LETTERS 11.3.17

Fair dinkum Dockers
THE Fremantle Dockers departure from the city that bears their name was an event we didn’t want to happen.
But at least in the final wash-up last week common sense prevailed.
The Dockers had originally wanted more than $10m compensation from the City of Fremantle to give up their long-term lease on Fremantle Oval, which they don’t pay for, and also to hand over their building, for which they paid very little.
The final figure of $1.5m is a very fair result for both sides, was negotiated in the right spirit, and the door has also been open for an ongoing Dockers-Fremantle relationship that can benefit the entire community.
The city is now using the Dockers building as cheap temporary office space for about 220 staff over the next 2-3 years while the new council HQ in Kings Square is developed.
This is a sound operational and financial outcome for the city.
The city also has gained immediate control of Fremantle Oval to action its revitalisation plan of this very significant city asset, which needs to happen.
The Dockers have agreed their new AFL women’s team will play some of their games at Fremantle Oval which is good for everyone, and they have committed to a long-term club presence in the new city centre.
The word on South Terrace is the appointment of a flexible and more community-minded Dockers chair in Dale Alcock, combined with the desire of Fremantle mayor Brad Pettit to close out matters overhanging the city, has proved a timely combination.
The result seems to bear this out.
Chris Lewis,
South Fremantle

Council drowning
IF Melville City Council proceeds with the proposed wave pool in Attadale then, in several years from now, the new replacement council will have on its hands a large body of stagnant water alongside the Swan River, left by the wave pool management finding that the operation was not financially viable.
It is simply the wrong place to have such a wave pool, situated alongside an already congested “highway”.
At least the current council members will go down in history for their folly.
Garry Wainscott
Riley Road, Kardinya

Bushland battle
I HUMBLY congratulate the people of Fremantle, Cockburn and Melville for making the Beeliar Wetlands a key deciding factor this election.
Your campaign exposed the Barnett Government as ruthlessly uncaring about due process and our city’s wild places and wildlife, cultural heritage and long-term sustainability.
Roe 8 provided the devastating lesson that governments do not always protect values we hold dear.
Thanks to the concerted efforts of community and the Greens, two months ago the ALP promised it would tear up contracts for Roe 8 if elected.
That is so very good: I cannot wait to wake up without having to go face the bulldozers, the panicked and dead animals and tears on the faces of children and friends.
However, beyond the Wetlands there is more to be done: the fate of other Bush Forever land in our southern suburbs hangs by a thread; the cockatoos’ foraging habitat is disappearing city-wide and the Green Growth Plan that is supposed to fix this is anything but.
From other parties, we haven’t heard many commitments about restoring weakened environmental agencies, improving environmental laws and increasing transparency.
These issues, along with caring for vulnerable people, are values I plan to keep fighting for.
Lynn MacLaren MLC
Greens Member for South
Metropolitan

Any port in a storm
I DO not agree that the Perth Freight Link should be completed at the expense/delay of progressing with the Kwinana outer harbour—a project that actually will deliver the tangible benefits the PFL sets out to, plus a whole raft of other benefits such as creating new industrial opportunities, long term job creation, increased use of rail for freight transport, redevelopment potential at Fremantle waterfront and a reduced and more manageable environmental impact.
A simple look at a map and all the careful planning done on the outer harbour to date establishes that trucks servicing the new Kwinana port would follow a route along Tonkin Highway then east on Anketell or Rowley Roads.
Scrap Roe 8 and the PFL, in favour of the progressive, carefully planned, outer harbour at Kwinana.
Hannah Lill
Thornlie 

A tale of two cities
I WAS deeply upset to read your front page (“Ex-mayor unleashes,” Herald, March 4, 2017), which opened with a comment attributed to Peter Tagliaferri that the current Fremantle council is “out of control on many fronts”.
Can I remind Peter that I have served on Fremantle council under both his and mayor Pettitt’s leadership.
The two experiences were poles apart; the former was a council in deep division, the debate adversarial and the atmosphere toxic.
The latter is a council that engages in respectful debate, develops and delivers on strategic policies that give Fremantle cause for optimism into the future.
Tagliaferri’s time of being mayor coincided with the greatest economic boom ever seen in WA, yet no one was investing in Fremantle, in fact businesses were all pulling out.
WA is now in an atmosphere of fiscal constraint, but investment is flowing into Fremantle.
An incredible turnaround.
I am proud of my time serving the people of Fremantle, but recall those first four years as dark times with a popularist mayor, whereas today I feel like a valuable part of a well-run organisation.
I am happy to debate Peter on any of the rubbish (popularism?) attributed to him in the article.
Peter, so who is your candidate for the upcoming mayoral election?
Jon Strachan
South Ward councillor

Planting the seed
THE students in B2 Year 2 at Winthrop Primary School are trying to encourage more birds to come into our school.
We would also like to ask everyone in the community to start planting more bird-friendly plants to attract them too.
My friends and I went looking for birds in our school and we could only count 48.
This matter made us very upset.
Since I care for animals so much, I’m glad to be part of this class project.
We are focusing our attention on the Carnaby’s cockatoo and other local birds.
The cockatoos are only found in WA and are in danger of becoming extinct.
They are losing their native habitats in areas like the Beeliar wetlands that are close to our school, because trees are being cut down to build more roads.
These birds only lay one or two eggs at a time, so we need to protect them.
We are trying to get a bird bath, make bird feeders and plant some more native plants that the birds will like in the garden outside our classroom.
So next time you’re in the garden, please try to plant some more bird-friendly trees and plants and bring the birds back to our local suburbs.
SAM
Winthrop Primary School

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