and access
 Minimal impacts on Booyeembara Park.

Roel Loopers

 

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HAVE YOU VOTED FOR FREO YET?

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, election, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on October 5, 2019

 

In a fortnight today voted will be counted for the Western Australian local government elections, so have YOU voted for Freo yet?

Fremantle Council will change after October 19 because three sitting members have not nominated, so they can’t be re-elected.

Don’t be complacent and think that your vote does not matter much because it does! There notoriously is a small voter participation at local council elections and only a handful of votes can make the difference which of the candidates wins the election and gets a seat on Fremantle Council, so VOTE!

Local councils make crucial decisions for their local communities so it is real and tangible grassroots democracy where you are consulted and have a say in the future of your city and suburb.

Grab your ballot paper this weekend, tick a box, sign the declaration, stick it in the reply paid envelope and put it in a mail box.

Good luck to all the candidates and thank you for nominating and stepping up!

Roel Loopers

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LOOPY’S FREO BLOG TEN YEARS BIRTHDAY

 

October is always a special month for me because it is my birthday month, but it is even more special this year because in October ten years ago I started the publication of this FREO’S VIEW blog, so happy birthday bloggy!

It has been a true labour of love for me to report about anything that happened in Fremantle over the last ten years. It required dedication and commitment and a lot of my time, but I love doing it, so I will continue with it indefinitely.

I have reported on Fremantle Council business, festivals and events, opening and closing of businesses, new development proposals and development issues, and many more things. Basically, if I know about something new or interesting happening in Fremantle I’ll publish a blog post or photo.

Over the last ten years I published around 10,350 posts and 22,500 comments and many hundreds of photos, so I have created my own kind of time capsule of Freo’s recent history.

I have tried very hard to be balanced in my reporting and not being biased, but I clearly express my own views on everything, and that makes me a very opinionated person who gets criticised often for just expressing those views. That is fine, because I was born in the Netherlands and that makes me perfect. ; >)

But my blog is all about Fremantle, a place I love dearly and want to support and help improve. I don’t care much if good ideas on how to make Fremantle a better place come from people to the right or the left of politics. Good ideas are not exclusive or unique to any political party or person!

Fremantle is a beautiful and unique city with a very special community of really good people. Fremantle is my home and my family and the place where I will die. It is a place I have a deep emotional attachment to, and the place that has given me the confidence to express myself without fear or favour.

Thank you to all the regular readers and people who sent me information and comments. Freo’s View is your blog, so the more info you send me the more I can share with the community.

Roel Loopers

SLEDGEHAMMER FOR FREO’S FUTURE

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, election, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 30, 2019

 

election

 

I find the election poster of Marija Vucjic for Fremantle South Ward rather confusing. What is the message of the photo and the symbolism of the sledge hammer?

Does Marija want to wreck Fremantle should she be elected on Council?

Strange. Very strange campaigning indeed, and not the kind of message I, as a South Ward voter, makes me want to vote for her.

Marija is locking horns with sitting member Jon Strachan, so with only two candidates in South Ward she and Jon have a 50% chance.

Roel Loopers

FOR THE GRETA GOOD AT COOGEE BEACH

Posted in city of cockburn, city of fremantle, climate change, environment, Uncategorized by freoview on September 30, 2019

 

For the Greta Good

 

Great idea, or should that be Greta idea, to put these challenging words in the sand at Coogee Beach.

It is a real shame, and a clear indication that there is a lack of maturity in the debate  about global warming, that it has become political ping pong, and that is very disappointing.

I picked this photo up from Facebook, so no idea who took it, so please let me know and I’ll credit the photographer and the people who put the words in the sand!

Roel Loopers

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