LETTERS 2.9.23


JAN de GROOTE’S claim that the Voice referendum is based on a vote of conscience and referencing original inhabitants of this continent prompts some questioning (“Voice of petty,” Herald, August 26).

Voting to change our Constitution is serious business that needs full knowledge of long-term implications and not just voting on a feel good conscience. 

Additionally, Jan’s reference to original inhabitants brings into question who are they really? 

Today’s vast majority are a blend of races including European or Asian and some African American whaler offspring from the 19th century. 

Some researchers claim the inhabitants at time of colonisation may be part of the 10th wave of migration to this continent with each wave eliminating the former. 

Even if partly true, it raises the question; who then were the original inhabitants? 

Truth is, we may never know and will continue our merry way as an ongoing evolution with today’s Australians being a diverse multicultural mix of migrants or their descendants.

Our National Anthem words “we are one” are inclusive and respects this fact.

Perhaps we should reflect on those three little words and without risking division, keep them top of mind when casting our vote.

Sid Breeden
City Beach


I AM stunned that Fremantle Society president John Dowson refers to some of the people enjoying the Wanjoo Lounge in the Walyalup Civic Centre as “deadbeats” and I am disappointed the Herald printed it (“Cold shower for hot library plan,” Herald, August 19, 2023).

It is indeed disappointing that the History Library is not up to scratch and that needs to change, but the “deadbeats” John Dowson mentioned are some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our community. 

They should feel welcome in our civic centre, to shelter from the cold, rain or heat, and to enjoy a soft comfy seat and the luxury of toilets. 

They do not deserved to be dismissed as deadbeats.

Maybe John Dowson should spend the time he takes writing negative articles volunteering at St Pat’s instead, so that he understand that the “deadbeats” are like all of us; people who long for love and care, but many of them have severe mental health problems, come from abusive families, or have substance abuse issues.

Roel Loopers
Arundel Street

Our day

I FEEL as though there is a racial wedge being hammered into our society. 

I feel as though there is no common thread we can, as a society, jointly pursue. As a multicultural society, we need to shift our focus and concentrate on something achievable, that we can all take ownership and pride in.
To create a society that respects and understands each other we need to embrace the uniqueness of our individuality and the uniqueness of our Australian nation.
A common goal in which all Australians can aspire to is one where we become an independent nation on the world stage. 

A nation that values equality whilst acknowledging and understanding every individual who calls Australia home.
We cannot ignore history, but we can learn from it; using the good and being mindful of past mistakes will forge a stronger and unified Australian community.
An independent Australian nation where every member of society would feel proud to stand on the winner’s dais draped in our flag that represents trust, respect, understanding and acknowledgement. 

To celebrate on our nation’s day of independence will help bring us together as one society proud to be Australian and proud to call Australia home.

Peter Trivett

The Ed says: What a great time to shake off the yoke of our colonial Constitution and whack in a newy.

Spot on

IN response to the scintillating analysis of town planning processes in general by Herald publisher Andrew Smith, I offer the following remarks in the local context.

The Town of Mosman Park has made the reasons for its position on the Mos Lane development quite clear.

In contrast it would appear that some councillors for the Town of East Fremantle think differently about development and its effect on the surrounding community.

With some persuasion, we understand that councillors are now united in their opposition to the scale of the Woodside Development.

To date my understanding is that a development of nine stories has been approved at the former Royal George Hotel and one of 22 storeys at the former Roofing 2000 site.

To potentially add Woodside, the site on the corner of East and Canning (which we understand also included the demolition of a heritage building), and the Leeuwin Barracks to the list of monolithic structures in East Fremantle suggests a very real need for every one of our councillors to be united, clear and resolute about the need for development mindful of the community they represent, and inform the powers that be.

Mark de Kluyver
East Fremantle

Who’s abuse? 

STEVE GRADY’S recent letter deplored AUKUS protestors because other countries abuse human rights. 

Putting aside some of Australia’s own finest having also ended up in “rooms without windows” because they are born Aboriginal, (thus more likely to be incarcerated), or faithful climate activists trying to stop fossil fuel expansion off the north-west shelf, with more draconian legislation promised their way, of course we should be concerned about everyone’s human rights! 

It’s a furphy, though, to avoid the stark impacts of AUKUS on our economy and national sovereignty, a race to the bottom, with taxes being redirected from diplomacy and foreign aid to a handful of nuclear powered submarines (less about defence and more about playing underwater chicken beneath the South China Seas, far from our shores but on the edges of Chinese territoriality). 

Instead Australia’s military command is embedding with US interoperability, which takes decisions about deployment and Pine Gap effectively out of our hands. 

Ask former foreign minister Gareth Evans, who once tried to have a say about things during the Gulf War, quickly put in his place by our dear friends from Hawaii. 

Whether it’s because we will have high fission nuclear reactors in Gage Road and Garden Island, or because we are making ourselves capable of manufacturing nuclear weapons out of the fuel, or the opportunity cost, to our schools, environment and health, or the lack of grace in managing international relations, I’m grateful that more people are becoming aware of the huge risks to Australia through AUKUS. 

And let’s say, risk to our friends from the United States, whose leaders seem to have learned nothing from the belligerent policies, illegal invasions, and disastrous human rights that came out of Iraq and Afghanistan. 

We can see the fruits of Australia’s comic-tragic role as deputy sheriff, waiting for the next catastrophe. 

Peace turns out to be more prosperous and cheerful than in the murky depths of the submarine alternatives.

Adrian Glamorgan
White Gum Valley

Not quite right

THE Editor’s answer to the letter from Mr Binning wasn’t quite right (“Scary,” Herald, August 26, 2023).

Drinking and bad language is constant behaviour in Fremantle. 

Very rarely do you see police moving the offenders on; the only time I see the police is when they’re buying lunch. 

Hopefully when the new police station is built they will be out and about with better control over the bad behaviour.

Jan Shortte
Via Email

We love letters

WE love receiving letters so whenever you have something to say feel free to drop us a line. Send your letters to: The Editor, Fremantle Herald, PO Box 85, North Fremantle, WA , 6159. Or email them to: news@fremantleherald.com. Please remember to include your name, address and a daytime telephone number. 

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