LETTERS 1.12.18

I HAVE had two recent letters printed in the Herald with my name on them (November 10 and November 24), but only one was written by me.
The second letter was highly critical of my apparent lack of action when I was observing an incident that could have been potentially fatal for a woman and how it was being handled by Centrelink staff in Fremantle.
Although I disagree with the second letter writer saying my lack of action showed I was unhelpful and displayed no compassion, I do agree with the statement that “people in WA are self-interested and selfish”, because I see that every day around where I live in Cottesloe and I found that my way of trying to do something about that led to 50 police coming to my door to tell me to stop in the last couple of years.
If you don’t believe me ask Fremantle’s Snr Sgt Brad Warburton, because he caused seven of them to come around to arrest me as soon as he had taken over as officer in charge of the policing area covering Cottesloe.
Colin Svanberg
John Street, Cottesloe
The Ed says: Sorry about the name-switch, Colin. Last week’s letter was written by William West of Harbour Road, Fremantle

Not quite
“I REFER to Alan Springett’s letter “International claptrap day” which unfortunately contains some inaccuracies (Herald, November 24, 2018). In particular, that The Australian reported that “300 of the ‘refugees’ on Nauru that were resettled in the USA have asked if they can return back to Nauru”.
In fact, the article stated that the Nauruan president said 40 did so.
As for Mr Springett’s argument that Nauru is a tropical paradise, let us look objectively at the situation through the eyes of Australians who have knowledge of offshore detention.
For example, the Australian Medical Association’s open letter asking for a more compassionate approach states, “The medical situation for these children (on Nauru) has been described by health experts, including medical staff who have worked on Nauru, as critical and getting worse. It is a humanitarian emergency requiring urgent intervention”.
A “tropical paradise”? The evidence suggests otherwise.
Mr Springett argues that these “so-called refugees are not fleeing persecution”.
This is not true: as of October 21, 81 per cent of people in offshore detention were found to be genuine refugees.
This figure is likely to increase when the outstanding refugee assessments are completed.
I fully support Mr Springett’s need for objective information and I hope that the above is useful to him in order to know what is going on in Australia’s offshore detention camps.
Adjunct A/Prof Anne Pedersen
Centre for Human Rights
Education, Curtin University

Flipped out
HI, my name is Will and I am nine years old.
I am just letting you know that the photo Matthew Dwyer took (“Into the breach?”, Herald, November 17), is actually of a Humpback whale and not a Southern Right.
The pectoral fins are too long for a right whale and are white underneath.
Also the white part of the underbelly goes too far down the stomach.
Will Martin
Name and address supplied

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