Letters of the week August 11, 2023

Cars, trains and CAT buses

Dear Echo News,

I very much doubt that Midland’s new railway station will have a better plan from what has been written so far in Midland Station development milestone (Echo News, June 30).

Australians are so used to looking at these planning arguments like they are watching the local footy.

The sad thing is surely it’s a matter of talent when hiring architects or engineering consultants – and of course money.

There were many draftsmen of the engineering profession that wanted the Metronet people to just keep going with those tunnel machines – it would have saved a billion or two!

It should have gone all the way alongside Whatley Crescent or even under the existing railway reserve to Roe Street in Perth.

Easily done, they could have left the fit outs of rail stations when each old station point was upgraded to an underground station according to a scheduled plan.

But no.

It really goes back to the main advisers to the Labor party at the universities who are ill qualified in the visual arts.

We all know who they are with qualifications in political science and use of the sustainability buzz word.

So, the only chance Bayswaterites have to fix the problem of steel dust pouring down on to the streets below, outside their favourite pub and the old shopping precinct is move on to another town – the classic tree change argument, leave the big city!

Of course, the government could have hired say, someone of the calibre of Norman Foster, to advise them with his Canary Wharf rail station experience on London’s Crossways rail system.

But I am afraid that until they get rid of the dead wood at the university in urban planning that will not happen.

That same Roe Street extension could have gone on to Subiaco and then on to Marine Parade in Scarborough, and one day via City Beach – but bad luck Bayswater, and let’s hope the same doesn’t happen to Midland.

R Wood



Thank you

Dear Echo News,

Congratulations to Echo News for the common-sense article (Conservative commentator films in Bullsbrook library) on the gender police couple placing anti-trans flyers in library books (Echo News, August 4).

The long oppression of my minority by the majority seems finally to be passing, though only it seems in Australia and not many other countries. Most people know in their heart of hearts there are a lot more ways to experience and express one’s gender than just two stereotypes.

I’m well-known in the community having lived a long time in the hills and spent four years in Karratha, counting among my friends and clients countless rural and semi-rural locals and immigrants.

I can count on less than the fingers of one hand the number of times I have suffered any sort of question or challenge in the last twenty-five years, even in churches where I sometimes work in a secular capacity. I feel very privileged to live in such a welcoming society.

Contrary to the claim that semi-rural people ‘are not going to stand for a lot of that rubbish,’ any sheep farmer can tell you about the incidence of intersex births, which they know are just part of nature.

The notion that making trans and intersex people visible is somehow grooming kids to become trans would be laughable if it were not so damaging.

I came out as a non-binary androgyne in a previous century, but after teaching music to many hundreds of children and adults in private lessons I have yet to hear of a single student who has followed my transgender example.

M D Jones



Attention on the homeless

Dear Echo News,

August 7 to 13 is Homelessness Week, a time to draw attention to the problem of homelessness and the solutions.

The theme of Homelessness Week, “It’s time to end homelessness,” is a reminder that it is within our power to achieve, if we band together.

We know the situation is dire. The persistent housing and homelessness crisis has escalated to an emergency. Rents and mortgages are rapidly increasing, and affordable homes are scarce.

The 2021 census found that one in 200 were homeless. These numbers keep rising.

Mission Australia’s newest report A Safe Place to Call Home revealed a 26 per cent increase in demand for our homelessness services over the past three years.

In a wealthy country like Australia, access to housing is a human right we should have no trouble guaranteeing.

Leading drivers of homelessness, including poverty, family violence, and the lack of affordable housing must be addressed.

Government, business, communities, and individuals all have a role.

Almost one million new social and affordable homes will be needed over the next 20 years.

Let’s all do our part to call time on homelessness.

S Budalich

Mission Australia

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