Letters 15.4.23

Jugglers not guzzlers

I’VE just come home from the wonderful streets arts festival. 

Whilst the skies opened up on Monday afternoon, the sky did not fall in due to the lack of traffic flowing through the Cappuccino Strip because of the road closure.

Surely the days are numbered for the continual flow of bus after bus after bus through what is meant to be our prized tourist destination?

I am a Freo resident and each time we eat out, my grandson loves it because he likes buses and when sitting on the strip he gets to see dozens of buses. 

One stage recently there were six buses all lined up and only with a few or no  people on each one.

It feels like you are dining at the bus depot with each one passing by just two metres away.

This kills the ambience. 

So, because on Easter Monday the buses were diverted around the strip, and the world still turned, can we please make this a permanent fix?

James Sebbes


AS a recent visitor to Fremantle Library in the Walyalup Civic Centre looking for information about my husband’s family and their lives in Fremantle I was impressed by the exterior of the building and its welcoming, sloped lawn (great for lunch!). 

When I ventured inside, I found the staff friendly and helpful.

I was somewhat non-plussed, however, by the lack of an obvious history section – apart from a photographic exhibition in a mostly empty space with small desks along a wall and a tv screen. 

Surely there must be an area devoted to the history of the city and its people, I thought, as that is what I see when I visit my library in Albany. 

Surprisingly, the previously described area is designated the ‘Fremantle History Centre’.

While the interior of the new library is quite a cavernous space with areas for children, studying, reading and gaming, there appears to be extremely limited access 

to historical material that can be perused (a few books on a bookshelf) without resorting to going online.

I did note there was some material from the history centre on said bookshelf, but where’s the collection? 

Given the layout of the library, I wonder how materials could be safe-guarded if they were included and available for public access, apart from making an appointment. Or is some of this material behind locked doors in another part of the library?

What has happened here? Are there plans for the collection to be located in an appropriate space, or in a separate building? 

I had a look at the council website  and read the media statement from November 3, 2021: “Nine things to look forward to at the new Fremantle Library. 8. A larger and better equipped Fremantle Local History Centre will take pride of place in the library. It will include digital interactive screens as well as a vast stock of biographical files, newspapers, council minutes and agendas, publications, maps and plans.”

I do not think the interactive screen was working when I was in the ‘centre’, and I did not see the 

‘vast stock’ referred to in the media blurb. I was also left wondering what ‘better equipped’ meant. While online access to historical material is helpful, it can also be fraught with frustration for a number of reasons, so not having access to documents, books, maps, letters, newspaper articles, photographs, etc, is a huge step backwards. 

Yes, there are sources such as Trove, Fremantle Stuff, government gazettes and the like online; however, many other sources are simply not available in this form, and I imagine it will take some time before they are. 

In my local library I have access to a variety of materials (both physical copies and online), along with the space to spend time looking through them, asking questions of the local history librarian and other staff in the centre, yet this appears to be mostly unavailable to those with an interest in history in a major Western Australian city with a proud heritage. 

How disappointing.

Linda Luff

Yes, but…

YES, I would indeed vote for the City of Fremantle to spend $35,000 – but on minor maintenance inside the Fremantle Town Hall interior.  

Just fix stuff, especially existing lights, patch walls, clean up would be good too.

Yes, I would vote for some of that $35K to replace uneven and broken slabs and utility covers on CBD streets. 

Yes, I would to vote to spend $35K for lighting the dark area of the town hall precinct and Walyalup Koort. 

I would vote  for re-installing the William Street pavement where various colour test patches were temporarily laid many years ago and are still there.

I would vote Yes to have a council officer do an audit of street lighting outages that have remained out for years!  Yes years.

Yes, I would vote for more phone calls with more demands of the relevant authority to fix the problems.

Yes, I would vote to have the administration work proactively with property owners to have some civic pride and clean their really filthy glass windows and street frontages across the CBD. 

There is much more that should be done with that money.

I would vote NO for approval of the expenditure of $35K on a national and constitutional matter that is not the City of Fremantle bailiwick.

We do not have to search deep to see there is ongoing and reasonable attention being paid to explain The Voice via multiple sources, providing some general detail on what the referendum is about. 

I am advised more is forthcoming to make clear to voters considering both sides of the referendum and proposed Voice Parliamentary procedures. But ‘propaganda’ springs to my mind when I review this questionable CIty of Fremantle expenditure proposal for advocacy of  my voting preference.   

Bob Sommerville

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