Letters 21.11.20

A lemon

HELLO, your story on the Amara development is interesting in that the government clearly didn’t do its homework otherwise it would know this development is a lemon.

The development has been marketed for several years (maybe three) and when first released made the outrageous claim it had sold x per cent in a very short time – 75 per cent rings a bell.

If that was the case, why haven’t we see a ground-breaking ceremony to now? 

Then this time last year it claimed Multiplex was appointed the builder with construction commencing mid 2020; in early 2020 the carpark where the development is located was re-marked. 

Why would you do that if the site is about to be bulldozed?

The reference to Multiplex and the construction commencement date has since been removed from the billboards. 

The government should not be propping up private development – they are slow learners – WA Inc revisited.

This a a great little story for an investigative journo to get their teeth into – go Herald. 

I am merely an observer in all this, I have no interest in the development whatsoever, fortunately.

David Watson
via email

Pine clearing

I WOULD like to reply to Craig Brown’s comments on my article on the problems facing our Norfolk pines (“Fact wipeout,” Letters, November 15, 2020).  

His claim that I said climate change was the sole cause of pine death is incorrect. My three stage paragraph mentioned 1. Pine/fungus in harmony, 2. Pine placed under man-made or climate change stress, 3. The fungus overcomes the pines resistance and goes on to kill it.

His claims about watering are also incorrect. Reductions in winter rainfall happen in winter when the trees are not being watered.  

The fungus was not discussed in detail because of space constraints. A study of the fungus by Drs Golazar and Burgess is in the journal Australasian Plant Pathology Vol 40, 2011. 

The Bureau of Meteorology “ACORN 2.1 influence on Australian temperature trends” gives maximum temperature results from 1910 to 2019 for 112 weather stations. Unfortunately Fremantle is not in that report. The Perth results for the maximum is an increase of 0.99 degrees C; Esperance 0.69; Albany 0.54; Geraldton 1.05.

It is unclear where Craig’s figure (0.38) for Fremantle comes from but I find it hard to believe it when it is so out of kilter with other southwest sea-side towns.

I would be interested to see the statistical analysis that proves that an increase of 0.38 is “not even statistically significant”. If true that means in scientific terms that the maximum temperature in Fremantle hasn’t changed in the past 100 years. That really is a “very long bow”.

I stand by my view that under present circumstances, climate change is making our local climate unsuitable for Norfolk Island pines and we should stop planting them.

Gordon Mac Nish
East Fremantle

Situation normal

I WISH I could say I was shocked to read the agenda of the Audit and Risk Management Committee Tuesday, November 10, 2020, but sadly this seems to be situation normal for Fremantle council. 

The woeful low rating from the auditor generals (AG) office appears to be a systemic problem.

The fact that the actual committee assigned to deal with such issues took months to address the report from the AG offices, tells us the problems are systemic.

Clearly good basic management and procedures are too boring for this council, or perhaps they just don’t take these issues seriously or even understand them. That’s shown here as we see many other policies the councillors are responsible to review, update or reconfirm them, some almost a decade out of date.

Sadly, personal political agendas have replaced good governance, transparency and raised serious questions about this council’s ability to deliver sound financial management and fiduciary responsibilities to the electors. A fiduciary duty exists where a person or company is required to put another person’s interests before their own. It arises from a relationship of trust and confidence, such as the relationship between doctors and their patients, directors and their companies, and agents and their principals – or a councillor and its electors.

As Aussies say, this doesn’t pass the pub test! 

Sadly, it’s been a decade of decline. Fremantle deserves so much better!

Mark Woodcock
White Gum Valley


DURING the City of Cockburn RSL Remembrance Day Service it was pleasing to see a lone motorcyclist stop at the intersection of Carrington and Rockingham Roads and slowly manoeuvre across onto the grass verge when it was safe to do so. 

The motorcyclist stayed to observe the one minute silence and quietly drifted off into the distance.

Wouldn’t it be great if this age old tradition returned on such significant occasions.

Lest we Forget.

Mayor Logan K Howlett,
JP City of Cockburn

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