Letters 17.10.15


Weekend rates not a luxury
I AM a student at Murdoch University. I moved from Bunbury to study here. As a student, money is the one thing keeping me from having to return home a failure.
I had a job at Big W in Cockburn. I was working entirely on weekends and it wasn’t enough to properly live on. I barely had enough for milk and bread, money to put on my transport card or to get the internet I needed to complete my studies and pay my rent.
Without weekend rates I would have had to return to Bunbury: study away from home would have been impossible.
If weekend rates are abolished, so many people across Australia, not just students, will suffer. Families will struggle to pay bills and thousands of Australians will find it even harder if not impossible to live their lives.
If people can’t afford their homes anymore and they have terrible pay, then where will they go?
Samuel McVicar
Leichhardt St, Bull Creek

Scrapbook it
I READ the story about the metal thieves and the mention of regulation for the scrap metal dealers (Herald, October 10, 2015).
Most of the culprits are crackheads or other types of drug addicts looking for quick cash for a quick fix.
Here in North Carolina, whenever I haul anything to the scrap yard they make me stand by the trailer full of items and snap my picture and even ask me where I got the scrap metal. I have to give them my driver’s licence and they log all the info down before they give me a cheque.
In the neighbouring state of South Carolina they make sellers obtain free permits in order to sell to the scrap yard.
Local houses of worship are popular targets for thieves as they all have air-conditioning units that typically contain quite a bit of copper in them and are not usually staffed 24/7.
Scott Petrill
Savannah Rd, Peachland NC

Kings Square unsafe
TODAY in Kings Square, in the heart of Fremantle, within spitting distance of the town hall, my wife and I were physically threatened and verbally abused by a group of drunks.
I therefore have a question for Fremantle’s councillors and in particular for the mayor: what do you intend saying to the people you are encouraging to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on buying one of the many empty apartments and those being built in Fremantle?
And what do you say to the businesses you are are actively trying to convince to relocate to Fremantle?
Are you, can you, in all honesty say Fremantle is a decent and safe place to live and to bring up families, or in fact a good place to do business?
The truth is the streets of Fremantle are becoming less and less safe, a problem the council seems unwilling to acknowledge and unable to deal with.
If I were a visitor or tourist walking through Kings Square today, with or without children, considering a move here, setting up a business or as a future holiday destination I’d recommend to family or friends, I would most certainly be having a serious rethink.
Bob Loftus
Beach St, Fremantle

Big Brother West
IT is interesting that there has been no report in The West Australian newspaper about the moves made by it to take complete control of delivery and accounting for those who have that paper delivered regularly.
Why? Is it not news, business news? It is a newspaper.
Contact with customers was disrespectful and the paperwork received was blunt and more in the nature of an order to those receiving it.
The decision to cut direct contact between deliverer and receiver and introduce a third party in head office is clumsy. More buttons to push.
As a result of that action the reduced contact hours shows a lack of understanding of daily issues which arise and need immediate action. It would seem Big Brother is alive and well.
Pat Newton
Alexandra Rd, East Fremantle

Order politely restored
THE comment by Cr Susanne Taylor-Rees (“Still waiting for consultation,” Herald letters, October 3, 2015) requires further explanation.
On September 19, deputy mayor Nicole Foxton, presiding over the meeting, maintained excellent control until a number of the Sink The Perth Freight Link attendees began jibing councillors and the chair to a point they were very rude and an embarrassment for others in attendance.
The chair, having requested “order” a number of times, had no option but to ask the CEO to assist to restore order by reminding those in attendance of the penalty for such continuous disruption, which he did in a quiet and professional manner and decorum eventually resumed.
Ultimately, all agreed that no further consultation could proceed until further information came forward through WA Main Roads and Minister Nalder of the new proposals coming from three engineering contractors, who are examining alternative solutions which may well remove the concerns of affected Melville ratepayers.
When these are available, the council agreed at that meeting to have further consultation with ratepayers. Rather than criticise the city, which has no real control over the matter, the concerned residents should collaborate with the council to press the case for alternative options with Main Roads.
Sadly, the matter has become a political “bun fight” involving local Labor politicians, their supporters and others. I know personally that neither councillors, nor Minister Nalder, support the current considered route of the PFL and hope an alternative underground route is feasible.
I also suggest that Cr Taylor-Rees update her figure of 500 trucks per day to 2000 per day—the correct figure that will come off local roads upon completion of Roe 8, and increasing exponentially thereafter.
Mike Nichol
Stoneham Rd, Attadale

Melville council ‘out of touch’
I AM a candidate in the Melville council elections and am the only candidate for the ward of Palmyra-Willagee-Melville who actively opposes both the Roe 8 and Perth Freight Link.
I am also a Re-Think the Link campaigner and have actively opposed the Roe 8/Perth Freight Link since its announcement. I strongly believe our city needs a well considered, contemporary transport plan and not one based on an outdated vision of 1950s Perth.
I have spoken publicly on two occasions so far about the potential health impacts of this road project on the vulnerable members of our community in an effort to highlight the risks, and to counteract some of the misleadingly simplistic health/safety statements the City of Melville provides residents through ratepayer-funded ads in the local newspapers, city publications, bumper stickers and the like.
More roads equal more vehicles, both trucks and cars and that means more diesel particulate pollution. Diesel particulates are small enough to make their way into the airways and lungs and are classified by the World Health Organization as a class one carcinogen in the same category as asbestos.
There are 79 places of education and care located within 2km of the Roe 8/Perth Freight Link routes, some are within 50m of the road(s) and one daycare centre in Bibra Lake is at ground zero on the very edge of the road reserve.
There is no argument that we all want greater levels of road safety and overall health within our community but for the City of Melville to develop advertising around an unrealistic expectation that Roe 8/Perth Freight Link will be the answer for road safety is irresponsible, and to do so using ratepayer funds without first consulting with residents to establish current views is unacceptable.
I believe our council is out of touch and this has become abundantly clear to me since my participation in the organisation of the electors’ meeting on August 17 and the following community deputation to the ordinary council meeting on September 15.
I don’t think that is too much to ask of our councillors and if elected that is the commitment I make.
I am not afraid to stand up for myself and others and have a proven track record of advocacy for education, community and health and am experienced in working collaboratively to achieve best outcome.
Lisa O’Malley
Tamar St, Palmyra
Candidate for Palmyra-Melville-
Willagee Ward
The Ed says: This letter was significantly edited for length.

If the cap fits
SADLY, as we get older we learn to be suspicious of people who ask us to trust them or credit them with the virtue of honesty.
Melville mayoral candidate Susanne Taylor-Rees asks electors to vote for her because “I offer you honesty…”.
Well, that’s easily said but some of her claims are not compatible with the evidence. I have only met Susanne once and that was at the Melville Cockburn Chamber of Commerce Perth Freight Link breakfast.
On that occasion she was insistent on asking the Main Roads representative how many trucks would come off Leach Hwy as a result of the construction of Roe Hwy through to the port.
The mayor, as chairman, revealed she had previously asked the same question but he allowed the question to be answered again.
The answer was 2000 trucks per day — apparently the same as she was previously advised.
However, in her letter, “Still Waiting for Consultation” (Herald, October 3, 2015) she misled the public by quoting a figure of only 500 per day.
This reminds me of a saying that my mother used, “there’s none so deaf as those who will not hear”.
Proverb; if you tell someone something that he or she does not want to know, he or she will not pay attention to you.  Another;  “if the cap fits, wear it”; in other words, if the evidence or popular or common opinion applies to you, accept it as true.
Jim Reddyhough,
Burren Gate, Willetton

Calming storm
WELL, I see they are going ahead with traffic-calming on East Street. No doubt any objections, and there must have been many, were disregarded. Mine was not even acknowledged.
My view was that, first, East Street is an important thoroughfare connecting the city with the traffic bridges and all highways and should not be calmed and secondly that speed bumps damage vehicles.
More important in my view is that, rather than penalising all road users, the drivers who disregard speed limits should be targeted.
This, again in my view, is yet another example of extremely bad traffic planning that panders to the wishes of a few special interests. I have raised my concerns with a number of people over the years without much success.
The most recent exchange of correspondence was with my local councillor, Ingrid Waltham. The best she could come up with was “we elected representatives are often not privy to decisions made by staff”.
She did however promise to look into the matters I raised. That was about two years ago so I live in hope of receiving a response soon.
John Morriss
Blinco St, Fremantle

Where’s the sunshine?
I AM not exactly sure the status of the Herald is non-partisan when it discusses all things that is Sunset Events.
I’m surprised with the splashy headlines and consistent tone of negativity, especially with unproven opinion, hearsay and misinformation.
Granted there have been issues with the proposal at Arthur Head and that has been acknowledged by Sunset Events.
Yet I feel the frequent reporting and quoting of the parties against the proposal shows such a lack of openness to the potential development (so much so that it’s like FOX “News”. I get it, you’re against it.)
I’d encourage the Chook to focus on both sides of the argument, seek a response from Sunset before going to print and especially before slandering its name. It is a company that has only tried to do, and has done, great things for Fremantle.
A recent example similar to this debate was the contentious skate park and the tenuous agenda against it that were brought loudly to the media.
But It has been an unquantifiable success and asset for Fremantle. The Sunset proposal could mark the same, if only it was given the oxygen.
David Spencer
Tamar St, Palmyra

GORDON PAYNE’S letter “Bearing responsibility” (Herald Letters, October 10, 2015) seems to suggest the inhabitants of Iraq and Syria have some kind of natural — perhaps genetic — propensity to violence.
Mr Payne adds that individuals within these countries must bear responsibility for the current crisis.
But even the most cursory glance at Middle Eastern history shows very clearly the peoples of these regions have been pawns in “great games” for a long time and that most responsibility lies in the hands of external powers.
Long before oil became a strategic resource — justifying perpetual American “management” of governmental affairs in this region — Britain and Russia had fought over the Eurasian heartland.
During WWI it was the British and French that divided the Middle-East into the “states” we currently see disintegrating, not the locals.
Today’s tragic collapse into terrorist extremism in Syria and Iraq continues this trend with its roots outside of those countries — ISIS didn’t get all of its funding, training, weaponry and columns of pristine Toyota SUVs from the poor and destitute citizens inside of those countries.
Europe, America, and Australia are as much connected to and responsible for this crisis as the Iraqis and Syrians are.
Complaints about the sensible decision being taken by families to flee these war zones demonstrates a lack of responsibility on our part and seems heartless in the extreme.
Stewart Smith
Harvest Rd, North Fremantle

Kids at heart
THE article “Council flattens kids’ track: claim” (Herald, September 26, 2015) requires a correction as it’s not really a track for kids, but a track for everyone.
Its also more likely it was built by larger people who can heft rocks around and shovel dirt — with a healthy respect for the local vegetation — both native and weed species.
Stephen was right to notify the council that it had inadvertently demolished part of this important and growing community asset. In the past year the trail has seen increased use by local riders so the area now feels inhabited and well used — my hat goes off to all the riders.
If the city was unaware of the trail it should now take the opportunity to map it as part of the MTB trail concept design and try to avoid further wholesale clearing in the area.
Increasingly, health professionals are highlighting the importance of positive fun as a preventative medicine — so it’s not something you leave behind when you move into the “grown up” world of cars, roads, houses and social drugs.
As the current planning literature has the western face of the ridge covered in six-storey buildings with a four-lane highway, and the rest of our neighbourhoods get “revitalised” we should actually take these kids’ tracks and our reserve kinda seriously.
Frank Kotai
Oswald St, Coolbellup

14. City of Cockburn 20x4 14. COF Sustainability 20x7 WG12357_DFES V2.indd

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