fire 1 fire 2 fire 3 fire 4 fire 5 fire 6

Photos copyright Roel Loopers-ROEL.COM.AU

A large fire is happening right now on Rous Head at Fremantle port where 60 fire fighters are battling a blaze at Northport Marine Services. First reports said it was on a boat but it appears to be bigger than that with smoke coming out of a large building as we could observe from the North Mole.

Thirteen fore appliances from Fremantle, Murdoch, Success, Hope Valley, Joondalup, Canning Vale, Gosnells, Daglish and Jandakot are on the scene.

Roel Loopers

Get involved in PARK(ing) Day 2015

For the past three years, to celebrate International Car Free Day, the City of Freo has participated in a worldwide event – PARK(ing) Day – which turns car parking spaces into beautiful, functional and usable spaces. Through this annual event we aim to demonstrate how with a  little creative thinking, our cities can be transformed […]

Pitch In For A Kitchen at 100 Hampton Road

FORM are crowdfunding for equipment for their 100 Hampton Road Kitchen, a project which helps vulnerable social housing residents in Fremantle. FORM need to raise $20 000 by September 3 to fill the kitchen with tools of the trade to train, mentor and provide hope to residents. For the last year FORM have been running […]


Carus Thompson by Ross Potter

Congratulations to Fremantle artist Ross Potter who was announced one of forty finalists in the prestigious $ 50,000 BLACK SWAN PRIZE for portraiture.

His The Troubadour portrait of singer/songwriter Carus Thompson, who is the son of Fremantle Councillor Doug Thompson, was judged to be amongst the outstanding entries and Ross now has a 1 in 40 chance of winning the prize. Good on you, Ross!

Roel Loopers


A recent examination of Fremantle’s perceived strengths and weaknesses by the Committee for Perth have come to following conclusion that make interesting reading:

The analysis confirms that Freo is unique.  Fremantle’s strengths and weaknesses differ substantially to those of the wider metropolitan region and provide the capacity for genuine, high quality place-making, as well as opportunities for innovation.

It also indicates that, while perceptions are primarily accurate, regional population, infrastructure, commercial and economic growth over the past decade has altered Fremantle’s role in the wider metropolitan region – meaning that the regional influence of some of Fremantle’s strengths has changed and, in some cases, diminished.

Fremantle’s major strengths include the area’s unique heritage and cultural infrastructure and the Fremantle Port – which provide substantial opportunities for economic development and place activation.  Other strengths such as tourism and hospitality are facing increased regional competition, yet have substantial capacity for growth; while the role of the city in the education and health sectors and its relatively high levels of human capital in key sectors could form the basis of a creative and knowledge economy.   

Evidence suggests that Fremantle’s two major weaknesses are its recent low levels of economic growth and relatively stagnant population growth over the past decade.  These weaknesses are linked to local and regional policy as well as changing patterns of regional investment and development – as a result, strategies to address them need to be regionally strategic, innovative and multi-pronged.

The final Future Freo report will be published on December 1, so stay tuned.

Roel Loopers


The FUTURE FREO project was launched in 2014 by the Committee for Perth and this is from their latest FactBase Bulletin 3- Where’s the Boom? Unpacking Fremantle’s Socioeconomic Structure:

Despite strong growth in median incomes between the period from 2004-05 to 2011-12, Inner and Outer Fremantle residents had median incomes that were $3,714 and $2,116 lower than the Perth/Peel average. Additionally, house prices in these areas were 1.7 to 2.2 times higher than the median Perth price of $490,000 and the area has seen an increase in the number of renters, who outnumber residents with a mortgage or homeownership. 

Even when faced with these disadvantages, overall the Greater Fremantle region has a lower proportion of its population claiming both the Newstart Allowance and the Single Parenting Payment than in Perth and Peel. 

Roel Loopers


free parking

I am confused. This is the entry on the City of Fremantle website about free parking at the Parry Street carpark but the reality is very different and the sign on location states that only the first hour is free.

free parking is also available at the Parry Street car Park 1 (Monday to Friday between 8.00 am and 5.00 pm).

My understanding of that would be it means all day free parking, but COF probably means the first hour is free but it is pretty misleading and should be clarified on the website.

Roel Loopers


Come and hop on the train for today’s PERTH FREIGHT LINK MYSTERY TOUR that will bring the protest to the heartland of Premier Colin Barnett’s electorate. It starts this Sunday August 2 at 10.30 at Pioneer Park opposite the Fremantle train station. Here is what the Hamilton Hill Action Group wrote:

The Perth Freight Link is a destructive $2 billion + dollar six-lane highway. It is set to go through the pristine and sacred Beeliar Wetlands and then bulldoze its way through Fremantle, destroying remnant bushland, heritage sites and dividing communities.

There are viable, cheaper and less destructive alternatives available.

The campaign is growing but we need your help. Come join us to take the message to the people of Fremantle and beyond.

Meet in Pioneer Park in Fremantle (opposite the Train Station) on Sunday August 2nd at 1030am.

Bring banners, flags, whistles and other things to make a vibrant, joyous parade.

For more info on the campaign, see:

This event is organised by the Hamilton Hill Action Group.


bread in common

Enjoying the winter sun this Saturday morning at BREAD IN COMMON in Pakenham Street, Fremantle. Freo is rich with cute cafes hidden away from the main strip and well worth exploring for visitors to our city.

Roel Loopers


bike hire

Cute little bikes like this one can be hired from the COMPENDIUM shop in High Street. (Thank you Nicholas Takacs of ABEAUTIFULCITY for the tip!).

Much bigger Dutch bikes can be hired from the Esplanade Hotel, Sweetlips and at the railway line opposite Cicerello’s and of course one can hire bikes at the Fremantle Visitor Centre and E Shed Markets as well.

Fremantle is a perfect place with the perfect climate to explore on a bike so hopefully tourists will take advantage of these services.

Roel Loopers


evan davies 1evan davies 2pakenham

It is good to see the gorgeous Evan Davies building on the Cappuccino Strip in its old glory and that there is an effort around Fremantle to clean up buildings and make the city look better. Work at the former Boys School at Princess May Park is still going on and the Manning Arcade along the High Street mall and William Street is getting a big paint job done as well.

There is also progress with the residential apartment building on the corner of Pakenham and Banister streets and the short-term accommodation Quest Hotel development on the corner of Pakenham and Short streets.

My only gripe is why the four wifi units on top of the heritage-listed Evan Davies building could not be hidden as they spoil the view-and photos-of the old building.

Roel Loopers


Nice to see a new bookshop moving into the Fremantle High Street mall. Books4Less is setting up shop and will open soon.

Down the road on the Cappuccino Strip the move I announced some weeks ago is happening and Sandrino’s is moving into the former SOHO premises and are leaving the Market Street location behind Ginos’s, reportedly because of a high increase in rent there.

Roel Loopers

Link protest digs in

• An Occupy member shows how he’ll lock his arm inside a “lock-on” to disrupt attempts to dislodge him from a house that’s to be demolished for the Perth Freight Link: this lock-on is so close to electrical wires that cutting him out with power tools may prove difficult. Photo by Matthew Dwyer

• An Occupy member shows how he’ll lock his arm inside a “lock-on” to disrupt attempts to dislodge him from a house that’s to be demolished for the Perth Freight Link: this lock-on is so close to electrical wires that cutting him out with power tools may prove difficult. Photo by Matthew Dwyer

OPPONENTS of the Perth Freight Link are digging in for a long fight, fortifying themselves with secret tunnels, dragon-shaped lock-ons and an expanded tree-top village to prevent the demolition of seven abandoned houses along the route.

Occupy spokesperson Simon Peterffy, who’s also director of the Forest Rescue activist group, told the Herald the veteran activists would be hard to move from the houses, which are at the corner of High Street and Stirling Highway.

One lock-on is accessed via an arm-sized hole through thick concrete and is perilously close to power cables, all but ruling out the use of power tools to cut it out.

Mr Peterffy rejects Bateman Liberal MP Matt Taylor’s claim the houses are full of druggies and crime, saying Occupy has cleaned them up and in several places has even gone to the trouble to repair floorboards.

There’s now an art gallery, music studio, library of activist material and vegetable gardens in the village squat.

The group had actively sought out young homeless men to offer them shelter, but Mr Peterffy says his group enforces a ban on drugs and alcohol. About 50 come or go during the week.

01. 31NEWS 2

Guests are offered a choice of mattresses and a bunch of old blankets; there is no check in or check out and all items are donated.

They can also get free clothes from an old wardrobe and have a hot meal at the Dumpster Dining area.
Aboriginal activists who’ve split from the protest camp on Heirisson Island have also moved in.

Spokesperson Dee Tinley — who’s Labor shadow minister Peter Tinley’s sister — says egos had led to the Heirisson fracture and most of the women decided to move to Fremantle.

They’ve been holding painting courses in local parks and have a studio running in one of the houses.

Ms Tinley says as they get more settled, they’ll start using the sides of the houses to amp up their anti-link messages.

“It’s a functional place now, both for the neighbours and the homeless,” Ms Tinley says.

“They don’t shit in their nest any more. Everyone is happy with it.”

Mr Peterffy says a couple of weeks ago WA Main Roads contractor Brajkovich fenced off a building in preparation for demolition, but during the night protestors “confiscated” it.


1. Match Move 20x7

St Pat’s v pub

PLANS to build a pub across the road from a primary school have St Patrick’s Catholic Church up in arms.

Church member Steve Boni, who’s handling the parish’s submissions to Fremantle council, says a 450-seat micro-brewery proposed for the old energy museum on Parry Street is too close to local primary and high schools and the basilica’s various religious services.

He notes St Pat’s community care service — with many clients struggling with alcohol abuse — is even closer.

“Our significant concern is the potential of a 450-patron bar going there and the noise and anti-social behaviour when church services are held on the weekends,” Mr Boni told the Herald.

“The basilica is also used for funerals, weddings and other functions and that’s just not appropriate.”

He’s ropeable with the council’s consultation: by the time St Patrick’s was informed, council planning staff told him they were ready to recommend approval.

“What sort of consultation is that,” he asks.

The multi-million dollar development, proposed by Match, will be decided not by council but by the state-controlled development assessment panel.

Match will keep most of the exterior, except for a small portion of the roof and some rear walls.

A building at the back will be demolished to make way for 40 dwellings that will come pretty close to five storeys.

Local planning rules permit buildings as high as 15 metres but Match has negotiated a recommendation for 18 metres.

Mr Boni, a developer himself, is concerned the council is being too generous to Match and feels for residents living behind the block.
One of those is High Street bootmaker Robert Bodkin, and he’s livid: “Shame, shame,” he emailed councillors last week.

He says the proposal will swamp the precinct’s nine historic houses and is gob-smacked Match wants to build right up to the boundary.

He notes he’d been ordered to set back a small shed on his property because of rules to keep neighbours happy: “a consideration you have not demanded for 3 Quarry Street,” he told councillors.


2. Realty Executives 20x3.5


East Freo defends big rates rise

A HISTORY of low rates rises for East Fremantle residents is hampering the town’s ability to invest in local infrastructure says the council’s new administrators.

The council’s new strategic community plan has a number of ambitious goals, including increasing sport and recreation facilities, preservation of local heritage and mitigating climate change.

East Fremantle CEO Gary Clark — who took over from veteran CEO Stuart Wearne — says a 6.25 per cent rates rise is necessary to realise the 10-year plan.

“Many local governments are starting to see the consequences of keeping rates low,” he says. “For instance, rate capping is very popular, but they’ve had it in NSW for years, and their local infrastructure is some of the worst in the country.”

During the botched council amalgamation process, WA local government minister Tony Simpson argued larger shires are more cost-effective but East Freo mayor Jim O’Neill says the town fares well compared to its bigger neighbours: “If you were to place a median residential house from East Fremantle into a neighbouring suburb, by comparison you would pay $39 more in Fremantle, $20 more in Melville and $229 in Cockburn,” he says. “Furthermore East Fremantle residential minimum rates are lower than each of our neighbours by $222, $257 and $250 respectively.”

The town’s strategic plan also focuses on parks and playgrounds, the Swan River Foreshore and footpaths and cycleways.

The council aims to keep the rates rise to 6.5 per cent or lower over “coming years”.


3. Joy Kitchen 10x2.3

Brochure printed before vote?

WELL, that was quick: Last Tuesday a divided Melville council voted to spend up to $50,000 spruiking its support for the Barnett government’s highly contentious plan to connect Roe Highway to Fremantle Port via the Perth Freight Link.

Just three days later, residents were receiving rates notices which included a brochure extolling the benefits of the freight link.

Resident Rod Short, who has gathered signatures for an August 17 electors’ meeting — where locals can say what they think about the link — reckons it’s premature for the council to start the campaign before the meeting’s held.

Now the brochure’s out he reckons it was already lined up and ready to go — perhaps even printed — before councillors even voted for the plan.

“I don’t think it’s quite right and I think the CEO has to answer questions,” Mr Short told the Herald.

“Why’s he supporting state projects? I’m disappointed in the brochure.”

The Herald asked Dr Silcox about the timing of the brochure, noting “it seems awfully quick to have these designed, printed and distributed given the meeting was only last Tuesday”.

We didn’t hear back before deadline. Seems they’re not quick with everything.


4. Galati & Sons 40x7

Report all contact: CEO to councillors

MELVILLE city council CEO Shayne Silcox has issued a decree to elected members of the council, ordering them to report to him all contact they have with members of the public.

Whether it’s a compliment about new trees or a critique of public art, he requires elected members to pass on any records of any conversations they have with the public.

Dr Silcox is basing his decree on what he says is a “statutory obligation of the local government act and the state records act”. However, the Herald understands no other WA council CEO has seen fit to issue a similar edict.

“The requirement that councillors forward all notes or records of discussions with members of the public was not open to interpretation either by a Herald reporter or the CEO,” council media minder Joanna Arbel said via email.

The Herald was forwarded a state records information sheet that says elected members must report anything to do with “complaints and compliments, correspondence concerning corporate matters, submissions petitions & lobbying [or] information for council’s interest relating to local government business activity and functions”.

Dr Silcox’s decree tightens the screws even further on elected members at Melville, who already operate under some of the most restrictive self-imposed conditions in WA.

In neighbouring Fremantle, “we let elected members use their common sense” says mayor Brad Pettitt. “If it’s something the operational guys need to know about, we expect to let them know.”

The only time councillors are required to declare contact with members of the public is when conflict-of-interest or potential bias is involved, for example if they’d had a chinwag with a developer while he’s applying to build a new project.

Cockburn council governance director Don Green says “as a general principle, any issue which is raised by a member of the public to an elected member which impacts the administration or operation of the city should be reported to the administration for both official record keeping purposes and to enable the matter to be addressed”.

When we told Dr Silcox we’d never heard of other councils following the rules in the same strict way he was demanding he said that was ”of deep concern… and the City requests evidence from the Herald to confirm which local governments are not acting in accordance with the local government act and the state records act”.



Comment: Tinley left standing in musical seats

LABOR to roll transport minister Dean Nalder from the proposed new state seat of Burt over the Perth Freight Link? Give me a break.

Opposition leader Mark McGowan appears to have been sucked in by a sloppy bit of reporting from the West Australian, which suggested Nalder “faces a fight for his political life” if suggested seat redistributions are adopted.

What excited the West’s Osborne Park-based scribblers was that when Nalder’s seat of Alfred Cove disappears he’ll have to contest the new seat of Burt, which takes in some of left-leaning Fremantle while losing blue-blooded Applecross, Ardross, Mt Pleasant and Booragoon to the new seat of Toohey (replacing Bateman).

But if the West journos had bothered to scroll a little further down the WA electoral commission’s website to look at booth-by-booth results, they’d have noticed that picking up East Fremantle, Palmyra and Melville won’t trouble Nalder; the booths in question are hardly hotbeds of socialism.

As the Herald suggested on its Facebook page Friday, the redistribution is unlikely to cause Nalder to lose sleep.

ABC election guru Antony Green reckons he’s still got a 10 per cent margin — not as healthy as his current 20-plus margin, and he’ll no doubt lose a per cent or two to folk disgruntled with the freight link, which runs directly down the southern and western edge of the seat, but I wouldn’t mind heading into an election with those chances.

It’s Labor’s Peter Tinley who’ll have the fight on his hands. His seat of Willagee disappears, replaced by Murdoch.

Labor heartlands booths in Hilton, Samson and Spearwood head to Fremantle while Murdoch gets areas like half of Winthrop (2537 Liberal votes to 806 for Labor at the primary school booth in 2013) as well as Bibra Lake, North Lake, Samson, Coolbellup, Murdoch and Kardinya.

Murdoch is classified as a notional Labor seat on a measly 2.6 per cent, compared to the 20-plus per cent Mr Tinley has in Willagee.

Mr Tinley’s upbeat public assessment is ”I think the people of Winthrop have finally had an extraordinary turn of luck”.

The decorated SAS commander knows a thing or two about surviving a scrap but on that slim margin he’s lucky the electoral tide is going out for the Barnett government on finances, hospitals and the freight link.

While pleased he’s getting the Beeliar wetlands he’s privately gutted that areas he’s worked hardest in, and has a personal affinity with, like Hilton, are no longer with him.

Fremantle’s Simone McGurk and Jandakot’s Joe Francis can, however, put their campaign gear back in the cupboard and go fishing. After picking up Mr Tinley’s plum booths, Ms McGurk is now in Labor’s strongest seat with a 15.2 per cent buffer, while Mr Francis’s 8-point lead has been extended to an unassailable 18.

In other local seats, Liberal Matt Taylor will switch from Bateman to Toohey and win in a canter, while Labor’s Fran Logan in Cockburn suffers only minor changes.


6. Head Quarters 10x2 6. Perth Rug Wash 10x2 6. Perth Win Blinds 10x2


McDONALD’S has formally appealed the rejection of a 24-hour Applecross restaurant to the state administrative tribunal.

The two-storey proposal, dubbed “Maccasaurus” by unhappy locals, was given the thumbs-down by Melville council and the state-controlled development application panel.

Sam Langley spearheaded local opposition and says she’s disappointed but not surprised the Golden Arches is seeking SAT intervention.

She says unlike most appeals, locals will get a chance to put in their two-bobs’ worth as several have properties that directly abut the proposed site—including the lawyer who’s been advising her group.

7. Cockle Edwards 10x3 #4 7. Friedman Lurie Singh 10x3

Murder accused in video link

THE man accused of murdering Reuben Stack in East Fremantle on May 21 made a brief appearance in the Supreme Court Tuesday.

Shannon John Davies, 38, from Orelia appeared via video link from Hakea Prison, and wasn’t required to plead. His lawyer George Christou asked the court for time to assess a huge tranche of information he’d been given by police a week ago.

Mr Christou said the information included 40 DVDs of crime scene videos and interviews, plus a swag of statements: “It needs a lot of time to get through that,” he said.

Mr Davies was remanded in custody to appear again October 28.

8. Bentech 20x2

The young ones

• Meet some of Fremantle’s new entrepreneurs: Bena Andriani (Teassential), Leah Gilbert and German native Paul Harms (Gypsy Elixir), and Adam Semple (Stampede gelato). Photo by Matthew Dwyer

• Meet some of Fremantle’s new entrepreneurs: Bena Andriani (Teassential), Leah Gilbert and German native Paul Harms (Gypsy Elixir), and Adam Semple (Stampede gelato). Photo by Matthew Dwyer

A BUNCH of young and intrepid entrepreneurs are bucking Freo’s retail doldrums and have all launched new brands this year.

Stampede Gelato owner Adam Semple sells his icy desserts from a small stall in The Mantle, Cottesloe’s Boatshed Market and several local IGAs after launching his business just two months ago.

Expanding fast, he is looking to buy a factory and hire more workers.

Flavours include bacon, salted fennel, rosemary and pepper and custard: “I just employed a baker to make caramels, cookies, brownies and other things to mix in my gelato,” the 25-year-old says.

“In summer, I’m going to open a pop-up shop with a goal of selling gelato every day.”

He says he’s trying to find a balance between wholesale and retail, and has this month spoken to distributors to sell Stampede across Australia and Asia.

Bena Andriani and business partner David Levi aim to use their brand, Teassential, to raise cash to one day open a tea-focused cafe in Fremantle. Their product is found at High Street’s Beehive Gourmet Pantry, a shop supporting WA-made products.

The brains behind Gypsy Elixir—a brand of fermented kombucha tea—is Leah Gilbert, 24, and Paul Harms, 25. Launching the product in January, Ms Gilbert has since quit her job as a chef to brew full-time and stocks several Perth cafes including Raw Kitchen on High Street. “It’s all happened for us by word of mouth,” Ms Gilbert says.

Fremantle Chamber of Commerce chief executive Olwyn Williams says the young entrepreneurs are doing the local economy a much-needed favour.

“Using established points of distribution—other people’s shops—when you are developing a new product, building a brand or are a small-scale producer is the smart way to get started,” Ms Williams says.

“It means you focus on what you do best and any capital and energy you may have doesn’t get tied up entirely in fit out, equipment and keeping the doors open. More things made in Fremantle on shop shelves is a great thing.”


9. Melissa Parke 10x3 9. Renato & Enzo Hair 10x3 9. Travel Health 10x3

Western Power tree hack attacked

• Kerin Faulkner says chopping these trees is vandalism. Photo by Marta Pascual Juanola

• Kerin Faulkner says chopping these trees is vandalism. Photo by Marta Pascual Juanola

WESTERN POWER has come in for a blast from Cockburn mayor Logan Howlett for “hacking” trees in Levi Park, Munster.

The Herald was tipped off to the buzz cut by local Kerin Faulkner, who says she couldn’t believe it when she want for a walk in Levi Park and saw a dozen jarrah and banksia chopped and left on the ground.

Most had been hacked to a stump.

“It looks like they didn’t know what they were doing,” the Dotterel Way resident told the Herald.

“They weren’t more than three or four metres tall, they didn’t need to be chopped. To me this is vandalism.”

Western Power’s Todd Cardy told the Herald it was a “tidy up” around high-voltage lines to keep them clear of trees.

“High-voltage power lines like this one require bigger clear zones since electricity can travel to anything that is too close and cause a fire. It’s all for safety reasons.”

Mr Howlett wasn’t convinced, saying many trees had been unnecessarily killed.

“In some cases, there was no justification to prune the trees as they were well within the height constraints designated for being under power lines.

“From my observations, the trees were hacked and not pruned.

“To add insult to injury, the branches were left on the ground.

“The residents have a right to be upset given the city had recently planted new trees on the park’s boundary further to the north.”

Council chief engineer Charles Sullivan says Western Power’s contractor followed the rules.

“The trees in Levi Park have been pruned by Western Power’s authorised tree pruning contractor.

Although the city was not informed of the works, we understand the pruning has been completed in accordance with the prescribed clearance zone dimensions for high-voltage power lines,” Mr Sullivan told the Herald.


10. Banovich Pharmacy 20x3 10. Fremantle Christian College 20x3 Slide 1 10. Tivoli Club 20x3

Public notice of fees and charges

Please note as of Saturday 1 August 2015, the following fees and charges will apply for Fremantle City Library and Fremantle Toy Library.

Fremantle City Library – Fees and Charges 2015

Fremantle Toy Library – Fees and Charges 2015


Filed under: General Tagged: fees and charges 2015

PV profits made simple

I’ve had one too many people tell me they want to install solar PV on their homes, but as PV has not quite reached parity with coal they will hold off until its affordable. Well let me bust this myth once and for all. While parity pricing is important to organisations wishing to sell power to the grid, it has no bearing on the viability of domestic systems, because you are not trying to sell the power back to the grid at around 8 cents per unit, you are reducing your power bill at around 26 cents per unit, more than 3 times as much.

I am going to present some numbers, but hang in its not difficult. Generating capacity is subject to a fair number of variables, in these cases I have been conservative so as to not over state the case. It also assumes the PV is situated on a north facing roof with no major shading. Her goes, a 2kilowatt (kw) Roof Top PVPV system will cost around $3,800 to install in metro Perth at the moment. The kw rating is its maximum output, which is rarely achieved for many reasons, if it were the system would generate 48 kilowatt hours (kwh) each day. A kwh is also known as a unit of power. PV does not generate at night so let’s reduce that potential output by half to cover night time, so we are now down to 24 units. PV generates less on cloudy days and when the sun is at an oblique angle. Lets cut our capacity by half again to allow for this. We are now down to 12units per day, or 3,480 units per year. Synergy currently charges 25.7209 cents per unit. Therefore the annual dollar value you would save by installing a 2kw PV system is $895.

If you chose to add the purchase price to your mortgage that would attract an interest charge of around 4.7%. Given we cannot be sure of the future interest rates lets work on 5.5%. If you pay your power bill savings into your mortgage repayment, the PV installation would be paid off in 5 years. Your system will have a 20 year guarantee, so once paid off you have 15 years of payback, if you continued to pay savings into your mortgage by the end of 20 years you would have paid an additional $20,000 off your mortgage. This is calculated on constant power prices and interest rates. If either increase over the 15 years the savings would be greater. Alternatively you could save up the $895 per year and after 5 years double the size of your system.

Frankly anyone with a home, a roof and ability to borrow $3,800 and has not installed PV is burning money at a rate of around $900 a year. Now, what could you buy with that?

ROADS TO NOWHERE: The Monthly on why road freight is expensive, dirty and dangerous

This recent article in The Monthly is worth a read in light of the Perth Freight Link. Key points include: Australia’s shift to the roads has locked us into a freight system that is inherently more costly, more carbon intensive and more dangerous. The cost of moving 1 tonne of freight by road over a […]

Fremantle Time to Update Google

Tweet   I was checking out some streets on google Fremantle maps again tonight and was annoyed to find out google is not quite as accurate as it could be for how it defines Fremantle as a greater city. Its seems when you type into google “Fremantle map” it does not give an accurate representation […]


For the third year running, Australia’s leading food rescue organisation OzHarvest has partnered with the United Nations to tackle food waste and food security at Think.Eat.Save events across the country. At Perth’s inaugural Think.Eat.Save event held on Monday 27th July, Josh Byrne teamed up with chef Clint Nolan, OzHarvest staff and an amazing bunch of volunteers to serve a free hot lunch ...

August Pub Lunch

Esplanade Hotel c1907 Photograph courtesy of the Fremantle City Library History Centre

Esplanade Hotel c1907
Photograph courtesy of the Fremantle City Library History Centre

Our next meeting will be our Annual Pub Lunch to be held at the Ball and Chain at the Esplanade Hotel at 12 noon on the 23rd August 2015. Check out the venue at the link below.


Population changes in the West and Fremantle

The City of Fremantle is debating its submission on Perth and Peel@3.5 Million at our council meeting on Wednesday night. At the heart of this is how to deal with population growth while reducing sprawl.  The key problem is that that over the four years since Directions 2031 was launched the infill development rate across the metropolitan area has […]

Library event – Planning for the future

planning for the future

Want to find out more about planning a will?
During this free talk, the Public Trustee will inform you about how to go about creating a will. Find out more also about who can contest your will and what’s involved for executors in the deceased estate administration process.

Wednesday 19 August 2015
10am – 11.30am
Fremantle City Library

Please book via Eventbrite or ring 08 9432 9766.

Filed under: Events Tagged: deceased estate, power of attorney, public trustee, wills

A better kind of Garden City

The study tour I recently did was based on Good Cities, Better Lives: How Europe Discovered the Lost Art of Urbanism  published by the late Prof Peter Hall with Nicholas Falk. The book documents how major housing schemes in Northern Europe consistently produce better quality, more affordable housing, with higher environmental standards, and with far greater […]

Freo Town Hall Perth Freight Link videos

For those of you that couldn’t squeeze into the overflowing Freo Town Hall last Tuesday to here the discussion on the proposed Perth Freight Link the videos have been put up on the web by one of the great volunteers behind this community campaign. I was first up after Ben Elton’s very amusing introduction on this […]

Fremantle’s King Square, No News

Tweet Another month has pasted and Fremantle Council must be loving the much needed distraction of the PFL issues to take attention off issues like Kings Square, which seems to have gotten no further. It gives them a chance for a little more state government bashing, to distract from Fremantle’s lack of direction and real […]

Start Some Good – One Planet Freomatch funding program

The City of Fremantle has entered into an innovative partnership with social good crowdfunding organisation to encourage Fremantle sustainability champions and advocates to be active decision makers in key projects. The One Planet FreoMatch funding program allows the Fremantle community to have a direct influence on the types of sustainability projects, programs and events […]

Why Does Fremantle Need or Not Need, Perth Freight Link (PFL)

Tweet Friday the Herald published an article in their Thinking Allowed, I wrote last week called “OPEN MINDS” in response to another thinking allowed a few weeks back. Now while I think everyone should have their say or opinion, what’s been missing in this issue is actual debate. Missing is a discussion on the pros […]


I was astounded to hear Western Australian Treasurer Mike Nahan arrogantly dismissing the objections against the Perth Freight Link on TV, stating that it would take at least twenty years to build a port at Kwinana, but giving no indication when the government will start budgeting and planning for the outer harbour port, in the knowledge that Fremantle port will reach capacity in around ten years from now.

I would support spending good money on fast solutions for the short term and get more freight on rail, and trucks off our roads, but certainly governments have a duty to plan and build for the long-term future and not just for the next 5-10 years. Building an outer harbour port does not, and should not, stop short-term improvement projects to deal with the ever increasing freight to the port that often makes driving along Leach Highway a nightmare and creates traffic jams in North Fremantle. It should go hand in hand.

Where did the Treasurer get advise from that building a new port in Cockburn Sound would take a mammoth twenty years and why has he not budgeted for it?

The short-sightedness and spin regarding the Perth Freight Link is serious mismanagement of our State’s affairs and looks more like stubbornness than good governance. To spend some two billion dollars on a road to a port that will not be able to grow much more is a waste of money and even more so when there are no concrete plans, and no money, to duplicate the Stirling Bridge. Fact is that the State does not have the financial capacity to build the bridge in the near future. That could mean a $ 2 billion road to nowhere that more or less stops at the Swan River, where a huge bottleneck would be created and a traffic nightmare for years to come.

Arrogance is not governance Mike Nahan and concentrating on short-term solution will only make matters far worse in the future. An outer harbour port is the best long-term strategy and needs to be prioritised!

Roel Loopers
Source: Freo’s View, 22/07/2015

Local Government Reform: Lessons from the West

Today I was invited by the Local Government Association of Tasmania to Launceston to talk about the lessons learnt in WA on amalgamations and local government reform. Tasmania is just starting on the reform process in Tasmania and is keen to see what the key lessons to be learnt from the extraordinarily long and ultimately […]

Learn more about technology


Want to find out new things, apps to try or how to use Facebook?

Bring your device and all your questions and we’ll find the answers together. Beginners welcome.

Places are limited, please book via

Sessions are on Wednesdays on the 2, 9, 16, 23 September, 10 – 11am

Filed under: Events, Online Tagged: ipad, learning, technology

Live Animal Export Industry reaches a new low

This week’s announcement to expand live exports by Federal Minister, the Hon Barnaby Joyce has taken the live animal export industry to a new low, Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren says.

“Live exporters are now shipping Australian cattle to China; a country without animal cruelty laws with a bad track record for treatment of animals," Ms MacLaren said.

“Although the establishment of the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) is a requirement for any country we export animals to, evidence has shown this provides no guarantees or assurances that animal welfare will be upheld.

“Time and time again investigations carried out by Animals Australia have clearly shown that ESCAS is notoriously useless in protecting Australian animals from the barbaric handling and slaughter practices of some of our trading partners.

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Greens warnings proven; shark network failure endangers surfers

The Greens’ warnings last month about safety being jeopardised by the State Budget cuts to WA’s world-class shark monitoring network have come true with two of the shark monitoring receivers – off Scarborough and Mullaloo – reportedly offline this week. 

“Winter is a higher-risk time for surfer and white shark interactions – it is exactly when we need the early warning receivers working,” Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren said. 

“With shark monitoring receivers off-line we lose both the ability to learn about white shark behaviour and our most effective warning system. 

“The shark monitoring receivers consist of highly specialised electronic technology; during winter storms, they can be dislodged or damaged. 

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No privatisation of Freo Port - Lessons from the Wheatbelt

Farmers are worried that the proposed privatisation of Fremantle Port will lead to a dramatic escalation in their freight rates. The 800% increase in rents charged to stevedores by the newly privatised Port of Melbourne would be ringing alarm bells.

Closer to home are the disastrous consequences of the privatisation of WA's freight rail network via a secret 49 year lease in 2000 when Premier Colin Barnett was Minister for Transport.

The lease is now owned by Canadian company Brookfield Asset Management, the same company that has the contract to build the new Perth stadium and has secured two sites in the state government's Elizabeth Quay waterfront project.

In 2010 it announced that it would close 720kms of so-called Tier 3 lines unless the state government tipped in $93.5 million of taxpayer’s money to carry out essential capital works. The government refused.

These rail lines carry 92% of grain to the port from the area they serve, between 1.5 and 2 million tonnes each season. This equates to 57,000 to 86,000 extra truck movements per year forced on to our roads. The cost in terms of road accident trauma, extra pollution and the destruction of lightly constructed rural roads that are not built to take road trains that have to be repaired by local councils has never been considered.

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89 trees to go | Fremantle Herald Interactive

Tweet What impact is increasing density is having our lives and health and where will it stop? Source: 89 trees to go | Fremantle Herald Interactive Here we go again with more of what Fremantle Council loves, increasing density. Just for the record I’m not blaming COF for this one. Just saying they love density […]

Planning Commission at odds with Perth Freight Link

The lack of planning behind the proposed Perth Freight Link has been confirmed once again by recent WA Planning Commission documents, Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren said. 

“The headlong rush to throw dollars at a road, even one that goes nowhere, is at odds with the State Government’s more considered long-term planning processes,” Ms MacLaren said, speaking before tonight’s sold-out public forum on Perth Freight Link. 

“This is nowhere more clearly demonstrated than in WA Planning Commission documents recently put out for public comment, which provide the basis for the Government’s long-term planning for the Perth-Peel region. 

“The draft ‘Towards Perth and Peel@3.5 million’  report, released in May, states: ‘current planning indicates that the Inner Harbour at Fremantle will reach capacity by about the mid-2020s’. 

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It's A Strange Thing

I'm getting into brooches. Being a lover of mainstreets I reckon some good ones will be in the shops.

So what do you think of this one? 

'Made In Perth' it says on the back.  

It's $25. I wish it wasn't, put it that way. 

And here's the conundrum: I can get 24 of them posted to me from China for $21.35 (they only come in lots of 24). 

So I'm gonna do it. With your help, please.  

I am going to buy the expensive one - then the batch of 24. That will cost about $50 all up. 

Can you help me? 

Give me cash to fund this project and in return you'll get your brooch. And a story about retail today in Perth.

If this project gets up I should write about it more and maybe even get some press. Your donation, of course, will get you a brooch.  

I can only accept 25 people into this project. One for each brooch.

So: help me help the world. We need to understand why this brooch costs 25 times more in your mainstreet.

Below: this one is about $1.

Clicking through will get you a brooch once the pledge target is met ($50). It's secure.


All Welcome at Perth Freight Link Forum (plus Prof Newman Video)

It is expected to be a full house for the Rethink the Link forum on the Perth Freight Link at the Town Hall this evening at 6pm. To make sure everyone gets to see and hear what is debated there will be large screens and speakers outside for those who can’t squeeze inside. So please […]

That's What It's All About

Spontaneous chats when you're in a new place.

And the greeting on the wall mimics the 'shopping centre name' even though the landlord and supermarket are seperate entities. That's good because the customer benefits for the increased legibility.

Public and private places must combine like this. A curator is needed.  

A Beautiful City.  

Inside the 2nd Ave IGA.  

Inside the 2nd Ave IGA.  

What The Hell Is A Plaza?

I've never used that term in my household. And in advance-apology to all past a future clients I'd like to request an embargo on that name.

On closer inspection this is metal with lots of holes. It's delightful. 


I Don't Even Know What That Means

Patronising restaurants so retailers thrive is important. Yet is made harder when they're unique service isn't clear.

A Beautiful City


Look, I Placemaked!

Whilst my brother wasn't looking I 'up-cycled' something he wasn't using and got some cat food from the shops, and fed the cat.


The Grait Oustraine Draeme

Circa 1954. Not now, though.  


A Californian Bungalow, I believe. Or maybe Florida.

A Californian Bungalow, I believe. Or maybe Florida.