Letters 22.6.19

I was skint
UNFORTUNATELY I couldn’t take up Joshua O’Keefe’s suggestion to get down to Beaufort Street on Saturday evening and ‘act local’ (“Rally for traders”, Voice, June 8, 2019)
Much as I would have liked have “bar snacks and cocktails at Must, dinner at the Dainty Dowager and a cookie from Get Chunky” I found that I was skint.
I suppose I could have rustled up the price of a Burger King, but I doubt that particular company needs my charity.
Any other bright ideas, Mr O’Keefe?
Milo Bell
Walcott Street, North Perth

Left wailing
RECENTLY there was an open day at the new Vincent Fire Station on Carr Street in West Perth.
Many of the local papers ran articles on the open day, and in those articles district officer John Manocchio was quoted as boasting about how the station was “perfectly placed”.
Many families with children attended the open day, and the majority of the community in Perth probably appreciate the new station.
However, for the residents living near the station, its location is far from ideal.
The relatively quiet residential street has been disturbed by the daily sirens of fire trucks leaving the station, sometimes in the early hours of the morning between 4-5am.
Readers may recall articles published in the Voice that discussed the concerns of residents before the new station was there.
The DFES assured the public that noise from the station would not impact on their homes, with commissioner Wayne Gregson saying there would be a 100-metre buffer zone around the station where siren use would be restricted.
An article quotes Perth district officer David Young as saying they would alter their use of lights and sirens, especially in the morning when we don’t even do 50km per hour.
A traffic control device was installed allowing trucks to pass through the intersections on the western and eastern end of that block of Carr Street so that the crew could avoid the use of sirens at those intersections.
The reality though is that the crew has used sirens at the intersection of Charles and Carr Street daily.
For some reason, the traffic control device is only being used by the station during peak hour.
Most times outside of peak hour Charles Street is relatively quiet, and when speaking with the crew, they tell me they can get through without sirens at the intersection and that the control device is not needed.
Despite this, we still get sirens, and it is especially disturbing when it happens during the early hours of the morning between 4-8am when residents are sleeping or preparing for work.
The sirens at about 140db are very penetrating; about 20db above the pain threshold.
When they are only metres away and pointed at your home, soundproofing and earplugs are not enough to block the noise from cutting through a house.
As you can imagine the sudden, unpredictable shock of the noise piercing through one’s home every day is not pleasant. There have been an unprecedented number of homes for sale around the station since it opened; two houses next to the station have been on the market since last year and remain unsold. It is a shame that people are being forced out of their homes here.
I’m writing this letter because although efforts have been made to reduce the siren noise, it has not been enough. I feel that the suffering of residents is not being taken seriously enough, because we are a minority, and the prevailing attitude seems to be that we should put up with the noise.
Unless you have experienced this, I don’t feel you would be able to appreciate the impact the siren noise has had on the lives of the residents here. Sirens in the background are easily tolerable, but when they are blasted right outside your home every day, it is another matter.
Although the residents here that are affected are a minority, our small section of the community is significant, and it is not necessary to sacrifice us and force us to leave our homes.
I’m hoping this letter will raise awareness that the issue is still ongoing, encouraging both the City of Vincent Council and the DFES to take more measures to protect us from the noise of the station.
Unofficially, I have heard that the DFES has called the residents who have complained here “just a handful of whingers”.
The DFES shouldn’t dismiss residents as whingers for trying to have a voice, and we should not be ignored by the government just because we are a minority.
We are hoping that the local government will take further measures and that the DFES will stay true to their principles of “considering community views”, “keeping promises made to the public” and to “put the community first”.
For example, the City of Vincent council could help by sheltering homes from the noise at the intersection by building a wall at the corner of Ivy Park as a barrier for the siren noise, and the DFES could make improvements to the traffic control device, so it is used by the crew more effectively.
William Martin
Carr Street, Perth

A history lesson for all our leaders
I READ a good book recently.
MacBeth by Jo Nesbo is a modern retelling of Shakespeare’s story.
At first I didn’t know this and I considered that Nesbo’s usual writing style and Scandinavian references would be embedded further into the storyline.
But no … on the story went with the main character having a great first chapter and then completely lost his good name as he brought down what he had around him and those he loved, all in the name of achieving power within his own little sphere of influence.
What a great read and it’s still a nail biting finish after 400 years of telling. And very strong ethical considerations thrown in to make one think hard.
But why am I telling you?
I reckon this book should be compulsory reading for anyone wanting to climb “the ladder”.
Our captains of industry should read it, our public servants should read it and anyone with a bent to taking control of their business, workplace or anything at all, should read it.
What Shakespeare wrote and tried to get across to people 400 years ago is still just as relevant today as when he penned it.
Now I’m after The Tempest retold by Margaret Atwood of The Handmaids Tale fame. I’m hooked.
Colin Scott
Deague Court, North Perthx

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