Letters 26.1.13

Photo Place LETTERSShine on, Clem
I WOULD like to congratulate you on such a beautiful, happy photo on the front page on December 15.
Clem Harvey surrounded by such beautiful sunflowers. I have the privilege of calling this man ‘friend’, and what an amazing, kind person Mr Harvey is.
He reflects absolute goodness. His garden is there to put smiles on other people’s faces, and that is where he receives his joy. He himself is a ray of sunshine!
The world needs more people like Clem Harvey. Thank you for sharing this photo and lifting the spirits of all who received it.
Kathleen Bacich
Quickly Cres, Hamilton Hill

Potential eyesore?
THE item “Frangipaini” prompted me to write (Herald, January 19, 2013).
My daughter and her family are long-term tenants of a heritage cottage alongside the Round House on Captains Lane.
She has acted as unofficial custodian of the area, often reporting problems associated with undesirable behaviour.
The family’s presence generally is a deterrent for crime.
They have recently been served an eviction notice by the Fremantle City Council which plans to convert the area into an “arts precinct”.
Once vacant, it will be interesting to see if this cottage and others alongside suffer the same fate as the old warders’ cottages in Henderson Street and the ex-Army barracks on Queen Victoria Street—for years laying idle and becoming derelict from lack of maintenance.
I sincerely hope not.
Phyllis Tobin
Fionn Ct, Ardross

I AGREE with Suzanne Hanley (“No-meter month”, Herald, January 19, 2013) wholeheartedly.
Fremantle council must have alarm bells ringing with the loss of large retail outlets. I’ve just arrived back from a six-month holiday around Australia and I wasn’t aware that Myer is now pulling the pin on Fremantle as well.
As a long-time resident of Fremantle (National Hotel manager/Orient Hotel licensee) and surrounding areas, it worries me what has happened and is happening to Fremantle retail.
On my trip I noticed most councils in large country towns have had the same problem in the past and what they did to combat the problem with great success. Shopping malls that replaced main roads have been removed to encourage shoppers back to the heart of the town with parking on the street as it was in Fremantle back in the 70s. High Street should continue from the town hall to Market Street.
No large country town, Australia wide, charged for parking on the main street. Even Adelaide had free street parking in areas.
Chris Mills
Money Rd, Melville
Ed says: Chris, on your next trip keep up with all the news at

Trouble magnet
I HAVE been a resident in Marine Terrace for the past 20 years.
The construction of a skate park will change the very nature of the existing park which is currently such a safe place for my grandchildren to play when they visit. As has been found in other areas these facilities become magnets for graffiti, rubbish, broken glass, excessive noise, vandalism, street drinking and possibly even the sale of drugs.
In my view situating this structure in close proximity to an area where young families spend time will lessen the appeal of the area to families who have used the park for generations. It will create a risk to younger visitors and mean that parents have to take extra supervision and care to ensure the safety of young children. What should be a relaxing family time will become a time of worry and extra vigilance.
There is an existing skate park close by to the railway line near Beach Street; to duplicate it on the Esplanade seems to be a totally unnecessary waste of ratepayers’ funds. To do so at the expense of ruining one of the few grassed open play areas that families can enjoy is just wrong.
Pamela Cattalini
Marine Tce, Fremantle

What we’ve got
WHEN I was a teenager, a popular song was Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi. I well remember the lyrics ‘Don’t it always seem to go. That you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.’
Clearly it must have been one of Greens candidate for Fremantle Andrew Sullivan’s favourites, as this is what he is proposing with his overblown skate park on the Esplanade Park. To concrete around a third of a beautiful park which has survived intact for all these years is unbelievable.
As a regular patron of the historic Esplanade Hotel, I am dismayed with the prospect of a gigantic skate park plonked right in front of the hotel. It will bring all the usual problems, rubbish, graffiti, anti-social behaviour, vandalism and the risk to younger children playing at the park.
But what a risk it will be to the tourism industry in Fremantle. Exposing interstate and international visitors to these inevitable problems will damage the tourism industry in Fremantle. There are already have enough problems with the depressed economy in Fremantle, the business closures and empty premises, we shouldn’t invite yet another one.
How ironic that it is the Greens candidate for Fremantle wanting to take away a big slice of a beautiful park that has been enjoyed by generations of West Australians. The two existing skate parks in Fremantle should be cleaned up and fully utilised before the building of another one is even contemplated. It’s a crazy idea the council should have rejected when it was first suggested.
Libby Hocking
Nancy Way, Coogee 

Not a great welcome mat
I AM a retired business woman and have lived across the road from the Esplanade park for some years.
My home is in very close proximity to the Esplanade Hotel, the only residential hotel in the centre of Fremantle and a venue for many business conferences and functions attracting visitors from interstate and overseas. It is also a drawcard for tourism in Fremantle, a vital industry in our city.
Many cruise ship passengers enjoy the facilities of the hotel; cruising is a growing industry internationally and the City of Fremantle should be doing all it can to support and nurture it locally.
In other locations where skate parks have been built there have been ongoing problems with graffiti, unsocial behaviour, rubbish, vandalism and noise.
These are problems we do not want to parade in front of visitors to our city. We already have enough problems in the centre of town with beggars, anti-social behaviour, street drinking and graffiti.
Another concerning aspect of this proposal is the reduction in the usable area of the park. It is an outstanding outdoor venue for many events, displays and markets. The skate park development will reduce the usable area available for future events, thus potentially harming the business activity in the city once again.
I do believe this issue is of such importance there should be a vote held to gauge the level of support for it in the general community. Unfortunately there is very outspoken element in Fremantle and many ordinary people feel intimidated by them and many decisions are currently being made that do not have majority support.
While the City of Fremantle’s concern for young people is commendable it should be investigating ways it can assist young people in gaining vital training and work rather then this proposal, especially given the fact that we have a skate park just around the corner anyway.
This skate park will be a disaster for tourism in Fremantle, the council should be providing shade and barbeques in the area instead.
Joan Kempthorne
Marine Tce, Fremantle

One response to “Letters 26.1.13

  1. Whilst it is a worthy sentiment to keep the Esplanade as is one has to ask the question are the objectors to the proposed skate park suffering a degree of NIMBYism? Fearful that their property will reduce in value? A skate park is a wonderful way for youngsters to congregate, be outside paraticipating in healthy activities rather than hanging around on street corners looking to make trouble because they are bored and do not have an outlet for their natural exuberance. Bring it on I say and congratulations to those who have had the foresight to think and plan ahead for the youth of today’s requirements

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