LETTERS 24.12.16

964letters

Out-of-scale
I WOULD like to thank the Voice for giving front-page prominence to the story of the appalling proposed development in Inglewood on the corner of Beaufort Street and Eighth Avenue (“Seven-storey Inglewood alarms locals,” Voice, December 10, 2016).
This development cannot be allowed to go ahead in its current form.
While many locals and patrons of Inglewood’s popular Night Markets would welcome some revitalising development along Beaufort Street, the addition of a totally out-of-proportion seven-storey monstrosity would not be their favoured option.
Locals know already how congested and dangerous the traffic can be on the corner in question due to the popularity of Bunnings.
Adding over 60 more dwellings and a 200-seat restaurant in that location is simply not credible.
I also question whether there really is the demand for so many residences, considering the failure of the Tenth on Beaufort development to get off the ground.
There are also many vacant shops already along this section of Beaufort Street which again brings in to question if the demand for more retail spaces is really there.
More sympathetic development has already been completed, or is in the process of being completed, along the Inglewood strip.
These have retained the character, scale and overall appeal of the area.
What is now being proposed goes against the Beaufort Street Development Plan and the City of Stirling’s own local planning policies.
I would urge all Inglewood residents to tell the City of Stirling and the Development Assessment Panel to reject this development plan and help save us from turning in to another Maylands!
Chris Landon
Seventh Avenue, Inglewood

Digging deep
IN 2010 to 2012, the federal Labor government tried to introduce a super profits tax on coal and iron ore miners.
It was modelled on the resource rental tax successfully introduced by the Keating Labor government on oil extraction companies, and later extended to gas extraction.
Coal and iron were fetching very high prices and the miners were making massive profits. BHP Billiton reported a $20 billion profit one year.
The Liberal and National parties waged war against this ‘mining tax’, the chorus in WA led by Liberal premier Colin Barnett and the National’s Brendon Grylls. This was not a tax on the cost of production, but on excessive profits destined for overseas shareholders.
WA stood to gain $2 billion from this tax, and being a federal tax, it would not affect the distribution of the goods and services tax. The Liberal and National parties were amply rewarded for their efforts, the party coffers overflowed, and Tony Abbott dumped the tax.
Now in 2016, Mr Grylls pops up with a plan for a massive increase in the production tax for some miners with no clear implementation path. And it applies to only two companies (Rio and BHP) who will surely block it and take the WA government to court. The distribution of GST revenue to WA, according to the formula constructed by the Liberal Howard government, and agreed to by the Richard Court Liberal WA government will be affected by the Grylls’ crazy mining tax. It is so disappointing to look back and realise how much opportunity was missed and how hypocritical the conservative parties can be.
Gordon Payne
Jenkin St, South Fremantle
Editor’s note: That “crazy tax” has sure gathered a lot of public support Gordon. However, it may be better and fairer to simply remove all taxpayer subsidies, including fuel subsidies, to the whole mining sector, worth just over $1 billion per year according to a recent expert report. Wouldn’t that raise a cheer?

Pay it forward
CONGRATULATIONS on continuing to investigate and expose the significant weaknesses in the compliance of certain publicly elected officials for continuing to fail to disclose and/or hide gifts they have received.
It’s about time these people got out of the trough and focussed on what they are supposed to be doing rather than wallowing around and treating their ratepayers with contempt.
Sometimes I wonder if these people have ever heard of probity, let alone knowing either how to spell it or what it means.
I have a simple solution to solve this issue:
Most local governments have an annual incentive to e ncourage ratepayers to pay rates early.
As a suggestion, all gifts could be put into a pool and either distributed to ratepayers through an annual draw, or selectively distributed throughout the year.
This would stop any bias in sponsorships (a la the WA Ballet tickets etc), decisions to support certain events, or unwarranted visits to trade fairs / seminars (aka junkets).
It would be interesting to see what would happen if the councillors had to pay their own way, then seek reimbursement by way of justification for expenditure, as to just how many events, etc they would attend.
John Meakins
Wembley

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