Letters 19.9.20

Trailblazing?

I’VE always understood ‘trailblazing’ to be a positive description of progress.

When a friend and I were walking in Boo Park recently, at around midday on a Friday, we passed a group of young boys with their bikes, climbing through the fence to reach the yet to be built trail.

Their mother approached us to ask us a few questions. My friend asked her why they were not at school. “It’s boarders long weekend,” we were told.

The notes from the consultation meeting at Sullivan Hall seem to have completely ignored comments from local residents on Stevens Street. 

As you pointed out in your article, there are residents on Stevens Street who are concerned about the danger of parking and entering from Stevens Street. 

Surely the Montreal Street entrance would be a preferable area to provide both parking and entering, near the toilets, the exercise area and the new clubhouse.

Most of the trail bike riders would be below driving age so would need to be dropped off by parents in cars.

Last evening around 6pm driving west on Stevens Street, I was confronted by a group of young boys on their trail bikes, two of whom were actually riding on the wrong side of the road facing the traffic. 

They pulled faces at me when I stopped and suggested they cross over – for their own safety.

They then took their bikes into 

the Royal Fremantle Golf Course and proceeded to ride down the fairways. 

They were reprimanded by a well-known male resident of White Gum Valley, who told them in no uncertain terms that they do not ride on the golf course.

Maybe the Herald would like to look into this further?

Susan Davidson
Yalgoo Ave, White Gum Valley

Press pause

SINCE the Better Bridge Town Hall Meeting last Thursday my sad acceptance of the Main Roads WA plan for replacement of the wooden Fremantle Traffic Bridge has changed to optimism that the “Press the Pause Button” campaign will  give the community time to create and consider other options.

The two alternatives currently being promoted can be the starting point for discussion.

The City of Fremantle’s alternative plan has the new traffic bridge immediately downstream of the old bridge, which would be retained for pedestrians and cyclists.

This plan perpetuates most of the problems of the Main Roads plan.

It does not reduce through traffic along Queen Victoria Street through North Fremantle and it makes the old wooden bridge not worth saving, as it would be visually overwhelmed by the new bridge alongside it. 

Pedestrians and cyclists on the rejuvenated old bridge would have the sights, smells and sounds of the adjacent four lane highway bridge in their face. The suggestion that this experience would be comparable to the famous New York High Line is misleading.

The other alternative, put forward by Councillor Andrew Sullivan, anticipates the shift of most port activity to Kwinana and the extension of Curtin Avenue to a new bridge downstream of the existing railway bridge. The uncertainty and long time frame of the downsizing of the port suggest that changes to existing bridges should not exclude or be made obsolete by the Sullivan option in the future. 

I believe a “no regrets” option would be to retain the existing wooden bridge for cyclists, pedestrians and low speed Local Traffic. 

Through Traffic would be directed to Stirling Bridge, which could be widened if necessary with little visual impact. Upgrading of the Stirling Bridge would be financed from the funds currently allocated to Swan River Crossing improvements.

I look forward to reading many more suggestions from the community for a Better Bridge for Fremantle.

Lee Hemsley
South Fremantle

Sub-par

THE Glen Iris Golf Estate has been purchased by Eastcourt Property Group with the intention of rezoning and infilling with 600-800 lots (to be added to the already existing 723 homes).  

It is the only green area left in the Cockburn Central area and it has become a sanctuary to the priority 4 quenda, threatened Carnaby’s cockatoos and the protected banksias upon which the Carnaby’s feed.  

On the 6 o’clock news on July 10, premier Mark McGowan said this (in response to big game killed in Africa): “I’m pretty annoyed to be honest with you.  This is one of those things I hold dear. The preservation and conservation of endangered species is one of the things that are core to my belief system.”

Did he really mean this?  It would appear not, when he spoke to a Property Council lunch on August 28: “We will fight the NIMBY’s and density critics and naysayers.” 

Said his government was “ambitious when it comes to development, housing or planning. I am a supporter of density, I’m not afraid to say it.”

Come on biodiversity and conservation groups – we need your help. Let’s hear from you and protect our threatened and endangered species, especially as Australia is (sadly) a world leader in the extinction of species!

Or, based on the above, is it all a waste of time and environmental laws don’t mean what they say – again?

Mike Smith
Jandakot

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