LETTERS 21.7.18

Wilson waffled
THERE were no surprises in Bev Hollycock’s letter “Asylum policy lost at sea” in last week’s Herald.
I recently wrote to Josh Wilson asking how Labor’s refugee policy differed from the Liberal Party’s.
His long reply simply confirmed that apart from a bit of tweaking, there is essentially little difference in the two party policies with Josh replying; “I understand that for some people offshore processing of any kind is a practice they can’t accept.”
I replied, stating that the “some people” he refers to include the Special Rapporteur on Torture, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the UN Human Rights Council, on which we so proudly sit, to mention but a few.
I also pointed out that Australia is in breach of the International Convention Against Torture (of children) .
I did ask for his further thoughts, but he didn’t or couldn’t reply.
I quite agree, Bev, the silence of Josh Wilson and the Labor party on this very important issue is just deafening.
Pamela G Leeson
Hulbert Street, South Fremantle

Listen to us
SO Melville council “is going into overdrive in its quest to rein in irksome customers”, according to the article “Council circles wagons” in last week’s Herald.
This follows the recent move by council to make it easier for them to sue ratepayers.
This twin assault on ratepayers by the Melville council is a result of the high number of complaints, questions and public meetings called by ratepayers.
The council has the highest number of complaints against it of any metropolitan local government authority and it is now the subject of a departmental inquiry ordered by the local government minister.
Has anyone employed by the council or elected as a councillor worked out that it is not the ratepayers that are to blame for the situation that exists but the council itself.
I have said at ratepayer-initiated public meetings that the executive of council and the councillors who vote as a bloc have no interest in the views of ratepayers. Motions passed by up to 800 people at these meetings are just “noted” and effectively dismissed.
It is a good thing for the future of the city that its CEO Dr Silcox is leaving.
As the head of the executive, Dr Silcox must take responsibility for the release of the bowls strategy report.
It was this report that will kill off two long-standing bowls and community centres. It also led to the decision to allow for the construction of what is an ugly industrial structure on priceless open space at Tompkins Park at a cost to ratepayers of $8.7 million, with a further $700,000 from taxpayers.
It is decisions like this and other developments throughout the city that have rightly upset ratepayers and caused the upturn in complaints, questions and meetings.
The real solution is to elect councillors and a new mayor who will listen to what is important to ratepayers and to put a broom through those members of the executive that have contributed to the current mess that the council finds itself in.
George Gear
George Street, Alfred Cove

MND – GST?
RECENT articles on Neale Daniher were heartening and it was great to see him urging all West Australians to donate money to fund research into curing Motor Neurone Disease.
As someone whose family has been affected by this horrible disease I fully support this.
It was interesting to hear Neale talk about fighting the disease on the genetic front.
This is what the researchers headed by Professor Sue Fletcher at the Centre of Comparative Genomics at Murdoch University here in Perth have been doing for the last 2-3 years.
They have already had success in curing Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and are now trying to use this gene patching technique developed here in Perth to look at curing MND at a genetic level.
This research is being funded by the generous donations of the people of Perth, with no help from the state or federal governments or from Neale’s Fight MND foundation.
In fact I would like to know from Neale how much of the $35 million dollars his foundation has raised has been given to this or any other MND research being carried out here in WA. You would probably find the answer is zero.
This is disappointing given Sue Fletcher and her team are world leaders in gene patching research. They are not only the best in Australia but one of the best teams in the world.
Furthermore, I would also like to ask Neale how many West Australian patients are participating in the clinical trails funded by his foundation. From my personal experience the answer would be zero.
My wife recently passed away from MND and about two years ago I investigated whether she could participate in one of the clinical trials set up by Neale’s foundation. I was told point blank that these trials were only for patients in Sydney and Melbourne only.
I don’t wish people not to donate to Neale’s foundation as they are doing a great job and all research is good research – one step closer to a cure.  However people must realise just like the GST carve up, your donation is funding research and clinical trials that leave WA out.
I want people to know there are alternatives and they can fund research into MND that is happening here in Perth.
Donate directly to the Centre for Comparative Genomics at Murdoch University or the Racing for MNDi foundation.
Your money will go towards world leading genetic research into curing MND.
Ross Sumich
Coogee

We’re alright, jack
IT has been reported that some of the members of the Melville Bowling Club have left, but we have also gained more membership too.
The Bowling Club is our Community Centre, it enables seniors to enjoy a games of bowls if they desire and have a quiet drink, plus young families too.
Alfred Cove and Melville has more than doubled in size and we need a social area for families, plus green area for the junior sports.
Open spaces are very valuable as we seem to be filling the land with high rise, and over-population causes crime problems.
Youth need space to enjoy sport; shut-in sports areas are not the answer.
It is very important that our children enjoy a natural way of life and appreciate the joy of seeing our abundance of birdlife, and the people that come from miles to see them.
Our shoreline is unique. Do we really have to spoil it with a wave park that can be situated in many other areas in which they would most likely succeed?
Water contamination often happens and leakage; we have a lot to lose.
Truly there needs to be careful investigation before we move a thriving bowling club, dig up land that was a tip and place a $9.4 million bill on the ratepayers which could well explode to more.
Wave parks are usually placed in the country side or industrial areas, and they are well known to fail.
Placed on a main highway which is well known for traffic hold-ups and accidents is not common sense.
We all must count the cost of this before anything is started.
We should not act foolishly and pay for it later.
Cliff, Patricia and Gareth Tarrant
Canning Highway, Alfred Cove

Three wishes
COULD Fremantle council please arrange these three things:
• Make the clock face on the Town Hall white. It is very hard to read the time with the black hands on a dark background.
• Allow fruit and vegetable barrows in the mall. There’s nowhere else to buy fresh stuff in the CBD.
• Arrange for the Blue Cat to include the cruise ship terminal in its circuit. It’s a long, barren trudge from the railway station to their ship for our visitors.
Jane MacLatchy
Hope Street, White Gum Valley

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