Letters 23.5.20

I REFER to your article from last week’s “Cashed-up council secures state grant” (Herald, May 16, 2020).
In your article you refer to “more than 150 casual staff from its leisure centres and other community facilities” being “consigned”.  As one of those “consigned” employees I’d like the Melville community to clearly understand that means SACKED!
It was done badly via email and a follow up phone call from a member of staff (not my manager).
It meant no notice was given to staff as it was effective immediately (Fremantle pool, amongst others, paid out the remaining two weeks of term to staff even though they were casuals).
It was “sold” to staff by saying we were better off being terminated so that we could apply for Centrelink benefits.
Very clearly, you do not need to be sacked to apply for “Jobseeker”. Let’s not even go into the fact they are refusing to pay out my long service leave.
To top it off, I have been told to look out for an opportunity to reapply for my job!  I’m not stupid, I didn’t think that I would be working while the pool closed but after eight-and-a-half years working at the pool I thought I would be kept on the books and offered hours when we get back to normal.
For a council that has “$199 million sitting in its piggy bank” do you really think that……….”Melville Cares”?
Disappointed Swim Instructor
The Ed says: Thanks for your email, Disappointed. You’re right; it’s unlike the Herald not to call a spade a spade, and we are suitably chastened.

The trees were the vandalism
I REFER to your article “Dead tuarts to Stay” (Herald, May 16, 2020) regarding trees on Perlinte View, North Coogee.
There needs to be a counter balance to the endless reference to “vandalism” and the self righteous indignation of the local authority.
The landscape alongside Perlinte View is not natural bush but is in itself an act of ‘vandalism’ of the natural coastal landscape that existed prior to Port Coogee.
The road and footpath were built, the lawn is planted, rock gardens are manmade and the wattles and tuarts and many other plants including New Zealand Christmas trees were all planted. It won a landscaping award and natural landscapes are not eligible for landscape awards – it is not natural, it is a garden.
Those who purchased housing lots in the newly created estate along Perlinte View expected the natural coastal landscape would remain but instead it was over planted. Thereafter it was watered furiously by diverting freshwater from running to the marina where it would cause algal bloom. This huge amount of water has to be got rid of somewhere and to date it has resulted in this entirely unnatural watering.
The landscaping may be regarded by some as attractive but make no mistake, this is not a conservation issue, it is a gardening dispute. The garden is an unnatural garden that is unnaturally overwatered and is overwhelmingly unpopular with those who were ambushed by it.
This is a public policy absurdity. It was absurd to permit housing lots to be created in immediate proximity to the coast where the existing coastal vegetation obviously permitted sensational views, and then to import vegetation to overwhelm the natural vegetation and water it furiously to deny the very views people reasonably expect to enjoy having bought the home lots. Imagine the absurdity and uproar if the Town of Cottesloe planted tuarts all along the Cottesloe beachfront to deny the views not just of the residents but of the motorists.
This is the absurdity of what has been allowed to happen at Perlinte View.
These trees were not there when the housing lots were created. Elsewhere in Port Coogee such tree plantings have been removed due to residents’ opposition.
It begs the question – who are the real vandals here – the council that authorised the wholesale over-planting transformation of the existing coastal vegetation, or someone who pruned, killed or removed the imported vegetation? Which includes the council who removed its own trees elsewhere in Port Coogee due to public outcry.
This is not as simple a matter as it was presented and that spin put on it by the Cockburn council deserves a strong rebuke.
Furthermore; to place a sign of the type proposed casts suspicion and innuendo on all residents and businesses along Perlinte View none of whom have been proven responsible for interfering with the trees or plants at all. Such an insinuation offends the fundamental tenant of the law which is the presumption of innocence.
As a former resident of Perlinte View myself I know the jokes and suspicion that arose and how even to speak up about it risked arousing suspicion by being the one who ‘protesteth too much’.
And it’s not just the impact on people’s character and quiet enjoyment of their homes but imagine trying to sell or rent your property when a huge sign has been placed in front through absolutely no fault of your own but which obviously appears to anyone who doesn’t know better to be in response to some improper action by you.
This is exactly what the laws of defamation prohibit. Imagine if someone put a sign at the front of the City of Cockburn reading “some elected members and staff of local councils in Western Australia have been found to be corrupt. This sign will remain in this place until corruption stops.”
Far from being a case of some individual or individuals ‘vandalising’ an old growth or natural landscape, this is the reasonable, possibly unanimous objection to a manmade garden that is watered at a furious and unnatural rate and which was ill conceived in the first place and is opposed by almost every resident in the street who now face a vexatious and recklessly punitive local authority totally lacking insight to its own role in all this.
Geoff Chambers Via email

I WAS overtaken with emotion as I read the beautifully written article by Kelly Warden (“Sex workers call for help,” Herald, May 16, 2020).
I had no idea the toll the coronavirus has taken on the sex workers in the Fremantle area.
I was extremely impressed with the efforts of a local madam that ordered her “girls” to perform doggie, on top and hand jobs. (some of my favourites, by the way) to prevent the unnecessary spread of Covid-19.
I rushed to the site mentioned in the article and donated immediately.
I saw they already had raised 60k out of the 100k goal they had set.
Prostitution and sex work is illegal in most places here in the United States, thus keeping the issue behind the scenes.
Scott Petrill
Peachland, North Carolina, USA

Why is it even getting air?
DEAR mayor and councillors of Fremantle,
Having just read a letter in the Fremantle Herald (“Why there’s no WiFi in my house,” Herald, May 9, 2020) written by Ms Bobby Wilson were she requests people contact you, may I express my surprise and disappointment that such a baseless, opinionated and in some areas even ridiculous (“weapon grade” for heavens sake!) comments can get such an area of print. I do hope she doen’t use a microwave oven or TV remote controller as her resulting stress levels could well reach extreme levels.
While anyone can have a personal point of view please feel confident that 100% of people I communicate with consider this this to be simply conspiracy theory not unlike the Earth being flat, aircraft vapour trails being chemical seeding of the atmosphere, NASA never going to the moon and 9/11 being staged.
These types of theories are often so intrenched there is never enough factual data or logical reasoning capable of  dissuading any unreasonable action. Hence I see no benifit in stating anything here. All that can be done is to humour them and continue in the best interests of the general public and the environment.
Kevin Murphy
Via email
The Ed says: We thought we’d let councillor Andrew Sullivan be our guest Ed in this instance: “Rest assured we have many priorities and even some minor matters to deal with before we would even consider entertaining a council debate about the 5G matter.
Andrew Sullivan, Councillor for South Ward”

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