LETTERS: 6.4.19

Station toilets – is it that hard?
THE current furore surrounding the replacement of the sculpture marking the history of Seventh Avenue bridge with a public toilet, is the result of the implacable position taken by the Public Transport Authority in refusing a toilet on railway land at Maylands.
In 2016 Maylands MP Lisa Baker put out a study by Curtin University looking at ‘designing out crime’ in Maylands.
It found that the provision of a public toilet within the Maylands activity centre was an essential element in reducing antisocial behaviour.
The PTA’s position warranting no further discussion, Ms Baker and Bayswater  councillor Catherine Ehrhardt have worked hard for eight years to find an alternate site which suited the community and business alike, but without success; until now it seems.
However the plan to move the sculpture has found little support from community organisations, nor some members of the Maylands Business Association.
Maylands is steeped in history and celebrates it: moving past the site proposed for the toilet on Whatley Crescent, we see the beautifully restored School for the Blind, now an elegant home for the WA Ballet.
On the corner of Eighth Avenue are the 100-year-old shops and apartment building, and opposite is the majestic Old Peninsula Hotel.
To move a sculpture recognising the bridge’s history from this area to be replaced by a public loo, no matter how decorative, is incomprehensible.
The Seventh Avenue-Whatley Crescent intersection is busy as vehicles turn on and off the bridge.
A toilet block on that site would be extremely difficult to access and dangerous to use, particularly with a clientele who may be intoxicated.
No, the logical site is the car park on railway land near the train station.
Discretely placed beside the bike path and backing onto the brick signals building, it would be screened by trees on the verge opposite, to serve public transport users, cyclists and the general public.
Come on PTA, railways are a public amenity and should be serving the community through which they pass.
A toilet at any station has always been the norm.
Why is Maylands being discriminated against?
Pam Hall
Johnson Road, Maylands

Enriching lives
I WRITE with much pleasure to inform you what a difference the Maylands library makes to the lives of its many patrons.
From the moment I joined Bayswater libraries, I have had unbridled enjoyment from the atmosphere of friendliness and enthusiasm I see every week when I change books, and each month, especially, when I attend the book club.
One of the issues within the brief of local government is social justice. By providing a safe space where people can meet, use technology and discuss books and ideas in safety and comfort, the council is making this accessible in spades.
At a time when literacy can mean anything from finance to safety, I can safely say I have enjoyed each book club meeting.
I grew up in the then-town of Bayswater. When I was 12, the Bayswater library opened on King William Street.
I mention this because the range of people from diverse backgrounds that I see at the library demonstrates the relevance of book clubs and activities, including story time and rhyme time, to our community.
At a time when some people can be seen as “others” and when many people are isolated, it is wonderful to see how effectively Maylands library operates.
This evening I watched as a recent arrival to Australia was shown how to borrow books.
I thought how wonderful it was to see the joy on the little girl and her mum’s faces.
I have worked in a school library and I have knowledge and experience of the demands made on willing and hard-working staff.
It is commendable that the librarians and other staff do such an outstanding job.
Jennifer Antulov
Address supplied

Don’t move it
I WAS a member of one of the Maylands community groups who worked with Main Roads on the Seventh Avenue bridge committee to choose the successful artwork and decide where it would be located.
I would be very disappointed if Main Roads now agreed to Bayswater council’s request to relocate the sculpture to the other side of the railway line, where the committee had already decided was not the best place to put it.
I believe a public toilet near the train station is needed, however the site where the sculpture now stands would have to be the worst possible position for it.
The city of Bayswater should rescind the decision to request Main Roads’ permission to relocate the sculpture.
The city should also request that the premier bangs some heads together at the Public Transport Trust, so that permission be granted to allow the toilets to be built at the train station where water, power and sewerage services already exist.
This is where the toilets are needed most and the best outcome for Maylands residents and also train patrons.
My thoughts are shared by the other Maylands community groups who were part of the the original Main Roads’ committee, as do every other local person I have spoken with.
Terry Gaunt,
Maylands
Ed’s note: Mr Gaunt is a former Bayswater councillor

Good for some
FURTHER to my recent letter “A sobering thought” (Voice, March 23, 2019) I have further questions about parklets in Vincent.
These are the parking bays on the street given over to certain traders for commercial use.
Who decides which businesses get them and what do they pay for them?
As a parklet increases the traders’ floor space, do they pay extra rent or rates? If not, why not?
Do the customers get a discount on their food and beverages because of the city’s generous concessions afforded to the trader? No.
Not only are ratepayers paying for the upkeep of areas like streets and parking bays, but they are also subsidising certain businesses.
Ratepayers are not getting a discount on their consumables from these preferred traders.
What concessions are given to a business that does not serve food and beverages, and conducts its business inside its premises, whether leased or owned?
Where is the equity?
Hope Alexander
West Perth

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