From the City of Fremantle website today: The Committee for Perth announced today (Wednesday 17 September 2014) at the Fremantle Leaders Luncheon that it is undertaking the landmark Future Freo project that will use evidenced based research to closely examine greater Fremantle.
The year–long project will produce a report that will detail Fremantle as it is today as well as identify opportunities and challenges to ensure that the region is an economically sustainable and vibrant place to live, work, play and invest for current and future generations.

I wonder though where Fremantle City is going with all its surveys and strategic planning because nothing appears to be integrated. We are still waiting for the release by consultants James Best of the very lengthy Visioning 2031 project and the very many workshops. In the meantime the City has formed a Special Projects Committee that will start from scratch without access to the Visioning 2031 report and so will the Committee for Perth.

Surely a better approach would be to read the findings of previous projects and use them as a base to move forward from.

Roel Loopers

Community still in the dark about Cedar Woods profit from public land grab: Greens

Media statement, Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren has demanded that the State Government reveal how much Cedar Woods – a private property development company – will profit from the public land grab of Point Peron for the development of Mangles Bay Marina.
The land was transferred by the Commonwealth to the State of Western Australia on condition that the future use of the land would be restricted to recreation and parklands. 

read more

State Government must wake up to sea level rise threats and support Greens Bill

Media statement, Wednesday 17 September, 2014

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren has called on the State Government to urgently support her Coastal Planning Bill after news from the Climate Council revealed sea level rise and coastal erosion could swallow up $8.7-$11.3 billion worth of WA roads and $12.7-$18.1 billion of WA commercial and light industrial buildings.

“We can no longer ignore the evidence: our sea level is going to jump by up to 1.1m by the end of this century and it will cost us billions”.

read more


With the weather warming up, this is the opportune time to publicly address the CEO of the City of Fremantle and the Officer in Charge of the Fremantle police station.


Every year Arthur Head encounters the same problems during the warmer months and every year we hear that something will be done about it, but unless the affected people in the area complain, nothing is done.

The Round House tour guides and people operating businesses have to deal with rubbish and used needles and condoms and the stench of urine from those who party on the gun deck. The promised early morning clean ups by council have disappeared again, and police patrols don’t appear to happen at night there, as it is out of sight and thus out of mind for our local cops.

As a result the local artists and mainly older tour guides become the cleaners of the area, and that is not acceptable.

Backpackers who want to have a party at Arthur Head need to show courtesy to the host city and clean up their mess. Maybe a pro-active police and city initiative to put up posters at hostels would be a good start. We want our visitors to enjoy Fremantle and the great outdoor lifestyle, but without leaving their rubbish for someone else to clean up. A regular Police patrol to Arthur Head in the evenings would also be very helpful.

I have been blogging about these issues for four years now, but not much has changed and we are still cleaning up empty booze containers daily at the Round House. It has not been helpful either that the “activation” of Arthur Head has resulted in all premises there being dark and empty at night, which is a great invitation for homeless people to frequent the area.

Surely we can do better!

Roel Loopers


There is a good opinion piece in the West Australian today about the local government reform process and the fact that so many councils do not want it to go ahead, or want it but with different boundaries. The question is if the WA State Government will be brave enough to push through the controversial forced amalgamations, which would constitute another broken election promise for the Barnett government. It could well become a huge election platform at the next election with the likelihood that many communities would be very angry with the Liberal Party for implementing boundary changes they don’t want.

Especially in the Liberal stronghold western suburbs this could become a real issue and while that might not personally affect Colin Barnett, who is unlikely to continue, it would make it much harder for his predecessor and his party to win another term in government.

I see great benefits for a Fremantle merger with East Fremantle and strategic parts of Melville and Cockburn, but to combine seven or nine western suburbs would be a far more challenging process, especially since most of them are against it. But even further east Bayswater is not happy to go with the City of Swan, or whatever.

The whole process of getting more submissions to more proposed changes to council boundaries is starting to look more like a shambles, that the National Party does not want to be part of.

Local Government reform will fail anyway because State Government is not brave enough to also want to implement it in the country where amalgamation probably would be very effective for the smaller councils.

Can we anticipate that the Barnett government will keep delaying the implementation of the reform in fear of an election backlash? If so, what would that mean for the individual councils who really can’t engage in long-term strategic planning unless the time line for amalgamations is firm and definite. Investors and developers would also want to know where they invest their money, so an indefinite delay is unacceptable.

Let’s see what Local Government Minister Tony Simpson will announce in a few weeks from now.

Roel Loopers

October 2014 Fremantle School Holiday Guide


The October 2014 Fremantle Spring school holiday guide is here!

Inside you’ll find all sorts of things to do in the school holidays in the Fremantle area and surrounds.

The guide was produced and compiled by Fre-info, the community information service from Fremantle City Library.

Filed under: Kids Activities Tagged: community information service, fre-info, fremantle, school holiday guide, school holidays

Greens confirm: Premier to seek Federal approval of drum line program

Media statement, Wednesday 17 September 2014

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren confirmed in Parliament last night that the WA Government will seek Federal approval of a three-year drum lining proposal despite the Premier promising on Thursday that he would scrap the planned annual shark cull.

"You have to wonder what the Premier's motives are for asking the Federal Environment Minister to approve a proposal that the Premier himself has as good as admitted it is not worth pursuing because it is environmentally unsound," Ms MacLaren said.

read more


aboriginal girl, tiff

There is a very important forum at Fremantle Notre Dame University this evening at 7pm. The honourable Fred Chaney will discuss the planned recognition of Australia’s indigenous people in our constitution.

It is something I believe is long overdue and it has bipartisan support in Federal Parliament from the major parties.

The referendum on it, and the implementation off it, are still a long way away with Prime Minister Tony Abbott hinting it might happen in four years.

There are critics of the recognition in the Aboriginal and Wadjela communities, with some saying it would only be tokenism and would distract from doing the really hard yards and making the difficult decisions and changes required to finally get indigenous people an equal lifestyle and life expectancy as the non indigenous ones.

Come along this eve at 7 o’clock to Tannock Hall on the corner of Cliff Street and Croke Lane, opposite the Fremantle Herald building. It is a free event!

Roel Loopers

October 2014 School Holidays


SciTech is visiting the library this October school holidays! We have two sessions on Monday 6 October designed for two age groups.


SciTech – Where is air? Show followed by a hands on workshop
How do we know that air is actually there? Experimenting with air will get your senses tingling! It’s going to be hot, cold, smelly and windy as we discover the properties of air.

Monday 6 October, 9:30am – 10:30am
Ages 5-8
Bookings essential, phone 9432 9766

SciTech Flight Show followed by a hands on workshop
Soar through the science of flying as our presenter battles gravity, drag and the laws of physics to fly balloons, aeroplanes and rockets.

Monday 6 October, 11:00am – 12:00pm
Ages 8-12
Bookings essential, phone 9432 9766

Storytime continues throughout the October holidays on Thursdays at 10am. Recommended for 2-5 year olds.

Filed under: Kids Activities Tagged: school holidays, science, scitech


It is interesting to hear that Local Government Minister Tony Simpson has dismissed Canning Council for the second time in 13 years for failing to provide good government.

A group of Canning locals, spearheaded by Canning Accountability blogger Diana Ryan, has been pushing for better representation and good governance for a long time, so no doubt they will be celebrating today.

Three new commissioners will look after Canning until the next local government elections mid next year.

It was interesting in that context to read the letters to the editor of the West Australian yesterday, and the outrage about the State Government’s Design Advisory Panel taking away the decision-making of local councils when it comes to planning approval of new buildings. We have been worried here in Fremantle about DAP decisions, but people from Alfred Cove, Subiaco, Leederville, Winthrop, Cottesloe, etc. are also not impressed.

While it is good the Minister sacks incompetent councils, he should let all others just let get on with the job of good governance and looking after local communities.

Roel Loopers


Bob's tightarse

I am not sure that this is great advertising, but it is funny anyway. Bob’s Shoe Store in Market Street, Fremantle has introduced TIGHTARSE TUESDAY, with 20% off all shoes on that day.

Do I want to be seen as a tightarse and buy my shoes there on a Tuesday? Who cares what other people think. Grab a bargain at Bob’s and support Freo’s retailers!

Roel Loopers


Leeuwin 2Leeuwin 1

The maintenance work of the training sailing ship Leeuwin is coming to an end in Fremantle harbour, with the scaffolding around the masts coming down today, and that created these interesting images.

Roel Loopers


a b c d e f

I stumbled upon the Fremantle  Notre Dame University‘s Multicultural Day and took a few photos.

Seeing all the international students in town is a real delight and they make the west end even more special.

Food from the world’s continents was on offer, as was live music. It was a real colourful buzz.

Roel Loopers


The highly popular Perth FRINGEWORLD wants to come to Fremantle as well next year for a month and is applying for cash sponsorship support from the City of Fremantle to the amount of $ 35,000 plus $ 5,000 in waived fees for the hire of Victoria Hall.

Fringeworld Freo would be in several venues, such as Sail&Anchor, Clancy’s, Mojo’s, PS Art Studios, Victoria Hall, and they are negotiating with the Navy Club and Many 6162.

There would also be a ‘Fringe in Freo Hub’ at Kings Square with a pop up bar for four days.

The event would run from January 23 to February 22 with the estimated number of acts between 50-100 and each venues having 2-3 shows per night.

Organisors Vulture Culture estimate that the ticket sales would be 3,000 per week for a period of four weeks.

Sounds all pretty interesting, so let’s see what the City of Fremantle’s Strategic Planning and Services Committee decides tomorrow evening.

Roel Loopers

Tears amid the Laughter on the 23rd Floor

THERE’S an edge of darkness to Neil Simon’s Laughter on the 23rd Floor, despite the laugh-a-minute jokes that sent chuckles and guffaws around the State Theatre this week.

Set in 1953, on a fictitious 23rd floor of the Rockerfeller Plaza in New York the play is based on the life of legendary American comic Sid Caesar.

Caesar’s TV show went live every Saturday night and he was “best known as one of the most intelligent and provocative innovators of television comedy”, historian Susan Murray wrote.

Laughter on the 23rd Floor 1

Simon was one of the show’s scriptwriters and the play is based on his time with Caesar and co-writers including Mel Brooks, Woody Allen and Carl Reiner.

This “team of crazies” assembled at the beginning of the week to dream up ideas for the 90-minute sketch-comedy to be telecast live the next Saturday, director Kate Cherry says.

The result is a rapid-paced play that captures 1950s America, along with the hype and pressure-cooker atmosphere as the crew banter and bicker as they come up with witty dialogue.

Laughter on the 23rd Floor 2

But with audiences turning off and ratings slipping, Max Prince is under pressure from network bosses who think his show is too “sophisticated” for middle America. Budget cuts are cutting a little too deeply in the office and jobs are under threat.

It’s also a time when fear of communism is ramped up to bring a nation to heel, with Senator Joe McCarthy raising hell about reds under the bed and writers and actors facing employment oblivion if blacklisted by McCarthy’s now-infamous Committee for unAmerican Activities.

Rubber-faced Peter Rowsthorn is brilliant as Max Prince, funny, but at the same time clearly a man on the edge of a battle he knows he’s losing, and in the grip of addictions to tranquilisers and alcohol.

Laughter on the 23rd Floor 4

His fight scene with Ira Stone (Damon Lockwood) is hilarious.

James Sweeny as Lucas Brickman, aka Neil Simon, is at first hesitant, but soon gets into his role, although his brash, eager, young-gun American accent and enthusiasm takes me a while to get used to.

The only female of the crew, Carol, played by Jo Morris, gives a rousing speech about being a comedy writer, not a woman writer (and learning to “speak fuck” in this male domain) despite being heavily pregnant.

Laughter on the 23rd Floor 6

Lauren Ross’ set is a stand out winner, evoking a ‘50s office, backdropped by a New York skyline. She even manages to hide a massive Christmas tree until December when it springs to colourful life, and snow falling gently beyond the huge windows is a nice touch.

Laughter on the 23rd Floor is on at the State Theatre until September 21.




I don’t think I have ever in my life been delighted seeing a pile of rubble, but this rubble is what Fremantle has been waiting for far too long. It’s the sign of progress and long-awaited development in our city!

The demolition of the buildings in Adelaide and Point streets is moving along well, and in due course we will see the welcome start of the construction of the Hilton Doubletree hotel on the site. Honestly, I can’t wait till it finally opens and we will see the activation of that much neglected part of the CBD.

I have great confidence Fremantle will be an even greater place in a few years from now and I hope struggling retailers will be able to hold on till then.

Roel Loopers

On This Day

I am reading the book on my iPad, 1812 : Napoleon’s Fatal March On Moscow by Adam Zamoyski, so this day is pertinent.

1812 – The French army under Napoleon reaches Kremlin, Moscow.

1904 – Wilbur Wright makes his 1st airplane flight.

1928 – Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin.

1938 – British PM Chamberlain visits Hitler at Berchtesgarden.

1941 – Nazis kill 800 Jewish women at Shkudvil Lithuania.

1949 – Lone Ranger premieres on ABC – TV.

1962 – Australia’s 1st entry in America’s Cup yacht race (US wins).

1965 – Lost in Space premieres.

1978 – Muhammad Ali beats Leon Spinks in 15 for heavyweight boxing title.

2000 – Opening ceremony of the XXVII Olympics in Sydney, Australia.


PARK(ing) Day – this Friday

This Friday 19 September the streets of Fremantle will come alive as parking bays are taken over by local businesses, citizens, artists and activists. As part of this annual, global initiative, cities around the world will temporarily transform metered parking spaces into public ‘pop up’ parks and other inclusive, social spaces for ‘PARK(ing) Day.’ Originally […]


‘ Colin Nichol discovers the story of Atwell Arcade and Buildings ‘
ON Thursday 14 October 1937, The Perth Daily News announced: “Mrs. Sarah P. Atwell, who died at her home in Mary Street (now 77 Solomon), Beaconsfield, yesterday afternoon, was one of the biggest landowners at Fremantle and one of its oldest residents. Born in Perth 85 years ago, she had lived in this State all her life. Her property at Fremantle includes some valuable city blocks and the city’s only arcade, which bears the family name”. Such was her standing and that of the Atwell name, the Fremantle Town Hall flag was flown at half-mast. Her husband Henry, a prominent Fremantle businessman born in England in 1831 and who had a previous marriage there, had pre-deceased her by over 20 years. The Atwell’s had ten children and their 1898 home remained theirs until its purchase for nurses quarters in 1958 and is now in private hands.

Henry had risen well above his beginnings here, having been convicted of ‘uttering forged papers’ in 1856 and transported to Western Australia aboard the Merchantman in 1863. Given his ticket-of-leave shortly after arrival and a conditional pardon in 1866, he worked as a sawyer and firewood contractor and amongst other activities, as manager of Pearse Brothers’ abattoir and meat works. Also involved in marine salvage, he bought the rights to the merchant ship Macedon, which had sunk off Fremantle. The ship’s bell is displayed in the Fremantle Maritime Museum. His industry obviously brought its rewards and he had Atwell Buildings constructed in 1895. The structure was impressive for the times and newspapers reported that the “old-fashioned stone cottage” which was known as the former Council Chambers had been replaced with a row of five large shops with “dwelling houses and show rooms attached”.

There were “plate glass windows (‘among the largest in the colony’) with splayed entrances floored with ornamental tiles, the frames of the windows being of picked jarrah varnished so as to exhibit the quality of the timber”.

The ground floor had “large rusticated piers from which rise cemented pilasters of bold proportions supporting a rich entablature and balustrading, also finished in cement work. The central feature a large pediment surmounted with a crowning number of scrolls and shell ornaments above. The windows are treated in a most happy manner with a canopy supported upon ornamental trusses rising from cement in post mouldings”.

Shop fronts were built of Melbourne bricks, “being coloured richly and pointed in black, forming a distinct and bright contrast to the cement dressings with which the front is ornamented. The cement work coloured in imitation of rich tinted sandstone, and the whole front designed to present to the eye a desirable combination both of shade and colour”.

In 1929, after Henry’s death, Sarah added the Atwell Arcade and shops between High and Cantonment Streets in his memory. Then in 1933 the High Street frontage was “modernised” and the entrance diverted to effect a more direct line through to Cantonment Street, necessitating the reconstruction of approximately half of the arcade. Now, 119 years on, the process of dramatic change is again in prospect.

by Colin Nichol

In a pickle over verge vegies

A NEIGHBOURHOOD stoush over verges took an ominous turn last week with a Beaconsfield couple’s front vegetable garden appearing to have been poisoned.

Akiko Toiguchi and Peter Koffel now fear they consumed tainted vegetables for several days, only realising their produce had been poisoned when plants started wilting for no obvious reason.

Just last month Ms Toiguchi learned she’s suffering advanced myeloma, or bone cancer.Gardening had been one of her great passions but now she cannot touch her soil.

Mr Koffel, who’s lived in the street for 28 years, says the couple had been stacking timber on the verge of a park across the road from their house. Part of the Mandjah Boodjah housing cooperative, the park is fenced off from the street and he and neighbours have used it for years.

• Akiko Toiguchi and Peter Koffel survey the timber dumped on their verge vegies, which they believe were also poisoned. Photo by Matthew Dwyer

• Akiko Toiguchi and Peter Koffel survey the timber dumped on their verge vegies, which they believe were also poisoned. Photo by Matthew Dwyer


But it appears someone from the co-op took exception to the timber, dumping it on top of the couple’s vegie garden a couple of weeks back. Notes were left in other letterboxes warning that material should not be piled on someone else’s verge.

Annoyed that the timber had been unceremoniously dumped on his vegetable garden, Mr Koffel says he put it back on the park verge. It was a week later that he noticed his vegetables starting to turn yellow and die.

The couple had 12 varieties of exotic vegetables in their garden, including metre-long Japanese gobo, and say buying replacement food will cost up to $1000. They’ll also have to wait at least 60 days for any poison to disappear before they can start again. “We’ve lost an entire season, basically,” a devastated Mr Koffel told the Herald. Police visited the couple this week, but Sgt Brad Cooper says there’s no line of inquiry at this point in time.


Flatline for support group

THE Fremantle Heart Patients Support Group is winding up in acrimonious circumstances after 25 years.

Volunteers accuse the WA health department of a vindictive campaign to strangle them in red tape because of their effectiveness as a lobby goup for local cardiac services.

President Wayne Atkinson says the FHPSG will flatline in January after failing to reach agreement on shifting to Fiona Stanley, alongside the cardiac unit.

He says some bureaucrats have never forgiven the group for successfully lobbying to keep the heart unit at Fremantle Hospital a decade ago, when mandarins had wanted it moved to Royal Perth Hospital.

Talks over moving the group to Fiona Stanley stalled on a number of fronts: the department insisted the FHPSG pay insurance and indemnity coverage for its members, despite volunteers in a hospital normally covered by departmental policies. Members were also told to pay for their own police clearance checks.

The fees would have cost the group $10,000, when it only takes in $3000 a year in membership fees.

“We have been denied most of the rights that are afforded to volunteers under the department of health guidelines,” Mr Atkinson says.

To rub salt into the wound, the department proposed to include FHPSG members in its own general volunteer pool, and use them as tour guides—until being forced to back down. “I told them most of our members will walk away if they make us ‘wayfinders’,” Mr Atkinson told the Herald.

He says it speaks volumes that health bureaucrats are more interested in volunteers talking about art, music, gardening and pet care than “former cardiac patients” helping patients through the trauma of cardiac treatment.

Mr Atkinson believes about half the group’s members will stay on, regardless of the FHPSG’s treatment. Others feel they’re too old to start again, or say FSH is too far.

He says the group enjoys great support amongst the Fremantle heart unit’s staff, particularly nurses, but they’re unwilling to speak out because they’re afraid of missing out on FSH contracts.

The group’s demise brings some joy: Heartkids WA will receive a $200,000 donation from it’s liquidation of $530,000 in assets.

Notre Dame Uni will also benefit with $25,000 to establish a scholarship for students struggling financially. It’ll be named after FHPSG founder Hugh Jones, who died last December. Mr Jones, a former ambulance officer, worked tirelessly for others but didn’t leave enough money for his own funeral.


‘Mr Neat’ bests guard dog with squeaky toy

A MYSTERY tree vandal is at work in Spearwood, sneaking into a backyard and hacking away at a New Zealand Christmas tree.

Bronnie Halley arrived home from the markets on father’s day to find someone had crept in, distracted German Shepherd Jack with a squeaky toy, and sawn off the branches with a hedge trimmer.

“It’s really freaky,” she says. “It wasn’t infringing on anyone’s property, it was only in our yard.

“They watched me leave the house… which is the scary thing.”

The cut branches were stacked neatly beside the tree.

• Bronnie Halley with the world’s worst guard dog, Jack, who can be bought off with a squeaky toy, and the sad remains of her tree. Photo by Matthew Dwyer.

• Bronnie Halley with the world’s worst guard dog, Jack, who can be bought off with a squeaky toy, and the sad remains of her tree. Photo by Matthew Dwyer.

“I don’t get it, none of us understand it,” Ms Halley says.

“We live in an awesome neighbourhood. I’ve spoken to all of the neighbours and they were at a loss as well.”

The lopped tree means the kids’ cubbyhouse is now exposed and “looks really dumb”.

She called police hoping they’d fingerprint the gate but, no.

“I was wondering if anyone else in the area has had the same,” she said.


Port silent on wind farm ban

FREMANTLE PORTS is refusing to say why it has black-banned wind farms at Rous Head.

WA transport minister Dean Nalder says only that the port’s board has determined “it was not in the best interests” of the port to allow a wind farm at the site.

Attempts to seek an explanation have been brushed aside. Port media wrangler Jeanette Murray says “the information from the minister’s office…is Fremantle Port’s position and we don’t wish to add to that”.

The Fremantle Community Wind Farm group has been trying to meet with Mr Nalder for months to put its case.

WA’s information commissioner Sven Bluemmel slammed the port recently for excessive secrecy regarding its 2013 wind power report. The port released a copy so heavily redacted just 11 of 161 pages were fully visible. One-hundred were completely blacked out.

Fremantle Ports minutes from 2012 suggest concern about 120 fee-paying tenants at Rous Head “and the silent health impacts due to ambient noise of a windfarm, while the adverse effects are not proven, would lead to people complaining”.

Just about every health problem conceivable has been blamed on wind farms, from headaches to ingrown toenails to a drop in sex drive.

The National Health and Medical Research Council has found no evidence of any health impact from wind turbines.

Internationally, studies have shown the rates of illness from “wind turbine syndrome” is identical to the rates of aches and pains and other ills across the community, and increasing levels of illness can be mapped to rates of ageing.

Federal treasurer Joe Hockey hates wind farms, calling them “utterly offensive” and “a blight on the landscape”.


Broken Bibra

ARTISTS Sharyn and Sandra Egan, who grew up around Bibra Lake, are crossing their fingers the EPA’s blunder will kill the Barnett/Abbott governments’ renewed push to build Roe 8.

The pair is so appalled by the state of the southern wetlands they’ve dedicated their latest exhibition Boodja Kep, at Freight Gallery, as a lament to broken country.

“I walk around the lake and think to myself ‘how would our ancestors feel about what we have done to the place’,” Sharyn says. “But I also think ‘what are our grandkids going to get—what are we leaving them?’.

“People just dump their rubbish anywhere—all over places that were sacred to our ancestors.”

• Sharyn and Sandra Egan’s exhibition laments the broken country of Bibra Lake. Photo by Steve Grant

• Sharyn and Sandra Egan’s exhibition laments the broken country of Bibra Lake. Photo by Steve Grant

When the pair was growing up, Nyungar families still camped around the lakes, as their forebears had done for tens of thousands of years.

But Sandra says as members of the stolen generation she and Sharyn had no contact with them.

It was only in later years the pair learned about the families, and say it’s curious they ended up moving back into the area.

The exhibition ends Sunday.


Inquiry demand

SAVE BEELIAR WETLANDS is demanding a public inquiry into the WA environmental protection authority’s controversial approval of the Roe 8 Highway.

Roe 8 was this week included in a list of 25 projects approved by EPA board members who had conflicts-of-interest.

SBW claims wetlands and bushland around North Lake and Bibra Lake will be ruined if 97.8ha of urban woodlands is cleared to build the tollway.

“We will now explore every legal option in challenging the 2012 conditional approval on Roe 8 as it stands,” says SBW’s Kate Kelly.

“Nothing less than a public inquiry will assure Western Australians that their unique environmental heritage is actually being managed properly.

“The recent approval of Roe 8 in 2013 after the EPA [approval] is now suspect.

“If the government knew the EPA’s assessment process was flawed, after the Browse Gas case, why did they push ahead with this approval?”

SBW convenor Nandi Chinna says the conflict-of-interest has shattered people’s faith in the Barnett government’s ability to make fair-minded environmental decisions.

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren says the Roe 8 approval should be revoked.

“It is not too late to stop Roe 8—no bitumen has been laid,” she says.

“This is the final nail in the coffin for the environmentally unsound project, which should have been struck off the metropolitan regional scheme years ago.

“The conditional approval in 2013 outraged and confused the community who had been campaigning for 30 years to conserve the wetlands and bushlands.”

The Barnett government is seeking to ram legislation through parliament to retrospectively “greenwash” the 25 decisions now under a cloud.

Ms MacLaren says instead of trying to cover the EPA’s shortcomings the government should shine a light on it and fix the problem.

“Twenty-five projects over a decade is a complete travesty,” she says.

“How this was allowed to continue for so long brings to question the practices we have in place to monitor processes that ensure state authorities are not corrupt.”


Pines come down

A LARGE stand of pine trees on North Lake Senior Campus is being removed because Perth’s drying climate is killing them.

The water table under the trees—many are at least 30 metres tall—has dropped so far they are starting to topple. The WA education department is felling nearly all of them.

Students are banned from walking through the area because of the risk of falling branches, which is a relatively common occurrence.

• Max Rhodes is saving as much of the pine for students as he can. Photo by Steve Grant.

• Max Rhodes is saving as much of the pine for students as he can. Photo by Steve Grant.

Pine plantations once extensively covered the southern suburbs: more recentlty the remaining pockets have become important feeding grounds for endangered black cockatoos.

There’s some silver lining to the trees’ loss: Coolbellup’s Max Rhodes has spent the past month felling and milling as much usable timber as he can for the school’s woodwork department.

The school councillor is doing the work for free and says he can get through about 10 logs a day: what can’t be salvaged is left for locals to burn as firewood (we recommend cutting it and ageing it for at least a year first).

Pine trees at North Lake Senior Campus are coming down because they’ve been deemed too dangerous to remain. Photo by Steve Grant

Pine trees at North Lake Senior Campus are coming down because they’ve been deemed too dangerous to remain. Photo by Steve Grant

Mr Rhodes describes the trees’ condition as shocking. Weakened by the lack of water, many have had their bases colonised by black ants.

“If you look over there you can see what happens—when the wind blows the tree basically shatters at the base,” he told the Herald.

He’s aware of local concerns about the loss of birdlife but says the trees are simply too dangerous to stay.


Saraceni’s Bankwest battle goes on

THE score’s now one-all between lawyers acting for developer Luke Saraceni and his estranged bank—and that’s before they’ve even got to the main game.

Mr Saraceni is taking on Bankwest for calling in the receivers on his $500 million Raine Square development in the Perth CBD, the fallout of which forced him to sell the Myer building in Fremantle in 2011.

He’s still involved in the redevelopment of the Freo building, having been taken on by new owner Sirona Capital to run the project, which is part of the $220 million makeover of Kings Square.

Mr Saraceni was almost wiped out by Bankwest when it called in receivers KordaMentha but he claims the bank acted unconscionably and outside the law.

He’s not the only one to have complained about his treatment at the hands of the Commonwealth Bank-owned subsidiary, after it called in loans to developers across the country as part of a strategy to reduce debt.

Many customers complained they’d never missed a payment but Bankwest had reclassified the nature of their loans to charge higher interest. The issue was looked at by a Senate inquiry, but that shed little light on what happened as the bank gave its evidence in secret.

Most customers had to wear their losses, but given the size of the Raine Square development Mr Saraceni was able to get financial backing from IMF to take the bank on in the courts.

If he wins, IMF will take a cut from any damages he’s awarded.

Mr Saraceni lost the first legal stoush when the Supreme Court ruled KordaMentha had been lawfully appointed to his Westgem Investments holding company. The other week he took round two after Bankwest sought an injunction to have his lawyers Jackson McDonald kicked off the case.

Bankwest had argued it was possible Jackson McDonald had received illegal “preferential payments” as Westgem went into litigation, but the claim was dismissed as “fanciful”.


Creating play

PARENTS are having a crack at creating an “official” nature playground in a Palmyra park where kids recently fell foul of authorities for creating their own fun.

Three weeks ago Melville council flattened the kids’ bike track in the un-named bushy reserve because of “public safety concerns” (“No fun allowed,” Herald, August 23, 2014) after receiving just one complaint.

Now, long-term local resident Jill Willetts wants to make the park a nature playground by turning the fallen branches the council regularly clears into stepping stones and balance beams.

She’s already negotiated to get trees due to be axed in a nearby residential subdivision relocated into the park.

“It will give the kids the opportunity to develop creativity and explore natural space, and to create their own play,” says Ms Willetts, an early childhood teacher.

• Jack Grant has a bit of fun in the park. Photo by Steve Grant

• Jack Grant has a bit of fun in the park. Photo by Steve Grant

She says the complainant doesn’t speak for the entire street, which is right behind the kids: that was borne out when a host of young families rocked up at short notice when told about the Herald’s interest in the park.

Ms Willetts says community engagement is an indication of the changing nature of “Pally”, with lots of young families moving in, attracted by its green spaces and the realisation of their importance to kids’ well-being. “We all grew up playing in the local park, building cubbies, playing hide and seek, collecting honky nuts, climbing, making mud pies and getting dirty,” she says.

Melville city council CEO Shayne Silcox says they’ve heard of the project but haven’t been officially approached.

He says the group can apply for funding under the council’s Robin Hood program.

Dr Silcox says the city supports nature play, noting the park is a pretty handy bit of bush for locals to play in already.


Government's own shark website debunks Premier's "rogue shark" theory

Media statement, Friday 12 September 2014

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren says the Premier's latest theory that there are 'rogue sharks' lurking around WA beaches is completely debunked by the Government's own 'SharkSmart' website that the Fisheries Minister launched in January.

"Where is the Premier getting his advice on sharks?," Ms MacLaren queried. "It reads like a Jaws script.

"The scientific data about white sharks off the WA coast, including the South-West, is that they are highly migratory and transitory in their movements.

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Green light for summer 2014 drum line operation warrants re-examination

Media statement, Friday, 12 September 2014

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren says confirmation by the CSIRO this week that shark culling was unacceptable on environmental and scientific grounds raises fresh questions about why the 2014 drum line trial went ahead without any form of environment assessment.

“I have questions and concerns about Department of Fisheries’ advice that stated that there was no serious risk to shark populations from the WA drum line operations – this being advice that the Department gave in both January 2014 about the 2014 program and in April about the three-year proposal,” Ms MacLaren said.

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Crust comes to Fremantle

Crust Pizza comes to Freo

Crust Pizza comes to Freo

Last year there was a curry craze in Freo, this year we’ve seen a load of new pizza places open up, all of them pretty good. The latest is Crust, which is just out of Freo on South Street. We don’t often write about chain food places (mostly because there aren’t many) but Crust pizzas are something a bit different. We dropped by there just after it opened and tried out a Moroccan lamb pizza (delicious) and a black forest gateau pizza, which is even better than it sounds.

The franchise owners are super friendly and it’s great to have another decent place to grab a bite to eat out of the city centre. If you’re stuck for a pizza plan tonight it’s definitely worth trying out one of these.

Moroccan Lamb, tasty

Moroccan Lamb, tasty

Black Forest Gateau Pizza

Black Forest Gateau Pizza

205 South Street Beaconsfield WA 6162
08 9335 8444

Opening Hours
Sun – Tue 5.00pm to 10.00pm
Wed – Thur 5.00pm to 10.00pm
Fri – Sat 5.00pm to 11pm

The post Crust comes to Fremantle appeared first on Love Freo.

Man Booker Prize shortlist 2014

Man Booker Prize shortlist 2014

The Man Booker Prize shortlist has been announced, and includes The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Australian author Richard Flanagan. The shortlist consists of six titles:

To Rise Again At a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
J by Howard Jacobson
The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee
How to Be Both by Ali Smith

The winner of the Man Booker Prize will be announced on 14 October 2014.

Filed under: General Tagged: ali smith, howard jacobson, joshua ferris, karen joy fowler, man booker prize, neel mukherjee, richard flanagan, shortlist

Atwell Arcade to get its biggest makeover in a century

Last night the Freo Council held a special meeting of council and granted planning approval  for the redevelopment of buildings in and around Atwell Arcade which run from the High Street Mall to Cantonment Street in Fremantle. This is a major redevelopment and is not surprisingly attracting some controversy so i thought it would be worth […]

ABC in Fremantle

ABC Radio 720 is broadcasting in Fremantle tomorrow afternoon,Friday, between the Fremantle Markets and the Sail and Anchor Hotel.

Former Mayor of Fremantle, Barrister, raconteur and political analyst Richard Utting will be a guest.

Should be entertaining, he is on from 3.00pm.

EPA common sense on sharks welcome although some questions remain

Media statement, Thursday, 11 September 2014.

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren has applauded the WA Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for making a common sense recommendation by advising against the WA Government’s proposed shark cull.

“Following this week’s revelations of poor process by the EPA’s board and Chair, this outcome on sharks goes a small way to redeem the EPA board in the public eye,” Ms MacLaren said.

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‘At the Going Down of the Sun’ : a literary performance


Join us for a moving performance including theatrical readings and musical excerpts from local author Linda Bettenay’s book ‘Secrets Mothers Keep’.

Be moved by the romance and mystery of World War One on the eve of the 100 year anniversary of our West Australian soldiers sailing out of Fremantle Harbour.


Theatrical Reading From ‘Secrets Mothers Keep’

‘At the Going Down of the Sun’, an extract from this book, will be performed by Bree Harley and Michael Forman of the Roleystone Theatre with narration provided by author Linda Bettenay. The evening will also include live music by Kim Bettenay. The performance features actors reading letters from a sweetheart to her soldier boyfriend in Gallipolli. It is sure to bring the audience to tears.


Bookings required – or 94329766

Refreshments provided

Thursday 30 October 2014, 6:00pm
Fremantle Library, 8 William St, Fremantle

Filed under: Events Tagged: author talk, gallipoli, linda moore, secrets mothers keep, theatre, world war one

Greens call on immediate halt of Roe 8 highway for reassessment

Media statement, Thursday 11 September 2014.

The Greens (WA) have labelled conflict of interest by EPA board members who conditionally approved  Roe Highway Stage 8 as the ‘final nail in the coffin for the environmentally unsound project, which should have been struck off the Metropolitan Regional Scheme (MRS) years ago’.

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren has called for the project’s approval to be revoked. “The Minister’s proposed retrospective legislation to allow the project to proceed is out of the question”, she said.

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R U OK Day: Greens call for more prevention programmes amongst high-risk groups

Media statement, Thursday, 11 September 2014.

In light of World Suicide Prevention Day and ‘RU OK? Day’, Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren has welcomed news from the Mental Health Minister that $240,000 has been set aside for 25 Suicide Prevention Small Grants State-wide over the coming year, with a further $100,000 set aside in partnership with Netball WA.

“It is great to see action being taken on the issue, but more needs to be done for high-risk groups, particularly LGBTI youth.

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Growers Markets

“How much easier is it to be critical than be correct.” - Benjamin Disraeli

My blog yesterday, criticising the proposed Alley Cat Street Food Markets puts me in exalted company. I am now up there with Brad Pettitt, Matthew Hanssen, Colin Barnett, and Tony Abbott, all of whom have been routinely criticised by Roel Loopers, author of the blog Freo’s View.

I like Growers Markets – Contrary to what was written I do like growers markets but the only one that I know to be a true growers market is the one held in Albany on Saturday mornings, run by growers offering produce that is grown by those same growers. Growers markets do not affect my business, as stated by Roel, as we sell to some of those stall holders that operate in the so called growers markets, but it has an adverse affect on those small retailers who have to open 7 days a week to compete with supermarkets, pay high rents and who have a myriad of health bylaws to adhere to.

I do not believe that Georgie Adeane has a right to set up Markets anywhere she wants in Fremantle. As I have blogged before the issue of illegal parking is a problem for residents and something that Ms Adeane has not addressed.

I am also heartened with the level of support that I have received from West End residents.



Sept 8: Mojo’s Best: Jeremey Beste & Galloping Foxlies at FRS

Super tight indie folk country group Galloping Foxlies take up residency at Fremantle Recording Studios to record their latest single…potentially entitled “Whiskey”…with Freo’s most lovable soundie Jeremey Beste of Mojo’s Bar at the mixing board. This tune is perfect for Sunday sessions:) Keep a lookout for release dates.

What makes a good short story? Event with Margaret River Press


Come along to the Library and hear readings from the annual Margaret River Short Story Competition. A panel of writers and judges will also discuss what makes a good short story.

The Trouble With Flying by Ruth Wyer was the winning entry from the most recent competition, and is the namesake for this year’s published collection. Entries for the 2015 competition close October 18 2014.


Wednesday 8 October, 6.30pm
Refreshments provided
Bookings via Eventbrite or phone 9432 9766


Filed under: Events Tagged: competition, margaret river press, short story, writing

A decade of corruption by the EPA: Greens demand better processes

Media statement, Wednesday, 10 September 2014.

Greens Lynn MacLaren says it ‘astounding and extremely disappointing’ that the Minister will seek to retrospectively validate twenty-five projects environmentally approved by a conflicted board of the EPA.

“Instead, he should be improving the transparency and accountability of the EPA Board.

“I think the communities who campaigned vehemently against the environmental approval of projects such as Browse LNG will attribute this revelation to how projects have been approved despite overwhelming community and scientific opposition.

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New at the Library September 2014

New at the Library

Here’s a few of the new items that have arrived recently at the library. Browse online or in person!


Linux all-in-one for dummies / by Emmett Dulaney.

Struck by genius : how a brain injury made me a mathematical marvel / Jason Padgett ; and Maureen Ann Seaberg.

Music – the business : the essential guide to the law and the deals / Ann Harrison.

Refugees : why seeking asylum is legal and Australia’s polices are not / Jane McAdam and Fiona Chong.

The bone garden / William P. Wood.

You are your own gym : the bible of bodyweight exercises / Mark Lauren with Joshua Clark.

Classic Honda motorcycles : identification guide to the collectible models 1958-90 / Bill Silver.

Keep it vegan : over 100 simple, healthy & delicious dishes / Aine Carlin ; photography by Ali Allen.

The big book of vegan recipes : more than 500 easy vegan recipes for healthy and flavorful meals / Jolinda Hackett.

Down to earth : a guide to simple living / Rhonda Hetzel.

Strictly parenting : everything you need to know about raising school-aged kids / Michael Carr-Gregg.

You can & you must : career planning for changing times / Sue Liburd.

Making it! : the hard facts you need to start your own craft business / Mollie makes.

Frida Kahlo / Claudia Bauer ; [translated from the German by Stephen Telfer].

Level up! : the guide to great video game design / Scott Rogers.

Sport climbing / John Long.

The rough guide to China / this seventh edition updated by Andrew Commins and 7 others.

Morocco / written and researched by Paul Clammer, James Bainbridge, Paula Hardy, Helen Ranger.

New York City / written and researched by Regis St Louis, Cristian Bonetto.

Anzac : the unauthorised biography / Carolyn Holbrook.

The rise and fall of Australia : how a great nation lost its way / Nick Bryant.

A long way home / by Saroo Brierley, with Larry Buttrose.

Dennis Hopper : the wild ride of a Hollywood rebel / Peter L. Winkler.

Filed under: General Tagged: books, new arrivals, new books

Fremantle Primary School Quizz Night


Quick! There are only a few tables left for a great night out THIS FRIDAY at Fremantle Town Hall as Fremantle Primary School is holding its annual quiz night and disco.

Doors open at 7pm and the quiz should be in full swing by 7.30pm. You are more than welcome even if you have no connection to the school. It’s going to be a fantastic night and will run till late!

Tickets are $20 per head and can be purchased online at

Each table seats 10 people so this is the expected quiz team size. Groups can be formed on the night if you can’t form a team of 10, or if you are really brainy and have a small team, that’s no problem.

First prize for the “Brainiest Table” is dinner for 10 at Bread in Common (WOW!) while the best dressed ‘team theme’ table (dress up and decorate your table) get tickets for 10 to the National Hotel’s Wednesday night comedy night and a bottle of wine! If you are not into dressing up, no problem, just come and laugh at the suckers who do!

There are plenty of fantastic items for silent and live auction such as include a 3-night stay at Donnelly River, a stand-up paddle board, lunch and bike ride with Mayor Brad, dinner for 2 at Freo Sailing Club, Lenny the Oz vouchers and much, much more, including great spot prizes!

Tables will be able to order Box Pizza at a reduced rate, or bring your own food to enjoy. Bottles of wine, champagne and beer will be for sale rather than BYO, with proceeds going to the school.

Come along with some spare cash, snap up a bargain and help raise money for Fremantle Primary School at the same time!

For more info, please call Emma Herrick on 0415631492.

Alley Cat – Over My Dead Body

The operator of Bathers Beach Sunset Market, Georgie Adeane, has applied to the City of Fremantle to start an evening, springtime Market, called Alley Cat Street Food Markets.

Not content with taking over the beautiful precinct around Bathers Beach, this time she is proposing the West End of High Street in front of Chalkies Cafe, opposite the Roundhouse. This is between 2 residential apartments, Samson Bond Store and the Marina Village apartments.

Unlike other bloggers, I will declare an interest. I live in the area and have had a gutful of people parking everywhere including blocking the garage of 13 residents.

When I complain about parking and unsuitable signage to the chief blogger, employed by Georgie, but not always declared, I am put in my place as “everyone loves the Markets”.

I have written on previous blogs re the problems concerning parking, and will do everything possible to stop this proposal that reeks of greed and opportunism.

We will soon see the last remaining restauranteur leave the West End when his lease expires. Something I warned about in this blog.

Why is the City contemplating this proposal from Ms Adeane and where does the Mayor sit, along with representatives, Rachel Pemberton and Simon Naber?


Incredible Foot Traffic Increase, Year-On-Year

In July 2013 The Town of Victoria Park was our first people counting client, which now gives them over a year of community-activity data in their beautiful Albany Highway.

Albany Highway, East Victoria Park, is a precinct of incredible cafes, restaurants and independent retailers.

A beautiful piece of art at the shops in East Victoria Park.

A beautiful piece of art at the shops in East Victoria Park.

Our pedestrian counting equipment has been in the East Victoria Park shopping area since July 2013 and it was with great delight that 'July' and 'August' 2014 rolled over.


Now we can see - really see - if community activity has risen year-on-year in this location, because that is the holy grail of community and economic development.

Well, it has.

A proven 30% increase in foot traffic, year-on-year, in East Victoria Park.

A proven 30% increase in foot traffic, year-on-year, in East Victoria Park.

The Town of Victoria Park has asked A Beautiful City to distribute the monthly pedestrian data we collect to the good retailers of Albany Highway. So, starting soon, we will be in these fine precincts to introduce the AHA! (Albany Highway Activation project), which has delivered this professional data measurement via A Beautiful City's pedestrian counters.

In the meantime, download the current reports of these two amazing precincts:

East Victoria Park pedestrian data

East Victoria Park pedestrian data

Download Report Now Victoria Park pedestrian data

Victoria Park pedestrian data

Download Report Now

Booksale at Freo’s biggest ever garage sale

On October 25 2014 the Fremantle community will be taking part in the Kings Square Community Garage SaleFremantle City Library will be there with a book stall with pre-loved bestsellers, children’s books, magazines and many other good finds.

The Library joins over 100 sellers and stallholders who will come together to create Fremantle’s biggest ever garage sale! There will be amazing repurposed and up-cycled items for sale, music and entertainment, unique food vendors, and a live broadcast from 720 ABC Radio.

For more details, see the City’s website.

Filed under: Events Tagged: booksale, community, garage sale, garage sale trail, king's square

Sustainable House Day 2014 comes to Fremantle

While we are talking sustainability, local Freo home owners, Tim and Michelle, will be opening up their green home to the general public for Sustainable House Day 2014 (Sunday 14 September) to educate and inspire us all. Sustainable House Day, is a national event that utilises peer to peer education to promote the benefits of […]

PARK(ing) DAY FREO 2014

ParkingDay2014-Fremantle-call-for-participants A5

Let’s reclaim the city!

Keep an eye out for our outdoor reading room as we take part in PARK(ing) DAY FREO2014 on Friday 19 September.The Library will be taking part around Kings Square, and there will be other community groups participating thoughout the Fremantle CBD.

Brought to you by the City of Fremantle & Ecoscape, PARK(ing) DAY FREO2014 is an annual open-source global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public places.

The mission of PARK(ing) Day is to call attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat … at least until the meter runs out!

Filed under: Events Tagged: car free day, community, parking day, public space

Fremantle becomes joint first ‘One Planet Council’ in Australia

The City of Fremantle is one of only two local governments in Australia, and only the fourth in the world, to be officially certified as a One Planet Council, recognition which is reserved for exemplary regions around the globe who are leading the charge on sustainable living.   One Planet Living is an internationally recognised […]