Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, technology, Uncategorized by freoview on November 18, 2017


The City of Fremantle has received part of an $ 8 million Australian Government grant for the Power Ledger Platform.

The project will assess how cities can use blockchain technology and data to integrate distributed energy and water systems.

The funding is part of the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program. There will be $ 2,57 million for this cutting edge project, plus $ 5,68 million for project partners Curtin and Murdoch universities, LandCorp, CSIRO/DATA61, CISCO, Power Ledger.

The projects also involves support by AEMO, Western Power and the CRC for Low Carbon Living.

Highly-resilient low-carbon and low-cost systems will be installed and connected using blockchain technology. This involves a solar photovoltaic plant, rooftop solar panels, a precinct size battery, a charging station for electric vehicles.

Precinct water treatment and capture systems will use the same blockchain technology and data analytics, to demonstrate the interconnected infrastructure of the smart cities of the future.

The project will start in the next two month and will take two years.

Up to now I had never heard of blockchain technology but it appears to be decentralised technology that is hosted not just by some computers but by millions, thus making the data available to everyone.

It sounds like a fascinating and innovative project, so it is good to see the City of Fremantle leading the pack again.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, environment, rain, Uncategorized, winter by freoview on August 9, 2017


When it rains as heavily, and heavenly, as last night I always regret the many tens of thousands of litres of water that run down the streets, into the drains and into the ocean in the metropolitan area, because it is such a waste of precious water in our state.

We have already reached the average for August and there is more heavy rain expected today and tomorrow morning, so why don’t we try to catch that rain at our homes.

Why is it not compulsory to build rainwater tanks at new houses, when it would make a dramatic difference when hundreds of thousands of homes collected rainwater. The demand on our water supply and stressed aquifers would be substantially less.

Instead of doing that W.A. will now start recycling sewage at the Beenyup wastewater treatment plant, after health-regulators have given the all clear for it.   Treated sewage will be pumped into the Gnangara aquifer and through the process this will later become our drinking water.

I’d prefer compulsory rainwater catchment at homes over treated sewage anytime.


Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, photography, Uncategorized, weather by freoview on May 13, 2017




I could not stop myself from going out again and take more photos of this morning’s fog in Fremantle.

I drove along the Swan river to Blackwall Reach and Point Walter to take these images.

Roel Loopers


Posted in boating, fremantle, maritime by freoview on January 18, 2017




Fremantle architect and Sea Rescue volunteer Mark Zuvela kindly showed me around the new HQ of the Fremantle Volunteer Sea Rescue organisation in the old Signal Station at Cantonment Hill this morning. The new HQ was officially opened on November 26 last year.

The Signal Station was built in 1956 and designed by Hobbs, Winning and Leighton architects, the same architects who designed the Fremantle Ports building. The communication tower on top of the Signal Station is identical to the one on top of the Port building

Fremantle Sea Rescue has over 100 active volunteers who assist and rescue over 750 boats a year. Two third of them are sea rescues, the other third river assists. It is the busiest sea rescue organisation in Australia. To put that in perspective, the Sydney Harbour Water Police does around 300 rescues a year.

Sea Rescue started in Fremantle in 1969 and nowadays does 30,000 radio transmissions a year. Licensed and certified volunteers are on duty 24 hours a day. Sea Rescue has 4 rescue vessels and 2 jet skis.

The new HQ at the Signal Station is state of the art with latest internet and satellite technology. The height of the communication tower means it now has 50 per cent more coverage and no more black spots along the Swan and Canning rivers.

Fremantle Sea Rescue covers the Indian Ocean from the old South Fremantle Power Station to City Beach and well beyond Rottnest Island, and the Swan and Canning rivers.

Thanks to donations, sponsorships and volunteers the costs of setting up at Cantonment Hill were reduced from $ 200,000 to just $ 60,000, so thank you to everyone for their generosity!

The views from Cantonment Hill over Fremantle and the port are magnificent so wander up there some time to see it for yourself.

Roel Loopers


Posted in beaches, city of fremantle, environment, nature, trees, western australia by freoview on August 1, 2016

tree planting 1 tree planting 2


The wet and cold weather did not deter a committed group of Fremantle volunteers, including Mayor Brad Pettitt, COF staff and MP Josh Wilson from planting trees on Sunday at South Beach, Bathers Beach and Wilson Park for the Planet Ark National Tree Day.

It is interesting to note in that context the call by Sue Murphy, the chief executive of the WA Water Corporation, for more appropriate verges and to get away from grassed verges to conserve water.

This will not please those who believe we have a right to the Great Australian Dream of houses with large front and back gardens and grass verges. As Sue Murphy said this is not appropriate for our Perth climate and we have to become more realistic about it and plant more trees and shrubs and minimise so-called heat islands in the suburbs.

I believe any new residential development should also be required to install rainwater tanks, as the fast increasing population is a severe threat to our water supply. I hope local and state governments will legislate for that soon.

Roel Loopers


Posted in development, fire, fremantle, western autralia by freoview on July 14, 2016



That was a rather interesting fire emergency test at the new MSC building in Cliff Street this morning, when men shot huge sprays of water in the air from the roof of the building, and the strong wind blowing it all over High Street and inside Chalkys cafe. Lucky no one sat at the outside tables or they would have got drenched.

Barista Keith yelled out to them to stop it and they finally did, after a few pedestrians got a good soaking.

I believe it was very inconsiderate and lazy as they could have alerted the cafe and stopped pedestrian traffic during the test. I hope no one at No 1 Little High Street left their windows or balcony doors open.

Roel Loopers



Posted in art, colour, fremantle, photography, western australia by freoview on May 10, 2016

watercolour 1 watercolour 2 watercolour 3


Let me put some Freo colour in your life!

Photography for me is about finding beauty in the ordinary, seeing those little gems most people miss because they are not great observers. Being in the moment has been swapped for constantly being on the mobile phone and checking text and Facebook messages, not for me though as pounding the streets is a bit like walking meditation and total concentration of finding new images in the daily routine of life.

These photos were taken in the Fishing Boat Harbour on this glorious autumn morning.

Let there be light!

Roel Loopers/ROEL.COM.AU


Posted in city of fremantle, indian ocean, western australia by freoview on April 29, 2016

Regular Freo’s View reader and North Fremantle resident Lionel asks the question why there are still no showers and access to drinking water for dogs at the Leighton dog beach at the rail bridge just north of where the new COMBI COFFEE van is stationed.

It is one of the busiest beaches in the metro area, highly frequented by tourists and people from all over Perth, but there is no drinking water and there are no showers.

Can we put that in the budget please City of Fremantle and get it done asap or are you still waiting for the State Government to develop the long promised public park there?

Roel Loopers


Posted in elizabeth quay, fremantle, perth by freoview on January 30, 2016


I made my epic journey from Fremantle across the mighty roaring Swan river this morning to have a look at the Elizabeth Quay development in Perth and must say I am underwhelmed. It appears to be a whole lot of money for not that much at all, but that is just my first impression.

To be fair to the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority EQ is still a work in progress and will benefit from more buildings around it and more hospitality venues. There is also still a major ceramics artwork by Sandra Hill and Jenny Dawson to be installed, so I will reserve my final judgment for a few years.

The thing that impressed me most was the giant bird man in a boat by Aboriginal artist Laurel Nannup. It’s stunning!

There was not much food on offer so why did the MRA not put signs around EQ to point out that the Swan River Community Market was on only metres to the east of the development? After all they pay to have the markets there so why not do some decent marketing to support the stallholders.

Roel Looper


Posted in city of fremantle, green plan, local government, nature by freoview on November 4, 2015
Smoke haze at the Swan River.

Smoke haze at the Swan River.

The City of Fremantle’s draft GREEN PLAN is out for community input so make sure to download it from the COF website and put submissions in to make it a really good plan to protect and enhance our public green spaces, increase our city’s essential tree canopy, create more small green lingering nodes all over Fremantle, protect established mature trees from demolition through new development, etc.

Here is some of what the Green Plan says:

The 2020 Green Plan provides the background, rationale and framework to deliver projects and programs over the next five years. Key initiatives and targets include:

 Every resident and worker to be within walkable distance to public open space.  Progressively increase tree canopy across the city to achieve up to 20% by 2020.  Design adaptable open space that allows for future flexibility as the community and open space function and needs change over time.  Planning for future water security to identify opportunities for best available water sources for existing and new open space.  Develop links that increase the amount of flora/vegetation and increase habitats for native fauna and encourage their movement between green spaces and to increase and improve biodiversity areas.

Key projects over the next five years include:  Investigation and identification for accessing public open space in the priority areas of Hilton, O’Connor, White Gum Valley and Beaconsfield.  Investigation and identify options to improve and/or expand public open space is proximity to future high density areas.  Undertaking an Urban Forest Strategy to manage and guide tree and vegetation population across the public and private realm, to increase canopy and biodiversity and to mitigate the Urban Heat Island Effect.  Undertaking water demand modelling to inform future fit for purpose water supply options.  Prepare landscape concept plans for green links and develop a biodiversity plan.

Public submissions closing date is November 11, so participate and be part of the solutions!

Roel Loopers

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