Freo's View

WA POLITICIANS IGNORING THE WHITE RELEPHANT

Posted in democracy, election, fremantle, perth freight link by freoview on February 22, 2017

election

 

Only eighteen days to go till the WA election on March 11 and I am sure I am not the only one already tired of the promises, promises, promises campaigns and the one-sided negativity in the West Australian.

Is it a wonder voters are cynical and don’t believe much of what politicians promise us when Colin Barnett and Mark McGowan take not much notice of the spiralling debt of our state.

Those of us with common sense know that most promises can’t be fulfilled because there simply won’t be money for it, but who cares, here is another railway line, another billion dollar project and whatever.

The white elephant in the room is very relevant and very real, and that is the fact that we are closing in on a state debt of $ 41 million, but that does not seem to bother the Liberal and Labor leaders one bit.

One-sided spin from all sides about Roe 8 and the Perth Freight Link also drives me mad with those opposing Roe 8 ignoring huge environmental issues with building an outer harbour, while those for it totally ignore the fact that there is no final link into the port and that traffic in North Freo is projected to increase by one-third.

One-eyed opinions that ignore facts are not going to help anyone to make informed decisions about the future of Western Australia and who to vote for, so is Paul Murray right in today’s West Australia or was Professor Peter Newman’s letter in that same paper correct? Who knows!

And because of all that people who are blissfully ignorant about these things will vote for One Nation to the detriment of good governance in WA.

There is a Fremantle ELECTION FORUM next Tuesday at Tannock Hall of Notre Dame University from 6.30-8.30 pm, so come along and ask our pollies how many banks they are going to rob to be able to keep their promises.

Roel Loopers

WA ART, SUNSET AND FREO FISH&CHIPS

Posted in art, bathers beach art precinct, fremantle, sculpture@bathers by freoview on February 21, 2017

 

There are already many interesting sculptures at Bathers Beach where the installation of the 2017 Sculpture@Bathers show is under construction.

The exhibition that showcases 80 WA sculptors will open this weekend and will be on Fremantle’s inner city beach for two weeks.

Bruce Abbott from REPLANTS has planted some trees in the beach sand, so that is something very different

Many of the works will be lit up at night, as is the cliff face at Arthur Head, so a perfect excuse to go and watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean, see some great local art and eat fish&chips.

Roel Loopers

CAN YOU SEE MY MIND ART SHOW

Posted in art, fremantle, mental health by freoview on February 19, 2017

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Can You See My Mind is a powerful art exhibition about mental health upstairs at the Moores Building Contemporary Art Gallery in Henry Street, Fremantle.

The works by photographer Melanie English and artist Megan Henry have been created from mental health questionnaires completed by people who suffered or are still suffering a mental health condition.

Mental health issues affect one in five Australians every year so it is not something we should be ignorant or judgmental about.

We have come a long way and no longer call people who have mental health problems lunatics or crazy, but there is often still a stigma attached to it and a presumption that the issues are alcohol or drug related, hence many people try to fight depression in isolation.

Shame, fear, loneliness, anxiety and feeling so deeply tired of life, in what one perceives to be absolute isolation and abandoned by society and friends, is a very traumatic experience that sadly often ends in suicide.

It is important that we are constantly aware that even close friends might not share their mental health issues with us and that asking and being observant is very important.

This exhibition helps us understand just a little bit better how and what people with mental health poblems go through.

Also at the Moores at ground level is a sculpture and painting show by Jon Denaro.

Roel Loopers

 

COUNCIL TO REJECT NEW NOTRE DAME BUILDING

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, notre dame university by freoview on February 18, 2017

unda-building-from-corner-copy

 

As expected the ‘Officers Recommendation’ to Fremantle Council for the proposed 5-storey building in High Street by Notre Dame University is for Council to reject it. The item will go to Council this Wednesday at 6 pm.

The decision-making authority is the state’s Joint Development Assessment Panel, but that will take Fremantle Council’s recommendation into consideration.

I was initially very irate about the UNDA proposal because I was very disappointed that the two community sessions had not changed anything, so as someone very passionate about Freo’s heritage I wrote a few things about the university I now regret, but my strong opposition to this inappropriate building has not disappeared.

I am a fan and strong supporter of Notre Dame University and believe they are good for the West End where many cafes would not survive without the patronage of 8000+ UNDA students and staff, but UNDA needs to be realistic and pragmatic about the development proposal for 3 High Street.

After reading the opinions of CoF planning and heritage staff and the Design Advisory Commission it becomes clear that the UNDA architects tried hard to accommodate the DAC wishes, while also trying to retain as much floor space as possible and that is the problem.

Fact is that the floor space UNDA needs for its School of Nursing can’t be achieved on that site without disregarding planning and heritage considerations, so it is not a realistic proposition to build something of that volume at the proposed site.

What UNDA now needs to do, after JDAP will also reject the development proposal, is to find an alternative location for a five-storey building, one where they might not even want to include a theatre space, thus giving them more floor space to use for education only and not a public community space.

The corner of Cliff and High streets is ideally suited for an iconic three-storey building, but unfortunately for Notre Dame it is unsuitable for a five-storey building and for the boring design that shows very little respect for the significant historic West End and the great heritage architecture in the area.

I intend to address Council on Wednesday to voice my opposition to the proposal, although I am a big fan of UNDA and its outstanding Vice Chancellor Celia Hammond, senior staff and the many lecturers I know. UNDA is good for Freo but the proposed building is bad for the West End and that’s why it needs to be rejected.

Roel Loopers

BARNETT DROWNING, NOT SWIMMING

Posted in beeliar wetlands, election, fremantle, roe 8 highway by freoview on February 16, 2017

 

Destroyed artwork February 16

Destroyed artwork February 16

 

Artwork February 14

Artwork February 14

 

Some not very creative people have painted over the Beeliar Wetlands caricature at Fremantle’s Stevens Reserve that showed Premier Colin Barnett bulldozing the wetlands.

It is a case of I have nothing substantial to say, but I don’t like the points you make, which is pretty silly and immature.

What the morons who destroyed the artwork did not realise in the dark is that is now looks as if poor old Colin is drowning. My gut feeling tells me the voters of Western Australia won’t come to his rescue.

Roel Loopers

UNFAIR ROE 8 ATTACKS ON FREMANTLE HERALD

Posted in fremantle, fremantle herald, media, newspaper by freoview on February 15, 2017

I am disappointed to hear that the Fremantle Herald has received a lot of negative calls and emails regarding the Liberal Party wrap around they published a few weeks ago, which promoted the Perth Freight Link/Roe 8 highway project. People even told the Chook to no longer deliver the paper to them.

The Fremantle Herald is a very important institution for our city. It is so iconic that it should be heritage listed and it does not deserve the unwarranted attacks by narrow-focussed people.

It also published a wrap around by the Labor Party against the Roe 8/PFL project, so that pretty much balances it out.

Simple fact is that a small community paper like the Herald only can operate because of advertising revenue. Without substantial ads it can not pay staff and delivery people and we all would miss out on our only independent local paper.

Unlike our major daily newspaper that tries to brainwash us with right-wing opinion pieces by Andrew Bolt, Miranda Devine and Paul Murray the Chook is nowadays quite balanced, after a period of being extremely negative about the City of Fremantle.

Newspapers do not endorse the companies that advertise with them. An advertisement in the Herald for a cafe or restaurant does not mean it recommends you go there or that the food is great. If the Herald only published advertisement from companies and products they endorse, they would not survive. It’s as simple as that!

Fact is that the Herald does not get several pages of advertising each week from major department and retail stores, because we don’t have any in the Chook’s distribution area, so our local paper is struggling to survive, as many of our traders are.

I love Fremantle because of the many passionate and caring people and I am very impressed with the Beeliar Wetlands daily protest they have kept up, but to say that the Herald cannot publish ads of political parties you don’t agree with is very Hanson/Trumpish and it is a very unrealistic stand to take.

The Herald deserves a fair go and our support because without it Fremantle would be poorer for it.

Roel Loopers

SUNSET AT FREMANTLE PORT

Posted in fremantle, fremantle ports, photography by freoview on February 13, 2017

roro-sunset

Men standing on the vehicle bridge of a RoRo vessel at Victoria Quay that is offloading hundreds of cars at Fremantle Port today, while the sun sets behind the cranes on North Quay.

The humidity today was more like Bali or Bangkok than Fremantle, but no matter what the weather is every day in Freo is a beaut one.

Roel Loopers

BUSY SUNDAY FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in cruiseliner, fremantle, shopping, tourism by freoview on February 12, 2017

 

It looks like it is going to be a busy Sunday in Fremantle although there is still rain forecast.

The Queen Mary 2 arrived this morning and thousands of passengers were disembarking to take in the sights. Many hopped on busses to the Pinnacles and the Swan Valley, but a large number also walked into Freo.

City of Fremantle volunteer guides were at hand to assist with directions and information.

Add to that the 10,000 spectators expected this afternoon at Fremantle Oval for the first home game of the Dockers AFL women’s team and it should be buzzing in good old Freo this afternoon.

Come visit Freo today and enjoy the unique atm0sphere and the many quirky shops and cafes you won’t find in any shopping centre!

Roel Loopers

 

BAD PLANNING NO EXCUSE FOR PERTH FREIGHT LINK

Posted in fremantle, fremantle ports, perth freight link, roe 8 highway by freoview on February 11, 2017

There is an interesting opinion piece by Liberal party fan Paul Murray in the West Australian today about Fremantle Port and the Perth Freight Link.

Let me first state that I am sick and tired of politicising the debate about this issue and wished all politicians would stick with the facts because this is an extremely important and very expensive project for WA.

Murray writes that on August 13, 2014 nine senior Fremantle Port and Department of Transport officials plus consultants on transport economies and land use were involved in a workshop, and that the report they published in April 2015 states that the existing harbour will not reach capacity until 2055 and an overflow outer harbour would not be needed until 2038, so another 21 years from now.

The workshop concluded that Fremantle Port’s capacity was 2,1 million TEUs(container units) and not as had been assumed previously only around 1,3 million TEUs.

If Murray reports facts here, and why would he not, this puts a different light on the urgent need to build an outer harbour at Kwinana, but for me the Perth Freight Link still does not make sense, even if an outer harbour is not needed and built the next twenty years.

I disagree with Paul Murray that a major part of the PFL attraction is that is solves the problem of massive traffic congestion south of the river. It does not because the last link will not be built and there will not be a better connection into the port.

What will happen is that the proposed tunnel will spew out thousands of trucks and private cars near Stirling Highway that have nowhere to go but the two already congested bridges to North Fremantle. Traffic chaos in North Freo would be a result of bad government planning and not having been able to find a solution on how to connect Roe 8 and 9 to Fremantle Port.

The Perth Freight Link highway/tunnel is unresolved and until the port connection is solved it should not be built. There will not be better port efficiency because the new road will soon be congested and trucks to the port will end up in long queues at Stirling Highway and in North Fremantle. That in my opinion is bad planning that is politically driven without achieving the essential outcomes it should aim for.

Roel Loopers

FORGETTABLE ARCHITECTURE SUCKS ESSENCE OUT OF WEST END

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, heritage by freoview on February 10, 2017

North Fremantle architect Murray Slavin has written an excellent Thinking Allowed in the Fremantle Herald today about the quality of architecture in Fremantle’s heritage West End.

Slavin Architects designed the stunning heritage of the future Mediterranean Shipping Company building in Cliff Street that connects to the old Wilhelmsen building on the corner of Phillimore Street.

Slavin writes that the proposed five-storey Notre Dame University building for the corner of High and Cliff streets needs a rethink, as I have suggested a few times on Freo’s View.

He says that “A clear and present danger is that the West End will become characterised by the lowest common denominator architecture” and that the historic area should not be “dumbed down to a forgettable architecture form that sucks the essence out of its neighbourhood.” Hear, hear!!

Murray Slavin states that it is time to live up to community expectations with a clear understanding of Fremantle’s social and physical context.

“Many buildings appearing in the West End could be from any Australian city” and show little respect for the historic buildings around them, the North Freo architect writes.

Make sure to get a copy of the Freo Chook and read the entire article and many other good ones in this week’s issue.

The deadline for submissions against the in my opinion totally inappropriate building proposal by Notre Dame is February 13, so email your opposition to it to the City of Fremantle NOW. Go to the CoF website for a submission form!

Roel Loopers

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