Letters 25.2.23


WHY am I not surprised that the Fremantle Town Hall has been left to disintegrate.

The grand gesture of building the new council offices in what used to be Kings Square has sapped all their energies. 

They probably have never noticed the empty Dome, Hungry Jack’s, Jim Kidd and numerous other buildings that blight the town. 

Obviously the Town Hall is another internal eyesore that was ignored. 

The ‘green shoots’ of retail will certainly need a lot more help than the council is providing. in order to thrive and survive.

Geoff Dunstone

Peaceful city or redneck buffoonery?

FREMANTLE remains a most pleasant dwelling place; this is despite the intensification of such seriously negative proposals as multi-story building developmental schemes and the crippling perpetuation of extremely high commercial and residential rents.

Not being enough informed to judge either of those issues effectively, I will comment on something else that is very obvious to anyone who can hear. 

This is the pointless, intensifying and diabolical weekend motor vehicle traffic noise, as specifically caused by the unnecessary, indeed childish revving (accelerating) of souped-up V-8 and many other kinds of engines, not least those of big motorcycles.

This revving is regularly deliberately intensified through the use of modified mufflers.

Familiar as I happen to be with the North American deep south, one would think that I personally would be oblivious to ‘redneck buffoonery’, not least the infernal racket of highly revving motor vehicle engines. 

However, the long remembered racket of hot rod engines throbbing in that far away region 60 years ago is nothing compared to that emanating every weekend from cars and motorcycles accelerating their way through Fremantle. 

Yet it seems clear that neither the City of Fremantle nor the WA Police has any intention of dealing with this pointless blight, which clearly undermines livability along the city’s major thoroughfares.

However, the authorities should note that any systematic controls placed on this source of disturbance need only be implemented from late morning to early evening hours on weekends, and then carried out randomly on one or another thoroughfare affected.

Though ever busier, week-day motor vehicle traffic in Fremantle remains much as it has been for decades.

The achievable aim then is for a relatively peaceful city throughout the week.

Readers may well be offended by my use of the epithet redneck in this letter, but it is apt for the situation outlined above. 

If nothing else, I sometimes see traffic discourtesies and even infringements carried out by young male drivers, exactly like their counterparts in, say, Alabama. 

It would, in my view, be good if Australians understood that the term ‘redneck’ is applicable to a clearly defined element, albeit small, within the general populace here.  

Although this seems hard to believe, use of the term redneck has not harmed the US deep south: indeed, the term has probably made this particular regional population more aware of behavioral rights and wrongs.

C. Dortch
The Ed says: We’ve written about this before, and were appalled when WA Police told us they’ve got more important things to worry about. When a bunch of privileged jerks are given license to flout the law (many of these modifications are illegal) it sends exactly the wrong message. People deserve the right to a decent night’s sleep and to be able to work without this totally unnecessary assault on their ears. Come on, police minister Papalia and commissioner Blanch, we need you to step up!

Compassion or empathy?


Compassion? Sensitivity? Concern? Empathy?

I want to convey to the Fremantle Herald paper how thoroughly disgusted I was to see the featured photo of Members of Shark Safety WA and article making front page copy (December 11, 2023).

Whoever supplied the photo SHAME SHAME SHAME!

Feb 4, 2023 approx 3.30pm was a day I will NEVER forget. 

It was my 79th birthday. 

I live in Doepel Street facing the river. 

My view that afternoon was a street roundabout outside full of ambulances and police and emergency responders, people running franticly to assist and help at the site where the tragedy unfolded. 

Approximately 30 metres from where I live.

I felt helpless but prayed.

A beautiful 16yo girl had been mauled by a shark and died.

Janette Murray & family
North Fremantle

Love our hall

THANK you, Herald, for your article re the Fremantle Town Hall (“Shabby Town Hall leaves a sour note,” Herald, February 18, 2023). 

First: we love the Town Hall! We, the musicians of Fremantle Chamber Orchestra, love performing in it because of the great acoustics which 

is paramount when playing without amplification.

FCO will play there again on March 25, 2023 and beyond. 

Its stature and ambience remind me of the renowned Kleine Zürcher Tonhalle Saal in Switzerland. 

Our listeners from Bickley to Lake Clifton love the Town Hall too. 

The size was perfect before the closure of the very popular balcony (view onto stage) and on occasion we had a full house with a full balcony and entire floor. 

There is even the benefit that musos can easily go for a meal and drink after a concert. So it’s not surprising, FCO considers it its home and we’d like to perform there exclusively. 

When the air conditioning broke about six years ago, FCO started to perform at John Curtin Theatre.Despite a big discount, it is costly. 

So I organised an air conditioning specialist to look into portable air conditioners at NDA’s Drill Hall and the Town Hall.

We were prepared to purchase such.

Unfortunately, there isn’t enough electricity in the building and for the premier performances with Dutch violinist Rudolf Koelman each February, we have been performing at John Curtin ever since. 

As a ratepayer, I have this vision to open up the Town Hall and Victoria Hall during the day for visitors and locals. 

On top of revitalisation, this would create a strong connection with the built heritage amongst young people and people of all backgrounds and walks of life and foster appreciation of it and increase our sense of place. 

Money spent on its restauration would be a brilliant investment in Fremantle’s future, attractiveness for residents, visitors and tourists with obvious economic benefits also for council.

Hans Hug
Fremantle Chamber Orcheb

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