Letters 12.9.15


Put kids first
REGARDING the article in the Herald, September 5 (“John Curtin College suspends students”).
It reads: “getting the facts from school administrators has been like pulling teeth”. Well, good!  The school administrators have a responsibility toward the best interests of their students, not to the press. As a parent of a JCCA kid I’m very happy with the principal’s response to the Herald’s queries.
Let me take this opportunity to say that I’m also very happy with the school — the education and support my child has received from Year 8 to Year 12 has been absolutely outstanding.
Louise Ryan
Justinian St, Palmyra
The Ed says: Great letter, Louise, but we think the community is generally best served by institutional transparency, not opacity.

Softly does it
EVER heard the term “quiet achiever” Gary (“An election in the air,” Herald letters, September 5, 2015)?
A busy councillor does not have to be seen or heard all the time to represent their constituents: leading up to re-election generally you would hear and see a candidate a lot more than usual!
If you go back through previous Heralds I am sure you will find numerous articles by or about Cr Rachel Pemberton.
What exactly is so wrong with light rail anyhow? Are you seriously advocating heavy rail down the main street of Freo? People are constantly complaining about parking issues, well, have a look at other cities with light rail, it is one way to address the issue and it takes a progressive local/state and federal governments to build them.
And why mock the idea of Freo being safer? The other day I was talking to a local business owner on Wray Avenue who was very happy with the new, elevated pedestrian crossing recently installed.
He told me an elderly customer who is mobility impaired was very pleased not to have to negotiate the gutters etc, and can now cross the busy road much easier than before. This is one example of what your hard-working councillor has helped achieve for the community. Skip trying to improve council’s general service delivery? Not sure why, Gary.
Oh, just one more thing: not sure where you are hearing these rumours about a “leg up to a future federal political career” being funded by ratepayers. Fact check, in terms of the local government elections, council does not and cannot support election campaigns in any way, it cannot even provide a single staple nor sheet of paper for printing!
In fact, you will find candidates reach into their own pockets to fund campaigns for re-election to make your  community a better place. They will never see the money again.
Phil Doring
Attfield St, South Fremantle

Wrong question answered
I REFER to the letter by Cr Duncan Macphail (Herald, September 5, 2015).
The councillor has done what some bureaucrats do: respond to an issue but not the issue in question!
The issue to which he refers is the Melville City Structure Plan. That plan has gone through due consultation as is legislated under the Local Government Act, and as stated in his letter to the editor.
Unfortunately, that’s not the issue. The issue is the city has not fulfilled its obligations under the Act in relation to the “land swap” transaction. The Act states, in part, “Before it…enters into a land transaction that is preparatory to entry into a major land transaction a local government is to prepare a business plan. … and give Statewide public notice stating that — the local government proposes to ….. enter into a land transaction that is preparatory to that major land transaction”.
The “land swap” (where the owners of Garden City swap a parcel of land in exchange for a parcel of land that the City of Melville owns) is a transaction done in preparation of a major land transaction. (The major land transaction being the proposed building of a $39 million building near the Melville Civic Centre).
As such, the transaction is clearly within the Act (s 3.59) , and at the very least, the City has to advertise, take into account the submitters’ responses and prepare a detailed business plan including financial details.
So no public consultation has been undertaken to date and no business plan incorporating financial details has been made available to the public.
Melville ratepayers — the City of Melville is set to spend $39 million of your hard-earned money and it hasn’t even bothered to consult you about it!
And the councillor states due process has occurred?
Effie Nicholson

Cott claim wrong
I READ the Herald front page last week (September 5, 2015) and thought I should set you straight.
Quote: “Dr Pettit notes…and Cottesloe councils have now all come out strongly against the Perth Freight Link”. Incorrect.
The Cottesloe forum last week was conducted by the Residents and Ratepayers Association in reaction to a council which has twice voted down motions to oppose the PFL.
The first time the mayor used her casting vote to reject the motion, the second time she was away and the motion was defeated anyway. A majority of our councillors usually vote en bloc and:
1.They are of the opinion that the PFL will not unduly affect Cottesloe
2. They have the misguided notion that they can get heavy vehicles banned from Cottesloe! They implicitly believe that Colin will look after them if they cooperate, I believe.
We have had at least two special electors’ meetings in two years in reaction to this council, plus this latest public PFL meeting, which is somewhat unusual especially when Cottesloe residents showed in a survey at the end of the last mayor’s tenure,  a very high satisfaction rate with their council.
Rosie Walsh
Grant St, Cottesloe

Dozy raffle
FREMANTLE’S social pages’ ambassador, Melissa Parke MP, states she will stand in front of a bulldozer should the Roe 8 extension go ahead (Herald, September 5, 2015).
Following my win (fixed by me) in a raffle conducted by various Vietnam Veterans, I get to drive.
Red Webb
Attfield St, South Fremantle

Vaccatious law
I AM one of many community members concerned about the Abbott government’s proposed childcare assistance package that is removing parents’ right to choose how many vaccines they use in their children.
This legislation will discriminate against children who are not fully vaccinated, including those who selectively vaccinate.
If the legislation is approved it will be introduced in January 2016. The right to informed consent for vaccination, free of coercion, is being removed for anyone who is dependent on welfare benefits.
Religious exemption is also being removed, where it’s not formally registered by a religious group.
This will mean only parents who vaccinate their children with the “full” schedule of vaccines (12 recommended in the first year of life) will be entitled to welfare benefits and childcare payments under this new legislation. The government has been expanding the number of vaccines on the recommended schedule since 1990 and there are many more vaccines being developed.
This is a discriminatory welfare policy that breaches the International Covenant on Economic, Cultural and Social Rights (ICECSR). This is not a matter of pro- or anti- vaccination; this is about our fundamental human right to choose how many vaccines we use in our bodies.
Parents must maintain their right to choose because of the numerous ingredients in vaccines that are not discussed with parents and the different effects they have due to family history and genetic diversity.
Marie Zuidwind
Lee Ave, Hilton

Grasping at flaws
SO Dean Nalder sees merit in the Woodcock tunnel. I reckon he’d grasp at anything to try and sell this deeply flawed, anti-Fremantle project.
The only tunnel we need in Freo is a rail tunnel from North Fremantle to Robb Jetty, the “Fremantle Metronet Connect”. Imagine the future! I’m not opposed to road, in the spirit of Stephenson I propose the “North-South Subway” a toll road tunnel from Bicton to Karrakatta.
David Davies
Snook Cresc, Hilton

A giant step!
I HAVE just returned from Manning Park in Hamilton Hill having climbed the newly completed “staircase to heaven”. What a gem! Absolutely  magnificent.Congratulations Cockburn council.
K Anthony
Claygate Rd, Hamilton Hill

Freight is not a dirty word
THERE is a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation about the proposed Perth Freight Link.
Freight is a bad word for some. But everything we wear, eat, watch, sleep in or on, sit on, etc is freight at one or more stages of its existence. And many jobs depend on it.
Freight is the lifeblood of our community, our working economy and everyone’s lives. We all pay the cost of moving it to and from our homes, shops, building sites, warehouses and ports. Controlling the rising cost of this movement benefits all.
The Perth Freight Link is not a worthless project, as some have claimed. Infrastructure Australia (quite independent from the WA Government) recently concluded after a careful look at the project that it will deliver economic benefits more than twice its probable cost of about $1.7 billion. Main Roads WA has an excellent record of bringing projects in at or below cost, and the state’s share of this cost will be only about one-sixth.
The transport industry, including the TWU, strongly supports the project and the proposal they will pay a toll to use it. They know they will get worthwhile benefits even after paying.
As for delaying the project and redirecting it to a new port in Cockburn Sound, Infrastructure Australia concluded it will deliver large benefits with or without the new port.
In any case, a new Cockburn Sound port will not be built in at least the next two decades. The present Inner Harbour port will be well able to handle all the growth likely in this time. The Perth Freight Link will feed the eventual new overflow port as well whenever it is built.
In the meantime, the urgent need is for more efficient movement to and from the existing port. The benefits will flow to everyone.
Rail is also very important for Fremantle’s port, and will continue to grow. But rail cannot do the whole job. The rails don’t go near where a large proportion of the freight comes from or goes to, so efficient pick-up and deliveries to and from the port require a high proportion of road movements.
This project has not been made up on the run.  It results from years of planning to improve access to Fremantle port and it is the right project to support now.
Fred Affleck
Chair, WA Freight and Logistics

Cuckoo plan
ALTHOUGH not a Fremantle resident  I am astounded the heritage and history, including Indigenous importance — well before the first Europeans landed at Bathers Beach — is about to be destroyed with the permission of its very guardians, the mayor and Fremantle city council.
I once lived near a nightclub. That nightly torture nearly killed me.
I can still hear Johnny O’Keeffe singing Move Baby Move and although I was a newly-wed, it was a bit of a moment killer if you know what I mean? This tin J-Shed is going to be like a giant sub-woofer of a scale similar to the Harold Holt base in Exmouth it will seem to those residents residing in the high rated “urban renewal” dormitories infill that Fremantle council was happily promoting sometime earlier.
A 20-year lease is madness for the reckless council will then have to pay compensation to the Sunset folk if the venture proves to be the predicted disaster due to the tormented residents jumping to their deaths, drunkenness in their gardens, parking mayhem, car crashes, drug deals under the street lights, vomit, cars vandalised, police sirens and a rogues gallery of Perth spivs lurking in the dark, dropping wheelies and singing Silent Night.
A 20-year lease is just cuckoo, plus other land is strangely made available (locked away) for the future expansion or regularly for the rock concert stage. How charmingly friendly by a council that already has its residents running about just looking for a safe clean place to take a pee.
What would the Temperance Society or William Booth think of this forgotten history lesson? What degradation will happen to the fabric of society when one of its most valuable and historic possibilities is flicked off to a swill hall of beer and amplified bling? The place for rock concerts is football ovals or industrial areas like Malaga or Welshpool, not within a high-rated prestige old historic town revascularisation.
No mention of the required sound-proofing has been made in the application. Why? Just who on what side failed to see noise and reverberation as an issue arising from a tin shed? Are architects and town planners acoustically deaf or just shallow sighted?
How many extra police are the taxpayers or ratepayers going to pay and roster to shepherd the drunks catching the train home or running the gauntlet though the side streets in their Subarus — both running on alcohol? What is the police disposition? Who cares in this brave new world where residents and ratepayers are treated like cashpoint Sulo bins by councils full of self-anointed vision and detachment?
A trial period of three events would allow observation of the concept and free council from the Sword of Damocles which will finally pin council’s wallet as the concept is canned and the promoters appear like David Copperfield with his Cup asking for compensation for the large lost profits they could have made after their peppercorn rent was grasped by the greedy covert shallow reckless and uncaring council.
Australia is at great peril and risk from being degraded from within by those ignorant of history’s mistakes and the treasured values that made our grandparents great.
Dr Julian P O’Brien
Berwick St, Victoria Park

A fine mess you’ve gotten us into
I HAVE often read the state government claims the Roe Highway extension will bring enormous economic benefit to our state. While opponents dispute this, I’ve realised there is clear evidence for this claim.
With the level of opposition to the Perth Freight Link, it now seems certain we will see many hundreds — if not thousands — stand in front of bulldozers. We even have our local federal member for Fremantle, Melissa Parke, committing to do so. Just think of the revenue that will be generated from the fines that will be issued!
As such, we stand to see the coffers of State Treasury swell again. It may even mean many of the protestors lose their homes, obviating the need for compulsory acquisition.
While squandering the opportunities of the mining boom and overseeing a general decline in local manufacturing, it’s great to see the wise-heads of Barnett, Nahan and Nalder finally imagineering a new growth industry built on the increased extraction of social justice and environmental values from our communities.
Heath Adams
Wray Ave, Fremantle

13. COF NewsBites 40x7

3 responses to “Letters 12.9.15

  1. I guess Phil Dorings letter defending Rachels lack of community engagement, is to be expected,a member from the same political group as rachel, just proving the point that political ideology is foremost in this councillors agenda.
    Rachels, blog, profile has been almost non existent except for her driving green agendas.it just seems to fire up around election times.
    By reading other blogs, past heralds issues I can see she has been constantly commented on for lack of community representation, unless its a green party policy, which clearly shows she does little for the average resident.
    This council has become a tool for green party politics not for rate payers issues.

    • We’ve heard a lot of chatter since last week’s front page story (the petition to ban trucks on Hampton Road) that Cr Pemberton only becomes active around elections, so we went back into our archives to see if the claims stack up. While newspaper coverage isn’t the only indicator of a councillor’s work, on the basis of mentions in the Herald, Cr Pemberton appears to be one of the most active (and media savvy) councillors in Fremantle. Apart from the mayor, she was only slightly outstripped by deputy mayor Josh Wilson for mentions in the last four years (one year Cr Andrew Sullivan was slightly ahead). She submitted more letters or Thinking Allowed articles than any other sitting councillor, and was singled out by letter writers more often than any other councillor; and yes, they ran hotly in favour of those opposing her ideas. The stories and letters were evenly spread throughout the four years and not weighted towards election time. There was a slight lull in late 2013/early 2014 when she was preoccupied with the re-election of her boss, Greens senator Scott Ludlam, when the loss of ballot papers meant she had to campaign for a second time.

  2. Yes, yes, yes,
    Dr. Julian in denigrating the unbelievable Council permission to permit a 1500 person Booze Barn on the states most important heritage property.
    As you have acknowledged, this area iincluding The Round House, is of the most significant historic value to all Australians. The guardians, the Fremantle Council, in their continuing wrecking ball (thankyou Myley) of that which should be maintained and is Fremantle, appear set on monument building, with no thought or understanding of this wonderful port city.
    J O’K shouting at you J O’B to ‘Move baby Move’ on honeymoon occassions, has been superceded by Bazza Maguire lamenting ‘The Eve of Destruction”.
    Oh woe is Freo.

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