Letters 15.4.14

10. 11LETTERSFired up
IF anyone has any doubts about the Fremantle council’s lack of consideration for inner city residents they would have been dispelled by the decision to allow a commercial operation to use part of Marine Terrace for the chilli festival.
The closure of the road caused chaos in West End streets.
On the other hand, the council should be applauded for what is happening on the Esplanade: by the time it has finished, the Esplanade will be a sand patch for young children to play in before they graduate to the skate park.
Jo Journa
Pakenham St, Fremantle

Here’s a jab
IN “A dose of dissent,” (Herald, March 8, 2013) reporter Steve Grant seems to be trying hard to not upset the anti-science, anti-vaccine AVN mob.
“An opponent dosed up on state funding,” is I think a very poor choice of wording. Perhaps Steve is worried about being targeted by the spray-can-wielding cowards? This lot are very vocal in the back alleys of internet forums, but won’t make their case even to the overly-sympathetic ears of the Herald.
They don’t mind putting the lives of their own and other children at risk, but they fear bullying? Pathetic. They can have their own opinions, but not their own facts.
Glenn Tweedie
Central Ave, Beaconsfield

Greedy Freo
FREMANTLE council, I am paying your miserable parking fine, mainly because I am not well enough at this time to fight it.
This fine was given whilst I was marching for a campaign on November 13. The ranger must have been sitting, waiting for someone to turn up, because I arrived at the spot at 2.55pm, and the fine was issued at 2.59pm—one minute before the 3pm free parking kicked in.
I wonder if it was the same person who fined me for parking on my own verge in Forrest Street, and then again whilst working for the same campaign group passing out pamphlets at the rail station.
At 67, on a pension and with severe arthritis in both knees, I need my car in and around Fremantle. One can only cringe at the council’s greed and bloodthirsty attitude to its seniors. My doctor was telling me she’d parked her car in Fremantle, went to get a ticket from the machine and on arriving back at her car, already had a parking fine.
It seems some of the council’s parking inspectors are up to their old tricks again: one can only marvel at the stupidity of a council struggling to get people to visit when it behaves like this.
I don’t like the modern Fremantle council. The members of the council of old ran rings around what we have today in honesty, integrity and foresight and, although born in Fremantle in ’47, I won’t visit my own city now unless I absolutely have to, and actively work against it whenever I can, simply because of the council’s attitude toward its own residents, and its money-by-any-means parking fines obsession.
Coralie Clarke
Forrest St, Fremantle

Parks for people
THE chicken and the egg.
No parks—no people.
No place of peace—no apartment sales.
No apartments—no rates.
Lots of booze—we lose.
Does the council have a plan for the future green space in the city? If so please make it public. If not, why not? Arthur Head reserve is our last bastion of green space in the city which is free of events, liquor and noise, which remain untouched and beautiful. What has happened to the council’s historical values for the future of the city? The skills of amazing architects worldwide seem to have been completely ignored. Fremantle council needs to rise above booze and music and do more for the city’s environment overall. Broaden your horizons, councillors.
Ann Benjamin
High St, Fremantle

More patrons needed, not more venues
IT is not as if Fremantle lacks venues for live music, it just lacks committed patrons at such venues, as witness the closing of Kulcha, Deckchair and the rumoured perennial struggle to survive of the Fly.
For councillor Andrew Sullivan to suggest Fremantle is in danger of becoming “Dullsville” seems highly inappropriate given the number of events held in Fremantle and the current bald state of the Esplanade attesting to its overuse.
Sunset Events must know its Arthur Head proposal will only be commercially viable if a tavern licence is approved. While the council is not responsible for the issue of such a licence it will be consulted on its appropriateness.
As I have already pointed out, the council’s approval of Sunset Events’ proposal, in which a tavern licence is implicit, conveys tacit support for such a licence without that support having been explicitly sought.
In such circumstances it can be expected that an application for a tavern licence will be strenuously opposed on numerous grounds by resident groups.
Sunset Events would be prudent to anticipate just such an eventuality in pressing ahead with its proposal. Despite the mayor’s reported confidence the development will transform the precinct, as others have stated it has a long way to go yet.
David Hawks
Bellevue Tce, Fremantle
The Ed says: This letter has been mercilessly lopped for length. Keep ‘em short, folks!

Welcome addition
THE new children’s hospital will be a welcome addition to our health services.
Instead of criticising, consider how lucky we are to be getting a new modern hospital. If the hospital was to add an additional floor, it would make the parking worse.
A far better solution would be to plan now, for two future children’s hospitals, one in the northern corridor and the other in the south near rail transport. Land for affordable accommodation should be planned close by for country parents. Accommodation could be built by private enterprise.
Frank Granger
Melville Bch Rd, Applecross

Atwell intimidates
I CANNOT let the article about immunisation Herald (March 8, 2014) pass without comment.
I belonged to the AVN in the ‘80s and ‘90s while my three children were growing up. It was extremely hard to question the prevailing “wisdom” at the time and I found the AVN excellent, providing me with comprehensive information aimed at informing (not indoctrinating) people about the pros and cons immunisation.
When I first contacted them they were very quick to let me know that they were not anti-immunisation but were for providing all sides of the story—something BigPharma certainly doesn’t do—nor do governments and nor do many doctors.
For me I’m on the side of informed choice. Those “alternative” people talked about are rarely uneducated and unthinking and have usually researched thoroughly before making their decision not to immunise. Most people immunise  in the belief they are doing the right thing for their children because of the intimidating advertising backed by pharmaceutical companies.
It always pays to “look for the money” and find out who benefits from having us all believe in something.  Guess what, in this case it’s the pharmaceutical companies who benefit massively.
So, Katie Atwell is doing a great job for them and I’m sure she is sincere in her intentions. But there are other points of view which rarely get heard.
Although I don’t like graffiti, and I’m sure the AVN wouldn’t approve either, it is usually the preserve of those who don’t have money, trying to get a different point of view across. The AVN doesn’t have a huge financial backer like Katie Atwell does to produce fancy ads. Katie’s ads intimidate but don’t inform. Having a lovely young mum on a wall saying she immunises doesn’t inform us of anything but the fact that she immunises.
Robyn Campbell
Rennie Cres, Hilton

Grey growling
DAMIEN’S comments (“Intimidating oldies,” Herald letters, March 8, 2014) demand a response. What he calls the “grey brigade” opposed the J-Shed development at the Fremantle council meeting. The fuddy duddies behaved badly. That’s true. Damien was a bit shocked. Sorry, mate.
But, Damien, I’m one of the grey brigade. We were the ones who bought houses in Fremantle in the 1970s and ‘80s. Attrition, it was. Some of us paid $80,000 for a house! Holey moley.
Surely that entitles us to veto anything we don’t like in our neighbourhood? My neighbourhood? Surely? Surely?
Just joking, Damien. You wrote a good letter and true. Come and join our organisation (wakeupfremantle.com.au)
Paul Roberts
Lefroy Rd, Beaconsfield

Drop the hate
LAST week the federal government awarded a contract to Transfield for $1.22 billion to run a hostel to house 2400 refugees.
So the public forks out more than $508,000 per bed—$836 per bed per night for a 20-month contract. Wouldn’t it be cheaper to put them up in the Hilton?
Perhaps we should be glad the inmates are so poorly treated they riot and die. It saves $500,000 in tax per death. And this is only one of the costs of our brutal handling of the dispossessed.
There is also the cost of the Australian Navy making incursions into Indonesian waters. All that bad publicity when inmates do things like sew their lips together, because only extreme gruesomeness will shock our insensitivity to their plight.
All this because the Howard government cut a little-known few million dollars item from the budget that supported the UN human rights commission’s work in Indonesia, which created a market opening.
Babies overboard wins elections. Stirring up hate worked for Hitler. Should we move forward to the final solution? It’s economically rational.
And we are just as easily manipulated into vilifying and despising targeted groups as the Germans were before World War II.
It is just an extension of wedge politics. Or do we continue to throw away vast quantities of money in a way that can only be justified by the emotional blindness of intense hate?
Or do we embrace our Christian past and become good samaritans? Many Australians live a decent lifestyle on just 10 per cent of what Transfield will be paid per person per year and the majority of us get by on less than 20 per cent.
Treating these people in the way we would wish to be treated will be beneficial for all of us.
Nicholas Gribble
Egeus Way, Coolbellup

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