14. 32LETTERSNo poos shoes
I live in Hilton and my two children attend our lovely, local primary school. We have beautiful open grounds and a large, well-maintained, grassy oval.
Many use the area to walk their dogs. I am a dog owner and am happy to see the space used as a community resource in this way.
We do, however, have a growing problem with children getting dog poo on their shoes! To walk away from your dog’s mess in a park or at the beach is bad but in my opinion to do so on the grounds of a school is a whole new level of bad citizenship.
I appeal to all Hilton dog owners to show respect for the environment our children learn and play in. I appeal to all Hilton dog owners to show respect for the staff of Hilton primary school who recently have had to pick up dog poo so our children have a clean and pleasant place to play. This is above the call of duty and they should not have to do it!
Please, pick up your dog’s poos! Poos on shoes—it’s not good news.
Sarah Rule
Nicholas Cresc, Hilton

 Misplaced passion’
The Herald front page editorial “Demolition derby looms” (August 3, 2013) was obviously written with passion and commitment.
I agree with much of the sentiment, but unfortunately the attacks on Mayor Brad Pettitt and the Fremantle council are ill-founded.
The council has engaged fully with the process and is as disillusioned with the outcome as the Herald is. If attacks borne out of frustration are valid they should go fair and square to Premier Colin Barnett for his disingenuous, “there will be no forced amalgamations” and WALGA president Troy Pickard (the mayor of Joondalup) whose latest communication to councillors says “wide ranging structural changes to WA metropolitan local government is closely aligned to the model preferred by the majority of the sector”. Wrong!
The letters pages are an interesting mix on the subject, there are those who welcome the announcement on the grounds Fremantle council has not done enough to revitalise the city, whilst there are still those who feel the council’s economic development strategies have been too kind on developers in regards to height and assistance.
Fremantle council was an active member of the G20 group that addressed the call for a reduced number of councils and supported their plan that had Fremantle extend to Stock Road to the east and the old South Fremantle power station to the south. It beggars belief the premier chose to disregard that work, and hopefully enough of the G20 can be encouraged to stand our ground.
The arrogance that accompanied the announcement regarding border changes and how they will be forced onto the sector and communities harks back to the Charles Court era.
Dear Herald, if you do not like the reform announcement and what it holds for Fremantle’s community I urge you to get your paper behind the community backlash in the hope these draconian measures will be overturned by voter action.
Attacking those who have worked for the best outcomes for Fremantle is a knee jerk, but counterproductive response.
Cr Jon Strachan
South Ward, City of Fremantle

Ferry nice
I would just like to thank Transperth and Captain Cook Cruises for putting on the free ferry service from Freo to the city over the train shutdown period.
It was nice seeing the busy and colourful Freo port close up in the morning light. My morning commute has never been so enjoyable and refreshing. Staff were great and the skipper even let us hang out in the wheelhouse with him. The little coffee machine on board did alright too.
Betty Richards
Amherst St, White Gum Valley

Asylum facts
It is unsurprising that Daryl Binning (Herald letters, August 3, 2013) makes false claims about asylum seekers as he is drawing on misinformation to support those claims.
First, there are many legitimate reasons for some asylum seekers not having documentation (eg, when fleeing, it is often unwise to be in possession of documentation which identifies you to those who would kill you; some countries do not issue many passports as a way of controlling citizens).   Second, asylum seekers are not living in comparative luxury. Those on bridging visas are not allowed to work and they get lower Centrelink payments than other people. Refugees who are permanent residents are treated exactly the same by Centrelink as other Australians.
I understand, however, Mr Binning’s concern about the waste of money on offshore processing.  There is a solution to this—processing asylum seeker claims onshore in line with our international obligations. After health and security checks, they should be allowed into the community with the right to work. Evidence suggests this is a far cheaper and far more humane option.
However, I agree with Mr Binning that misguided emotion should not get in the way of facts.  This is a useful site which gives factual information: http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/BN/2012-2013/AsylumFacts.
A/Professor Anne Pedersen
School of Psychology and Exercise Science
Murdoch University

Not enough luv from the church
I am one of 60-plus financial members of the St Pignatelli parish tennis club in Wichmann Road, Attadale.
All six all-weather courts are on St Pignatelli parish land on which there is also a primary school, oval and the parish church.  The courts are used seven days and nights a week, 52 weeks of the year and are open to the public.
After more than 50 years here the local parish priest has advised the club must move as the land/courts are required for a new church with exposure to Wichmann Road, with an expected cost in the region of $4 million (currently the subject of a big fundraising effort within the parish).
The fact there is an existing church on the land, which is rarely or never filled to capacity and which provides services to far fewer numbers in the community than do the tennis courts, seems to have been lost on the church hierarchy.
The tennis courts are also used by school children of all denominations, for tennis coaching, social groups, mid-week women’s groups, night tennis, etc. Surely the church should view these courts as providing a general service and point of contact to the whole of Attadale community which can generate much better outcomes for a larger number of people than a new church built to replace an existing church, which is under-utilised.
I implore the parish and Catholic hierarchy to reconsider their decision to expel the tennis club and I implore those parishioners contemplating giving money to the new church building fund to reconsider.
The parish does not need a new church but does need local tennis courts.
John Muller
Moreing Rd, Attadale

Woolly thinking
Fremantle council has planted woolly bush trees on a verge, opposite the railway station, alongside each other. I hope they are aware they grow up to four metres high and two metres wide.
Frank Cherry
Elderberry Drive, Southlake

Tyred of crime
On Saturday August 3 a number of cars in Darley Circle and some surrounding streets in Bull Creek had their tyres slashed.
I suffered two badly damaged tyres, a neighbour on the other side of the road a few doors down also had two tyres on his car slashed and another ute in Dartford street had a tyre slashed. We have spoken to the police but other than taking the report they were unable to do much at this point. It may be drunken youths returning from a night out but it is concerning to think people are walking around carrying knives and happy to commit acts of wanton vandalism.
Peter Broadbent
Darley Circle, Bull Creek

Three problems
There are three problems with Melissa Parke’s Thinking Allowed (Herald, August 3, 2013).
First: There is bipartisan support for an extremely severe policy against refugees. The aim of the policy is to capture the xenophobic vote, which is how both Liberal and Labor view us, the electorate. Despite criticising each others’ refugee policies they are in essence the same.
Second: No-one in Australia believes these harsh measures against refugees are designed to save refugees’ lives. The policies are designed to win votes (ie, save politicians’ seats).
Finally, to Labor’s great shame, it introduced mandatory detention for refugees, a policy that is now bipartisan and is the reason billions of dollars are wasted on detention prisons in Australia and in the Pacific. If Labor or the coalition were to end mandatory detention then there would be a clear policy difference.
By the way, I have deliberately used “refugee” rather than “asylum seeker” because the former accurately describes people displaced by war, famine, persecution.
Robert J Dobson
Stevens St, Fremantle

Invigoration risk
The Barnett government has broken yet another election promise by forcing Fremantle and East Fremantle to amalgamate with a greater Melville council.
What this means for the people of Fremantle and its surrounding suburbs are that their interests, and the unique characters that define Fremantle, will be lost in a suburban super council that has no similarities to us.
I also fear a number of vital plans to invigorate Fremantle are at risk of being delayed or worse, scrapped. The Liberal government is ripping out the heart of Fremantle and I plan on doing all I can to keep the City of Fremantle in Fremantle.
Simone McGurk MLA
State Member for Fremantle

Sweet time
I was recently fortunate to receive two tickets from the Herald for The Season at Sarsparilla performed by the Harbour Theatre Company. It was most enjoyable. There was a very good audience and my friend and I had a very nice evening. Thank you.
Gwen Phillips
Carroll St, Ardross

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