Melville Times - - Opinion -

SO Rus­sell Aubrey is miffed with the Mayor of Cock­burn rep­re­sent­ing his con­stituents and by his al­leged ig­no­rance about Roe 8 and 9 and fu­ture port re­quire­ments in Fre­man­tle and Cock­burn (Let­ters, Fe­bru­ary 28).

Well, with his claimed 15 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence with the Perth Freight Link per­haps he can tell us what are the fi­nal plans and cost­ing for the Link and how it will cross the Swan River to avoid the hor­ren­dous traf­fic snarls that al­ready ex­ist ie, the road to nowhere.

This is the in­for­ma­tion the State Gov­ern­ment is not will­ing to pro­vide.

One thing we can be sure of is that road ve­hi­cles of any kind will con­tinue to use the route to Fre­man­tle that is con­ve­nient and cost ef­fec­tive for them, and why shouldn't they given the high costs they have to meet to use our roads?

Then con­sider the traf­fic de­ba­cle across the river and the wors­en­ing traf­fic snarls north and south of any en­larged bridge that may or may not be built.

We know of the ex­ten­sive ad­verse pub­lic­ity the Melville City Coun­cil and its se­nior of­fi­cers are re­ceiv­ing over their stance on Roe 8, and the money be­ing spent by the City on advertising sup­port for the pro­ject, as well as the treat­ment of Melville res­i­dents over the con­tro­ver­sial Wave Park and high-rise de­vel­op­ments in the City.

Per­haps the let­ter was meant to take the heat off these is­sues and di­vert their em­bar­rass­ment to other lo­cal gov­ern­ment coun­cils who have le­git­i­mate con­cerns about the Link.

Rus­sell Aubrey and oth­ers need to take a leaf out of the Cock­burn Mayor's hand­book and be seen to sup­port ratepayer con­stituents.

The City's sup­port for the Perth Freight Link and pro­posed de­vel­op­ments at the Port of Fre­man­tle are taken straight from the Lib­eral Party's elec­tion man­i­festo and will see the Port de­vel­oped and then sold off, prob­a­bly to over­seas in­ter­ests.

You can only spec­u­late as to why the City is seen to be sup­port­ing the pro­po­nents of high-rise de­vel­op­ments and the Wave Park against the le­git­i­mate con­cerns of ratepay­ers and is hell bent on push­ing these projects through with as lit­tle scru­tiny and as much se­crecy as pos­si­ble.

Lo­cal gov­ern­ment is the most con­tro­ver­sial of our three tiers of gov­ern­ment and per­haps we can look for­ward to an in­quiry into how coun­cils are run.

As for Fed­eral and State gov­ern­ments, there needs to be com­pul­sory vot­ing for lo­cal coun­cils.

At present, with very poor voter turnouts, all lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions re­sults are hardly demo­cratic.

Lo­cal gov­ern­ments can be run like fief­doms con­trolled by just a few peo­ple with lit­tle ac­count­abil­ity or over­sight.

I vaguely re­call that Paul Keat­ing once said some­thing in the Fed­eral Par­lia­ment about un­rep­re­sen­ta­tive elected bod­ies? GOR­DON MAR­SHALL, Melville.

It does not look like he will qual­ify as a NIMBY. KARL KELERS, Al­fred Cover.

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