Freo's View



J Shed


Predictably Fremantle Council last night voted to recommend for approval by the WA Planning Commission a 300 patron tavern at J Shed on Arthur’s Head, against the express wishes of the local community, Noongar people, artists and heritage groups.

But the battle was lost long before last night when over four years ago Council in a moment of collective insanity decided that the best applicant for the Expressions of Interest process for a bar/cafe/gallery was the proposal for a 1,500 patron live outdoor music venue and an 850 patron tavern, and signed a 21-year lease with Sunset Events.

Since then the live music aspect was taken away as the Council back tracked more and more because of public outrage, so at the end they believed everyone had compromised enough and 300 patrons was just a bit more than a small bar, and a tavern would activate Arthur’s Head.

The public gallery was jam packed full, and more than 30 people spoke for an hour and a half, with 80 per cent of them being against the tavern.

There were many new faces and young artists and valid arguments were made that a good arts venture would help activate J Shed and the historic area, while a very eloquent young psychologist warned about the dangers of alcohol and public health, but it was all to no avail and only four of the nine Councillors present voted against the proposal.

It was very disappointing that the elected members were abused by some people in the public gallery as that is totally inappropriate. The planning approval went through proper process and the community has elected Councillors to make decisions, and as with all decisions governments make half of the people won’t agree with them. For the record. I don’t agree with this one either.

The deciding authority is the WAPC and even if they approve Sunset Events’ application they will still need to convince the liquor licensing authority that a tavern at Bathers Beach with only portaloos is a good idea.

I am very disappointed with Fremantle Council about this issue. They did not have the backbone to admit the 21-year lease for a tavern was wrong, so they had to back their wrong decision all the way. That is not good governance.

Roel Loopers




Volunteer Week


It is NATIONAL VOLUNTEER WEEK, so the appropriate time to make Fremantle people aware that the Roundhouse volunteer guides are in desperate need of more volunteers to be able to keep WA oldest public building open to the public seven days a week.

I have been a volunteer at the Roundhouse for over seven years and love the one on one interactions with visitors from all over the wold and having talks with large student groups from primary and high schools.

Volunteering at the Roundhouse is a very positive experience and we leave at the end of our shift with a smile on our face because of all the lovely people we meet and the compliments they give us for Fremantle, WA and Australia.

Become a Roundhouse volunteer! It’s fun. Just pop in an sit down one day and watch how we interact with the visitors and sign up for once a week or once a fortnight guide duty!

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, hospitality, local government, retail, shopping, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on May 21, 2018


I had the exclusive on Friday to announce that Linda Wayman had been appointed chair of the new Fremantle Destination Marketing advisory group, and today the City of Fremantle disclosed all the expert members, so here they are:

# Karl Bullers-owner of the National Hotel and chair of Fremantle BID.

# Olwyn Williams-CEO of Fremantle Chamber of Commerce.

# Abby McDowell-Marketing Manager of the Esplanade Hotel.

# Chris Lewis-Director of Fremantle Press.

# Paula Nelson-Director of Fremantle Prison.

# Kate Hullet- Director of MANY 2.0


Roel Loopers




Posted in arthur head, city of fremantle, health&safety, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 20, 2018



The ‘shaving’ of the limestone cliff face at Fremantle’s Arthur’s Head is finished but it appears it has not been done properly as yesterday at lunchtime a 30 centimetre rock and other smaller ones fell down onto the bush path near the dual bike/walk way.

A local Little High street resident and I decided to re-erect two of the discarded signs to stop people from walking along there as it clearly is a public safety hazard.

Can someone at the City of Fremantle please urgently attend to this matter as the officer in charge is on a five week holiday!

Roel Loopers

UPDATE! Just received a text message at 4.15pm from City of Fremantle CEO Phil St John that they are checking the cliff face this afternoon. Good work CoF!




The Sunset Events proposal for a tavern at J Shed on Bathers Beach will go to Ordinary Council-hopefully for the very last time!-this Wednesday and it could be a close call.

Deputy Mayor Ingrid Waltham, who is against the tavern, is on holiday and Councillors Rachel Pemberton and Sam Wainwright will declare a conflict of interest, so these three won’t be voting.

If there are no other apologies there will be ten elected members who will vote on the item.

It is likely that Mayor Brad Pettitt and Councillors Dave Hume, Adin Lang, Andrew Sullivan and Hannah Fitzhardinge will vote for the tavern, while Councillors Jeff McDonald, Bryn Jones and Jenny Archibald will probably vote against it. How Jon Strachan and Doug Thompson will vote would be a guess, but if they vote against the proposal the casting vote of the Mayor would get it over the line for recommending it for approval by the WAPC.

But the deciding authority is the WA Planning Committee, which rejected the previous proposal because a tavern was inappropriate use of the A Class reserve at historic Arthur’s Head. Will they change their opinion just because the number of patrons and the outdoor footprint has been reduced?

Whatever the outcome it is time to move on and have a long term Masterplan for the area.

Roel Loopers

UPDATE! I have been advised that Councillor Jon Strachan is also an apology so that will make the voting by only 9 elected members very interesting.





Once the London Plane Trees have been relocated the demolition of the City of Fremantle civic hall can start. This will take much longer than the demolition of the Queensgate building as there is asbestos removal involved, so it is estimated to take up to six months for the relatively small building.

The former Queensgate site is now nearly ready for three weeks of ground work and than the prefabricated elements will arrive and pop up fast, so that will be really exciting to watch.

The modernisation of Kings Square with a port themed children’s playground is very significant for Fremantle. It will change the way locals and visitors view and use our city square and will hopefully attract people here seven days a week, day and night.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle prison, heritage, history, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on May 15, 2018


The World Heritage listed Fremantle Prison is calling for donations of artefacts to grow the Prison’s collection and encourage the return of objects with a connection to the Fremantle Prison site.

The Fremantle Prison collection holds approximately 12,000 items, including photographs, documents, furnishings, artworks, tools, clothing and textiles, institutional paraphernalia, letters, weapons and archaeological material.

The collection spans the entirety of the Prison’s operational life, from the beginning of construction in 1851 through to 1991 when the Prison was decommissioned and closed.

Fremantle Prison will be holding two ‘open days’ during which people can bring their items and discuss the donation and care of the items with the Prison’s curatorial team.

The first open day is planned for 18 May on International Museum Day, and the second on
26 May, as part of the Fremantle Heritage Festival. Both open days are from 10am – 3pm.

Fremantle Prison is visited by around 200,000 people annually, so a big tourist attraction in Fremantle.

Roel Loopers



Felice Varini art


If you have not photographed or seen the stunning Felice Varini artwork along Fremantle’s High Street yet, you have only weeks to do so as it is due to come down in June.

The work is all about optical illusion and has been photographed by tens of thousands of people from all over the world who are very intrigued by it. It was installed in October last year as part of the High Tide biennale and Fremantle Festival.

Roel Loopers



Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, notre dame university, Uncategorized by freoview on May 13, 2018



It is time for Fremantle’s Notre Dame University to do some urgent maintenance on the so called Wedding Wall in Cliff Street.

The heritage listed wall looks very uncared for and is becoming an eyesore because of all the cracks. It will be only a matter of time until it falls apart.

NDA cancelled their plans to build a new school of nursing on the carpark behind the wall, but Vice Chancellor Celia Hammond said last year she would like to see that site converted into a park. Nothing has happened so far and the beautiful wall is looking worse by the day.

Heritage neglect is unacceptable in Fremantle, so pull your sleeves up NDA and get working on it please!

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on May 12, 2018


The AUSTRALIAN TRAVELLER rates Fremantle No 2 in their long list of Alternative Capitals, after Bendigo in Victoria which was rated No 1.

Also on the list of gorgeous alternative cities are No 3 Bundaberg, QLD, No 4 Newcastle, NSW, No 5 Townsville, QLD, No 6 Ballarat, Vic, No 7 Alice Springs NT, No 8 Launceston, Tas, No 9 Mount Gambier, SA and No 10 Armidale NSW.

AUSTRALIAN TRAVELLER wrote about Fremantle: #2: Alternative capital – Fremantle, Western Australia Eat : Port city Fremantle is known for its precincts of late Victorian and early Edwardian buildings that were spared the wrecking ball when the (wheat and gold) glory days ended and economic activity shifted to Perth. A wander down the lively stretch of South Terrace known as Cappuccino Strip provides a great snapshot of this. Stop for coffee, of course, but also restaurants, pubs and breweries and the nearby Fremantle Markets. Drink: Fremantle’s iconic Little Creatures Brewery is based out of a huge waterfront shed that was once a crocodile farm. If that isn’t enough to pique your interest, perhaps the lure of a pale ale and pizza in the buzzy Great Hall or in the sunny backyard will do the trick. Play: Housed in a former asylum built by convicts, today the Fremantle Arts Centre is a contemporary cultural space. It hosts exhibitions such as Revealed Exhibition: New and Emerging WA Aboriginal Artists (until 21 May), talks and gigs – from local musicians to big-ticket international acts – across its ample grounds.

Roel Loopers



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