Letters of the week May 31, 2024

Nigel half right on DAPs
Dear Echo News,
Nigel is sort of half right regarding development assessment panels (DAPs) implementation ala 2011 Liberal National coalition.

However, as a retiree from the architectural profession who trained with both the Public Works Department (PWD) and the old State Housing Commission in the 1960s, I view the DAPs differently.

Firstly, DAPs came into being because many WA local government authorities failed to make decisions on bigger projects over a ten house limit regarding developments or projects in excess of $20 million, be they houses or larger civic buildings.

Green square developments even like the Kalamunda town markets etc of which I suggested back in 1987-88 via a sort of DAP committee put together by the local shire council chaired by shire clerk Kelly.

Basically, more than often, when a dispute between a ‘developer’ and others in any community needs resolution or when the paid officials fail to make a decison, like say has been happening out Stoneville way for the past five years, a state tribunal makes the decision.

Regarding most housing developments, without going into any local developments in say Midland or Guildford, DAPs are now part of the game.

The main winners these days are often environmental lobby groups using misinformation regarding the issues that block good local design input by qualified architectural and planning practitioners.

They came into being, like say when the East Perth Redevelopment Authority was legislated in the City of Perth to deal with other departments like Main Roads, PTA railway people and heritage environment groups.

As to people losing citizen rights, well whose idea was it to reduce 12 locally elected councillors and replace them with eight, plus a mayor?

Kalamunda, a smaller vibrant town once, is now a city using outside consultants, often interstate entities.

I would hazard a guess that lack of a place to live is the most critical issue in most towns and all city councils throughout the country, bearing in mind the fact that the public housing list is now well over 35,000 people since June-July last year.

Perhaps your electorate might then wake up to the fact that the link with public violence is more to to do with nowhere to live for independent aged pensioners, single mums and the next generation of young folk that are begging for smaller affordable well-designed flats etc.

One and two bed rooms in downtown zones near their work, if lucky enough to have paid work.
The era of the hills McMansion with backyard swimming pools is over Nigel.

As for Midland, it has become a basket case regarding appropriate housing.
R Wood


Call for Gidge CWA
Dear Echo News,
Almost every country town in WA has a Country Women’s Association, better known as the CWA.

Far beyond scones and jam, the influence of the CWA has been at the frontline of Australia’s regional communities and this year we are celebrating 100 years of supporting rural women, advancing social justice and lobbying governments.

Over the years, CWA lobbying has contributed to lasting change, including mandatory car seatbelts and helmets for cyclists, the introduction of lower strength beers and campaigns to support Australian made products.

CWA also supports and engages in vital charitable fundraising along the way.

It may sound outdated, but these associations are certainly beacons for the community, and they represent so much more.

For decades the CWA has provided a safe space for women to come together, share their skills and learn new ones, providing an encouraging and supportive environment for ladies of all ages to enjoy time together building relationships while engaging in friendly conversation.

If you are interested in learning traditional skills, making new friends and having a chat please join us.

CWA Gidgegannup meets every Wednesdays and Fridays at 10am in the CWA rooms located in the Gidgegannup Show Grounds, Toodyay Rd, Gidgegannup.

For those ladies who can’t make the day sessions we also meet on a Tuesday night from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.
M Bennett
CWA Gidgegannup


It’s time for cash guarantee
Dear Echo News
Australians need to demand that their governments provide guarantees about access to and the usage of cash for all transactions.

Clearly the electronic, digital system that is used by banks and government agencies are not fit for purpose as a stand-alone system, given the outages experienced so often.

Those who wish to use it can do so at their own risk.

We have cash as the primary medium of exchange and as our nation’s legal tender for a very good reason: it’s reliable.

It may not be as convenient (for banks, business and government) but that’s not the point.

We are the electors and we must make this an election issue.

Neither governments nor businesses vote, nor do they always know best, nor even have the authority to decide unless we give it to them.

We all need to stand up and be counted on this before we lose cash as an option.
P Carman

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