LETTERS 5.8.17

Fake news
HOW out of touch is Fremantle council with helping the environment?
I was reading this week’s Herald, and in the article about verges (‘Freo swings in verge rules’, July 29, 2017), a councillor wanted to ensure there was no artificial grass on verges.
Councillor, I think you need to rethink this amendment.
Let’s have a look at how artificial grass can help the environment.
1. Artificial lawn does not use any water. I repeat zero water.
Yes that’s zero.
We all know how precious this commodity is.
2. It doesn’t use any fertiliser at all that can damage the soil and ground water.
Again zero harm to the environment.
3. There is no need to mow the lawn using a mechanical lawn mower, thus no pollution.
Also when driving through suburbs I look at a verge and think wow, how good does that lawn look; only to realise it’s artificial.
Once again, Fremantle Council appears to not be able to think outside the box.
Warren Ralph
Plantagenet Crescent, Hamilton Hill

Premier deserves to cop a serve
THE broken promise by premier McGowan and the police minister Ms Roberts over the 1.5 per cent increase for our police officers is a shame.
A token offer of $1000 for their pay increase is totally unacceptable, considering what they have to deal with 24/7.
Our police are the only thing standing between the criminals and the community and the McGowan government thinks that’s not worth much.
Mr McGowan and all the other members of West Australian parliament, what are you doing or offering up to help reduce the financial situation the previous Barnett government left you with?
You are asking everybody to take a pay cut and accept increase charges.
While continue going along with your perks, first class flights, four or five star accommodation, government car and driver, luxury meals, big allowances, etc.
When will those in government, opposition, and senior public servants accept a reduction in their perks?
I accept that the state and the voters have to assist in reducing the financial crises been left by the Barnett government and Mr Nahan but not one size fits all.
Without our police officers doing their duties to the maximum, it will only, allow the criminals to continue to break the law and put the safety of the community at risk.
I am sure Mr McGowan or Ms Roberts wouldn’t like to see their suburb become a lawless area?
The community don’t want lawlessness either.
We want our police officer to be treated with respect and get what you promise them before and during the election and they also want a quick resolve to their workers compensation policy.
They need to be looked after they are injured while doing their duties.
Steven Cruden
Witts Lane, Kwinana Town Centre

“I am a rock…”
THEY’RE at it again.
The Rottnest Island Authority, with its ‘we don’t want to run the island’ bleat has effectively handed the only pristine settlement beach to developers (the monopolistic ferry company) so they can make a lot of money. Some of it might filter down to Rottnest?
The second ferry (thankfully catamaran-hulled) might be cheaper. Yes the outrageous fare (over east you can get fares of $25 single, $50 for a family of four for a similar journey to the one to Rottnest, which will cost you upwards of $80 single or a mind-bending $224 for families) is the biggest factor driving away the very holidaymakers Rottnest is (A Class) reserved for – us.
But where’s their incentive to be cheaper? And we hear they always have a presence where they go – how much land do they want?
Pinky’s private resort is to have people paying to live under canvas when the storms are blowing in from the north west or the sun is blazing. Huh? And there will be nice grassed function areas, a shop and a bar with a jetty for boaties to – ah, now it makes sense. Right next to the remaining public tent spaces, with a new delivery road right through (and through the cheaper Caroline T. chalets). Who does the RIA want on their island again?
The RI board has always, will always want big business on Rottnest. Get rid of the RIA. Fremantle is the answer. Freo people have the closest egalitarian lifestyle to what people still cherish about Rottnest. Fremantle’s income is too small. If Rottnest was added as a ward (West Fremantle!) Fremantle’s approach would see all the chalets used all year round. End of problem.  Times two.
How? The RIA says paying a thousand bucks 18 months in advance, with no choice of chalet, is ‘normal’.
People get moved mid-stay to make cleaning easier for the multi-national. Tour buses, shuttle buses, trailers, delivery vans, big trucks and cars compete for space on all the roads with kids new to riding bikes. So the buses now have horns. It’s dangerous and offensive.
People will carry rubbish out of the settlement if their kids are safer. Go back to resident cleaners and repairers. They care.
Go back to one volunteer-run Island Bus, from the perimeter of the settlements. Transport your luggage on a free bike trailer and keep it safer, with you, and be allowed to stay in your chalet a lot longer on your first and last days. Have, effectively, the vehicle-free island it used to be.
You walk or ride. Unique, world famous island full of proud, super-friendly  locals – a better memory for tourists than quokkas, even.
Buy a ferry, charge a decent fare to cover costs (19 passengers per trip I estimate), shuttling to Rottnest from E Shed (the train station). Make the landing fee separate—a machine on the jetty. Then abolish it (five’ll get you ten).
And Mr McGowan, reassure us by moving Rottnest from Tourism to Heritage, or Conservation.
Bruce Jackson
Perth

Tony gets the hump
BREAK, bump, accelerate, brake, bump, accelerate, brake, bump, etc.
Sound familiar.
So we have all witnessed this “Green council’s” efforts of traffic calming, despite overseas studies including the USA and the UK which state that roads with speed bumps will suffer an increase in carbon monoxide emissions of 82 per cent, carbon dioxide emissions double and nitrogen oxide increases by 37 per cent. Further speed bumps increase noise levels not only by vehicles braking and accelerating but also with bumping loads.
They cause damage to vehicles and wear on brake pads, etc.
They cause slow response times for emergency vehicles and even worse ambulances, where in Fremantle, for whatever reason, the council has almost completely ringed Fremantle Hospital.
Great news if you happen to be flat out on your back with medics working on you.
They cause discomfort and back injury to passengers.
Pregnant women hate them.
They cause shockwaves and potential damages to residences.
In fact, in the UK apparently they may not be implemented anywhere within 25 metres of bridges, subways or tunnels.
Incredibly, here, the council sticks them outside one of our most historical buildings.
They push vehicles onto adjoining residential streets.
At night, headlights flash upwards causing confusion and annoyance to all.
They are not bike friendly and at a time when we are trying to encourage cycling in our city.
There is a suggestion they reduce property values.
Prospective buyers reject home sites near speed bumps.
Finally they are expensive to install and maintain, and in the case of Fremantle, remove or relocate, which was done at night when contractors were working on penalty rates.
The strange thing is we have all seen how successful traffic calming can work with clear signage and the threat of speed cameras at all our schools, and all for minimum cost. Therefore I cannot understand how this should not apply anywhere else in Fremantle where it is considered necessary.
Tony Harris
Wray Avenue, Fremantle

Please, just grow up
THE Dear John letter from Candice Robinson is exactly what we don’t want in an Arthur Head and Roundhouse debate.
As Bob Reece commented in his Thinking Allowed piece (‘“Sacred Stoush”’, Herald, June 10, 2017), this simply distracts our attention from the issue at hand, i.e. Sunset Events renewed efforts to develop a tavern and brewery at Bathers Bay.
And then, the Herald sub-editor’s sub-headlines don’t help much either: “History wars” and “Sacred Stoush” may sell newspapers but they also encourage ‘shoot the messenger’ responses.
Are we up for a mature debate on how best to manage our shared heritage and interpret its complex meanings for the benefit of successive generations (to paraphrase Reece again)?
The appropriate structure for such a debate is the conservation plan, a process for producing management plans for places of cultural significance (endorsed by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation and International Council on Monuments and Sites).
The process admits a wide range of input—from spiritual values to scientific and technical accomplishments.
Having introduced the concept to WA in the 1970s and having put it into regular practice since then, I can vouch for its efficacy if properly and soberly applied, which is by thorough research, rigorous debate and logical progression through the process (there is a tendency amongst some politicians and their bureaucrats to cherry-pick the process to promote their own particular agenda—and that doesn’t work).
The Herald, with its grounded local knowledge, is well-placed to facilitate such a debate.
I would be happy to provide the structural elements required to keep it on track.
Dr R McK Campbell
Mosman Park

Shopping shuffle
WHAT is happening to Melville shopping complex?
The upheaval at Coles has subsided and help provided with new locations in the aisles has proved useful, but it appears that the hairdressers will be re-located to provide a different entrance for Coles.
When shops are re-located it means they will have to foot the bill for re-fitting and it appears there will be a hike in the rental!
Up to recently this was always a small but extremely well appointed shopping centre.
Now I learn that the shoe repair bar is to be relocated quite a distance away with its entrance outside directly on to the car park and one of the reasons cited is that it is ‘untidy’.
This small, well-run unit is an asset to the shopping centre and a boon to young and old.
We have challenged the man who runs it many times, over and above, with our repairs to shoes and other items but we have never managed to ‘best’ him.
He is cheerful, friendly and courteous—last Christmas I saw an older lady hand him a Christmas Card.
After she had left the stand he opened it with a quiet smile and read, “Thank you for looking after my shoes this year”!
This stand and the lovely coffee/tea and light refreshments bar beside are a boon to the centre and we like to join others sitting at the tables for the best bacon ‘sarnie’ and coffee to round off the shopping experience.
The company who owns the complex is based in Singapore and I think it very sad that they can change the ambience of a small, friendly and very useful shopping centre and in particular the shoe bar and coffee/tea bar which makes this the hub of the whole complex.
Comments from others would be interesting!
Jenny Davis
Point Walter Road, Melville

Rogue waves?
WE are all grateful to people like Margaret Matassa who volunteer their time and effort to protect our beautiful Swan River foreshore, including it’s native flora and fauna.
Margaret described the threat posed to this A Class nature reserve by the use of “phosphorus-loaded fertilisers, or insecticides or heavy watering” and concerns over the removal of the native vegetation that will impact on the “contiguity of the vegetation corridor”.
Finishing her article with mention of the proposed Wave Park as a potential threat.
My understanding of the proposed Wave Park is that it will be developed on the site of the existing bowling club, which is largely unshaded turf and surrounded by cricket ovals and rugby playing fields.
All of which must require extremely heavy watering and extensive use of fertilisers.
Removing the bowling greens would surely equal a reduction in the requirement for fertilisers and insecticides?
In addition, since the development would occur on a site of existing development, there will be no threat to the native vegetation corridor along the foreshore.
As part of the Wave Park development being approved, it is being assessed by the experts for environmental impact.
This is a step further than where we are today, providing an opportunity to right any wrongs with the existing development.
Whilst we discuss the Wave Park, lets just consider the threats we are managing today and be realistic about it’s impact.
Lets stop spreading mis-information.
The Wave Park will not introduce any more fertilisers or insecticides than are in use today and will replace an existing developed area zoned for sport and recreational use.
Genevieve Eddison
Stock Road, Attadale 

Common sense has flown the coop
THERE has been a lot of fuss over free range eggs lately.
Eggs are eggs to me when served up for breakfast as long as they are fresh.
I defy the average person to tell the difference between free range and caged hen eggs.
The only difference in price should be the size of the egg.
It is the same when buying a chicken to cook, I can’t tell where it came from, free range or caged.
When buying fruit or other goods from a shop, one can only believe what is written on the price tag.
I trust that all shop owners are honest.
Frank Granger
Melville Beach Rd, Applecross

2 responses to “LETTERS 5.8.17

  1. wow, i dont normally respond to these letters but i had to this time, FAKE NEWS by Warren is laughable on many fronts about how artificial grass can help the environment-
    Artificial uses a lot of water in its production & can not be made from any recycled products.
    Correct it does not use any fertilizer, but to say fertilizer damages the soil is comical. all the horticultural experts on the planet recommend adding organics to the soil to improve soil structure and help beneficial organisms. Try walking on fake turf during the peak of a Perth summers day…ouch…now try walking on watered & fertilized turf. This turf is proven to cool the surrounding area and produce oxygen, does fake turf…NO
    What happens when a dog does its business on FAKE grass? it stays there waiting for anyone to step on.If left on real turf this will be broken down by nearby bugs & insects.
    No need to mow the lawn with polluting lawn mowers…has heard herd of electric lawn mowers or self propelled???
    what happen when the companies who own the services located under the fake turf verge dig it up? They rip a hole in the FAKE turf & when finished they have no obligation to repair this rip..
    Enjoy your HOT PLASTIC FAKE turf, that one can use during summer.

  2. I would like to endorse Tony’s great letter in regards to these mad speed bumps. I have had pelvic surgery and nearly fainted going over the multiple bumps that appeared between my house and hospital. Torturous. Did nobody think this through ? I will now vote for anyone who intends to remove them.

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