MAY I please kindly thank the following, who made this year’s Anzac Day parade at the Esplanade Park a memorable day: WA police. RAN, Army, RAAF, USN submariners, military veterans of all conflicts, Scouts and a host of civilian organisations. The list is endless. Apologies for omitting anyone.
A bouquet to the drivers of the military jeeps and truck-transport provided for the old diggers, who were unable to march, because of age or medical reasons.
One, must mention the Australian national flags, handed out by volunteers and the Fremantle Ports personnel… The icing on the cake was the distribution of free bottles of drinking water (much needed) at the conclusion of the parade!
Cockburn Rd, South Fremantle
Where’s my monstrosity?!
NO more excuses! I am sick to death of this council not being able to follow through on its promises. I’ve been past that skate park most days this week and I’ve made some observations.
I was promised a concrete monstrosity that took away our green open space but it appears the skate park site is greener and more natural than the rest of the park! With the rest of the site looking like an over-watered sandpit, I am not happy. Every day this week the park has appeared to be more used than any other non-event time that I can think of from the past 15 years. Not only does there appear to be more people it seams they are all families with young children.
On Tuesday I saw a grandfather having a picnic with his grandkids and countless families spreading the rug with their young children and it seems they were attracted to sitting near the skate park. I was promised it would drive these sorts of people away and they would be trying to get to the other side of the park to escape that deafening noise and scary crowds. Where are the ratty, delinquent, irrespecutful youths we were promised?
And furthermore it looks like most people using this space are young 6-14yr olds: I was under the impression we would be getting angry, yelling, scumbags. Why is it now the thing is built we are getting young children exercising? As for that atrocious lighting that only comes on when people are using the park why are we not wasting energy and keeping the lights on all night?
I feel the council may have a lawsuit on its hand if it doesn’t rectify this quickly as I can already see the curtains in ridges fading unevenly by the on and off nature of these lights and I cant imagine they would be happy about this.
Lastly, I would like to complain about the noise. I was promised I would be able to meditate to the deafening scrape of rolling skateboards 24 hours a day from the other side of town. Unfortunately I can barely hear it from the other side of the street. Not happy!
So, Fremantle council with all the money you wasted dumping this barren wasteland in the middle of our beautiful, over-used park I think you have some explaining to do. I think you’ve masqueraded as a backwards, inward-thinking, unimaginative council stuck in the 20th century for too long and it is time you started taking responsibility for improving community spaces in Fremantle.
Long live the beautiful piece of art in the Captain Munchies car park. It certainly offers the same experience.
Chamberlain St, O’Connor
I WAS so pleased to read Brian Mitchell’s article (Herald, April 26, 2014).
He is so right in his observations of how little the Balinese people get out of our tourism to their beautiful island. My husband and I both agree with his sentiments, we saw similar first-hand when we visited Bali ourselves.
We too tip more than “usual”: as Brian says, it’s just a little bit for us but means a lot to them.
Thank you so much for printing this, let’s hope future visitors will take heed and be more generous to those who seek to please others above themselves.
… & brickbat
YOUR publication of Brian Mitchell’s sanctimonious drivel cheapens the Herald’s journalistic integrity.
Mr Mitchell’s self-congratulatory article (Reflections, April 26, 2014) is an insult to the numerous Australians who have contributed to the Balinese economy beyond the confines of Kuta for years.
Not everybody goes to Bali for cheap sunglasses and grog.
To insinuate that Australians are somehow complicit in police corruption is frankly absurd.
Of more pressing concern is the chronic water shortage, due in large part to the hotel swimming pools.
Perhaps the Herald could consider more balanced articles by experienced aficionados of Bali over the pontification of Mr Mitchell and his ilk.
Jean St, Beaconsfield
I LIVE in Fremantle and I am offended by the I immunise campaign. These posters make statements from Freo locals like I use cloth nappies, I breastfeed, I eat whole foods, I immunise. They make me cringe.
Apparently the person responsible for this idea was “Coolbellup Katie” who was aggrieved when her “alternative” friends disagreed with her decision to vaccinate her son.
Wouldn’t we all like to get giant posters made up and placed all over Freo every time our friends pissed us off and have them paid for and backed up by government!
I don’t like graffiti but I need to ask the Herald if there was any proof or admission that Anti-Vaccination Network (AVN) was responsible for the deed? Or was that your assumption because of the AVN tag on the posters? I would like this point clarified.
We live in a democratic society. We have a right to investigate and inform ourselves on health issues such as vaccinations, medications, GM versus organic, etc from all sides of the argument. Governments are not perfect. Science is not absolute. But I get the feeling there is a concerted campaign out there to discredit homeopathy, alternative medicine and independent thinking.
Let me ask everyone out there, whatever your beliefs, if you would want someone else to decide what is good for you? If the state government and pharmaceutical companies are backing up the likes of I Immunise campaign then we should all be worried.
South Tce, South Fremantle
The Ed says: We didn’t assume the AVN was responsible for the graffiti: the culprits were labelled “supporters”.
WITH the skatepark in place it is interesting to see so few people using it when it is raining. This raises a few interesting points and facts which I outline.
This is in consideration that Fremantle as a council has very little money and is funding these extravagant purchases by selling city assets, such as buildings, land and carparks. The City of Fremantle will never see a financial return from the skatepark, only ongoing costs.
Statistically speaking there isn’t anyone there when it is raining. There won’t be anyone using it during the week between work hours and school hours. So we are limited to weekends and school holidays, only when the weather is good.
Statistics taken from the ABS and Google:
• five per cent is the percentage of all 12-17 year olds (admittedly there are some younger users, but this is the demographic) who “might” use the skate park
• 271 school days in the year
• 114 days of raining weather in Perth
• 94 non-school days in a year
• 31 is the number of non-school days affected by rain on average that could be assumed
So 63 is the number of non-school days, not affected by rain, for five per cent of the population. All this assumes the “full” five per cent (ie, all 12-17 year olds) use the skate park. Statistics show only half the demographic nominates skateboarding as an activity. Then there are the numbers of people who actually go to the park to use it. Even then we have to assume they all go there. A lot will choose to do other activities.
So to boil this all down and sum it all up we have 17 per cent of available days in the year when the typical users are available to use it, with the Fremantle population for the demographic at 1500, less the half who don’t use it gives 750 potential users of the skate park, across a demographic of 30,000 people.
So for the City of Fremantle to spend $1.6 million of ratepayers’ money, it has purchased a liability, something that involves ongoing costs, that is used 17 per cent of the time by potentially 750 users and that doesn’t take into account when a percentage of those go on holidays with their parents, or choose to do other activities, which typically happens over the weekend and holiday periods which is in part of the available days of use. This also doesn’t take into account the three existing skate facilities.
Maybe the next time the City of Fremantle decides to sell assets to spend on extravagant purchases, it should do a bit more research, get a bit more value for money, and try to make a return. It’s no accident a private operator hasn’t set up an undercover warehouse style skate facility, despite not being affected by the weather.
South St, Beaconsfield
The Ed says: This argument’s a bit of a washout, Matthew. More than 30 of those rainy days involve a sprinkle of no more than 1.5mm, keeping youngsters under shelter for an hour at most. You’ve also not taken into account the seven hours it’ll be available after the school bell (the lights are on a timer and cut out at 10pm). And why can’t some facilities just be good, rather than having to turn a profit?
The real cost
I WANT to thank Brian Mitchell for his reflection on the widespread exploitation of workers in Bali (Herald Reflections, April 26, 2014).
The real cost of cheap products and services is such an important issue that I know extends well beyond Bali (as I type away sitting on my cheap furniture, wearing my cheap clothes and shoes).
Brian is also right to make a link with the push by the Abbott government to slash penalty rates, water down workplace protections and cut the take-home pay of millions of workers.
I would argue the cuts to government services by both the Abbott and Barnett governments are part of that same aim to turn Australia into a country with low wages, little if any government services and high corporate profits.
Brian’s suggestion that Australian tourists should give bigger tips and haggle less is commendable yet ultimately will not fix the problem. As May Day approaches, the path to fair wages, dignity at work and government services that maintain a decent society will be on display on the streets of Fremantle. It is only through fight and struggle with strikes, protests, boycotts, sit-ins, picket lines and votes, etc can the Balinese people dig themselves out of the despair and weariness.
It cannot and will not be given to them by others, as our higher wages and government services were not given to us but fought for. The cause is not a lack of generosity by the powerful, but the imbalance of power itself.
Australian workers, through their unions, have a proud history fighting for disadvantaged workers both here in Australia and overseas. The best way to support Balinese workers is to maintain that fight and be organised at home to support Balinese workers to organise to lift themselves out of despair. Only by rediscovering the power we have as workers when united can we help the Balinese find their power.
Hebbard St, Samson
I WAS very interested to read about Peter Vinci’s work to develop a “wall for workers” (Herald March 15, 2014) commemorating the role of Mills & Wares and, importantly, its staff.
My cousin, Gwen Meckelburg, spent her working life at Mills & Wares and I grew up on their biscuits. There was nothing more delightful than to go to the corner store and the storekeeper would weight measure the loose biscuits from its storage tin (subsequently used to store bread). The most popular were the gingernut, milk arrowroot and fruit pillows.
In terms of funding the project, relatives, friends, etc may wish to fund individual name plates. These could be for single names or family groups.
I would also ask for clarification on the following: it is my impression that when Arnott’s acquired Mills & Wares it created the business name Arnott’s, Mills & Wares, trading on the popularity of Mills & Wares biscuits—from my perspective a much superior tasting range than that produced by Arnott’s alone.
Once the public was used to the Arnott’s name it was able to remove Mills & Wares and sell that trading name, but I doubt Bailey’s Bakery acquired the biscuits rights as their focus appears to have been on Mills & Wares cakes, to complement their well-known lamingtons. Can your readers clarify any of this?
Davies St, Beaconsfield
The Ed says: Our bush lawyer understanding is Arnott’s retained all rights to the biscuits range.
I HAVE three boys aged 12, 10 and 8.
On Monday the first day of the school holidays I took them to the new skate park. At 9am it had about 40 to 50 skaters aged from 6 to 18. Ninety-nine per cent were male.
There were not many parents/adults there. The boys all took turns: there was no pushing and shoving. Only the occasional amount of swearing and only when someone had taken a tumble that frankly would have made most parents drop the F bomb. Good tricks and amazing manoeuvres were applauded.
I did see some older kids clean up younger kids, however they seemed to almost pick up the younger kid when they could not avoid them, putting them back down on the ground and then checking that they were OK. The younger kids skating off thinking they were quite important.
On the one occasion I did see an older kid run over a younger kid and think it was funny: his friends sitting on the fence told him off for it.
What an amazing park. What an amazing group of kids who are using it.
My kids say it has all the best elements from parks around the world combined into one and they absolutely love it.
How fantastic a group of young men are skateboarding Australia (go along to their clinics and check them out) and what good role models are they setting for our kids.
Congratulations Fremantle on providing something for our teenagers to do in a place where they can feel they are part of the community, not shoved to the side in some seedy/crap concrete jungle that feels unsafe and marginalised
Congratulations to all the skaters using the park on the weekend and through the holidays—keep up the great skating and prove all the doubters wrong.
Council CEO gets too much
AS a Melville city ratepayer I am alarmed to hear of the remuneration the council CEO receives, about the same as the premier of our state.
The argument you have to pay such high sums to retain skill levels just does not wash, given the excessive monies the City of Melville has accumulated in cash reserves.
In private enterprise over budgeting is a sign of poor management: this council promotes itself as being clever by excessively rating ratepayers, and it’s easy to do so as it has guaranteed income.
The facts are any dummy can over-budget from a captive customer base and come out with left-over monies. A private business would be asking for a “please explain how you got it so wrong” and you’d be receiving poor promotion prospects.
Yet Melville’s CEO gets rewarded well above the recommended percentage and with an extended employment contract to boot!