Letters 3.11.18

Woo hoo?
FREO woos Alcoa” shouts out the front page (Herald, October 27, 2018).
Geez, who’d have thought?
A far-left socialist-communist-run entity like the City of Fremantle sucking up to a mega-wealthy American mining company?
“Nobody told me there’d be days like these,
Strange days indeed…”
John Lennon
John McClane
Farrington Road, Leeming

Scandal
THE sorry saga of the Royal George Hotel in East Fremantle is now a full-blown scandal.
The hotel has been sold to Saracen Properties, a group with some questionable developments, for $570,000 plus tax _ a 1499 sqm site worth millions.
For that bargain price the building must be restored within 36 months, and 17 months have elapsed with no restoration.
The purchaser is seeking permission for a 21-storey apartment block on the 750 sqm site at the rear.
Even the six storeys suggested by East Fremantle Council is excessive, up against the ‘landmark’ Royal George Hotel, and in the midst of a heritage precinct with over 300 heritage listed properties.
George Street is one of the most important and attractive streets in WA, and the precinct needs sensitive development.
The very low sales price for the hotel, well below market price, is the incentive for the purchaser to do the necessary restoration.
The recent restoration of the Imperial Hotel in York was done by farmers who purchased the hotel at market rate, without needing a planning bonus.
The burnt-out National Hotel in Fremantle was restored into a thriving new business without a planning bonus.
Similarly, the burnt-out Guildford Hotel was restored without an intrusive new box as yet built next to it.
The heritage minister says this is a planning matter, not a heritage matter. He is wrong. Like other heritage organisations, the Fremantle Society has no faith in the heritage council, which has become a developers’ club, with a poor record of protecting heritage values for highly significant properties and areas.
The infiltration of developers into key similar organisations like the National Trust, JDAP and the Swan River Trust, mean that community interests are no longer being adequately guarded.
The issue of whether the developer will get their 21-storey bonus is currently before the planning minister. It should not be granted.
We ask that the minister visit the precinct and see for herself.
John Dowson
President, The Fremantle Society

Stomping over scientific research
IN the Chook’s story on Roundup (“Review into roundup use”, Herald, October 27, 2018), the idle ravings of an angry pedestrian carried equal weight with the findings of a host of scientific studies.
Photographer Adam Monk claimed to be able to smell the spray 100m away from where it was being applied.
This does not mean the spray was present in amounts lethal to plant life where he was standing.
Besides the product is not dangerous to animals if used in accordance with label directions.
Regulatory agencies around the world have evaluated glyphosate and found it safe to use.
Glyphosate use has been an essential component of environmental work for years.
Many invasive weeds, particularly grasses, would be very difficult to control without it.
Volunteers performing manual control is a finite resource, so herbicides are relied upon to remove weed pressure from growing native plants.
Yes, glyphosate is chemical but so is everything else in nature.
It is the studied effects of a chemical at a certain dosage and set of conditions that is most worth considering.
Daniel Renshaw
Slater Court, Kardinya

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