Letters 3.8.19

On par
TWO groups advocate that the Fremantle Public Golf Course should obtain land from Booyeembara Park to compensate for loss of golf land to the High Street upgrade (“Course plan hits the rough”, Herald, July 27, 2019).
In the green reserve area, bounded by Carrington, Montreal, High and Stevens Streets, 80 per cent of the land is dedicated to golf activities while only 20 per cent is for public use.
The park is used by a wide variety of people including skateboarders, dog walkers, joggers, walkers, and toddlers on scooters and tricycles developing their skills along the paths.
The park is a place where children see bobtails, pobblebonk frogs, honeyeaters and a variety of water birds. They also enjoy brilliant wattles and grevilleas in bloom.
Remote control sailboats navigate the pond and yes, the council has allocated an area for dirt bikes (proof that parkland is not as “sacred” as golf land).
This area is a steep rugged section along the southeastern boundary with the private golf course, and was fenced off as unsuitable for walking or golf.
A dedicated group of energetic young people developed a dirt downhill track in this space and the community supported their efforts at a White Gum Valley precinct meeting.
Along the northern boundary of the park, near the public golf course, is a magnificent olive grove.
In 2014 the Arbor Centre evaluated the grove as having a “total amenity value of $168,750 plus any heritage, community and environmental significance associated with their presence.”
This area is definitely not available for golf.
There is an active Booyeembara Friends group, who over recent wet weekends planted about 1400 trees/shrubs with help from council staff.
I believe the public golf course should and will remain viable; let the golf course architects do their work and see the result.
If there are deficiencies then the public golfers should look to the northern boundary for land from the private golf course.
I am sure there are synergies and benefits that can be obtained by the two golfing groups cooperating to accommodate two viable courses in their area.
Booyeembara Park is an invaluable resource to the community.
Robert Dobson
Stevens St, White Gum Valley

Towering rates
THE mayor of Cambridge recently announced no rate rise as newly constructed high-rise apartment blocks had increased their number of ratepayers, thus increasing revenue.
Last week we received an expensively produced, colourful and detailed, ‘Budget Newsletter’ from the City of Melville boasting ‘improvements’ to local services.
Notably absent was reference to the three towering apartment blocks now dominating the Applecross, Mount Pleasant skyline, with more apparently on the way.
Why the increase in rates then, when the substantial influx of new ratepayers will increase the City of Melville’s annual revenue?
Cliff Lawrence,
Ed’s note: 
The council told us the “extra rates raised is set aside for future works (long-term financial planning), which enables the city to provide new or upgraded facilities.

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