Letters 22.5.21


I WAS interested to see the front page of last week’s Herald feature a Banjo Paterson poem about horses, or more specifically, a poem regarding people going on about horses to such an extent that Paterson wishes “the whole of the equine race; Were left in the sea to drown” (“Banjo had some old regrets,” Herald, May 15, 2021). 

It reminded me how it’s long overdue for mayor Pettitt, Simone McGurk, and Josh Wilson to start asking themselves some hard questions about the number of horses in the local area. 

By my estimation there’s probably 15 horses in Fremantle. To Pettitt, McGurk, and Wilson I ask: Is this enough? 

There’s the stables on Rockingham Road, the stables on Daly Street, and maybe one or two other beasts, but that’s about it. 

It’s not often you see a horse grazing or being ridden.

If you ask the average person getting around if they’d like to see the population of horses in Fremantle double over the next year, 100 Horses by 2023, and so on, the majority of residents would be in favour. 

There’s the obvious transport and tourism benefits, but above all Fremantle should have more horses to have more horses. 

Emlyn Johnson 

Sink Roe funds into a link

REGARDING “Budget line to nowhere” by Keelie Paatsch 

(Herald, May 15, 2021), the state government should call for the federal government to reallocate the Roe 8 funding to constructing the Fremantle to Mandurah Line passenger train link. 

From what I can remember this link is still on State Labor’s Metronet plan as a Stage 2 project. 

However it also aligns with the Liberals plans for Fremantle Port to remain the major port for Perth. 

It is likely that such a rail link would achieve similar congestion reduction benefits for the Freight industry like Roe 8 and 9 would, however it would do this by reducing the number of cars on the existing roads leaving more room for freight. 

It seems that a new Fremantle to Mandurah passenger train link, which conveniently has existing freight rail corridors already in place that seem wide enough to accommodate passenger rail tracks, suits both the Liberal and Labor mandates. 

From memory there were a few ‘rogue’ Liberal candidates in the recent state election who were calling for this very passenger train link to be built. 

Perth needs better public transport in the inner areas and the Federal 1.2 billion dollars would be much better spent on passenger train infrastructure than roads. 

Via email

The Ed says: It should have been the priority before the Thornlie to Cockburn link. Seriously, building a railway line just for a night at the footy when there are so many more pressing transport issues facing metropolitan residents each and every day? It would also be a great opportunity to thank Cockburn Cement for their contribution so far, then offer them a land swap in the virtually empty Latitude 32 industrial area so all that buffer land around the freight line could be developed into housing and they could get a new state-of-the-art cement factory that would no longer have neighbours to poison – all without costing them the earth. By our estimate it could add another 20,000 residents between Fremantle and Cockburn Central without having to bust our outskirts. Would people rather live in tiny blocks along the pretty barren Thornlie line, or a five-minute drive to the beach and potential views from the Munster ridge? Answer that and you get an idea of where our rail link priorities should have been.

A missed opportunity

I READ with great disappointment, as many others, the Heart of Beaconsfield story (“Hearts not won yet,” Herald, May 15, 2021) and the missed opportunity by Fremantle Council to truly engage with the Beaconsfield community.

I attended workshops and open days and at each opportunity I spoke to the community engagement group,  council officers and told them they need to engage directly with the elderly, the non-English speaking residents, Homeswest tenants, the sporting clubs, as this suburb is our community. 

Beaconsfield has the largest collection of community-based sporting clubs, with thousands of participants from toddlers to seniors, the largest concentration of migrant families from many nations.

There are many young families moving into the area because of what it offers, which is a family friendly and welcoming neighbourhood. 

Long term residents and new residents want this to remain, not have sporting fields reduced and high rise housing, and road congestion.

The Fremantle council has sat on a structure plan on the Lefroy quarry for over 10 years and did nothing to progress that plan which was widely consulted in the Beaconsfield community – another missed opportunity. 

The Heart of Beaconsfield has basically reduced Bruce Lee oval, removed the long term TAFE, removed long term Homeswest tenants and threatens to upset the balance of the family friendly community created by generations, create car chaos all in the name of ideological mantra. 

To the Fremantle council the Beaconsfield community new and old will not stand by and let this happen Peter Tagliaferri Annie St, Beaconsfield

Ed’s note: Mr Tagliaferri is a former mayor of Fremantle

Not there

CAN I please add my support to John Dowson’s wise suggestion not to locate the proposed film studios for Fremantle at the harbour? 

I am fully in favour of the project, which will bring international attention, artistic credentials, and many visitors to Fremantle.

But why there? 

The harbour is an invaluable heritage site which is in its own right a Fremantle treasure and should be preserved for community use and for the world as an historical asset. 

It will simply add to the current parking problems and increasing privatisation for the few in Fremantle, and benefit offshore corporations.

There is plenty of minimally used land and space in Fremantle for such a venture, for example to the east in the industrial sites near the golf course beyond Knutsford Street, and to the south along Hampton Road. 

What film studios need is plenty of space, which can be anywhere, not pretty views kept to themselves and prime heritage land. 

Bob White,

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