Letters of the week December 14, 2023

Heartless decision making

Dear Echo News,

Residents are under the belief that a new council may see improved communication, decision making and accountability – coupled with a one year in chief executive officer and a reconfigured City of Swan.

In October 2022, I was one of 144 people who signed a petition, then heard and read in council meeting minutes – the motion to investigate options to repurpose the former Swan Districts Senior Citizens heritage building.

This included that the then chief executive officer would report back on the matter.

Imagine our community’s surprise to see a fence erected around ready for demolition of this same building a year later – yet no report?

We have no senior citizen space centrally located.

We have no shared community hub accessible for support and exchange of community groups.

There is however, a growing demolition at Harper Park and The Avenue where no one is required to explain, to account nor justify removal of buildings.

I have made investigations, many requests seeking after hours meeting venues and community space from which not-for-profit groups can obtain support, gather, revive, and share resources including exchange ideas or share enterprise.

Midland had many such spaces 13 years ago – where has the civic heart gone, who has removed it and for what purpose?

Name withheld

City of Swan


Joy in rejection

Dear Echo News,

Of the around 2000 submissions about Satterley’s North Stoneville township that were sent to the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage, only 29 were in support – which underscores the totally inappropriate basis for locating a township within an extreme fire zone served by narrow winding roads.

Small wonder the statutory planning committee recommended rejection, with a former emergency services chief being among those alarmed at the proposal when the Western Australian Planning Commission visited Mundaring Arena to hear deputations.

Those able to attend (it was a weekday morning) came away with a clear understanding of why this plan has been so comprehensively rejected by the community, authorities and the many experts who spoke against the original and ‘amended’ Satterley plan.

Countless Perth Hills residents, like myself, who live kilometres away understand the precedent such a township would set.

Few will forget the searing words of young Stoneville resident Cleo Williams who has grown up riding her horse through Stoneville’s rural landscape.

The passionate 20-year-old spoke for her generation and for the many Mundaring residents unable to be there.

This is part of what she said: “I’m environmentally aware, wildlife sensitive and respectful of the wonder – and power – of nature.

“As I speak, nature’s power has my friend Dan in its frightening grip as he battles to save his family’s Gnangara home,” she said.

“They moved into this home last year, having lost their home in the 2021 Wooroloo fires.

“That fire burnt 4km  from my home – towering smoke turned day to night and at 1am, we evacuated.

“Eighty-six homes gone, 400 people homeless.

“Their plan bulldozes 60,000 trees, many over a hundred years old – a staggering loss, robbing us of a carbon sink that would suck up 35,640 tonnes of Co2 and robbing my generation of the chance to breathe a cleaner future.

“I am gobsmacked this plan has been allowed to get this far and to continue this long.

“For me, for the future of my generation – reject this plan, but please this time make it permanent.”

Cleo, we all were gobsmacked that WA’s longest community battle has continued for so long.

Thank goodness the WA Planning Commission has just endorsed the views of the community, the shire, and so many experts in rejecting the proposal.

T Wiltshire


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