LETTERS 29.4.17

HERE we go again.
Without in anyway diminishing the importance of the push toward marriage equality one does wonder what the issue has to do with Fremantle council’s finance and policy committee (“Equality Push,” Herald, April 15, 2017).
Assuming that the local council will continue on its socially progressive pathway can we expect to read about council motions condemning Hizb ut-Tahrir’s assertion that it is acceptable for a man to hit his wife with a small stick (and the inference of subservience that act implies)?
Or condemnation of child marriage?
Or genital mutilation?
I hear crickets.
If the council is going to be selective in what social issues it will delve into (showing a general bias toward the progressive side of politics) perhaps the council should just focus on following the guidelines in its own policies and those provided in the local government act?
Sean Hefferon
Wardie St, South Fremantle

YOU report that The Fremantle Society has asked the federal government to consider a larger footprint for inclusion on the national heritage list.
The larger footprint is already on the federal register of the national estate, and has been since 1975.
The feds have already done their homework and made their assessment so the boot is on the other foot.
Fremantle mayor Brad Pettit is of the opinion that “the risk of accepting a bigger boundary is that the significance of the area will be devalued by the inclusion of areas lacking any special heritage significance”.
The areas the mayor refers to are the Round House and Arthur Head, Kings Square, the railway station and the Esplanade.
The trouble is that the original impetus for the listing of a Fremantle conservation area came from the council itself in 1970, was examined and supported by the National Trust in 1974, who submitted it for the consideration of the Australian Heritage Commission who in turn examined and supported it.
Then in the nineties and noughties, Fremantle spent a small fortune on consultants to dot i’s and cross t’s in describing the conservation area for its Policy DGF 14, still working within the federal assessment footprint.
Now all of this thought, work and energy is to be discarded; and negated by the latest WA Heritage Council assessment, the documentation for which can best be described as sadly flawed.
My question to the WAHC remains unanswered: “As these four items (above) are fundamental to the coherent understanding of the architectural history and townscapes of the west end, would you please advise why they have been left out?”
There is no documentary or physical evidence to support their omission… if anything, evidence points to the opposite conclusion.
There is no analysis of previous state and national assessments (which generally have supported their inclusion) to argue why these places should now be left out.’
Rob Campbell
May Close, Mosman Park
Correction: Last week’s story included Fremantle Prison in the area the Society is seeking to have listed federally, but that’s not the case, as it was felt unnecessary because of its world heritage listing.Here’s a map of the area suggested.

Wake up
ROBERT BODKIN’S letter “Do the Math” (Herald, April 15, 2017) perfectly illustrates Fremantle council’s lackadaisical attitude to the perilous state of Freo businesses. As the city slides slowly into oblivion, does the council even care?
Nope, in fact it fiddles while Freo burns.
As reported in “Equality push” (Herald, April 15, 2017), the council is too busy focussing on big ticket items like same sex marriage.
This is a big deal to less than 2 per cent of the population, the other 98 per cent of us give not a tinker’s cuss about it.
The sooner the council wakes up to this and stops wasting time on useless, totally irrelevant fringe issues like this the better.
The fact that the Herald saw fit to run the article on the front page is just beyond sad, and one can only assume it is indicative of its misplaced, misguided priorities.
Just like the council.
John McClane
Woodlea Crest, Leeming
The Ed says: The article proved topical enough to get your pen furiously scribbling, John…

DIY is better
I HAVE privately sold five houses in the last 15 years, consistently obtaining sale prices tens of thousands of dollars greater than the prices agents had offered to sell the house for.
Just recently I sold my father’s house for $490,000 when the best agent asking price was $450,00 minus his expenses of $14,000.
Despite what you hear from vested interests my experience has been that selling a house is easy—the settlement agent does everything else except agree on a price.
It will be interesting to see whether you are prepared to publish this as you receive substantial advertising income from real estate agents.
Paul Tod
Healy Rd, Hamilton Hill

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