LETTERS 14.9.19

Councils in hot water
IT is very disappointing to hear of the Maylands Waterland not reopening this year (“Waterland off”, The Voice, September 7, 2019).
I find it disappointing even though I don’t even live in the area nor use the facility.
However, it points to a greater scourge that has insinuated itself with local government councils…that being the never ending and often unreported overpayment of executive staffers that work within those councils.
The CEO of many councils is usually on a salary package of greater than $300,000 per annum.
There are often a few lieutenants that also get greater than $200,000 per annum.
Then there are the managers and all the rest who are getting ridiculously high payments. It’s out of control.
The thing is, we all know that any organisation or business has 80 per cent of expenditure of day-to-day running that goes to wages and salaries.
This runs contrary to the relentless and unforgiving nature of rate rises than none of us have a say in and have to “suck it up”.
The Salaries and Allowances Tribunal that oversees such payments to executives should be pulled into line.
Shareholders within big corporations have a say by corporate law that allows them to have oversight on executive salaries and payments.
We, as general ratepayers, basically have no oversight, no say in the matter, get no transparency in the “system” and generally get no relief from excessive rates that are obviously linked to excessive salaries.
The fact that one council has trouble funding a community facility points to an issue of council payments to staffers being completely out of kilter with community expectations, and it eventually shows up in such a way.
As the economic cycle gives us a pretty good opinion that we are in some sort of recession, then we should make changes that save us money.
And that should start by our council elected members insisting on some sort of cuts to executive staff salaries.
Those salaries grew by over 40 per cent in the few years leading up to 2017, and now is the time to peg them back.
Then maybe we’ll have a rate rise of zero per cent and maybe certain facilities will continue to provide a service.
Colin Scott
Deague Court, North Perth

Ping pong
DAVID SCHILDKRAUT’s letter (“You’re missing the point”, Voice, September 7, 2019) is a work of fiction.
Mr Schildkraut asserts that “Jewish settlement” (i.e. Israeli settlement) on what he claims to be “their historical land” has “always been legal”.
The justification for this assertion is the League of Nations’ “mandate system”, which handed over to two of the victors of World War I – Britain and France – colonial control over all Arab lands formerly held by the Ottoman Empire until they were deemed ready for self-rule.
Arab peoples rightly rebelled against the carving up of their homelands: the Palestinian revolt (1936-1939) provides one such example.
In 1917, Britain’s Balfour Declaration unilaterally declared Palestine a homeland for the Jewish people, despite Jewish settlers being a tiny minority.
When, in 1947, the United Nations carved up Palestine, just as the League of Nations had carved up Arab lands three decades before, most of Palestine was granted to Israel, despite Jewish settlers still being a minority of the nation’s inhabitants.
Moreover, Zionists (those advocating a Jewish homeland) demanded more.
In 1948 they occupied three quarters of historic Palestine and in 1967 occupied the remainder.
Since 1948, Israel has passed numerous laws that discriminate against Palestinians. Israel imposes military law upon Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and denies them basic human rights.
Israel is a colonial apartheid state. And I am not an anti-Semite for saying so.
Nick Everett, co-convenor
Friends of Palestine WA
Victor Street, Hilton

Meddling lefties
NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian claims that Sydney is Australia’s only global city.
About three years ago, Perth would have begged to differ.
That was when a meddling Labor state government took over in WA.
In effect, it banned Perth’s apolitical lord mayor from further cultivating our ties with Canada, China, the United States and Europe.
Every such association helps ease international tensions.
One wonders, have the commissioners now running Perth council even been interstate?
Winsley Hurst
St Georges Terrace, Perth

Emotive debate 
THANK you to the Voice for publishing letters portraying both sides of the highly emotive subject of Israel.
A very big thank you to David Schildkraut (“Flawed premise”, Voice Letters, September 24, 2019) for respectfully explaining the history, the actual facts, behind the creation of Israel.
There are so many voices denouncing this small country and so few people who remember anything about the history that brought about its creation.
Even fewer who have lived in a country that is shelled by its neighbour daily.
I also am puzzled how none of the same people, who take up the cry of “right of return” for Palestinians, voice the same requirement for the 850,000 Jews who were forcibly expelled from Arab countries between 1948-1970.
Is that because people don’t know their history or because….gasp..they are anti-semitic?
I would very much like to know.
Lin Arias
Address supplied

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