Letters 21.3.15


Buses better for now
I SUGGEST one of the main causes of the division between supporters of light rail versus buses is the misinformation and gilding of the lily by both parties, such as that offered in Thinking Allowed by light rail proponent Jeff Kenworthy (Herald, March 14, 2015).
My understanding of what WA transport minister Dean Nalder said is the government will consider using buses (energy source still to be determined) instead of trains in the same dedicated corridor.
This means most of the reasons offered by Mr Kenworthy as favouring light rail also apply to buses running up and down the same corridor. The only major difference between the two options under consideration—and the very reason for the government raising the possibility—is that using buses as rolling stock cost substantially less up front, and so in an environment of tight budgetary conditions as we can expect for the foreseeable future, the bus option may be an appropriate stepping stone to a future light rail system (in the same dedicated corridor).
Colin Delane
Anscombe Loop, Leeming

Thanks for the late Xmas present
TO the wonderful lady who handed my wallet in to the Fremantle police station on February 23, I do hope you see my letter.
Having had my wallet extracted from my handbag (whilst on my shoulder) at Garden City just before Christmas, I really did not expect such a result. So nice to know there are still so many honest people in our community!
I think it made the policeman’s day to witness my surprise and gratitude!
PA Jones

Thank you citizens of East Fremantle
TO the citizens of the Town of East Fremantle and on behalf of the Friends of the East Fremantle campaign, I would like to thank you very much for voting on the amalgamation issue.
It would now appear we have retained control of our niche suburb and have avoided being devoured by, and used as a cash cow by the Fremantle council.
The issues always seemed to be pretty clear, as there appeared to be no upside in amalgamations as far as East Fremantle residents were concerned. Over the course of the campaign we received 21 donations, mostly from pensioners, and about the same number of people helped us fold and distribute approximately 20,000 flyers over six weeks.
We apologise for delivering our flyers into letterboxes that specified “no junk mail” however we felt this was more of an educational script, not advertising material.
With the town’s stated policy on the issue of amalgamation being not to amalgamate, it must have been bewildering to residents when voting to have the mayor and a few councillors (not all), out of step with the council, promoting the virtues of amalgamation. This will probably resurface in future elections.
I found it outrageous to learn council employees were instructed not to comment on amalgamation in any shape or form. We ought to be grateful our council had the foresight to push the government for a case that enabled us to cast our vote on this issue.
Unfortunately, to fund this process it came at a cost of $19,000. However, if our rates had gone up to be on a par with Fremantle, we are probably $80 a year better off this year and every year to come. From the experience I have had through talking to the original petitioners and during the campaign, I have noted that most older members of our community were not only concerned, but horrified to think we might become embroiled in Fremantle council’s ineptitude.
One only has to drive into Freo along Beach Street to Elder Place, look left and see what has become of the Elders woolstore. Absolutely nothing but vandalism and graffiti. The owners have tried many times over 25-30 years to be able to do something constructive with this building, only to be stymied by the council.
For overseas passengers arriving in Fremantle they could be forgiven for thinking that they had berthed in Detroit. It is an embarrassing disgrace and sums up what Fremantle has become. What a shame!
Finally I would like to thank all of our team members and our donors for the effort that has returned the control of our suburb back to us. We took enormous heart to initiate this campaign when we saw that 234 residents had taken the time, of their own volition, to go to the council office and sign the original petition that got this campaign going.
Colin Barlow
Treasurer, Friends of East
Fremantle Campaign
The Ed says: It’s a well-worn myth that Freo council has stymied the woolstores’ development and it’s simply not true. The council has approved development applications, which lapsed due to the owners’ non-start.

Heart sinker
REFERRING to your food review that mentioned in passing Chai Baba (Herald, March 14, 2015), I cannot praise highly enough the entrepreneurs behind these sorts of ventures.
However, my heart sank somewhat when the article revealed Chai Baba is moving from Pakenham Street to White Gum Valley.
These types of streetside businesses are exactly what Freo needs in its journey of fine grain re-activation. Please stay!
I have a vision of streets awash with bars, fruit and veg shops, butchers, fishmongers, etc. I wonder if we will ever get to a point where keeping small, human-scale retail and services on the the streets of Freo will be financially viable for those concerned, without being confined to the markets and pop up stalls.
Stuart White
Rule St, Fremantle

Cage the cats
HOW is it a cat can free-range through a neighbourhood, scaling fences, hunting and defecate in others’ yards without the owner being responsible?
This past month I have watched four dove families build their nests, lay their eggs, nurture their young right from my kitchen window in our garden. Our neighbour’s cat (free to roam day and night) was seen by myself to single handedly kill each and every one of the young birds.
Dog owners have strict regulations to adhere to and if rules are broken there are hefty fines.
When is legislation for cats (which are efficient predators) going to be introduced?
Mandatory cat runs should be enforced!
T Allegretta
Cleopatra St, Palmyra

Lose the link
IN these southern suburbs we have a most wonderful natural wetland system in urgent need of our help.
The planned Perth Freight Link will forever change the Beeliar wetlands, degrading the natural surrounds, creating noise and pollution.
Do not believe that environmental safeguards during construction can be put in place, this is impossible. This is an extensive and intricate natural ecosystem.
At huge financial cost this government will entrench more traffic problems not less. This highway is obsolete before it begins. More rail is required not more roads.
Less traffic not more. Help protect the wetlands, support the rethink the link campaign.Tell this government what is important for our future.

Green wash
FREMANTLE 2029 (Herald, March 7, 2015): more of the same. Build a few high-rises, pretend you are green by adding a park and a drawing of a circular light rail to nowhere. A tourist attraction, not a transport plan for greater Fremantle
Hide the library underground. Compartmentalise community space: it is a distraction from the commercial. Fill Kings Park with architectural water, the dollar sign of excessive property price. A faux wishing well for community proximity, a deception. This is a design for shopping, tourism and money, rather than for interactive community.
A walkable CBD is not a walkable city. This is not a network city: it is centralised market society with a green-wash tinge, that fails to embrace the ecological.
Nicholas Gribble
Egeus Way, Coolbellup

Look up!
DEAR person walking down the street with your eyes down looking at your phone, please see me, please don’t let me be the one to look always look out for you.
I’m always on guard against bumping into not you. In fact I have bumped into you once or twice.
I’m the one taking responsibility for you. How about we share the load and each look out for us? Social media has overtaken our social contract. Ironic that the need to constantly be engaged on social media is killing socialising.
Yes, walking down a street is socialising. It is participating in the social fabric of society. When you look down and ignore me, that’s not social. I’d call it anti-social. What is it that draws you down to that screen when you’re doing something else? Are you aware of it? Are you feeling unsatisfied? Hurried? Incomplete? Stress is contagious. Slow down, look up and I’ll see you, you’ll see me. It’s social.
A Norfolk
Mouat St, Fremantle

Myopic state
OUR government in WA is always short-sighted when it comes to planning.
The public golf course near the airport should remain as a public course. The land should never be rezoned for housing, as it is too close to Perth airport.
I live in Applecross a long way from the airport but the aircraft noise at night is very annoying, sometimes you wonder whether the plane is going to land on the roof of our house. Instead of extending our present airport, land should be set aside north of Perth for a second, with our light rail and freeway extended to cater for it. I would vote for a curfew on night landings and takeoffs, the same as Sydney which has worked for many years.
Frank Granger
Melville Bch Rd, Applecross

WELL, to compare the Esplanade Park to Manning Park (“Go Deep Di,” Herald letters, March 7, 2015) is like comparing a radish to a pumpkin.
A tortoise can’t run out of the way when a bike is near it and neither can ducklings when first hatched. Anyone who regularly over the years knows Manning Park and its “special eco world” would be in shock and horror at the thought of lots of fast bikes streaming through. There’s plenty of other places so please don’t ruin our special tranquil spot.
Rachel Meyer
Hamilton Hill

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