Freo's View




I’ll do anything to promote Freo! ;>) This letter to the editor in the POST newspaper today.

Roel Loopers






The Fremantle Esplanade Youth Plaza is five years young this weekend and that will be celebrated with a skating festival on Sunday the 14th of April from 12-5pm. This is part of WA Youth Week which runs from the 13th to the 20th of April.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said Youth Week had always been a popular event with young people, and this Sunday was shaping up to be a fantastic festival with a range of engaging and fun activities planned.

The family-friendly event will include a skateboarding competition in association with Skateboarding WA, slacklining and parkour workshops, fascinating virtual reality stations, live interactive street art, Hip Hop classes, market stalls, amusements, etc.

The new Fremantle Youth Network members will be at the EYP surveying the community, so come along and have your say.

The City’s Esplanade Youth Plaza provides many free skateboarding and parkour workshops throughout the year, and is known as one of the best youth facilities across the country.

For more information about EYP Festival 5.0, visit the What’s On page on the City of Fremantle’s website.

Roel Loopers



Posted in festival, fremantle, skatepark, western australia by freoview on July 12, 2016



Fantastic to see so many families at the Fremantle Esplanade Youth Plaza skate park and the Winter Festival ice rink this morning, and the food stalls were also doing a roaring trade.

It also makes for happy trading in the Fishing Boat Harbour, so that is all good for the traders down that way and hopefully also for other cbd businesses.

The weather will be good for another few days so take advantage of it and head out to the Esplanade before the rain returns.

Roel Loopers



Posted in children, city of fremantle by freoview on April 20, 2016

skating 1 skating 2


Nice to see so many young kids having fun at the Fremantle Esplanade Youth Plaza today, trying out their scooters and getting some advise from coaches.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on October 6, 2015

There is something about Fremantle Council I have been worried about for a few years now because I do not understand what community consultation means to them and why the elected members ignore what the outspoken members of our community tell them.

Councillors pretend they are closer to the community than you and I and everyone else, we who also live in this community and who also talk daily to our fellow community members. There is an certain arrogance when Elected Members believe they connect better with the ‘silent majority’ than all of us do.

Council gives us the impression that they are following the wishes of that so-called silent majority, the same majority that did not bother to vote for them, and will not vote for the candidates at the October 17 election, because they simply are not interested in local government.

So what is the mandate Fremantle Councillors have if they don’t listen to the ‘vocal minority’ that voted them in and who constantly engages with them. Is second-guessing the ‘silent majority’ better governance than listening to those of us who speak out? I don’t think it is.

Fremantle Council ignored the wishes of a very vocal group of people on Planning Scheme Amendment 49, on the Esplanade Youth Plaza and on the J Shed tavern, to name just a few.

It is not important that the EYP is a great success because hardly anyone was against the skate park. We just wanted it shifted off the grass and into the car park to the south. The heritage of the future buildings that were promised during the PSA 49 debate never happened, we got boring bland boxes instead.

Councillors compare the J Shed tavern and outdoor live music venue with the Fremantle Arts Centre. but the issue is not about a whole lot of people hating live music, but about the fact that the location for the venue is in an inappropriate area of our city. It is an area that attracts thousands of people each week because of its heritage significance. The area does not need to be changed into an entertainment area that will diminish the historic importance Arthur Head is for our city and state, but somehow the Councillors don’t seem to get that, like they did not get the EYP protest.

Some of the J Shed artists are themselves musicians, so are some of the people who live in the West End of Freo. They are not over the hill geriatric music and fun haters who have something against Sunset Events or young people. They are a cross section of the community who believe Fremantle Council is yet again trying to make something fit in the wrong place for the wrong reasons.

The Bathers Beach House has helped to activate the area and Kidogo Arthouse is in the process of building a big deck, the Ball&Chain bar at the Esplanade Hotel is opening a large alfresco area on Friday and Little Creatures has been a huge success. There is no need for another entertainment venue near Bathers Beach and there are much better locations for outdoor concerts than the small A Class reserve at Arthur Head.

No one will be able to enjoy the lovely city beach, no one will be able to have a quiet wedding at the Roundhouse and Kidogo because music from the concerts will spill all over the West End and will become nuisance noise and nothing else.

The people have spoked Councillors! It is time to listen to those who vote. Stop pretending you are representing a majority, and stop ignoring our written and verbal submissions and our special electors meetings.

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.

Written and published by Roel Loopers of 5 Maxwell Street, Beaconsfield 6162


Posted in city of fremantle, esplanade reserve, planning by freoview on June 9, 2015

The proposed new Masterplan for the Fremantle Esplanade Reserve will be debated at Council for the first time tomorrow at the Special Projects Committee and while it will delight local residents and businesses it will probably get heavy thunder from Carriage Cafe owner Kel Smith.

The draft Masterplan by the consultants and COF officers proposes to progressively relocating large commercial events away from the Esplanade, as it could be concluded that such festivals as the Chilli and Jerome Laneway have outgrown the park.

For Kel Smith and the Carriage Cafe it looks as if the planned extension can be put on hold till after his lease expires in 2019, as the Masterplan draft proposes to create a so called ‘park hub’ between the Esplanade Youth Plaza and the Ferris Wheel to accommodate a cafe, shade structures, bike repairs and other short term entertainment.

The consultants believe the current location of the cafe is inappropriate in the long term and might become detrimental to the trees and that could endanger the cafe, patrons and staff. They also believe the (low) heritage value of the Carriage Cafe will be more apparent closer to the railway line

Larger mulch areas around trees to protect them will reduce the grassed area by 40% an way finding paths and restricted truck access are all considered to protect the grass that is seriously damaged and needs to be replaced totally.

It will be interesting to hear the debate tomorrow and see what changes the Councillors want to make, and the excessisve financial costs might make this a very long term project.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, esplanade youth plaza, local government by freoview on April 17, 2015


Fremantle is celebrating the first birthday of the Esplanade Youth Plaza skatepark and what a success it has become after all the community controversy about it being in the wrong location on the Esplanade. I too was, and still am, not convinced that the locations is the best one but I have no hesitation acknowledging that the EYP has become a great attraction for young people from all over the place.

Yesterday afternoon the place was packed with kids of all ages, parents enjoying the sunshine and as always when I come past there was an overall good vibe around the place with older kids showing the younger ones how to do certain movements.

Freo Mayor Brad Pettitt said that the EYP has won six national and state awards and was “one of the best all-ages outdoor youth spaces” that had hosted dozens of events since opening last year.

There is no doubt for me that Fremantle Council backed a winner here and I hope the entire community will now learn to love the EYP. My one big concern is all the kids making their way there on their skateboards in the middle of the road without wearing helmets, or caring too much about cars reversing out of parking bays, and I fear someone will get hurt soon.

Roel Loopers



Posted in arboretum, ecosystem, fremantle by freoview on April 1, 2015
Arboretum in Valencia, Spain

Arboretum in Valencia, Spain

I was leaked a draft of the City of Fremantle’s new masterplan for the Esplanade Reserve. Although the report says that it comes out of the Visioning 2029 community project and is part of the futuristic Transformational Moves plans, I believe it will leave a lot of Freo people very unhappy if implemented.

The stand out new idea is to make an “Arborium” out of the Esplanade by putting a large dome over the entire reserve. The dome will have climate control and a rain-like reticulation system to create an inner city ecosystem.

A large variety of native plant species will be introduced to the reserve and an attempt made to breed the endangered numbat under controlled conditions. The Arborium will also act as an aviary and many birds will find a new home there.

The Esplanade Youth Plaza skatepark will be incorporated to make it an all-weather youth destination, while coloured motion-triggered lights will allow for night enjoyment of the park. New paths, seating, shade structures and art and water features will be installed, as well as a big screen for music videos and live sport telecasts.

The City aims to make the Esplanade a new big tourist attraction that will link the CBD with the Fishing Boat Harbour. Latest technology will see driverless GPS-guided small vehicles taking visitors on tours of the Arborium

The down side of this green-ideology-inspired idea is that the Ferris Wheel and many of the, too tall for the dome, Norfolk pines will have to be removed, and so will the Carriage Café.

The officers recommend that the Carriage will be rebuilt and the Tourist Wheel relocated to the planned extension of the Esplanade once Norfolk Street has been extended through to Mews Road, and the Italian Club and parking lot have been made into a green open space that will create a larger Esplanade park.

Under the new masterplan the City wants festivals to be held at Fremantle Oval instead of the Esplanade, once the Dockers have moved on to Cockburn, and also more often utilise Fremantle Park for events and festivals.

I am all for new, big and creative ideas but I am not at all sure why we need a 20-metre-high dome structure over our major inner city park. It sounds a bit gimmicky to me and it would cost a lot of money to put up and maintain.

There are a few pie in the sky ideas on the City of Fremantle’s transformational moves wish list and this one can be added to it as a highly unrealistic one.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, lifestyle by freoview on March 6, 2015

BB sunset

Why would one want to live anywhere else but Fremantle, Western Australia!

It promises to be another perfect summer day in our beautiful heritage city at the Indian Ocean. We have a climate, environment and sunsets other people only dream about. ‘God’ must have created paradise by simply copying Freo.

Why whinge about the perceived lack of parking when every time I drive by an electronic parking sign it shows there are hundreds of bays available within ten minutes walking of most shopping destinations. The Esplanade Youth Plaza plastered concrete over grass, but it has become a real feature for the area and attracts thousands of youth each week. I just hope they become a bit more responsible on the streets to and from the EYP because someone will get badly hurt one day otherwise.

Life is very special in Freo and we have a lifestyle that many people envy us for. The city is growing and while progress has been slow for many years, it is finally happening. We live a privileged life and should learn to be more appreciative of what we’ve got and stop taking it for granted.

No matter how hard it sometimes might be, whatever happens to any of us, it’s still better to be in Freo than anywhere else!

Have a great day. See you at the PRINCESS MAY MARKETS TONIGHT!

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle, retail by freoview on February 10, 2015

mall 1 mall 2

It is refreshing to see that property owners in the Fremantle High Street Mall are finally taking responsibility for the mess the place is in. Buildings are being painted, art displayed in vacant shops and bunting put on the windows.

It is also good to read in the Fremantle Gazette today that a survey they conducted shows that 94 per cent of readers who were surveyed prefer to shop locally in Freo.

Nice to see Vin and Oli a new bar at the Piazza and a new Asian groceries shop opening soon in William Street.

And what do people love about Fremantle according to the Gazette survey? The skatepark, the lifestyle, the friendly people, the sense of community,, parks, public open spaces, the Swan river, South Beach.

It is easy and simplistic to be negative about Fremantle. It’s far from perfect but a lot better than most places and it has a very unique lifestyle.

Roel Loopers

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