Freo's View




I am all in favour of the WA Covid Recovery Plan and the many good things it will do for our state’s economy, but it also made me aware, yet again, that Fremantle has been taken for granted for decades by our state government, be that Labor or Liberal.

In the Sunday Times today it is reported that the WA government will be spending $ 10 million on a new cafe and function centre in Kings Park, but Fremantle is only getting $ 500,000 for the urgent repairs of historic Arthur’s Head and the Roundhouse. That is to match the $ 500,000 Fremantle Council has pledged for the project.

However nearly $ 2 million are required to get the repairs of one of WA’s most significant historic areas and oldest remaining public building done, so only half the necessary money is forthcoming for one of our top tourist attractions, while Kings Park get 20 times more for a visual upgrade.

It’s pathetic really how little respect our state governments have shown for the history of WA in Fremantle, because our politicians are so Perth centric and anyway, Freo is a safe Labor seat.

Ooops, I forgot, we are also getting a new traffic bridge that does not involve proper community consultation.


Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, historic, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on August 1, 2020





Really nice to see the flags flying again above the Fremantle Roundhouse and the oldest public building in WA re-opening to the public.

The Covid-19 pandemic forced the Roundhouse volunteers to close the old jail, but they are finally back with a smile on their faces, and so were surprisingly many visitors this morning.

The Roundhouse is open daily from 10.30am to 3.30pm and the Glen Cowans underwater photography gallery next to it has also re-opened.

Go and sag G’day!

Roel Loopers








More great news for Fremantle! WA Heritage Minister David Templeman will tomorrow, Friday July 31 announce that the state government will match the $ 500,000 the City of Fremantle has allocated for the urgent repairs of historic Arthur’s Head and the Roundhouse.

The $1milion project will be the first significant conservation work to be undertaken at the Roundhouse in more than 15 years and the State Government’s contribution is part of a program of capital works and maintenance projects to help support the State’s economic recovery from COVID-19.

Works to be undertaken include restoration of the cliff face, stabilisation of the building, stonework repairs to the Roundhouse and Whalers Tunnel and construction of a new rock fall canopy.

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage will work with the City of Fremantle to implement the works program and minimise disruption to Roundhouse operations.

Brilliant and well overdue news!

Fremantle Council, the Freo community and the Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk have all been lobbying really hard for this, so thank you!

I have one concern though. It was reported that the City of Fremantle said it will cost $ 1.8 million to do all the work, so what short cuts are being made and what will not be done when only half the money is being spent?

Roel Loopers

PS: The Roundhouse will re-open from August 1.





More great news for Fremantle with the confirmation that the Prendiville Group has purchase the former Fremantle Technical School, opposite the Fremantle Markets and have big plans for the site.

The West Australian reports that the hospitality group will relocate their headquarters to the building and also set up a training college for the hospitality industry, as well as open a temporary alfresco cafe.

The even bigger plan is to build a small hotel or student accommodation above the carpark.

The Prendiville Group bought the building for $ 3.55 million from the WA state government.

The Prendiville group has a very long association with Freo and Peter Prendiville was the Chancellor of Notre Dame University until the end of 2019.

It will be fantastic to see the site activated and to get more people working and studying in our gorgeous port city.

Roel Loopers



Business in Freo-Through the lockdown and beyond was the theme of the monthly Fremantle Network meeting at The Local in South Fremantle last evening. The network had been unable to meet for several months due to Covid-19, so good to see around 50 people turning up for it and Steve Grant of the Fremantle Herald for the first time being the moderator.

Piers Verstegen of the Conservation Council said we are lucky to live in one of the most isolated parts of the world and that the WA government’s approach to Covid recovery was different from that of the federal government. It is important to have community-lead projects where we get involved and have input. We need to have a rethink where jobs come from, because that is not the resources industry, with huge opportunities for the renewable, conservation, cultural and care industries.

The pandemic had changed the role of governments and there needs to be a way we can control the economy, and as voting patterns show people are feeling really dis-empowered. “How do we collectively shape where the economy goes? There needs to be a change of attitude.”

It was especially important to consider the impact Covid had on the employment of women, because they worked in a higher percentage in severely affected industries such as hospitality and tourism.

Dave Furness, who owns the Carriage cafe on the Esplanade with his partner Rochelle, and who is also the managing director of  resources engineering company WENCO in O’Connor, said the outlook for 2020 had been great until Covid-19 turned the world upside down. It had been a priority for him to extensively communicate with the 80+ staff, consider cash flow, prepare for the future and consider that there could be another spike in WA in the future, if we are forced to re-open the state’s borders. “At the moment it is a great place and things are in control, but we are still vulnerable, Furness said. “WA is keeping the Australian economy going!”

Councillor Frank Mofflin, who is leading Fremantle Council’s Covid Recovery Group, said he was very optimistic where Fremantle currently is and where we will be in 12-18 months from now. Freo is so well positioned after Covid, but when will that be? The challenges we face now and post Covid are not unique to Fremantle, and many businesses had adapted very well with more on-line trade, take away food, home deliveries of goods, etc.

Great management by the state government and a truckload of luck has put WA in a good position and that is helping us build confidence in our community. We need to market Fremantle as the place that dealt with the virus challenges in the best possible way!

Mofflin said that over 80 per cent of investment in Fremantle has come from the private sector, and that showed they had confidence in Fremantle’s future.

Councillor Rachel Pemberton stood in for Michelle Mackenzie of Shelter Australia, whose mother had died recently, and said that it had been an amazing effort by the WA government and all governments really to cope with the impact of Covid-19. The lockdown was also an inspiring time, where we had time to slow down and think about what is important and about our families. The pandemic is still a risk and it had been disappointing to hear that vulnerable people had been refuses residential leases, because the federal government had ruled that no one could be evicted before November. Many landlords were not happy with that restriction, so preferred not to sign new leases. That meant we noticed many more people living on the street in Fremantle.

The beginning of Freo’s transition and renewal had been delayed because of the pandemic and there was a need for more crisis support and social housing, with a start made with the state’s Common Ground project in Perth. People who never needed any help were suddenly forced to seek support.

The government’s Jobseeker money had made a huge difference and given many people self respect and pride, because they were able to go shopping for new clothes and other necessities they previously could not afford. Pemberton said we can grow the economy without killing the planet. “We need to put people first in our economy?”

There was unfortunately not much time left for the Q&A, but it was sobering to hear Piers Verstegen tell that there are 5,000 people on the waiting list for social housing in WA, but that we are going backwards, rather than making inroads here.

The Fremantle Network are really good community forums and I wonder if it would be possible to live stream them, so that people who don’t feel comfortable going out at night could watch it from the safety of their home.

Roel Loopers







The Fishing Boat Harbour upgrade between Cicerello’s and Joe’s by the Department of Transport looks fantastic, and it is only stage one of it, I was told yesterday.

Tenders are out currently for stage two, which is from north of the Char Char restaurant all the way to Bathers Beach, so that will be amazing. The Bella bronze sculpture will also be back, so the place will be even more of an attraction.

The cobblestone pavers are great. They have so much texture and anti slip about them that the City of Fremantle should consider them for Kings Square, once the Walyalup Civic Centre is open.

Roel Loopers





It is such a brilliant winter day with bright blue sky and sunshine that I went out and explored some of the amazing heritage architecture in Fremantle.

This is Freo, the city I love because it is very special and we should never forget that!

Roel Loopers

and the slide show:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.




The Fremantle Network and Politics in the Pub gather for the first time after the Covid-19 lock down on Tuesday, July 28 at 6.30 at The Local in South Fremantle

The COVID-19 lockdown had major impacts on business in the port city. Taps at well-loved and brand-new pubs ran dry, and restaurants took to providing takeaway through the window. Retail slowed to a crawl, as we went from treasure hunting at op-shops and boutique stores to working from home in pyjama pants. Jobs and events took a hit, while new and creative ways of getting-by revitalised communities. There are stories to be told and insights to be had here.

The Fremantle Network and Politics in the Pub are excited to present our first post-lockdown event: Business in Freo: through the lockdown and beyond. Come for a drink and a bite in company at the Local Hotel. Share your lockdown experiences and join the discussion over what’s next for work and life in Freo. We start at 7pm and encourage you to arrive earlier for friendly conversation.

Speakers are Michelle Mackenzie, CEO of Shelter Australia, Piers Verstegen, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of WA, Dave Furness, of the Carriage Cafe and Group General Manager of Wenco, and Councillor Frank Mofflin, Head of the Fremantle Covid Recovery Group.

Roel Loopers



Posted in bar, beer, city of fremantle, fremantle markets, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on July 13, 2020




The ambience in a market is very different from anywhere else, so many people will like the news that they will be able to enjoy a drink in the Fremantle Markets from this coming Friday

The Otherside Beer Hall is popping up in the heart of the Fremantle Markets!

It’ll be a place to pull up, have a seat, and drink a beer, all while enjoying the amazing food and shopping on offer at the markets. There will be a variety of Otherside Brewing Co. beers on tap, WA wine and spirits and live DJs every Friday, Saturday & Sunday.

Launching on Friday July 17th
Open hours: 11am – 6pm

Roel Loopers


Posted in cars, city of fremantle, parking, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on July 12, 2020



Thank you to these visitors from Albany for coming to the big smoke of Freo today, but I am quite certain that the same parking rules apply down south. It is pretty inconsiderate to park well outside a parking bay in narrow Pakenham Street.

A bit of consideration goes a long way!


Roel Loopers


%d bloggers like this: