LETTERS 29.3.14

09. 13LETTERSRejuvenate
HEAR! HEAR! to “Living in our ‘70s” (Herald letters, March 22, 2014). We are of a similar age and approve of the skate park.
We also think the Arthur Head project should go ahead and are hoping approval will be given for the development of the old McDonald’s site. Fremantle is badly in need of rejuvenation and these projects will help. It is a shame some ratepayers of Fremantle are so reactive and so ready to disapprove suggestions for renewal.
Fran Lee
Scott St, South Fremantle

We’re lost
THE increase in homelessness (Herald, March 15, 2014) and begging are a direct result of economic policy. Run a two-tier economy long enough and the appearance of a dispossessed underclass is a certainty.
When you are homeless forget getting a job because, you can’t maintain a clean wardrobe. If you don’t have a car because of petrol prices you can’t have possessions because anything of value will be stolen. A homeless child doesn’t have access to the essentials that make education worthwhile.
The traditional Australian idea of a fair go is being killed: our jobs are less secure, we have squandered the skilled jobs in cars and manufacturing. We are outsourcing social services so it’s not about people any more, but key performance indicators like how many bums can be wiped.
We have let our progressive taxation system erode so even those on a median wage pay the highest tax rate. What for? To read about court cases that children of the rich wage against the greed of their parents? We used to have governments with vision: the Snowy Mountains hydro, a world-first in the 1950s. That created wealth, supporting the establishment of businesses like Holden and Telstra.
Now our governments fight over who can squander the most, denying the basic human rights of refugees, so they can sell our assets and ignore the welfare of Australians. We have lost our moral compass. Avarice is destroying not only our environment but the social capital of our future.
Nicholas Gribble
Egeus Way, Coolbellup

Bungling and backlash
I NOTE the comments of WA local government minister Tony Simpson on Cockburn city council spending $70,000 trying to defend itself from the predations of his government and the cash-strapped and mismanaged trio of Kwinana, Melville and Fremantle.
All a bit rich coming from a government that has lost WA its AAA rating. As well as the folly of dismembering a financially viable, professionally managed and vibrant community to prop up its three strife-ridden neighbours for no real demonstrated gain, Mr Simpson has more than likely gifted the electorate of Jandakot to an incoming McGowan Labor government and trashed the hard work done by the Liberal candidate for Cockburn, who’d made serious gains on the sitting member. Well done! Colin will be most pleased.
To top off this stupidity, he has shown arrogance and contempt for democratic process by denying the residents of Cockburn a vote on the issue.
Whilst I fully acknowledge there may be a case to have smaller and less economically viable councils amalgamated and managed in a more professional manner at less cost to the ratepayers he has failed to indicate how this will apply with his proposed dismemberment of Cockburn.
There may be a case for a Cockburn-Kwinana amalgamation and Cockburn could with WA government support take on the burden of getting Kwinana up to the current standards enjoyed by Cockburn ratepayers or he could at the very least dissolve both city councils and have an election on the composition of a new city.
As it now stands, I am a resident in one of the 13 suburbs to be sacrificed to the mayor of Kwinana, who can barely contain her glee at getting the booty that will fall into her hands with the annexation: a solution to her financial woes handed to her on a plate by a WA government that has trashed the democratic rights of its citizens.
There is no question in my mind [the WA local government minister] Tony Simpson has bungled this and a political backlash can be expected at the next state election.
Kevin Bovill

Buy a bell!
A RIDICULOUS heading for a ridiculous complaint from James Dolin (“Police peddle oppression,” Herald letters, March 22, 2014).
James, buy a bell for your bike: it’s not hard..and maybe just maybe you will take some self-responsibility. Oh, that’s right, the council or, more correctly, the ratepayers will pay for bike lights and bells for those too lazy to buy such gear themselves.
Perhaps I am being too harsh?After all, at least (presumably) James was wearing a helmet…if he wasn’t, perhaps the council (ratepayers) will also provide these?
Sean Hefferon
Wardie St, South Fremantle

Free rings
REGARDING a report that Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt and the police are offering free bells and lights to cyclists, due to a cyclist fined for not having a bell or light, does the mayor really believe cyclists will actually use them? I very much doubt it!
Frank Cherry
Elderberry Dve, South Lake

Right-wing re-think
IT is time for a political rethink in Australia. The right-wing ideologues in both mainstream political parties have been in the ascendant for nigh-on 40 years.
This has led to a constant pressure to sell basic public infrastructure, assets and services.
These were created over a century of nation building by earlier generations of politicians who regarded their obligations to citizens as more important than to the currently fashionable economic ideology (acknowledgement L MacDonald, Balmain NSW).
Australia’s economic reliance on external investment forces, for capital development borrowings for infrastructure needs by governments in this country, is a blight and indictment on our federal economic political decision makers! Even our major big four banks are majority owned and controlled by external forces (and probably most other minor banks) which sees billions in Australian profits transferred overseas annually!
Australian politicians of all political persuasions, have failed the Australian population miserably, by not earmarking the vast funds held in Australian superannuation funds (trillions) specifically for capital investment under government guarantee at federally approved market rates, for Australia’s capital infrastructure investment needs!
In an open corporate global trading marketplace, today’s young Australian citizens are facing the distinct probability of achieving economic serfdom within their own country, in the foreseeable future.
Both major political parties in Australia are leading us down the same economic path to inevitable political servitude—it’s time to take back our country and restore democracy and economic self-reliance back to local civil society!
Lewis Louthean
Wardle Rd, Beaconsfield

Petite protest
FREMANTLE mayor Pettitt at at his supine best (Herald, March 15, 2014) when facilitating A-class reserve “theft” with Main Roads. Is this payback to the WA government for the support given to the City of Fremantle’s expansion plans facilitated as part of the premier’s “local government reform”? Doublespeak!
Greg Smith
Rose Ave, Bayswater

Growly rangers
REGARDING “Stop the dogs” (Herald March 22, 2014). I am a dog owner who uses the dog beach and I stay off South Beach as I respect a person’s choice to a dog-free beach.
I have witnessed rangers at the showers close to The Fig while I’m washing the dog. They park their vans partially on the kerb and partially in the car park, causing a bottleneck in the already poorly designed car park. I rarely see them educating or interacting with dog owners; instead they threaten owners when a dog that has been washed becomes playful and goes onto the dog-free grass area.
I have interacted with Fremantle rangers when my small dog on a stretchy lead exceeded the allowable length of stretch. This ranger blocked traffic on High Street in front of the monument because of this unlawful act. I suggest you call the council during office hours and ask it what you should do when dogs come onto South Beach.
Mary Paolino
Robertson Rd, Kardinya

Bell toll
JAMES DOLIN (Herald letters, March 22, 2014) makes light of a serious problem, so serious in fact I propose the police erect billboards at every entrance to Fremantle with the message “Police are now targeting bells”.
Jon Kirby
Parmelia St,
South Fremantle

Restart Roe
EXCELLENT article on Roe 8 (Herald, March 22, 2014). I remember it well when the Labor clowns voted down the southern extension of the Stirling Bridge and the reasons they gave.
Fortunately, much of the land for the extension of Roe 8 is still available and the resumption of land will be back on soon, one would hope, and the project restarted.
The only good news is all the Labor voters have to put up with the Kwinana Freeway congestion. It should be renamed the Kwinana Sloway! with all the traffic including big trucks now clogging all the minor streets.
David Austin
Castellon Cres, Coogee
The Ed says: The premier says he supports Roe 8 but admits he has no plans to build it, David. We don’t advise you holding your breath.

Apologies to Ted, Mattie, Colyn, Robyn, Jack and others who also submitted great letters—lack of space beat us again! Keep your letters coming folks. We try hard to get them in and even threaten our ad reps when they try to snaffle our precious space for advertisers, but we do have to pay the bills and wages so sometimes it just can’t be helped!
PS: Those rumours about an ex ad rep being buried at Bathers Beach were never proved, ok.


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