Letters 4.2.23

Older Nashos pure Gold

I AGREE with the article quoting Sid Breeden (“Older Nashos feel deserted,” Herald, January 21, 2023) as I was one of these Nashos, and now in my 80s.

We had basic training in the arms (the .303 Enfield, Bren machine gun, mortars etc and all explosives) by the returned regulars from the Korean conflict who were hard but fair, always saying if conflict did break out again in Asia we would be first in line to be deployed. 

We were regular army, paid and on call 24 hours a day, no different than those that went overseas.

Healthwise now the Gold card would be greatly appreciated for all of us surviving Nashos.

Don Clatworthy

Roe still key freight link

I REALLY did have to smile upon seeing the article “Locals press to keep Roe corridor wild” (Herald, January 28, 2023).

To me Roe 8 constructed remains firmly in my mind as an essential link in Perth’s road freight transport chain.

The complete logic and urgency of building Roe 8 remains.

All residents, business owners and road vehicle drivers along Leach Highway from the Kwinana Freeway all the way to Fremantle Port are at tremendous risk; noise, congestion, pollution toxicity, regular near misses, impatience, stupidity. A melting pot of disaster.

To be sure, those residents either side of the previously designated land zoned for Roe 8 construction don’t want to live next door to a highway.

Yet when they all bought their blocks they were all generally aware that Roe 8 was coming.

The Roe 8 section would be a further component on an uninterrupted road passage for freight (container) transport from the Fremantle Port travelling east to Tonkin Highway and then free movement back again.

This continual movement of freight traffic is part of the Roe Highway.

Invariably other commuters would use Roe 8 as they do the entirety of all of Perth’s ring highways.

Stock Road then acts as a T-junction between trucks going north to Fremantle Port or south to the yet-to-be-built Outer Harbour in Kwinana.

Anyone driving along Stock Road can see that the width of the verges were planned to be developed into an arterial route.

MetroNet was meant to be about the efficiency of commuter transport and freight transport.

I haven’t see too many new freight rail lines laid lately.

Yet the number of containers received at Fremantle Port are not decreasing.

Tony Stokes

Please shelve that idea!

BECAUSE the standard of TV programs has been ‘lower than a headband around a snake’ lately, I thought that I’d take a drive out to JB Hifi in Myaree and pick up a few DVDs to watch.

When I arrived there and found that the DVD section was ‘gutted’ imagine my shock!

When one of their staff walked by me, I asked what was going on.

He told me that it was a managerial decision to only sell DVDs from their store in Garden City, Booragoon.

I would imagine that some ‘genius’ in the upper-management section of the company gets paid a lot of money to make decisions like that.

Well ‘genius’, I have always found the Myaree shop to be very user-friendly and the parking to be excellent.

So now if I wish to patronise your company, I have to drive out to that monstrosity called Garden City, find a parking spot somewhere and then make my way through the maze of shops to find JB Hifi.

Finally, it would appear to me that in the future, if you don’t live near Booragoon or Cockburn, you will be geographically inconvenienced in many ways.

Steve Grady
The Ed says: Garden City went the way of beta video cassettes, Steve, and these days is known as Westfield Booragoon.

Voice for all?

INDIGENOUS Voice campaigner Thomas Mayor (“The cost of No vote,” Herald, January 28, 2023) spoke last week of the aspiration to be recognised, and a guarantee to be heard.

There is strong public support for formal recognition in the Constitution of our Indigenous heritage and First Nations People. 

There is less support for permanently enshrining a new representative body into our national rulebook. 

Constitutional recognition of our ancient Indigenous heritage is long overdue. 

Our founding 1901 document is silent about the First Peoples to this continent, and until recently, our history books said little about the imperial invasion of First Nation’s territories.

But recognising the traditional owners of modern Australia, acknowledging their ongoing connection to land and waters, does not also require a formal Voice in the Constitution. 

An Indigenous Voice advising parliament is fine. 

Putting it in the Constitution is a bad idea. 

Into our founding legal document, it is proposed to set up a permanent institution where one group of citizens will have a special right of representation not available to anyone else. 

And it will be powerful: the public service will be required to resource the Voice and the representatives – on any issue.  

As the prime minister said, if the Voice calls for an action to occur, “it would be a very brave government that said it shouldn’t”.

A fundamental principle of our British democratic heritage is that every citizen has an equal right to political representation, that everyone has an equal civic status. 

Advocates for an exclusive Indigenous Voice in the Constitution want Australians to abandon this basic feature of our democracy. 

Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander peoples would become a different kind of citizen. 

There may be ways to constitutionally oblige the Commonwealth to recognise and hear Indigenous voices without entrenching a Voice and a special right of representation. 

Unfortunately, these options have not yet been widely discussed since the current Voice road-train took off with the election of the Albanese government. 

The Voice can also be established by legislation (without a constitutional referendum) – as a robust advisory body that is independent, authoritative, and enduring. 

A Voice design with a remote regions weighting could sit alongside existing entities and programs that allow more Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander peoples control and responsibility over their lives.

Soon the Yes and No campaigns will gear up across the country. Judging by the enthusiastic response last Saturday to Thomas Mayor’s speech in the Fremantle Town Hall, many residents are keen to see the Voice put into our Constitution. 

Fremantle council has committed to supporting the campaign. I don’t have any problem with that. 

But I think it is mistaken about this major change proposed to our Constitution, because all citizens should have the same constitutional, and indeed universal rights.

Alan Payne
South Fremantle

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