LETTERS: 12.5.18

Cost shifting
FREMANTLE mayor Brad Pettit is to be commended for his strong support for continued secure funding for the Freo Street Doctor (“Doc defib”, Herald, May 5, 2018).
For the clients concerned this frontline service is essential—it is not an optional extra.
If we are to continue to have three levels of government, each must accept their full constitutional responsibility.
The federal government is responsible for primary health care (GP services) for all members of the community.
The state government is responsible for hospital and mental health services for all Western Australians.
But in this case, these two levels of government are seeking to offload their responsibility for accessible health care—for some of those with the poorest health outcomes—to the City of Fremantle, the ratepayers of Fremantle and charitable organisations like St Pat’s Care Centre
Those who access the Street Doctor for all sorts of reasons do not have a GP.
Those who are homeless, including many indigenous people live with a chronic, enduring mental illness associated with poor physical health and resulting life expectancy of up to 15 years less than the rest of us. They get only sketchy care and support from State Mental Health Services.
The City of Fremantle has no responsibility for providing this essential health service.
As a keen observer of the street scene in the Port City for over 20 years, I am aware that many homeless Western Australians seek refuge here because of its cosmopolitan, tolerant character.
It is the state and federal members of parliament in Fremantle, not the mayor, who should be leading the charge for the permanent secured funding of this essential health care service.
Keith Wilson
Attfield Street, Fremantle
Ed’s note: Keith Wilson was WA’s health minister from 1988–1992.

I’D like to make comment in response to Bruce Uren and his letter “Council monopoly” in last week’s Herald.
If the rates you pay only allow for basic service provision today, then your children and grandchildren will be paying exorbitant rates as our current facilities and infrastructure won’t last forever and the replacement costs are significant.
The Local Government Act says: “In carrying out its functions a local government is to use its best endeavours to meet the needs of current and future generations through an integration of environmental protection, social advancement and economic prosperity.”
We are required not only to meet needs of current generations, but future generations as well. I want to be able to use City of Melville facilities with my children and grandchildren in the future.
I would hate to have to leave Melville to access decent services, because the council didn’t have the sense to plan ahead. This is my view and does not necessarily reflect the position of the City of Melville or its council.
Cr Nicole Robins
Bateman-Kardinya-Murdoch Ward

Pointed facts
I WOULD like to point out some facts about the story “Pointed protest”, regarding Burns Street, North Fremantle (Herald, May 5, 2018).
I am a director of the company that owns the property,  which was built earlier than most owners have occupied their houses in Burns Street.
To the best of my knowledge we have never had a complaint lodged against us.
With reference to parking, we offer nine bays more on-site parking than most of the businesses in North Fremantle and since the city has attended to many of the parking problems in the street, the current parking is excellent.
As for the issue of security, I understand that it has been a longterm issue and nothing to do with our premises.
Furthermore, I consider ourselves good corporate citizens and a brief outline of our recent achievements for the residences of Burns Street, at no cost to them, is:
• Offer to provide more than 40 carparking spaces for their street festival on vacant land we own, adjoining our property.
• Provided assistance for a marketing sign on our land for the sale of a unit at the Weeties Factory, including a town planning application.
• Tuck point parapet wall adjoining our southern boundary.
• Inspected a residence prior to purchase for the potential purchaser, offering professional structural advice, and after settlement gave contact details of tradesmen for their alterations.
It would appear the residents of Burns Street have short memories!
Golden Panther is an established Fremantle tattoo studio, previously trading as WA Ink, that has outgrown its present Fremantle location.
Their aim of a private tattoo studio employing experienced artists is the antithesis of the ugly reputation associated with tattooists.
Discreet entry will only be via the rear carpark for appointments between 8.30am/6pm, Tuesday to Saturday.
Signage will be “Golden Panther” only, with no mention of the word tattoo, along with a small sign indicating “Parking at REAR”.
The building will remain in its current traditional, rustic design.
David K Morrison
North Fremantle

Natural selection 
In the space of two weeks we had a report on the number of animal species becoming endangered with some facing extinction.
Then talk of increasing immigration levels.
This was then followed by the federal government’s plan to lay off hundreds of workers from the Environment Protection Agency.
Australia has the shameful record of having the highest number of native animal species now extinct.
The ongoing destruction of our natural bushland is alarming at the least.
As for immigration, numbers should be at a level matched to the ability of our infrastructure to cope.
The housing industry should required to retain a percentage of natural bushland on new estates.
The benefits being, the cooling effect on nearby homes, places for people to interact with nature and as corridors for wildlife.
Rex Sallur
Bibra Lake

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