LETTERS 19.11.16

47letters

Zip it
NOTHING for many years past has been so efficient as the freeway system in Western Australia.
It used to be that, when entering a freeway from an on-ramp it was normally accepted that we “merge like a zip”.
However, the new on-ramp system has accorded priority to the freeway lane, and the on-ramp now has been given a lower status.
As a result, some freeway drivers see the cars on the on-ramp as intruders, and resist their entry.
Indeed, some have blown their horn at me when I tried to merge.
I expect this to be corrected, and we get back to merging in an appropriate manner.
Merge like a Zip
Richard Rennie
Curtis Place, Melville

Off the fence
ON October 13, Labor publicly urged the Barnett government to release the contract it had signed in relation to building Roe 8 in the name of being open and accountable.
A week later the government released the contract, but the ALP have continued to be vague about what they would do about this expensive, traffic snarl-inducing proposal if they win government in March.
In the meantime, the Greens have had a close look at the contract and have sought informal advice from people who routinely work on these types of contracts in the construction industry.
The advice is the terms of the contract are not punitive in regard to termination: the terms allow for ‘no fault’ termination with the price of doing so only being the costs incurred at that point.
This confirms answers the government gave me when I questioned it in September about the costs if a future government tore up the contracts.
The government claims that on-ground work for Roe 8 will begin in December – but stacked against this happening is continuing legal challenges; well-organised, broad community opposition and the fact that construction cannot begin until a wide range of environmental and other conditions of approval are met.
Meanwhile, Christmas marks the start of a traditional summer slow-down in the construction industry.
In short, any costs incurred by the time the election occurs in March are not likely to be overwhelming.
The time for ALP fence-sitting has passed.
The Greens’ position is clear.
Whoever forms Government in 2017, the Greens will work hard to ensure this costly road to nowhere does not proceed.
Lynn MacLaren
South Metropolitan MLC
South Terrace, Fremantle

A leafy picture
I WOULD like to see more money effectively spent on our environment especially if it’s true what the experts say that mankind has, and is, contributing to “climate change”.
Yet our local councils continue to pour money into what they call “public art”.
One of the ways they do this is through the public art levy. Every commercial development costing more than $1 million (inc. developers of structure plans like shopping centre developments ) has to give 1 per cent of the cost of the development either as a “public art” piece or as money to their local council.
Some councils have so much public art they don’t know what to do with it so they place it in parks, reserves etc ; wherever they can fit it.
We’ve all seen this “public art”: it’s everywhere: some of it is good and relevant (eg Freo’s Rainbow) but the majority of it is crap (eg the green thing in Forrest Chase). In a lot of cases it’s not art as an artist would define it as the council decides what is appropriate and what is not as opposed to the artist creating what they like.
Why not spend this levy money on the environment? After all development, sometimes out of necessity and sometimes out of greed, destroys our green spaces and our wonderful, life-giving trees.
Shouldn’t money go back into our environment? The environment which we’ve been told we have destroyed.
Love our trees!
Effie Nicholson
Aldridge Rd Booragoon

Reality check
ON page 2 of the Herald (“Brawl ‘not typical’,” October 29, 2016) the Fremantle Business Association says “the brawl last weekend is not a common occurrence”: They desperately need a reality check.
This behaviour is normal. We have a high crime rate, with drugs, alcohol-based offences and assaults considered normal actions in Freo.
The majority of the time these incidents are not reported due to fear of retribution and the fact it is considered normal.
The safety initiatives introduced by police and council have little effect on anti-social behaviour. On any given day you can go down Queen Street or near the park and there’s anti-social behaviour.
These range from screaming matches with every second and third word starting with f#!?@ or c#%*, drunks, drug effected people, to full-on punch-ups.
The only time it’s peaceful is when police are walking on that street. However as soon as they’re gone — boom it’s on for young and old.
Honestly who wants to have a business here, or have kids in the area of this?
Nic
Fremantle

Saint Sue
MANY of your readers will have watched 60 Minutes and been impressed and amazed at what Gemma Rice has achieved with her schools in Tanzania.
I wonder how many local people also know that we have our own version of Gemma living in South Fremantle?
Susan Saleeba founded an orphanage in Kenya some years ago and through her own fund-raising efforts — there are no financial contributions from any other agencies — established a school alongside the orphanage in 2014.
Her small organisation, consisting of herself and the board of governors, supports 40 or so orphans and feeds about 200 school children breakfast and lunch every day, including holidays.
Without these meals there would often be no food at all at home for many of the school children, who are drawn mainly from a very large slum near Nakuru.
Unlike Ms Rice’s establishment, need is the criterion for both school, which is named Gabriel’s after Ms Saleeba’s father, and the orphanage.
A small contribution towards the upkeep of this orphanage comes from sales at the “Op Shop for Kenya” in the Woolstores, Fremantle.
If you visit the shop, you will see photos of many of “Mama” Susan’s Kenyan children around its walls.
For other funding, the orphanage and the fee-free school rely on donations, the sponsoring of a child at the orphanage and the fund-raising efforts of Susan and other volunteers.
Susan’s pledge to donors and sponsors is that none of the donated money is spent on administration, all of which is done by volunteers.
I feel proud to have become involved in this small but mighty organisation. I hope that by letting people know that we in Fremantle have someone and something to be immensely proud of, you may decide to learn more about Nakaru Hope, the Gabriel Learning Centre and the orphanage.
The website is http://www.nakuruhope.org the email: info@nakuruhope.org
Winnie Dwyer
East Fremantle

Hell-bent
CR PORTELLI, why are you a Cockburn councillor and hell-bent on putting a highway through our beautiful wetlands instead of trying to protect them and the playgrounds at Bibra Lake.
Isn’t it nice to see families there, laughing and playing outdoors, enjoying the area rather than having trucks thundering down a highway destroying our beautiful wetland.
The biggest bottleneck on our roads is High Street west of Carrington Street to Stirling Highway.
Fix that area and it would make a big difference.
All the other roads you mention are already there and enough room for improvement without total destruction.
Rethink your silly idea.
No Too Roe 8.
Llewella Davis
Meerup Drive, Success

Tracing rellies
I AM trying to trace some of my relatives (probably my only relatives) who emigrated to Australia some time after 1890.
I know at some time during the 1920s they lived in Jewel Parade in North Fremantle. I think the number was 23.
Their name was either Mantle or Wells.
While I realise that this is a very long time ago I would like to see if any of my family are still extant. At some time during the 1920s they visited my grandmother in Faversham, Kent, England.
Apparently they offered to take her back to Australia if she gave up on her dissolute husband. Her name was Mary Charlotte Fitzgerald, nee Mantle.
I am now in my 80s and would be grateful if you could help me in this endeavour.
Anthony Fitzgerald
ajf.mog@talktalk.net

Rateable?
WHILE the foot traffic from 1500 state workers will give some much needed economic boost to Fremantle CBD it will come at some cost to the rates income (“Square deal sealed,” Herald, November 12, 2016).
Most people are aware that property owned by the state government such as schools, hospitals, water assets, prisons and many other public purpose departments — along with property owned by religious orders — are rates exempt.
What might come as a surprise is that any property leased by them is also exempted from rates.
The three cornerstone tenants, the departments of housing, corrective services and transport would be exempt.
Fremantle has one of the highest percentages of rates-exempt properties in WA and it would appear to be growing.
It seems the lessons from the West End need to be relearned and the cost carried by the home owners for a white elephant in Kings Square.
Michael Whitworth
Safety Bay
The Ed says: We had a look at the local government act, and while there is scope for the minister to declare any property rates exempt if he wants to, properties leased by state departments didn’t appear to automatically get an exemption. If you can point out where that information comes from, we’d be interested to hear about it.

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