LETTERS 19.11.16

Greens failing
GREG SMITH like many of the urban greens is failing his profession by being political rather than keeping up with the transformation of his locale.
Bayswater like many of Perth’s older suburban areas (Mt Lawley, North Perth, Leederville, etc) has been dealing with densification for the past 20 years or more. The renovators have done up lovely old houses and made them liveable and have revitalised their sense of place just like Freo did 30 years back, but the fact is grey and blue corri iron housing has taken over the suburbs in every Australian city.
The ABC has just broadcast a two-part series on this phenomena, Streets of Our Town. That said it all urban bunnies.
But get this … the real change will happen when the new Bayswater underground happens (talk about lack of transparency — who knows what is going on there).
Apparently the project has begun, but talk to the railway men in Midland and half of them have no idea where and what is happening other than it’s a massive underground project. It starts at the airport, it has a station in Forrestfield and ends in Bayswater. The Link.
My thoughts as a former architectural designer researcher /come journo that has kept up with the various urban planning projects is the enviro nutters worry about smaller details like three gum trees but can not deal with the bigger issues like is Whatley Avenue going to have an underground shopping link from one side of the road to the other?
Easily done … it’s all sand. Just dig a hole and cover it and pedestrianise Bayswater.
But like Midland the protest groups rule, the trade unions keep their big contract deals secret via their university mates.
What Bayswater needs is to skip the bickering and like Elisabeth Quay move on with revitalising rather than worrying about angst or lightning rods (a metaphor I presume for the steel WAGYL).
I think the Americans called their trains back in the day an iron horses.
Australian cities need to get rid of the motor car dependence and pedestrianise in a bold way like they did on Perth’s waterfront. That got a bad press and still does by people like Greg Smith that hold back urban planning.
Paperbark trees can be transplanted … anyway, more shade-giving trees for people are needed like the Ficus Hilli which are those spreading trees that grace Guildford Road on the mad mile on the straight stretch.
Get bold and gee whizz you need someone of Sutherland’s stature to think beyond hippy shite that plagues new design.
It’s time to encompass the new hipster style with their modernist image and leave behind suburban, bloated Mc Mansions in places like Bayswater.
Transparency come on … where is your subway going to be Bayswater?
Robert Wood
Helena Valley

Clap clap
THANK you Voice for resurrecting the memory of pianist John Gill.
He shared his talent without cost to many thousands of people who were fortunate enough to hear him so often in the Murray Street mall in Perth.
We miss his happy disposition and beautiful ragtime music, which brought joy to the many folk who stopped to listen. His only pay was a few voluntary coins.
We ponder why there is not even a plaque to recognise his efforts. We all miss you John!
However, we will not miss lord mayor Lisa Scaffidi who scudded any recognition of John Gill.
Didn’t Fremantle build a statue of Bon Jovi at their harbour. The least Perth can do is honour John with a plaque.
William Booth
Queen St, Bentley
The Ed says: We think you might find it’s Bon Scott of Accadacca fame, and yes, he’s got a sculpture down Freo way. But the local council didn’t really embrace the project and it took fans to raise the funds, as well as nag until they were given a spot – which the council made sure was far  away from its “cultural” centre.

The system is broken
ALL it indicates when Greg D’Orazio says; “every step has been by the book, by the letter of the law” (“D’Orazios float buffer option,” Voice, November 12, 2016) is that this WAPC planning system is broken and flawed and desperately needs reform.
It’s easy to comply in such a planning system, especially when actions by the City of Bayswater facilitate your subdivision, not the community’s interest.
The planning system and environmental regulation system should prevent perverse outcomes like those at Carters wetland, part of Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary, where an ecosystem has been destroyed for developers’ profits.
An application that should have rung alarm bells in our planning system made it through with an approval; how did this occur when there was no environmental assessment of the impact on the Carter block?
The minister would do well to expedite the city’s request for a Metro Scheme Amendment and then facilitate purchase of the wetland, for the good of Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary, Riverside Gardens, and the greater Swan River environment.
In future, local councils must consult the community on development applications in sensitive ecological areas, and things like this may be prevented.
Dr Jacquie Kelly
Bayswater Urban Tree Network
Hill St, Bayswater

I WAS sad to see on your front page pictures of young Muslim girls covered up with Islamic clothing, who were contrary to the Christian girls with beautiful hair.
I wish to enlighten these girls that Allah has also given them beautiful hair, ears and necks to be proud of.
It’s a gift from Allah to be a female and one should proudly accept this gift instead of rejecting it.
It should be a blasphemy for Muslim women to reject and be ashamed of their gender just because their leaders think they should hide their gender because they could be seen as a sex object.
I commend Voice to highlight this difference in the front page where Christian girls accept nature’s gift and oppressed Muslim girls reject it.
All Australian Muslims should reject such oppression and brainwashing of these innocent, beautiful, Muslim girls. Allah will never judge you by your clothes but your heart and mind.
Alex Mulla (Humanist)
Smith St, Highgate
The Ed says: While not being fans of enforced dress codes for any religion, we still thought they were beautiful young women; and we’re just judging them by their hearts and minds.


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