Freo's View

ROUNDHOUSE NEEDS NEW TREASURER

Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized, volunteers by freoview on May 24, 2019

 

The FREMANTLE ROUND HOUSE are seeking a VOLUNTEER TREASURER to join their passionate team of volunteers.
Main duties of the role are as follows:
  • Have an understanding of Xero Accounting Package & be able to process payments and manage accounts.
  • Be able to produce a monthly & annual Budget & Treasurers Report.
  • Complete quarterly BAS statement & other statutory requirements.
  • Manage monthly payroll for 1 employee.
  • Commitment of around 3-4 hours per week.
We are seeking someone who can work well independently. A hand-over will be provided from our current volunteer treasurer.
If you think this role may be of interest to you, or if you would like some more information, please send us an email with a brief overview of your relevant experience to enquiries@fremantleroundhouse.com.au
Deadline: 14th June 2019. Email enquiries preferred.

J SHED ARTISTS CREATE OWN SIGNS

 

j shed 3

 

The Fremantle J Shed artists at Bathers Beach have had enough of Council constantly talking about activating the historic precinct while they ignore their own placemaking advise of low hanging fruit of supporting and promoting existing businesses, instead of just pipe dreaming about the big projects for Arthur’s Head.

So the arty J Shed mob have started to put their own way finding signs around to make visitors aware there is creative light at the end of the Whalers Tunnel, and by the way, also a gorgeous beach.

Roel Loopers

LET’S TALK FREO UP!

 

Those people who constantly hammer Fremantle Council with criticism about vacant shops, homeless people, anti social behaviour and crime would do well to pay attention to recent media reports.

Shops, cafes and restaurants in Mount Lawley along once extremely popular Beaufort Street are closing in large numbers and they blame high rents and a drop in foot traffic for that.

The decline in retail is happening all over metropolitan Perth, Australia and the world as the traditional high street shopping destinations have been replaced with huge suburban shopping centres on the outskirts.

Media reports about excessive shop lifting and anti social behaviour in Cockburn, Rockingham, Canning, etc have become common, and the West Australian dedicated two pages of their weekend edition on the issues of homelessness in the Perth CBD.

There are no easy solutions for any of these problems and the call from traders for councils to demand that property owners charge lower rents is as unrealistic as it would be unlawful. Governments can not dictate what rents property owners can charge and while high rents in the present retail climate appear almost indecent and selfish there is very little local or state governments can do about it.

Some owners are better and allow pop-up shops to fill vacant shops, but only for a very limited time, so that is only a short-term ‘solution’.

Crime and anti social  behaviour are State responsibility and while Fremantle and most councils do have their own very good security officers they are often powerless as they do not have the right to issue move-on notices or arrest people.

There is no doubt though that the perception of not feeling safe will keep people away. Foot traffic numbers in the Cappuccino Strip have dropped dramatically while they have increased quite a bit in High Street in the West End. The latter is probably mainly due to Notre Dame University students pounding the pavement.

It is always strange to notice on busy Freo weekends how many people are walking along South Terrace but when I turn into High Street the street is nearly void of pedestrians.  Visitors seem to prefer Collie and Essex streets for their East West movement and ignore the far more attractive historic High Street.  Why is that, I wonder?

A prominent Freo business owner urged me last week to promote that we collectively stop talking our city down and that we have to start telling ourselves and our visitors how special Fremantle is.

Only yesterday at the Roundhouse two German tourists told me how much they liked Freo and how friendly people here are, and the volunteer guides hear those kind of remarks very often. We receive so much positive feedback from overseas and interstate visitors that it is hard to believe that some Fremantle residents and traders here have such a negative opinion about our gorgeous little city.

Freo is a great place but like most other suburbs has similar problems and struggles with the retail economy,  anti social behaviour and crime. Attracting more visitors to Freo will partly help with that, and that can only be achieved by not talking our city down, but by talking it up. Let’s give it a try!

Roel Loopers

 

IS THERE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE WHALERS TUNNEL?

 

 

Vandals have caused more than $ 10,000 damage to the small solar lights along the coastal path at Bathers Beach between Kidogo Arthouse and J Shed since they were installed.

The City of Fremantle stopped repairing the lights over the last 18 months because of the constant and excessive vandalism, but officers have put a request to Council to include in next financial year’s budget replacement lights mounted on tall poles.

Such lights were proposed before by officers but deemed not in keeping with the heritage character of Arthur’s Head, but already two taller lights have been installed just south of J Shed in the vicinity of the former whaling station.

I took photos of the vandalism on Monday morning.

Roel Loopers

FREO VOLUNTEERS ARE SPECIAL

Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized, volunteers by freoview on May 20, 2019

 

 

volunteers

 

It is NATIONAL VOLUNTEERS WEEK from May 20-26, so a good opportunity to thank all our Fremantle volunteers who are doing a splendid job day in day out.

Volunteers are essential for many charities which look after homeless and disadvantaged people, and they are also very important for tourists to our city. The Roundhouse and Visitor Centre volunteers provide inside information about Fremantle and our history, and so do those at the Shipwrecks and Martime museums.

It takes a lot of dedication and commitment to stand in oppressive heat or ice cold winds at the Roundhouse, but rain or shine the historic building is open to visitors 363 days of the year.

May I remind the State Government that this important tourist attraction does not receive any funding at all from the State or local council, so it is time to make amends and spend some money on the management of the oldest public building in WA.

I took the photo above of three guides on duty at the Roundhouse this morning when just after opening already large groups of primary students were climbing up the steps to see the old jail.

At the Fremantle Library a photo exhibition about volunteers  Freo Heroes- A Hundred years of Helping is on show till May 24.

Roel Loopers

 

Henty ad

A-SIGN TSUNAMI IN HIGH STREET

Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, hospitality, pollution, sign, Uncategorized by freoview on May 17, 2019

 

sign tsunami

 

Is this A-sign tsunami at Bar Orient in Fremantle’s historic High Street really necessary?

Four signs haphazardly placed on the footpath for just the one business is well over the top and pretty inconvenient for pedestrians. It’s overkill!

Roel Loopers

LOVING THE FREO VIEW CORRIDORS

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, fremantle ports, heritage, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on May 16, 2019

 

port views

 

I love the view corridors to Fremantlte Port through the streets where parts of the port are framed by the beautiful heritage buildings, such as here in Pakenham Street.

If more people made themselves tourists in our own twon there would be a higher appreciation for how special Freo is and that we should feel blessed to love here. I certainly do!

By the way, the building site front left is of the new Fremantle Republic tavern, gin distillery and micro brewery, so more excitement coming to the West End of town soon. Taking the facade back to its original tuckpointing has improved it a lot already.

Roel Loopers

 

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STUNNING HIGH STREET PYAP FACADES

Posted in architecture, art, city of fremantle, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on May 15, 2019

 

 

It was too beautiful to stay inside yesterday and the light on the gorgeous High Street heritage buildings was so crisp that I took photos of the Post Yellow Art Period-PYAP of the facades. Don’t they look sublime!

I love Freo!

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE HILTON DOUBLETREE HOTEL TO GO AHEAD

 

Doubletree-by-Hilton-Fremantle-LR-3-1024x408

 

The very delayed plans to build a Hilton Doubletree hotel on the corner of Adelaide and Point streets in Fremantle will go ahead according to Freo Mayor Brad Pettitt.

After I published a photo of the removal of the sales office for the Ancora departments yesterday, which are part of the development plans, Brad Pettitt sent in a comment that “the proceedings will go ahead but with a tweaked plan”

I remain skeptical though because if the new plans are significantly different from the approved development they will need new Council/JDAP approval and that would automatically give the SKS Group another four years before they would have to commence with the building of it.

Roel Loopers

LET’S GET REAL ABOUT WEST END ACTIVATION

I missed the Fremantle Council FPOL Committee meeting on Wednesday due to the Candidate Debate being at the same time, so could not observe myself what went on about Arthur’s Head.

What I hear is that that tired buzzword ‘activation’ was thrown around a lot and that Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt talked about a “Grand Vision” with substantial development, ideally in the form of a National Aboriginal Cultural Centre at the location where J Shed is at the moment.

The one major issue here is that such a building would probably cost $ 40-50 million, which Fremantle has not got, and staff cost and maintenance Fremantle cannot afford either, and…. the State Government wants to build the centre somewhere in Perth and Fremantle is not a preferred location unfortunately.

So should we risk $ 50,000 of ratepayers money on a feasibility study for an Aboriginal centre Fremantle can’t afford to build, manage and maintain, when there is hardly even a remote change that it would be approved and funded by the McGowan government?

Grand visions are great, but they need to be realistic and achievable if we are going to throw money at it.

Now let’s talk a bit about activation. First there was the idea for the Bathers Beach Art Precinct that was meant to activate the area, but did not, and galleries who tried it up on Arthur’s Head closed.  Only the Glen Cowans photograpy gallery established itself well. Now the residential cottages will become artist studios and that will do absolutely nothing to activate the area and attract more people there because the artist studios do not have to be open to the public.

Then Fremantle Council had the brilliant brain flash that a large tavern with an even larger live outdoor music venue would activate Arthur’s Head, against the wishes of the community. They proceeded anyway, to finally be told by the WA Planning Committee that it was inappropriate use of the area, after Sunset Events had wasted a lot of money and Council had managed to frustrate many Freo people. Who cares, we’ve got a grand vision!

To top it off Fremantle Council does not give a rat’s arse about the only place that actually activates Arthur’s Head 363 days a week, the Roundhouse. This major tourist attraction that gets 150,000 visitors a year has not received a single cent of Fremantle Council funding since I have been a volunteer there, which is nine years. But who cares about that tiny activation when one has a grand vision for the area. Maybe we should just demolish WA’s oldest public building and get on with an ever bigger grand vision of a twenty-story hotel on the site. Now that would activate the area.

If this is good governance, Mayor Brad Pettitt, Elected Members and Minister David Templeman than we might as well keep supporting unrealistic pipe dreams instead of supporting those who have put the hard yards in for twenty years without any help from the local, State and Federal governments. You have disrespectfully been taking the Roundhouse for granted for far too long!

You can’t see the activation of Arthur’s Head because you are blinded by your grand visions. Grow up! Mature! Inject some reality into your thought bubbles instead of talking nonsense.

Maintain Arthur’s Head better and make it more attractive. Support the Roundhouse volunteers financially and substantially, and market the old prison more and better. Get rid of the artist studios and offer tourism merchandise along Captain’s Lane, hold a monthly art&craft market on the A Class reserve at J Shed, include it in more festival events such at the Street Arts Festival, and PLEASE stop believing you need to build a monument to be remembered by. It’s not working.

Roel Loopers

 

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