Letters 17.7.21

Fire up

DURING our winter it is easy to forget that our future summers are linked to what is happening in Canada at the moment. 

Below, I have used the example of my home to convey the growing climate emergency:

“I have had a fire in my lounge room for many years. It has been lovely and warm so I have kept it burning all year round by adding more and more fuel such as some petrol, some gas and some coal.

Unfortunately, my fire got out of hand, burnt my house down and has spread to the nearby bush land, destroying my neighbours’ homes, the trees and the animals that live there. 

I tried reducing the fuel load by one third but it has still kept burning more and more and getting hotter and hotter. It has become an emergency!

I realise now that I actually need to completely stop adding any more fuel so will aim to do this over the next 20 to 30 years. 

By 2040 or 2050 it will be a NetZero fuel load and all will be well, or will it!

Paula Samson 
Duncraig Rd, Applecross

Fiscal frolics

FROM Landgate: “The Gross Rental Value, or GRV, represents the gross annual rental that a property might reasonably be expected to earn annually if it were rented, including rates, taxes, insurance and other outgoings. For non-residential properties, GST is also included.”

For many ratepayers GRV may be a bone of contention – particularly when linked to rate rises. And we are, as I understand it, facing much higher than CPI rate rises – medicine we apparently have to take (for our own good right?).

Now to the fiscal frolics part 

of this letter. If you were renting a property say for $640,000 per year and the tenant left, you would want another tenant at about the same rent perhaps? Not at our council’s $7.8 million site in Jones Street. A mere $11,994 per year will do thanks. 

This even when Landgate states that the site’s GRV is some $400,000 per year. 

Never mind that the annual costs are $35,000. 

When asked why the rent is so low the City of Fremantle reply was that no lease has been let for the entire site. Looks like a high-five for those who believe in under-utilising assets.

Consider this. Council on behalf of us ratepayers pulled the trigger to purchase Jones Street in 2014 for $7.8m – when the valuation was 

$7.1m. The most recent valuation is $3.7m. 

Cost to remediate and remove the asbestos onsite – perhaps $2m?

I estimate that if you tally up the original and ongoing costs, the loan costs, foregone rates, loss of rental income – the cost to ratepayers is somewhere north of $12m since 2014. 

This for a site effectively devalued by 53 per cent since date of purchase.

As Professor Julius Sumner Miller may say: “Why is it so?”

Sean Hefferon
Wardie St, South Fremantle

I tip my hat

I REFER to the photo on the front page of your last edition and the letter written by Tide Robinson entitled “Tide Turns to The Homeless”.

When I read this letter I was reminded that there are still some great young people growing up in Australia.  For a 10-year-old boy to show such kindness, compassion and maturity was amazing and deeply touching.

If I’m still on the planet in eight years time, you will then be 18 and legally allowed to drink alcohol.  So if I’m still here, I would love to be able to catch up with you, have a chat and buy you a beer.

Steven Grady 

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