Freo's View


Posted in boating, fremantle, maritime by freoview on January 18, 2017




Fremantle architect and Sea Rescue volunteer Mark Zuvela kindly showed me around the new HQ of the Fremantle Volunteer Sea Rescue organisation in the old Signal Station at Cantonment Hill this morning. The new HQ was officially opened on November 26 last year.

The Signal Station was built in 1956 and designed by Hobbs, Winning and Leighton architects, the same architects who designed the Fremantle Ports building. The communication tower on top of the Signal Station is identical to the one on top of the Port building

Fremantle Sea Rescue has over 100 active volunteers who assist and rescue over 750 boats a year. Two third of them are sea rescues, the other third river assists. It is the busiest sea rescue organisation in Australia. To put that in perspective, the Sydney Harbour Water Police does around 300 rescues a year.

Sea Rescue started in Fremantle in 1969 and nowadays does 30,000 radio transmissions a year. Licensed and certified volunteers are on duty 24 hours a day. Sea Rescue has 4 rescue vessels and 2 jet skis.

The new HQ at the Signal Station is state of the art with latest internet and satellite technology. The height of the communication tower means it now has 50 per cent more coverage and no more black spots along the Swan and Canning rivers.

Fremantle Sea Rescue covers the Indian Ocean from the old South Fremantle Power Station to City Beach and well beyond Rottnest Island, and the Swan and Canning rivers.

Thanks to donations, sponsorships and volunteers the costs of setting up at Cantonment Hill were reduced from $ 200,000 to just $ 60,000, so thank you to everyone for their generosity!

The views from Cantonment Hill over Fremantle and the port are magnificent so wander up there some time to see it for yourself.

Roel Loopers


Posted in climate change, fremantle by freoview on December 15, 2014

The Kwinana Freeway Foreshore Management Plan put together by the W.A. State Government is concerned about future flooding of the freeway along the river due to climate change. Experts believe that sea levels will rise by 90 centimetres by 2110 according to a report in the Sunday Times.

It is suggested that to prevent freeway flooding to put a storm barrier in the Swan river behind Fremantle port, but I wonder where the surge of rising water would go then. Wouldn’t it flood areas in front of that water barrier and affect the Fremantle and North Fremantle foreshores?

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on January 27, 2012

It’s bad news for Fremantle’s retail, but even worse for my personality and public profile. The Rivers clothing franchise in High Street has closed its doors, I noticed walking back from my ophthalmologist appointment today.

RIVERS has been my favourite supplier of affordable clothes, and helped make me look like the bronzed beach boy people in Fremantle think I am. Rivers’ youthful tops, baggy shorts, and sneakers, even socks and underwear, have complimented my triple sprayed on tan and chemically sun bleached blonde hair fantastically over many years, and helped me disguise my real age. This is all gone now, and like Fremantle looking for a new anchor national chain store, I am looking for a new personality.

Roel Loopers


Posted in australia by freoview on November 28, 2010

The PROTECT THE KIMBERLEY rally at the Cottesloe Civic Centre attracted around a thousand people, including Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt, on this stunning Sunday morning.

Speakers stressed the importance of the Kimberley as a unique heritage listed wildlife sanctuary that should not be destroyed by greedy multinational companies. Questions were raised as to why Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett is so desperately trying to get a huge industrial plant approved in such pristine location.

While participants in the rally were told not to sit on the heritage listed walls of the civic centre, a ranger could not be bothered to open the public toilets before the event, but had enough time to give tickets to cars parked on the verges. Very poor form Cottesloe! And, Mr Ranger, if you want to make a political point, go protest, write letters to newspapers, whatever, but don’t hinder those who have a democratic right to a peaceful rally and had permission to do so.

Roel Loopers

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Posted in australia, fremantle, photography, sustainability, western australia by freoview on September 27, 2010

Water is one of our most precious resources, but also an inspiring subject for photographers.

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Photos copyright Roel Loopers    Profile Photography


Posted in fremantle, tourism, Uncategorized, western australia by freoview on May 25, 2010

The announcement that the City of Fremantle wants to create more retail space is a good one in principle, but one has to ask what the city and the Chamber of Commerce will be doing to attract quality retailers here, rather than more cheap 2 dollar or tourism related shops.

Fremantle is in desperate need to get high quality retailers. There is one single good men’s clothing shop in town, but most of their gear is well outside my budget and that of most of my friends. The Myer shop is boring and insufficiently stocked, so we make trips to Garden City or Perth.

What Fremantle does not need is more average cafes and restaurants. We have got heaps of those but only a few good eating places. Fine dining only exists in George Street, in East Fremantle. The street is also a fine example of quality boutiques, a great bottle shop and the George Street Merchants. Fremantle has nothing like that unfortunately.

So how will we attract franchises like for example Gazman, Rivers, ladies’ fashion, Harvey Norman or equivalent, a good butcher, bakery, pastry shop, etc. instead of Mac Donalds and trash shops?

One of the problems I see in Fremantle is greed. It is very expensive to lease retail space (and it is similar trying to rent houses or units here). We watch time and time again people trying their heart out to make small shops work, but they are forced to close within months because of lack of trade and high rent.

There are quite a few empty retail spaces in the city centre, but people are reluctant to open new shops because Fremantle is dead the first half of the week, and weekend only trade and sales is not sustainable for most. Cash flow is a must for small businesses, and even more so when one has to employ staff, who will need to be paid no matter if they make any sales on the day or not. And no one seems to care about the cruise liner trade. Why shops are closed on let’s say a Tuesday when a passenger ship with hundreds of potential customers arrives here is beyond me. Flexibility is the essence here!

With Christmas only six months away it will only take that long for retailers in Fremantle to yet again be flabbergasted why there are so few shoppers in town while the shopping centres are bulging with them. Have a look at the bland mall, your uninspiring shop fronts, your often messy shops, and the stuff you sell and you have some of the answers. It would also be nice if your staff acknowledged when customers enter your shop, instead of staring at a computer or being pre-occupied with sending texts on their mobiles. Make us feel welcome!

What Fremantle needs is to actively promote itself as an alternative to the sterile shopping centres and offer quality instead of quantity. We need great dining out venues and fantastic well-stocked stores in a pedestrian and parking friendly environment. That is the challenge for Fremantle.

Roel Loopers

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