Letters 17.6.23

Listening can help

AS a Coram Court resident, firstly, I’d like to express my eternal gratitude at having a roof over my head in these times of extensive homelessness and disproportionately high rents.

While I concur with comments and complaints expressed by some tenants in the recent Herald article (“No DeCoram,” June 10, 2023) on happenings at Coram Court, I also understand how the legal obligations required of the two managing bodies of the block can limit their actions. 

At the same time, better acknowledgment of, and a more sympathetic response to residents’ complaints on the part of Housing and Housing Choices would go further to making residents feel listened to and heard. 

That residents’ behaviour within their own apartment is nobody else’s business goes without saying – unless and until it negatively, at times even dangerously, impacts on the rights of their neighbours to enjoy a peaceful existence. 

Government rental bodies of necessity have behaviour restrictions and other requirements of their tenants: could it be possible some of the restrictions the Department of Housing and Housing Choices are currently obliged to operate under might be amended? 

For example, that residents be advised, on taking up their tenancy, that repeated provision of evidence supported by a number of neighbours on any illegal/other activity causing frightening and/or excessively noisy, otherwise anti-social behaviour could jeopardise their tenancy, obviating police involvement? 

If such were to necessitate a change in the law, how could this be achieved? 

It’s monstrously unjust that the behaviour of a handful of tenants should hold the majority, around 50 or so others, to ransom not to mention tarring us all with the same brush. 

A resident was nonplussed recently when a disturbing behaviour/excessive noise complaint (supported by others), was dismissed saying it didn’t fall into one of three, listed examples about which one could legitimately complain. 

In fact, it most certainly did. 

Even more puzzling was that on a follow-up phone call, it appeared that the particular offender was being defended…

On another note, some 30 odd years ago Jim McGinty, the then-member for Fremantle, at the request of residents, successfully lobbied Housing (then Homeswest) to give the block a much-needed facelift. 

With respect, this is sorely needed once again.

F Meehan

A little pleasure

I AM sitting in the small back courtyard of my house in South Fremantle enjoying the winter sun and reading the article by Emma Shepherdson on making Fremantle denser (“Denser cities can be better cities,” Herald, June 10, 2023). 

Do I want a five-storey apartment looming over me, blocking that sun, shading my solar panels, my citrus trees and my herb garden?

I do not.

Ms Shepherdson finishes the article asking what do we want as population grows.

I want the good situation that I have now with no population growth. 

This option is not on Ms Shepherdson’s radar. 

So often, planners plan for others but do not plan to live inside their plan. 

I have a wonderful set of neighbours, but we stay at arms length from each other. 

When Ms Shepherdson has populated Fremantle with five-storey apartments and sunless streets, and her population continues to grow, do we move to 10 storeys?

Gordon Payne
Jenkin St, Fremantle

Not so cruisy

I HAVE been part of a large team working on Victoria Quay when the cruise ships come to Fremantle, for a number of years. 

Each individual carrying out tasks such as loading cases, parking cars, marshalling taxis, organising check-ins and generally seeing to passenger well-being, seem committed to making the arrival and departure of passengers as pleasant and trouble-free as possible. 

Most of those in contact with visitors feel it their duty to act as de-facto ambassadors for the state.

All these endeavours are thwarted by a couple of inconveniences. 

One is the availability of conventional taxis – even though the cab companies are informed a week in advance of arrivals, there are still queues of passengers (many old and infirm) waiting in unprotected lines outside the terminal. 

Another inconvenience is the now-shut footbridge leading from the terminal car-park, across the rail-line to Beach Street. 

Visitors wishing to visit Fremantle’s CBD must walk 700-800 metres to the western side of the Fremantle Station to cross the railway line. 

I don’t know who is responsible for the maintenance of the footbridge, but someone should see that it is open to visiting pedestrians wishing to visit the commercial heart of Fremantle. 

Steve Rogers
Vic Quay 

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