LETTERS 20.8.16


Gangs out
ALTHOUGH I felt we should have discussions about the Rebels Bikie Gang clubhouse at council behind closed doors, it was not due to a perceived threat of “payback”.
It was to allow more frank and full discussion, without the presence of gang members, which I felt could be intimidating.
As it was, council voted to discuss in public.
Thankfully my motion to refuse the application was upheld. It is not a ‘fait compli’ though as the Rebels can appeal to SAT. I hope the community supports our efforts to not have outlaw motorcycle gangs in our city.
Steve Portelli
Blossom Chase Aubin Grove

Most would be happy
I REFER to a letter to the editor that appeared in the Fremantle Herald on 6 August 2016 from Jane Crothers titled ‘No Winner’.
This incident described relates to a matter in Hamilton Hill on July 26, 2016 where an audible alarm was activated at a residential premises when offenders attempted to commit a burglary.
As a result of a prompt response by members of the Cockburn local policing team and Fremantle detectives three juvenile males were apprehended nearby and arrested on suspicion of burglary.
Inquires identified a second burglary had recently occurred nearby on Healy Road, Hamilton Hill.
Property stolen from the burglary was located with the juveniles.
All three juveniles were formally interviewed utilising an audio-visual device and with a responsible person present (independent to police).
Two of the boys made admissions in relation to the two burglaries committed in Hamilton Hill earlier that day and were charged.
The third boy was released without charge.
A 15-year-old and 14-year-old boy from Hilton were charged with two counts of aggravated burglary and stealing.
As the officer in charge of Fremantle detectives I commend the work of all police officers involved in this arrest and I am sure members of the community would be comfortable that offenders committing residential burglaries are being apprehended in such a timely manner.
Ray Horne
Detective Senior Sergeant
OIC Fremantle Detectives 

Touch of irony
THERE is a touch of irony in the success of residents living south of Jandakot airport when they celebrated former premier Carmen Lawrence declaring the adjoining banksia bushland in its buffer zone a heritage listed area.
This was to prevent a parallel 12/30 runway being built in a small amount of the bushland which was necessary to alleviate safety concerns caused by growing air traffic density. The transfer of airport operations to the South African company Ascot Capital by self-serving incompetent Federal politicians has resulted in the heritage listed banksia groves, as well as dozens of hectares of other pristine buffer bushland being converted to a wall-to-wall bitumen and concrete jungle.
The southern bushland for which residents were so concerned is now in the process of being covered with massive warehouses right up to their back fences. The kangaroos and other wildlife which once roamed the area have been rounded up into the remaining wooded area to the east of the airport and shot.
Where are the tree huggers and animal activists when you need them? Another big tick for privatisation.
Daryl Binning

Cracker logic
FREMANTLE council’s claim that the $145,000 Australia Day fireworks display should be ditched “because it is too expensive” [Herald 13 Aug 2016] simply lacks credibility.
Since 2012 this same council has voted to sell $50 million of the city’s $70 million investment property portfolio. These properties once generated serious revenue to supplement our rates income.
Not one cent of these funds will be reinvested in income-generating assets for ratepayers. It has all been earmarked for maintenance, and the provision of facilities and services, in direct contradiction to the council’s own Investment Policy guidelines.
It will take a 10 per cent sustained increase in our rates to offset this lost property income alone. However, we won’t even notice this rate increase until the $50 million splurge has ended and the piggy bank is emptied. It would take generations to replace these assets.
The town hall renovations, leisure centre upgrades and expenditure on sustainability initiatives have all been funded by raiding the city’s long-term asset base, rather than from funds the city has generated itself.
Then council proposes to sell its 843 bay car park for $16 million, yet in its forward estimates it plans to build a 400 bay cark park at a cost of $15 million just a few years later. There is money galore for “solar powered parklets” (whatever they are), and plenty of rates waivers for their cronies to use the council owned Queensgate Centre.
Cr Strachan then expresses concern about fireworks being “an ostentatious display of wealth”, yet thinks nothing of splashing $50m on a new civic centre providing no additional facilities for ratepayers.
His own council also offered the Naval Stores to Enkel (who?) for a peppercorn and then added a $750,000 reno sweetener.
If council wants to axe the fireworks, please don’t insult us by pretending it is a belt-tightening exercise. This council is frittering away the city’s asset base like a drunken sailor on shore leave.
If our mayor feels “increasingly uncomfortable” celebrating Australia Day, he does not have to celebrate it. This is for the individual to decide. Who gave the mayor of Fremantle the authority to cancel the celebration of Australia Day without a proper community consultation? Community consultation involves discussions with ratepayers, the Chamber of Commerce and concerned residents, not simply reviewing what his 100 followers say on Facebook.
Martin Lee

Someone’s cynical, lord
I’VE got an idea that may appeal to all regards Freo’s Cracker Night.
Why don’t we have only green-coloured fireworks and then hand out participation merit certificates to one and all who attend whilst holding hands and singing “Kumbaya”…
Rob Grdjan

Happy banking
THERE seems to be by a few who do not like banks making a profit and want another expensive inquiry.
I for one am very pleased as a self-funded retiree, shareholder and customer of the Commonwealth Bank; it gives me a safe income I could not get from bank interest.
If you belong to a superannuation fund, I would dare to say they would have bank shares.
Bank shares are a safe investment, as I found in the downturn of the share market.
There is no need for an inquiry into banks.
Frank Granger
Melville Bch Rd, Applecross

Brad’s White Dumb Valley?
IN his article (“Shake ‘em, don’t break ‘em,” Thinking Allowed, August 6, 2016) Brad Pettitt, mayor of Fremantle states that high quality, strategic density (infill housing) means “density in and around train stations and good transit, in activity centres and close to jobs and schools and shops”.
If this is really what the mayor believes, why has he been such an advocate for the infill redevelopment of the old Kim Beazley school site which does not meet many of his criteria for high quality and strategic density? Certainly train stations, activity centres, jobs and shops are very hard to find in the valley and the excellent school that is there is close to capacity and nearby transport consists of buses some distance away.
So those of us who were not supportive of this development would, by the mayor’s criteria now be seen as correct when we claimed that the proposed development was an example of “dumb-density” (the mayor’s words) because we tried to point out that this development would cost us in terms of the suburb’s amenity and character (again the mayor’s words).
If the mayor is correct when he says that such a development as he has supported in the valley has set back community support (at least for some of us) for density for decades he only has himself and any same thinking councillors to thank.
Donald Hugh Phillips
Stevens St, White Gum Valley

WITH 39 per cent of people disapproving of having their names and addresses held for four years the Census will no doubt not be as accurate as the previous ones.
To be useful the Census file will need be sliced up into smaller parts to plan for the future but protecting the Census file must be paramount.
In 25 years in local government I saw some shocking breaches in data protection from simple human error.
The one that sticks in my memory was an email from human resources about flu shots with a printable form attached.
My computer-illiterate supervisor hit the print button with the print command set on ‘print entire work-book’. What came out of the printer was the establishment list that had been used to create the document with the employment details/salary of every employee from CEO to cleaners and elected members.
While knowing what every one earned made for some very unhappy employees and interesting workplace negotiations it highlights the weakness of data protection in the interconnected world we live in.
Michael Whitworth
Caribbean Drive, Safety Bay

Wetlands are our jewels
IN premier Colin Barnett’s announcement of opening up the Abrolhos Islands to low-key tourism, he made the following statement: “We want to minimise impacts on the islands and to create more national parks to safeguard Western Australia’s flora and fauna for our children and grandchildren.”
Concerning words indeed.
What a shame the same concern is not shown towards our precious North Lake / Bibra Lake wetlands, with this government intent on ripping a massive swathe through the North Lake reserve for the destructive stage 8 of the Roe Highway, thereby severing the two lakes.
This will be an act of environmental vandalism of the highest order.
With the ongoing clearing of our urban bushland, areas such as our wetland reserves are needed more than ever.
One of this government’s own departments uses the slogan “Healthy parks — Healthy people”. The availability of nature reserves is being recognised as being beneficial to the overall health of the community.
Premier Barnett described the Abrolhos Islands as the “jewel in the crown of the Midwest”.
Well, premier, the North Lake wetlands are the jewels in the crown of the Beeliar Regional Park.
Rex Sallur
Corn Way, Bibra Lake

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