LETTERS 11.2.17

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Go Labor!
IN the tradition of recent White House press briefings, Liberal MP for Tangney Ben Morton last week presented your readers with what can only be described as the ‘alternative facts’ on Roe 8 and the Perth Freight Link.
Not only does [this ad] list falsehood after falsehood, the map also shows the incorrect route through Beeliar Wetlands. As the state MP for Fremantle I was particularly alarmed residents of White Gum Valley may be forcibly relocated south of South Street.
Okay, so perhaps Mr Morton and the Liberals failed to proof-read their ad, but it is this lack of attention to detail by the Liberals that makes Roe 8 and the Perth Freight Link such a debacle.
Make no mistake, Roe 8 and the Perth Freight Link serve only to fatten up Fremantle Port for sale. Perhaps the only bit of truth in Mr Morton’s ad is the dotted line running from the intersection of High Street and Stirling Highway to Stirling Bridge. It is an admission by the Liberals they have no clue how they will get trucks to the port, leaving East Fremantle and Stirling Bridge to become a funnel for trucks.
Only WA Labor has a comprehensive plan to cancel Roe 8 and the Perth Freight Link, put more containers on rail in the short-term, and build the second port at Kwinana in the long-term. At the upcoming state election you get to choose between a real solution for freight and transport or a set of ‘alternative facts’ presented by the Liberals.
Simone McGurk
State Member for Fremantle
Market St, Fremantle

Fine point?
LAST week the Fremantle Herald ran the story:  ‘Council help to pay Roe protestors’ fines’.
While the story was accurate, the headline was misleading.
The City of Fremantle is not paying fines for people arrested as part of any protest against Roe 8.
We have also had assurances from the organiser of the events that no funds raised will go directly to any individuals to pay for their fines or court costs.
The Fremantle Council agreed to contribute $5000 in cash to assist with infrastructure (staging and lighting etc) for two ‘Families for the Wetlands’ events to be held in Fremantle. Hire costs for the two events have also been waived.
The events will raise funds for the campaign, will also serve as an important opportunity for local people to find out more about the proposed tunnel under Hilton and White Gum Valley and how they engage peacefully, constructively and legally on the matter.
The Fremantle Council has a long-held position of not supporting the Perth Freight Link which includes the Roe 8 and Roe 9 (Fremantle Tunnel) extensions.
Mayor Brad Pettitt
City Hall
William St, Fremantle
The Ed says: To quote from the council’s own agenda, the purpose of the Fremantle Town Hall concert includes at point 1 a): “to raise funds for the Wetlands Defenders, which will help pay for legal costs associated with community members’ actions to protect of [sic] the Beeliar Wetlands and Coolbellup Woodlands.” Nothing in the council decision about excluding fines or court costs.

Trumped
WHEN I looked at the cover [of the Herald last week] it made no sense: this was my Trump moment again, a moment I’d not wanted to relive. Had the groundhogs migrated here to escape him, I wondered?
No, I was reading the Herald and something bad had happened. It took me quite some time to see the vertical word ‘Advertisement’ on the side, let alone that this was an ad paid for by federal MP for Tangney Ben Morton
I know you need to make money, and the word on the ground is that you were paid a ‘shitload of money’ to run Ben Morton’s ad. I’ll spare you supping with the devil lines and instead thank Steve Grant for his article on the real front page ‘Dig blows hole in Roe reports’.
We readers face a dilemma:  I want the Herald to survive but not at any cost; having an advertisement like this is an unacceptable cost, but I’d rather the Herald had the money than the West.
I trust you make recompense to your readers by discovering how Ben Morton had a ‘shitload of money’ to spend on the advertisement.
Sue Ashford
Fremantle
The Ed says: Banning any bona fide political advertisers from expressing their views – or any segment of our readers from commenting in any of our independent stories or on our opinion pages – would be the truly unacceptable cost, surely Sue. Our pages are open to all.

Stunned
AS a City of Fremantle ratepayer, I am stunned my rates are being used to fight a political battle taking place beyond our boundaries ‘Council help to pay Roe 8 fines,’ Fremantle Herald 4/2/17.
As this is an out-of-budget item, what fund has this come from or what has been cut for this money to suddenly become available?
I can understand why there might be a budget for undertaking Perth Freight Link assessments if the council had not already made up its mind to oppose the project. But why on earth would that budget be used to fund concerts aimed at raising money to fight the legal battles of protestors arrested in the City of Cockburn?
As WA local government minister Paul Miles is quoted as saying in your article, “Councils have a duty to ensure they always act in the interests of all of their ratepayers, particularly on how they spend public funds”.
Anthony Van Der Wielen
William St, Fremantle

Dig deep for truth
IN the recent article ‘Dig blows hole in Roe reports,’ Fremantle Herald 3/2/17, WA Aboriginal Affairs is quoted as saying a previous heritage assessment shows the archaeological site in the path of Roe 8 was already destroyed “by landscaping” some time ago.
I was one of the archaeologists who viewed the department’s records. Our report went to the department before they spoke to the Herald.
These records show every experienced archaeologist who inspected the site, including the department’s own officers in 2014, believed it had potential to contain archaeological remains below the surface.
Our test-excavations with Traditional Owners show the site probably still exists, despite last week’s vegetation clearing.
The department may have its own views on what constitutes Aboriginal heritage, but let’s not emulate the Americans in creating our own versions of what government records really say.
Joe Dortch
Stevens St, Fremantle
The Ed says: We chased up the DAA about artefacts below the surface and got the response it was known they could exist, but were unlikely to be unique. The department said the highway went through a legitimate Section 18 application, and the Aboriginal Cultural Materials Committee noted that Main Roads had reduced its footprint through the area, making it more acceptable than previous routes.

Wave goodbye?
IN the interest of full and proper disclosure, within the article ‘Council swamped,’ Fremantle Herald 28/01/17, your Mr Chanmugam says “its supporters claim the lagoons cutting edge technology will provide an unparalleled facility for surf training”. Lazy journalism, or an audacious claim?
Simply resolved by Googling ‘Kelly Slater Wave Pool” – then comparing these waves to the quality of those planned for Melville. In addition Mr Slater, 11 times world champion and therefore without question the greatest competitive surfer ever, has JV’d his rights to his technology to the WSL – surfing’s only global representative body – in the lead up to the sports Olympic representation in 2020.
In summary, if approved, Melville council would be investing a lot of concrete and hope into what appears to be “challenged”, not “cutting edge” technology. Facts.
On a personal note, whilst Andrew Ross, WPG’s CEO seems well intended, his group’s continued promotion of his facility as an opportunity to “avoid the ocean’s hazards” I rebut as it’s an insult to all marine life including surfers who choose to make the ocean their home-away-from home.
Please stop. As initiator of the “Frontier Surfing” art exhibition held at the Fremantle Arts Centre in 2016, attended by more than 17,000 people, I’d like to think I have a feel for what’s real in surfing in 2017 and beyond.
Damon Hurst
Bellevue Terrace, Fremantle

Back to the future
YOU can hardly call yourself a local newspaper when you publish a wrap on the so-called facts of Roe 8,9, and 10, but you have not published one in-depth article on the current state of knowledge about the actual facts of the horrendous impacts of a Roe 10 freeway on the Fremantle and particularly North Fremantle community.
While there is no information given to us on this by the WA government, we know Stirling Bridge would have to be doubled, (in the air?) that all the intersections on Tydeman Rd would have to have spaghetti junctions, fly overs and that a massive truck roundabout taking in Tydeman Rd, Port Beach Rd and back over the railway line north of the Town Centre is planned.
A horror scenario of gargantuan proportions surrounding the heart of this community in a concrete jungle.
In 1990 a talk was given to the Fremantle Society entitled ‘Alice in Wonderland’ about exactly this ridiculous planning outcome. Now we are witnessing the genie coming out of the bottle after 27 years of inaction from all sides of politics on the alternative container port, recommended in the Port Options Study of 1990. When governments keep citizens in the dark, it is time for your newspaper to do some serious investigative journalism.
Ann Forma
Harvest Rd, North Fremantle
The Ed says: We’ve been covering the issues you raise as best we can since 1989 Ann, as you know. The wrap was paid political advertising: we were not the authors. We say it’s time for more good folk and true to prick their time-wasting FakeBook bubbles and go do their own digging, just like in the good old days. And don’t forget to give us a call.

Double bunger
I REFER to your front page story last week entitled ‘Traders’ Oz Day a Big Hit’.
I would just like to congratulate the businesses who put on the ‘Rebellious Australia Day Fireworks’ in Fremantle. They are obviously proud and un-afraid Australians.
The fireworks could be seen from my place in Palmyra and they looked pretty impressive.  Could we possibly coax the mayor to maybe move into a hippie commune somewhere and have you guys run Fremantle.
By doing that, I believe that our port would be a much more exciting and progressive city.
Steve Grady
Murray Rd, Palmyra

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