LETTERS 12.8.17

Cultural change needed
THE Australian Human Rights Commission report of the findings of a survey of 39,000 university students across the country revealed a disturbingly high rate of sexual assault and harassment (‘ECU bucks assault stats’, Voice, August 5, 2017).
While it is important to carry out these surveys to highlight the issue from time to time, harassment of vulnerable people in the community we live in is not ‘news’.
Nor is the prescribed solution of cultural change as the only way to improve the situation a new idea.
The former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright once remarked in an interview with TIME that “there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women”.
I believe that we women have “a special duty of care” to help the vulnerable people we come across in our daily lives.
In our own community I have come across people who live alone (of any age or gender) being an easy target for bullies—we can offer help by doing simple things such as asking someone out for a coffee or taking them out to one of the many free community events available.
Sometimes an anonymous call to the police is all it takes if you do not want to get personally involved and see someone being bullied or harassed.
The cultural change needs to come from within each of us.
It is not a task that we can conveniently leave to the Human Rights Commission, a government department, or the police to deal with.
S Adjie
Longford Rd, Beaconsfield

Baysy beef
THE 4.9 per cent increase in rates by Bayswater city council is absurd and cannot be justified.
How they can be applying this sort of increase when we’ve been subjected to nothing but absurd behaviour from the lot of them.
Recently SAT in an unprecedented decision ordered council to pay $112,000 in legal costs and are now liable for an additional $170,000 in ancillary costs as a result of a failed action opposing a concrete batching plant on Collier Road (‘Council must pay concreter’, Voice, August 5, 2017).
The harshest criticism was levelled at an unrepentant Mayor McKenna whose evidence was considered to be, “clearly incongruous when set against all of the professional advice that was before him and appeared to be contrived in an attempt to appear to genuinely decide the proposal on its merits”.
They ought to all tender their resignations as a result of this scandalous conduct with most councillors presented with a one way ticket back to Jurassic Park.
In order to rectify the council’s inability to make coherent and plausible decisions, it has recently appointed a new shire clerk on an absurd salary [about 10 per cent less than the state premier] in the expectation he will carry them as well as do the thinking for them and be accountable for any of their outlandish decisions.
This is a council that spends too much time arguing with one another, then adjourning to an inner sanctum to discuss goodness knows what, instead of concerning itself with very basic and core issues like fixing roads, maintaining parks and gardens, collecting garbage, operating the dog pound and issuing basic building licenses. Those might not exceed their intellectual capacity; instead they insist in getting involved in lesbian and homosexual affairs, etc. which belongs in another forum.
We should all be thankful SAT exists because it is the only avenue any ratepayer can receive an unbiased and equitable decision.
If ratepayers feel aggrieved on any matter before SAT they should stump up at least half the money to fund appeals.
George Bouzidis
Grosvenor, Road Bayswater

George is our winner. Congratulations, George Bouzidis! You’ve won our letter of the week competition and a $50 lunch voucher from The Terrace Hotel Restaurant, 237 St Georges Terrace. We hope a good feed and a trip to the city gets the Baysy council blues out of your system. If you would like to be in the running for letter of the week, make sure you email us your ripper at news@perthvoice.com.

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