LAPA Brazilian bbq

Bon Dia! This will be exciting news for those Fremantle people who love great soccer and South American cuisine. LAPA Brazilian Barbeque Restaurant is being built next to the National Hotel in High Street and will be a very welcome addition to the West End.

It is still quite a few months away by the look of it but something to look forward to.

Roel Loopers


Tweet FREO DEVELOPMENT COULD BE BETTER | Freo’s View. I know what you mean Roel they are pretty shoe box looking places springing up, the Knutfords one has that look to it too, lets hope the new development coming up are going to turn out better? But  I don’t know if I would agree that […]

Community to be thanked for forcing Government’s late night train backflip

Greens WA Transport Spokesperson Lynn MacLaren MLC has welcomed the Government’s backflip on a decision to cancel Perth’s late night train service but it says it calls into question how the Government is making decisions.

“Good governance is fundamentally about good decision-making and that doesn’t happen when decisions are made unilaterally, without consultation and on false information,” Ms MacLaren said.

“The Greens congratulate the community for forcing the Government’s hand and making it reconsider its decision and the evidence on which it was based.

“The Western Australian public have had to do the same before, such as with solar panels and shark culling, and they will do it again each time the Government ignores common sense and facts.

read more


QV 1QV 2

I know it is controversial and I too do not like the design of the building, but it is still good to see a substantial mix-use building going up in Fremantle, especially along Queen Victoria Street, that was an eyesore for years with car yards, etc.

I know most of us would like to see only stunning new buildings in Freo, but I fear that the attitude at the City of Fremantle is that they have to compromise to see any development at all happening.

W.A. is fast becoming the bland box building capital of Australia.

Roel Loopers


It is a damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation for Fremantle’s Elected Members who engage on social media. Councillor Andrew Sullivan gets attacked quite a bit on this blog while people accuse Mayor Brad Pettitt of not publishing or deleting comments he does not like from his blog and Facebook. I know that the Mayor comments less on this blog because he believes it attracts a minority group of people who like to engage in council bashing.

Elected Members like Pettitt and Sullivan at least take the time, and are brave enough, to engage with the public, and the risk of being criticised, unlike other Councillors who fly under the radar through their absence from engaging with the community on social media and blogs like this Freo’s View.

I personally think it is immature to have the us and them hatred toward Elected Members or the entire Council, as they are all trying very hard to serve our community. Some are inconsistent and could do better, others do o.k. but the reality is that it is impossible to please everyone and that Councillors were elected to make the hard calls and decisions. As long as they do that with impartiality we will have to accept that decision-makers are always going to upset large parts of the population.

I for one would love to see more Councillors taking part in the community engagement on this blog, but maybe they just can’t be bothered and believe they are wasting their time or would be in for unfair attacks. We might not agree with Andrew Sullivan but at least he has the courage of taking the flack, that is often addressed at the entire Council.

Roel Loopers


The proposal for a basketball court at Fremantle’s South Beach, just west of the kiosk and toilet block will no doubt be controversial as it would take away a small part of the grassed area while nearby residents are concerned about the noise of bouncing balls.

I have heard the argument that not even 2 per cent of the population engages in basketball, but not catering for that minority group could well set a precedent. If governments only catered for majority groups we would have a pretty unequal kind of governance, and look at it on the bright side; put together all minority groups and they would most likely be the majority.

Youth culture is very important and so is the amenity and peace of local residents and visitors to South Beach. Putting a basketball court in the parking area would bring it closer to residents, and putting it west of the kiosk would again receive criticism for reducing green space in Fremantle. Who wants to be a Councillor, hey!

Roel Loopers


Wajipha exhibition poster

WAJIPHA CHONGWE is returning to Arthur Head with her show Women….like me, an exhibition of pastel and ink paintings and poetry, based on movement and voice, at the Greg James Gallery at J Shed.

Wajipha started the first new gallery-MUTIMA- at 11 Captain’s Lane when the Bathers Beach Art Precinct was established and the name continues as a band with her soon to be husband Freddy Poncin.

The opening is on March 6 at 6.30 with music by Mutima, Danny Pash and friends and a limited edition of prints and graphic poetry books will be for sale.

Roel Loopers

Western Australian, Parliament House

Tweet Thursday I had a meeting up at Parliament House so I thought I would take the opportunity to sit in on the MLC & MLA sessions. My god what beautifully maintained building and grounds, I was really impressed with the professionalism of the staff at parliament house it is a really nicely run operation. […]


The article and opinion piece in today’s West Australian are an interesting insight in how WA governments, present and past, have mismanaged the development of the Perth metropolitan area and public transport. The article is about the book CITY LIMITS by Jane-Frances Kelly and Pat Donegan that was published by the influential Grattan Institute.

The authors claim that in some new Perth suburbs only one per cent of the residents live within a one hour bus or train journey to their place of work and that there is a lack of good public transport to the outer suburbs. They say that while there is job growth in the established inner city the population growth happens in the outer suburbs, where there are fewer job opportunities that are paid significantly less than jobs in the CBD.

The book claims that traffic gridlock in Perth will be inevitable unless government prioritises public transport, build toll roads, introduce congestion charges and increases higher density living in suburbs close to the Perth CBD. They say Subiaco is the best suburb in Australia because of its proximity to central Perth and its medium and high-density residential development. Town houses and apartments are lacking near the Central Business District.

I have written about this before as I see the madness of capital city development as part of the problem, a problem the Barnett government is making worse by concentrating on Perth, instead of prioritising decentralisation of government departments and agencies and putting incentives in place for businesses to relocate to places like Fremantle, Joondalup, Midland, Armadale, Cockburn, Kwinana, etc.

One of the best solutions to decrease the number of people driving their car to work each morning is to provide them with jobs closer to home, so they can use the bike or walk instead. Fewer people are using the train system because of overcrowding during peak periods and governments are to blame because they have been to slow to react and order more and bigger cars and extend station platforms so they can accommodate longer trains.

City planners want more people to live in high-density buildings near public transport corridors instead of really attacking the problem of the centralisation of work places in the Perth CBD. With all the modern communication and IT technology there is no real reason why big businesses have to have offices only in the CBD and force the workforce to put up with having to travel for many hours a day to get to and from work. I am sure traffic peak hour gridlock creates a less happy and less efficient work force, so why not relocate the office to the outer suburbs and accommodate staff.

Roel Loopers

ANZAC grants lift for commemorative projects

Ms Parke (4:02pm) – Across the four-year span of the Great War there were 849 Fremantle-area men and women who would never return alive. There was also a small band of nurses serving just south of Fremantle who succumbed to the Spanish flu that afflicted soldiers arriving home near the war's end via the quarantine station.

Contaminated berries highlight food labelling & testing flaws

Ms Parke (1:03pm) — I move:

That this House:

(1) notes:

(a) revelations that certain brands of imported frozen berries grown and/or packaged in China are suspected of having infected Australians with Hepatitis A through contamination with faecal matter;
(b) that Food Standards Australia and New Zealand presently only require 5 per cent of frozen berries imported into Australia to be tested and even then, not for Hepatitis A;
(c) that local berry growers are subject to demanding chemical and biological testing and inspection procedures at the growers' expense;

Plastic Bag ban one step closer – both locally and nationally

Last week Freo Council passed its plastic bag local law for what i hope will be the last time! We have gone through it a few times before but the law banning single use plastic bagged has been blocked by the State government on a technicalities which I am confident have now been addressed. But […]


Garonne 1 Garonne 2

The Maersk Garonne container ship that got stuck on a sandbar just off the Fremantle South Mole a few days ago is now in port. Marks on the ship show where the tugs pushed is, and they succeeded to free the 290-metre-long ship after three hours.

Roel Loopers


bench 1 bench 2 bench 3 bench 4

Circumstance is a very strange thing, as this morning proved yet again. I was asked to do an interview about migration to Australia by ten-year-old Remedy for a Lance Holt school assignment. Mum Natalie and Remy wanted to meet me at Lenny the Ox cafe but there was a queue outside so I suggested the Moore&Moore, but that too was packed. So what about that cosy little area in front of the Notre Dame University bookshop on the corner of Croke Lane and Henry Street that’s got nice big wooden benches under a tree. Fine.

The interview went well and dad Michael joined us and sat next to his wife when suddenly the back of the bench gave way and they both landed backward on the ground, with Natalie heavily banging her head against a tree trunk. She’s got a HUGE bump and hopefully no concussion and is lucky not to have broken her neck. She was going to open her LUCE DEL SOL swimwear boutique on Wray Avenue today but I am not sure now if she can do that.

Basic maintenance in public open areas, especially with wooden furniture, should be something UNDA staff has to improve on, if today’s experience was anything to go by.

Roel Loopers


Astor 1 Astor 2 Astor 3

It’s the long Labour Day weekend so not too much to report. But here a few photos I shot of port activity of the cruise ship Astor and a ship that brought a large crane to DL World.

Roel Loopers


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Around 300 very fit people participated in Sunday’s URBAN ADVENTURE RACE around Fremantle’s Arthur Head, with part of the proceeds going to the Fremantle Foundation. It started with a swim, a bike ride, a run and finished with a surfski paddle and went all the way from Bathers Beach to Manning Park and up to the Roundhouse and South Mole.

The weather was pretty perfect and the Indian Ocean quite calm, but I was happy to just be an observer.

Roel Loopers

CCC warns of council corruption – The West Australian

Tweet CCC warns of council corruption – The West Australian. Its good news to see that the auditor general will now be extending its reach to local government. Last Wednesday night at Fremantle city council again Bill Massie asked well if we are voting on this item, what will be the cost to roll it […]

Good to see great new Freo venues taking off

It has been a real pleasure seeing some of Freo’s new venue thrive and raise the bar. Whether it be Bathers Beach house which seems to be always close to full or the ever evolving and innovating Mantle in the East End. Distribution Lane has been getting some good press too. Be it the fashion […]

Winterfold Primary School celebrates a decade of waterwise education

I got sent this good news story that I thought would be nice to share: Winterfold Primary School in Beaconsfield will celebrate 10 years enrolled in Water Corporation’s Waterwise Schools Program As part of the program, teachers at the school have been educating students about the need to value, protect and conserve water resources for a […]

Freo’s Transformative Moves as we head toward 2029.

For those of you that missed it, we launched our new long term plan called Transformative Moves 2029 in Freo last night.  This was the result of many months of work and followed on from the 2029 Visioning sessions as well as building on the last strategic plan which laid the foundation for many of these […]

Future Freo?

BRAD PETTITT has launched a charm offensive in a bid to woo backers for Fremantle council’s ambitious Freo 2029 project.

On Thursday potential investors from the WA government and private industry, as well as local community leaders, were treated to a swanky dinner and marketing pitch at Bathers Beach House.

Mayor Pettitt says to make the vision a reality, people are going to have to part with cold hard cash.

How the frontage of Fremantle train station might appear. Kings Square: Massive new council HQ, new buildings where Queensgate and a carpark are now.

How the frontage of Fremantle train station might appear.
Kings Square: Massive new council HQ, new buildings where Queensgate and a carpark are now.

“At the very heart of this vision is that Fremantle has great potential that can only be realised in partnership with the state government and the private sector,” he said. “We are approaching the 200th anniversary of Fremantle’s settlement and we will argue that we are important and the state’s second city.”

Freo 2029 aims to connect the CBD with its beaches and the port, encourage more inner-city living, transform Kings Square, create a Fremantle Oval precinct, make the old traffic bridge car-free public space and create a northern gateway.

Fremantle Oval precinct includes new developments at Stan Reilly.

Kings Square: Massive new council HQ, new buildings where Queensgate and a carpark are now.

Fremantle Labor MP Simone McGurk, who attended the dinner, was pessimistic about the vision coming to fruition.

“It’s one thing to come up with ideas for how to revitalise Fremantle, but to my mind the real issue is how this is actually achieved,” she said.

Fremantle Oval precinct includes new developments at Stan Reilly.

Fremantle Oval precinct includes new developments at Stan Reilly.

“Labor had allocated $80 million for a new Fremantle traffic bridge, but that money was removed from the budget by this government.

“Government assets are crumbling or being sold off, Freo Emergency Department has closed, and the government wants to drive a massive freeway through the centre of our community.

“Until the state government comes on board, I fear Freo will be struggling to achieve the turnaround it really needs.”

Kings Square: Massive new council HQ, new buildings where Queensgate and a carpark are now.

Kings Square: Massive new council HQ, new buildings where Queensgate and a carpark are now.

Freo 2029 incorporates several council initiatives, including:

• an extra 9500sqm of retail and 30,000sqm of offices at Victoria Quay

• $270m Kings Square redevelopment

• making Fishing Boat Harbour a tourism hotspot

• more facilities around Bathers Beach

• affordable housing on the old Stan Reilly nursing home site.

Freo 2029 will have its public launch in the council reception room on March 10.


Beacon Yoga Centre 20x2

Not quite the Last Post

WITH its ranks thinned to just 18 members and a 91-year-old president succumbing to dementia and a stroke, Fremantle’s RSL club is facing its last stand.

The club once boasted more than 600 members, but current secretary-cum-everything Les Butt concedes age has wearied them. Most WWII veterans are hitting their 90s and even his comrades from Vietnam are getting long in the tooth.

He says things had been looking very grim for the club with only himself doing the paperwork and organising commemorative events, but the cavalry recently arrived in the form of retired lance corporal Rob Cashman. The pair is now on a rescue mission.

Mr Cashman, who really was in the cavalry before joining the elite SAS and being posted to the Middle-East and Afghanistan, had asked to march in last year’s ANZAC Day parade in Fremantle.

“I saw Les doing all of this and he needed help, and I believe that if we stand by and do nothing, nothing is ever achieved,” he says.

“There were a lot of people in the crowd on the day who were vets who looked like they wanted to be engaged.”

Mr Cashman says the pair wants a “grass roots” club with more transparent meetings and a greater focus on interacting with the community. That reflects the approach being taken by the state RSL under the leadership of former Labor MP Graham Edwards.

02. 9NEWS

He says this will help overcome the stereotype of RSLs being full of crusty old blokes in telling war stories, and may encourage younger veterans from Afghanistan, East Timor or Iraq to join.

Mr Cashman says he’d struggled after getting back into his civvies in 2003, and he’s seen many colleagues return, suffering post-traumatic stress disorder and other problems.

He says the RSL is well placed to put them in contact with agencies or help negotiate the labyrinthine department of veterans affairs.

Their first priority is a meeting of members on Saturday March 7 at their HQ in the Wyola Club on High Street.

Mr Cashman says he’s been drumming up support the old-fashioned way—armed with little more than a list of addresses, he’s been marching Freo’s streets knocking on old members’ doors to encourage them to saddle up again.

After that they’ll focus on getting veterans marching in the ANZAC Day parade and hope that’ll bring in new numbers so a huge effort can go into this year’s Remembrance Day celebrations in November.

For more contact rslfremantle@hotmail.com or call 0466 650 312.


Beehive Montessori 10x3

Kids scream for ice cream

COULD there be anything better than the promise of ice cream to entice kids out of bed early on a Saturday morning? It’s working a treat for the East Fremantle Yacht Club, which has a bunch of young tackers such as Barney Woo and Tom Ferguson, tackling tricky winds around Preston Point in order to score a frozen treat at Zephyr’s Cafe around the corner from the club.

• COULD there be anything better than the promise of ice cream to entice kids out of bed early on a Saturday morning? It’s working a treat for the East Fremantle Yacht Club, which has a bunch of young tackers such as Barney Woo and Tom Ferguson, tackling tricky winds around Preston Point in order to score a frozen treat at Zephyr’s Cafe around the corner from the club. The young sailors aged between 5 and 15 race in pelicans, a small dinghy invented in WA for kids to sail at Rotto in summer. There’s a bunch of new skippers looking for a crew, so to kick the kids off the X-Box and put a tiller in their hand—and an icecream—call Leone Price on 0402 911 000.

The young sailors aged between 5 and 15 race in pelicans, a small dinghy invented in WA for kids to sail at Rotto in summer. There’s a bunch of new skippers looking for a crew, so to kick the kids off the X-Box and put a tiller in their hand—and an icecream—call Leone Price on 0402 911 000.

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Groups aim for council

TWO Fremantle residents’ groups say they’ll run council candidates to try and change the direction of the city.

The residents and ratepayers, and inner city residents associations have banded together to try and attract new blood and say one of the aims is to nurture future council candidates.

FRRA chairman Mark Woodcock says while they’re not setting out to bag the council, they don’t feel that it’s genuine in its consultation and too many voices are being ignored.

They’ll run workshops to generate new ideas, as he says they’re suspicious the Freo 2029 vision wasn’t a real reflection of community attitudes.

The Fremantle Society was going to join in, but president Henty Farrar pulled out of the deal this week.

CDS Mediator Advert 10x2 Bridgestone Select Cockburn 10x7

Underground resistance to buried books

BIBLIOPHILES have declared war on plans to bury Fremantle library.

As part of its long-planned revamp of Kings Square, the council wants to put the library underground.

But critics say the plan is short-sighted and fails to harness the library’s potential as an attraction in its own right.

They say a better-planned open, light-filled library extending into Kings Square could become a major cultural attraction and modern communications hub and tell the story that Fremantle values literature, literacy and learning.

Herald sources say the city’s mild-mannered librarians are deeply unhappy at the prospect of being sent underground, but have been unable to express their views publicly because of council gag rules.

Three former councillors, June Hutchison, Gerry MacGill and Valerie Cousins, say the undergrounding is a mistake.

“We talk about interactivity at street level when we’re talking about shops, and it’s even more important for there to be interactivity for a library, which is a valuable community service,” Ms Hutchison told the Herald.

• Library user June Hutchison is urging a rethink of the Kings Square designs. Photo by Steve Grant

• Library user June Hutchison is urging a rethink of the Kings Square designs. Photo by Steve Grant

“If we had a bigger library with more services it would draw more people into Fremantle.

“You could have more computer work spaces, where people who work from home could hire it out for a couple of days so it’s an income.”

Ms Hutchison, who spent eight years on the state library board, notes tiny Peppermint Grove library has a grand piano and holds recitals to coax in new users.

“You could have more community involvement and we’d be crazy to miss this opportunity to think about that in the design,” she says.

North Fremantle precinct chief Gerry MacGill sits on the council’s library committee with the librarians and he says the proposed cellaring has been raised at successive meetings.

He notes current committee chair is Cr Andrew Sullivan, who’d sat on the panel that selected Kerry Hill Architect’s design for the square.

Valerie Cousins believes there’s a physical risk to council records that can’t be ignored.

Noting that in 2010 UWA lost 20 per cent of its achives in a freak hailstorm, she says a flood could damage the city’s irreplaceable local history collection of documents and photographs: flood damage could occur from leaking sewerage, rising seawater or from water and chemicals used to hose down a fire.

Mr MacGill says libraries should be “circulation spaces” with users able to seamlessly head to other destinations: putting the library downstairs makes it a dead end.

Ms Hutchison says it’s important to remember the council’s plans aren’t final and there is a chance for a rejig, but she acknowledges it will take a major shift in thinking to get councillors to change gear.


Parks review for Fremantle

ONE of the panels reviewing the proposed roll-out of marine parks across Australia will be in Fremantle on March 11-12.

The marine parks were initiated under the Howard government and were mapped and ready to roll out under Julia Gillard, however current prime minister Tony Abbott made an election promise to review them under pressure from recreational and professional fishers.

Parks supporter Michelle Grady from Save our Marine Life says it’s ridiculous to be reviewing the parks before they’ve even “hit the water”. She says despite the PM’s claims, there’s oceans of scientific data backing up the need for fish sanctuaries.

Ms Grady says existing parks are proof of the proposal’s value and to make the point her organisation is showing the documentary The Sea & Me. It looks at communities that neighbour marine parks and how they’ve benefited.

It’s showing from 6pm on Wednesday March 4 at Victoria Hall in High Street.

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New Crane for North Quay

07. 9NEWS

A new crane for DP World’s North Quay container terminal made an impressive sight as it was shipped into Fremantle harbour this week.

The Chinese-made crane is DP’s second and the fifth on the port, and was brought by the semi-submersible ship Zhen Hua 18, which lowered to the level of the quay so the crane could be rolled off. The crane can lift up to 80 tonnes.

COF 15x3 Continental Meat Supply 10x3 CRA Realty 9x6 Freo H jan 2014

Telling hard truths

THE Future Freo project will deliver its first findings next month.

An off-shoot of the Committee for Perth think tank, Future Freo was set up to identify the port city’s strengths and weaknesses so economic growth can flourish.

But CFP boss Marion Fulker says it’s too much to expect people to digest a single, omnibus report (due in November) so the group is planning information nuggets along the way. The first will be on Fremantle’s demographics.

Ms Fulker says the strength of the project is its objectivity: teamed with researchers from UWA, she says the information gathered is quarantined from political or business interference.

“The steering committee sees any draft reports, but they have no editorial control,” she told the Herald.

The committee includes representatives from organisations that have stumped up the cash, including the Freo and East Freo councils, Sirona, Coda, Match, Mermaid Marine, Fremantle Ports, the local chamber of commerce and Notre Dame uni.

Ms Fulker says once boffins have crunched the data, she becomes the “human face” of the project to sell its message. After that it’s up to the bureaucrats, businesses and residents to take up the ideas and turn them into reality.

The parent committee takes credit for the recent easing of trading hours in WA, as well as championing the need for local government reform.

• Committee for Perth supremo Marion Fulker. Photo by Steve Grant

• Committee for Perth supremo Marion Fulker. Photo by Steve Grant

Ms Fulker says the group was also the first to document and raise the issue of WA’s “haves and have-nots” as a result of the mining boom, which fed into submissions made to the WA government by the WA Council of Social Services.

But the head of Fremantle’s residents and ratepayers association says it’s hypocritical of the local council to be involved after signing up to 350.org which means the council won’t be investing in companies that support fossil fuels.

CFP’s major corporate sponsors include Woodside, Shell and Chevron.

“That’s a bit like a rabbi endorsing a brand of bacon,” Mark Woodcock quipped.

“Personally I like bacon but I’m not telling others it’s bad for you while scoffing it down myself.”

Mayor Brad Pettitt says he wasn’t aware of any funding from fossil-fuel industries involved in Future Freo, but regardless he doesn’t think taking money from the group is an issue if it’s for worthwhile community investments.

“My sense is it doesn’t as it is not enabling more fossil-fuel extraction,” he told the Herald.

“Divestment campaigns such as 350.org are fundamentally about not allowing our money (via banking or superannuation) to be used to fund the exploration and investment in more fossil-fuel extraction—we have to leave most of them in the ground if we are to have a safe climate.”


Dethridge Douro 20x7 Empire 10x7 Fremantle Christian College 20x3 Fubar 10x3

Anti-trail bike rally

ORGANISERS of a rally to protest trail bike riding around Visko Park expect around 200 to turn out.

Graham—no surname thanks—says locals are sick of noisy riders damaging the park as well as verges and lawns.

“This has been going for around two years now and we are at our wits’ end,” he says.

“Riders come down up to six times a day, sometimes at 2am in the morning, waking everyone up and carving up the park.

“They’re zooming around the streets with no lights on at night, it’s only a matter of time before someone gets hurt.”

Marion Lawrence says she saw a near miss between a car and two riders “dinkying” on a bike.

Volunteers have letter-dropped 400 houses to drum up support for Saturday’s 10am rally at Visko Park.

• Locals say trail bike riders are damaging Visko Park in Yangebup. Photo supplied.

• Locals say trail bike riders are damaging Visko Park in Yangebup. Photo supplied.

Attendees apparently include mayor Logan Howlett and local Labor MP Fran Logan, who says there is a more sinister criminal element to urban trail biking.

“Only yesterday, four individuals on trail bikes broke into a house in Cockburn and used the railway track as a getaway route,” he told the Herald.

“Most of these trail bikers are underage, with no licence or helmet.

“Part of the problem is that police have a policy of not pursuing trail bikers in case they fall off and get injured.

“I would like to see council introduce a by-law that allows rangers to stop and impound bikes, and the implementation of Labor’s trail bike strategy which we put together when in power in 2008.”

Mr Logan says Cockburn is popular for trail biking because it’s crisscrossed with railway tracks that allow riders to ride from Atwell to Fremantle without using a sealed road.

Graham reckons most riders causing problems are teenagers.


Harbour Theatre 15x3 HTC Split Systems Ad Feb 2015 cropped Hilton Vet Hospital 10x3 Hycraft Homes 10x2 Instep Flooring & Furniture 20x3.5

Beacy BMX track unearthed

IT was Indiana Jones meets teenage Nicole Kidman when council workers unearthed an old BMX race track in Beaconsfield last week.

Workers were laying a cycle path along Carrington Street when they exhumed tyres and dirt from an old course at Hilton Park.

Opening in 1979 near the height of BMX fever, it was decommissioned in 1990 when another track was built on an old tip site in Cockburn.

A thrilled Jade McPherson relives his youth at the old Beacy BMX course.

A thrilled Jade McPherson relives his youth at the old Beacy BMX course.

The 400m Beacy course was a favourite with locals and home to Jade McPherson, who went to compete globally.

In a glittering career, McPherson won more than 30 state titles, several national and international titles and finished fourth at the world championships in Canada.

He’d started riding at four after his stepfather, a motor-cross enthusiast, took him down to the Beaconsfield track in the year it opened.

Now 40, McPherson still races in the over-30s masters division and coaches kids who’ve represented Australia at BMX racing in the past two Olympics.

McPherson as a youngster tears up the track in the 1980s.

McPherson as a youngster tears up the track in the 1980s.

The sport became a medal event at the 2008 Beijing games.

“Back in the ‘80s, I used to race at the Beaconsfield track every weekend on my Kuwahara,” McPherson recalls.

“Seeing sections of the old course brought back some great memories. I broke countless bones over the years, down here, but it was all great fun.”

McPherson previously worked as a high performance coach for BMX Sports WA, before becoming a freelance coach.

“There are around 1200 registered BMX riders in WA, so the sport is in pretty good shape,” he says.

McPherson as a youngster tears up the track in the 1980s.

McPherson as a youngster tears up the track in the 1980s.

“We’re never going to attract the money that sports like soccer and football do, but the inclusion of BMX racing in the Olympics has made a big difference.

“BMXs have always been cool, despite changes in fashions and trends,” he says.

“I still keep in touch on Facebook with old riders from back in the day.”

Council supervisor Lachlan Buck says the Carrington Street cycle path will be complete in around two weeks.


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Library booksale February 2015

Screen Snaper Image

Library booksale is on tomorrow, Saturday 28 February. Get some reading bargains for the long weekend. Items are only two dollars or less!

Fremantle City Library foyer
Saturday 28 February, 9am-4:30pm

Filed under: General Tagged: booksale


Tweet NO NEED TO FLOG THE DEAD HORSE | Freo’s View. It sounded much better when they where taking about it council a few weeks when I down loaded the file Freo 2029 I was a little disappointed the same old stuff in a glossy publication, all waiting for the state government to come and […]

March 2015 event – Better than OK


If you could have just one wish for your children what would you wish for, over and beyond everything else? The answer is almost universal: ‘Above all else, I want them to be happy.’
George W Burns


Dr Helen Street is a consultant psychologist, honorary research fellow at UWA, director of Wellbeing Australia and co-creator of the National Australian Positive Schools Initiative. She is also a columnist and media commentator who has appeared on Network Ten’s ‘The Circle’ and ‘The Project’.

Her book ‘Better than OK’ offers solution-focused and easy to read essays by 27 of the world’s top experts in Positive Education. Find out how you can help your children develop a lifelong love of learning.

Fremantle City Library
Tuesday 31 March
11:30am – 1:00pm

Light lunch provided.

Book online or ring 9432 9766 to reserve your place.

Filed under: Events Tagged: better than ok, fremantle, Fremantle Press, helen smart, positive education

Architects & Heroes... It's A Wild, Wild Life

Rokeby Road is an example of a local government area which had a large retail shift to fashion in the 2000s. Clever landlords are now inviting cafes to provide the environments the local community needs. To create community activity we restore habitats, so the 'wildlife' returns.

Click through to video.

Answers by the Minister point to 'Serious Muddle' over ‘Serious Threat’ shark policy

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren says more questions have emerged about the Government’s attempt to kill a protected tagged white shark in Warnbro Sound before Christmas after the Fisheries Minister said in Parliament this week that a kill order would not be issued again under similar circumstances.

“In answer to my question: ‘Is it the Government’s intention to try to kill more protected sharks fitted with acoustic tags in the future when the sharks have not been seen by anyone, let alone threaten anyone and whose presence is only known about because they have been detected on an acoustic receiver?’, the Minister answered: ‘The simple answer to that is no’,” Ms MacLaren said.

“This raises the obvious question as to why did the Fisheries’ acting Director-General order a tagged white shark in Warnbro Sound to be killed in December, when that shark had not been seen by any member of the public, nor had she threatened anyone.

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Precinct Meeting, Wednesday, March 11th, 6pm

An Arts Centre Precinct meeting will be held on Wednesday March 11th at 6pm in the Leisure Centre training room.

At this meeting, Paula Amaral and Patrick Howard, two of our community reps on the Cantonment Hill working group, will update residents about issues affecting the implementation of the Cantonment Hill Master Plan. This plan was adopted by Council in 2012 and many of you were involved in the consultation process that led up to the plan.

Hope, you can join us.



LPP3.11, adopted in 2009, provided for building heights of up to 17m in the area of the Matilda Bay, One Steel and Tasker’s sites. A modification proposed in 2014 provided for heights of up to 33m in selected sub-areas, subject to specific design criteria (a proposal for even greater heights was subsequently dropped by Council). At a well attended special meeting of NFCA/Precinct12 in October 2014, considerable concern was expressed about the impact on the community of buildings on this scale, and about the related proposal to open a road link between Thompson Road and McCabe Street.

In the weeks following, Council agreed to defer adoption of the policy until February 2015 and invited representatives of NFCA/Precinct12 to discuss community concerns with planning staff, which they did at two facilitated meetings in October and November. Council also resolved to undertake a traffic study of the area. Planning staff stated that dealing with potential impacts of the policy was beyond the scope of a planning policy, but agreed that guidelines for the development of structure plans could address many of the matters of concern, and recommended to Council’s February meeting that discussions continue with NFCA/Precinct12 with a view to having guidelines drafted by April 2015. The recommendation was also for immediate adoption of the policy, but following strong representations from NFCA/Precinct12, and on the motion of Cr Thompson, adoption was deferred until April 2015.

MEETING 24 February 2015

The obectives of the meeting were:

  • to brief the community on the history and current status of the policy;
  • provide an update on the traffic study; and
  • to develop a community vision for the area by working through matters that the community wishes to be addressed in structure plan guidelines to inform the content of development applications.

50 residents attended and worked through the program (SEE DOWNLOAD ABOVE)

Grand plan fails to deliver

It’s good to see Kate Emery out spruiking Mayor Brad Pettitt’s message of a grand vision for Fremantle once again. Not exactly a great surprise as she rarely questions the validity of some of the plans and is an obvious supporter of the Mayor.

Grand Plan to Overhaul Freo

Kate mentions the “biggest overhaul since the America’s Cup”. Haven’t we heard all of this before? This is the same spiel we have been hearing now for the last 7 years. One thing for sure is that it’s not anywhere near the size and scale of the overhaul that was caused by the America’s Cup.

“The ambitious plan involves reconnecting the city with the harbour, in part to tap into the lucrative, growing cruise liner market.”

Yes, well, that is something that we all know is happening. But considering how long it has taken Perth to get the rail line sunken and the cost, I very much doubt successive governments will see this as a high priority. Has a cost for this even been worked out? It’s all well and good to say “we need to sink the rail line and connect up the Harbour with the Town”, but its unrealistic. Maybe the City could work on a better bridge and connection points, or a scheme to entice people from Cruise liners to come into the CBD.

“That includes an extra 9500sqm of retail and 30,000sqm of offices at Victoria Quay, expanding the Fishing Boat Harbour to create a tourism node and better facilities around Bathers Beach.”

Didn’t ING try to put in a development at Victoria Quay and it was knocked back because of community outrage and the size and scale of the development? This wasn’t all that long ago. I totally support the Port Authority developing the land, but the community needs to get behind it. Will they get behind it without nitpicking every last detail is the issue.

“It also envisages overhauling the Fremantle Oval precinct, and possibly using the Stan Reilly site for affordable housing.”

Affordable housing? Please. They keep dragging this out and they know full well its a practical impossibility. Maybe almost cartoonish. Allow the market to decide, put it out for expressions of interest. Allow a high-rise development there. It’s next to two other major high-rise projects. What is the big deal in selling off the land with an allowable 10 story limit. It will otherwise maximise the return for the ratepayer and the council will still have discretion over the overall planning. Why they continue to try to tell developers that a certain amount of housing has to be sold for a certain price, is ridiculous. There are government schemes in place that make housing more affordable. The council needs to stop trying to interfere.

“The plan relies heavily on projects either yet to be approved or to some extent out of the city’s control, including light rail into the city centre and the $270 million Kings Square development.”

I couldn’t help but laugh when I heard the light rail component. Again, cartoonish. Why would the State Government waste taxpayers money on light rail in Fremantle? The Greens have been pushing for this, but it’s not worth it. It’s a fabrication and pipe dream at best and the Chamber is buying into it as well. Would it be cost-effective? I doubt it. A light rail system would only be effective once there is a large amount of people and commerce. This hasn’t happened, It’s not going to happen soon and it would be foolish to spend a heap of money on a project that doesn’t leverage the maximum benefit.

“Kings Square would have an extra 20,000sqm of retail space, 1500 new homes and 70,000sqm of offices in the city centre.”

I’m sure it will. But the question has to be, will it even go ahead? There are many people who feel it won’t. Sirona has put too many of its eggs in one basket and the City has tied itself to them. This isn’t surprising as the Council have been clutching at anything that comes along. Sirona has sold a magnificent vision of itself and how it sees Fremantle and, his mate, Brad Pettitt, the Mayor, has bought into it.

Mayor Brad Pettitt still believes that his plan will bring in thousands of people into the CBD of Fremantle and it will be transformational. That may be true, but only if it succeeds. But only if Sirona get an anchor tenant. But only if the State Government decide the put the Department of Housing in the old Myer building. The Sirona proceeds will rejuvenate the council chambers, but only once all these other variables go forward. But only if you keep electing him Mayor for the next 20 years can we expect to see this transformational occurrence.

“He said the current northern entrance to Fremantle ‘couldn’t be much worse’ and the Queen Victoria Street bridge could be transformed rather than torn down and replaced. That proposal is modelled on New York’s High Line, a former freight rail line turned into a popular public park suspended over Manhattan’s streets.”

There is possibly only one element of the supposedly ‘new’ but ‘old’ vision that makes some sense, and that is the questioning over the old Fremantle bridge and its likely future. The Mayor loses the plot though when he tries to make comparisons of Fremantle with New York. He seems to forget that NYC has a population the same as Australia.

Why would you take the old bridge and then add grass to it, then put a cafe on it and suggest that. Although I’m all for new business ventures, he really cannot see past Fremantle having other businesses other than cafes. Where are people going to park? Oh, they are supposed to walk and ride their bikes there, I forgot. No, hang on, there is a City of Fremantle car park at the jetty where people can pay, which will probably be sold off or turned into  Skate Park.

“There’s a debate with Government. We’re pushing very hard for, rather than just a minor upgrade of the bridge, they should seek replacement.”

So on the one hand, he wants to keep the bridge and turn it into a grassed walking, riding your bike zone with cafes and no-cars, but on the other he wants it replaced. That’s not being decisive. Either replace it, or turn it into something. The Mayor whats a bet each way on what happens.

I think he is suffering from New York fever since Sirona has started the old Woolstores apartment complex. That is a good development, but that was started years and years ago and is only now starting. It will be a 10 year project by the time it finishes.

“Fremantle retailers are mostly optimistic about what they see as efforts to restore the city to its former glory. Kate Hulett and partner Matt Bale run the Kate & Abel homewares shop and cafe and manage the MANY 6160 retail project inside the former Myer building.”

Asking one retailer of a home wares shop and looking at MANY 6160 is a poor example. MANY 6160 is only open 3 days a week. It’s a joke. Fremantle is supposed to be a 7 day a week economy. MANY 6160 is nothing more than a market, which isn’t going to be around for a long time.

“There’s certainly a movement”, Yes, but movement of people away from the CBD.

“Freo’s got something: the port city, the grit, the history and the beautiful buildings.” This is starting to sound like Sam Wainwright describing the beggars as gritty undertone, as if we need beggars in Fremantle to add culture to the place.

The secondhand clothing retailers think that its only going to take two or three years. What about the last 7 years? How many more years is it going to take. The answer is “as long as it takes”.

The Mayor went to the last election 18 months ago with the statement “Lets Finish What We Started“. Fair enough at the time. But how long is it going to take? How long do you need? What if you don’t finish? What if, what you’ve started is rubbish?

These are the questions that need to be asked.

No doubt his next election statement will be “Look, Were Getting There, But It Will Take A Little Longer“.

Filed under: Business, City of Fremantle, Fremantle, Housing Tagged: Brad Pettitt, CEO, City of Fremantle, Fremantle, Fremantle Ports, gouging, Greens, investment, Rates, State Government

WA Greens call for marriage equality allies to speak out

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren called on marriage equality allies to speak out more vocally as she congratulated Rachelle and Hayley Bennett for their highly publicised marriage thanks to the British Consulate and local radio station Hit92.9.

Orchestrated by Radio Station Hit92.9’s Heidi Anderson, the wedding took advantage of a loophole in the system allowing the lesbian couple to get married if at least one partner held British citizenship.

Ms MacLaren said Rachelle and Hayley Bennett’s marriage, although unfortunately not recognised by Australia, really highlighted broad public support for marriage equality.

“It is truly inspiring to me to see that this couple’s wedding has encouraged more marriage equality allies to come out into the open,” she said.

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Australian shipbuilding a vital industry

Ms Parke (09:42am ) – I too would like to welcome our friends visiting from the parliament of Papua New Guinea. Welcome to this place.

The week before last, the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union organised an event here in Parliament House to draw attention to the importance of the Australian shipbuilding industry and to relaunch the 'Save Australia's Shipbuilding' campaign. At that event a shipbuilder from South Australia spoke about his concern for his own employment future, for the economic and social welfare of his family and the wider community of which they are a part. Most poignantly, he talked about the pride his sons took in the work he did, their interest in being able to follow in his path as a skilled manufacturing worker and of course his fear that this opportunity simply will not exist in the future.

Fremantle Made Junkets

Tweet Well you could take 2 basic meaning for this? Junket is light and refreshing custard made with milk, rennet, sugar and vanilla, or even flavoured milk? n: a conference, retreat or otherwise third-party (read: company, government, etc.) subsidized event for which an individual personally pays little to nothing, but reaps benefits. So what was today’s junket well let’s […]

Water in USA pipeline is tapped for electricity

Tweet Hydro with a difference Luicd Energy   Now i’m not saying this would work in Fremantle, god knows they hate anyone using water. But the science in this is pretty basic but smart its just a different type of Hydro power, but using existing water infrastructure. Have a look the turbine is simple. I wonder […]

Perth must not fall behind other capitals in late night services

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren says the State Government must assess impacts on hospital emergency departments before proceeding with a plan to cancel Perth’s late night train services.

Ms MacLaren made the call after the Government confirmed in Parliament this afternoon that Perth would join Darwin, Canberra and Hobart as the only Australian capitals without regular late night train or bus services if the planned cancellation went ahead.

“Even Adelaide, with a smaller population than Perth, provides a midnight to 5am bus service on Saturday nights to get people safely out of the city,” Ms MacLaren said.

“In 2009, Premier Barnett announced the 2.15am train service as part of a package to improve community safety in Northbridge.

“He revealed at the time that Friday and Saturday nights between midnight and 5am were the busiest times for the Emergency Department at Royal Perth Hospital, with up to a half of presentations being alcohol-related, at a cost of $540 per admission.

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Labour Day Public Holiday 2015

20140516-101759.jpgPlease note that Fremantle City Library will be closed on Monday 2nd March for the Labour Day Public Holiday.

We will reopen on Tuesday 3rd March at 9am. In the meantime, download some ebooks or music or renew items in the library catalogue.

Filed under: General

Will Wave Power Sink Fremantle Wind Farm

Tweet Just days after Carnegie launched a world first in WA, they announced a $20 million loan facility that will go to part fund its CETO 6 project. Carnegie is reported to be close to finishing conceptual design, ahead of schedule. The CETO 6 is planned to be 8km further off shore than the one they […]

Detention of asylum seeker children a national shame

Ms Parke (4:13pm) – I rise to speak about children in immigration detention. The facts as presented in the recently released Human Rights Commission report entitled The Forgotten Children chillingly speak for themselves. In a 15-month period, commencing January 2013, 128 children engaged in self-harm. There were 233 assaults against children and 33 reported incidents of sexual assault against children. The report demonstrates unequivocally that children in our care, children who have come seeking refuge, have instead experienced physical, mental, emotional and sexual abuse while in our effective custody.

Business Curation - What Is It?

In an interview with Sophie Bowman of Simply Fabulous in Victoria Park we learn that the vital opportunity here is the addition of more boutiques. This is to offset the high number of night-time business (restaurants) here and create more daytime activity.

Footpath subsidence in front of her shop where a street-tree was recently removed is an opportunity to replicate nearby public seating projects. But instead of a 'normal' project the seating should be decorated and maintained by Simply Fabulous. This will give SF more visual impact on the streetscape because the eye will span her 'brand' over more linear metres. So, without actually adding more boutiques (yet) the precinct already has a higher percentage of boutique activity in the landscape. This is critical in attracting other boutiques to the area, who will be looking for justification that their business-type is sustainable in the precinct. This right can be rescinded if the area becomes 'boutique heavy' one day and the highest and best use of the seating becomes something else.


Below: some subsidence which needs seeing to anyway (in between the in-ground uplights).


Below: Nearby seating projects.


Below: Simply Fabulous to the right, subsidence is behind the bench (at left). Bench could be discarded (steel is too hot in summer and too cold in winter) and replaced with a seating project; area is under walkability review which includes addressing vehicle speeds. Public activity at the road line reduces speeds because drivers intuitively add caution.


Media Watch bias reporting on wind farm study

As a follow-up article to one I previously posted, that was sent through to me from a community member, it appears as though the Media Watch team, who we had a little faith in getting it right, have now turned against good reporting.

Legal move threatened over Media Watch report

The author of the study which shows a conclusive link between wind turbines and health implications has been misrepresented and now plans to sue.

Many of the online articles comments back up the need to sell off the ABC if this is the depths to which they are prepared to go.

The people such as the Fremantle Mayor, councilors and MUA representatives who seem to approve of this wind farm off Fremantle, as well as the proponents needs to be aware that they may be personally liable for their decisions in light of evidence which shows that there could be health implications for the residents of Fremantle should such a venture go forth.

With so many tourists and trade vessels coming through the port, this could be disastrous for the operators and potentially bankrupt the venture before it gets off the ground. Forget about getting insurance to cover any potential liability or loss.

Filed under: ABC, Alternative Energy, Fremantle, Fremantle State Seat, Policy, Wind Farm

Fremantle Seniors Speak Out, Lost Services

Tweet Fremantle  To Seniors   This is something new for my Blog, I have a piece written by a Senior citizen of Fremantle, this looks at what services they have lost over the years from council and explains why she belives that some people feared, merging or amalgamating with Fremantle. So its the  first letter to […]

Embracing the Necessary Transformation – Curtin University Graduation Speech

Last night I had the honour of giving the Occasional Address at Curtin University’s graduation ceremony. Here is what I said: ——- Good evening Acting Chancellor Sue Wilson, Acting Vice Chancellor David Wood, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. It is a great pleasure to give the Occasional Address at this evening’s graduation ceremony, and I […]