Letters 31.8.13

14.1. 794LETTERSLuddites v Ruddites
SHOULD we vote for Kevin or Tony? That is the question.
It is really a case of Kevin’s Ruddites versus Tony’s Luddites.
On the face of it, Tony is much more in tune with national psyche.
He fully understands we do not give a Gonski about not being top of the class in our region (sport excepted).
We leave that sort of hard slog to our Asian neighbours who are much more committed to A-grades than we are.
Our comfort zone is languishing inattentively on the back benches, happy to scrape through with a pass mark.
As for national broadband, Tony (not being a tech-head himself) knows that as long as we can do our texting and sexting, facebooking and gaming, we don’t care whether it’s Rupert Murdoch or King Kong who provides the network.
Here at the dag end of Empire, research and development is not a priority. Life in the slow lane of the super highway suits us just fine.
As a good Christian country, Tony understands we do not take kindly to boatloads of desperate, destitute infidels arriving uninvited on our shores.
We are reluctant to let go of our judgements to strangers, because we were lucky enough never to have walked in their shoes.
He fully empathises with us and will of course turn back the boats pronto.
So all things considered, it is our democratic right to remain a tad ignorant, backward and xenophobic, if that is how we like things.
Sorry Kevin, we are not quite ready for the Age of Enlightenment.
Go Tony Go.
Eileen Waldron
Central Ave, Maylands

Rally for rates
IF you do remain in Stirling as part of the carve up of local authorities your rates will go up as the better debt-free suburbs are “stolen” from Stirling and Stirling is forced to take debt-carrying suburbs.
Your local authority services will be cut back.
Help preserve your award-winning model local authority—the City of Stirling—by sending a message to the Barnett Liberal government to go and fix up  things that are broken—like the state finances and myriad other things—not to waste time and money breaking up things that work.
Get to the rally and pass it onto your contacts to get to the rally.
Arthur and Pam Mistilis

A fine balance
THE reason there are so many fine defaulters and the numbers are on the increase is due to the fact fines in most cases are excessive and not equitable.
Take the case of a person residing in a low socio-economic suburb on a basic wage, or those unfortunates on social security being fined $300 for a speeding or parking offence and compare that to another earning more than $100,000 per annum.
Not equitable is it?
The fines have increased only because they are a key source of revenue to balance the books of incompetent local authorities and the state government, which have overspent on worthless projects.
In my view the fines should be one third of what they are now.
Former chief buffoon Rob Johnson got carried away with it all and the current attorney-general Michael Mischin is now aiming to name and shame these people.
Not to mention the enforcers who compare favourably to Ernst Rohm’s Sturmabteilung minus jodhpurs and swastika armbands.
Great to see Emeritus Colonel Rod Willox come out of retirement.
George Bouzidis
Third Ave, Mt Lawley

Déja vu?
BACK in 1993 when the Richard Court-led Liberal government refused to hold a referendum on the splitting of the City of Perth, Perth city council ran its own referendum.
Guess who was a City of Perth councillor at that time—our very own Alannah MacTiernan.
Fast-forward to 2013. The Colin Barnett-led Liberal Government is forcing changes (splits and amalgamations) to local governments and has stated its intention to remove the provision in the law that allows electors to call for a poll on any such changes.
Why, I wonder, does Vincent, with Alannah as mayor, apparently not think it worth emulating the 1993 City of Perth in running its own referendum—perhaps in conjunction with the October 2013 local government election.
This referendum should have three questions:
• Should Vincent continue as a local government in its own right?
• Should Vincent be split between Perth and Stirling, as proposed by the WA Government?
• Should Vincent become part of the City of Perth?
Ian Ker
Vincent St, Mt Lawley

Going postal
TODAY I walked up to my corner to post two letters only to find no letterbox!!
Where has it gone? This, along with no buses on Sundays adds to my total disappointment at the level of services to the people of the beautiful suburb of Joondanna.
What next? I bought my house in walking distance of a bus service, letterbox and shopping centres.
Well, it’s two down and one to go. Surely not!
The distance to the nearest letterbox is too far for most to walk.
Then in the other direction there is the only one at Flinders Square shopping centre.
Why not have a letterbox at both shopping centres?
Is that too much to expect?
Not happy.
Helen F Jelleff
Powell St, Joondanna

Environment Payne
LEADING up to the federal election the major parties are giving low priority to the environment.
Whilst the Labor candidate for Perth,  Alannah MacTiernan, has a proven record on public transport and is a strong advocate for scientifically based action on climate change, the Labor party appears to be stepping back from being proactive on other environmental issues.
Federal government leadership is desperately needed on a broad range of issues, including ensuring that Australia has a comprehensive, adequate and representative national park reserve system to balance the increasing extent of mining and land development activities.
What may be surprising to some is that the Gillard/Rudd government actually has an impressive record on environmental issues, and yet now seems reluctant to build on that fine record.
In a hung parliament it was able to:
• introduce a carbon tax as the first step in creating a cap and trade scheme on polluting emissions;
• secure an agreement on water allocation and management for the nationally significant Murray-Darling basin;
• create a comprehensive world-class marine reserve system for Australia;
• introduce a legislative trigger for federal government intervention where potential threats to water from coal seam gas mining exist;
• ensure biodiversity offsets for unavoidable clearing of native vegetation; and,
• maintain a high level of carefully targeted funding of community groups for on-ground revegetation
In his prolific postal election material, the Liberal candidate for Perth Darryl Moore, has barely mentioned the environment, and then only with what turns out to be a half-baked and expensive scheme to establish a “green army” which would be paid to do on-ground work. He is seemingly ignorant of the fact that for decades a number of competent and efficient organisations have been carrying out significant on-ground work programs with skilful volunteers and little cost to the taxpayer.
While we cannot look at the recent environmental performance of the federal Liberal party, we can look at the state Liberal government.
As a rule the Liberal party does not have an environmental record of which to be proud. Going against this trend was Richard Court’s government which, despite opposition, and with senior, experienced and competent ministers, delivered some ground-breaking initiatives such as protecting Perth’s bushland and wetlands.
In contrast the Barnett government has managed to downgrade the environment through continually appointing inexperienced and ineffective ministers to the environment portfolio.
The premier has also been contemptuous of the impacts on the environment as a result of his government’s poor decisions.
His most recent act was to withdraw project grants to community organisations with proven track records in doing on-ground work.
Faced with the prospect of a federal Liberal government which appears to be at best disinterested and at worst hostile to environmental protection, and a Labor government which needs to pick up momentum again and commit to a strong environmental program, the environment could be in for a rough time.
Joan Payne AM
Walcott St, Mt Lawley

Atomic Alannah
I DO not know where Wendy Ware from Bull Creek (Voice Mail, August 24, 2013) has been for the past few years—but obviously not reading newspapers.
Three years ago—after the highly alarming IPCC scientific reports on the galloping effects of climate change and the need for immediate action—I made the judgement that nuclear power may have to form part of the global transition to renewable energy.
It was evident that China, India and South America were growing rapidly and that modern nuclear technology was likely to be a less bad environment option than burning vastly more coal.
This is the position that I argued within the Labor party, that was very prominently reported in the West Australian. The West subsequently published an opinion piece where I outlined my position in detail.
I concede I am not rigid. I am prepared to change my opinion when the facts demand it.
Alannah MacTiernan
Federal Labor candidate for      Perth

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