FORMER Fremantle mayor Peter Tagliaferri’s spat with the current council took an ominous turn this week when a racist letter was dropped in the letterbox of his Beaconsfield home.
Mr Tagliaferri has criticised the council’s financial management, predicting it’s about to plunge the city into years of crippling debt by selling its car parks while taking out a loan to pay for a unnecessary new admin building on Kings Square. He says the council also caved in to the Fremantle Dockers and unnecessarily paid $1.5 million to winkle the club out of Fremantle Oval.
The attack prompted a response from Cr Jon Strachan who said he’d served under Mr Tagliaferri and current mayor Brad Pettitt and while the former’s leadership was marked by a divided and adversarial council, Dr Pettitt’s was harmonious and giving Fremantle cause for optimism.
Mr Tagliaferri penned a letter to the editor in last week’s Herald defending his mayoralty (“Tit for Tag,” March 18, 2017), which was attached to the racist letter. The anonymous rant, which Mr Tagliaferri sent to the Herald and posted on social media was also delivered to some of his relatives and the Italian Club.
“In response to the above shit, I suggest the reason the 30-year council debt was paid off was because you encouraged the sale of the West End to a non rate paying Catholic University, at very low prices … which of course benefited you,” the letter read, making mention of Mr Tagliaferri owning the Newport Hotel building.
“You and the greed of the Italian community has fucked Fremantle.
“The likes of you and your rich chums who would rather have a premises empty in Fremantle than rent it out at a reasonable rate are the cause of Fremantle’s demise.
“You should all fuck of back to the shit hole you came from and Fremantle would be a better place.”
Mr Tagliaferri says the anonymous letter ironically arrived on Harmony Day.
“Today is supposed to be about tolerance, diversity, peace and harmony, and getting on with your neighbour,” he said.
“This type of mindset, and attack on the freedom of speech, I still believe has no place in our society.
“But sadly in Fremantle it seems to be the mode of operation by some.”
Mr Tagliaferri said he’d be seeking a response from the mayor, who the anonymous writer claims was copied into the rant. Although there’s no suggestion Dr Pettitt was aware of the letter beforehand, Mr Tagliaferri said he been “trolled” by some of his supporters since raising his concerns about the council’s finances.
by STEVE GRANT