Letters 25.4.15

What’s a child life worth?
I AM writing to support the mother with two young children who has difficulty crossing Stirling Highway in North Fremantle.
There is no safe crossing between Alfred and Tydeman Roads. Many people cross Stirling Highway near Harvest Road, where a pedestrian has been killed, to walk to and from the cafes co-located along both Harvest Road and Queen Victoria Street.
Although pedestrians are encouraged to cross there by a pram ramp, and our family does so with a baby in a pusher, it is frightening as cars not visible when you set out can suddenly appear from the bend in the road, travelling at speed.
I have lived in North Fremantle for more than 20 years and during that time both vehicular and pedestrian traffic has increased without any change been made to ensure the safety of people walking.
It is not good enough for the council to ask WA main roads to rectify this—it needs to insist that it do so before there is another fatality.
Melanie Honnor
Thompson Rd, North Fremantle

Give Fiona a chance
IT really gets annoying when one is constantly hearing all the negative comments in the newspapers and on the TV about the new Fiona Stanley Hospital.
My husband has recently undergone major surgery there and we as a family were blown away by the care he has and is still receiving from this hospital. There will be some teething issues, there’s bound to be with such a massive transition such as this but it does appear that people only dwell on the negatives and not see the positives. We count ourselves very fortunate indeed to have this beautiful hospital.
Thank you to everyone at FSH involved in looking after my husband and also the brilliant nurses at Silver Chain.
Jo Dent
Challenger Place, Melville

Brain-dead Chook?
IS the editor of your paper brain-dead?
Just after the Woolies issue with taking advantage of ANZAC Day you let three Labor politicians use it to to promote themselves. Regardless of their politics from now on how about refusing to take such ads from any political parties where they use ANZAC Day to promote themselves, especially from Melissa Parke.
On another issue, if you want to get our incumbent Labor politicians doing something for Fremantle, instead of looking after some whales in Iceland, which would be a typical Parke pursuit using taxpayers’ funds, how about following up on your recent story on the difficulty of crossing some of our roads.
How about tackling Main Roads on the Stirling highway and Canning Highway intersection and the fact the Stirling Bridge has a single not-so-wide footpath, on the southern side of the highway shared by pedestrians and bike riders and of course people with prams.
If you live like the majority of East Fremantle residents do on the northern side of the highway you need to cross over Stirling Highway to access the bridge footpath.
This is way not good enough! Also tackle Main Roads on its refusal to adequately maintain road reserves, just look again at the Stirling/Canning Hwy intersection which is surrounded by unmaintained road reserves.
East Fremantle is too useless to address these issues on behalf of the ratepayers but someone has to.
The last issue is Leighton beach. It is now 16 years since the battle for Leighton beach occurred, but you will note that approximately 10 per cent of the total site has been developed. The majority of the marshalling yards remain as they did 16 years ago, other than for the fact that some planning idiot allowed a Montessori School to be built on what should be 100 per cent public recreational reserve.
Next time you drive along Stirling Hwy check out the ugliness of the property. With some proper vision, which neither side of politics has yet to deliver, we could see the rail enclosed inside a structure which could then be covered in dirt and the whole section of land up to Victoria Street station used for tourism and recreational purposes.
Could you imagine one day watching Australia Day fireworks on the hill overlooking Leighton beach. The area could include restaurants, outdoor picture cinemas, auditoriums/amphitheatres for holding concerts, etc.
If developed well, the hill overlooking Leighton beach with the rail buried has the potential perhaps to become second to Kings Park, to be the most popular recreational reserve in the metro area.
So how about the paper revisiting and start asking some serious questions as to why nothing has happened, and who gave planning approval for the Montessori School!
Steve Browning
Windsor Rd, East Fremantle

Tax ghosts
AFTER every public holiday employers call for the abolition of penalty rates stating they are crippling business and the economy.
It should be the right of every business to make a decision to open or not and the same courtesy should be extended to employees—that they are paid for the time lost with family and friends. No-one ever speaks of the so-called ghost employees—family members paid a wage but not required to earn it. Their presence on the books gives a business a way of mitigating tax liabilities, which is not an option for the regular wage earner.
The offer to ghost a family member is a sweetener used by companies to win contracts to a supply goods or services in both the private and government sectors.
This costs us all in the end with higher tax rates for the regular wage earner and higher costs from poor governance in awarding contracts due to factors outside best practice.
Michael Whitworth
Caribbean Dve, Safety Bay

Freo rooned!
I HAVE been thinking of writing a comment on Fremantle for a very long time. I was born and bred in Fremantle: even though I have traveled all my life in the entertainment industry I will always call Fremantle my home.
And that’s why I have to give my opinion of the state, of the place I love. This Fremantle council has done absolutely nothing for our city for years and years. It would have to be one of the most lifeless places in the world.
Who are these people who run this city? Are they hippies, mung beans, or people who just want to make money on parking fines and keep Fremantle in the dark ages?
Are they people who just want to keep people at home because then they have more control over them? Why have pay-for-parking after shops are shut? You need people to go out and socialise, and relax.
With all the rules and regulations, all you have done has stopped normal people from going out and all the idiots still go out and cause havoc. I myself think all people in government should have a common sense test because I think most do not have any.
I could go on forever but what is the use, it usually falls on deaf ears. Anyway, thank you for having the time to read this. Please let someone with some common sense start running our beautiful city.
John Rodda
Kotisina Gardens, Munster

Freo reborn!
THE ol’ Freo vibe is back. Wow! Just spent two lovely evenings at the Freo Festival.
I completely relished the buzz and amazing atmosphere with the main street closed and live music, bars and food available to enjoy!
Beautifully constructed with bright umbrellas giving a very European feel, continuing outside the National and Orient hotels, live music on stage and tables lining the streets. The vibe is back and, after talking to people and staff around me, thought what a great summer idea by closing off these streets—even a dress theme to relate to the events (staff in costume). Phew here I come, up for air. C’mon let’s bring the buzz and vibe back to our Freo.


Bury the tunnel idea
THE idea of a tunnel to Fremantle port (Herald, April 11, 2015) is fanciful. Tunnel construction costs are massive and operational costs are colossal.
The associated economy must provide staggering levels of productivity increases to justify such infrastructure. Last I heard our state coffers were empty and our productivity was on the rocks. Anyway, the projections are that by 2021, in six years, the Fremantle port will be at capacity.
The real solution is to focus on completing the planned Coogee port and to service it with rail, not trucks. Trucks are dangerous to soft human bodies, emitting tiny carbon platelets in their exhaust, blocking lungs. Truck highways slice up our communities. Truck noise affects our sleep and our health. A transport system based on trucks affects the whole state, making both city and country roads more dangerous.
C’mon WA. We can do better than this. Let’s get some decent long-term planning for a healthy city that works properly.
Peter Best
Archibald St, Willagee

Bottom line?
I HAVE been reading with concern the issues reported by the Herald about the Kings Square development business plan and have been dismayed at the lack of response from our elected members.
I am sure that many of them, like me, just looked at the bottom line of the plan. This bottom line has now been challenged so why are they not standing up with their constituents and demanding answers to how the bottom line was achieved?
Elena Monaco
Pass Cres, Beaconsfield

Springs to mind
I HAVE just read the latest edition of the Herald and was impressed with the article about Cantonment Hill.
Whenever we passed the St Mary spring in the 1940s with our grandfather he would always stop the car so we could get a glass of this cool clear water for him. Whenever we came back from fishing we would ground our boat and quench our thirst and it was the best water I have ever had.
At high tide it was always covered with salt water and you could still see it bubbling up in the salt water. At normal tide it was always clear of the salt water.
I know exactly where it was and I would bet it is still running today even though the land was reclaimed for the building of the East street ferry terminal.
If it was discovered it would be good to build a cairn over it as a memento of the meeting of Captain Stirling and Aboriginal people.
The other note I read was the proposed selling of the Leeuwin naval depot, which has raised its ugly head again. This is a no-no because I have heard from quite a few people the land was gifted to the Commonwealth to build the depot by the gentleman who owned the property on the proviso it would not be sold for development.
That depot is heritage and it played a big part in the victory of WWII. I was born in North Fremantle in 1935 and I can remember the property and the building of the depot.
Jim Redfern
Solomon St, Palmyra

Show decency
I RECENTLY observed a couple parking in a disabled bay at Woolworths.
The man stayed in the car and the woman rushed in to do shopping. The car did not have a disabled sticker displayed
As the woman rushed past me she bumped into me in her race to go first. I objected to her bumping me and she apologised. I asked her if the man in the car was disabled and she said no but she was in a hurry and the bay was free.
As I have a very disabled daughter and her disabled friends who really struggle to shop and get around I asked the woman if she had seen disabled people trying to shop and get around when fit people park in disabled car bays. It did not seem to concern her. I told her that people like her and her man friend give me and many others the end result of laxatives.
She shrugged.
I really cannot understand why people, if you can call them that, cannot consider people who need a close parking area so they can go about their daily living requirements without more hassle and hardship than they have already been dealt with.
John Hampson
South Beach Promenade,
South Fremantle

Explain numbers
WHAT’S to hide—financials in the Kings Square business plan?
The argument proffered in Thinking Allowed (“Kings Square: It’s all about perspective,” Herald, April 4, 2015) was flawed.
Martin Lees has raised key points of probity about the accuracy and veracity of figures used in the business plan and they are yet to be answered. Why have the mayor and CEO needed to obsfucate and “shoot the messenger” in this piece?
Moreover they failed to mention it’s not just Mr Lees who has raised these questions but also the hard-working Fremantle Residents’ and Ratepayers (FRRA) who’ve taken this matter up on behalf of all of us—seeking to ensure our city is governed by sound financial management and calculations with regard to the proposed development.
The questions being put by Mr Lees and FRRA simply seek to make sure the foundations are solid for the “vision” and the “massive benefits of the proposed Kings Square development”.
These questions have nothing to do with being anti-development, they’re just common sense. The sums need to be correct, the foundations firm, before you can get the funds to be able to realise a vision!
M Baker
FICRA committee member
Croke Lane, Fremantle
The Ed says: Mayor Brad Pettitt says all questions will be answered, and a project update revealed, in a release next week.

Rail solves it
IN reference to WA Main Roads taking samples from Clontarf Hill for the proposed Roe 8 highway (Herald, April 11, 2015), it is obvious the Barnett Government will not give up until the highway goes through.
There is enough heavy freight on the roads already, without adding to it, it takes just one rail haulage, that would take up to 40 truck loads to do the same trip.
Frank Cherry
Elderberry Dve, South Lake

It’s our money
WHEN scrolling through TV recently I chanced upon the mayor of the City of Melville displaying the council’s collection of paintings.
He showed one that he said had increased significantly in value and so justified the council spending ratepayers’ money on art.
I respectfully suggest that if the council has spare cash to invest on behalf of ratepayers I would rather have my money back and, if I wish to invest in art, make my own selection.
The council has no expertise in art and the sub-prime mortgage fiasco indicates it has little expertise in investing.
Melville council must have one of the most stable income streams of any individual or enterprise (including state and federal governments) so the need to have reserves is very limited.
Bruce Uren,
Mt Pleasant

10. Unions WA 40x7 10. Visionstream 9x3 classie 10. WA State Futsal 12x2 10. WADMS (Doctor Home Wisits) 10x2

Leave a Reply