Off-track

Off-track

THE city was not given an opportunity to comment on claims in last week’s Herald article (“Backpedal starts on MB trail,” Herald, July 18, 2020) about the proposed mountain bike trails in Manning Park. We would like to clarify a few details.

This project is only in the concept phase and nothing has been finalised. We always ask for community feedback to help refine concept plans. This is not backtracking, it 

is standard process. We want our residents to be involved in shaping the City’s projects.

This concept plan was not drafted by lobbyists. It was drafted by professional trail design consultancy Common Ground Trails, which won a competitive quoting process. The consultancy was also recommended by two State Government departments including the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.

A detailed environmental study would be undertaken after community consultation, once a concept is finalised. Detailed studies are not usual practice during the early concept stage as concepts almost always change, making such studies outdated and a potential waste of funds. In this case, the location and route of the trails have not been finalised.

Any approved plan will seek to reverse the damage caused by the large network of unsanctioned mountain bike trails in Manning Park. Many of these trails may close and undergo revegetation while others may be sustainably redesigned.

Manning Park was recommended as an area for mountain biking in the State Government’s Mountain Bike Master Plan and the City’s Manning Park Master Plan, which was endorsed by Council.

Chris Beaton
Environment Manager
City of Cockburn

The Ed says: With all due respect, our story paraphrased a City of Cockburn councillor saying “people needed to remember the plan was only a draft”. Couldn’t be clearer. Further, when advertising for a consultant to join its WA planning team in May 2018, Common Ground Trails included in its “key duties and responsibilities” that the successful applicant would “implement processes to maximise project growth” as well as “contribute to proposal submissions”. Having ridden on several of the CGT trails which are popping up around WA, the Chook can attest to their quality and sensitivity to the surrounding environment, but that is out and out a description of lobbying. 

Impressed

I WAS most impressed with the article on the front page of the Herald this week (“Australia divided!” July 18, 2020).

It provided another side to the current voluminous information; one which many  people would not have considered around COVID19 .

Could I suggest a couple of actions.

If there is the possibility of this article or in similar form getting disseminated outside of the Fremantle region to other local /state or national newspapers that would be useful, because I don’t think the general public is considering some of the broader issues in this current situation.

The West probably wouldn’t be interested but the Australian Financial Review might be prepared to pick this up.

The other suggestion is that I would like your Chief Chook to contribute more articles of this nature to your paper. He has the social policy training in the past and the political awareness to be providing the wisdom and understanding to your readers.

Keep up the good work.

John Booth
Angwin St, East Fremantle

Not me

NEVER have I seen a local newspaper being used to perpetuate such an unsubstantiated argument as I did on the front page of the Fremantle Herald article “Australia Divided”. 

Without a paragraph of actual fact, all we read was a diatribe on “us and them”.  

Clearly, Mr Smith has in fact lost touch with the broader business community with his “woe is me” dummy spit and tantrum-throwing column. 

What a shame Mr Smith used this venerable journal to launch his poorly misaligned, fact-less article, than spend time understanding that all people are suffering through this pandemic; big and small. 

Next time I hope he replaces the vehement rhetoric with some actual proof and seek to unite rather than divide.

Dr Stuart Gunzburg
South Fremantle

Who’s got more pep?

THE great, old, borer-ridden peppermint tree on my verge won’t live many more years, but it will still be alive when Mr Trump and Mr Putin are stone cold dead in the market.

C Dortch
Howard St, Fremantle

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