Freo's View


Posted in fremantle, photography by freoview on February 18, 2015

The stillness of sunrise is something most people miss out on, especially in summer when it happens just after 5 am. It is well worth getting up for though and even the joggers were taking photos at Point Walter this morning.

I needed a bit of a break from politics, amalgamation mess and Fremantle not doubling in size, so had a very early start of the day after a sleepless night.

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle, giant puppets, piaf, royale de luxe by freoview on February 16, 2015


I copy the comments by WAToday reporter Brendan Foster on the PR debacle the Perth International Arts Festival-PIAF made out of the river journey of the Giant Puppets:

Bugger me; there WERE supersized puppets on the Swan River near Fremantle late on Sunday.

In the end it was almost impossible to hide the monstrous marionettes as they weaved their way on a barge down the waterway to the port city.

Yet, for some inexplicable reason the crew at the Perth International Arts Festival last Thursday didn’t want to tell the wee giant – The Little Girl – and The Diver would make their farewell trip via Fremantle. Even after we spied a newspaper ad confirming the puppets would be at the East Street Jetty around 5pm, PIAF still denied it.

But why? Why would PIAF try to pull the wool over the eyes of potential marionette moochers, when thousands lined the riverbanks on Sunday afternoon to get a glimpse of the puppets from French company Royale de Luxe.

And dozens of people took to Facebook to post pictures of the puppets heading to the port city.

If I was managing public relations for an arts organisation, I would’ve thought this level of exposure was gold.

Maybe the good folk at PIAF thought portsiders would pinch the puppets, given their local footy team the Dockers lack a decent tall?

Or was PIAF worried if portsiders knew the puppets were heading their way, they wouldn’t make the rare trip across Fremantle Bridge to see them?

According to Main Roads, The Giants had more than 1.4 million visits over the three days they sauntered through the streets of Perth.

Kudos to PIAF for recognising the event would resonate with Perth audiences but they missed a trick by not letting us know the puppets would be barging their way to Fremantle.


It was strange indeed as this Freo’s View blog was the first to publish this after hearing it late on Wednesday afternoon on the ABC Radio Drive program with John McGlue. I received an email from Brendan Foster of WAToday, who had read my blog post, to ask if my story was correct because PIAF had denied it was happening. I got calls from the City of Fremantle if I could delete the blog post because PIAF was worried about getting a large crowd at the jetty and they had not allowed for that with security. I also received emails and comments on Facebook telling me I had spread untrue rumours, but I hadn’t!

Luckily people believed my blog post and the WAToday story and came to the Swan river and the Freo East Street jetty, where the barge with the larger than life marionettes arrived at 2.45 pm.

Roel Loopers

FREO’S VIEW had over 2,700 hits on Sunday!


Posted in art, fremantle, piaf by freoview on February 15, 2015

The Giant Puppets are on their way back to France after an amazing success at the Perth International Arts Festival-PIAF that attracted hundreds of thousands of people and challenged the public transport in Perth.

Today thousands came to the Swan River foreshore to say goodbye to the huge marionettes. The sound of didgeridoos announced the progress of the barge along the river.

The Girl and the Diver were also accompanied by a large flotilla of boats  to the East Street jetty in Fremantle, where the puppets were put on the back of trucks to be driven to the port.

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, mosman park by freoview on November 16, 2014

h e d c b a

I am always on the look out for new angles from which to take photos of Fremantle, so here some photos I took this morning from McCabe street that has been in the news lately because of a proposed planning scheme amendment that would allow highrise buildings near Stirling Highway on the edge of Mosman Park.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, fremantle ports by freoview on August 18, 2014

bridge a bridge c

Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk drew a media crowd at noon today when all TV stations turned up to report about the accident at the railway bridge which was hit by a 14,000 ton vessel during last night’s storm.

As a consequence of it there are no trains between Fremantle and North Fremantle for possibly up to a week, according to a PTA spokesman.

Engineers were inspecting the damage from a pilot vessel while McGurk gave media interviews in which she stressed that an 2004 expert’s report had stated that the bridges are an unacceptable risk and in danger of collapsing should they get hit by a ship.

McGurk said the accident could have been a disaster and that early warning systems need to be installed so that trains get stopped immediately if there is interference with the bridge. This is one of the major routes to our State’s major port.

One has to wonder also about the stevedoring companies not suspending work last night when a severe storm warning had been issued by the weather bureau at midday. Will the MUA be happy that workers’ lives were put at risk so that the unloading of cargo would not be delayed? What if vehicles had been on the ramp of the RoRo vessel when it broke its moorings. Cars and people could have ended up in the water. The Harbour Master’s claim on ABC radio that the wind gust game unexpected seems uninformed at best.

Roel Loopers


Posted in creative, fremantle, photography, roel loopers, by freoview on August 15, 2014

smog 1 smog 2 The smog haze over Fremantle created a beautiful stillness on the Swan River at East Fremantle, so here two photos I took this morning.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle by freoview on July 28, 2014

I received this comment from Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt on the Traffic Bridge debacle:



Roel, I notice that there is an”assumption a new bridge would be built in the next 10 to 15 years” but given they now plan to spend around $ 20 million just fixing the old one I fear that is no longer the case.

An investment in a new combination road/rail bridge would have not only safety benefits but also enables double stacked freight trains and more trains to run during the day and as a result more freight on to rail. It’d be a great investment.

Cheers, Brad.


Posted in city of fremantle by freoview on July 28, 2014

A report in today’s WEST AUSTRALIAN newspaper highlights again the unacceptable condition of the Fremantle Traffic Bridge, with the newspaper citing a report by ARUP for the Public Transport Authority that a single blow to the bridge by a vessel the size of a Rottnest Island ferry could make the bridge collapse. Thousands of vehicles, including busses and trucks carrying livestock and containers cross the bridge daily, so a collapse would be catastrophic.

One has to seriously question how State Government sets its priorities when there is sufficient money for a new football stadium and the Elizabeth Quay project, but the Traffic Bridge only receives patch-up jobs, on which the government has spent over $ 12 million.

Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk said that ten years ago an expert engineers’ report said that the bridge was at an unacceptable risk of collapse if struck by a vessel. “A new bridge would be a much better use of taxpayers’ dollars than the Abbott Government ridiculous Perth Freight Line” McGurk said.

It is estimated that a new traffic bridge would cost approximately $ 190 million or a combined rail and traffic bridge $ 233 million.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle by freoview on June 26, 2014

Maritime Museum 1


This photo somehow shows the essence of Fremantle; the heritage A and B sheds with the modern-and future heritage-Maritime Museum, the Indian Ocean, Swan river, and a young lady on a bike. All that around sunset pretty much sums up Freo’s lifestyle.

The uniqueness of place, which makes it so attractive to visitors and locals alike should never be underestimated. The brand Fremantle is a very strong one that needs to be nurtured, and can still be improved. I strongly believe that Freo has a very promising future ahead if we all promote the brand, instead of talking our city down.

Roel Loopers


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