LETTERS 26.9.16

39LETTERSDon’t print it
I WAS outraged to see that the Herald editor chose to publish Rev Lawrence’s letter (Herald, September 19, 2015).
I do not see how publishing religious opinions in our local paper is relevant to our community — especially one as diverse as Fremantle. Publishing a letter suggesting abortion is the same as murdering a child is a gross inconcideration to a variety of community members, and I cannot believe what I just read!
It is not an easy choice to terminate a pregnancy, and there is a plethora of reasons a woman/couple would choose to do so. Abortion is a personal issue, not one for the community paper.
I ask that the editor please consider the diversity of this wonderful Freo community before publishing such a distasteful (and disrespectful) comment again.
Ruby Allen
Lee Ave, Hilton
The Ed says: Just because we publish a letter doesn’t mean we agree with it, Ruby. We believe passionately in freedom of speech and that includes allowing views we don’t necessarily share to appear in our letters pages.

Sigh, just stop
“STOP the Boats” worked for Tony Abbott (well, until the other day), so “Stop the Trucks on Hampton Road” might work for Rachel Pemberton (Herald, September 19, 2015).
The petition idea is a little weak, however. More impressive would be to emulate Melissa Parke’s pledge regarding Roe 8 and stare down the monsters.
This petition joins Cr Pemberton’s other eye-catching pre-election frolic of funding light rail to Cockburn from parking revenue. Harmless enough I suppose, but hardly front page headline material.
Yours wearily
Gerard MacGill
Harvest Rd, North Fremantle

To the Matt
I HAVE to challenge the “assumed figures” in Matt Taylor’s Thinking Allowed (Herald, September 12, 2015), a response to Melissa Parke’s article of the week before.
No-one can disagree that there are too many trucks on Leach Highway, and mixing with cars is dangerous. However the planning (and the “facts” that support any business case) for this project appear to be somewhat ambitious in terms of the growth projections.
It is hard to believe there will be a doubling of TEUs, “740,000” to “1.4 million (minimum)”,  anywhere close to 10-15 years from now, given also that the plan is to put more on rail. This assumes that WA’s economy will also grow at that rate. An increase of 20-30 per cent sounds more plausible given the current state of the economy.
The issue is really about removing the excuse of not getting on with detailed planning, and approvals, for the infrastructure required to build the new outer harbour.
The view put that this will take 10-15 years to build, appears to rest on a lack of incentive to get on with it. The $2.4 billion or so to complete the Fremantle Link, including the river crossing, would go a long way towards a new outer harbour.
Murray French

Trucks will go
JUST to clarify for Phil Bayley (“Matt leaves Phil flat,” Herald letters, September 19, 2015), Roe 8 is forecast to remove around 5000 trucks per day from our southern urban road arterial network.
Around 2000 of these will be removed from Leach Highway alone, according to Main Roads WA’s 2021 forecasts.
In addition to removing these trucks, Roe 8 will remove six sets of traffic lights, improving road safety and reducing the alarming rate (double the metro average) of rear-end collisions currently occurring on Leach Highway involving heavy vehicles.
Main Roads will be able to ban container vehicles from using Leach Highway and enforce compliance through GPS technology, which is much more effective than a conventional toll system.
It will be in the interests of freight operators to use the efficient Roe 8 route and this will in turn improve road safety, amenity and reduce pollution for commuters and local residents.
Matt Taylor MLA
Member for Bateman
Riseley St, Booragoon

Poop it forward
EVERY morning, when I exercise my dog on the school oval in Palmyra, I pick up between five and 10 turds left there from the previous afternoon, even more on a Monday.
I do this to protect the children and teachers as well as to better the reputation of dog owners. I realise, that sometimes when you chat or chill, you do not notice when and if your dog does its business — happens to me too. I suggest the concept of “paying forward” — just pick up a few that you see on your way. I believe if we all did this, the problem will be close to eliminated.
Nathalie Payenberg
Elvira St, Palmyra

Bypassing the whole truth
IN your excellent article “Four vie for robe and chain” (Herald, Septembr 12, 2015) you reported that Melville councillor Susanne Taylor-Rees had sought to have included in her profile that Melville needed an honest mayor, but this was rejected by the WA electoral commission.
By doing this, she was using the cheapest, lowest-grade electoral dirty trick in the book against a mayor who will rate as one of the greatest in local government history.
He is very experienced, has kept all his promises and continues to fight against Ms Taylor-Rees, the MUA, political opposition and Cockburn council, to build the Melville bypass.
Ms Taylor-Rees failed to mention her fight against Melville’s bypass in her profile.
Jim Reddyhough
Burren Gate, Willetton
The Ed says: This letter was edited for legal reasons.

Beggared belief
VIEWS expressed by the ill-informed, such as that by “John Curtin parent” (Herald letters, September 19, 2015) beggar belief.
That the school strives to protect its students from a lurid press should be applauded, not criticised. The writer’s own knowledge of the issues is plainly non-existent. Naked assumptions that “the drug culture and bullying culture, which most certainly are rife within the school” clearly exposes the writer as a postulator who adds nothing to the discussion.
John Curtin reflects the society from which it draws its students. Having close friends whose children attend a wide range of schools, both public and private, I can at least say that John Curtin is no worse than its peers and, in many areas, considerably better. Specific students who are affected by unsocial behaviour must, of course, be helped and perpetrating students’ behaviour corrected. However, to play this out in the press is both sensationalist and harmful to the students.
M Flis
Tweeddale Rd, Applecross

A split decision
MAY the best woman win! Or is it a forgone conclusion, now that the vote is “split” with three women taking on one man, the incumbent man will get in .
Many ratepayers think there is a need for change and that we need a new mayor in Melville.
Cr Susanna Taylor-Rees has highlighted the unsatisfactory situation that currently exists in the council, namely the  lack of transparency and consultation with ratepayers.
Priorities are set by a clique in the council.
An obvious example of this was the decision taken to relocate the Melville bowling club, and sell the $20 million asset to developers.
Fortunately, it caused a huge uproar amongst ratepayers and club members, and the decision was recinded.
Many people say it’s only a temporary reprieve and that it will happen after the mayoral elections are over.
Do we want a council that is functioning for and on behalf of the ratepayers or not?
Let’s not be apathetic, and make our votes count for a change.
Karl Kelers
Clydesdale St, Alfred Cove

All hail the Democratic People’s Republic of Melville
YOUR article “CEO ticks off noisy residents” (Herald, September 19, 2015) is indicative of the way our council is run.
The CEO and mayor Aubrey, appear to feel they can decide what will be good for us, the dumb residents, and we have no right to question their decisions.
The CEO always seems to be able to pull out some law to back his decisions, like councillors not talking to residents, or taking notes from council meetings — but who does this benefit?
I feel that secrecy rules at Melville council these days. How many times lately do we read of some major project to be developed in a location close to or in our quiet residential suburbs?
We never seem to be openly consulted on matters affecting us.
But when it is a fait accompli, we are advised it was included in some website.
I follow the goings on of this council, but I seem to miss most of the proposals.
One way to rid us of this to oust Russell Aubrey at the elections. A new mayor may stand up to the CEO.
These two treat any councillor who opposes their decisions as a quisling who must be silenced.
At the forthcoming council elections, vote for anyone but Aubrey for mayor.
If you live in the Applecross/Mt Pleasant ward vote for Nick Pazolli, he will represent you and not bow down to bureaucracy.
Allan Watson
Bombard St, Mt Pleasant
The Ed says: This letter was edited for legal reasons.

Blinding the Rev Shave with science
REV Lawrence Shave (“What’s the difference?,” Herald letters, September 19, 2015) needs to find his science teacher to ask for his money back.
In my case, a living, swimming sperm combined with a living egg, resulted in me.
The egg and sperm came from living parents.
This is life as it flows through the generations of every living thing.
My life therefore started several billion years ago.
If Rev Shave’s life started miraculously a few years ago from a dead egg and a dead sperm then he must indeed be a one-off miraculous creature.
I urge Rev Shave to engage with the wider community, where he will find there is considerable debate about when life began or begins.
I also urge him to first get his facts right; then help openly and fully educate our community about sex and reproduction in such a way that abortion becomes a thing of the past.
In my opinion, the consequences of regarding sex in its various forms as sinful or evil is one of the main reasons why abortion exists.
Ray Forma
Harvest Rd, North Fremantle

Probe proper
I WRITE to clarify  the continuing media attention given to the so-called hiring of a private investigator by the City of Melville to investigate the alleged breach of “gift” rules by Councillors Barton and Taylor-Rees.
I was the person, as chair of Friends of Attadale Foreshore (FOAF), who took the councillors for a meal, along with engineers and surveyors who generously gave their time without cost, in support of our group attempting to restore the Attadale foreshore path which had been washed out by two consecutive winter storms and re-instate to the original position.
Unfortunately our efforts did not succeed, primarily through resistance by the Department of Parks and Wildlife and Swan River Trust.
Our gathering was to show appreciation for their support, to review that matter and consider other items along the river.
I personally paid for the majority of the cost and later claimed the small amount, being the balance, as an expense through FOAF accounts. This request was approved by the greater majority of the committee, with one person voting against this reimbursement. That person forwarded confidential information to the city CEO with the request that the city undertake a review and assessment of the matter.
In the circumstances, as the matter involved two councillors, the CEO was legally obliged to appoint an independent party to make the assessment. The independent party was an ex-employee of the Department of Local Government, who oversaw the compliance of the local government sector. It was found that there was no matter to answer, so no investigation occurred.
It is disappointing that the proper procedure adopted by the council has been demonised, however it was a positive outcome for all concerned and particularly for the councillors.
Mike Nichol
Chair, Friends of Attadale
Foreshore (Inc)
Stoneham Rd, Attadale

Muddy waters
I REFER to Cr Duncan Macphail’s letter (“Swap not a transfer,” Herald, September 19, 2015).
Cr Macphail, stop muddling the waters. Let’s look at the facts.
Contrary to the councillor’s statement, the Melville city structure plan did not approve the building of a $39 million cultural centre by the City of Melville. That’s a fact!
A structure plan denotes where buildings may be placed, allowable heights of those buildings, location of the main street, plaza, etc.
That’s what the consultation conducted and approved by the city was all about: the general plan of the area, without specifics.
The controlling CEO Dr Silcox, together with his complying mayor Russell Aubrey, have not conducted any community consultation on the huge amount of our funds they are planning to spend on this cultural building.
Why wouldn’t the City of Melville (which we are repeatedly told is open and transparent) consult with its ratepayers prior to spending $39 million of our money on a major land transaction? (the $39m, by the way, was provided by the city in a public report).
Come on City of Melville — consult with your ratepayers and tell us what you’re planning so we can be part of the decision-making process as is mandated in the Local Government Act.
Effie Nicholson

Who won what?
MY sophistry detector went off the scale (broken now) when I read Matt Taylor’s Thinking Allowed on the Perth Freight Link (Herald, September 12, 2015).
Matt said, “an award-winning two-year consultation process/ … preferred concept design subject to strict environmental conditions setting a new benchmark/ … in Australia.”
I wondered: who gives awards for consultation? How many entrants were there for this particular award? How was it judged? Who applied? Will an FOI grant access to the relevant documents? What environmental conditions? Benchmark?
For one line, so many questions, so little space. I was a community representative for Booyeembara Park in a consultation group set up by Main Roads for the High Street upgrade, which forms part of the PFL. It ran for about two years without climax, it just went silent, the emails and meetings from Main Roads ceased.
Perhaps Main Roads finalised its consultation without the community and then won the award. Award for; best spin, longest consultation, best food at a consultation meeting, best dressed, most diverse, lowest benchmark, outcomes closest to desired outcome. Who knows?
Robert Dobson
Stevens St, White Gum Valley

Just make sure you vote
WALKING the streets and knocking on doors in east ward as part of my election campaign, I am reminded again what a diverse and interesting place I live in.
It also reminds me of one of the things I loved most about Fremantle when I first moved here in 1986 – the community. Fremantle was about people that believed in participation, with passions and strong opinions on where and how they lived.
I don’t believe anything has really changed in 29 years — we are still a passionate, opinionated lot! And since being elected to council in 2011, I have been constantly amazed and proud of the level of engagement from the community.
But somehow, this doesn’t translate into votes at the council elections — we are often lucky to see much more than a 30 per cent response.
This year, more candidates than ever have nominated and every ward is hotly contested, indicating an unprecedented interest in what is happening at council, where the decisions that are made directly impact your daily life.
So come on Fremantle — whichever ward you live in, whomever you choose to vote for — be sure to exercise your democratic right and have a vote!
Ingrid Waltham
Candidate, east ward
Samson St, White Gum Valley

39 Marandel Ayres 10x2 20 Fremantle Leisure Centre 10x3

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