Letters 22.1.22

Our heart

REG Seal Reserve is the heart of our community and is physically its centre. 

It brings us together whether it’s kids playing on the equipment, birthday and community ‘get-togethers’ (most recently over 100 attended a Xmas event supported by a ‘Council who cares’ contribution towards pizzas!).

We have morning teas there after a regular community ‘weeding morning’ call to action by our ‘manager’, David Jeffries, a resident who is passionate as we all are to protect and care for the bush park which is half of the reserve. 

Any building encroachment on the existing space would limit community activity and the enjoyment of all. 

I can’t understand the reasoning behind this decision and I’m sure others would feel the same, so perhaps it’s just a case of another ‘rubber stamp’ (“State kills off parks plan,” Herald, January 15, 2022)? 

As residents we have voices too and we want them heard.

Dr Maureen Smith
Mt Pleasant

Dim view

WELL whose bright idea was it to look at existing parks as potential housing sites (“State kills off parks plan,” Herald, January 15, 2022)?

And in the same city where the council has been busy planting trees? What say you? 

A unilateral government decision. Surely not. 

Infill housing to reduce urban sprawl is fine, however I’d hope that we learn from others ; to assist in reducing urban heating we actually need look at more green spaces rather than less.

Dirk Botje
Bull Creek

Shocked

I WAS shocked to read your front page article advising green space must be left for housing.

The city’s Local Planning Strategy of February 2016 shines some light on the subject.

It advises that WAPC policy is based upon a R20 zoning, and Melville has a residential density of around R14.5. 

The review considered all landscaped closed roads, public parks and reserves, and also considered school ovals for public use. This showed Melville has 20 per cent open space, compared with WAPC 10 per cent requirement under state policy (page 159).

It further states that some of the anomalies need to be rectified in the review of the Local Planning Scheme. A scheme amendment has now failed without further consideration of the City.

The Local Planning Strategy of February 2016, at Cl 6.7 on page 186 (Civic places and recreation spaces) says: “There appears to be a changing use of recreation space. Organised sport is still strong and requiring larger parks. The need for other large active areas though is being questioned in light of reducing water availability, growing obesity, and a rethink in the way people recreate. Better footpaths and recognition of civic spaces as recreation areas needs to be investigated in order to find a better way of ensuring relevant space is available for the community.”

Who are these public servants acting against the desires and wisdom of elected members and the Melville community?

It is the council that decides policy, and the administration implements policy on behalf of the council and community. Let’s get it working that way.

Max FitzGibbon
Melville

Oh, rats!

I AM writing to create awareness around secondary deaths of wildlife due to rat baiting.

Recently two ravens have died and I suspect it was from consuming poisoned rats as there have been a lot of rats dying from poisoning around the Randwick stables and neighbourhood. 

We don’t poison the rats but if people feel they must poison them I know there are poisons available that do not cause secondary deaths in wildlife or people’s pets.

I hope that being aware of the risk will make people more careful.

Alison Bolas
Randwick Stables
Hamilton Hill

Get the jab

I WAS surprised that the two-page advertisement “Freedom for Fremantle” (Herald, January 15, 2022), did not include the identity/organisation of the people sponsoring the advertisement. 

When I read in the ad that Fremantle “… welcomes people from different … suburbs …” I thought it must be a fake ad – but no fake ad competition was mentioned in the paper! 

Made me think do we want people from anywhere in Freo? 

For example Rockingham – perhaps the rangers could also act as postcode police. 

Finally I read the key words “vaccination mandates” and realised it was promoting an anti-vaccination protest, possibly sponsored by Craig Kelly and the UAP? 

As a fully vaccinated 70+ year old I don’t want Freo as a vacc-mandate free zone. 

Why would the business people of Fremantle risk alienating the 80 per cent plus of vaccinated people to make Freo a vaccination free zone?

Robert Dobson
White Gum Valley

Our choice..

I WENT to the Pro Choice rally in Fremantle last Wednesday evening and wanted to mention a couple of things that stayed with me afterwards.

There were some great speakers during the council meeting, who were informed and spoke succinctly in support of the city being inclusive. 

As Cr Vujcic mentioned, it really did feel like I was part of grass roots democracy in action. 

It was a shame things didn’t go the way we would have liked (with not enough votes made for the bill to go forward). 

But to be honest, I wasn’t surprised. 

After all the speakers gave their points of view (which lasted a couple of hours), the opinions of the council members, and their votes, were obviously already decided. 

I remembered thinking, as members finally spoke from their pre-written speeches, what was the point of listening to everyone’s argument when they already knew their decision.

Certain pro-mandate / pro-vax proponents (including those that spoke in favour of imposing mandates / segregation / discrimination of fellow Fremantle people) would like to think of those that attended the evening as far right extremists.

I remembered thinking that was hilarious, as I looked around during the night at a line of about 15 people silently meditating in the centre of everyone, young families happily sitting on the elevated grassed area and neo-hippies dancing around and hugging each other. 

Even when things did get heated during the council proceedings, with the most passionate of attendees loudly voicing their disapproval, they were quickly told to keep the noise down; to which they replied, “OK, sorry”. 

The truth was, most people there came from all walks of life and had one thing in common. They wanted the choice to be able to experience their city and everything it has to offer, and not be discriminated against based on their private health information.

I know there is a whole other argument about reducing cases by only allowing vaccinated people to mix in public. 

But it’s widely understood that the vaccines don’t prevent contraction or transmission and are therefore not a good control measure against Covid. 

As even the CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, said: “Two doses of the vaccine offer very limited protection if any. Three doses, with a booster offer reasonable protection against hospitalisation and death.”

I’ve lived in the City of Fremantle for the past 23 years. And before that lived in Cockburn for 13 years. 

My ancestors have lived in the area for generations, starting with my great, great, great grandfather, who arrived on the first convict ship to Fremantle in 1850. 

It’s horrible to know I will now be treated like an outcast here because I don’t want to prove my status for a medical procedure that doesn’t even do what it’s supposed to.

Bill Brooks
Beaconsfield

.. And ours

I LIVE in the middle of Fremantle. 

I see some local shops are displaying posters allegedly on behalf of the Fremantle community. 

They talk about choice, freedom, diversity inclusiveness and community. 

But these words are spin — designed to mislead.

They come from a group who actually hold anti-vax/anti mandate views. 

This group is led by some local businesses who show no concern for the health of the local community. 

To them freedom and choice mean opposing the public health measures designed to keep us safe. 

With the WA border about to open, their spin is dangerous. 

These businesses put at risk the health of their customers and staff as well as that of the diverse and inclusive community they claim to value.

I will certainly avoid them like the plague. Others would be wise to do so too. 

That’s our choice. 

Jane Kenway
Fremantle

Or each to their own

“FREEDOM for Freemantle”. Oops apologies for the spelling, but what a mantra for the unknowns coordinating the shindig in an attempt to rattle councillors (Herald, 15 Jan pp12-13). Are these some of the same people who use the mantra ‘my body my choice’?

I can sympathise with some business’ concerns about staff potentially needing to refuse client access if they have not been inoculated against Covid-19. 

Clearly such people seeking to gain access will be doing it deliberately and will therefore be aggressive.

Not a good situation. However, given the low numbers of non-vaccinated that reality is low. 

On the other hand the risk to businesses losing vaccinated clients because of the risk presented by the unvaccinated must surely be substantially higher.

That is, those of us who have been vaccinated will shun such businesses to protect ourselves and close contacts who are susceptible despite inoculation.

All businesses have requirements for staff, such as: health, qualifations, skills and capacity. So it is not surprising that the bulk of our community expect the same i.e. not at risk from infectious or incompetent workers from whatever trade.

Perhaps a compromise could be reached: non-vaxer businesses could put up signs inviting patronage from non-vaxers and the rest of us can take our business elsewhere?

But do remember that ‘freedom of choice’ in our democracy requires that such choice does not harm others. 

In that respect we elect governments, local and otherwise, to create laws and mandates in an effort to protect our freedom of choice.

Jim Meckelburg
Beaconsfield

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