FREMANTLE Sailing Club’s proposed universal access ramp and extra groyne at South Beach’s dog beach seems unsuitable for disabled access.
The north section of beach is often entirely or mostly underwater, and being in the water near a ramp used by dinghies would be unpleasant, even dangerous, for swimmers. Disabled access would be better provided further south.
From the ramp, boats might range south, risking collisions with swimmers and disturbing the sealife that adds so much to our pleasure. It is the natural, undeveloped, yet safe nature of this beach that we love. Also of concern are the uninvestigated environmental effects of the extra groyne.
Whether or not this proposed encroachment is the thin end of the wedge for further club expansion, as it stands the plan would spoil a public beach much used by swimmers of all ages and ability, dog owners and otherwise.
Opposing the plan is not selfish; it is a matter of common sense and fairness. Leisure craft facilities occupy much of our foreshore already, but there will always be a need for more. The club cannot expect its desires to overrule the interests of the boat-less majority, who deserve full and unimpeded use of all the limited amount of public beach that Fremantle still has.
I urge readers to complete the Council’s online survey on the proposal before February 28.
Mary Dortch

Brief note
IT was very good news to read in the Herald (February 16, 2013) the council is now deciding to put the re-development of the eastern side of Kings Square (Myer, etc) out to a design competition.
I hope that when this competition is organised it will include the following in the brief:
• how the new development can complete the Square, in terms of operation of the whole Square, in relation to pedestrians, vehicle movement and parking;
• how the new development will relate to the existing bulk and scale of buildings around the whole square in terms of bulk and scale and detailing (scale references being buildings like the existing Myer building but also significant scale buildings like the Federal Hotel and the Town Hall building itself);
• how the new development might re-use the existing buildings and recycle them, this as an option versus wholesale demolition and renewal (references here being the concept of the value of recycling existing buildings and their embedded carbon footprint versus wholesale renewal and an increased carbon footprint).
Alarm bells still ring when we hear terms like “the civic triangle” attributed to the mayor in your article. This is certainly not an issue of designing any “triangle” but of designing a complete Square, by looking to complete that whole on this eastern side.
Without approaching the issue of the Square as a whole in this design competition is to risk failure again (the previous failure being the current Myer building which itself is an example of designing in isolation.
Similarly, alarm bells ring when the terms of the brief may well be unbalanced when the term “other non-heritage parts of Fremantle” is similarly attributed to the mayor.  If history can tell us anything it is that such an attitude, that Kings Square is not of heritage value as a whole (which is clearly nonsensical) is precisely what gave us the current Myer building in the first place.
We must learn from such history.
There is clearly lots of information on the existing buildings and these sites that will need to be included in the brief for such a competition and the brief will obviously include many more issues than the three I have pointed out, such as open space, etc. I would make the case that the brief itself should be open to public comment as it’s finalised.
Such a competition could really be a great opportunity for the council to showcase its policies and a great opportunity for the people of Fremantle to have a real say in the revival of this great square.
Michael Willicombe
Chudleigh St, Fremantle

Hollow promises
I SEE in your paper very nice looking apartments at South Beach starting from $795,000.
What happened to the affordable housing that was touted for this development and others like it going south down the coast?
The promise of affordable housing was echoed by the chamber of commerce and any argument about development near the beach was rubbished by claims that families who couldn’t afford to get into the housing market would now be able to do so.
Surely any talk like this into the future has to be met with the scepticism it deserves.
Warren Hately
Margaret River
Disclaimer: Warren is a former Chook.

First teachers?
IT is not enough to say it is heartbreaking to read in the Herald of the ongoing mistreatment of marine life at Woodman Point jetty.
What we now have to move to is a solution because our marine life is too precious to be wasted by anglers who lack intelligence and ethics. From what has been reported so far most of the perpetrators are youths and I wonder what kind of parents are bringing up kids who think animal mistreatment is acceptable?
This is a very serious issue which, going by the diver’s reports (Herald, February 16, 2013) has been happening for a long time without any penalties being incurred. Now it is time for us to do something about it.
I call on anyone who cares about our oceans and the marine life within to take action. If you have contacts in the departments of fisheries, local government, state government, conservation organisations, etc talk to them, let them know what’s happening at Woodman Point and let’s use the caring majority to put a stop to animal cruelty by a stupid minority.
Alison Dorn
Forrest Rd, Fremantle

Never A-class
RICHMOND Raceway was never an A-class reserve (Herald letters, February 16, 2013).
It was controlled by the WA Trotting Association but run as a financial success by the Fremantle Trotting Club. Gloucester Park was in financial difficulties so Richmond Raceway was sold and the open space lost.
The adjacent area was gifted to the people by the Pearse family and gazetted as an A-class reserve to protect it for use as a recreational space for all. Sir John Forrest was involved and it has the same standing as Kings Park. It is used by many other groups besides the football fraternity.
The early settlers looked to the future and provided many different facilities for use by those who were to come. Sadly, today some do not value that which has been provided by those with vision who have gone before.
I am not an Allen Street nimby, I enjoy football and many other sports and I live on the northern side of Canning Highway. I am proud to support the nimbys however in their efforts to retain and improve the A-class reserve so those of the future can enjoy it too.
Pat Newton
Alexandra Rd, East Fremantle

To the hilt
MARY IRWIN (Herald letters, February 16, 2013) highlights the sad fact about our world. Government seems to think we are incapable as a community to manage ourselves, so we must be regulated to the hilt.
South Beach is a unique example in our urban world of true community spirit that translates into individuals taking responsibility for their actions, respecting one another and the environment. This attitude effectively self-manages, it is a wonderfully sustainable model.
I visit South Beach dog beach nearly daily. I am not a dog owner but visit to experience the pleasure of community-spirited people and their dogs.
Fremantle council, can you not see that your resources are better served elsewhere than hassling a perfectly workable model? The South Freo Beach community proactively looks out for the welfare of each other and the environment.
Maybe taking a step back and allowing the the system to naturally work itself wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
Leanne McKenzie
Maxwell St, Beaconsfield

IT is a wonder Freo hasn’t dissolved into a quagmire of anarchy and mayhem, villains daring to mount their deadly treadlies without the mandatory headgear, dogs tied up to the wrong tree (Herald letters, February 16, 2013)—what threats to society.
I know it’s been said before but maybe, just maybe, if we had a few fewer laws it would free up the pressurised law enforcers to control the genuinely dangerous problems, which seem to be in plentiful supply.
Australia is one of only two countries in the world to enforce universal use of bicycle helmets. Less congestion, pollution and a healthier population would be the result of more commuting cyclists—worth encouraging?
Mary Irwin
Wheeler Rd, Hamilton Hill

Beach gallery
IF the council and WA government want to do something revolutionary, great.
I suggest they purchase the biggest eyesore ever—the building in front of Bathers Beach—demolish it and create an art gallery. It’s perfect: Beachside, near hotels and pubs, etc. Look for examples of what could be done—Tasmania’s MONA art gallery. That area needs a huge lift and I urge people to go and look at that ugly monster that pretends to be a tourist magnet.
Dean Whineray

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