Letters 18.06.22

Got it? Right

ON SHARED bike and pedestrian paths, I choose to walk on the righthand side.

Why? Because I can see the bike coming and note if the rider has seen me. 

When I used to walk on the left I couldn’t see or hear bikes approaching until they went past, sometimes at high speed. 

When I am riding my bike, I get ready for adults or kids to change direction suddenly because they were not expecting a bike to arrive (I do have a bell but some folks have a phone or earphones on the go.

After all, we are told to walk on the righthand side of the road against car traffic when walking on the road are we not?

Jack Quail
East Fremantle

Peer support… alternatives

THE co-authors Sarah Hult and Lily McAuliffe who wrote “Time to tackle abortion stigma” (Herald Thinking Allwed, June 11,2022) are endeavouring to raise awareness of the issues facing women who are contemplating foetal abortion. 

As well as advocating for better access (funding) and after abortion care. 

Couldn’t agree more with the after-care.

Women need clinical support after terminating a foetus as their body adjusts to the sudden loss. 

Some women cope better with this emotional upheaval than others. And some just don’t manage at all. 

As peer support people, the authors would be very aware of the emotional wave. 

The bereavement for the foetus is ambiguous because the person has chosen the procedure and, yet, bears the loss of that potential identity.

However, what a shame, with all the contraceptive breakthroughs abortion is still used as a form of contraception. 

Of course there are numerous other reasons…

The authors want to address the stigma of abortion. But is it stigma?

Alienation, negative attitudes or fear from society is attached to stigma.

But perhaps it is the person’s perception of their feelings after an abortion and not from society.

Also, the authors discuss the issue of society’s silence regarding abortion.

The general public may well have a culture of silence because legislation allows the most vulnerable in human society to be destroyed. 

Community, families and society may regard abortion as an ethical dilemma and, as such, are silent because it is the women’s choice for an abortion. 

Post abortion well-being and care is an area that should be elevated and peer support is a good starting point for advocacy. 

Further, counselling on alternatives for pregnant women considering abortion needs to be discussed.

Abortion destroys a potential life. Whether one calls it a foetus, zygote or a bunch of cells – whatever.  Just allow nine months of growth and a human baby will be born. 

Respect for all life at whatever stage should be paramount.  

Gail Lee
Via email

Poo it forward

IF there’s one thing I know about dog owners is that they are a community, and when they gather at public spaces they enjoy mingling with other owners as much as their pooches do. 

Unfortunately this can be distracting and sometimes we miss when our dogs stop playing to do their other business. 

I’m sure everyone reading this will be saying to themselves “that’s not me, it’s never happened”, but if you’ve ever noticed a stray dookie, and there are plenty about, then that can’t possibly be true for everyone. 

And if you have ever spent some time chatting or have been using your phone while your dog is off playing, it is possible that you’re responsible for an orphaned poo.

It could happen to anyone, but it creates a problem, particularly around schools where children run around. 

Nobody wants to be responsible for making kids sick, or making cleaners work harder than they should.

We get to enjoy the privilege of these public spaces and it’s our responsibility to maintain them, so I propose the next time you see an errant turd pick it up, even if it’s not yours, remembering that if you do it there’s every chance another park-user will have done it for you too. 

Carry an extra bag (and call the council if there are none left), be the one to keep those areas safe and enjoyable, and don’t just shrug it off as someone else’s job. Choose to make a small sacrifice for your community.

(Name supplied)

Not so trendy Labor

WITH the tumult and shouting of our 2022 election now dying away, it is interesting to look more closely at some voting trends. 

The ALP gained 32.6 per cent of the primary vote, a fall of 0.8 per cent. 

• Why did this occur?I believe there were two factors involved.

1. Many regular ALP voters in safe Liberal seats voted strategically for an independent who looked like being able to strip votes from the sitting member. 

I know of five friends, living in the electorates of Curtin and Kooyong, who did this. 

An analysis of the ALP vote in six safe Liberal seats that fell to the so-called “teal” independents shows the average swing away from the ALP was a massive 7.5 per cent, compared with the national swing of 0.8 per cent. 

This would support the concept of regular ALP voters moving their vote over to the independent.

2. Many regular ALP voters switched to the Greens, who increased their vote, to express their dissatisfaction with the cautious ALP climate action policy. 

This policy was deliberately cautious to avoid too much controversy. 

The ALP has a good history of climate action and these voters will probably return to the ALP.

These factors may have caused 100s of thousands of ALP voters to relocate their vote away from the ALP.

Gordon Payne
South Fremantle

The Ed says: We think you’ve hit the nail on the head, Gordon.

Good to see life back

ItT’S good to see some life coming back into Fremantle.

Last weekend the Freo Markets were full, lots of people were enjoying the entertainment in Fishing Boat Harbour and restaurants and bars looked busy.  

We are told the worst of the pandemic is over and yet we are still in a State of Emergency.

This state of Emergency gives premier Mark McGowan immense power over everyone’s lives and livelihoods.

He has publicly said this is in case immediate action is required. 

He is obviously reluctant to relinquish the power he currently has.

Perhaps this is in case more people have become sceptical about his actions and methods and may not want to allow him to regain this power over them ever again.

I liken this to someone holding a cut throat razor to my throat and saying that it is only there in case I misbehave – “trust me, it is for your own good”.

Heather Wright
via email

It’s not straight up and down

I DISAGREE with some of Damon’s points about the High Street Upgrade and elections (“Time to act,” Herald Letters, June 11, 2022).

The sound barriers on High Street look fine and protect the local people from traffic noise and small dust particles. 

The concrete on High Street was deployed vertically as opposed to the proposed flattening of large areas of the Beeliar Wetlands for tar and cement.

Also, the High Street upgrade was on Main Road’s problem spots for a long time and was a separate project to Row 8. 

Regarding the Swan River tunnel, Sydney is riddled with traffic tunnels for two reasons:

• It’s far simpler to tunnel through sandstone (which is self-supporting) than through sand; and,

• Sydney has more people (and their cars) than in all of WA. It cost $7 to enter a tunnel last time I was there so the tunnels generate big money. 

I like the preferential voting system because it allows me to send a message to the major parties. 

I also enjoy deciding who I will put last on the ballot, especially in the senate, where we are spoilt for choose of least preferred parties.

I agree with Damon that it’s long overdue for the Labor party to develop humanitarian policies on refugees.

Robert Dobson
White Gum Valley

One response to “Letters 18.06.22

  1. Gordon Payne (letters 18/6) makes some good points about the 2022 election results describing how some traditional ALP supporters strategically voted for Independents to unseat safe liberal incumbents. However, given that those six independents’ winning margins are less than 3% their wins can also be largely attributed to the liberal’s first preference decline of an average 10.6% across those seats.

    Whilst it can be assumed that there were strategic ALP voters first preferencing independents in those seats any return to voting ALP at the next election would see the loss of the independents unless there is a further decline in ‘glued on’ liberal voters, as has occurred with sitting Independents:

    Andrew Wilkie, Zalli Steggall and Helen Haines all hold significant margins with the women’s margins increasing by 3.7% and 7.7% respectively

    Clearly there were more disaffected Liberals, followed by the ALP, than any other party. This suggests that the populous is seriously disaffected with the major parties on the issues of climate change, a lack of female representation and respect and the need for a strong integrity commission.

    Hopefully this new parliament will see both major parties recognising the importance of what these women represent to the wider populous as they may well represent the balance of power in the future. We will just have to wait and see.

    Jim Meckelburg

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