LETTERS 17.12.16

Staturesque
IN response to Robert Wood (“Greens failing,” Voice letters, November 19, 2016) and his reference, I assume, to Mt Lawley MLA Michael Sutherland’s stature and not that of his wife and Bayswater councillor, Michelle.
I also assume he was not referencing physical stature, but metaphorical stature.
If “liberal” MLA Sutherland can get ”liberal” planning minister Donna Faragher to use some of the Metropolitan Region Scheme Improvement Tax for the correct purpose, such as buying private land — Carter’s wetland — that has been reserved under the Metropolitan Region Scheme, rather than as a slush fund, then MLA Sutherland will have stature.
Greg Smith
Rose Ave, Bayswater

Water it well
IN a letter dated November 2, 2016, the acting CEO of Bayswater council has advised me that at its ordinary meeting on October 25 of this year, the council declared  “the city will continue to use the quantified tree risk assessment (QTRA) method to assess the risk associated with trees”.
I assume this represents the long-overdue adoption of an actual city-endorsed policy: that marks a major change because previously the assessment process seems to have been a matter of whim or fancy of one or other city employee.
That uncertainty is believed to have put those employees at some risk — just as it did for ratepayers — in the event an assessment report was challenged in court.
Now it’s up to the city to ensure its QTRA assessment reports are as comprehensive and scientifically based as required to achieve maximum protection for the city’s residents.
To that end, readers’ attention is drawn to a very detailed report about that QTRA process prepared by WA’s most eminent arboriculturalist, Jeremy Thomas from the Botanic Gardens and Park Authority and published in the 2016 summer edition of the Friends of Kings Park journal,  For People and Plants.
Vincent McCudden
Almondbury St, Bayswater

In our hands
SOON the state elections will be upon us and candidates will be puffing themselves up and telling us we are a democracy; lulling us into the false sense of confidence needed to meet their ambitions.
The maxim is the bigger the lie and the more often it is repeated the more people will come to believe it.
The mainstream news media follows suit to mollify the populus (us) especially our national broadcaster the ABC whose program presenters and reporters use every opportunity to make the lying claim we are a democracy and allow interviewees to do so without challenge.
Advancement in the ABC is obviously conditional on believing and advocating we are a democracy and I suspect a precondition of employment along the lines of The London Times newspaper of old.
The similarity to democracy in our right to elect representatives to our parliament ends where we do not have the democratic right to popularly elect our governor as head of the state of Western Australia.
Instead we have an appointee of the premier — a not popularly elected majority party or coalition leader whose own position is trickily dependent on nominal assent from the crown, which a democracy does not have.
I envy and admire the Greeks as the forerunners of democracy and their birthright to decisively deal with anyone undemocratically and falsely seeking power.
At this point in time we are only a deMOCKracy.
Gordon Westwood,
Coode St, Maylands

Bull, Mal
TWO favourite lines used by most politicians to look good and avoid confrontation are “ thank you for your question” during question time, although they may not like the question, and “ I don’t want to give you a running commentary “ when they don’t have an answer.
The latter is used by Malcolm Turnbull all the time when he wants to avoid the question.
They must think we are fools.
Alex Mulla
Smith St, Highgate

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