LETTERS 28.4.18

5-0 says it all
I REFER to the story “O’Brien blasts council” in last week’s Herald (April 21, 2018), about the tallest ever proposal for the centre of Fremantle being knocked back by the Joint Development Assessment Panel by a vote of 5-0.
Developer Gerard O’Brien was seeking exceptional height for the Woolstores Shopping Centre in inner Fremantle—50 per cent higher than Johnston Court—in return for providing an ‘exceptional’ quality building.
Simply put, he didn’t, and council and JDAP have simply done their job.
The Fremantle Society attended the JDAP meeting and had four commissioned experts there stating that the plans did not deserve the height bonus. We wish they did.
The Fremantle Society analysis simply supported Fremantle council’s own Design Advisory Committee, and the council had to deal with the flawed application for a very long time at ratepayer expense, instead of being able to refuse it, as happens at other councils if plans don’t come close to being acceptable.

(In last week’s story) Mr O’Brien was scathing of the council. He is a talented businessman with an ability to raise large sums of money, yet the buildings he has already erected in Fremantle are hardly the ‘heritage of the future.’
For developers interested in completing one project and moving to the next, all this is not a concern.
But for those of us who actually feel deeply about Fremantle because we value its character, the distress we feel from the often mediocre developments put to council is real. Research in the UK shows that bad architecture can make people ill, and some of us are currently feeling quite sick.
The attitude of the Chamber of Commerce in all this is shameful.
They simply welcome anyone with a cheque book, when they should be encouraging quality sustainable development that adds value to the world class asset we have.
Despite the Chamber’s power and numbers, it interesting that only seven of the 36 public submissions for the Coles Woolworth development supported the Woolstore’s plans.
John Dowson
Fremantle Society president
Mouat Street, Fremantle
The Ed says: We welcome any and all opinions on this matter, which is at the heart of the future of Fremantle. Get your letters and emails in.

Don’t follow the herd
I READ with interest your article “Puppy Abuse” in last week’s Herald (April 21, 2018).
If people respect animals it contributes to our community wellbeing, bringing so much joy and prosperity into our lives.
The Live Export sheep trade continuing out of Fremantle Port is a very sad sight.
WA produces an excellent product through exemplary animal husbandry, space per animal, nutrition and dedicated ram selection, ensuring flocks evolve strongly and healthily.
I am guessing the majority of overseas consumers who buy live lamb might not have a fridge.
If we could manufacture a really cheap refrigerator that would suit the needs of overseas consumers, it could help to transition those markets into buying chilled lamb.
Situating the halal abattoirs closer to production areas so our sheep don’t travel too far.
Nikki Wilkins
The Ed says: It’s a great idea, Nikki, but we understand part of the issue is the reluctance to accept meat from overseas because it’s hard to prove it has been prepared in accord with strict halal requirements.

A very liberal interpretation
IT is interesting to see that the April 14 edition of the Herald has such wide comment on what we understand to be a liberal world view—from Josh Wilson despairing over how the Liberals have gutted marine protection, to various others referring to the moral decline in society that allows desperately inhumane treatment of animals and refugees.
On the other side is Aaron Stonehouse, Liberal Democrat MLC for South Metro, and his strange understanding of love.
My copy of the Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus defines liberal as “willing to respect and accept behaviour or opinions different from one’s own”.
It suggests synonyms to liberal as “tolerant, unprejudiced, enlightened, progressive, flexible”.
I remain amazed at how
every party in Australia proudly uses the term “liberal” or “democrat”.
It seems to be so far removed from what the word has
always meant.
A liberal approach should encourage same-sex marriage, fair and just treatment of refugees, and should not encourage racism, like the nonsense of “genocide of white farmers in South Africa”.
As a legacy of apartheid, South Africa continues to experience high levels of violence and crime. Black people living in more impoverished and socially challenging conditions still suffer proportionately far worse than whites who are generally still far more privileged.
As a white South African, I can assure Mr Stonehouse, Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton and their supporters that it is false to suggest there is a white genocide in South Africa, or that white South Africans should receive special treatment.
Louis de Villiers

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