LETTERS 2.4.16

15. 926LETTERS

First world solution needed
IN the article relating to the proposal to redevelop Charles Street (Voice, March 26, 2016), the Member for Mt Lawley, Michael Sutherland, is quoted saying the concerns raised by residents were a first-world problem.
He is right, and a first-world solution is required.
In terms of process, there was no community involvement in concept or options analysis — essentially, the community was told what it was getting. This led to fear about what might happen for the rest of Charles Street, which is presently a street with safety and amenity issues.
In terms of outcomes, the redevelopment proposal should ensure the needs of pedestrians and cyclists, of all ages and ability, are given the same consideration as motorists. To achieve this, the central median strips should not be removed, mature trees should not be cut down — and more should be planted — and protected bike lanes should be incorporated into the design.
A comprehensive, integrated transport plan for the whole length of Charles Street developed in partnership with the community would also be appreciated.
There is nothing new with the above ambitions — they are encapsulated in state government policies already.
The assistance of Mr Sutherland with voicing the concerns of the community in relation to this project is welcomed. Similarly, the recent meeting with officers from the public transport authority and Main Roads is appreciated and we welcome a productive ongoing relationship that results in a win-win outcome for all.
Andrew Main
Alfonso St, North Perth

What a waste!
IN regards to the Charles Street upgrade and the bus lanes being planned, the only thing I can say is the whole of that area recently had a median strip paving upgrade and now that will be put to dust.
I cannot understand why our public services, using funds extracted from us, continuously pave roads, then pull them up, lay footpaths, then pull them up or in this case, employ expensive paving contractors to do a job when all the while, the plan is to dig it all up.
One would think that with any amount of cross referencing between state and local governments, any planner worth his salt could see that spending money one day to see it all wasted on another day’s plan, is obviously a huge waste of time, money and effort. Our taxes going to work (or not).
Colin Scott
Deague Ct, North Perth

Who are you?
I LOOK forward again to your profiled examination and reporting of candidates for the upcoming federal election.
Yes, I want to know their histories, vested interests, alliances and policies. Also guarantees of where preferences will go from minor parties and independents who can split the vote. Anything of pertinence.
Sadly, we will still end up having a majority or coalition party leader as prime minister with head-of-state powers beyond the brief of someone not popularly elected. A very poor substitute for chief executive/s democratically elected by us all.
To their shame and our loss the Australian Republican Movement does not have the preferable broader Swiss form of republic as a future referendum option.
Gordon Westwood
Coode St, Maylands

Let the people speak
THERE have been recent reports that at least one member of Bayswater city council believes question time at council meetings needs to be curtailed.
It seems, it is thought, that too much time is spent on this important element of the democratic process.
However, one might wonder why it is that so many  ratepayers feel the need to turn up at council meetings to challenge elected representatives with questions about matters that concern them.
Maybe, just maybe, the reason is those same ratepayers can’t get answers in any other way. Is the city in lockdown? Letters I have written to the CEO are perceived to fall into a black hole. Letters to some elected representatives are not even acknowledged, let alone answered. Even my  letters to Mayor McKenna go unanswered, not even courteously acknowledged.
The stand-out exception is Cr Bull, who seems motivated by good will and in accord with high principles.
It is as if our other elected representatives are gagged. If this is so, then that might explain the behaviour of another councillor who visited my home in response to a letter I had written to him. He offered advice, identifying a public risk insurance issue he thought to be of relevance but, at the conclusion of that visit, asked that I never reveal his name nor the nature of the advice given.
At that time, he was perceived to have been subject to some kind of restraining process that prevented him from overt action. Why? Is factionalism in council, referred to by Cr Coates prior to her election, getting in the way of councillors’ independence, openness and the city’s good governance? Perhaps others of your readers have had similar experiences.
Vince McCudden
Almondbury St, Bayswater

926 Health 20x4

VIN001C75134(2APR)x262_P.pdf

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