Letters 26.10.13

Ageing great
SIGNS of our attaining great age: Our children forget us. Our friends all die. Our sex drive vanishes
Lack of space prevents listing more benefits.
Ron Willis
First Ave, Mt Lawley

Leave us alone!
I AGREE entirely with Marie Slyth (Voice Mail, October 19, 2013).
Vincent council operates efficently and offers great service to its residents.
It has some fantastic cash cows coming up for maturity such as Tamala Park and these would be used to further enhance the overall ambience of inner-urban living. A conspiracy theorist might say it is exactly because of these cash cows the big merger is promoted.
Over the past 17 years we have seen what was then a junior council evolve into something that is the envy of other lesser known entities.
Now to backpedal has an enormous cost to everyone at a time we are trying to eliminate debt and costs. It seems criminal to even to try to force this marriage-cum-merger.
These ridiculous notions come around every now and then and they detract from what we are supposed to be doing—getting on with living in an environment where most people are very happy.
I say leave us alone—we’ve done very well thank you. I love where I live—don’t interfere.
Colin Scott
Deague Ct, North Perth

Not all change for the better
RECENTLY I was approached by the City of Bayswater to undertake a small job on a book titled Changes They’ve Seen, which sets out the history and development of the city and its significant role in the wider context of settlement in metropolitan Perth.
As I thumbed through the pages I wondered what the people in the illustrations would think about their city now: Many would marvel at the progress but would be horrified to turn to the back of the book to find it was printed in China.
I’m sure if they were to ask why, it would be explained the city needed to be responsible in its spending which, of course these days, is a euphemism for getting the lowest price wherever you can get it. So rather than the money being spent in the local community where it would continue to circulate and add to the sustainability of local rate-paying businesses it now circulates in China.
I have made some initial enquiries as to how this situation came about. Fremantle Press published the book and relies primarily on funding from the WA state government (fac.org.au/sponsors) and it advised Bayswater it was not possible to have the book printed in WA.
This is completely false and the book could have easily been printed and bound within the boundaries of the City of Bayswater. Let’s hope as a final insult to local business there was not the usual flight to China to do a “press check” junket, as is so often the case when printing work is sent offshore. That would be the final insult.
I would encourage all those that used public monies to get this book printed offshore to look around the City of Bayswater at the unemployed, at the closed businesses and at the youth trying to make a few cents cleaning windows at traffic lights and feel some sense of accomplishment that they have contributed in a meaningful way to what they see.
Michael Severn
Success Print
Goongarrie St, Bayswater

Invisible election candidates
I THANK Reece Harley for phoning me to apologise for misattributing, in his letter published in Voice Mail (October 19, 2013) the remark about City of Perth councillors being afraid of having to doorknock if they were to have 22,000 extra voters.
He makes a very valid point that it is difficult to doorknock people who live in secure apartment complexes.
But the comment from John Carey was, I believe, aimed at current City of Perth councillors—they are the ones who have decided they only want the asset-rich, not the people-rich, parts of Vincent. Reece is a fresh voice and might well have a different view.
Although secure complexes are on the increase in Vincent, they are not yet an excuse for the lack of candidate visibility that has characterised this election in Vincent. I live in the south ward, where there were eight candidates standing for election to two vacancies, but I have only received any election material from one and only seen anything other than a “vote for me” ad in the Voice about a few others.
So, despite my high hopes for a high voter turnout for the plebiscite, the low turnout (30 per cent at October 15) is perhaps not surprising, as candidates don’t seem to be very interested in getting elected.
Ian Ker
Vincent St, Mt Lawley

Woolly eye-popper
THERE is a UK evening paper that can almost match the Voice (“Democra-sigh”, October 19, 2013) for an eye-catching headline.
Villagers at Wilberforce near Harrogate awoke recently to find that sheep had invaded their gardens. The consequent Evening Press (York) headline: Wool bah fuss.
For this snippet we are indebted to that dear old thing, my mentor William Dixon Smith. His exquisite phrasing of the Queen’s English helps reduce my own erring.
The above prompts me to seek an Icelandic writer’s recommended novel that concerns, I gather, sheep turds. Perhaps these can be read like tea leaves.
Bill Proude
First Ave, Mt Lawley

A passion for the planet
DOES the prime minister and members of the Liberal Party really think the people of Australia are not concerned with the pressure on our environment which will ensue with the repealing of the carbon tax?
Because we are passionate and care about the future of our country, we need to retain the carbon tax, spend on renewable energy sources, educate the population on the urgency of our situation, and encourage us to live simply.
Direct Action already happens with many people involved in regeneration and caring for local areas throughout this country, without intervention from federal government.
A five per cent reduction in emissions is ludicrous given the environmental damage already inflicted on our country.  Twenty-five per cent is doable.
A&M Droste
Edinboro St, Mt Hawthorn

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