LETTERS 9.917

Specious
I AM curious as to why Mr Sherry Sufi (“Why I’ll be saying ‘I don’t’”, Thinking Allowed, Herald, September 2, 2017) did not bring any stronger points to bear in his article, other than that redefining the concept of marriage may result in polygamous marriage (of which, I believe, there is little evidence to suggest).
I’m also curious what Mr Sufi believes he stands to lose, should equal marriage become a reality for all Australians.
I’d like to contrast whatever Mr Sufi might lose, against what all the LGBTQI community might gain.
This is not about classifications.
This is about demonstrating the capacity for inclusive and progressive thinking. The world is a rapidly changing place, and we need to move together to address real concerns, rather than wasting our time on the practised exclusion of minorities.
I salute you, sir, as one of the old guard, one who speaks both from privilege and ignorance.
Patrick Callaghan
Solomon street, Beaconsfield

Spray off
WITH regard to the letter from Helen Trengrove (“Copping a spray”, Herald, September 2, 2017), either she did not want to see the signs regarding spraying or she maybe needed to have another look, as I was at the above section used for netball and could clearly see two signs displayed in the area discussed in her letter.
As I have seen this sort of action before, I felt it was my duty to state the true facts.
Also in her letter she states that the Fremantle council truck had a spray tank behind it, but I did not see any trailer being towed by the truck so can only suggest that maybe the spray tank was on the back of the truck.
Maybe get facts correct first.
George Benvenuti
Wylie cove, Winthrop

Brad’s day
FREMANTLE mayor Dr Brad Pettitt is within his right to change Australia Day’s date, if only for the sake of rectifying the historical value of that specific date.
Whether we, the voting community, accept this or not is irrelevant.
When voting for our federal politicians we do not give them the right to wage useless wars in foreign lands.
Yet they do it, and we say little about it…
I for one have never celebrated that day, for in my conscience and knowledge of history, it does not represent a day for unification nor one to be happy about.
Rather it evokes the manipulation of history by powers that be since federation, turning this date into a happy event when the gullible masses are fed with their dose of Skyshows and loud music, accompanied by wows and more wows, under the flapping Union Jack on a southern blue sky!
It highlights the failure of politicians to face up with truths and the will to question the pertinence of such date.
Jean-Marie de Dianous
Wood Street, White Gum Valley

Sweet, sweet, Sherry
CONGRATULATIONS to Sherry Sufi on his Thinking Allowed (“Why I’ll be saying ‘I don’t’”, September 2, 2017) in the recent Herald newspaper.
I did not know of the Rudd Government’s Relationships Act which gave equal treatment to same sex relationships.
How come we do not hear more about that?
This is one of the most informative I have read in the debate of Same Sex Marriage and I will be voting “No” to change the definition of marriage as I believe it will have far reaching effects in our society.
Some people may be afraid that if they vote No they might offend those homosexuals, either within their family or in their friendship groups, who are wonderful people but this is not about their acceptance, it is about changing the definition of “marriage”.
Same sex relationships can never have the same classification as marriage.
Elspeth O’Connor
Cranford Avenue,
Mount Pleasant

Way off the Mark
MARK TAYLOR, who sits on the mayor’s reelection committee along with four councillors, attacks the Fremantle Society in his letter (“Society’s ills”, Herald, September 2, 2017) for ‘bungled interference in local politics’.
It is certainly hard to get council to listen to the many submissions we make, and it is certainly hard to overcome their spin, but we are proud of the fact that potentially eight of our members will run in the upcoming elections.
It was unfortunate that two good members wanted to run in the same ward (City) but that has sorted itself out and Claudia Green will be a formidable candidate for good governance.
The problem now is that the community has largely gone to sleep, and getting traction on important issues with them and in the media is very difficult.
But, the Fremantle Society will continue to work energetically for better outcomes for Fremantle.
John Dowson
President, The Fremantle Society

Sufi, I want a divorce
In Sherry Sufi’s Thinking Allowed (“Why I’ll be saying ‘I don’t’”, Herald, September 2, 2017), he claims that the upcoming vote to amend the Marriage Act 1961 is not about equal treatment but has used faulty logic to reach this point.
Further, he doesn’t seem to consider that the human propensity to ‘classify’ people according to their differences may well be what lies at the heart of the unequal treatment he agrees is a wrong that should be remedied.
While Mr Sufi makes a relevant argument that the Same Sex Relationships Act 2008 could have ended this conversation years ago, however he omits to mention that the conversation started when the Howard government changed the Marriage Act to redefine marriage as between a man and a woman (without any consultation, let alone a hugely expensive non-binding postal survey) and he is mistaken if he believes that the Same Sex Relationships Act gave same sex couples and their children the same rights as married couples.
I was never a supporter of marriage and believed it to be an out-dated and irrelevant institution until I found the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
I would like this privilege to be extended to all those who wish to avail themselves of it.
Until same sex couples can be married, they do not enjoy equal treatment under the law and, to quote Mr Sufi, it is “imperative to vote yes.”
H Barratt
East Fremantle

National Threatened Species Day
SEPTEMBER 7 was our National Threatened Species Day—to raise awareness of plants and animals at risk of extinction.
It is a day when we turn the spotlight on native plants, animals, and ecosystems that are under threat and reflect on how we can protect them into the future. By coincidence, it is also the day when City of Melville opened nominations for the council election to be held in October.
So let us all give thought to those many species which depend upon the Alfred Cove Nature Reserve and Swan Estuary Marine Park for their continued wellbeing—the critically endangered migratory waders, Carnaby’s Cockatoo, the threatened Osprey, Fork-tailed Swift and many others.
Let us also consider the marine life that depends upon the valuable spawning and nursery area of Marine Park.
And in so doing, remember that the current Melville council has supported a Wave Park on the riverfront that will put all this precious heritage at risk, and that we should vote for a new council that considers these things important too.
David Maynier
Attadale

Community ignored
THE saga of the ‘bowls strategy’ and wave park continues in Melville with the councils refusal to hear its community or plan sustainability.
One needs only have a look at the minute of the special council meeting on August 22.
The representations by a group from the community, arguably with very wide support in the community, is ‘noted’.
Not a single word of what their representation were about recorded, ad then they continue to be utterly ignored with the usual suspects rubber-stamping what they long ago decided.
It is also interesting to note how the community is afforded seven minutes to state its case, with the council having 45 minutes to respond.
Also, if one looks at the process and decisions regarding the future of the Mount Pleasant Bowls site, it is easy to see how council continues to manipulate the process and outcome.
The community’s rejection of the proposal of moving the bowls club and redeveloping this site is ignored and we are given merely the alternative development options to choose from.
Like many of the bowlers themselves had been bullied into accepting that they had no choice but to move, the community believe it has no choice but to simply accept what council has decided.
In the process we continue to see our public facilities being closed and bowled over.
And our environment, which we should be ever more concerned to protect, continues to be eroded by a destructive agenda.
We’re facing council elections in October and I hope that the community will wake up to the manipulation and dishonesty of the majority of their councillors and support fresh faces who will be more responsible, democratic and representative.
Louis de Villiers
Portree way, Ardross

Mare of a letter
I REFER to Katy Mair’s letter (“Lost at Sea”, Herald, September 2, 2017).
It is a great reminder to the community to vote in the up and coming local government election in October, however it seems somewhat dishonest to me that Katy does not reveal that she is in fact, running for the Central Ward seat for the City of Melville.
Perhaps this article is more about raising her profile and using free advertising space to launch her ideas and political campaign.
Katy also draws the conclusion that the wave park will cost residents “a lot of money” and “residents will subsidise it for the next 30 years”.
However, when considering the facts (I refer to the independent economic impact assessment report provided by AEC), this couldn’t be further from the truth.
As reported in the media on August 15, “AEC estimates 20 percent of the projects $28 million total construction cost will be directly returned to the local economy, with $5.2 million in incomes and salaries paid to the City of Melville households”.
The project will also increase jobs and generate business in the surrounding area, and will deliver over $21 million in lease income to the city over its 30-year life—there are no subsidies here.
The city is generating income from its assets for the benefit of the community.
I agree with Katy that the City of Melville need councillors who care. Councillors who care to arm themselves with facts, view projects with an unbiased opinion, and represent the interests of the community as a whole rather than promoting their own self-interest.
Brian Gunderson,
Bicton

No one asked
I refer to your article informing us that “Melville backs Jan 26” (August 26).
No-one asked me my views on this. And I thought that party politics are to be kept out of local government. This being said, there is a much wider debate current in the country with what appears to be a groundswell wishing for the real history of how Aboriginal people had been (and often continue to be) treated to be acknowledged. It had been acknowledged in the Bringing them Home Report that the way the stolen generation were treated amounted to genocide. And there were other genocides earlier.
I for one am supportive of having an honest discussion to find a way of acknowledging past wrongs and how we find a way to celebrate all of our history without disrespecting one another. And I take exception to a Council which, without finding out how its community feels about it, makes statements like this.
Louis de Villiers
Portree Way, Ardross

Our concrete
RECENTLY a reader queried the possessiveness of using ‘our’ in information provided by the Alfred Cove Action Group; ‘our environment’, ‘our foreshore’, and I wonder, as people drive down Canning Highway and glance at the green, open space of Tompkins Park and appreciate the beauty of mature trees, expected to be felled for the wave park development, then looking beyond and taking pride in seeing our Swan River and our beautiful city, whether those same people travelling down the Highway will, with appreciation, look out and with the same ownership and pleasure say about the wave park ‘Ah look, our car park and our concrete wall.’?
Ros Armstrong
Melville

Depressing
I HAVE just returned from a shopping experience in Fremantle today.
I have not been for some time and decided I would do some shopping.
It was on the whole a pretty awful experience. Parking was difficult and I was driving around for some time and then found it was $4 for just one hour. I had to walk by several people lying on the streets with their worldly goods in shopping trolleys. A teenager (girl) walking with only her bra and pants on with two adults walking with her. Another guy walking around wanting to give everyone hugs.
The first shop I visited was too busy to serve me as they were watching a shoplifter.
I found it quite distressing and tried to help one girl by giving her money and buying her some food and coffee. My happy shopping experience had gone out of the window as I found myself feeling pretty depressed seeing how some of these people have to live. It was like I was in some third world country, not Perth WA.
I had only been in one shop but since my parking was for only an hour, I had to start my journey back to my car, calling in a nice coffee shop (The Loft). I would have loved to have stayed and had lunch there and continued shopping but the parking was too difficult.
Both Fremantle and I missed out on my shopping adventure. I would have been happy to stay for good few hours and spend some money there and it seems like Fremantle certainly needs it.
I’m not sure how these places survive and I’m pretty sure they won’t for long if Fremantle stays like this for much longer. I saw shops closed down and everywhere looked very run down and dilapidated.
I spoke to a couple of retailers working in the shops and they said they were always having to call the police and were quite often scared for their safety.
I live so close to Fremantle and I used to love the old quaint atmosphere and really nice different type of shops and the outdoor feel. Its such a shame that has gone.
This is not to mention the overseas ships visiting Fremantle. I feel pretty embarrassed and ashamed for overseas visitors to see this area as visiting “Western Australia” No wonder some of the cruise ships are boycotting Fremantle now. There is so much revenue to be had here from visitors and locals like me. Why is nothing being done? I have watched Fremantle just go downhill for the last 20 years.
Back to Garden City shopping where it is free parking and safe.
Wendy Maben
Zenobia Street, Palmyra

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