Letters 18.1.20

All at sea
I ATTENDED the “community engagement” meeting for Harbour Connect last year to learn more about AMB Capital’s plans to transform Fremantle Boat Lifters into a tourist destination.
I’m all for the redevelopment of their existing site, primarily because of the toxic industrial products used in maintaining and repairing boats; a lot of which becomes airborne or is swept into the harbour by water run-off.
Ensuring the “heritage value” is retained by relocating the boat lifters within the development was being touted as a community benefit by the developers and Fremantle council.
I’ve been a customer and moved to other nearby lifters because it was always filthy and in dire need of repairs and maintenance.
A spokesperson told us the owners were not willing to invest money in the site into the future, as it was beyond its useful life.
Instead what they’d like is to be given the opportunity by Fremantle council and the department of transport to relocate their business by taking the Sardine Jetty and carpark.
And just to top it off, be granted permission to construct an 11-storey hotel with a car-stacker for the multilevel carpark, within this expanded site.
Bingo.
No mention of the Endeavour being built within a stone’s throw, or the retention of those traditional wooden boat building skills utilised in its construction, by then building the Duyfken.
You can wander the harbour and leave not having learnt anything about these proud achievements of local craftsmen.
You may stumble on the Duyfken tied up outside Little Creatures behind cyclone wire fencing, yet there was zero talk of identifying and educating visitors and locals alike on the genuine heritage value of local craftsmanship.
Paul McGovern
Marine Terrace, South Fremantle

Council well below par
I READ with interest the opinion piece “Business battlers need not bother” in last week’s Herald.
It ended with the question “Who’s going to ‘give a go’ to the small business battlers of Fremantle and Perth…”, and the plight of the lessee and staff of the Fremantle Public Golf Course came to mind.
Due to the road works between Stirling Highway and Carrington Street, the course lessee is left trying to manage the refurbishment and associated loss of business.
Despite the land being taken from the reserve, which also provides for the Royal Fremantle Golf Club and Booyembarra Park, the public course is left with the only option the City of Fremantle is prepared to consider – the public course virtually bears the brunt of the loss of land.
Apparently Booyembarra Park can’t be part of the big picture as it is public open space.
In the area bound by South Street, Carrington Street, High Street and Swanbourne Street, there are nine areas that can be designated as public open space (this includes both golf courses).
The Fremantle Public Golf Course provided for clubs, which cater for seniors, ladies and men, but due to the nature of the refurbishment the two largest clubs have had to make arrangements to move to another course.
Also due to the nature of the refurbishment, and the city’s reluctance to disadvantage the users of Booyembarra Park, large safety fences have to be erected to contain golf balls within the confines of the reduced layout of the course.
I believe these safety fences will cost in excess of $1 million.
So, what we appear to have is a lessee that will be out of pocket, now and into the future, the reduction of house and green keeping staff and the uncertain future of a golf professional and staff that not only attract future golfers, but also coach juniors.
Not only is the City of Fremantle gutting a local business, its business acumen is questionable, given that it has received (I believe) $10,000 a month fee from the Fremantle Public Golf Course lessee.
Instead it is prepared to commit considerable funds to protect public open space, albeit marginally reduced, at the expense of local business.
Cathy Roads
Via email

Begs the question
I JUST did a small shop at Coles in Fremantle.
As I wandered away from the store, a lady asked if I had a dollar I could spare to get a drink for the child that was with her.
I am a senior citizen. I gave her more than the $1 she asked for.|But on walking to catch the bus I wondered if I had maybe contributed to the child becoming accepting of the idea of begging.|Would she grow up with this background of asking strangers for money, and then pass it on to any children she might have.
Yes, I could afford the few dollars I gave, but I still don’t know if I did right because I know of all the agencies that could help this mother and daughter in a much more positive way.
Oh well it was a good thought.
Name and address supplied

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