Freo's View


Posted in fremantle by freoview on February 25, 2014

This is from Fremantle Councillor Rachel Pemberton’s Facebook page:

Rachel Pemberton
I’ve just come from a public meeting (where the average age was about 60) about the Sunset Events proposal for a large live music and arts licensed venue at JShed Arthur’s head (beneath the Round house).
I’m keen to hear other people’s views on the issue before I have to vote on it on Wednesday…
I’ve attached a link with a summary below

So what has age got to do with it Rachel? No pub in Fremantle is financially viable without the support of all age groups, and Sunset will need the oldies to make up the numbers for all those days they won’t have ticketed events.

Contrary to what Councillor Pemberton might believe, older people are not against pubs or music. Check out the good mix of ages at the Blues&Roots, Fly by Night, Clancys, Arts Centre, Little Creatures, etc. Why does the Elected Member have to cheapen it by making it an ageist debate, when the argument it is not against having a pub, but against having a very large outdoor music venue in one of our State’s most significant historic places.

Rachel Pemberton also makes the misleading claim that it is about “an arts licensed venue” It is not! The proposal is for a pub, a micro brewery, and large live music venue.

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on February 25, 2014

I sent an email to all the Fremantle Elected members two weeks ago about the J Shed pub issue and received a reply from Councillor Rachel Pemberton that needs to be scrutinised.

*  Pemberton claims that the “J Shed has little heritage significance.”  The area and A Class Reserve however is a place of substantial heritage significance, Rachel, and it is straight below the Round House, our State’s oldest public building!

* Pemberton writes that sound modeling has shown that noise from the venue will be mitigated by the cliff face. Which professional company did the sound test and what times of the day were they done, and where can we read their report? Fact is that sound will bounce off the cliff face and the strong seabreeze will carry it all over Fremantle. One also needs to consider that 15 ticketed events a year will not be the only outdoor concerts held at the proposed venue, as nothing in the lease will stop Sunset Events from also holding non-ticketed events on weekdays.

* Parking is not an issue according to Councillor Pemberton because the proponents can make good use of underutilised space during their peak times. What has not been addressed is that Fremantle Ports plans to develop Victoria Quay and the TAFE site, both indicated by councillors and officers as the parking areas for the J Shed pub, so where will patrons park in ten years from now when those developments have been implemented? Or is that another Council’s problem in the future? Remember that the J Shed lease is for 21 years.

* I am stunned that Pemberton writes that space-making for the area was always only intended as short-term, because neither placemaking expert David Engwicht nor Fremantle Council ever mentioned that at the community consultation sessions I took part in.

* Like other Elected Members Rachel Pemberton appears blinded by money, writing that the proponents will invest millions, and that the area is in need of an upgrade, on which Sunset will spend $ 150,000+ on landscaping. Will that be inside or outside their property boundaries, Councillor?

* Pemberton writes she supports a “main activator of the area” but a main activator already exists in the Bathers Beach Sunset Food Markets each Saturday in summer. That family friendly community market, I am involved with,  would be forced away from the area because of the planned Saturday live concerts at the micro brewery.

Roel Loopers


Posted in australia, fremantle, perth by freoview on July 20, 2013

The mood was very sombre at Perth Forrest Place at midday today when people gathered in shock to protest about Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd‘s announcement that asylum seekers and refugees arriving by boat will be relocated to Papua New Guinea and will not be able to settle in Australia in the future.

Many people in the crowd had come from Fremantle, including Greens politicians Scott Ludlam and Lynn MacLaren and Freo councillors Rachel Pemberton and Sam Wainwright.

I believe the people of Fremantle will send a strong message to the Labor party and that this unacceptable decision by the Rudd government will cost Melissa Parke the seat of Fremantle.

We have heard often that the office of Prime Minister deserves respect but I believe that office has now lost all integrity and dignity and Rudd’s extreme right-wing stand just to win the next election is an indication of the moral corruption of this man. Since opposition leader Tony Abbott is not any better I hope the people of Australia will vote for alternative parties and independents to show the major parties that we are sick and tired of them making a political football out of desperate people because of egotistic self-interest. Kevin Rudd, you slimy little man, you are a disgrace!

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on November 14, 2012

This evening the City of Fremantle‘s Strategic Planning Committee will announce that the city now will manage the proposed Arthur Head Art Hub and that the two applicants for the management of the art hub have been rejected.

On Monday Mayor Brad Pettitt and Councillor Rachel Pemberton met at Bathers Beach with FICRA members and Arthur Head artists, with the mayor expressing he does not really want to get involved with the art hub, while long time professional art practitioners criticised councillor Pemberton for coming across as if she knew more about the arts industry than they do.

It appears the city’s preferred future use of the cottage next to Glen  Cowans photography gallery is a Round House tourist gift shop, while the cottage next to it appears to be earmarked as an Indigenous cultural centre. There was also still talk to relocate the Fremantle Heritage Guides who volunteer seven days a week as Round House tour guides, but sending them away from Arthur Head would mean closure of the Round House as it is not practical for the mainly older guides.

The city wants to run the Arthur Head Art Hub similar to the Fremantle Arts Centre and the Moores Building Art Centre, the artists and FICRA members were told. I am puzzled by that as  Arthur Head is a large area from Kidogo Art House to J Shed that has nine buildings on it and J Shed is divided into four separate studio spaces, while the two other art centres are a single building(Moores) or a compact cluster of connecting buildings(FAC). Management of the Arthur Head Art Precinct would require a totally different approach than the other two.

But why does the city wants to manage the art hub at all? There is no reason for it as it could be totally self regulating. This is what council should be doing instead of wasting time, man power and money:

* Renovate, paint and maintain all buildings

* Install signage in the area

* Extend the boardwalk all the way to J Shed and improve existing pathways and connectivity between Victoria Quay and Fishing Boat Harbour.

* Property manager leases buildings to only art related individuals or groups with a contract clause that interaction with the public needs to occur on at least 3 days or a total of 20 hours a week.

* Southern most studio of J Shed to become a cafe/bar/retail outlet/function centre

* Let the Bathers Beach Art Precinct come up with their own ideas of marketing, art market, etc. Artists are by nature creative beings and have plenty of ideas.

* Make sure building are maintained regularly.

* Allow Arthur Head to grow without council management or interference. CoF only to look after the buildings and infrastructure to keep the area attractive.

* Reinvest all money made from leasing the buildings back into Arthur Head

* City marketing to promote Arthur Head as a separate destination, not as part of the West End only

* RELAX!!! Stop wanting to control everything CoF. This is not China or North Korea. Give the Arthur Head people some freedom.

Roel Loopers

(Disclosure: I am at present the live-in caretaker of cottage no 11 at Arthur Head, which is the Fremantle Society HQ).


Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 25, 2012

Full Fremantle council meeting was on Wednesday evening so I duly went along to see what our decisions makers had to say. It was a surprise to see the Liberal candidate for Fremantle, Matthew Hanssen there, so my immediate thought was that he was looking for a back-up plan to stand for council next October if he does not win at the state election in March, but I was wrong. Hanssen was one of three public speakers complaining about FERN at Montreal Street. The group was accused of having created a fire and safety danger with a wall of hay-bales, running an unapproved cafe, allowing illegal camping and overnight stays on the property, being a public nuisance, etc. Matthew Hansen called for the City to terminate FERN’s lease, inappropriately and offensively saying they were “a group of freeloaders constantly causing problems.”  The City is already investigating the issues and will have a meeting with FERN next week.

Councillor Sam Wainwright called for the Mayor to express the city’s disappointment with remarks made by the CEO of Fremantle Ports regarding the proposed windfarm at Rouse Head. Wainwright said the supposed health impact of a windfarm had only been put forward by the CEO who created the Ports own objections rather than them coming from the public or unions. He said council needed to convey that the community supports a windfarm.

There was lengthy debate about the proposed skate park, or Youth Plaza, at the Esplanade and the pros and cons of keeping the mound. This is going to be a substantial 2000 square meter attraction along the railway line near the ferris wheel. While some councillors wanted the mound to stay in the same location others argued that a new mound, or mounds, could be created as part of the Youth Plaza and that keeping the mound in its existing place might constrain the design.

It will be interesting to see if the Youth Plaza will affect future Chilli and Indian festivals on the Esplanade and also the connectivity to Little Creatures as the railway crossing could become obscured by the skate park. I noted that the Skywheel will have to be moved but that they are replacing it with another one anyway, so I hope to find out what that is all about.

Councillor Rachel Pemberton‘s motion to conduct a trial over summer to redirect buses away from the Cappuccino Strip was approved. There are more than 800 bus movements a day there and the roadworks at the strip had greatly reduced traffic noise and fumes and improved the amenity, safety and enjoyment of the strip. Only the CAT bus will be allowed to continue its route. The redirection trial will affect bus rotes 98, 99, 511, 513, 520, 530, 531, 532, 825 and 920. With this decision I hope we are a very small step closer to maybe one day see the Cappuccino Strip as one way traffic only or be closed all together for traffic.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 9, 2012

Parking  is probably Fremantle‘s favourite whinge, just ahead of bureaucratic red tape and dirty streets, so it is good to see the Strategic Planning Committee will address parking on Wednesday evening with suggestions to have one hour free parking in the city. That is a good idea as many people complain that just to have a quiet coffee will add an hour of parking fees in the inner city to the already expensive coffee.

A proposal by coucillor Rachel Pemberton to cap night time parking to four dollars is also very good as it is one of the main whines from visitors who come for a night out and have to go back to the parking meters to extend the time they can stay. Unlimited night parking for only $ 4.00 seems pretty good to me.

Roel Loopers

P.S. You can’t win them all. While some people protest I whinge too much and am too negative on council, I was told last eve I am “sucking up” to councilor Pemberton. Not sure Rachel would agree with that sentiment as she has been on the receiving end of my criticism. I  just call it as I see it and everyone is fair game without fear or favour.


Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 7, 2012

WELCOME BACK TO BLOG WORLD RACHEL PEMBERTON! The Freo councillor has fired up her blog again that she started before being elected to council, so this is a very welcome insider’s view to what is going on at the City of Fremantle.

Read about parking, graffiti and Rachel’s suggestion to at least make the Cappuccino Strip bus free during summer.

Click here and bookmark Rachel’s blog to keep up to date:

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 3, 2012

There does not seem to be much love between Fremantle blogger Michael Swanepoel and Fremantle councillor Rachel Pemberton. In response to Rachel’s Thinking Allowed in the Fremantle Herald Michael wrote this quite funny but very cynical Shut Up and Stop Whining: A Guide to Being a Better Ratepayer on his FREMANTLE DOCTOR blog.

Check it out and tell us what you think.

Roel Loopers

P.S. If you don’t know who Michael Swanepoel is, Michael is a strategic planner at a western suburbs council, a Freo resident, and he stood for council for the city ward at the last election, but Rachel took the honours.


Posted in australia by freoview on October 2, 2012

Congratulations to Melbourne based Sonya Pemberton, sister of Fremantle councillor Rachel Pemberton. Sonya and her company won an Emmy Award in the News and Documentary section for DECODING IMMORTALITY, a documentary following the work of Nobel Prize winner Liz Blackburn. It was screened on SBS in Australia in 2010 titled Immortal.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 2, 2012

The Fremantle Dockers‘ request for the City of Fremantle to offer them more incentives to stay in Fremantle is an interesting one that divides the community. While the Keep Freo in Freo campaign has many supporters there are also many people who believe the City should not bend over backwards to accommodate the Dockers’ wish list, since they are a multi-million dollar private business.

The Dockers have now told the City they want a lap and a recovery pool, indoor highball courts and the resurfacing of Fremantle Oval. That is on top of all the goodies the City has already offered them.

What is not clear to me is if these facilities would become available to the community, or if they would be exclusively used by the Dockers and maybe Notre Dame University, which is also a profitable business.

While some councillors keep talking about the importance of Fremantle becoming a primary centre and see the Dockers as an essential component to achieve that, councillor Rachel Pemberton questions if council should keep feeding the Fremantle Football Club company with more without any apparent benefits to the community. I believe that is a very good and valid point.

My involvement with the Keep Freo in Freo campaign is mainly because I want to see the Stan Reilly Centre developed. It would be good to keep the Dockers in town but not at all costs. Blackmail is not a good way for negotiations. The if you don’t give me that we’ll go to Cockburn attitude of the Dockers might just need a council with the backbone to call the bluff and say goodbye to them and find great alternative use for the site.

Fremantle council needs to be careful not being too worried that nothing will happen in Freo unless they get on their knees for everyone with a lot of money who wants to develop in our city. The insatiable Dockers are no charity but a profitable AFL business. They deserve our support but to a degree. If they become too greedy we should wish them good luck in Cockburn.

The Stan Reilly Centre development does have to have benefits for the entire Fremantle community not just for a footy club and a uni who are both doing pretty well financially.

Roel Loopers

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