LETTERS 21.9.19

Cultural cringe
REGARDING the story ‘New Woolstores plans lodged’ in last week’s Herald.
It looks like Julie and Shane have got a serious touch of the old cultural cringe when they start espousing about creating New York vibes in little old Freo via the medium of architecture.
It will be interesting to see what’s in the pipeline for the Woolstores, but it might also be worthwhile for those concerned to flick to the Thinking Allowed ‘Historic Blend’ in last week’s edition, and seriously read what Tod Jones has to say.
Fremantle is primarily (a) a heritage town, (b) a tourist/cultural town and (c) a university town, and nothing more.
Creating something that Fremantle isn’t, on some whimsical vibe, is dangerous.
Take a look at the pictures in John K Ewers 1970’s book The Western Gateway.
Here we see modernist structures in central Freo and O’Connor which were then portrayed as paving the way for futuristic Fremantle, but now 45 years on, most have been demolished or are unusable.  What remains and stays in our minds is the colonial and federation architecture around town and how young creative minds are using these spaces to effectively house businesses and residential apartments.
And Julie and Shane, don’t get me started on Norfolk Pines symbolism in architecture, that’s another letter, another time!
Errol Allen

Sinking feeling
The article “‘The Forgotten Ones’” in last week’s Herald quotes a few participants at the public meeting on the future of Fremantle port.
I am a resident of North Fremantle and refute many of the assumptions.
Professor Peter Newman has long advocated building an outer harbour based on shaky truths.
He and others have stated the limited capacity of the current port when most projections, including those by the Westport Taskforce, indicate the port will not reach capacity for many decades, so why proceed with an outer harbour given the enormous cost and environmental hurdles?
The extension of Roe Highway (which was not included in the government’s brief to Westport Taskforce) was planned many years ago and is becoming increasingly important, irrespective of the harbour and trucks.
I drive home to North Fremantle along Leach Highway daily and am exasperated by the amount of traffic being deviated down suburban streets to appease the friendly councils who oppose Roe.
I chose to live in North Fremantle and prof Newman’s assertion I should become a NIMBY to facilitate outer harbour and prevent Roe is offensive.
Michael Beaver
Stirling Highway,
North Fremantle

Ben’s boo-boo
BEN MORTON, I am dismayed at the full-page advertisement you recently placed in the Herald advocating Roe 8/9.
Roe 8/9 as you well know is a state government issue, not a local government issue.
Consequently, you should not be asking any local government candidates for their stance on building the road.
I also object to you wasting taxpayers’ limited resources on promoting Roe 8/9 in any shape or form.
The City of Melville has wasted quite enough of our money already on its promotion to no avail.
You should be pursuing the building of Roe 8/9 through normal government channels, not through lobbying local government that is supposed to be apolitical.
Effie Nicholson

Callous crows
REGARDING the letter “Feathers Flying” in last week’s Herald.
I don’t know about the decline in the magpie population at Gibson Park, but I have noticed an increase in the crow population and a decline in the magpie population where I live in Melville.
For many years we had the pleasure of sharing the environment with several families of magpies, but now that the crows are around in such large numbers the magpies have moved on.
Currently it is carnage in the bird bath in my garden as crows bring the young birds they have stolen from nests and rip them apart and devour them after soaking them in the bird bath.
It’s heartbreaking for me and extremely distressing for the parents of the baby birds.
It is very sad to see the parent bird trying desperately to get their babies back. They don’t of course.
As Coralie says, while the parents try desperately to stop one crow, other crows swoop in and rob the nests.
At the rate the crows are currently working, the bird life of the future in my garden and surrounds looks set to contain only crows–smaller birds will become extinct.
No more will we hear the symphony of little birds communicating early in the morning. That is an awful pity. What to do?
Dianne Hodge
Money Road, Melville

Healthy beacon
I CAN’T believe that the Fremantle council are once again trying to sell the Leisure Centre car park.
In an increasingly dull and gloomy Fremantle, the Leisure Centre stands out like a beacon.
It is a refuge for families and the
With nowhere to park if the sale goes ahead, Leisure Centre patrons will defect to other pools and gyms which are more user friendly, i.e. have parking space. People attending concerts at the Fremantle Arts Centre will also find it impossible to find free parking.
Perhaps the council has forgotten that its primary purpose is to serve the community by providing healthy and enjoyable leisure activities among other things.
I strongly urge all patrons of the pool, gym and arts centre to sign Paula Amoral’s change.org petition against selling the car park.
Fremantle residents could also have a friendly word to their council representatives prior to the October local government elections.
Leola Murphy

Roe faster
IN his letter “Bottleneck” (Herald, August 31, 2019) Peter Wales says the completion of Roe 8 and 9 will “…funnel lots of traffic into a bottleneck in East Fremantle…”
His letter infers that traffic, trucks in particular, will substantially increase at the Stirling Highway intersection.
An argument also put forward by the McGowan government and others opposed to Roe 8 and 9.
Also put forward by the government and others is that the Stirling Bridge would need to be duplicated. This is absolute rubbish.
Where are the additional trucks (and other traffic) to come from?
Apart from normal modest growth, traffic at the intersection will not increase.
The completion of Roe 8 and 9 will however, eliminate the majority of other problems on Leach Highway and South Street, Kwinana Freeway and the “Rat Run” on Farrington Road.
As to the Bibra Lake wetlands, the intrusion is minimal and achievable.
Other states and countries have successfully managed to place large thoroughfares through much larger and more sensitive areas, with little adverse impact.
Furthermore, with trucks being able to cruise at an uninterrupted and efficient speed of around 100kmh, they would use significantly less fuel and reduce emissions and travelling time.
A cost saving to the operator and a huge positive impact on the environment. A good outcome for residents of the area.
Talk of a new harbour in Cockburn Sound is just that, “talk”.
It is not going to happen for at least 20 years.
Roe 8 and 9 is needed now.
Terry Gibsone
Whitnell Gardens, Murdoch

Super Sally
AS with his leadership of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe’s funeral this week caused controversy.
Often called the breadbasket of Africa, where ‘the corn was as high as an elephants eye’, Zimbabwe became a basket-case, unable to feed its own people.
All whilst under the rule of that despotic dictator, once the country’s revered liberator.
It was on the death of his first wife Sally, that life in Zimbabwe rapidly began to deteriorate.
A leader in the emancipation of women, Sally was secretary general of the Woman’s League and founder of the Child Survival Movement. Insisting that educating the mother would educate a family, she was always hands on.
School children in WA donated educational items and necessities, including sewing machines that were personally delivered to the villagers by the First Lady, who also gave instruction workshops.
Our then-prime minister Bob Hawk even made mention at the 2003 CHOGM in Harare, of the association between the First Lady and the children of WA.
No gold bedheads, Paris shopping excursions or luxury international properties for Sally, unlike her successor, Mugabe’s widow, Gucci Grace.
Sally Mugabe will always be called Amai (mother) of Zimbabwe.
She was the first female to be interred at the National Heroes Acre in Harare.
If not for her premature death, life in Zimbabwe could well have been as reasonable as it was in her lifetime.
Suzanne John
High Street, Fremantle

LAST week’s letter “Play it again, Sam” was written by Steve Grady of Palmyra, who was concerned to see his name left off one of his more positive missives after copping some flak from mates who reckon he’s been a bit sarcastic in the past. 

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