Letters 7.9.13

Evangel sets the example
CONGRATULATIONS to Perth Liberal MP Eleni Evangel on her support of the community she represents, against Premier Colin Barnett’s council merger proposals.
Mrs Evangel is clearly connected with her community and it was great to see her at the Astor Theatre last Wednesday night. For the poor residents of Dianella about to be lumped with Bayswater, we are without representation. Liberal MPs Ian Britza and Michael Sutherland are nowhere to be seen and I suspect Mr Sutherland is conflicted by his own wife’s plans to be a Bayswater councillor.
The Barnett government needs to start fixing what is broken and not breaking what is already fixed. Leave Stirling alone.
Kathy Swavley
Collingwood St, Dianella

The spirit of inclusion
FIVE years ago, in the spirit of inclusion, Rosanne Scott, Director of Perth City Farm extended an invitation to residents of Nulsen Association to join its diverse community.
This began a significant and very powerful journey, not only for the 20 to 30 residents, most of whom have a severe intellectual disability, but also for the community itself.
During those years we set up nursery and mosaic projects which became an integral part of the farm’s own programs; we worked together to continue to build on the community art projects and installations scattered throughout the gardens and buildings.
The mosaic project led to community art workshops; the nursery project  became a significant contributor to the farm gardens with a dedicated manager leading it and a music group began earlier this year. Art exhibitions, music workshops, community cultural development workshops, concerts, art and disability forums  were among the events held during that time, and to have 30 to 40 staff, volunteers and friends sit down at a community lunch made from fresh produce from the garden was a delight.
In 2012, a TAFE course was designed by PCF staff to ensure students who have a severe intellectual disability can learn at a pace which fits comfortably with their developmental journeys and consequently be rewarded for effort.
The first presentation held in late 2012 moved quite a few guests to tears while  the pride and joy of the students underlined how important it is for every one of us to have this experience, this moment of fame, this knowledge that our own achievement is as important as any other.
The joint aim of Perth City Farm and Nulsen was for a truly inclusive community, respectful of others, recognising personal  gifts, celebrating difference, being appreciative of each contribution, knowing there is a place for each person. And we were very successful. In the beginning, the aim was a dream. Finally, it was a reality.
And now five years on, the residents and, we hope, many others, can move into communities, large or small, gardens or art spaces, farms or cultural communities and be confident that we bring our own contributions, that our presence will be valued.
If we are not invited into one space, then we will be invited into another. We know we can live, work and create alongside others.
The Perth City Farm staff and volunteers have demonstrated it can happen quite easily. It is a right to be accommodated and respected in the community in which we live. And this right has been recognised over these past years.
Patti Ferber
Creative and Cultural
Development Coordinator
Nulsen Association

Fibre is ‘getting on’
IT is hardly unusual for a politician to gild the lily (or double-gee) and bend the truth.
However, Alannah MacTiernan has truly crossed the line, and the Voice has aided and abetted.
I attach an annotated portion of her full-page advertisement in your issue of August 31. In it she makes two remarkable claims for the NBN:
• 1000Mbps
• From December 2013
NBN Co is more modest: “With incredible wholesale speeds of up to 100Mbps for downloads and 40Mbps for uploads, the NBN offers high-speed internet even if you live a long way from the exchange or have multiple devices connected.”
And when will we get this in the Perth electorate to which Ms MacTiernan aspires? Sometime after August 2014 but hopefully not later than June 2016.
The good news is the entire scheme will be toast after September 7. Fibre-to-the-premises will be out and fibre-to-the-node will be in.
The new battle will be over the “last mile” between the node and the premises—copper or wireless. We need wireless. Copper is “last century’s technology”, not just because it is copper but because it is fixed. By the way, fibre optic cable is getting on. The principle was demonstrated in the 1840s, Alexander Graham Bell worked on it. The system was patented in 1966. Fibre-optic cable with packet switching—which is what NBN Co is all about—has been used commercially for telephony since 1977. Good stuff, but hardly leading-edge.
I will not excoriate the Voice for accepting a full-page, full-colour ad which most of you staff members surely could have spotted as false. It must have been a welcome bit of revenue.
Thomas A Lawson
Lawley Cres, Mt Lawley
The Ed says: Actually Thomas, the NBN can deliver speeds of 1000mbps, but on a premium package, not wholesale. According to NBNCo’s website your neck of the woods can expect construction to start from June 2015 and finish some time around September 2017. However, other parts of the Perth electorate, including Bassendean and Morley, will indeed be hooked up by December 2013. Then you’ll be able to check us out online at http://www.perthvoice.com super-quick.

“WE must ask ourselves seriously whether we wish some future universal historian on another planet to say of us—with all their genius and with all their skill, they ran out of foresight and air and food and water and ideas, then went on playing politics until their world collapsed around them.”
This quotation comes from a speech made by U Thant, Secretary-General of  the United Nations from 1961-1971. It may have been said in the 1960s, but seems sadly apt for the current political campaign run by our two main political parties.
Dr Jean Foster
Crawford Rd, Dianella

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