LETTERS 5.5.18

Council boo-boo
I ALSO thought having a drone active throughout the ANZAC dawn service on Memorial Hill was inappropriate.
The flashing red and green lights in a darkened sky along with the noise of the drone was distracting.
It seemed disrespectful on such a solemn occasion.
Then we find out it was the City of Fremantle who ordered the drone!
There are many other ways to estimate attendance and year after year we already know what the parking issues are.
I felt it ironic that on ANZAC Day, when we attend the Dawn Service to remember and reflect on sacrifices made by others for our freedoms and way of life, we were under surveillance by a drone.
Ruth Kendall
Marmion St, East Fremantle

Front and centre
I TOTALLY agree with the story “Drone Disgrace” and letter “5-0 says it all” on the front page of the April 28 Herald.
On ANZAC morning the huge crowd stood in silent reverence, with sadness and pride, in advance of the dawn light.
Respect for the men and women who have served and are serving our country. The quiet calm was rudely broken by the incessant noise of two drones careering across the night sky.
Not to be outdone, a group of bikers arrived late and left early.
The shocking revving of their “I am a big bloke” motorbikes noise, drowned the words of the speakers and our prayers.
Nevertheless, as always, a wonderful memorial.
The front page letter stated the Joint Development Assessment Panel voted 5-0 to refuse what would have been an obscene giant blot of a building at the Woolstores, in the heart of our wonderful city. Thank you JDAP and Fremantle council.
Do these developer/builders have no sensitivity or heritage knowledge?
It’s just whack up a giant boring block and shoot through.
Development yes, but height and architectural design must be first and foremost.
Not this “show me the money” attitude.
Suzanne John
High Street, Fremantle

Council monopoly
AT the elector’s meeting of the City of Melville last week there was discussion of the acquisition of land by the council in the Canning Bridge precinct.
One might have applauded this initiative thinking the land was to be used for public open space in an area which is about to have a dramatic increase in density and which is devoid of such space.
But then there was talk of the council seeking alternative sources of income.
Is it that the council is trying to play entrepreneurial land investor with our money? If the council management is feeling the need to be entrepreneurial then I understand there are numerous positions becoming available at or near the top of some of Australia’s largest financial institutions.
Bruce Uren,
Applecross

What a shemozzle
I AM sure the journo writing “Holy Auction” (Herald, April 28, 2018) did not mean to be so flippant about the sale of the Old Freo Synagogue.
But there are a few facts that would have made an interesting piece, if the Herald had not speculated over the reason for its sale.
The heritage issues have all been sorted and are not the reason for its sale.
On another point, the interior has not only been ‘renovated’ by the present owner Roger McKimm, it has been saved from certain demolition after years of neglect by the Fremantle council.
Through all of this the heritage value has not been compromised and the interior is again the soulful and awe-inspiring space it was intended to be.
The off-hand comments about selling pork belly and bacon aside, in the time that Roger has owned the building it has seen numerous Jewish events, including a wedding, a bar mitzvah, New Years’ services and many heritage tours.
The building has served many purposes in its time and will no doubt rise again as a Fremantle icon.
The person originally responsible for the building, Elias Solomon, Fremantle’s first MP and mayor for many years, would be very pleased that the current owner has saved it for posterity.
Now that’s worth writing about.
Ari Antonovsky
Arundel St, Fremantle

Progress needs the Wow! factor
APPROVING development in Fremantle, or stopping it, is not about developers having a rant when they don’t get their way or about the Fremantle Society president gloating about it.
Fremantle council signed off on planning scheme amendment 49 to try to boost the economic recovery in our city by granting developers additional height in 13 targeted locations mainly east and north of Kings Square.
The Fremantle Society during my presidency fought tooth and nail to stop PSA 49 but pressure from the then-owners suddenly saw council approve 11 storeys on the Woolstores site, when mayor Brad Pettitt had only days before expressed he would not vote for double digit development, so nine storeys would be the maximum.
But PSA 49 was very clearly about only granting additional discretionary height if development was of excellent design quality, and the Woolstores plans, rejected by Fremantle council and the WA Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP), clearly were not.
It appears that developers and architects still have not got the message that the Fremantle community demands creative and innovative design, and sadly Fremantle council, JDAP and the State Administrative Tribunal also still have not got that point, as they have too often allowed mediocre development that is hurting Fremantle’s unique character. Council is so desperate to achieve rejuvenation of the inner city and economic recovery that is overlooked design flaws out of fear of upsetting developers.
The new Sirona Capital buildings at Kings Square are not outstanding and neither is the planned and approved Hilton Doubletree hotel development on the Point Street carpark site. The LIV development along Queen Victoria Street is repetitive boredom and the Quarry Street side of it is architecturally so unresolved that it hurts my eyes.
On the cards are also the already approved very boring eight-storey development next to the Australia Hotel and the equally uninspiring Little Lane development on the former Spotlight site next to Target.
I do absolutely get it that developers want to make as much money as they can and I don’t have a problem with that at all, but the JDAP rejection of the Woolstores proposal should send a clear message that if you want more money making floorspace and height you will need to offer Fremantle something special and unique.
Not only did Fremantle’s Design Advisory Committee expert panel express that the Woolstores design was not excellent, so did the three architects who spoke for the Fremantle Society, and other architects JDAP panel member councillor Rachel Pemberton consulted had the same opinion.
I talked to three well-known local architects in Fremantle who told me the composition and balance of the plans were all wrong and that piecemeal changes to the design would not lift it to the highest architectural standards required to receive the bonus height.
Fremantle wants and needs development. I love modern architecture and am not of the opinion that no new development in Fremantle should be above six storeys, but like most people in the community I want to see the “wow” factor when it comes to new buildings here.
The rubbish that is often proposed might not do great harm in Cockburn or Joondalup but it would make Fremantle a lot less attractive to visitors from all over the world. The community will not accept that and Fremantle Council, JDAP and SAT should listen to us.
Roel Loopers
Maxwell Street, Fremantle

Right royal let-down
THOUSANDS of kids around the world are starving and living in poverty and hardly get a mention in the media.
All we get is that another royal baby is born.
The royals are living in luxury and seem to have only one talent, which is to breed like rabbits at the taxpayers’ expense.
I don’t know how these people can sleep at night knowing what poor people put up with on a daily basis.
R Dixon
Arkwell St, Willagee

A bit fishy
I FULLY support marine protection areas as in a few decades not many desirable species of fish will be left.
Why do some companies need super trawlers?
Presumably small boats do not pay their way anymore.
It also means that the product density of desirable species is already far too low for insatiable human beings.
Yet Australia has a 25,750km long coastline and there is not enough to go around to keep a 26-million population happy.
So what do I see in fish and chip shops? Hake from South Africa and NZ.
In supermarkets I notice prawns from Vietnam, tuna pieces from Indonesia and blue whiting from China.
So everyone is catching for all it’s worth, since there is no end to the ever-increasing number of consumers, yet it is widely reported that fish stock numbers are falling.
Otto Mueller
Windily Road, Murdoch

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