Freo's View


Posted in fremantle, fremantle ports, perth freight link, western australia by freoview on September 18, 2016

W.A. Transport Minister Dean Nalder, who yesterday resigned from Cabinet, has told the Sunday Times that Premier Colin Barnett’s decision not to go ahead with the Perth Freight Link tunnel between Stock Road and Strirling Highway would cost the state $ 1,1 billion.

In the “exclusive” by reporter Joe Spagnolo Nalder says “The Premier has instructed me not to proceed with the second phase, the Fremantle Tunnel, and only proceed with the Roe 8 section.”

The handling of the PFL at State and Federal level has been shambolic, as there are still no firm plans for the link to connect with Fremantle Port, although that is the initial reason for the project and funding from the Federal Government.

With the sale/49-year lease of Fremantle Port also still in limbo it looks like WA has been wasting a lot of money on two projects that might never proceed as the WA Labor Party will not go ahead with either of them should they win the election in March next years.

The finances of Western Australia are in an incredible mess due to wasteful spending by the Liberal/National party.

Roel Loopers


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, fremantle, western australia by freoview on July 31, 2016

An article about young architects and city development in today’s Sunday Times magazine has me wondering about certain facts in the article.

Journalist Jade Jurewicz mentions successful architect Nic Brunsdon, who among many innovative things such as Spacemarket and MOANA also started the Many 6160 retail and design incubator in the former Myer building at Fremantle’s Kings Square.

The article claims that Many pumped $ 1.7 million into the Fremantle economy since it opened in 2013 and because of Many there has been a 25 per cent reduction in vandalism in the area.

Where do these figures come from? Many is only open for four days a week, so I doubt it has a severe impact on the reduction of vandalism at Kings Square and I doubt it is highly successful as a retail environment as one rarely sees shoppers in the building.

I like fresh new innovative ideas, but the fact is that many mini retailers tried Many and left because it was not financially successful for them. Many is more or less a slightly more upmarket weekend market where presumably many traders have more secure income on weekdays to support their Many shop income, so how it has pumped $ 1.7 million into Fremantle, as the reporter claims, I’d like to know.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt is also quoted in the article and rightly says that cities develop in layers. Archeologists will no doubt also agree with our Mayor, but while the layers of innovation, development and progress are good, the physical layer of boring and mediocre new buildings in our city will have a long-lasting negative affect on the character of Fremantle. At present it looks more as if we are trying to put layers of manure on top of fields of beautiful roses. That is not acceptable!

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle, perth, state government, tourism, western australia by freoview on May 29, 2016

The Sunday Times reports today that WA Premier Colin Barnett, who is also the new Minister for Tourism, has indicated the promotions for WA should be focussing on Perth and not on the natural beauty of our state.

The Premier told the ST that Brand Perth should be our selling point focus, not beaches and the rugged Kimberley. The Premier believes that is what Asian tourists want.

Strange then that the national tourist body only recently said that Chinese tourists want a country/outback experience, and 95 per cent of visitors to the Fremantle Roundhouse I talk to have expressed that they find Perth dull and much like other big cities but that they love the heritage of Fremantle, Ningaloo Reef, the outback, Margaret River, Albany and the rugged coastline.

On that note I wonder if/what the City of Fremantle is doing in regard to offering package deals for the Street Art Festival to attract interstate and overseas visitors. This is a great free three day festival that deserves package deals with tourism operators and airlines. We could for example have a night performance in the Fremantle Arts Centre only for those who arrive here on a package deal for the SAF.

Reading the number of visitors the VIVID light festival in Sydney attracts, I believe Freo could step up a little in that regard as well and not just rely on large numbers of visitors from the suburbs on the long Easter weekend.

Roel Loopers


Posted in Uncategorized by freoview on April 17, 2016

An exclusive report by Joe Spagnolo in the Sunday Times today says a yet to be released report by the Perth and Peel Economic Development Strategy sees the development of the outer harbour as essential for the WA economy and that it would create a significant number of jobs in the region of up to 48,000.

The outer harbour is seen by the expert committee as game-changing and essential and the top priority for the region.

The PPEDS paper , to be released in June, makes no case for the Perth Freight Link but states that an extension of the inner harbour is not a viable option.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on January 3, 2016

Parke wedding


Fremantle Federal MP Melissa Parke got married to arts patron Warwick Hemsley at the Freshwater Bay Yacht Club on Saturday.

Melissa did not invite this top bloke blogger so unfortunately I did not take any photos I can show you and the article in the Sunday Times today will have to do.

Sunday Times journalist Joe Spagnolo reports the couple left by boat from Point Walter for the wedding event at FWBYC.

Melissa is a gorgeous, genuine and sincere person whom I respect so I wish her and new hubby a great and long life together!

It will be interesting to see where Mrs Hemsley will reside and if she will move away from Fremantle or if Warwick will make the move to Freo.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, perth freight link, west australian by freoview on November 8, 2015


One has to wonder what is going on at the WA Mainroads department and the controversial Perth Freight Link and Roe 8 highway extension. The Sunday Times reports today that although contracts have been signed with a consortium of builders the required land acquisitions for Roe 8 still have not been completed.

ST also reports that the necessary amendments to the Metropolitan Region Scheme still need to be completed and might need to go through parliament for legislation.

Is it a surprise the community is highly sceptical about the PFL and the whole process when this piecemeal governance is going on?

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, perth freight link by freoview on November 1, 2015

Interesting articles by Joe Spagnolo in the Sunday Times today with the reporter claiming that WA Premier Colin Barnett stopped Transport Minister Dean Nalder from signing the contracts for Stage Two of the Perth Freight Link.

The Roe 8 highway extension is all but signed off on, but for a legal challenge by the Save Beeliar Wetlands, but the continuation of the freight link all the way into Fremantle port appears too big a challenge for the Barnett government with the Sunday Times claiming a decision will be made on it only after the 2017 State election.

It is a huge problem to find an appropriate route and method for the Perth Freight Link that has received enormous public opposition from affected communities and councils, so it would be interesting to see this ending up as one of the main election campaigns together with light rail and public transport in Western Australia.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, perth freight link by freoview on August 9, 2015

pfl 4

SUNDAY TIMES journalist Joe Spagnolo reports today that Planning Minister John Day is not happy with the PERTH FREIGHT LINK project and has asked Cabinet why it wants to spend $ 650 million on stage two that would see the road stretch from Stock Road to Stirling Highway in Fremantle, when a new port at Kwinana is needed.

According to Spagnolo Premier Colin Barnett believes it might be better to build the PFL after the 2017 State election, which shows what a shambles the whole project has been. Barnett has already indicated he won’t contest the next election, and it is likely that the mismanagement of the State’s finances and controversial projects will see the Liberal/National coalition booted out of government in 2017.

The danger is that Transport Minister Dean Nalder is adamant that contracts to build the PFL will be signed this year, so even if a new Labor government would scrap the PFL plan the government might have to pay out contractors or go through expensive court procedures to cancel the project.

It seems amazingly ad-hoc amateurish piecemeal planning of such a huge $ 2 million project when Cabinet clearly has not debated it in detail and John Day is now starting to question the need for the Perth Freight Link.

Roel Loopers


There is an interesting article in the Sunday Times today based on the discussion paper written by City of Fremantle CEO Graeme McKenzie that I published here on Freo’s View on Thursday. In the article Premier Colin Barnett basically tells the City of Fremantle to shut up about the Perth Freight Link or they won’t get support from the State Government.

Barnett is quoted in the Sunday Times “They are wanting things out of the State Government and at the same time they are being critical, so it comes to mind Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.”

The Premier then mentions that the City of Fremantle is protesting against Roe Highway Stage Eight while at the same time lobbying to get the Department of Housing to move to Freo, as was promised by then Housing Minister Troy Buswell several years ago.

What the Premier implies is that democracy does not exists and that the Elected Members of our Local Government have no right to express an opinion and represent the Fremantle community.

It is outrageous that neither the City of Fremantle, nor the board and management of Fremantle Ports were advised about the sale of the port by State Government prior to the government announcing it. That is an insult to our City and to those who have been managing Fremantle Ports very well for very many years.

Premier Colin Barnett’s arrogance and dictatorial attitude is only dwarfed by his mismanagement of our State’s finances. His remarks to the Sunday Times are inappropriate, disgraceful and disrespectful to the Fremantle community and Council. The ad hoc piecemeal planning of the Perth Freight Link and the panicked fire sale of the port shows Barnett and his government have lost the plot.

Roel Loopers


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development by freoview on May 24, 2015

It is good to see that experts are calling for better design of buildings in the Perth region. I am pretty disappointed what modern architecture represents in our area, as it is mainly cheap and fast box-like concrete highrise that has little or no visual quality and does not enhance the amenity and streetscape.

W.A. Government Architect Geoff Warn, who is also on the Perth Design Advisory Panel, believes new strategies are needed to improve the architectural quality of projects, the Sunday Times reports today, and I could not agree more.

Heritage Perth CEO Richard Offen told ST that Perth has incredibly boring architecture that leaves a poor heritage legacy for future generations.

I believe that one of the reasons Fremantle Council signs off on mediocre architecture is because the City of Fremantle is so desperate to get new development going in Freo that it compromises too easily and gives in to pressure from developers. It is not helpful either that the State’s Development Assessment Panel often overrules local council decisions and allows inappropriate buildings to be erected which destroy the ambience of place in established older suburbs.

Excellent modern architecture can greatly improve the visual impact of a city, and it does not matter if that is a heritage city like Fremantle. In the right location and with restraint and consideration for the history and existing built environment a great new building will create a new focus point and attraction. Height does not necessarily have to mean that it is unsuitable for our inner city, but for Fremantle to accept extra height only the very best and outstanding architectural design and building quality would have to apply. Mediocre and boring concrete boxes have no place anywhere in the vicinity of our outstanding heritage architecture and we should take heed of what Government Architect Geoff Warn has to say about it.

Roel Loopers

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