Letters 25.9.21

Why the fuss

AS a member of the Workers Club, I am amazed at the fuss about noise from their social events. 

Fremantle, particularly under the former mayor Brad Pettitt, has become an elitist and very woke community of people who appear completely out of touch with what a once vibrant and colourful place the city once was.

The Workers Club is one of the few bastions where the people who were part of  that place can relax and have a good time.

They have watched the city die around them; King’s Square (Yes, King’s Square ), has been destroyed by an architectural vanity project, popular shops have vanished, pubs revamped and replaced by small bars selling expensive beer that seems to have been brewed in a forty-four out at the back. 

For heaven’s sake it’s about time we looked at what has been lost in Fremantle and it is doubtful that the lively character of the place will ever return.

Geoff Dunston
Palmyra

Ed says: We’re not quite sure how being woke equates to noise sensitivity, but former mayor Pettitt surely couldn’t be accused of trying to deliberately stifle vibrancy in the city centre – he was usually head cheerleader for any new boisterous shindig that cropped up.

Rottenest

THERE is no place quite like Rottnest Island, Western Australia.

Like many West Aussies I have a lifetime love affair with this tiny, unassuming limestone fragment that has been shielded from the onslaught of outside influences.

This is her beauty and this is her draw. 

She possesses a magic; a serendipitous metamorphosis, that on touchdown, eliminates pretentious class and stress. Transformation is immediate as thongs and bathers become the preferential accepted dress for all. You become one with your bicycle and a new word ‘quokka’ enters your vocabulary and your heart. It seems no-one is immune from her enchantment. She is unpretentious… Rotto just is.

Yet, I fear for our beloved island. She has been invaded with a virus far more damaging than Corona. She has been cunningly seduced and strategically softened by Corporate. Under the guise of contrived guardian angels, who profess the protection of her unique habitat and regional biodiversity, they, the masters of OUTPLAY, OUTWIT, OUTLAST, have begun the takeover. 

With military precision the army of workers have begun to occupy. Their uniforms carry the badge of monopoly and their vehicles of all size and manor assault her limestone ways. Concrete bunkers, without thought of historical integration, crawl malignantly along her breathtaking coastal locations. 

Then the greatest of insults to her natural charm and stunning waters… swimming pools on Rotto!!! 

What next…footpaths?

The manicurification of Rottnest Island has begun!

Unfortunately, the Rottnest Island Authority slogan that I thought both clever and appropriate “Rottnest Is”, is soon to become…Rottnest was!

Morgana Morgan
South Fremantle

Be natural

MANY of the natural places we take for granted and enjoy have been saved as a result of environmental campaigns. 

The chain of magnificent national parks in our Karri forest came about because of anti-logging campaigns in the 90s, and the fact that there is not a similar amount of protection for our Jarrah forests is because of the mega-mining leases granted to Alcoa many years ago.

With the ravages of climate change here and worsening, you would think that environmental protection would be strengthened. 

Instead, the Morrison government has been trying to water down the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act (EPBC) by rolling it into state legislation, thereby creating one-stop shops for environmental applications (funny how animal populations and habitats don’t recognise state boundaries).

Abandoning its environmental responsibilities, particularly for international obligations such as World Heritage sites, might be acceptable if the required protections and oversight were written in to this reductive move, but the fact that they haven’t been has led to the legislation being blocked in the Senate by the crossbenchers.

We have seen the McGowan Government cosying up to developers (under the guise of a Covid response) but now we see them cosying up to miners by becoming the only state, to my knowledge, to welcome the one-stop approach.

Graeme Samuels’ (former ACCC chairman) report into the EPBC found it unfit for purpose, and recommended strengthening, not abandoning the Act, a finding which the federal government rejected. 

At a time when Australia is falling well behind in its international climate change obligations, and at a time when a number of Australian mammal, bird and other species hover on the edge of extinction, why would we weaken our environmental laws as well?

Mark Hutchison
Fremantle Environmental Collective

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