LETTERS 28.10.17

Love and marriage
REVEREND Professor David Seccombe has concerns about marriage equality (“No equality in same-sex vows”, Thinking Allowed, Herald, October 14, 2017).
He argues, among other things, that “marriage equality won’t achieve equality because the relationship of two people of the same gender is different from how marriage has always been understood”.
Yet marriage has been understood in many ways over the years.
For example, there was a time when the state regulated who Indigenous Australians could, and could not, marry.
Happily, Australian culture has moved on from this.
Cultures are not static but dynamic; they are flexible and respond to historical and social changes.
I take reverend Seccombe’s point that Christians in Australia do not speak with one voice.
Thus, not all Christians see same-sex intercourse as a sin against God.
Regardless of this, Australia is a secular society—we should not base our laws on religion.
I will end with a statement from Curtin University’s Centre for Human Rights Education.
“The Centre for Human Rights Education actively supports equality before the law, and equality in terms of social recognition, a core human rights value.  We therefore decisively and proudly support marriage equality in Australia as we affirm that marriage equality is a human right”.
This, I believe, wraps up my view nicely.
Anne Pederson
Kent Street, Bentley

No 123 from ABC
I SERIOUSLY object to the ABC managing director refusing to disclose the salaries of the top employees to our elected government.
This is outrageous as they are employees of the taxpayers who pay their wages and any employer is entitled to know how much these people are being paid by the ABC.
Why the secrecy?
Are they ashamed of the amount they are paying, and the little most of them do to actually deserve it?
Ruby Joan Bales
Fantail Drive, Bibra Lake

Green is good
I READ with interest the story, “Couple battle for Applecross trees” (Herald, October 14, 2017).
I wish Len and Valerie Warren well in their battle to protect the ancient Jarrah trees and public open space that is for everyone’s benefit, including the birds that nest in tree’s hollows..
I wonder why the city of Melville is doing this, in light of the fact that in 2016 they released their Urban Forest and green spaces policy, which states to proactively manage, protect and replenish our tree stock in ways that meet the needs of our present and future generations and increase the overall number of trees/canopy across the city.
Clearly they are not following their own guidelines here .
They invite the community to participate in the conversation at http://www.melvilletalks.com.au/urbanforest
Cheree Anrep
Preston point road, Bicton

WHEN seeking re-election, Brad Pettitt promoted himself as wanting to make Fremantle more liveable.
The question remains however for whom is it be made more liveable?
Too often we are left with the impression that the city’s liveability is to be measured in terms of the financial health of its retailers, some of whom, but not all of whom, live in Fremantle.
Others see Fremantle merely as a retail opportunity.
Self evidently, retailers benefit from more people buying things, so maintaining their viability frequently translates into there being a need to attract more visitors, to which the city responds by offering more events calculated to bring those visitors into the city.
The question is, however, whether this makes the city more liveable.
Retailers are often their own worst enemy, offering essentially the same goods on opposite sides of the street, and expressing surprise when one or more of them goes bust; while events sometimes corral parts of the city, confining them to those who have paid for entrance to what was previously public space.
What the city needs to be more liveable is a greater diversity of retailers not a redundancy of coffee and cake cafes and fast food outlets: a diversity which services those of us who live here, pay its rates, its parking permits and sometimes its parking fines.
While a city as attractive as Fremantle is always going to have visitors, and many of us will have been visitors to other cities, a balance needs to be struck which favours and acknowledges the priority of those who live here.
A city becomes less liveable not more so as it increases its number of visitors, as residents of other even more renowned cities have come to realise.
The city does not belong to its retailers it belongs to those of us who have chosen to live here, which of course includes some retailers.
It belongs to us in the sense that we have acquired a familiarity with it, are recognised as we move around it, have ready access to its officers and are respected by them as their employers.
It is reflected in our willingness to provide services for those less fortunate than ourselves and our responsiveness to the city’s requests for advice in relation to its many submissions and in the many other intangible ways which have contributed to our desire to live here.
Visitors, and their presumed appetite for retail, are not the reason for our choosing to live in Fremantle, nor do they, except in a transient way, define its ambience.
David Hawks
Bellevue Terrace, Fremantle

Copping a spray
I am amazed to see the councils still spraying glysophates around our suburbs.
Any research done on this poison shows the detrimental affects to human beings not to mention our poor pets, I believe the recent spraying was followed by an epidemic of doggy diarrhoea at the vets.
This poison causes so many issues to health.
Any poison that completely kills plants is dangerous.
Tracey Donovan
Windfield Road, Melville

Why there?
IT occurs to me that those of us who are trying desperately to protect the Alfred Cove ‘A’ class nature reserve and associated marine park are running ourselves into the ground in an effort to justify our position and to counteract the equally desperate (but seemingly successful) moves by the proponent to circumvent the requirement to have the proposal assessed by the environmental authorities.
Surely it should be the proponent of the artificial wave park who has to justify why his facility should be on this site.
Don’t tell us that the facility will facilitate the health and wellbeing of those who use it—this will be the case wherever the wave park is situated.
Tell us why it should be sited on Bush Forever Site 331, a site that is crying out to be added into the ‘A’ class nature reserve now that the opportunity has arisen.
Don’t tell us that the facility will bring welcome income to the city of Melville—this will be the case wherever the wave park is situated. Tell us why it should be sited within three metres of an ‘A’ class nature reserve at parts of this site.
Don’t tell us that the facility will create jobs for locals—this will be the case wherever the wave park is situated.
Don’t tell us that the facility will be good for tourism—this will be the case wherever the wave park is situated.
Tell us why the local and migratory birds that already bring tourists from Australia and overseas to the Reserve should be, at best, put under stress and, at worst, threatened by this commercial concern.
Don’t tell us that the facility will be accessible to people of all ages and levels of ability—this will be the case wherever the wave park is situated.
Tell us why it should be on this rare public open space with access to the peaceful river foreshore, which has significant cultural and ecological importance.
Robin Napier
Groves Ave, Attadale
The Ed says: We should point out that the proposal will need approval from the relevant state environmental authorities.

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