Letters 3.10.15


Be excellent to each other
COULD I make a simple request? Could everyone running for council elections keep to the issues they believe in, are passionate about and want to do something about?
I want you to stop thinking you will get people to vote for you by constantly having a dig at the other candidates.
There’s not many of you, but in your hearts you ktnow who you are. I would never vote for you. I can’t even tell what you stand for.
And to everyone else in Freo — please don’t let it put you off voting.
Shani Graham
Livingstone St, Beaconsfield

Still waiting for consultation
YOUR article “CEO ticks off noisy residents,” (Herald, September 19, 2015) gave insight to the treatment residents received when asking for consultation, however, it failed to address the major and alarming issue.
And that is, that the council, yet again, refused a simple and basic request for consultation.
Consultation that the city confirmed it had not engaged in for more than a decade. As I asked on the night, “what is this council afraid of, why are we refusing engagement with our community on this contentious issue?”
I am still waiting for an answer, as are residents.
Meanwhile, Jim Reddyhough (Herald letters, September 26, 2015) where have you been?
I have spoken against the flawed Perth Freight Link on many occasions, moved motions and asked directly of Main Roads and the WA transport minister Dean Nalder for impacts, traffic modeling and visuals on the impacts to City of Melville residents.
And still I, the City of Melville and the community wait — silence. The removal of only 500 trucks, leaving 3000 still on Leach Hwy is a poor result for a $1.6 billion investment. The City of Melville likes to advertise Roe 8 at ratepayers’ expense but then refuses to consult with residents after repeated requests, and that is the sad truth.
Susanne Taylor-Rees
Strain St, Bicton
The Ed says: Susanne Taylor-Rees is a ward councillor for Bicton-Attadale and a candidate for Melville mayor.

Boxy legacy
RACHEL PEMBERTON is asking for another four years on council to continue the “progress our city is making”.
She claims in her brochure to have “secured better development outcomes”. It is questionable if in her four past years she has done more than simply facilitate poor quality planning decisions which suit developers but damage the unique character of Fremantle.
It seems that in her desperation to mould Fremantle into her ideology of low-cost housing she is prepared to accept any new development with just a few little tweaks here and there.
Like many of her colleagues on this council, rather than listening, working with and serving her precinct she is pursuing her own political aspirations.
We now face a series of large, unattractive boxes being built in the centre of Fremantle and the West End. If we have to suffer big boxes they at least should be good ones. Poor Fremantle. I am glad there are two other candidates to vote for.
Petr Pacak
Rennie Cres, Hilton

Stars struck
SUDHIR, you have been writing offensive astrological put-downs all too often about Capricorns this year, and no offensive and targeted comments towards others.
Just because a Capricorn did something to you in the past don’t take it out on all of us. If you are going to use negative and nasty phrases in one sign you should use them in all or not any. Leave Capricorns alone! Aren’t you supposed to be a Buddhist?

Shout it out
I STARTED drafting a response to the letter by Rev Lawrence Shave (“What’s the difference?” Herald, September 19, 2015), who compared a refugee child to a foetus.
I was angered on so many different levels but am reluctant to feed the circular debate.
Instead I  would like to highlight #ShoutYourAbortion. This hashtag is about vocally owning your choice to have an abortion and to take back the conversation from anyone trying to shame you for your decision.
You do not have to bear a child against your will and do not have to keep your decision to have an abortion a secret.
As Clementine Ford said in The Age: “If you’ve had an abortion, you have nothing to apologise for. But just in case anyone tries to make you feel like you do, know this: you have an army of people behind you, and we’re not whispering anymore.”
Zita Pal
Central Ave, Beaconsfield

EPA–please explain
HOW does the environmental protection authority go from decades of “it will be environmentally impossible to blow Roe 8 Hwy through the sensitive Beelier Wetlands” to it will “now be environmentally acceptable” overnight? In the words of Pauline Hanson—please explain.
Brad Capes
Miranda Crs, Coolbellup

Change the game
IF the prime minister intends to deliver a new style of federal politics that is “truly consultative with the wider public” and not “policy on the run” where better to start than reconsidering the Perth Freight Link?
Rather than an “important, game-changing project” as he told one media outlet this week, the proposed toll road is, prima facie, a captain’s call that will undermine decades of bipartisan planning for the outer harbour.
Rather than “respecting the intelligence of voters”, the case for the link has so far remain shrouded in mystery due to the Barnett government’s refusal to release the business case and to give straight answers to straightforward questions.
Prime Minister, if you wish to retain the warm glow of welcome from Western Australians relieved to farewell the Abbott era, please visit the Beeliar wetlands and the families whose homes would be destroyed.
Explore for yourself whether it makes sense to spend $1.6 billion on an ugly, divisive toll road that would stop one mile short of a near-capacity nineteenth century port.
Rethinking the Link would be a game-changer.
Lynn MacLaren MLC
Greens Member for
South Metropolitan

Why weren’t we asked?
LIKE so many ratepayers I would like to know why a planned project of this size — the new Melville council offices — was not put forward to ratepayers in form of a referendum.
After all, we ratepayers are the ones who pay their salaries and provide the funds for the council to operate.
Greater transparency is needed to investigate if those new offices are really needed. There can be other alternatives like adding an extra wing to the existing centre: there is ample space to accommodate this.
It is quite obvious that hardly any of the councillors nor the CEO have ever run a corporate business at a senior managerial level where one is responsible to operate at a profitable level to keep the business sustainable.
I know the mayor has not as he was a schoolteacher before he joined the council.
It is so easy to increase the rates when they need more funds.
I invite everyone to pay a visit to the offices in Booragoon and you will be struck by the grandeur of the entrance hall, which if built smaller would have added approximately 30 per cent more office space.
Even then the councillors had visions of great grandeur.
There are several ways they can trim expenditure, which would result in considerable savings and radically reduce the need to spend $38 million for a new centre.
When perusing the council guide I counted about 20 services/products which could easily be axed without affecting services to the ratepayer.
For instance, art awards, collection and exhibitions, literacy and foreign/English language programs (the state government already caters for this), sister city friendship programs and the list goes on
There are many more but the most expensive one no-one asked for is the patrol service, a handful of cars patrolling 24/7 covering more than 1000 streets and they have not even got the power to make an arrest.
We have the police for this.
When axing those services, together with natural attrition and voluntary redundancy, they will achieve the savings and reduced staffing levels so that a new centre would not be warranted .
Henk Bodewes
Arnold Crs, Kardinya

Not all benefit
JUST to clarify for Matt Taylor MLA (“Trucks will go,” Herald letters, September 26, 2015), when you say “removing these trucks […will] improve road safety, amenity and reduce pollution for […] local residents”, you mean for the benefit of some residents in your seat of Bateman, perhaps.
What you omit is that it will decrease road safety and amenity and increase pollution for those residents of other suburbs where Roe 8 and 9 is planned.
The health, community connectivity and environmental costs of growing road freight to and from Fremantle port will merely be displaced onto other communities, at great expense. You represent your electorate, fine, but don’t pretend it is for the greater good of Perth nor the southern suburbs.
Khalin Hall
Ommanney St,
Hamilton Hill

Ignorance needles
IF only there was a vaccine against willful ignorance. But of course those most in need wouldn’t have the jab!
Vaccinate doesn’t equate with medicate.
Medication is a drug or other agent administered to treat or prevent disease. Vaccination is is the introduction of an antigen that stimulates an immune response in the body to prevent disease. In the past 200 years millions of deaths have been prevented through vaccination.
Smallpox has been eradicated by global vaccination programs saving an estimated five million lives annually. And the proof — all the people we see every day not afflicted by deadly infectious diseases.
If this isn’t enough do some reading, there is a wealth of peer reviewed information online. A good start would be googling science-based medicine.
David, Hilton

Thanks, Freo
COULD we through your newspaper express our gratitude to the people of Fremantle for making our recent holidays in your town a great one.
From the bus drivers to the staff at the old Fremantle Prison and everyone in between, our stay was very enjoyable, which was largely due to the kindness and friendly nature of the great people of Fremantle.
Thank you and well done.
Steven & Kathy
Riverland, South Australia 

A sorry mess
THAT exquisite streetscape, High Street, West End Fremantle, is being eroded by developers (eg, Bairds Building 33-37 High).
Why is the Fremantle council not enforcing standards which maintain our unique port city?
It seems the  mayor can only criticise, instead of at least listen and maybe learn, from the knowledge and advice of historian John Dowson. Councillors, surely the concerns expressed by former premier and now chair of the Australian Heritage Council, Professor Carmen Lawrence, should persuade you to ponder your planning a little closer; rather than green-stamp developments detrimental to the magnificent history of our forebears.
Suzanne John
High St, Fremantle

17. COC 10x3 17. COF Frem Arts Centre 20x3.5 17. COF Freo Festival 40x3 17. COF NewsBites 40x7 WG12050_DSC.indd 17. Visionstream 8x3 Applecross

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