Letters 7.9.13

15. 36LETTERSA fresh perspective
I WISH to congratulate the Herald on your excellent article “No sweating the small stuff,” (August 31, 2013).
This has been a horrendous election campaign and one which most people are heartily sick of hearing about. In the past two weeks I have turned off radio and TV and chosen not to purchase or read the West Australian because I know I am going to watch or read the same old crud. Therefore I was both amazed and pleased to read a fresh perspective in my local newspaper which reported objectively (but also with accuracy) the platforms and reactions of the various candidates standing in the federal election for the seat of Fremantle.
The Herald put a human face to the election campaign, and more importantly reminded me why I prefer the Herald to the West or the mainstream media, including radio and TV. Your article may not have changed my voting preference, but it strengthened my belief that, above all, we need to keep and protect our independent local newspaper.
Keep up the good work, Herald and congratulations to your journalist for a most professional and readable article.
Candice Trevor
Antigonus St, Coolbellup

Stop the bullies
AS the daughter of the Melville mayor and an ex-lawyer, I supported my father at his recent court hearing at which he sought to have a violence restraining order maintained against Cr Nick Pazolli (“Secret audio sinks Aubrey,” Herald, August 24, 2013).
I was shocked to hear Cr Pazolli had recorded the incident, which is illegal, despite the Herald’s article suggesting otherwise.
It’s unfortunate you failed to detail what was heard on the illegal recording: an out-of-control male punching his fists violently into a table whilst screaming profanities and stating “damn right it’s a threat!” Behaviour described by the magistrate as “abusive” and “intimidating”, “appalling behaviour from an elected member”. This outburst was completely unprovoked. Elected members are not subject to OHS or federal legislation so the only method of preventing a further attack was to pursue a VRO.
The recording was the only evidence brought by Cr Pazolli in defence of the evidence brought by the mayor, an independent corporate psychologist and various council employees. Cr Pazolli admitted that after the attack he sought medication to deal with his anger management and also sought counselling to assist with controlling his temperament.
Since attending the interim hearing back in July, I have endured the Herald printing lies about me and ringing my current and former employers, harrassing me on the very notion I might be considering running for election in October against Cr Pazolli’s sister, Effie Nicholson.
I am now sickened to see the Herald print false statements about my mother (Melville City Herald, August 30, 2013). I seek to understand why the Herald feels the need to portray such a negative, inaccurate image of my family; good, hard-working, ratepaying citizens of Melville. Are you purely protecting the “council insiders” that write your council commentary and have saved you the bother of attending a single council meeting in recent years?
I ask the community to join my family and not allow the governance of our city to be handed over to bullies and the Fremantle press.
Rebecca Aubrey
Stanbury Way, Booragoon
The Ed says: The legality of Cr Pazolli’s recording has not been tested in court but the magistrate dismissed the application by Mayor Aubrey’s lawyer that it not be heard; our front-page report described in detail Cr Pazolli’s anger, his thumping the table, his use of expletives and his apology for his behaviour; there was no corporate psychologist at the meeting (the witness himself made it clear he was not); Cr Pazolli’s recording showed that even a team of witnesses can be wrong in its recollection (confirmed by the magistrate’s dismissal of their testimony); you’ve not contacted the Herald before to complain about stories being wrong, and we note you provide no substantiation for such a claim now; our journalist contacted you once regarding a tip he’d received that you might be running for council, which does not constitute harassment; your mother’s comment to our journalist that your father’s legal team may petition the court regarding the legality of Cr Pazolli’s recording was made in front of four witnesses outside the court; and, finally, the Herald reports without fear or favour—if the mayor feels his side of the story is not being told, he should respond to the many requests the Herald makes for an interview, which he ignores.

How healthy?
WHILE I do not in any sense condone the use of secret recordings, I am bemused at the forceful exhortations of Dr R Hickling (Herald letters, April 30, 2013) who apparently was not at the Aubrey/Pazolli meeting but feels well enough informed to espouse his opinion of interpretation.
Healthy politics? I think not—what happened to the old-fashioned mantra of behaving with dignity and respect to the position one has been elected to?
I note we have an elected mayor who has been shown—in a court of law—to have provided testimony that was inaccurate
K Farmer
Ullapool Rd, Mount Pleasant

Go native
ACCORDING to a note in my letterbox, Cockburn council is landscaping Forrest Road with Chinese elm trees, not native to the area. Mature trees can grow about 15m high and 12m wide, and are rated moderate for allergies.
There are already native trees on Forrest Road. Why aren’t the new trees the same species? Will established trees be removed for visual continuity?
Meg Clayton
Forrest Rd, Hamilton Hill

Scary Dennis
FOR the minority in the Tangney electorate who are not rusted-on Liberal voters, the principal motive for turning up on election day in this blue-ribbon Liberal seat will to cast a protest vote or simply to avoid a fine.
Dennis Jensen will be voted back, yet again, not in recognition of outstanding achievement or because he is the best candidate to represent this electorate—in fact he lost local preselection in 2007 and again in 2010 only to be overruled each time by his party’s state executive—but because he is the Liberal candidate.
During his tenure in Canberra, Dr Jensen has achieved political wnotoriety firstly as one of those who boycotted parliament on the day of the formal apology to the Stolen Generations, by telling Australian indigenous people affected by European colonisation to “get over it”, and as an outspoken sceptic of human-induced global warming and as apologist for the discredited theories of a tiny minority of scientists.
In this regard Dr Jensen chooses to ignore four established scientific facts that are beyond dispute: 1. CO2 is a heat-trapping molecule. 2. We are emitting CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere through our activities.  3. This is influencing the planet’s climate system. 4. This scientific consensus on this is near universal—97 per cent.
Understanding the science of climate change is about being properly informed, but ‘deniers’ such as Dr Jensen employ the tactic of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) to deprive us of the right to be informed about an issue of fundamental importance to our planet.
What is worse, if the Liberals win government, Dr Jensen will be in a position to further influence our nation’s already emasculated climate change policy. A scary thought indeed.
Tony Wills
Farrin St, Attadale

So be it
PAUL LORING uses the usual slur of “right-wing” to dismiss those candidates at the Fremantle Forum who did not share the views of the “extreme left” (Herald letters, August 31, 2013).
As I said at the forum, most voters are a blend of right and left and such labelling drives wedges between people.
If I am right wing for protecting our Judaeo-Christian democracy and heritage from Sharia law then so be it. Strange how the left feels free to lampoon Christians but is silent on other faiths.
If right wing means I stand for compassionate treatment of genuine refugees then so be it. If right wing means retaining our farm land and infrastructure in Australian hands, then so be it.
I could go on but won’t.
The left needs to demonstrate the tolerance it preaches instead of adopting a morally superior but intellectually dishonest stance (the Greens refused to sign the London declaration of anti-Semitism).
The ancient Greeks and philosophers of old could debate without heckling and name-calling.
Phil Scott
Rise Up candidate for Fremantle

Give Colin the cuts
ALL my four children currently attend Winterfold primary school, along with almost 250 other students. This week I learned our small and diverse school community is about to have more than $140,000 ripped from its budget.
I feel absolutely devastated about the impact these cuts will have on my children’s education. This callous and short-sighted government is cutting funding from the school support and assistance programs that children at our school desperately need—English as an additional language, Aboriginal education officer hours, languages other than English funding, literacy and numeracy funding, education assistance for children with disabilities, behaviour management funding as well as the cut to the school’s base allocation for staffing.
This is going to have a huge impact on all children at our school. I have been proud to send my children to a public school and I have been really impressed with the standard of education provided by our local school. Like many in our community, I think education is one of the most import indicators of providing a basic level of opportunity for all children in our community.
This government is failing to deliver on its basic social contract with our community. I feel absolutely outraged at the stupidity and incompetence displayed by this action.
As a parent I feel completely devastated by this attack on my children’s future but I will not stand by while a government that has clearly lost its way puts my children’s futures at risk. There is no backing down from this, my children’s education is too important. The only option for the premier is to admit his terrible mistake and withdraw these cuts to our schools.
Michelle Sheehy
Michael St, Beaconsfield

Crazy stuff
ARE the lunatics finally running the asylum?
It was recently reported a publicly funded agency was going to court to challenge Homeswest’s right to evict tenants who continually breach rules governing anti-social behaviour, on the basis eviction makes people homeless.
My questions to this agency are: will the cost of this and any future challenges come out of the public purse? Have you considered the rights of other tenants and residents in the area, does anyone in your office live near this, or any similar type neighbour? I suspect the answer to the first question is “yes” and “no” to the second and third.
With the chronic shortage and long waiting list for public housing, evicting this sort of tenant would free up—after much-needed repairs and redecorations—properties for tenants who would pay rent on time and treat the property with respect and as a valued home.
Bob Loftus
Beach St, Fremantle

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