LETTERS 12.10.13

13. 41LETTERSA mown about bludgers
THIS morning I woke to the sounds of numerous whipper-snippers and lawn mowers coming from my neighbour’s house.
The volunteer taskforce was at it again, providing garden maintenance service to the aged and disabled people of our community.
A quick flick through the taskforce website gave a bit of insight in to its background and selection criteria for assistance, plus where it gets its funding from.
Don’t get me wrong, I am perfectly OK having a small portion of my tax assigned to organisations that assist real people in need: My problem is this house is occupied by an elderly lady as well as five or more able-bodied adult males and females.
My FIFO roster gives me ample time to see the other occupants do not engage in any form of work and are more than happy to require the assistance of an ambulance or the discipline of the police on any given week.
I find it hard to swallow that a small portion of my tax allows my neighbours to live their lives the way they do, but now to find out they also get free garden maintenance is just ludicrous!
What happened to work-for-the-dole? There’s plenty of work around, even if it’s just mowing their own lawns!
I will be contacting the volunteer task force and suggest it re-assess the services it provides my neighbours.
V Hult

A long journey
LISTEN here Herald, while everyone around me up here 39,000 feet in the air is watching American movies and eating peanuts, I am sweating away to get you a little piece of wisdom for the weekend’s edition. I hope it is of use at this late junction of the week:
With the precinct system all but extinct, community groups like the Fremantle Society ineffectual, and the community worn out by fake consultation, these local elections have been a non-event.
This is a great pity, as elections in the past have shown an engaged community defending its values.
We keep being told a renaissance is around the corner, and so we get on with our lives, and leave things to the affable mayor and his councillors.
But two pivotal decisions by the incumbents will define them in history, and prejudice our future. I am not referring to council’s woeful lack of maintenance of its own heritage assets ( highlighted in a report on FICRA’s blog), but by:
a) a massive increase in building heights on key city centre sites;
b) a 4100sqm skateboard plaza on a green park.
In both cases, decades of planning wisdom and green values were thrown out the window to speed the “coming renaissance”. Valuable assets like the human scale of the city centre and the “urban forest” nature of Esplanade Park were sacrificed.
Had these decisions been arrived at by an honest process, those of against could mutter away, but at least real democracy would have been demonstrated. But the height limits were lifted despite majority community opposition and with the skate plaza, the general community’s wishes were never sought.
Added to that were numerous statements made by the mayor and council about the height increases “not impacting heritage” and the skate plaza only being “five per cent” of the park.
So, while the council is energetically taking us on a long journey to the promised land, it has been done so with a lack of due process, not wisdom.
John Dowson
Somewhere over twinkling orange lights

Another Fab 4
THANKS to our local councillors Nicholas Pazolli, June Barton, Effie Nicholson and Susanne Taylor-Rees, who did a fab job in listening to the concerns of their ratepayers and responding appropriately by helping to stop the proposed redevelopment of 94 Kitchener Road.
Yeah, Let It Be! The residents of Kitchener Road are all grateful to the Fab Four (with apologies to The Beatles, for whom I have an unbridled mania) for the wonderful work they carried out so selflessly for all concerned!
Yeah, yeah, yeah!  I Feel Fine! (With love) From Me To You.
Raymond Palermo
Kitchener Rd, Alfred Cove

Me too!
I AM disappointed in your lack of research: You stated, (Herald, September 5, 2013) there are three candidates running for East Fremantle mayor, when there are four—with myself as the candidate you neglected to include.
Cliff Collinson
Councillor, Mayoral candidate
King St, East Fremantle
The Ed says: Oops-a-daisy. A simple lapse on behalf of the sub-editor who should have checked the council website rather than depend on his Swiss cheese synapses.

Wild geese
NICE picture of Lynn Maclaren at the site of the destruction of the dual-use path at North Coogee (Herald, September 5, 2013), but where are the Cockburn representatives who are willing to spend $150,000 of state funds on yet another environmental wild goose chase?
Hasn’t the problem been solved merely by putting the path where it should have been in the first place? Why can’t our council seek advice from people who use that path every day and consequently save millions in wasted funds. Then it may gain some respect and support.
Colin Crook
Doolette St, Spearwood

A clear choice
ELECTIONS, selections, directions…
We are nearing the end of an unprecedented year of election overload. Essentially we have had four elections—both houses of state parliament and both houses of federal parliament (half the Senate, at least)—and we still have two to go: Council ward and mayoral elections.
So what are our choices in Fremantle this time around?
The wards: Two councillors returned unopposed—Dave Coggin (east) and Josh Wilson (Beaconsfield).
Incumbent Sam Wainwright is up against Frank Acocella in Hilton ward and Claudia Green is challenging Cr Andrew Sullivan in south. In city ward, frontrunner Simon Naber looks likely to fend off Steve Cook (and others) to take over from Cr Tim Grey-Smith, retiring after four years, while in north ward, Cr Doug Thompson (who has represented the community for 25 years) is up against Matthew Hanssen.
Mayoral: There were six mayoral candidates at the last election, some with similar platforms, policies and vision. This time we have just two very different candidates, with very different visions for Fremantle, making the choice much clearer.
Dr Brad Pettitt supports a greater Fremantle, remaining as a city council in its own right, with its own identity. Mr Matthew Hanssen supports Fremantle being swallowed up by Melville. Dr Pettitt spent four years as a ward councillor before being elected mayor in 2009; Mr Hanssen has no council experience.
Pettitt or Hanssen?—a very clear choice.
One aspect of the mayoral election that differs from other elections is you are actually voting for a leader. The public does not vote for a prime minister, nor a premier, nor leaders of either upper house. So the question is—how important is the mayor in leading the local council?
If the past four years are anything to go by, you would have to say pivotal, if not vital.
Never before in Fremantle’s history have we had such a cohesive and internally co-operative council. Despite being made up of a range of ages, backgrounds, beliefs and political persuasions, this council has enjoyed a distinct lack of in-fighting, controversies, scandals and mismanagement. This is a testament to how the mayor has steered the ship to actually achieve outcomes and results, rather than having to manage a combative, divided council fuelled by egos and hidden agendas. The councillors and officers have their role; however at the end of the day, the captain chooses the course.
However, before a leader can be appointed you must vote. In 2011, 35.88 per cent of Fremantle participated in council voting. The state average was 30.94. It is your democratic right to vote and the only opportunity to vote directly for a leader.
Fill in your postal vote and ensure you sign the back of the envelope; otherwise your vote is invalid. If you have not received voting papers apply for new ones at the town hall. Postal votes need to be posted by October 15, or you can vote in person at the town hall on Saturday October 19.
Please vote—the choice is clear.
Joanne Chadwick

Bypassing names
IT is amazing that after four years as a councillor representing the most congested ward, that Effie Nicholson has failed to recognise the Roe Hwy extension to Stock Rd forms a bypass for the City of Melville.
This road has colloquially been called the Roe Bypass for nearly 10 years. This might explain why Cr Nicholson and her brother Nick Pazolli, who have unfailingly voted together for four years, consistently voted against building a road that would take Fremantle and Cockburn-bound traffic away from the congested suburban streets of Melville and place them on a free-flowing highway to and from their port and trade centre destinations.
Maybe if Effie and Nick joined the 82,000 emergency cases projected to try to beat their way through traffic to reach Fiona Stanley Hospital they might realise the preservation of human life should be the major priority.
Rebecca Aubrey
City ward candidate
Stanbury Way, Booragoon

Wetton a winner
BY the time this letter is published, Cockburn council will have made a decision on the demolition or otherwise of the old Spearwood Presbytery on Edeline Street.
My great hope is it voted to preserve this wonderful piece of Cockburn’s heritage.
Regardless of the outcome, I do want to say a huge well done and thank you to Lyndsey Wetton for her efforts to try to save it.
Lyndsey has driven a local community campaign to preserve this house, door-knocking Spearwood with a petition, working with local media, putting a submission in to the state heritage register and promoting the cause on her blog, http://www.22suburbs.com.au.
Lyndsey’s passion for our area, her energy, her engagement with local issues and her pragmatism have been clear to me—qualities that will make her a great Cockburn councillor. I am giving her my support in these elections, and I hope others will too.
Charlotte Corbyn
Edeline St, Spearwood

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