LETTERS 10.5.14

13. 829LETTERSToo much to pear
JOHN CAREY is concerned about tree vandals (Voice, May 3, 2014): that is the pot calling the kettle black Mr Carey, when the City of Vincent is uprooting and dumping the beautiful Bradford Pears in Beaufort Street and replacing them with Flame Trees.
What a waste of ratepayers’ money. The Bradford Pear costs $100 for a small one. These trees are up to 4m so are probably valued at about $500. They have beautiful green foliage and grow in a shape that does not interfere with shop awnings or traffic, compared to the Flame that will branch out over awnings and roads and are scrawny and drop a huge amount of leaves. Please explain, City of Vincent.
Donelle Phillips
Barlee St, Mount Lawley

Fingers crossed for Vincent
THE discussions on the proposed merger of Vincent with Perth (or any other entity) have gone into detail about the cost benefits, the accounting methods, the political spills and even disputes on roads and rubbish.
However, I see the issue differently. At a time when governments of all sizes and persuasions, political parties, community groups and generally any group that is organised at all, are calling for people to be more interactive and engaging with them, we see a proposal at an amalgamation that flies in the face of all that rhetoric.
If any government, group or any beauracracy at all wants people to get off their bums and join in and contribute, then ease of accessibility is a huge factor.
If I want to contribute with the City of Vincent it is easy.
I can basically ride my bike down to council chambers. I can (mainly) get through to who I want to talk to on the phone. If I need someone to come around to see what’s happening in the local park…no problem…it is done, pronto.
Yes, I interact with my local government.
I can easily be part of one of the advisory groups. I can easily get involved with a local councillor campaign effort. I have the right to protest and can easily do that.
I am doing exactly what the beaurucrats want me to do…get involved. They know that they cannot govern or run their ship in a sterile environment. They need people to take a grass roots approach.
Now, turn that over to the City of Perth and we have completely new ball game. I cannot see myself trundling down to St Georges Terrace, parking, getting security checked, lining up and then not even getting a chance to speak.
I cannot see myself joining a community advisory group that meets at St Georges Terrace at 4.30pm on a Wednesday afternoon.
I cannot see myself participating at all in that new council format. It’s just too bloody hard to get there. I just will not do it. Full stop.
So you see where we are going. People will find it very hard to get involved. The beaurucrats will rule in heavenly anonymous splendour. It’s got fascist overtones.
We, as a community would be going backwards with the increasingly difficult job of encouraging citizens at all levels, to participate.
I cannot support the interference into the successful running of the City of Vincent.
I have written to the Local Government Advisory Board Chairman, telling him exactly that.
Colin Scott
North Perth

Registering unhappiness
REPORTER David Bell shies at identifying those who vandalise trees (Voice, May 3, 2014), settling for “apparently the target of a strongman contest by meatheads”.
I have less reservation and nothing to lose in picking them out: our anti-environment premier, Colin Barnett, environment minister young Albert Jacob, and the parliamentary speaker and MP for Mount Lawley, Michael Sutherland, should take responsibility for WA lacking a state watchdog for trees.
Vincent mayor John Carey’s call for a tree register would be a start.
Ron Willis
First Ave, Mt Lawley

Left of Lenin
THERE has been a bit of discussion recently about the performance of “our” ABC. I am ambivalent: I love the ABC’s sporting coverage, the FM music program and the science and history programs on Radio National. It is the ABC’s news and current affairs that I can’t stand. Here, the left-wing and pro-Greens bias has gone too far.
However, compared with the Voice, the ABC is positively right-wing. No Greens press release is too trivial for you to fail to reproduce. No activist protesting in the karri forest or the Kimberley is too remote to escape your favourable attention.
No pro-Greens story is so obviously a plant that you do not faithfully transcribe it into your columns. No attack on Tony Abbott, nor any local conservative politician can be made but that you will print it…nor can they open their mouths without mocking them.
Editorial bias would be OK at the ABC or in a newspaper if the editor was to admit it. The Voice could provide leadership here. How about a statement on your masthead along the lines “the objective of this newspaper is to promote environmental activism, the Greens and the Labor Party, and to sneer at everyone else”. This would be striking an admirable blow for journalistic honesty.
John Babbington


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