The Fremantle Society AGM will be held on Monday December 10 at 6 pm at the Fremantle Workers Club, 9 Henry Street. All members are encouraged to attend and the public is welcome as observers.

Meet the present and new committee and share a drink with us to celebrate the Society’s dedication to Fremantle and its community.

Roel Loopers

Roel Loopers



The Fremantle Society, representing 395 members of the wider Fremantle community, strongly objects to the proposed widening of Stirling Highway at North Fremantle. The current plans would involve the demolition of several heritage-listed properties and seriously affect others.

The North Fremantle town centre has a unique appeal that should and can be retained if the proposed plans are modified.

The Fremantle Society supports the broad aims of the Draft MRS Amendment 1210/41 in encouraging greater use of public transport by providing efficient bus lanes, and safe bike lanes on Stirling Highway.

The Draft Amendment however does not comply with the spirit of Directions 2031 which states that “we should grow within the constraints placed on us by the environment in which we live” and that we should “protect our natural and built environments and scarce resources”

QUEEN VICTORIA STREET to ALFRED ROAD – Plan 1.7151 and Plan 1.7221

Town Centre

The parts of North Fremantle that abut Stirling Highway are some of the older and more interesting parts of the Stirling Highway corridor, containing many buildings on the State and Municipal Heritage Lists. New residential developments in Northbank and the renovation of the suburb’s old houses have seen more people living in the area and have contributed to a revitalisation of the Town Centre. Many small businesses have established themselves in Queen Victoria Street and with Council encouragement there are plans for more small bars and restaurants. It has become a much frequented centre.

There is an alternative option for Queen Victoria St. The street could become a pedestrian and bus priority road where only local traffic would be allowed and the speed limit could be reduced to e.g. 40Km/hr. Alternatively this could also only be implemented during peak hour traffic.

Cars could be directed to turn right at Tydeman Rd to continue north up Stirling Highway. Alternatively, it could become one-way, having a single car or bus lane travelling in one direction and one lane for bikes (a single two-way bike lane which was grade-separated for added safety). A Principal Shared Path is planned to follow the railway line to link up with that already existing north of Cottesloe. This, together with a single bike lane on the carriagway, is a realistic option.

Lot 1 Queen Victoria St is an important group of shops on the Fremantle Heritage List. Adopting the above recommendations for Queen Victoria Street will avoid the need for including this site in the road reserve. Alternatively, one of the two lanes at this intersection (Jackson St) could serve as a bus lane, thus avoiding the need for resumption.

Alfred Road Intersection

Similarly, the Alfred Rd intersection (Plan 1.7221) appears excessive, doubling in size, and affecting several heritage properties. Alfred Road feeds traffic from parts of North Fremantle that has seen much development in recent years. There is no vacant land left for development and it is unlikely there are many blocks where infill might occur. Traffic entering or leaving Stirling Highway will thus not increase markedly in years to come. It seems highly unlikely the intersection will need all the planned additionally lanes. A better solution must be found to protect five substantial heritage properties.


The Society supports the City of Fremantle’s suggestion that the road reservation on the eastern side of Stirling Highway be removed by moving the entire reservation westward to occupy some of the railway reserve land.


Although the Fremantle Society supports a plan for increased use of public transport and bike paths, it should not be achieved without due regard to the communities affected and our Heritage places, both on the State Heritage List or the Municipal List. Directions 2031 plans for people to live in communities that provide work, shopping and social opportunities so there is less need to travel. The community of North Fremantle, as with many of the communities along Stirling Highway, has a busy heritage precinct. Having the threat of resumption hanging over the Town Centre and a large number of houses along Stirling Highway will adversely affect the viability of the town centre and the future development of this area.

We also suggest the improvement of the public transport system with more train carriages on the Fremantle-Perth line during peak hours and a future light rail link.

Roel Loopers



Hello all!

It’s time to have fun, network and eat good food again!

The next FREMANTLE SOCIETY dinner is on Tuesday, July 10 at 7pm at our food HQ the Victoria Cafe on Victoria Quay.

Delicious Balinese food for only $ 23.00 per head and BYO, so bring friends and introduce them to FS.

You need to RSVP me by Sunday July 8, midday please, so I can let the Victoria know the numbers they’ll have to cater for .  Email:

I am looking forward to seeing many of you. I am sure the weather will be better than last time. ; >)


Roel Loopers


Another Brick In The Wall was just a lovely idea for people to tell the stories of their streets, homes and families, in a different way. The Fremantle Society organised it for this year’s Fremantle Heritage Festival, and the wall of bricks was on display at the Queensgate Mall for a week.

For those of you who missed it, here photos of a selection of the bricks.

Roel Loopers



In a big coup for Kidogo Art House in Fremantle, Christies of London will show three of the earliest paintings of Fremantle on June 28 at 6pm.

The unpublished water colours of Fremantle are possibly the earliest views of the Swan River Colony by Mary Ann Friend, who painted them in her diary.

The journal will be auctioned by Christies in South Kensington on October 9 and is expected to sell for $ 155,000 – $ 233,000.

Nick Lamboum of Christies will be holding a talk about the journal at Kidogo on June 28.

Roel Loopers


Fremantle Society committee member Don Whittington took over 80 people on a club crawl in Fremantle’s West End as part of this year’s Heritage Festival.

Don took us along to the Navy, the Buffalo and the Workers Club, where we enjoyed a drink at the old bars and had fun listening to the stories. Many stayed on for a good meal at the Workers Club.

Roel Loopers


The stunning looking Fremantle Herald Festival 2012 program is out, but for those who have not received it as hard copy, here it is. Click on the images to enlarge.

Printed copies are available from the library at the Town Hall.

This is going to be a fantastic festival, so please do come to as many events as possible, starte creating a box of information about your street for Another Brick in the Wall, participate in the Amazing Place Race, the Club Crawl, the Aboriginal Heritage Tours, Don’s Tram Tours, etc.etc!!

The festival is on from May 25 to June 4.

Roel Loopers


The proposal by the City of Fremantle to make an Arts Hub out of Arthur Head is flawed because it lacks vision and is based on lack of local knowledge of the area, and lack of inside knowledge of the arts industry.

Decisions about Arthur Head need to be outcome based and need to absolutely respect the heritage and indigenous importance, and tourism value of the area. That is not being debated at all.

What is the outcome Fremantle council wants to achieve for Arthur Head? Is it to create more vibrancy into the west end, to attract more visitors, to receive more rent, or all of the above? Only when we know what outcome we want to achieve can we work back from there to implement the changes that would achieve that. Change for change sake is not a plan.

To make Arthur Head and the west end in general more vibrant it would need action different from simply making subsidised artist studios out of cottages and the J Shed, and throwing each and every existing occupant out, so we can start from scratch.

Has council considered at all that evicting the Fremantle Heritage Guides from their office would result in the closure of the Round House, as most guides would stop their volunteer work? They need an office, kitchen and change room near the Round House for lunch breaks, storage of explosives to fire the cannon, and access to bad weather gear, a fridge and toilet, etc.

Subsidised artist studios don’t attract tourists. Closed doors never do and most artists like to work in solitude, not having people looking over their shoulders. Subsidised artists studios for mostly part time artists are only used infrequently, if one can take the example of the Old Customs House, where studios are not used for days at a time because the artists have jobs to go to.

Artists in residencies are often vacant for many weeks, sometimes months, between residencies as well. Interstate and overseas artists also like to travel Western Australia, which leaves the studios unused for long periods. Check it out at Artsource and the Moores Building!

It is important to stress again that the Pilot’s Cottages are heritage listed, which makes them unsuitable for artists studios, because of possible damage to walls and floors. They were built as residential buildings and should retain some of that character. Bed&Breakfast might be an option to look into.

The West End of the city does need more than just artists taking over buildings, and real and better alternatives should be looked at more seriously.

One of the cottages could become an annex of The Meeting Place, with meeting rooms for community groups. This would suit cottage 11 where the Fremantle Society is in at present. It would mean a constant coming and going of people during the days and evenings, which enhances security and vibrancy.

The most southern studio at J Shed is rarely used and could be converted into a café/wine bar on the beach to attract locals and visitors to Arthur Head. Greg James’ studio has regular exhibitions, while Jenny Dawson collaborates with indigenous artists on many projects. This should be supported and the artists retained!

Grants should be thought to extend the boardwalk from Kidogo Art House to J Shed. This would make it a real tourist attraction, and connects the historic ends of Bathers Beach to the Maritime Museum and Victoria Quay.

A weekend, or monthly art market in front of J Shed at Bathers Beach should be investigated. It could even partly be held in the Whalers Tunnel to entice people to wander through High Street. There is plenty of parking at Maritime TAFE on weekend days. My proposal last year to run one as a community event did not get off the ground because CoF did not want to cover the public liability insurance costs, although I would not have made a single cent out of the market.

Tourists love the residential feeling at 10 Captain’s Lane. They interact with the cats, the kids and the family. This family gives security to the area, and area frequented by homeless people and boozed up backpackers. Don’t evict that family. Embrace them!

Unoccupied artists studios at night would make Arthur Head a target for vandalism, anti social behaviour, break-ins, and squatting.

It would need a considerable amount of money to upgrade and renovate the buildings into artist studios, without any evidence that doing so will enhance the vibrancy of Arthur Head and attract more people to the West End of Fremantle.   I ask council again, what outcome do you want to achieve with your proposed changes!

Great things could be achieved at Arthur Head, but the proposed art precinct is not one of them, because it is not creative and forward looking enough. It lacks diversity and the big picture approach that is needed.

Roel Loopers




The next of our monthly Fremantle Society dinners will be on Tuesday May 15 at 7pm at the Victoria Cafe adjacent to the E Shed markets on Victoria Quay. Great Indonesian food for only $ 23.00 per person. It’s BYO and no corkage charged.

Non members welcome, but I need your RSVP by Sunday May 13, midday. Email

Roel Loopers



The 2012 FREMANTE HERITAGE FESTIVAL, which will run from May 25 to June 4, will be an outstanding one, if one can go by the program that hit the streets today. It looks pretty amazing and there is such a variety that everyone in Freo should find events to their liking.

The inaugural Amazing Place Race will be held, the popular Don’s Tram Tours are on again, and so is the Arthur Grady Motorcycle Ride. Find out about the Round House and John Gavin who was hanged there, and Henry Reveley who built it. Discover how Anne Tippett broke the Rrules, have a look at Vintage Prams, and come along for the jolly Fremantle Club Crawl.

Another Brick In The Wall asks you to find out the history of your street, neighbours, your house, family, etc and create a box full of historic information. The 125 Anniversary Ball of the Fremantle Rowing Club will be at the Town Hall, and Don Whittington will take you on a tour of Mystery of Monuments at the Freo Cemetery, while Greg Nannup will tell you all about the Noongar history on tours around Bathers Beach.

There is heaps more, so get your program from the Fremantle Library and do participate in this fantastic event that has got so many things for young and old to enjoy!

Roel Loopers