Letters 19.7.14

Half a thanks
DEAR Colin and Tony, as an aged pensioner who worked full-time and contributed for 50 years, I would like to tell you both how wonderful it feels to be so valued by your respective governments that you have halved my annual seniors benefit payment to $82. I trust you will both enjoy your taxpayer-funded, gold-plated retirement packages when your times come.
Paul Blakeborough
Attfield St, Fremantle

Feeling pretty aggy
WHOEVER stole 300 agapanthus from Spearwood on July 2 near the Cockburn council, your picture has been given to the local police.
You might want to call them to explain your actions. The plants were destined for other sources, not your bank account. Disappointed
Name and address withheld

Blame the bypass vandals
GREENS senator Scott Ludlam and Labor politicians are being disingenuous when they rightly condemn expenditure on the new Perth Freight Link, but fail to mention there was a practical and viable alternative previously scuttled by Fremantle voters.
Federal and state money is to be thrown at a band-aid solution to a far greater problem in an attempt to buy votes and be seen to be taking positive action. The proposed tortuous freight route was forced on us to save the state seat of Fremantle for Jim McGinty by deleting the Fremantle bypass from long-term planning initiatives. The new route will cause far more pollution and social disruption without addressing the obvious long-term problems.
In recent months there have been numerous protests over the intended freight link construction, curiously from many who supported deletion of the bypass. Conspicuous by its absence is any mention by them of the original act of political vandalism.
There is no argument port road and rail freight traffic will increase significantly in the coming decade as the Rous Head container terminal expands. Our roads will be more congested, especially those sections that will see heavy semi-trailers competing for space with local suburban traffic, and the increased frequency of freight trains trundling through heritage areas of the port city will be to the structural detriment of its historic buildings and detract from the lifestyle of those who chose to live in the precinct.
My solution is to immediately cancel any plans or expenditure on this latest political folly and consider a viable and practical alternative for the future. Both state and federal governments should work together to resume the land that was sold and reinstate the Fremantle bypass, making provision for a rail line to be included in the project.
This new freight line would join the existing network at Spearwood and run alongside the freeway, over the Stirling Bridge and into the Fremantle container terminal. This should appease those who have been continually preaching the virtues of rail over road freight.
Unfortunately, there is a dearth of politicians on the horizon with the desire to make the bold decisions urgently required. I feel I am passing water into the wind trying to get them to look beyond their next term in office.
Daryl Binning
Norton Ridge, Winthrop


Fly traps customers for Freo business
UNCERTAINTY surrounding the Fly By Night club is an issue that should concern the state government.
The heritage status of the drill hall makes it a matter of responsibility for WA heritage minister Jacob and I’d like to hope he is examining ways in which the government can ensure the maintenance of the building and the ongoing cultural heritage provided by the Fly.
We should also recognise that as well as its significant contribution to the cultural life of the community, the Fly also serves to attract people into Fremantle and those coming to the Fly do not simply arrive for a show and depart for home afterwards.
Many, if not most, patronise other local businesses too. The night-time economy of entertainment hubs like Fremantle is an important contributor to the well-being of the community, and magnets like the Fly benefit other local businesses. Hospitality employs people, and that’s something that Fremantle must retain and nurture.
The most recent Small Area Labour Market data from the Commonwealth Department of Employment shows the unemployment rate for the December quarter of 2013 for inner Fremantle at 7.8 per cent with the remainder of the city at 5.8 per cent.
Compare this with Armadale (4.9), Bassendean (5), Mosman Park (3) and the Town of Cambridge (1.9) and it is plain Fremantle can hardly afford to have a people magnet like the Fly By Night put at risk.
Surely this is a matter that should also draw the attention of Dr Hames as WA training and workforce development minister. While the Fly may only directly employ a relatively few people, its pulling power for other businesses should not be underestimated.
Brian Waldron
Brouigham St, Woolloomooloo

A doggone shame
FOR some reason in our neighborhood, it seems to be the norm that people buy dogs for security.
I would like to point out that a dog should be purchased for the sole purpose of being loved and cared for just as you would like to be treated, which includes the social wellbeing of your dog/s.
It completely irks me to think that dogs are left all day alone; barking continually, wimpering for some TLC and some are being left for months at a time whilst you travel and conveniently get someone in to feed them, albeit when it suits you and not the dog/s.
If you want security then install a security system and stop using dogs for your selfish purposes. It’s about time that the council took more responsible action in trying to penalise dog owners who turn a blind eye to the dog act.
WA Dog Act 1976 Section 38: “A dog shall be taken as a nuisance for the purpose of this section if, It creates a noise, by barking or otherwise which persistence occurs”.
By the way if you dog/s continually bark have you given it a thought that your home may be a perfect time to be burgled!
Name supplied
Bibra Lake

Starry eyed about sustainability
FURTHER to “Power poser” (Herald, June 14, 2014)—“Family moves into 6-star green house ready to kiss power bills goodbye, only to start squealing when the first bill arrives in the mail.”
There appears to be a misunderstanding of what a “6-star” rating is. The star rating of a house is not so much an energy efficiency rating as a thermal efficiency rating.
It generates information regarding how efficiently heat (and only heat) is transferred in and out of a particular dwelling.  A 10-star thermal efficient rating means the house requires no addition nor extraction of artificial heat throughout the year, to obtain a comfortable liveable environment inside the dwelling.
A 0-star rating means you will experience the outside temperature inside the house. If you require a different temperature to that outside artificial heat will need to be continuously applied or extracted.  A non-insulated tent equals a zero rating. Essentially, it could keep you dry and out of the wind, however you are still subject to ambient temperature variations.
So a 6-star thermal efficiency house rating does not necessarily result in lower electricity bills.
What will is installing a solar PV system (increased production) and reducing the amount of electricity you use (reduced consumption). Coincidentally there may be a reduction in electricity or gas costs if the space heating and cooling is fuelled by electricity or gas.
Roy Lewisson
Yalgoo St, White Gum Valley
The Ed says: This letter has been significantly edited for length.

Liberals are all road all the time
THE Liberals are not rail or public transport people, never have been, never will be. They are totally committed to road freight transport.
Frank Cherry
Elderberry Dve, South Lake

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