Letters 13.4.19

Row for Roe
WE recently boarded a cruise boat in Fremantle to travel east.
The conversation around the meal table that night focussed on how dilapidated and run down Fremantle is for an important port.
Someone said a bulldozer should start at one side and go backwards and forwards a dozen times.
It is time Fremantle Council woke up to the fact that it cannot continue be held to ransom by a neanderthal mentality wanting to keep it in the 1920s.
Cancelling the Fremantle bypass was the worst planning decision made for the area and cancelling the Roe 8 will be the second worst.
Getting heavy traffic away from all residential areas gives communities the opportunity to focus on amenities and facilities that are important to lifestyles in the 21st century.
As anyone with an open mind and basic understanding of modern road building would know, the environmental concerns about the wetlands can easily be surmounted.
Roe 8 needs to proceed.
Laurie Money

Stats sunk
PERTH has terrible surf, so a wave park is not a bad idea in theory.
The trouble with the Urbnsurf proposal (quite apart from the ridiculous notion of locating the facility on prime riverfront land adjacent to a residential area), is that the numbers just didn’t add up.
Claims that Perth is home to 80,000 surfers are nonsense. In its 2011/12 sports participation report, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said there were about 226,000 surfers in all of Australia. Even allowing for growth since then, Urbnsurf and the City of Melville were saying that one-third of all Australian surfers live in Perth, which is rubbish.
If half of the claimed 80,000 bought a new board each year, Perth retailers would be moving 770 new boards every week, which is extremely unlikely.
Urbnsurf and the city need to explain where they got their numbers from.
It boils down to this–Urbnsurf didn’t want to have to buy any land. The City of Melville, with its develop-at-all-costs mentality, was only too willing to oblige.
In the end the city was caught with its pants down
Graeme Fuller
Arnold Crescent, Kardinya

C’est Freo
NICE to realise Fremantle is about to become sophisticated.
I have read some specious rubbish in my time, but the front page article “New branding for ‘sophisticated’ city” in last week’s Herald takes the cake.
I assume Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt and his highly paid consultant have confused character with sophistication.
If ‘sophistication’ means bars and restaurants where one can consume vastly overpriced drinks and food serve by indifferent staff, ugly apartment buildings, expensive boutiques and esoteric art offerings–like the yellow paint fiasco–then the question is, do we want the old-style character of this once thriving town ruined by millennial visions and thought bubbles?
Geoff Dunstone
Carrington Street, Palmyra

Yves Saint Labong
I REFER to last week’s front page story “New branding for ‘sophisticated’ city” in the Chook.
I read the above mentioned article with a mixture of best wishes and trepidation.
No one would be more pleased than me to see good old ‘Freo’ become once again a vibrant and interesting city that would attract tourists.
However I’m wondering if the lord mayor and the ‘marketing whiz’ are going to put in place free classes in ‘The Art of Sophistication’ for some of its frequenters.
I refer to the vagrants, beggers, and drug-effected and trouble-making people that have managed to drag down the tone of the city.
Also, I think that good policing would be an essential element; not heavy handed but just having a definite presence around the place.
Anyway, I wish all involved in the project all the very best and if they can achieve their grand plan for Fremantle, it would be the greatest comeback since Lazarus.
Steve Grady

What a waste
I CONCUR with Simone Dominique’s Thinking Allowed “A wasteful donation” in last week’s Herald.
But I’d go one step further and challenge all those residents who put perfectly serviceable–not necessarily near-new, but definitely not trashed–items out during verge pickups.
Are they too lazy to take it to a charity shop or offer it free on Gumtree?
I was amazed when I was at home one day whilst the verge collection truck came passed and saw the volume of serviceable items like toys, furniture, garden and household equipment, and bikes that just got crushed up and sent to landfill.
An astonishing level of waste (in more ways than one), not to mention the environmental impact and cost imposed on all ratepayers to dispose of it.
After seeing the amount of serviceable stuff wantonly discarded, in my view the only option is for all local governments to seriously consider abandoning their ratepayer-funded junk and whitegoods collections and put the responsibility squarely back onto individual residents.
They should directly bear the full cost of dealing with the outcome of their consumption addiction.
It may take a year or two, but this user-pays price-signal should eventually educate them to be far more discerning in both their purchasing and disposal of household goods, whilst simultaneously reducing the annual expenditure of their local government.
This in turn ought to reduce the rate burden on ratepayers like me, who currently subsidise the extravagance and laziness of others while I fit-out my shed with useful gear rescued from the verge.
Colin Delane
Anscombe Loop, Leeming

Shock waves
HAVING stopped a massive wave park being built in a residential area and discharging waste water into the Alfred Cove marine reserve, the state government made a sensible decision.
The offer to assist the Wave Park Group find a more suitable location elicited a surprising negative reaction from the WPG CEO Andrew Ross, saying on radio that the crown land in question was a “dirty brown place no one uses at all”, and that the project may now not go ahead.
Melville councillor Guy Wieland demonstrated his ignorance when he said the decision ‘robbed families of reliable waves that require a long drive to the coast’.
The coastal beaches are only a 20-minute drive from Alfred Cove.
If he bothered to frequent Tompkins Park, he may have understood more about preserving the environment of Alfred Cove and community open space on the river foreshore.
Three issues remain. Firstly, to preserve the Melville Bowling Club at the present location.
Secondly, the Melville mayor and councillors that supported the wave park must now resign because they do not represent the interests of the community per se.
Thirdly, ethical and conflict of interest issues concerning the relocation of the bowling club need to be independently investigated–Royal Commission if necessary–and the community given a full explanation of involvement of the council and others.
Graham Mahony
Warragoon Crescent, Attadale

Kim’s broadside
INTERESTING reading opposing views about the future of Fremantle’s inner harbour in the Chook’s Thinking Allowed over the last few weeks.
It seems that the ‘she’ll be right mate’ attitude is still alive and kicking with Fremantle Ports.
Rather than look to a more prosperous future for WA, they would rather delay the future-proof planning that Westport should be seeking.
Let’s face it, the inner harbour is a stranded asset. It has no room to develop and has real problems with landside access for freight, either by rail or road.
To compare it with other Australian ports is misleading as we are trading and competing with the global market, especially in the Indian Ocean rim, not with the eastern states.
Kim Dravnieks
Hotchin Way, Kardinya

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