Letters 28.6.14

13. 26LETTERSLook what we grew
YOUR readers should know that David Holmgren, co-inventor of permaculture—now a global movement—grew up in the 1950s and 1960s in Wrexham Street, Bicton (Herald, June 21, 2014).
His parents, Jack and Venie established Rellim Booksellers in Perth. Jack was a handy saxophonist who performed for social events.
Before that, grandfather Holmgren was a Fremantle wharfie.
Ted Zeffertt
Solomon St, Fremantle

Lost generation
WE are at risk of losing a generation of kids who identify together as part of our Freo community, because we don’t have a local high school that most local parents send their kids to.
I live in White Gum Valley and was planning to send my primary school age kids to South Freo. But I am re-thinking because so few Freo kids go there (half the point of going to a local school is to be able to hang out with local kids!) and because academically inclined kids there risk being the odd ones out.
A merger of South Freo and Hamilton with some new (albeit expensive) facilities tacked on won’t fix these things.
And while some of the things in Peter Newman’s letter to the Herald last week would be nice to have, the high school basics have to be gotten right first. The main things I need from my local high school are for it to:
1) give my kids the option to prepare for university in a space where this seems normal, not exceptional;
2) have academic participation, results and programs which are as good as other schools near Freo (like Melville and Applecross); and,
3) be full of local kids.
We need a local high school which guarantees these basic, standard high school needs are met for our Freo kids. Government resources should be used for this before they are used to develop a school with special courses and focus.
Lee McIntosh
Stevens St, White Gum Valley

Markets losing their Freo charm
OUR family would like to express our thoughts on the Herald’s recent articles concerning Carmen Jankowski being evicted from the Fremantle Markets.
My mum Joan had a stall, then a shop at the Markets for approximately 20 years. We have known Carmen over that entire time and she became a great family friend to all of us. We were all very upset to learn what happened to Carmen and how she has been treated by management.
It doesn’t seem fair to remove someone who has devoted her working life to the Fremantle Markets. The sense of fun and cheap products are a thing of the past. Is it high, upmarket attitudes and prices for the future? Is it developing into a place for snobs? So many good people over the years have been encouraged to “move on”, which is very sad.
The shop and stall owners with their unique and different products is what made the Markets successful, but now it’s the exact opposite. We feel that sense of old Markets atmosphere is long-gone, and is why I am not interested in visiting or purchasing anything from there.
Lawrence, Joan Bie and Hal Bie
Hellenic Rd, Roleystone

THE hassles of getting broadband connected! Although I am very happy with the speed of my computer, I know I will have to be connected sometime. I rang Telstra and was given two dates two weeks apart for two different crews to connect me about six weeks ahead.
The day before, I got a call to ensure I would be home. I waited all day, no technicians. I rang and was told they would be here next day. Guess what, no show. We now have new dates a month later than the first. If they do not show I will cancel. My neighbour also had a date to be connected; he took a day off work, no show. We are not the only ones being stuffed around, I have heard of others getting the same treatment.
Frank Granger
Melville Bch Rd, Applecross
The Ed says: There should be a $200 penalty applied each time Telstra (or any other provider) promises in writing it will be at a given place on a given day and fails to show. It costs customers money to stay home. Financial penalties will soon sort them out.

New Rotto nice but…
ARRIVING last month for our 15th annual family holiday on Rotto at Fays Bay, my wife and I were very impressed with the presentation and standard of cleanliness of our cottage.
The island authority is certainly doing its best to ensure its new contractors surpass the mediocre standards of earlier operators, and is sure to encourage more long stay visitors to the island.
However, progress is usually associated with some cost, both financially and logistically. Apart from the continually escalating accommodation charges, we have been dismayed on recent visits to note the gradual erosion of the earlier relaxed and tranquil environment.
This was one of the island’s main attractions but has now been replaced by the dramatic build-up of private and commercial vehicles cluttering the roads. I feel it is only a matter of time before they install traffic lights in the settlement.
Daryl Binning
Norton Ridge, Winthrop

Rebel with paws
GIVEN Gavin Waugh says he is highly upset the council revoked his official “volunteer” status because he failed to follow rules and instructions I find your front page photo highly ironic (Melville City Herald, June 14, 2014). There he is in a nature wetlands reserve with his dog, which is off the leash. Pretty sure this is against council rules.
Graham Earnshaw
Stewart St, Scarborough

Trust’s time is up
THE WA National Trust’s recent decision to seek expressions of interest for alternative tenants for the artillery drill hall in Fremantle is an action which has rightfully outraged the community.
It begs the question: why does the National Trust own the drill hall?
When the WA National Trust was established by the National Trust of Australia (WA) Act 1964, there was no other body in WA to advocate for the protection of the state’s heritage.  However, the Trust didn’t have any real power to ensure heritage protection; it could only educate and advocate.
Real heritage protection became available with the passing of the Heritage of Western Australia Act 1990, which established the WA heritage council and required councils within WA to compile and maintain their own municipal heritage inventories.
The Act provides the heritage council with legislated powers to protect the state’s heritage.
I can understand there were good reasons to maintain the National Trust for a period while the council established itself. But now, 24 years later, it seems to me we have a competent, mature heritage body in the WA heritage council and another unnecessary and anachronistic heritage body called the National Trust.
Fremantle council has included the drill hall on its municipal heritage inventory as a category 1 building.  The WA heritage register also shows it as the home of the Fly By Night Musicians’ Club. The two things, the building and its use as the Fly By Night club, are both part of the site’s local heritage significance. If it is also considered to be of state significance, then it can and should be included on the state register. The municipal and state lists afford the building protection under the law: protection from untoward decisions by anyone, including the National Trust.
For a state government so keen on mergers, I think it is probably time to merge the National Trust with the heritage council and to disperse the property owned by the Trust to either the care of the heritage council, or the local council.
Would the current situation have existed if the drill hall was included on the state heritage list and owned and managed by Fremantle council? I don’t think so. Poor decisions by the council would be met by residents’ dissatisfaction at the polls, but what about the National Trust? When do people get to vote about the decisions of the Trust?
The National Trust’s recent decision is clearly out of touch with the desires of the people of Fremantle and I think it is time community assets like the drill hall are returned to the community to stop this happening in the future.
Brian Waldron
Brougham St, Woolloomooloo

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