Letters 30.1.21


SO much for my thoughts in last week’s letter regarding the Tent City (“Tidy nature,” Herald, January 23, 2021).

The state government had other ideas and solved the problem overnight, tent city…gone! 

However the homeless will not vanish so easily; a week’s respite accomodation is hardly a solution. 

The solution is to get cracking and build low-cost accommodation, or take of some of the empty commercial space to make safe areas for those in need.

Whilst I realise there are a lot of street people with underlying issues, particularly mental health issues (another area sundry governments have absented themselves from), but surely we can do something rather than the usual band-aid and forget ethos that prevails these days. 

Geoff Dunstone
Carrington St, Palmyra

Driven out

I READ with dismay but not surprise of the Fremantle council’s punitive intentions in regard to parking.  

Coming at a time when Fremantle is “dying the death of a thousand cuts” and reeling under Covid-19 restrictions, it must give the struggling small business owners a very clear message (if they haven’t got it already) that their mayor has very little, if any, regard for or interest in small business owners struggling to survive in “his city”.

Having been driven out of the city by the rapacious Wilson’s, I now have even less inclination to return.

Sad to see a once proud city reduced to a shell of its former self by a greedy administration. I have many fond memories of the “old Freo” but it is now time to say goodbye.

Kevin Bovill
Noble Way, Success

Naive – yeah; reponsible – no

I AM writing to correct the record on a story published on January 23 titled “Tent City Stalemate”. 

While I may have used the word ‘naive’, it was not my observation that Brad Pettitt set up the camp. The quote, as printed, is incorrect. 

From my first interaction with council on this matter, I and others warned of the motives of the camp organisers, the damage of drawing people away from experienced services, and the safety risk to both the public and the vulnerable people in Pioneer Park.

In 2019, I helped facilitate $1 million in commitments from business and philanthropy, as well as contributions from state government and council, to support the 20 Lives 20 Homes Freo project. There are now 20 former rough sleepers that have stable accommodation and, importantly, the supports they need to stay there. Research shows us that this Housing First approach has enormous potential, with over 80 per cent of those previously chronically homeless successfully retaining their accommodation.

The Housing First approach is the cornerstone of the state government’s 10-year strategy to address homelessness. This is where we are beginning to invest significant funds – an additional $72 million so far – to reform our system.

I am confident that in partnership with community service providers, this will result in real and lasting change for some of the most vulnerable members of our community.

Simone McGurk
State Member for Fremantle & Minister for Community Services

We’ve a lot to be proud of

FORMER mayor Peter Tagliaferri’s letter last week (“Hypocrisy”, January 23, 2021) might have given a mistaken impression that social support programs in the City of Fremantle had reduced in recent years. This is not true.

Fremantle’s domestic violence refuge for women still operates, as do accommodation services and day centres. There has been changes in how some of these services operate, but only to improve outcomes for those using them.

In fact, when we demolished old Stan Reilly building that no longer met required building standards the City of Fremantle funded St Pats to replace these beds at another, better facility. Similarly, the Heart of Beaconsfield urban renewal project will have both social and other diverse housing improving that area.

The council, both under me and previous mayors, has been proud to innovate to ensure Fremantle is an inclusive and compassionate place. I am sure the Fremantle community will continue to expect this.

Brad Pettitt

Bah! Humbug!

OF all the TV programmes I have not seen, the recently broadcast  SBS series on Inside Monaco, Inside Harrods, and, I seem to recall, Inside Some Other Inane Locality Frequented by the Super-rich, take the cake for being the most incongruous and inappropriate waste of viewer time imaginable.

This is particularly the case when they are shown here in this infamous year 2020, when so many people, including millions of our British cousins, are facing almost war-time exigencies.

C Dortch
Howard St, Fremantle
Ed says:
Well said!

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