LETTERS 1.6.13

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Voice cartoonist Jason Chatfield is still in the States following his hosting gig at the Reuben Awards, the Oscars of the cartooning world. He and his comic wife Sophie Miller (we’re not being rude, she’s a funny woman) are enjoying a belated “Hawaiimoon” so she probably didn’t appreciate our early morning SMS to Jason, who we knew had forgotten he had a cartoon to do. Instead of making him slave over a Wacom we’re letting him have the week off. Here’s a few images from his trip.

Local girl did good
VALE Hazel Hawke (nee Masterson) 1929—2013
Hazel was born in Mt Hawthorn and began her schooling at the Mt Hawthorn primary school where she learned her 3Rs as well as her graciousness and tenacity for life along with her ability to survive the odds. Perhaps this is where her love of music, especially the piano, began.
Hazel leaves many friends in Mt Hawthorn with happy memories of their school days, and Mt Hawthorn School continues to produce many fine citizens.
Helen F Jelleff

Don’t bludge on your mates
TONY ABBOTT claims only 13 per cent of the Australian workforce belongs to a union.
Whilst this may be true, 100 per cent enjoy a vastly improved quality of life with safer, and better working conditions because of trade union activities. All the Australian labour force become indirectly influenced by the various industrial awards won for them by the affiliated union movement.
Perhaps all the non-trade unionists should reflect on their contribution’s lack.
Why pay fees to join a union when you can work for nothing?
Frank Membrey

Put smokes in the shadows
THIS Friday is World No Tobacco Day. Nearly six million people are killed by tobacco each year with 600,000 dying from exposure to second-hand smoke.
This year’s focus is on counteracting tobacco industry efforts to undermine tobacco control. Statistics show banning tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce tobacco demand.
Australia is at the forefront of this effort and, after a long campaign by the Greens and tobacco control organisations, the Future Fund also recently agreed to divest from tobacco shares.
But this success ends at our borders. One in three cigarettes consumed globally is smoked in the western Pacific region and it is estimated two people in this region die each minute from tobacco–related disease. The economic impact of early death, disability and lost productivity contributes to the burden of poverty, retarding national development and further widening health inequities.
In recent years, big tobacco has been shamelessly fuelling a series of legal actions against governments that have been at the forefront of the war against tobacco, including our own. The industry is stepping out of the shadows and into court rooms. It’s time to put them back in their box.
Jonathan Hallett
Robinson Ave, Perth

Making a point
GOOD news on rates (Voice, May 25, 2013)—it is a pity the Voice wasn’t able to calculate the budget changes proposed by council before publishing that Vincent residents were looking at a 4.14 per cent rates rise.
After applying our blue pencils, we have brought the draft budget in with a 3.92 per cent increase. This is despite our rubbish tipping fees going up eight per cent and a wages index forecast of 4.2 per cent.
This certainly has us on track to be one of Perth’s most frugal councils.
Alannah MacTiernan
The Ed says: Our reporter says this is what you told him post-meeting: “We haven’t got the final figure on the rates but it will be presumably about 4.5 per cent, it might be a bit less. We’ve cut a number of items: There were some costs that were overestimated in the budget. We’re trying to keep it in a modest form but get the projects done.”

Give teeth to the trees
BEST news of the year so far: “Big fines for tree killers” (Voice, May 25, 2013).
If only there was now a stampede of local councils and other levels of government to follow Perth’s lead.
An ongoing worry for us, however, is the council’s “loophole” for “diligent” developers.
Big money here. Any rogue developer can surely feign diligence.
It’s vital to keep in mind that trees axed on whim, in ignorance, or to satisfy greed, can help curtail our own remaining days.
Best for the entire metropolis would be a patrolling watchdog of qualified arboriculturists with teeth.
T. Greta Gatsby
St Georges Tce, Perth

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