Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on January 18, 2018


harbour views


Fremantle is such a special and lovely place according to the thousands of visitors who come to visit the Roundhouse.

It is such a joy when I volunteer at WA’s oldest public building to hear only positive comments about Fremantle from overseas and interstate visitors.

They all love it that Freo is so different from the norm and, that in contrast to Perth, we kept many of our beautiful heritage buildings, and they love the view corridors from the West End streets to the port.

People from Sydney on their second visit to Fremantle commented today on how friendly people here are and that we take the time to engage with our visitors, and all of them love the blue sky and Indian Ocean, the beaches and Rottnest Island, and the lack of people.

My love for this old port town gets reaffirmed every  day I volunteer at the old gaol.

We are blessed to live in Freo!

Roel Loopers


Posted in art, city of fremantle, food, growers green markets, photography, Uncategorized by freoview on January 14, 2018


GG art 3

GG art 1


A couple of arty photos I took this morning of the Fremantle Growers Green Farmers Market that has been relocated to its old spot next to the brand new modern Fremantle College building.

Redtents events owner Kylie Wheatley now is also the owner of Freo’s favourite market after the school was reluctant to continue with it.

The proximity to Lefroy Road and parking at TAFE opposite the college will no doubt see the market return to its huge popularity soon.

The market is open till midday today and every Sunday from 8am till 12 noon.

Support our local small businesses!

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports, tourism, travel, Uncategorized by freoview on January 12, 2018



It is a very busy day at Fremantle Port this Friday with ten vessels at berth.

At Victoria Quay there are three cruise liners, the delayed Regatta that was supposed to sail out last evening, the Astor, and the Silver Shadow, which arrived just after 1 pm.

There is also a RoRo vessel and two supply ships at Victoria Quay.

At North Quay there are three container ships and one scrap metal vessel.

Lots of pleasure boats also passing through the port plus the Rottnest Island ferries.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, development, local government, nature, Uncategorized by freoview on January 9, 2018


The substantial residential development that is happening, and is planned for, the east of the Fremantle CBD requires that developers and the City of Fremantle create new green public spaces and amenity for those who are coming to live in the high-density buildings.

Heirloom and LIV residents have very little green space to enjoy with Fremantle Park basically being a sports ground for the Christian Brothers students and sporting clubs. It offers very little in form of seating, shade structures or BBQs. The same applies to the nearby Princess May Park that is a large lawns to kick the footy or play cricket, but lacks seats and shade.

Fremantle Council does have a masterplan for Princess May, but that seems to be on the back burner until/if the Hilton Hotel development next to it is completed.

Then there is the uninspiring Pioneer Park opposite the railway station that also lacks amenity, shade, a playground and good seating, and there are a couple of small pockets of green on the corner of Parry and High Street.

The most inviting green ambience for apartment dwellers at LIV and Heirloom is the courtyard at the Fremantle Arts Centre.

While there is a Green Plan for Fremantle and the policy to increase the tree canopy, there are no plans I am aware off for new green spaces in or near the CBD.

The large carpark, or a part off it, at the East Street Jetty offers the opportunity for a new green space with river connections and harbour views.  It is the only opportunity in Fremantle south of the river to connect with the mighty Swan, as Fremantle Port has stopped the connection from the city with the water front.

There are plans for the massive development of the Woolstores shopping centre site and an eight-storey residential building on the former Spotlight site next to Target, and a four-storey residential building at the former Energy Museum site. All those people will want to connect with nature and Fremantle is not offering them very much at all.

Developers should be urged to create green internal courtyard spaces for residents, and even the Westgate Mall could be turned into a green space when the Little Laneway development is happening.

Freo’s Green council needs to do a lot more to green our city!


Roel Loopers


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on January 8, 2018




I am deeply sad to hear that renowned architect and city planner Linley Lutton passed away on January 7 after a long illness.

Linley was a truly delightful and gentle man whom I greatly respected as a city planner and architect.

I met him for the first time when he started the City Gatekeepers movement against the plans for Elizabeth Quay and reconnected with him when he was on the City of Fremantle Design Advisory Committee.

One not often in life has the opportunity and privilege to meet outstanding people like Linley Lutton, who make a real commitment to contribute and improve the world in which we live.

Linley will be missed by all who met him. There is no doubt that heaven will soon look a whole lot better.

The funeral will be held on Monday January 15 at 3.30 pm at the Karrakatta Cemetery.


Roel Loopers

I want to add this comment Linley posted on Freo’s View in late 2014 in response to a blog article I wrote, as it is still as relevant as ever:

I suggest that far from being a rant, Roel is simply echoing the frustration many people feel when the usual industry-focused voices dominate the sustainability debate. We need better.

There are many well-reasoned arguments for and against densification of existing cities. If done properly and in the right places, densification via appropriate urban infill can have a positive impact. When done badly however it can trigger a whole range of micro-climatic, infrastructural, economic and societal problems.

Increasing density does not have to mean high-rise or even medium-rise development. Attached row houses, three-storey walk-ups, apartment houses, narrow-fronted two-storey houses and micro lots all result in significant densification in sensitive ways.

In most European cities, apartments up to five or six storeys have existed in city centers for hundreds of years. These dwelling types work because at the ground plain there are wonderful squares, piazzas, parks, and streets which the people use as extended living spaces. Importantly, people in Europe have always lived with higher densities – it is part of their culture.

In my city planning work in China we always planned the ground plain as if it was a living space. In Libya I also recommended the emerging new towns be planned to ensure the public realm and higher-density housing were properly integrated.

In Perth however we seem to think that high-rise buildings shoe-horned onto small sites in inappropriate locations is the only way to increase population density. This is of course the lazy way to increase density and is embraced by industry. Some like this approach because it happens quickly and the sight of a cluster of new towers is interpreted as successful infill. The reality is however that most of these types of developments in Perth offer little more than a dormitory existence where the residents rarely engage with the surrounding area and still prefer to use their motor vehicles for regular travel.

In the last few years of ongoing design review work I have seen the design quality of apartment buildings drop alarmingly as the government encourages higher densities. Many are very small, have internal bedrooms with no natural light and ventilation and are located so close to busy roads that the balconies are unusable due to traffic noise. This compels residents to leave their windows closed all day and night to achieve a comfortable aural environment which then requires them to run their air conditioning system all night which they simply can’t afford.

Sustainable design in terms of energy and water consumption is a low priority and the construction materials used are very rarely recycled and are high in embedded energy. Once the current batch of substandard strata apartments has been constructed they will be there for a very long time and all of this is in the name of so-called sustainability via densification.

The sustainability debate at present is out of balance and dominated by a few who are driven by narrow-focused ideologies. Roel is intuitively responding to this imbalance.

Linley Lutton


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on January 8, 2018




Fremantle Society president John Dowson has the uncanny ability to discredit himself by making ridiculous statements, as the rant below, which he sent to FS members about the LIV apartment development at Queen Victoria Street shows.


Communist East Berlin Apartment Block Arrives

The raft of damaging oversized buildings is underway in Fremantle with the arrival of the East Berlin Communist inspired “Liv” apartment block in Queen Victoria Street opposite the “Giant of Fremantle”, the former Fort Knox wool store, the largest wool store left in Fremantle.

To allow the “Giant of Fremantle” to be overshadowed by an apartment block next to it is appalling planning and decision making, a failure of councillors to grasp very basic fundamentals of urban planning. 

The development suits the ideology of Fremantle Council, because the extensive number of low cost dwellings will largely be Labor voters.


The deciding authority for the $ 61 million development was the WA Joint Development Assessment Panel, if my memory serves me correct, and not Fremantle Council, because all development over $ 10 million automatically is moved on to JDAP.

Dowson must not have visited the former East Berlin and East Germany often when he claims the building is of the former communist country standards.  The LIV is built to One Planet green sustainability standards, and while I am not impressed either with the architecture it looks a whole lot better than the ugly dark concrete boxes they used to put up in East Berlin.

The six-storey LIV is a little higher than, but does not overshadow the very imposing HEIRLOOM woolstores over the road, but the length of the building is the issue and the facade should have been broken up a few times instead of just the one walk-through piazza to Quarry Street.

Only a wealthy person would claim that the building is for low cost occupation by Labor voters, when a small one-bedroom sells for over $ 400,000, a two-bedroom starts at $ 545,000 and a three bedroom for over one million dollars.  The building is developed by Defence Housing Australia and defence personnel will be occupying the apartments, as well as private owners.

The juxtaposition of old Heirloom and modern LIV on either side of Queen Victoria Street will make for an interesting entry statement to Fremantle when LIV is completed in August this year. It will show visitors that Fremantle is on the way to long-overdue modernisation of the run down east of the CBD.

But in general I would like to see much better, more innovative and creative architecture in Fremantle than what we are getting. The issues are not with Fremantle Council but with soft State planning laws that do not give deciding authorities the option of rejecting building approval on aesthetic grounds. I wished that would be changed to guarantee great modern design instead of mediocrity.


Roel Loopers




Posted in bathers beach, city of fremantle, notre dame university, photography, Uncategorized by freoview on January 5, 2018


pictures 1

pictures 2


I like the juxtaposition of these two photos I took in Fremantle this morning.

The top one is a table at the Kelp Bar at Kidogo Arthouse at Bathers Beach and the second one of a car of Notre Dame University.

Roel Loopers



Posted in art, city of fremantle, photography, Uncategorized by freoview on January 5, 2018



There is not much news to report in good old Freo as Council is only returning to meetings from next Wednesday on, so here a few recycled arty photos I have taken over the years.

Roel Loopers


Posted in alcohol, city of fremantle, hospitality, local council, Uncategorized, west australian by freoview on January 3, 2018


Although the City of Fremantle put out a media release yesterday correcting the non-factual report in the West Australian about Fremantle Council wanting to introduce non-alcohol sections in pubs, the newspaper continues today spreading the fake news.

Inside Cover states on page 2 that this needs to be monitored, while the letters to the editors page published a letter by a Leeming man who blames the lefty, greeny, loopy Freo council for the nonsense.

Fact is that Fremantle Council, at the initiative of Deputy Mayor Ingrid Waltham, has asked officers to investigate how Freo City can ensure that there won’t be too many taverns in the CBD, after the applications for new taverns at the Warders Cottages hotel, the Police and Justice complex, both in Henderson Street, the Manning building and the Woolstores shopping centre development.

This is actually not all that new as Fremantle Council also looked at more diversity in shopping a few years ago and how it could control more cafes opening.

So to set the facts straight, there are no plans for restricted non-alcohol areas in pubs in Fremantle, but Council does not want the CBD to just be a boozers’ paradise that will impact on the family amenity and public safety.

It is time the West Australian corrected the nonsense they published!


Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, community, multicultural, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on January 1, 2018


Horoscopes are for the true believers who are convinced the stars tell our future, but others are extremely sceptical about the predictions for the New Year, so here my readings for Fremantle for 2018, which I found in the rings left on the table by red wine glasses. Believe it or not!

  • Fremantle Council will apply to the State Government for a special tourist exemption to keep shops open on Christmas Day. Freo Council argues that we are not only a multicultural community but also an interfaith one that should consider the non-Christians in our society and visitors to Fremantle from Muslim neighbouring countries Malaysia and Indonesia.

Tourists from non-Christian countries are totally flabbergasted to find all shops and most cafes and restaurants in Fremantle closed on Christmas Day, as well as the tourist destinations.

  • After successfully getting single-use plastic bags banned the Greenies on Freo Council want to ban the sale of paper towels and napkins to protect the environment, but most Councillors are unwilling to vote for Sam Wainwright’s amendment to include toilet tissue.

Wainwright, who is a big fan of Sri Lanka, argues that people in those countries clean up by hand and with water, and that toilet tissue is an unnecessary capitalist luxury.

  • Developers Silverleaf will be asking Freo Council for a planning scheme amendment that will lower the maximum heights in the CBD. Siverleaf say the existing maximum heights in the inner city under PSA 49 put pressure on developers to build higher than they want to.
  • Notre Dame University agrees to open up their courtyards during the summer break for pop-up bars and music venues. They will also start a summer school to help activate the dormant West End.
  • Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt will be parachuted into the leadership of the WA Liberal party to take over from Mike-No Hope-Nahan.
  • Two-time local council election loser Loopy nominates for the South Fremantle Ward by-election, because he believes that he’ll be third time lucky, and he hopes that voters in South Freo will be more sophisticated than those in City and Beacy ward, who rejected him.
  • Sunset Events wants $ 5 million compensation from the City of Fremantle for not allowing them to build the tavern they signed a 19-year lease for with the city.

Fremantle’s stars for the future are very bright, but my red rings call for patience, tolerance and less negativity.


Roel Loopers


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