Freo's View

PROMOTE WEST END RETAIL BETTER!

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle network, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on May 23, 2017

 

The monthly Fremantle Network event at the National Hotel on Monday had three speakers, so I will split up the reporting on it and start with High Street retailer Gaelle Beech of the ANJEL MS ethical fashion shop.

Gaelle’s talk was inspiring as it was not the typical whinge we get from too many in the community, but it was more about why we don’t sell the unique beauty of Fremantle and especially the gorgeous heritage High Street better as a shopping destination.

High Street is one of the most gorgeous shopping precincts in Australia that ends at Bathers Beach, so why don’t we promote that better?

“We don’t treasure enough what we have got in Fremantle and forget to show the beauty of it to our visitors” Gaelle rightly said.

The West End is unique but many visitors don’t even know where High Street is and there is no retail map showing the diversity of shopping.

We need West End traders to work together and not individually, and we need you as the community to support us she said.

High Street needs more vibrancy with buskers and art, and traders and City of Fremantle marketing should not assume everyone knows about us.

Gaelle Beech said she loves Fremantle and would not have a shop anywhere else in Perth. She also has an outlet at Fremantle Markets on weekends.

ANJEL MS specialises in ethical fashion and supports young designers in Katmandu, India and Bali, so go and check it out and support our struggling local traders.

“We have an amazing city! Which shopping centre has a beach at the end of it! Gaelle said with passion and I could not agree more.

She got laughter and applause when a Notre Dame University student lamented that it cost them $ 1,200 a year in parking. “You are young, walk and use public transport” she encouraged. Yes indeed!

Roel Loopers

MILSOM RESIGNS AS FREO BID CEO

Posted in bid, city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 21, 2017

It comes as a shock to me that Tim Milsom, the energetic CEO of Fremantle BID, has suddenly resigned after only three months in the job, giving personal issues as the reason for his resignation.

It is very disappointing that the well-liked Milsom has gone because the City of Fremantle has just prolonged the life of BID, that was deemed not to have performed satisfactory in its first four years.

I have no doubt the appointment of Milsom as the new BID CEO was one of the reasons Council agreed to extend the Business Improvement District model.

I hope you are well Tim!!!!

Roel Loopers

MAKE MY ELECTION DAY FREO

Posted in city of fremantle, election, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 15, 2017

The Fremantle local government election campaign started early this year with Ra Stewart announcing she is standing for Mayor and Claudia Green contesting the City Ward position that will be vacated by Simon Naber.

Dave Coggin has already left so his seat is available, and four other seats plus the Mayor’s will be up, so it’s going to be a signifiant election.

Because of some critical observations I have made about Ra Stewart there are already people who assume I have something against her, with one West End resident claiming I am the publicist for Mayor Brad Pettitt.

So I want to make a few points that will hopefully stick. I am PRO Fremantle and whoever shows me that they have the vision, long-term plans and solutions, innovation and creativity to lead our beautiful city toward inevitable economic recovery and vibrancy will have my support.

All candidates, including all sitting members, will get a fair go on Freo’s View, but if they make accusations that are unfair or not based on facts I will call them up on that. If all you have is criticism of the present Council but no ideas on how to do it better than I will point that out.

Council bashing alone won’t do and I expect balance and fairness from those who put their hand up and want to be our next community representatives on Council.

I don’t care if my local members are to the right, centre or left of politics as long as they have the best for Fremantle in mind and I will judge them on that.

If you want to put me in a box or drawer and assume you know where I stand, just go ahead with name-calling. I have had heated arguments with Freo’s Mayor and have at times been extremely critical about certain aspects of Fremantle Council, to the point that the former CEO confronted me at a public meeting and told me he was sick and tired of me calling for his head. CoF staff en-masse complained when I finally was given a photographic assignment some years ago, because I was too critical of the City of Fremantle.

I have been called a lapdog of Fremantle Council on social media, and on a promise by the Mayor to get on council, as if a Mayor ever had the power to appoint Councillors.

I have been called an anti-development NIMBY, and the narrow-minded president of the Frraemantle Society called me Adolf and an apologist for bad development, when I have been more vocal against inappropriate development in the CBD than most people.

But I am very much for the modernisation and development of the ugly east part of the inner city because I strongly believe that with more people living and working in the city and tourists staying in new hotels our traders will significantly start to benefit from that in 2-4 years from now. It is the game changer Fremantle needs!

I believe in balance and fairness and expect people who make accusations against our Elected Members to at least give them the courtesy of informed criticism based on facts, not some of the ridiculous ignorant comments I read on social media and in letters to editors.

I am not anti Ra Stewart or anti Brad Pettitt and I am not anti Fremantle Council either. I want the best for Freo and will do my utmost to support those who will make a significant positive difference to the city I love. If you want to attack me for that just go ahead and make my day! ; >)

Roel Loopers

FREO MAYOR NEEDS MORE THAN RA RA RA

Posted in elections, fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 8, 2017

It is very disappointing that Fremantle Mayoral candidate Ra Stewart is engaging in cheap political point scoring.

This from her Facebook page: Why does Fremantle Council insist on focusing on issues beyond local government’s remit instead of those that truly impact on Fremantle like the loss of workers from Freo Hospital, the cleanliness of the city, decline in retail and the loss of cruise ships to Freo Port…?

I was expecting a lot more class, substance and fairness from Ra who was the Chair of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce for many years and who should know how local government works.

Ra is no doubt well aware that there is a (inter)national decline in retail and that shops are vacant all over the Perth metro area and around Australia.

Ra is no doubt also aware that Fremantle Council has no power whatsoever to direct WA government agency Fremantle Port or can influence the state government to do something about the ports of Broome, Geraldton and Exmouth. They are the main reasons P&O cruiseliners will no longer call Fremantle Port home!

Fremantle Council lobbied State Government for years to keep Fremantle Hospital and the emergency department going, but Ra could not be bothered to attend Councils meetings until she had her overnight calling to stand for Mayor.

Cleanliness can be an issue in Fremantle on weekends and festival days, but many overseas tourists at the Roundhouse tell me how impressed they are about how clean Freo is. Subjective. I know.

Very disappointing Ra and you are losing me fast!

Roel Loopers

CRUISESHIP DISASTER FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, cruiseliners, fremantle ports, tourism by freoview on May 8, 2017

The announcement by Australia’s largest cruiseship company Carnival Cruises that it no longer will use Fremantle Port as a home port for their cruises is a disaster for Fremantle and will come at a high cost to the local economy.

No P&O superliners will be based in Fremantle any more and that means that the number of cruises out of Fremantle will go down from 60 cruises during the 2016/17 season to only 17 during the 2018/19 season.

This will no doubt have a negative impact on retailers and the hospitality industry in Fremantle and that is hugely disappointing.

Carnival Cruises say that issues with WA Ports such as Geraldton, Broome and Exmouth are to blame and new WA Tourism Minister Paula Papalia says that outdated facilities at the Fremantle Passenger Terminal are also responsible for the pull out.

Passengers arriving or boarding in Fremantle have to pull their luggage for miles on either side of the railway line, rain or shine, to and from the railway station or inner city accommodation.

Now before anyone starts bleating and blame Fremantle Council for this, it has nothing to do with them but with State Governments of the past not being pro-active enough to relocate the passenger terminal closer to B Shed and the railway station.

Fremantle Council has suggested improvements for many years and does have significant plans for development of Victoria Quay with their South Quay Project, but it needs to be supported by the WA government and Fremantle Port, and that has not been forthcoming.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said: “It would be a serious blow to Fremantle retailers if we were to see a decline in the number of cruise ships coming to Fremantle. They play an important role in bringing more tourists not only to Fremantle but the whole of Perth.

While I understand a lot of the concerns are facilities in Broome, Geraldton and Exmouth, there is also a legitimate concern as to the experience passengers have when they arrive in Fremantle. Arriving in the middle of giant car park and a sea of cars is hardly inviting and I know many of us cringe when we see often elderly people pulling suitcases in the hot sun towards the Fremantle CBD.

But as they say where there is a crisis there is an opportunity. This will hopefully see a stronger focus on improvements to South Quay. The new ALP State Government have pleasingly made this one of their election commitments and I am looking forward to bring this to reality as soon as possible.”

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE GLASS HALF FULL

Posted in city of fremantle, development, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on May 5, 2017

We are a funny lot in Fremantle  and some people will only see the negative side of things, as these two examples show.

La Porchetta pizza restaurant in Collie Street has unfortunately closed and that inspired someone on the Freo Massive Facebook page to write that Fremantle might as well become a ghost town.

It is always disappointing when a business closes but there is an abundance of hospitality outlets in Fremantle and the new meatball and cocktail bar just opened around the corner, there is a new cafe on Cantonment Street, another one in Pakenham Street and a new restaurant in Douro Road, to name just a few of newly opened businesses. There is also a new florist in South Freo by the way!

Another gentleman on the same social media page claimed that Fremantle Council is anti-development. When I pointed out that we have not seen so much development in 30 years he questioned that because Council had rejected two development applications recently.

I only know of the inappropriate and ugly proposal for the Mills Record building and the out of scale building Notre Dame Uni wanted to put in Cliff Street that Fremantle Council rightly rejected, but just look around what is going on!

The stunning Heirloom apartments opened in December, opposite the massive LIV Defence Housing apartments are being built, The Hilton Hotel, Spotlight site, Kings Square Project, Fremantle Oval project, Quest Hotel, imminent plans to develop the Woolstores shopping centre site, etc.

Fremantle Council anti-development? I don’t think so!

The glass is well over half full in Fremantle and the long-term vision of Council is paying off with more developers feeling confident about investing in Freo, which will give a huge boost to our retailers and the hospitality industry in the not too far future.

Smile! Freo is on the right track.

Roel Loopers

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UNCONVINCING MAYOR CANDIDATE

Posted in city of fremantle, election, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on April 27, 2017

Interesting to listen to an interview of Fremantle Mayoral candidate Ra Stewart on 6PR’s Perth Live show with Oliver Peterson.

Stewart cited a decline in retail and vacant shops as a Fremantle Council problem, when everyone knows that retail has been in decline for years everywhere in Perth and Australia.

The Australia Day changes were divisive and not the role of local government, Stewart said and that Fremantle had failed to take its position as the jewel in the crown because everybody loves Freo.

Interesting to note in that regard that other councils such as Cockburn, Hobart and others are also considering changes to their Australia Day activities.

Ra Stewart said she would bring Council back to basics, if elected, and implement sound financial management of city assets. I believe that is a fair point as Freo’s finances are not great and could have been handled better.

She also believes Council need to consult with the broader community and find out what their priorities are. The City of Fremantle did that with its Visioning Fremantle 2020 extensive community consultation sessions a few years ago, that lasted nearly a year.

Stewart believes there are lots of opportunities for Fremantle, and when asked about it by Oliver Peterson said that Mayor Brad Pettitt showed a lot of promise in his first term and that “there had been some investment in the city”

That must be the under-statement of the millenium as Fremantle has not seen the kind of enormous investment through development it is experiencing in over thirty years. Some development alright!

Ra Stewart also said she believes she would be able to pull all the community groups together. Anyone in politics knows that this is an extremely naïve statement, because for every person one pleases, someone else will be dissatisfied with government decisions.

One thing I do agree with is that Ra Stewart believes the City of Fremantle should have organised a big celebration of the anniversary of winning the America’s Cup. That is definitely an opportunity lost that the City’s marketing department, and BID, and the Chamber of Commerce, and the yacht clubs all missed.

Anyone who wants my vote to become the next Mayor of Fremantle needs to have realistic and achievable ideas, substance, a long-term vision for our city, and good knowledge of how council works.

The unconvincing interview I heard did not give me the feeling that Stewart would do a better job than the incumbent, so let’s wait and see if more impressive candidates nominate.

Roel Loopers

FREO BAN THE BAG IS BACK

Posted in city of fremantle, environment, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on April 27, 2017

Fremantle Council decided last night to ban the use of plastic shopping bags. This is the third time in five years Council is giving it a try as the previous W.A. Liberal/National government rejected the proposal in 2012 and 2015, but the new Labor government have indicated they would support local councils banning non-degradable plastic shopping bags.

Already other councils have started the same process and Councillor Doug Thompson said that a survey showed that 32 councils support banning the environment-damaging bags.

Councillor Rachel Pemberton pointed out that it was about the material of the bags and that degradable bags could still be supplied to customers.

Councillor Hannah Fitzhardinge said Council should campaign for the general reduction of the use of plastic as it was extensively used. She is right. Single pieces of fruit and vegetables are offered on trays wrapped in plastic by supermarkets, which is not only wasteful but also damaging to the environment.

Roel Loopers

VELVET SUSHI FASHION NEW BOUTIQUE

Posted in fashion, fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on April 25, 2017

 

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That lovely very Freo tiny fashion empire VELVET SUSHI had to move shop because of the Kings Square development and you can now find the boutique in Bannister Street just off the Fremantle Cappuccino Strip.

New shop location 5 BANNISTER Street. FREMANTLE.

The Attic Cafe, Stable Hands Restaurant and Hougoumont Hotel are neighbours, so go and check out the new shop.

Open for business from this Thursday 27th April

Shop Hours

Tues- check in before you pop in
Wed- 11-5pm
Thurs- 11-5pm
Fri- 11-5pm
Sat- 11-5pm
Sun- closed
Mon- closed

 

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NEW ARTWORK FOR FREO MALL

Posted in art, city of fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on April 19, 2017

 

The foundations for a new artwork are being put in the Fremantle High Street Mall near the corner of William Street as part of the Atwell Arcade development.

I have not heard who the artist is so stay tuned. I’ll put a photo up as soon as it is there!

Roel Loopers

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