LETTERS 27.8.16


You can see it from Tassie
WOW! Congratulations Fremantle city council, Marcus Canning and all involved in the commissioning of Rainbow (Herald, August 20, 2016).
Too much public art misses the mark, with the committees that decide these things trying desperately to please everyone and offend no-one. The result is often that public “art” says nothing and does little more than take up space and give dogs something to pee on.
But Rainbow is a magnificent piece of art: it has a sense of both place and purpose, it makes a bold, positive statement about the port city’s progressive values, it’s an instant landmark and, for under 150 thousand bucks, an absolute bargain.
Well done, Freo.
Brian Mitchell
Federal Labor MP for Lyons and ex-Chook

Election breather
IN defence of Mark McGowan’s commitment to tear up contracts the Liberal party have made to build Roe 8, I have to say that it is totally irresponsible for a state government to rush through the signing of contracts for very expensive projects that are totally opposed by the opposition as well as the local community this close to an election.
Roe 8 is also opposed by a senate committee.
Much better proposals that address traffic congestion around Fremantle have been vigorously submitted but yet ignored by the Barnett government, who have an agenda to sell the Fremantle Port but cannot do so unless they provide a super highway to it.
Also the fact that the federal government gave them all this money that had to be spent on a current road plan and of course the only plan they had was the archaic 60 year old Stephenson plan.
This outdated plan is no longer relevant as Fremantle’s suburbs and residential areas have spread into what was once vacant land. A new progressive plan of an outer harbour and associated industries at Kwinana would provide far more jobs and security for far more many years than the measley 2400 jobs over four years that Jim Reddyhough estimates to construct a road to nowhere.
Already now larger ships cannot sail into Fremantle harbour, so what do you think is going to happen in 10 years’ time?
It’s a no brainer… start building the outer harbour now.This will solve most of Fremantle’s truck and freight problems.
Jo Rich
Samual Court, North Lake

Nauru not an ideal solution
AS a child economic migrant myself and remembering the hardships my family endured, I find myself torn between empathy for migrants and what is best for Australia.
The Australia we live in today has been built by the hard work of migrants seeking a better life. The difference between my family and those held in detention is we were actively vetted and selected to be able to contribute to Australia.
Border control is part of what makes a country; unfortunately this has left a group stranded who were prepared to risk everything to enter Australia.
While the leaked documents are upsetting they are not surprising in a frustrated community stuck in limbo, but the standard of accommodation and services including health care are far better than my family experienced.
We were billeted in a WWII-era army camp. The blankets issued were wet, and I was put in bed with my sibling and covered in clothes while my parents used body heat to dry the bedding.
The showers were outdoor. Local men from a nearby sports club would watch the women bathe. Men from our camp would patrol the bush and administer rough justice to those caught.
Communicable diseases swept the camp. I came down with measles and when my mother carried me to a doctor he required payment up-front, which cost three days’ wages for my father.
It was too much for some families who camped out at the airport till they were repatriated home. If the $20,000 per person that is on offer on Nauru was on offer then we all might have gone home.
We were not in God’s blind spot in the Pacific but at Point Walter camp East Fremantle 1968.
M Whitworth
Caribbean Drive, Safety Bay

Spot on
HEAR, hear, Martin Lee of Fremantle.
Your letter in response to the Herald’s article on Australia Day fireworks (“Cracker logic,” August 20, 2016) and the bonkers logic of our present Council on the financial management of our great city is spot on!
Fremantle Council – are you listening?
Julia Toussaint-Jackson
Holland Street, Fremantle

Firing off a rocket
WHILE I am quite sure my comments will not please the touchy feely minority, I feel I must express them.
Myself along with many others I have spoken to since reading the Herald’s front page article “Activists adds fireworks to cracker of a debate” (August 13, 2016) are both horrified and disappointed that Fremantle council are considering cancelling our Australia Day firework celebrations on the grounds they “may” upset a small, very small, minority in the community.
Let me say at the outset that I, like many others I have spoken to, totally dismiss the comments made by Mr Bropho that the sound of fireworks reminds him of the first musket killing an Indigenous person as totally ridiculous.
The same might be said of an Aboriginal spear hitting a white settler.
The reasons mayor Pettitt and Fremantle council want to cancel the fireworks are, firstly, political correctness, and secondly, and far more importantly, financial.
Dr Pettitt’s statement, “Most businesses are closed on Australia day,” is of course incorrect.
Many, including restaurants, cafes and pubs, open and do a good trade. The money that would have, should have, been spent in Fremantle will instead to spent in Perth, whose council appear less concerned with petty financial concerns or political correctness.
I, like many others, are fed up to the back teeth, with hearing about reconciliation. Cancelling an event the majority enjoy to satisfy the tiny vocal minority will achieve the opposite.
I have a suggestion, if the object of the exercise, apart from political correctness, is to save money, why not cut the salaries and perks of the councillors, starting with mayor Pettitt and councillor Strachan.
Given the content of this letter it is doubtful that the Herald will consider it worth publishing, that being the case, I can now say “Thank God for social media”.
Bob Loftus
Beach Street, Fremantle
The Ed says: Yes, the odd white settler was speared, but those who weren’t were able to own land, vote (at least the menfolk), go to school, get meaningful and well-paid jobs, walk freely through the city without needing a permit, keep their children at home, practice their culture, speak their own language … enough said?

AUSTRALIA’S GST is too hard for the average person to understand and that includes me.
No matter what you purchase, GST should be included in the price, and I believe this is how it operates in other countries around the world.
There should be no refunds, including those with an Australian Business Number.
There is a flood of GST money being paid for motor vehicles, machinery, commercial rents, etc, which is then refunded by a government department.
Make it a level playing field — we all pay GST.
GST should stay in the state it is collected and the rate should be controlled by that state.
I am sure the rate of GST could then be lowered.
Remember Dr John Hewson, leader of the Liberal Party who took them to an electoral defeat on a platform of introducing a value-added tax.
He lost as no one understood the tax, and nothing has changed.
Frank Granger
Melville Bch Rd, Applecross

Profit plus responsibility
I AM pleased to read that Frank Granger is happy as a customer and shareholder of the Commonwealth Bank (“Happy Banking,” Letters, August 20, 2016) and as such believes there is no need for an enquiry into bank behaviour.
I commenced my working life as an employee of the same bank back in the 1960s when people were very happy with their bank (there were seven different banks in Narrogin at the time). Back then banks had an entirely different culture, customer appreciation and service and they were respected in the community.
Unfortunately things change and not always for the better.
In recent years I have been witness to examples of outright bullying (“if you don’t like it, sue us”) and responsibility avoidance on an insurance claim by two of “The Big Four”.
We certainly need healthy, profitable banks but this can be achieved without compromising fairness and responsibility.
Terry Hannagan
Norma Rd, Alfred Cove

Move on order
I REFER to the letter sent in by Rob Grdjan entitled “Someone’s cynical, lord” (Herald, August 20, 2016).
With regard to Rob’s letter, I agree with him one hundred percent.
Unfortunately, when a city is run by the ‘fun police’ and the ‘politically correct vocal minority’ many things are going to be cancelled.
I think that it’s about time that we all forget the past, just live in the present and all be proud Australians.
Fremantle has lost enough of it’s character over the last few decades, so let’s try and save what’s left.
Steve Grady
Murray Road, Palmyra

35 Total Travel 20x3

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