LETTERS 10.12.16


Please explain
I AM confused. The way I read it Fremantle council did not cancel Australia Day, it just cancelled council (ie ratepayer) funded fireworks on culturally sensitive grounds (“Angry Coalition threatens Fremantle,” Herald, December 3, 2016).
Australia Day is still happening and the businesses which benefit most from the expected crowds are funding the fireworks instead.
In addition, Freo council said it would create an extra day celebrating “We are One and we are Many, we all are Australian” with a multicultural happening on Saturday 28 January.
Win/win all around as I  see it. I don’t understand how so many people claim Fremantle is cancelling Australia Day?
Maddy Broekhuysen
Wongan Ave, White Gum Valley
Editor’s note: The latest fracas is over the federal government saying the council can’t have the Australia Day-scheduled citizenship ceremony, to swear in new Australian citizens, on the alternative, culturally-sensitive date.

SO the Dockers want Fremantle council to contribute towards their traitorous defection to Cockburn (“Ex-mayors slam greedy Dockers,” Herald, December 3, 2016)?
What an absolute cheek! They’ve got this all arse about.
Fremantle Council should be sending the Dockers a bill for what has been gifted to the club so far – bugger paying them anything at all. Let them pay the city back first before they are even allowed to move out!
This whole sad scenario and the way it was handled has been underhanded at best. Something really stinks here. And the Cockburn [facility] they are moving to is not even a private concern, most of the facilities are community shared!
Unfortunately, once the Dockers move I will find it extremely difficult to regard this club as Fremantle: it’s not, it’s bloody Cockburn.
It’ll be exactly the same as one of those US sporting franchises that relocates somewhere else and takes up that city’s identity, attracting hollow and meaningless distant support from the original rusted-on faithful.
We should sue them for using and disrespecting the good name of Fremantle. Or better still, maybe we should send them the bill for continuing to use our name as they are no longer anything remotely to do with Fremantle? I reckon somewhere between $4million and $10 million should do the trick.
I want to be associated with a team that espouses loyalty, honesty, fair play and total transparency to members and fans. Not one that oozes sneaky backroom deals and bugger the true fans. As far as I’m concerned, from now on they will be known as the Cockburn Cockers.
Bill Green
Elder Pl, Fremantle
Editor’s note: We got letters from Jim Meckelburg of Beaconsfield and Geoff Dunstone of Palmyra in similar spirit.

Society saviours
ARE you kidding (‘Move on’ Herald letters, December 3, 2016)?
What planet have you been on? You must have been in Fremantle for five minutes!
If you knew anything about Freo you’d know that the Fremantle Society saved the Freo you presumable love. It made, over decades, “…the effort that has gone into preserving it…”
Get involved and join up. Get educated. Ignorance is not bliss.
Solomon St, Fremantle

Cancel Freo
THE fiasco over mayor Brad Pettitt and Fremantle council, for politically correct reasons, cancelling the Australia Day firework display has not only made Fremantle the laughing stock of WA but also the rest of Australia, and may very well affect those hoping to become Australian citizens on Australia Day.
While it is ok for both the mayor and Fremantle councillors to hold personal views on Aboriginal sensitivity they have no right, and nor were they elected, to force those unsupported views on the rest on the community.
The mayor and Fremantle council have lost the confidence of the majority of Fremantle ratepayers and should do the honourable thing and resign. The silly, touchy-feely, politically correct, knee jerk decision to put something of less value two days after Australia Day is a joke.
Both that [alternative] day and the whole of Fremantle should be cancelled.
Bob Loftus
Beach St, Fremantle

Civil war?
THANK you Cockburn councillors for standing up to the WA government and actively objecting to the destruction of our beautiful Beeliar wetlands.
We are so lucky to have a council that really cares about the natural environment and is doing all that it can to protect it against the the Barnett government vandals.
Would the WA government propose a six-lane highway through Kings Park? The very idea would be preposterous and would spark a civil war.
So why does WA premier Colin Barnett want to put a highway through our Beeliar wetlands which local Labor MP Peter Tinley refers to as ‘the Kings Park of the south’.
Colin Barnett has been trying to tell us Roe 8 is going to improve the area. His version of ‘improve’ is bulldozing trees and parks and replacing with concrete and steel as we can see with Elizabeth Quay which used to be a beautiful park with 100 year old fig trees in it.
We all know you can’t improve on what nature has given us and the magnificent Beeliar wetlands is the only surviving natural bushland left south of the river and the only home to many rare species of flora and fauna.
If Colin Barnett cared about his future prospects at the next state election surely he would scrap this highway and look at alternative options – many have been suggested – for the transport of freight around Perth.
Jo Rich
Samual Crt, North Lake 

Whose work?
PENNY KIRKLAND-SMITH criticises the Fremantle Society for advocating listing of the West End area as promulgated since 1980, instead of the reduced area chosen by the mayor to make things easier for developers (‘Move on,’ Herald Letters, December 3, 2016).
It is a great pity people like Ms Kirkland Smith shoot the messenger instead of listening to our evidence first.
The irony is, that it is not Mayor Brad Pettitt and Councillor David Hume (who fronted the TV cameras at the secret event for the announcement) who did the years of work necessary to get to this stage. It was people on the committee of the Fremantle Society like (former Fremantle council heritage architect) Agnieshka Kiera and others working in years past.
We have spent hundreds of hours on this issue this year trying to get the best possible outcome. We have done so because we believe Fremantle needs meaningful protection.
We celebrate that our work in previous years has been of use, but are concerned that the area chosen does not include Arthur Head, The Esplanade, the railway station and King’s Square, all places in the originally designated West End conservation area; Fremantle council and the heritage council have been poor custodians of Fremantle’s heritage in recent years and the listing is unlikely to change that; the WA heritage minister Albert Jacob has announced he will be delegating a significant percentage of development approvals to the Fremantle council; and not a single dollar has been allocated as part of the announced listing to help property owners.
John Dowson
The Fremantle Society
Mouat St, Fremantle

Dockers rethink
I AM a long-time Dockers member and Freo ratepayer.
Our club announced in 2011 it was moving. Up to the night before the press release however, Freo was their first, second and third choice. I naturally wondered about future good faith negotiations with we ratepayers.
Now the move [to Cockburn] is upon us, my worst fears are crystallising.
Last week three former Fremantle mayors outlined the generous support provided by the Freo community to our club especially in its early years (“Ex-mayors slam greedy Dockers,” Fremantle Herald, December 3, 2016).
For the club to now demand cash for a notional leasehold improvement at Freo oval opens it up — and us as members — to being seen as ungrateful and greedy. This public perception is damaging to our club’s reputation now and may well impact in the future as so many more tickets will be on offer from 2018 when the new stadium is operating
I urge our club directors to reconsider the club’s position. Some things in life, business and sport are far more valuable than a little cash in the bank
 Brian Smith
 Kellow Pl, Fremantle


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