LETTERS 8.6.13

14. 782LETTERSLeaf our trees alone
WE all know the saying ‘better late than never’.
So, congratulations to the Perth city council for taking action to reduce ecocide by recognising the social, environmental and economic value of trees and giving this a monetary value (“Big fines for tree killers”, Voice, May 25). Hopefully other local governments… take similar and urgent action to preserve the amenity of their localities by protecting trees (a most significant element in the character of an areas).
It is not bad luck but bad management that has facilitated the deregulated town planning zeitgeist that is clear felling our city.
Proper town planning—amenity preservation town planning—has gone significantly backwards over the last 30 years: there is a Greek saying “the fish goes rotten from the head first” so maybe the responsibility for systemic town planning failure rests with the undemocratic, unaccountable, but all-powerful WA planning commission.
We know that the WAPC’s former head Gary Prattley was given the push for misusing his credit card, but what about the much more significant failure to deliver on the core principle: amenity preservation.
I am sure Prof Gordon Stephenson would be ‘turning in his grave’ as town planning’s raison d’etre is being trashed by simplistic development facilitation (unthinking and often expensive and vandalistic theft of public open space: eg; Perry Lakes, Perth Esplanade, Trinity Rugby Field…).
It’s town planning so devoid of consideration of good amenity preservation that it brings the profession into disrepute and causes me to be ashamed and hesitant to own up to my profession as a town planner.
Greg Smith
Rose Ave, Bayswater

A valuable perspective
BROCCOLI and cabbages guarded me the night I slept rough, circa 1950.
Guinea fowls giving welcome to a summer sunrise, and a cat’s purring, awoke me in the kitchen garden of a Yorkshire farmhouse. The cat? On my chest.
What prompted my night under the stars? An adventure strip: Jeff Arnold of the Texas Rangers in the Eagle newspaper for boys.
With a saddle for a pillow—six-shooter beneath it—and a Scout’s sleeping bag, I ignored baffled parents and periodic complaints from my hips.
There’s a yawning difference, of course, between voluntarily sleeping rough and its being tragic necessity.
The lord mayor of Perth will readily acknowledge this.
Lisa Scaffidi expects her sleep-out at the WACA on June 20 to be an “eye-opener.” Chances are her predecessors would have considered even the idea a poor joke.
Her example should encourage all with a bed, or even abed, to empathise with, and more importantly do something about, the reported global 15 million-plus—boat people among them—who will sleep rough tonight; and without comfort or prospect of veggies.
Bill Proude
First Ave, Mt Lawley

Almost vantastic
WE loved your story on our van—especially making the front page!
We had a good chuckle; it was a fun article. But we just thought we should let you know that the names got a bit mixed—the gorgeous lady in the photo is Kirsty Fagan, co-owner.
Giorgia Johnson (yes, that is really how I spell it)
Co-owner, Cool Breeze Cafe
Bayswater
The Ed sys: Thanks for pointing that out Giorgia. The sub responsible for the slip is off with the flu, and we couldn’t help but think there was a bit of karma there.

Who writes these F’n letters?
FRESH from the controversy about potentially non-existent Voice letter-writer ‘Naomi Clark’, it seems the paper may have let another pseudonymous correspondent through.
Either that, or the Voice is now running fake letters rather than just the traditional fake ads. I strongly suspect there is no one in the world called ‘T Greta Gatsby’ (“Give teeth to the trees”, Voice, June 1, 2013), much less one in little-old Perth, a place with much of its Art Deco heritage sadly lost.
It’s surely a fun nom de plume (or witty nom de guerre), although if I was to use it myself I might have dialed it up a little by listing “(F Scott) Fitzgerald Street, Northbridge” as my address.
Cameron Poustie
Federation St, Mt Hawthorn
The Ed says: Well spotted Cameron, ‘T’ is indeed a nom de plume, but as the Voice knows the writer and they weren’t using anonymity to hide a cheap shot we’re happy to give them a run.

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