Letters 23.11.13

13. 806LETTERSWe loved Lyndon
I AM writing in response to a comment attributed to Lisa Scaffidi in the article on Lyndon Rogers (Voice, November 16, 2013).
In the article she says “Lyndon is obviously smarting from a loss at the recent elections”. She then goes on to say, “possibly if he had been more engaged and interested [he would] have been re-elected by ratepayers who would have appreciated and enjoyed and loved what he represented and stood for”.
Well, Lisa, you obviously are totally unaware of the tireless effort Lyndon put in during his short term to assist and represent the ratepayers of East Perth, which is where we live.
Nothing was ever too small or difficult for him to address or investigate on one’s behalf. During his term of office he always attended the monthly meetings of the East Perth Community Safety Group. He was the only elected councillor who attended during that period.
To say he was not “engaged or interested” just shows how little you know about him. I think Lyndon’s failing (if he had one) was he was never politically aligned to a particular clique, and that gave him less clout in the eyes of certain groups.
The more I see of local government the less I like it. I suggest the viewing of the fantastic TV series Grass Roots should be compulsory viewing for all councillors!
Pauline Handford
Royal St, East Perth

Choral lives
JOB well done Steve Grant in covering the popular revival of choral and early music (Voice, November 16, 2013).
This returned me to grammar school days and several years of Sunday morning matins in Ripon Cathedral, where we read comic books hidden between our knees while the clergy preached, the organ thundered and the choir soared.
Some of the majesty sank in. The Gregorian chant and 17th century composer Matthew Locke, for examples; and now the Tallis Singers stir memories and bring on rapture.
Tune into the ABC Radio’s Classic FM for such items. Experience choral bliss.
Ron Willis
First Ave, Mt Lawley

City freeloads
WHEN the City of Perth was split (into Perth, Vincent, Cambridge and Victoria Park) in 1993/4, it was largely in response to bleating from central city property owners they were “subsidising” the residential suburbs. Now Lisa Scaffidi, having learnt nothing in the intervening two decades, is spouting a similar line about how rates would change if Perth has to take in all of Vincent.
As the City of Perth itself points out on its website, “the residential rate is set at a relatively low level when compared to other metropolitan authorities to support the City’s aim of encouraging people to reside in the City”, so property and business owners in the City are subsidising residential property right now. It would be interesting to know what the City of Perth residential rate would be if not set artificially low in this way.
But the fact the City of Perth feels it needs to subsidise residential use in the City is illuminating in itself. Vincent doesn’t provide subsidies and still people flock here to live. Ask any real estate agent in the area.
The fact is the inner-city areas surrounding the central business district bear the costs (not just financial, but social and environmental as well) of providing the access those same City property and business owners see as essential to their commercial well-being. Heavy traffic on Beaufort and Fitzgerald Streets detracts severely from the amenity of those centres. Heavy traffic on East Parade, Charles Street and Loftus Street cuts residents off from community amenities, businesses and public transport. The Mitchell Freeway cuts Leederville town centre businesses off from half its natural customer catchment.
The City of Perth, on the other hand, benefits twice from all this: By businesses getting the customers and employees they need and by the City of Perth getting millions of dollars in parking revenues every year. Surely it is not too much to ask for the City to spend some of those carparking dollars to offset the impacts of those same cars on the residents of Vincent.
As I pointed out a number of times when I was on Vincent council, if Vincent was able to put a 50-cent toll on each car passing through the area to or from the city, we would be able to do away with property rates in Vincent completely. This is not fanciful—other places in the world (Singapore, London, Stockholm, Durham (at a different scale)) have these sorts of access charges—perhaps it is time for Perth to seriously consider it too.
It could be argued the state government’s Perth Parking Levy acts as a de facto charge of this sort, but it misses all those who drive through, rather than to, the City and thus contribute nothing but congestion and pollution to the city itself.
Ian Ker
Vincent St, Mt Lawley

It’s the dog’s bollocks
THE retention of part of Mt Lawley within the City of Stirling is a terrible decision.
This is probably a once in a generation opportunity to make a real neighbourhood with consistent heritage out of the riverside suburbs north-east of the CBD, and it is being squandered because Mt Lawley supposedly has more in common with Gwelup and Scarborough than with Maylands and Bayswater.
On any rational inspection of the map, Alexander Drive is the natural boundary between Bayswater and Stirling—the Stirling panhandle sticks out like dog’s bollocks and cannot possibly make for efficient integrated service delivery.
Troy Barry
Fourth Ave, Mt Lawley

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