Letters 31.10.15


Yellow cur
I AM just writing this letter to ask the person who took my lemon jacket, which had been hanging on the hook in the back seat of my car in the carpark of the shopping centre in North Lake Road Melville, if they appreciated the fact it had just been picked up from the dry cleaners and it had cost me $14.
Now, the $14 isn’t the issue, it is that I am a 90-year-old pensioner and I had been getting the jacket ready for next winter.
I know it was my fault that I never locked my car while I did my grocery shopping. But, in such a lovely suburb I just assumed everybody was as honest as me. To the person who stole the jacket, and if you read this letter, please think about the grief and sadness you have given me whenever you wear it.
M Downing
The Ed says: It’s absolutely not your fault — it’s entirely the fault of the low-life, stinking, thieving grub who reached into your car and took what did not belong to them.

No mandate for mayor
MELVILLE mayor Russell Aubrey attracted only 35 per cent of votes cast.
It could be said 65 per cent of voters voted against his return.
It can also be said that had there been one popular contestant there would be a new mayor. Instead, the first-past-the-post vote was split by having three challengers, with no opportunity for preferences to be cast.
I must say, a very fortuitous situation for the incumbent. We hope the mayor does not think his return  is a mandate to carry out unpopular projects, such as the relocation of the Melville Bowling Club and the sale of its land to developers.
Karl Kelers
Clydesdale St, Alfred Cove

Come on, Fremantle
THANKS Bob Reece  (“Rich layers to Head’s heritage,” Herald Thinking Allowed, October 17, 2015) for stating so clearly why Fremantle needs to save and restore its heritage rather than destroy it.
Many of Bob’s ex-Murdoch  history students would agree with him, however most live outside the boundaries of Fremantle so have no voting rights, so it falls back onto the residents of Fremantle and its suburbs to bring back life to Fremantle.
Modernity can live with historical sites as long as it is done carefully. One only has to travel overseas to see this, particularly in Malacca which is also a port. A very much older city, it has welded together both the old and the modern so thousands of visitors travel from all over the world to see it. High-rise buildings may bring more residents, however they will also cause wind tunnels in what is all ready termed the Windy City. And I am sure the Fremantle Doctor will not change its ways to please the Fremantle council.
Does anyone remember the water fountain which had been installed outside Fremantle Town Hall? Placing a tavern at Bathers Beach is like pulling down the town hall and erecting a McDonald’s. Come on, Fremantle brighten up your city, put flowers in tubs and hang them from buildings, put the grass back into King’s Square, have bands play there (but with music you can sing along with — folk still buy the music from the ‘40s-60s at least they can sing and dance along to these).
The Perth Zoo used to hold these concerts and they were well attended, although a bit disturbing for the animals. Route traffic round Freo, not through the main streets with their smelly fumes.
Oh, wouldn’t it be nice to bring back the old trams which you could hop on and off where ever you wanted to. Folk who live outside of Fremantle will want to bring their cars, so build multi-storey car parks on the outside of the city where it is easy to park and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg or a limited time to park.
Then they could use the clipper buses to enter the city. And have shops where you can buy something other than trendy clothes and food and drink.
Come on, Fremantle think laterally. Fremantle has such a short history, not yet 200 years old and as all things keep changing — let’s keep what little history we have.
Joan Mann
Tuart Place, Yangebup

Cockburn dog-gones it
I WOULD like to congratulate the Cockburn city council on the wonderful job it has done keeping dogs and their owners out of Manning Park.
Since the rather intimidating yellow stenciled signs on the paths warning owners to keep dogs on leads and the equally intimidating periodic appearance of the ranger, the park is almost deserted during the late afternoon dog walking time.
This is a council that I’ve been proud to live in and protested on behalf of. I have also written to the council on this matter and got one of those polite letters in return – so standard in fact I’m wondering if it’s a Microsoft template – stating it won’t change its policy.
The problem with the dog walking dispersal tactics is that people obviously go to places where they aren’t in fear of copping a $200 fine and you never see them again.
They haven’t swapped phone numbers or names or become Facebook friends so some organised protest to the council can take place. We just belong to a loose coalition of responsible dog owners who walk our dogs at a particular time. The dogs sniff and play with each other while the owners strike up conversation and enjoy the ambiance of the park with its beautiful lake and abundant wildlife.
One person writing a letter of protest is futile but I don’t know these people. They are just friendly faces in a once well-used park walking their dogs peacefully at the end of the day.
Couldn’t the council, like other councils I’ve seen, be a little creative and provide clear off-lead areas in this particular park? Melbourne manages this well, and closer to home Piney Lakes has excellent signs graphically displaying where you may walk your dogs off-lead. Responsible dog owners coming out at the end of the day (or early morning) to walk their dogs would like to feel part of the community that uses this park without furtively letting their dogs off-lead and being constantly vigilant to the presence of a ranger. Rangers, instead of being a punitive presence could be there to ensure the safety of wildlife, which we are led to believe is under threat from dogs.
The annual October Fair is approaching and may well have been held by the time this is published. This finishes in the evening with a fireworks display. Many of us who live near the park and hear this ritual, cringe at the thought of the disturbance to the wildlife. We walk with great trepidation in the days following to see if all the swans and ducks have returned. Mostly they have but I can’t imagine their panic at the time.
Dogs are walked every day  year in and year out without striking the terror in the resident wildlife that those fireworks must.
Dianne Marshall
Quarry Rd, Hamilton Hill

Not much buzz in Bull
I WRTE in response to “No Bull — call for youth ban on energy drinks” (Herald, October 17, 2015).
As the representative of the Australian Beverages Council, representing the major energy drink manufacturers in Australia, I felt it was important to set the record straight on energy drinks.
Energy drink labelling and compositional regulations in Australia are some of the tightest in the world. Energy drinks do not have “high” levels of caffeine.
As per Australia regulations, they can have a maximum of 32mg per 100ml. This is equivalent to one cup of instant coffee, and is often less than an average store-bought espresso or latte.
Like coffee, energy drinks are functional beverages and can be enjoyed safely as part of a balanced diet. Furthermore, moderate caffeine consumption by adolescents can be safe.
The recent May 2015 Opinion on the Safety of Caffeine by the European Food Safety Authority determined that the safe level of caffeine intake for adults (3mg/kg of body weight) was also the appropriate level of intake for children and adolescents.
Going beyond this, members of the beverages council have voluntarily committed not to market to children, nor sell in primary or secondary schools.
Like with coffee, we believe the decision about when to consume energy drinks is best left to parents and families.
Geoff Parker
CEO, Australia
Beverages Council

Protect our way of life
AUSTRALIANS have always been about the fair go, that’s why people are paid a little bit extra for missing out on weekends when the rest of us are relaxing with friends and family.
It’s a boost that for many is all that keeps food on the table. Getting rid of weekend rates is a sudden pay cut to workers who are already struggling.
It’s time to stand up for weekend rates and help protect our Australian way of life.
Julie Henderson
Chat Place, Yangebup

Read it again, Mike
YET again Mike Nichol attempts to muddy the waters with veiled comments emanating from the Liberal Party and biased support of Minister Nalder (“Order politely restored” Herald letters, October 10, 2015)
You suggest I update my figures, I suggest you open your eyes — my figures are correct, as supported by the Main Roads Business Case (Dec 2014) and the only independent report released to the public, conducted by Meyrick and GHD.
Roe 8 will only remove a paltry 500 trucks off Leach Hwy by 2031 — more than 3000 will still be using Leach Hwy each and every day. You intentionally skew your figures or refuse the facts as presented by Main Roads to support your argument. How very convenient.
Sadly, the City of Melville (strong supporters of Roe 8 and also heavy with Liberal party members) refuses to consult with residents, instead spending $50,000 of ratepayer funds to advertise for the state government.
There will be no consultation as you suggest — the Minister for Transport has stated this project will take an “alliance approach”. This means contracts are awarded prior to decisions being made on the final outcome. This requires parties (government and contractors) to work together in good faith, act with integrity and make best-for-project decisions. What a joke!
Mike Nichol suggests “residents collaborate with the City of Melville”. What a novel waste of time. The city does not collaborate on this issue — it dictates.
And for the record — as I have informed you countless times Mr Nichol, I am not aligned with any political party nor ever have been. Yes, I stood for mayor and lost, it always was “all or nothing”, no hedging my bets or taking support from the Labor party, MUA or Greens, etc as suggested by the smear campaign that circulated during the election.
It is well known in the community that the City of Melville is totally dysfunctional and that many decisions are made well before they come up for debate and voting.
Ignoring the motion by electors on consultation on Roe 8 is just one example of many. Good luck to the few councillors at Melville who represent residents honestly and openly and have to suffer the consequences for it.
Susanne Taylor-Rees
Strain St, Bicton
The Ed says: Ms Taylor-Rees was a Melville city councillor for Bicton-Attadale ward. Instead of recontesting her seat she stood for mayor against incumbent Russell Aubrey, and lost.

Opting out
I NOTICE the government is again trying to force online medical records onto us, this time by switching to an opt-out model.
Closer inspection reveals that even if you opt-out, this can be over-ruled by the inclusion of your medical information in the records of family members. So either way, your data will be online, available to hackers and there’s little you can do to prevent it. When will they realise many patients just don’t trust this?
D Smith

16. COF NewsBites 40x7

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