Letters 30.1.16

Strength and spirit
I READ “Running for Abbey,” (Herald, January 23, 2016) and one word was imprinted in my mind, and that was courage.
What a brave young lady Ella Gibson is and I tip my hat to her. She has put the dark shadow of depression back where it belongs, behind her and hopefully it will never catch up with her again.
Furthermore, the fact Ella also has a great support team around her can only spur her on to greater things.
Therefore Ella, I wish you all the luck in the world, stay strong and I’m sure that your friend Abbey will be with you in spirit.
Steve Grady
Murray Rd, Palmyra

Forced medicine?
RE: “Silence greets rights breaches” (Herald, January 16, 2016) and “Anti-vacc welfare cut too ‘blunt’: Parke” (January 9).
Professor Gerber and MP Melissa Parke are both correct in stating the No Jab No Pay legislation is discriminatory: it financially penalises low-income families who do not practice a particular set of beliefs, in this instance, submitting their children to the full childhood vaccination schedule which includes the HPV vaccine given in secondary school.
Parents on high incomes will still have the financial capacity to enrol their children in child care, defeating the NJNP Bill’s claimed intent of increasing vaccination uptake by the use of financial coercion, which in itself raises the issue of involuntary consent to a medical procedure.
The main purpose of child-care benefits is to assist families with the high cost of child-care services by way of subsidisation, and the purpose of family tax benefits is welfare or wealth distribution. These benefits do not have a health purpose; they are primarily concerned with the distribution of economic or financial benefits.
For this reason, the federal government does not hold the necessary power to regulate entitlement to child-care and family tax benefits with a vaccination requirement under its welfare power (child care benefits and family tax benefits are authorised by the welfare power under section 51 (xxiiiA) of the Constitution and by the appropriations power under section 81).
The denial of entitlement to child care rebates and family tax benefit, being a strictly punitive measure, cannot possibly confer a public-health benefit. Associate Professor Leask argues vaccination rates can be increased by positive policies without the need to resort to coercive legislative measures intrinsic to the NJNP legislation.
The federal government has documented that approximately $500 million will be saved by enforcing this draconian legislation, which will only serve to deprive low-income families of both choice in health care and welfare payments which are not tied to health care policy.
The letters to the Herald from D Weber and J Maguire (January 23, 2016), demonstrate their ignorance to the NJNP legislation’s incompatibility with international treaties, the Constitution, and existing legislation which government officials will not comment upon.
The truth of the matter could be potentially interpreted as a cynical with-holding of welfare payments, saving the government up to $500 million, from parents who are conscientious objectors and have been targeted by the media in a campaign of vilification and fear-mongering.
Deni-Sue Huxtable
Stevens St, Fremantle

Do the right thing and feel better
PICKING up your own rubbish seems like a small issue but it has a load of knock-on effects.
Some mornings when I arrive at South Beach the bins are overflowing. People seem to just keep putting their rubbish on top, not caring it is full and that wind and animals will spread their rubbish back into the environment.
Where’s their logic?
On a drive to Port Kennedy last week the rubbish along Stock Road and Rockingham Road was appalling but as soon as we hit the Rockingham council border there was no rubbish — it was almost pristine.
Why is there so much rubbish in Cockburn and Fremantle?
I collect other people’s rubbish every day along South Beach dog beach (helped by many other regulars) but some days I feel so disheartened. It is not merely the aesthetic that worries me it is the pollutants in our precious waterways affecting all the animals within them.
The Great Pacific garbage patch is twice the size of Texas and people are ignorant if they think it won’t affect them in some way eventually. Travelling overseas I would love to swim in the ocean instead of a pool but rubbish floating by is so revolting, I just won’t swim. Do we need “Keep our town/world beautiful” campaigns again to educate and encourage people to do the right thing?
It is these seemingly small acts, like taking care and responsibility of our environments (at home and on holiday) within our own shires, state and country, that will save our planet. To all who do the right thing, a very big thank you.
Ann Boekeman
Nicholas Cres, Hilton


Robbo’s right
JOHN ROBERSON (Herald Thinking Allowed, January 16, 2016) has hit the nail on the head. The issue of South Fremantle dog beach is not about which users have priority to the beach.
The issue is the unsuitability of the northern end of the beach to young dinghy sailors beaching their craft.
In addition, a boat ramp would cause total annihilation of what is a very pleasant and actively and appropriately used green space. Hopefully the planners who make the decisions take a good hard look and see what is obvious to all those who have considered the matter carefully. Well said, John Roberson.
Helen Ponton
Forrest St, Palmyra

A pleasant job
I HAVE the pleasant job of delivering the Herald around Willagee, where I live, and just want to share some of my experiences.
Apart from it being a walking exercise and getting up a healthy sweat, I have the fun of looking forward to serendipitously connecting with people on the street and in their front gardens.
I sometimes get stopped along the way by mothers with prams and shoppers on the footpath who want a paper to take along with them. They’re from an area where they miss out perhaps, or else they want something to read right now.
In one street there is usually a bunch of children playing on the verge or in their garden. They ask me questions and I can’t possibly pass by without having a conversation with them — absolutely delightful.
Sometimes, someone who happens to be in their garden comes to meet me to get the paper and say hello.
Occasionally I get thanked for delivering it! Rather different from the occasional gruff, “I don’t want it, thanks!” from some. Even the minister living in a biggish block wants “no circulars or newspapers” delivered. I wonder how he catches up with what is happening in his community?
Delivering the Herald doesn’t pay me much. One young chap caught up with me and said he was keen to deliver since he was in big debt, he said, and wanted to earn money to clear it. Well, I’d say that motivation wouldn’t be quite enough to keep him going.
I do it because I love this newspaper, independent as it is from mainstream sterilisation of the truth and part of a dwindling culture of free speech that I want to support.
I can’t deny getting excited, though, when I see that yellow envelope with the payment in it! It all adds up to something: better health, getting to know my community a bit better, and getting paid a bit for the service I provide. Not a bad deal at all.
Carla van Raay
Kirby St, Willagee
The Ed says: Letter of the year! Folks, you can have as much fun as Carla — just give our distribution elves a call on 9430 7727 and they’ll set you up with a great round. 

Open? Hah!
THE City of Melville tells us it, “Promotes good governance and transparency”.
I refer to the decision at the ordinary council meeting held on December 8, 2015 regarding the recording of minutes. Cr Pazolli put forward two amendments:
• facilitate public access to the content of council public meetings minutes; and,
• remove the requirement that all requests for the audio recordings be dealt with and charged under the Freedom of Information Act.
Both were defeated!
Why wouldn’t an “open and transparent council” not want ratepayers to have access to a public council meeting’s information?
Why is the City of Melville so secretive, as opposed to its rhetoric.
Jim Nicholson
Aldridge Rd, Booragoon

They’re just in the way
I REFER to the article “MRD blames the bees” (Herald, January 16, 2016).
The demolished tree was the home of a beehive and a series of bird species. I have passed it several times on my walks and I believe a safety fence at the base would have covered public litigation concerns regarding falling branches.
As to the beehive, a crane could have been arranged and said pesky bees relocated and a hoard of honey distributed.
There appears to be an attitude pervasive at Main Roads that trees are a nuisance — well, of course they are if they’re in the way.
T Stokes
Philmore Cres, Kardinya

In joyful strains?
HARVEY BEACH, January 28, 2016.  Our land “abounds in nature’s gifts”. It sadly also abounds in nature’s ungifted. Perhaps a message on all bins: Please take your rubbish home, it weighs much less than when you brought it.
Gerard MacGill
Harvest Rd, North Fremantle

14. COF NewsBites 40x7

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