LETTERS: 26.8.23


I WISH to commend Andrew Smith’s brilliant articles in this week’s herald about the’ urban land wars’ resulting from the unfair ‘town planning’ regime that was enshrined in the provisions of the the 2021 COVID recovery scheme and which blatantly benefits Developers , enabling approval of ill-considered high-rise developments in the face of community concerns.

Also to applaud his article controversy surrounding the proposed Woodside redevelopment. These articles captured the prevailing mood perfectly, cogently and with eloquent flair.

Bron Sibree
East Fremantle

Voice of petty

THE petty comments by the leader of the WA Liberal Party highlight the politicisation of The Voice referendum by that party.

As far as I am aware the legislation, under which Rio Tinto’s blatant, ugly act of destruction occurred, was developed by the WA Liberal Government. 

If the efforts to prevent such destruction in the future have proved to be too severe, then that problem has been recognised and appropriate action taken.

By all means change your mind, but there is no need to broadcast it or make it conditional on something else.

The Voice referendum is based on a vote of conscience, not politics.

It is an attempt to right the great wrong enacted by our predecessors. 

To tie heritage matters to this vote really illustrates how much the Liberal Party does not want to do what the referendum is intended to do – that is, to do the right thing by our First Nations’ peoples.

Once recognition of the original inhabitants of this continent is established in the constitution, we shall be able to get on with the intended consultations with a direct Voice to Parliament – hopefully direct to Cabinet and the responsible ministers.

Let us not add a committee to filter what The Voice says, which could lead to misinterpretations and misunderstandings, resulting in what happens all too often with the real needs of our indigenous communities being ignored by non-indigenous people who think they ‘know better’.

So please, when voting day arrives put politics aide and give our First Nations’ peoples what most Australians claim they want for everybody – a Fair Go.

Jan de Groote
Hamilton Hill


IMAGINE that all the houses and units belonging to the Housing Department in WA had solar panels installed.

Imagine that through the use of software/technology, Homeswest homes installed with solar panels could become a “virtual power plant” by having a massive battery installed as part of Western Power’s grid system.

Homeswest could then trade the power its thousands of homes would be generating minus the amount taken from the grid to charge that battery, and make a profit. 

Because they own the homes, the Housing Dept “owns” the resulting solar power, and when panels are paid for, preferably via profits generated, residents’ bills could be nulled completely. Housing can turn a tidy profit for themselves through this undertaking.

Imagine the jobs this would provide, starting in Perth, the sunniest state, and the boost to Australian-made solar panels producers.

Imagine other states following suit.

Imagine the use of oil, gas or coal currently being used to generate electricity being vastly reduced by this investment.

Imagine what this would do for the whole of Australia!

Imagine power companies being happy with this proposal if they could become shareholders somehow, and realised that contributing to nature’s health would benefit the entire community they are a part of.

In fact, it must not be allowed to happen that Western Power and/or Synergy would hold up or kill this idea for fear of missing out on revenue. 

It is time for its executive to become creative in their thinking, since it is now high time for change and for a wide-ranging opportunity to be fulfilled.

And congratulations to St Paul’s Anglican Church in Beaconsfield for their initiative to provide solar panels plus batteries for all its institutions and schools in WA, and about 50 parish homes, as reported in The Herald of June 24. They are my inspiration.

Carla van Raay


I HAD a scary experience the other week.

Due to previous visits to Fremantle, I was apprehensive when I had to go there to pick up some medicine. 

My fears were well founded. 

Just after noon on Monday while waiting for a bus in Queen Street for my return trip, the bench seat nearby was occupied by a small group of screaming, cursing and aggressive drunks, openly drinking more alcohol.

I was looking down the street for the bus to get me away from this social cesspool when the most violent and abusive of the group thought I was looking at him.

He staggered menacingly towards me, screaming racial accusations and using language that would make a sailor blush. 

Others waiting for the bus were similarly intimidated. 

Fortunately, one of the less inebriated in the group restrained him and his female companion. 

He led them away to Kings Square where they continued their obscene racial rant. 

Fremantle police are rarely interested in dealing with such behaviour for fear of being called racists by trying to enforce the law with minority groups who appear to be untouchable. The words “racist” and “hate speech” have now been weaponised to deflect valid criticism of unacceptable and unlawful behaviour.

Daryl Binning
Bull Creek

The Ed says: It’s terrible you were treated this way; substance abuse is a scourge in any community that it touches. But did you report the incident to police? They’re not psychic and it’s pretty unfair to get stuck into them if you haven’t.

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