LETTERS 21.1.17

Sam and Tim rock
I WRITE this letter from Golden Bay, NZ, whilst on holidays.
To Cr Sam Wainright (Fremantle) and Cr Tim Barling (Melville); as leaders in our communities, thank you for fighting this worthwhile fight.
To Andrew Luobikis; shame on you for wanting to remove Sam Wainright as a councillor.
Sam always fights for the underdog (social justice, our environment, disability services) to name just a few areas he is passionate in.
To all the other protesters fighting this very important fight my heartfelt thanks. We need to stop Roe 8.
Liz Schultink
King St, East Fremantle

Got my vote
AS a Fremantle resident and voter I completely support Sam Wainwright’s decision to join the anti-Roe8 protest at a critical moment to obstruct real damage to a state asset – the wetland.
Fremantle people have built, though our voting choices, a council that shows leadership; not a council that gets hooked up on misappropriated technicalities, like so many seem to.
I’m proud of that and see Sam’s actions in that context. I’ll be disappointed if he sees any negative fallout for his efforts.
Mark Taylor
Stevens St, Fremantle

Respect
I READ Andrew Luobikis’ comments in the Herald (“Arrest Fallout,” January 14, 2017) in relation to councillor Sam Wainwright’s arrest at the site of Roe8 protests in Coolbellup.
Mr Luobikis is quoted as saying: “This type of behaviour is unbecoming of the position he holds to represent the community.”
Here is a different perspective.
I feel personally grateful that I and the rest of the community have representatives in public office who are willing to stand up for that which cannot defend itself (in this case the Beeliar wetlands) and to also stand up for respect for the due legal processes that would have protected this fragile area if Mr Barnett’s government had not ignored or overridden them.
It is my understanding and perception that it takes courage and a willingness to suffer inconvenience and some disruption in one’s own life to take action for the sake of valued principles or issues that are at risk.
I respect and thank both councillors and the others who were arrested and indeed all of the people who are, with dignity and restraint, humour and commitment, taking action to support and preserve values and places that are important and precious to the wider community.
I also endorse Lynn MacLaren’s remark (“Thirty arrested as Roe protest swells,” Herald, January 14, 2017): “When the legal system fails then it is justified to engage in non violent protest.”
Nell Thayne
East fremantle

Col’s elephant
COLIN BARNETT has recently been out spruiking the proposed new zoo for introduced species, at an estimated cost of up to $100 million.
In addition, he wants to create a more personal legacy, for at the very same time, he has his bulldozers out demolishing some of Perth’s last remaining native bushland and wetlands, destroying habitat for native wildlife, some of which are endangered species.
He is doing this to create his own white elephant, (commonly known as Roe 8) at an estimated cost of $450 million.
In addition, to protect his white elephant, he is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on police, whose time could well be better spent doing actual police work (perhaps getting a few meth dealers off the street).
Tom McKinney
Rockingham Rd, Hamilton Hill

Killer queen
THE last three times I have walked across the road at the Queen Street/Adelaide Street roundabout, I have nearly been killed.
The first time, the utility driver went through the pedestrian crossing while his attention was focused on Kings Square.
The second time, the guy sped up as he circled the roundabout and then hit the crossing, apparently oblivious that people — including me — were using it.
The third time, the woman driver called out “sorry, sorry” through her open window as she proceeded to break the law and endanger life. Why not save the apology and simply stop?
It was only luck and extra care that prevented serious injury to me and others; I clearly remember each driver and hope to see them sometime.
One bloke who witnessed one of these occasions (and was fired up enough to intercede on my behalf) said: “This is happening all the time!”
How many people have been hit? How many near misses have there been?
The roundabouts and pedestrian crossings on Queen Street were created with the best of intentions alongside an apparent failure to recognise the potential dangers caused by the stupid and the selfish.
The crossings are clearly signposted but it’s making no difference.
Drivers are more distracted than ever. Will it take deaths before this dangerous situation is rectified?
David Weber
Pearse St, North Fremantle

Continued commercialism
I BELIEVE many others in our community share my concern that Melville council is not managing our affairs in our best long-term interests.
Our council has been a lone yet vociferous voice in support of Roe 8, it continues to push through its plans for amalgamation of the Melville and Mt Pleasant bowls clubs so that the land on which they’re currently situated can be capitalised and commercialised, and now they are all set to push through the wave pool project on the land where Melville Bowls Club currently sits.
The common thread is continued commercialisation resulting in continuing loss of community facilities and green space, eg. the Senior Citizens Centre facility on The Esplanade, the Bridge Club on Canning Highway, Meals on Wheels.
The role of a local council is to provide and maintain services and amenities to the community and to maintain these. Obviously, this has to be done, not only in consultation with the community, but also with a longer term vision.
Selling off the family silver for short-term benefit is not prudent management. We all appreciate that our urban areas are densifying and accept this fact. This makes it ever more imperative to jealously guard the community and green space that we have.
The Tompkins Park foreshore area is a well-loved community asset which is well used and affords views of the river from the busy Canning Highway and surrounding residences. Similarly, Mt Pleasant Bowls Club is a small bit of green and a community facility which is well used and appreciated.
The Wave Pool is a much bigger concern. This envisages the commercialisation of what is currently a relatively tranquil environment. It is an industrial-type facility (even though council is proposing for it to pay very low rental) like Adventure World and should be situated in an area where this is more suitable than alongside a busy road, replacing existing, well used facilities.
Why are we unable to enjoy nature as it is without having to try to improve on it by commercialising it and pouring concrete over it?
Louis de Villiers
Melville

Poo classes
AS a concerned parent I am writing to all you responsible dog owners out there.
As an idea that will keep everyone happy, how about you train your dog to defecate in your back garden or your front verge where your kids play before you take it for a walk.
That way it won’t need to defecate in the park where my kids are playing. Thanks!
Robin Burnage
Breaksea Drive, North Coogee

Healing place
LAST year I was diagnosed with cancer, and while I am well on my way to full recovery, part of my healing plan has included almost daily detours down Forest Road and through the wetlands.
This drive is the only place I can get to easily that makes me feel like I’m in the country. Stopping in the bushland there allows me to breathe in some fresh air, de-stress and reconnect.
This ‘ritual’ has been a lifeline for me and such an important part of my healing; and I know I am not the only one.
Last week I drove down Forest Road and saw trees being bulldozed. Trees which I walked under not long ago, watching the beautiful black cockatoos and listening to what sounded like a squawking baby cockatoo.
I am so sad about what is happening, however I am also happy to see so many people coming together to fight something they know is so wrong, for so many reasons.
Thank you to all the Beeliar Wetlands Protectors, who I feel are representing many people who are too unwell or unable to be there.
Claire French
Hampton Rd Beaconsfield

Opposition being reckless
THE Liberal state government’s commitment to extend Roe Highway to Fremantle port is great news for residents of the City of Melville.
The construction of the Roe 9 tunnel will significantly reduce congestion in Melville, preserve local green space and protect the homes of Palmyra residents.
The new highway will remove 6000 trucks and 75,000 vehicles per day from local roads, improve road safety and save lives by practically eliminating collisions involving trucks on Leach Highway, including in areas close to schools.
In contrast, the Labor Opposition’s plan will rip $236 million out of the Melville area and reallocate it to other areas of Perth, such as north of the river.
In addition $1.2 billion of allocated Commonwealth funding for WA would be forfeited to the eastern states. The result would be catastrophic gridlock for Melville and a traffic crisis on local roads already at capacity including Leach Highway, South Street and Stock Road.
Mark McGowan should reverse his reckless and dangerous decision to cancel this essential piece of infrastructure.
Matthew Woodall
Councillor
City of Melville

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