13. 779LETTERSAgainst split, for reform
IT is correct that I have been advocating the retention of Mt Lawley and surrounding suburbs in the City of Stirling (“MP joins chorus,” Voice, September 28, 2013). This does not however, mean that I am opposing the entire state government’s local government reform agenda.
The reform agenda has been around for five years under the Liberal government and was around for many more years under the previous Labor government without any significant progress.
For some time councils have been involved in a consultation process based on the widely agreed position there are too many councils in the Perth metro area and the number should be reduced through amalgamations and changes to current boundaries.
It is on the public record that many metro councils, including Stirling, support local government reform.
While I would prefer to see Mt Lawley and surrounding suburbs remain in Stirling, I fully support the reform agenda and do not oppose amalgamations that are necessary to bring about larger, more efficient councils with lower rates.
I am concerned some people are turning the whole local government reform process into a political game. This diminishes their credibility as they are opposing the reform they supported not so long ago.
Michael Sutherland
MLA for Mt Lawley

Yoof of today
I ENJOYED Jenny D’Anger’s Shakespeare-inspired home review (Voice, Spetember 28, 2013): Why didn’t David Bell give us his take on Saowanee’s Place in the style on the Ramakien, the Thai national epic?
The younger reporters have few literary leanings and no imagination these days.
David Cohen
Victoria St, Guildford
The Ed says: David is an aged and weary scribbler with the Subi Post and an erstwhile ex-el presidente of the WA journalists’ soviet collective (the union).

All smoke but no fire
SEVERAL months ago Perth lord mayor Lisa Scaffidi floated the idea that smoking would be banned in Hay and Murray Street malls in the city, and we could expect to have those areas smoke-free with persons being dealt with if they violated the new requirement.
Well, guess what—it was all nonsense. It is still like wandering through an opium den.
Council did not and will not pull it off because nobody can possibly police such a proposal. So why do council officials and others make such hideous threats and promises?
Whilst on the subject of Perth city council, consider the thousands of dollars wasted on selling Perth Get to Know Me Better TV ads, wasted on an audience which already lives here and know what Perth is and what it has to offer.
Seriously, is all this window dressing really necessary? They are always whinging about shortage of money—yet that is how they squander it.
Raymond Conder
Central Ave, Inglewood

A bantering
SOME Voicelanders might have the impression that I chickened out of a coffee session with Mt Lawley MP Michael Sutherland.
On the contrary. Several weeks ago, after a bantering exchange in Voice Mail, we met for a 45-minute chat regarding a state watchdog for trees.
Without delay my impressions of the meeting were offered to the Voice for Speaker’s Corner. Editorial wisdom has apparently declined the offering—or misfiled it.  The latter happens here and there all the time on the information superhighway.
Once upon these flying times an offering to the Voice from then Perth city councillor Lisa Scaffidi was misfiled, then eventually published with an explanation and apology for the delay.
Had the Scaffidi letter, to which I responded, been published earlier I might never have seen it, never have started contributing to these esteemed, even steaming, columns.
Thanks for the coffee, Michael; and for the kind attention of your office staff.
Ron Willis
First Ave, Mount Lawley
The Ed says: Lack of space, Ron, lack of space.

Vin for Vincent
I AM running for council to make sure Vincent is not split as part of Colin Barnett’s arrogant push to force council mergers.
I don’t want Vincent to be lumped and lost with Stirling. If a merger happens I want all of Vincent to be a part of Perth.
I want to protect Vincent’s heritage, parks and wetlands. I am keen to pursue more wifi access in public spaces and promote better recreation and parking facilities. It is vital to also support Vincent’s unique shopping and café strips.
Just as important, I think it is a priority to improve services for our youth and aged in the area. Homelessness is also an issue which needs to be actively addressed to help our fellow citizens to be given a step up and a chance at a better life.
It’s a tight contest and every vote is vital, so I would greatly welcome your support. Please return your postal ballot you’ll receive from the AEC and I ask you to vote Vinnie Molina for Vincent—south ward.”
Vinnie Molina
Vincent council candidate

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