Letters 2.3.19

Lisa’s lure
“WHERE there is no publicity (i.e. full disclosure) there is no justice,” Jeremy Bentham, 1748-1832.
For a year by now, weirdly silent as the lambs, have been our capital city’s suspended councillors while subject to an inquiry set up by the state.
And along with the councillors, our first woman and best-ever Perth lord mayor.
From the inquiry there has been, as far as this scribe is aware, no progress reports or even leaks.
Presumably this inquisition is obliged to be wrapped up before the local elections in October.
All the while there has persisted a slump in WA tourism, that in consequence adds significantly to the number of jobless.
Our land-based sharks and the relentless witch-hunters, will, of course, shrug off as coincidental this self-imposed burden.
Oh, come on. WA tourism joined the lemmings three years ago, when the ongoing witch-hunt of the then global-roaming lord mayor began.
So very welcome in WA government would be a tad of “fair goes”–and even justice.
Winsley Hurst
St Georges Terrace, Perth

Political spin
THE letter from Vincent mayor Emma Cole (“A bit more imagination than that”, February 23, Voice, 2019), which sought to defend the city’s poor record of consultation, is typical political spin.
It contains enough facts to imply that everything is hunky dory, but missing important facts which actually shows it isn’t.
Firstly there’s the claim that no trees will be lost because of the Loftus Street bike lane because a community member contacted the mayor and the route was changed.
That’s the half-truth about the “consultation”. The full-truth is that the community member only knew about it because they saw a newspaper article with a photo of the mayor riding a bike and going woohoo.
It was presented as a fait accompli – there was no community consultation.
Secondly, there’s the recent laneway names fiasco.
There is a claim that residents and businesses were consulted.  Another half-truth. Residents were asked for suggestions three years ago, but they were never consulted for their opinion on the ultimate recommendations.
This is contrary to Landgate’s policy which clearly states that if a competition is held to identify potential names, the local community must be consulted about the recommended names.
Then there’s the mention of an award for the strategic community plan. That’s correct, but it was an award for the process that Vincent undertook, not the actual plan that was delivered.
Vincent spent a lot of time and a lot of ratepayers’ money, but what did they deliver?
What has consistently been missed is the fact that Vincent spent over $300,000 on the project and ended up with a document that can be described as pedestrian at best.
It contains the usual high-level motherhood statements that every council espouses.
Stuff about being a vibrant, sustainable, thriving, safe, leafy, connected, innovative, caring community that values its heritage, quality design and diversity.
All commendable things–but you didn’t need $300,000 of ratepayer money to tell you that.
About the only thing new or unexpected in the document was the suggestion that the community wants a ‘vibrant 24-hour city’ and a council that always says ‘yes’.  Really?
Finally, the mayor says that Imagine Vincent has changed the way the city engages with the community.
I suspect that anybody who put in a detailed suggestion to Imagine Vincent, will be disappointed to see that it has been simply transformed into a warm fuzzy platitude, without any real commitment to deliver, and they’ll ask themselves why they bothered.
Dudley Maier

Stop nitpicking
YET another front page article by the Voice on the proposed development of Woolies at Inglewood that isn’t favourable.
This time it’s not about the art deco nature of the building, but public art that will “attract new customers” if Woolies kowtows to the powers that be. Seriously?
Won’t a new grocery chain attract new customers with or without public art?
Especially since that land has laid dormant since Bunnings burned down.
Some of us conspiracy theorists may even think Coles is on this.
It seems the naysayers really want to make it hard for Woolies to open a store on that vacant block.
Let me echo what I said two weeks ago – please let the development go through, once all contractual planning obligations are fulfilled.
Some us ratepayers encourage competition because ultimately it benefits us all.
Just get on with it folks and stop arguing  about petty matters.
Darren Moldrich

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