LETTERS 4.6.16



Is your welcome mat out?
WHAT a wonderful letter from Tina Wilson last week (“How simply awful, dahling”, Herald, May 28, 2016) in response to my concern about homeless people sleeping in the side entrance to Tivoli Hall in Kintail Road, Applecross.
As Melville city council has moved swiftly to close off this nightly shelter with iron gates, it’s reassuring that people like Tina would welcome these unfortunate folk into her neighbourhood with open arms.
Unfortunately Tina, the Editor did not publish your street address so if you let me know where you live in Palmyra I will have my chauffeur deliver them to your doorstep next week.
Bless you, Tina!
Barry Thornton
Kintail Road, Applecross

Era of the all-rounders
THE death of Merv Cowan brings to a close another chapter in Fremantle sporting history, but it also represents the passing of a member of a dying breed: the all-round champion sportsman.
Mr Cowan is mostly remembered as a premiership captain with the East Fremantle football club, but what is sometimes forgotten is that he was also a superb cricketer (captain of Fremantle’s A-grade cricket team), a state champion swimmer and played in the WA state water polo team.
Like another Fremantle boy, Arthur Marshall (who also played league football for East Fremantle and A-grade cricket for Fremantle, but was better known as a champion tennis, squash and table tennis player) Mr Cowan grew up in the era when gifted sportsmen could turn their hands to many different sports, and excel in most.
Other great WA sportsmen who were champions is several disciplines were Keith Slater, Rick Charlesworth, John Baguley, Derek Chadwick and Ian Brayshaw.
Today’s focus on professionalism demands specialisation, so that athletically-gifted young people devote themselves to a single sport. This has made life less interesting for everyone, including the young athletes themselves.
Roger Underwood
Palin St, Palmyra
The Ed says: It’s not just specialisation, there’s all the grip-and-grin sponsor events and posing for adverts, not to mention the all-important Twittering to ensure everyone’s aware of how important you are.

Turning Japanese? I don’t think so
I WAS quite amazed to see how much the mayor of Melville earns.
Do we really need a mayor, as I thought a large part of the job was socialising. Maybe he could take a cut in salary and spend some of the money on greening Melville as he promised.
The Japanese elms that have been planted in abundance don’t look as if they are going to provide any shade or food for our birds. Surely we can come up with something better for our suburbs.
Brenda Taylor
Bridges Rd, Melville

Ugly roof a sad mistake
THE re-roofing of the Fremantle Arts Centre with shiny steel is an ugly thing and a sad mistake.
When I worked at Freo council as the architecture and heritage officer I was lucky enough to talk the renovators out of this very same approach on Scott’s Church in South Terrace.
Just like the arts centre the church was originally roofed in wood shingles, and just like the arts centre had never seen a metal roof.
I persuaded the church that flat (plain) clay roof tiles were a more sympathetic approach and similar price to colorbond steel (the more durable painted steel).
Luckily the church was very sympathetic — and they weren’t listed with the Heritage Council!
Now blind Freddie can see the tiles on the church are miles closer to the original wood shingle finish in appearance, compared to the Arts Centre steel; you don’t need a heritage “expert” to tell you.
Sadly the so called experts often can’t see the woods for the trees on these issues, and this is a classic case.
Apart from anything else you wouldn’t get the roofing manufacturer even recommending ordinary steel roof sheeting on the arts centre as it’s too exposed and close to the sea, so there will be zero warranty and the roof will be corroding in no time!
So it’s the worst solution for everyone; ugly and with a short life span, and thus very costly in the end! Another one for ratepayers, like the mild steel waterpark at the leisure centre opposite that went to landfill after about five years.
Clay tiles on a roof on the other hand, fixed with stainless steel fixings, will look like the original roof and last for 100 years as well. As things stand ratepayers will be able argue this issue again in about 20 years… and pay for it again…
Sad indeed.
Michael Willicombe
Chudleigh St, Fremantle

WHILE the Liberal candidate for Fremantle, Mr Sherry Sufi, has now quit the race it’s important that his scare-mongering on same-sex marriage does not go unanswered.
Mr Sufi claimed legalising gay marriage would lead to polygamous marriage.
This is not true. In none of the 23 countries around the globe which now have marriage equality has polygamous marriage been a subsequent result, and some of these countries have had gay marriage for more than a decade.
This is because gay marriage is about equality and polygamy is about inequality. Polygamous marriages are sexist and patriarchal, allowing one man to have several wives, but women can only have one husband.
Polygamous marriages are only found in deeply conservative religious sects or Islamic countries, all of which condemn homosexuality and ban gay marriage. One does not lead to the other.
The two issues are not compatible and cannot co-exist in the same jurisdiction. Equal marriage is about freedom and fairness, polygamous marriage is not.
Brian Greig
WA Convenor Australian Marriage Equality
Whatley Cres, Bayswater
The Ed says: Playing devil’s advocate, why can’t polygamous marriage include a woman taking an extra husband or two? Or for that matter, an extra wife to help hubby out?

Time to clean it
I LOVE my little, progressive, lefty, forward-thinking port city.
I am proud to consider myself a part of a community that supports environmental awareness, community development and social inclusion.

I was also proud when a picture supporting marriage equality was erected on Little Lefroy Street; I am not sure who to thank, but I think it’s a lovely representation of the equality I believe our community strives for.
I was much less proud when some moron defaced it at least a month ago, and less proud still that it hasn’t been cleaned up yet.
So I say it’s about time that this got cleaned up and marriage equality became the norm.
Name withheld

Help the poor, not the rich
THE Reserve Bank is rightly concerned that negative gearing is forcing up the price of housing.
Already, Australia is one of the countries with the most expensive housing in the world.
The average Australian is employed on a wage or a salary, already has a huge mortgage to pay back, is trying to provide the best education possible for children and can’t afford to speculate and go into bigger debt to the banks.
Negative gearing advantages the rich, it does give them an opportunity to defray tax, and also have capital gains once the property is sold.
Australians, we have to ask ourselves these questions; “do we want to have a bigger wealth gap than already exists, and why is negative gearing not allowed in the USA and some countries in Europe?”
Karlis Kelers
Clydesdale St, Alfred Cove

Be careful who we sell to
The ongoing political conflict over the proposed sale of Fremantle Port seems to skirt around who they consider to be prospective purchasers.
With the recent debacle of the strategic port of Darwin being sold to Chinese interests at a time when the prospect of armed conflict is on the cards, the sale of any further strategic infrastructure to overseas interests exposes our politicians to charges of national subversion.
DB & WK Binning
Norton Ridge, Winthrop

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