by CARMELO AMALFI & JENNY D’ANGER
ROEL LOOPERS, who resigned the presidency of the Fremantle Society two weeks ago—just two weeks after being re-elected unopposed—has withdrawn his resignation.
He says more than 150 people contacted him, convincing him to reconsider.
He’d pulled the pin after being labelled “the wrong president” by a society member opposed to his leadership.
“It was a tsunami of goodwill that was heart-warming,” Mr Loopers said.
“The kind of reassurance I needed to change my mind.”
He’d said the day he’d resigned he would only reconsider if a general meeting was called to vote on a new president and, “those who criticised me would have to put up or shut up”.
He’s evidently changed his mind, unilaterally re-electing himself after only a few days out of office, promising to “refresh and rejuvenate” the society.
“The committee will work hard to earn the respect of all stakeholders in our city, so they will take us seriously and not ignore us as negative and irrelevant,” the 64-year-old photographer says.
“We will keep opposing inappropriate development in our city, but we will support progress and positive change.
“Life is great. Thanks for having me!”
Mr Loopers had also been criticised for not taking a strong enough stand against the council’s amendment 49, which allows up to nine-storey development in the CBD.
Vowing to continue to work for Fremantle’s future, he says change is necessary, including denser housing and more office space to attract residents and workers.
“The status quo is not a solution—and neither is high-rise,” he says, adding he wants the society to work with the council, not against it.
“I believe it is very important to have a good working relationship, based on mutual respect, with all stakeholders in this city.
“Those with different views are not my enemies.
“We all want the best for Fremantle, but we sometimes disagree on how to achieve that. Some people…do not like that but that is democracy.”
Mr Loopers is hoping 2013 is the year of the younger member with the society looking to attract more members under 60.
“We are ageing and the society could die of natural causes,” he warns.
“We need to be run by young people to attract young people.”