LETTERS 1.10.16

People problem
Myself and my wife have been volunteering for various agencies picking up litter. Like those involved with the Woodman Point clean up we have encountered the juice box straws and wrappers (“The straw that broke the wrapper,” Herald, September 24, 2016).
We often encounter these in National Parks around areas that tour groups have stopped for lunch or morning tea. We have also encountered other forms of “micro litter” that are extremely common.
The main offenders being bread wrapper clips, tea bags, lolly pop sticks, cable ties, stubbies bottle tops and cigarette butts. Apparently these items are not perceived as litter by tour operators and the general public but are a major form of pollution all over.
Of all the forms of micro litter the cigarette butt and its filter are probably the worst as they do not breakdown.
A classic example of this, there are some new multi-storey units recently completed in Lyon Rd Harvest Lakes.
One occupier has been in her unit only a few weeks but has managed to discard a sizeable number of her butts onto the footpath below.
The problem is not with the straw, wrapper, cigarette butt, etc it is simply the attitude or ignorance of the user.
Brian Bell
Affinity Way, Atwell
The Ed says: Feeling hot about this? Sign the petition at http://www.change.org/p/australian-juice-box-straws-i-ve-still-got-scars-from-cleaning-them-up.

Australia Day not about racism
I should like to reply to Councillor Wainwright’s tirade in last week’s Thinking Allowed (“It takes a wilful ignorance,” Herald, September 24 2016).
But first would like to assure Councillor Wainwright that the sting most certainly hasn’t gone out of the debate about the Fremantle council decision to cancel the Australia day celebrations, and take this opportunity to remind him, that he and the other Fremantle Councillors, were elected to serve and represent the residents of Fremantle and not so they had a forum or stage to spout their own politically correct opinions.
How dare this man compare “unfavourably” Australia to other countries who have far-far less liberal views than ours. Despite both Cr Wainwright and Mayor Pettitt’s denials that their decision wasn’t [motivated by] political correctness, the decision to cancel the very popular Australia Day fireworks is of course nothing less than political correctness gone mad.
Despite this council’s claims to have attracted new business to Fremantle, under Mayor Pettitt’s leadership the opposite has been the case with many large retailers, including a cinema and Woolworths, upping stakes and leaving Fremantle, the old Myer building, empty for years, remains empty, with Mayor Pettitt being forced to go cap in hand to the State Government for help in finding a tenant—none of Mayor Pettitt’s boasts about various hotels opening have eventuated. Many old established business have, through lack of trade, been force to close their doors.
The council’s latest decision to cancel Australia Day will do nothing to improve this sad situation, nor will Mayor Pettitt’s claim to replace Australia Day with an “amazing” celebration. The politically correct decision by Fremantle council to cancel the popular Australia Day will not be followed by the rest of the nation because Australia Day is not, never has been, never will be about race or racism: It is a celebration that Aussies of all colours, creeds, religious and political persuasions can, and have, enjoyed for years.
One of the reasons given for cancelling Australia Day was they couldn’t justify spending $130,000 on a firework display, but the council’s decision to spend millions on upgrading/rebuilding the Town Hall seemed to them is perfectly reasonable?
The decision taken by the majority of Fremantle councillors proves beyond doubt that they have not only lost touch with the average Fremantle resident, but have also lost their trust and the only honourable thing for them to do is resign. In this writer’s opinion it’s a shame that we haven’t some kind of financial recourse from these councillors for the damage they have done.
Finally might I suggest if Fremantle council are truly interested in attracting new business and tourists to Fremantle they come out from the plush offices and do something about the drunks, drug takers/sellers and layabouts who are increasingly frequenting our streets.
Bob Loftus
Beach Street, Fremantle
The Ed says: This letter has been edited for legal reasons.

Great response
A recent email sent to the mayor expressing concerns about anti-social behaviour in and around our City prompted an immediate response despite Brad Pettitt being on leave.
Deputy Mayor Dave Coggin comprehensively responded the same day outlining new initiatives to deal with the problem including a new Community Safety Team, three CCTV officers and a team leader, greater collaboration with WA Police including an expansion of “beat cops,” and a no tolerance approach to repeat offenders.
Expecting little more than a standardised reply from a City of Fremantle employee some time later, it is gratifying to know that our civic leaders address the concerns of their citizens in such an active and engaging manner.
Hayden Groves
East Fremantle

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