Letter to the Editor: RE Chapman Valley Highway Opposition Group

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My name is Tenille and I am a resident of Howatharra in Chapman Valley, along with my partner and our 8 year old son. We have lived on our beautiful property for three years now, which we bought for the peace and quiet, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Not three weeks after we had moved in we received a letter from Main Roads stating their intentions on building a new highway between Dongara and Northampton. There were different options you could vote on, but the one Main Roads supports is to build a whole brand new highway right through the middle of my property. This would also go straight through a nature reserve and very close to others. We also have the rare and endangered Black Carnaby Cockatoo frequent our area foraging for food, what will happen to them if we take more of their land? I did not buy my property to then have to sit on my front porch and watch and listen to trucks and cars pass by, I'd have stayed in Geraldton if I wanted that. Yes I believe we need to get the trucks and heavy vehicles out of Geraldton and Northampton, but why spend all that extra money building a new highway went there is one already there that can be expanded on!

As a concerned community we have formed a group called the Chapman Valley Highway Opposition Group. But don't let the name stop you, we welcome all affected communities to join us: Northampton, Dongara and Geraldton. Did you know that if they build a new highway the old existing one gets "gifted" to the relevant shires. And what does this mean? Rates go up to cover the maintenance and upkeep of the old road. Who needs to be paying more rates?!

We have a community meeting Wednesday 22nd August at the Nabawa Hall at 6pm and we welcome everyone to join us! We have petitions circulating the area and will be at both the Chapman Valley and Northampton Shows to answer any of your questions. For more info, & a list of petition locations & info on what you can do to help, you can email cvhighwayoppositiongroup@gmail.com, find us on Facebook - Chapman Valley Highway Opposition Group, or our website is https://cvhighway.wixsite.com/oppositiongroup

Tenille Webb
Chapman Valley Highway Opposition Group
0409 372 774

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The good old days

Unfortunately I am now sounding like my father.

I came back from a short holiday and I found myself saying “I remember back in the old days

Diesel was only $1.35/litre not like now $1.60/litre .”

That is what I said, but in this case the old days were only 2 months ago.

What is going on with fuel prices, I am feeling ripped off and over taxed.

I am aware the federal government haul in over a Billion dollars in fuel tax each year.

There is a leak in there tax system because several large companies pay no fuel tax at all

and these companies use huge amounts of fuel.

So as far as I can calculate I pay roughly $1.00 /litre plus tax.

These large companies pay nothing near $1.00.

While on the subject of being over taxed here in WA there is GST on the fuel we buy (after the fuel levy)

36% of the GST collected is returned to the state government, if we received 100% we would not have a state debt

and better roads.

I digress, As a small service business we run 3 vehicles for sales and deliveries and a further 8 vehicles are run by our team of installers . Today I fuelled up one vehicle ,costing $140.00. for 90 litres of fuel. If I had the time I would make my own biodiesel

For a cost of 12cents a litre ,but I see something better on the horizon.

I have eagerly been watching the rise and rise of the Tesla company ,with their production of electric cars and I have

noted that Apple have been employing automotive and electrical engineers from all over the world .If they make an electric car I

hope there batteries are better than their phones.

Electric cars have been widely criticised by the people with the most to loose .

Oil companies ,conventional car companies ,major media have all been unfairly negative about electric vehicles.

I just realised Tesla spends no money with traditional media hence there negative view.

There is huge pent up demand to get away from 100 year old tech that, uses our resources and pollutes the air.

I eagerly await affordable electric vehicles that have a long range between charges and my fleet of oilers will be replaced.

My plan in part is solar panels on the roof feeding a flow battery then charging the electric cars.

Free electricity from the sun running cars that don’t need oil changes and oil filters.

Let’s see how long it is before this is a reality in regional Western Australia.

Cheers

Limitless.

Gero Rate payers Action Group Letter to the Editor

Hello Rate Payers,

Your ratepayers action group (GRPAG) has been granted a special meeting on 11th June at Queens Park Theatre 7 PM. We are providing a forum for you or ANYONE  ……  to attend and ask questions and provide feedback to councillors.

Those wishing to have questions answered on the night must submit them before 5th June to the City chambers.

We are asking council to live with within the level of rates our community is able to afford.

 Several topics are listed for discussion  including

  1. A CGG rates  freeze for 2018-19
  2. A discussion on finances related to specific topics. Do we need 14 councillors at a cost of around $450,000???  Perhaps a reduction from  14 to 7 councillors
  3. A need for the transparency  and disclosure of financial details  for major contractors
  4. Availability of information to rate payers.  Transparency except in special circumstances.
  5. Council finances..The need for resolutions relating to their analysis and propriety over the last 5 to 8 years

Please read this information and plan to attend on 11th June, to protect your assets.

 

Regards
Dr Barry Thompson
GRPAG              

Let's celebrate State's environmental diversity

Anyone who lives in WA knows that we have the greatest natural resource in the world, and it’s not iron ore, or gold deposits.

That resource is the Western Australian environment. We have eight of the 15 National Biodiversity hotspots in this country, and my electorate of Durack takes in most of them.

As Assistant Minister for the Environment, I am uniquely placed to see these assets protected for all West Australians. That’s why I am loving my new role and sharing what our State has to offer the world, and the incredible work being done by our scientists, environmental researchers, field officers, and rangers to protect these assets on the ground.

Rarely do we celebrate, or hear about, approvals which are given for significant job-creating projects, which also balance the needs of the environment. We have some brilliant examples of such balance in WA, where there can be harmonious, sustainable development, mixed with real job-creating opportunities.

We are developing new ways of managing threatened species, with a real focus on relocation. At Mt Gibson, the Australian Government is working with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy and the National Environmental Research Program to establish a sanctuary for threatened species in the Northern Agricultural Region.

Conditional approval has been granted for the first stage of Project Sea Dragon, one of the most ambitious aquaculture projects ever undertaken in Australia. The project involves growing Australian tiger prawns on land-based tanks in the Northern Territory, processing them in Kununurra and exporting them through Wyndham. This provides an opportunity for aquaculture jobs and economic growth in the State’s north.

Out in the Western Desert the Government has partnered with the traditional owners to conserve threatened species like the desert parrot, the bilby, and the desert skink. We’re also reducing the bushfire risk by adopting traditional Aboriginal burning techniques, referred to as “mosaic” burning.

Then there’s the big ticket items like Bremer Canyon. Bremer is quickly becoming a mecca for wildlife watchers and divers, and growing our tourism industry at the same time.

For those who don’t know, this is a group of canyons located some 70km south-east of Bremer Bay off southern WA.

Above the canyons, wildlife gather in huge numbers, including whales, giant squid, and seabirds. Seasonal orca (killer whale) concentrations here are unprecedented in Australia, with more than 100 individuals in the local population, many of which are regularly sighted.

These are all examples of how the Department of Environment and Energy can work to establish industries like tourism, and work with those industries to develop them. Given our beautiful State is also rich in mineral resources there is an obvious intersection between the Department of Environment and Energy and the mining sector.

Often, the Department of Environment is accused of “standing on the hose”; preventing industry from project development. As a resources lawyer in my previous life, I have some sympathy with that view.

Environmental approvals take time, and time is money for mining projects, but to get the balance right due process is necessary.

An excellent example is BHP’s Iron Ore Strategic Assessment Program, an agreement between the Department of Environment and Energy and BHP which allows BHP to essentially bundle their Federal environmental approvals for the next 100 years.

By doing so, we can guarantee BHP and its workers certainty and job security moving forward, and in exchange, BHP will now be held to the strongest environmental standards for all their new iron ore mining operations in the Pilbara.

The agreement requires BHP to report on their environmental performance, invest in threatened species management, while still being subject to regulatory oversight from the Department of Environment and Energy.

Protection of our environment is critically important, however I believe in a resources-rich State like WA, it is imperative that we maintain the project and job pipeline in an environmentally consistent and sustainable way.

I look forward to playing my part.

There are some very kind and thoughtful people in Geraldton

Dear Editor, There are some very kind and thoughtful people in Geraldton and through Everything Geraldton I would like to thank them. I may never learn their names but they are the walkers who recently found some of my stolen property along the walkway at Bluff Point and returnedtheir finds to the police station with out leaving their names. Also I want to thank the reallydedicated young men in the police force who have been socaring while helping me through a nasty situation. Thank you to all who have helped me so far in so many ways, you have restored my faith in humanity.

Peg Hodgson

Letter to editor regarding problematic youths at foreshore

Hello Everything Geraldton,

I would to raise a serious concern about a group of kids aged 10-12yo that is hanging around town probably bored during this summer school holidays.

My workplace (a coffee shop) had the glass door smashed beginning of last week. Last Monday, while I was trying to lock up by myself, 4/5 of them came in and stole items from the shop as I could not do anything about it as I was obviously outnumbered. And today, as the cherry on top of the cake, I was abused continuosly towards the end of an extremely busy shift, ending up with them stealing the coins from the tips jar and trashing and damaging the front of the shop right in front of the customers.

I went to the toilet and started crying because I feel like nobody hears the the struggle my colleagues and I have to go through the day. It is really getting out of control and the police has been contacted by myself and one of my customers but they never showed up.

I heard the same group is creating many problems to other businesses and people. What do we need to do to have the authorities to take proper action. This is an pngoig problem now but it keeps beeing ignored.

All I want to do is going to work, provide the best product and service to my customers and I have to deal with this almost every day recently.

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Letter to the editor: $500 REWARD for information of the person/s responsible

$500 REWARD for information which leads to the arrest, conviction and jailing of the person or persons responsible for smashing our main lounge room window TWICE in the past three weeks. Charles Street, Bluff Point. Clearly done with a ging in both instances. Anyone who had been standing on the other side of the window at the time would have surely been killed. The police have attended the scene, taken away evidence and are investigating. Glass shards were found in the adjacent room 10m away along with these steel nuts and a number of rocks. If you have information, please Contact Geraldton Police.

Dobbing in shoplifters - A letter sent to Everything Geraldton

To dob, or not to dob.....

Today, I witnessed an incident of blatant shoplifting.

One of several incidents I’ve either witnessed personally, or been aware of in my vicinity in the last month or two. One of many I’ve witnessed over many years.

I have pretty strong feelings about theft in general and, having spent many years working in the retail sector, about shoplifting in particular, and today I found myself re-visiting something that happened to me not long ago.

A while back, I found myself in a group situation where I felt not only that I was being negatively judged for having said that I would (in fact, have), reported someone who I witnessed shoplifting to store staff, but actually felt belittled and judged for having done so. The initial response by the people I was with was “why would you do that?”, followed by “perhaps they were genuinely in need”. (For the record, the incident I had mentioned involved the theft of CD’s from a charity shop).

There was also a sense of disbelief that people actually do report such incidences. I left feeling like a piece of shit for having had the guts to admit to reporting/preventing crime, and I felt that people were disbelieving about my claims that this type of reporting is actually not uncommon.

I spent a pretty sleepless night wondering whether I am over-judgemental, self-righteous etc. And then I decided to ask other people how they felt.

Turns out, a lot of people I know feel the same way I do.

Most people said they either would report, or have reported, shoplifting.

Several people said that they hadn’t, but only because they were too scared to do so because of fear of reprisals.

100% of those who worked in retail said that not only do people report these incidents, but that it happens regularly. Like daily. Like multiple times in a day.

I’m still a little confused. Am I (and my friends) a more judgemental group than society in general? Am I less sympathetic/empathetic towards others in need?

Actually, I don’t think I am.

I’m the first generation of my family to raise their children in a financial situation that is considered “above the poverty line”. My family knew what it is to live in a world before social security. And even when social security became available, my parents chose to work long hours, for very little money, rather than “bludge”.

You see in my family, and many others, if you couldn’t afford it, you went without.

So do I still feel shamed for dobbing in a shoplifter?

No, I don’t.

I don’t in any way wish to belittle those who find themselves in need, or without financial support. I would like to think that I would show compassion towards someone who I felt might be in genuine need. I’d like to think that if I saw a mother with kids in tow, stealing baked beans and noodles to feed the family, I’d offer to help. If I saw the same person stealing luxury items that I as a working, tax-paying parent can’t afford, I’d probably be less sympathetic.

I’m actually pretty comfortable with the idea of reporting someone stealing. Especially when we’re talking about CD’s, makeup, jewellery, fashion items etc. Or all the random items that are stolen just for fun, then discarded in the street. Or the stuff that’s stolen and then used to commit acts of vandalism.

An article that appeared on the ABC website today quoted: “National Retail Association chief executive Dominique Lamb said theft cost the Australian retail industry $4.5 billion each year, or about 2.2 per cent of annual retail turnover”

That’s $4,500,000,000.00 per year.

Just in Australia.

Shoplifting costs every one of us. Including the many people who are in dire financial situations, but choose to live in honest poverty, rather than stoop to theft and dishonesty to improve their lot.

Isn’t it about time we started judging those who think it’s OK to steal, and who defend those who do steal, rather than belittling and judging those who take a stand against theft?

- Geraldton local

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Hoons along 5th St risking lives - Letter to the Editor

Hello,

I have a concern that I would like to share. I live on Fifth St Wonthella, I also have a 2 year old, there are 3 little children across the road from me, another toddler 2 doors down and even more kids along our street. I was just in my kitchen cooking my family dinner, when a faded cherry red Land Rover Discovery came through the roundabout ( I am right near there), the vehicle would have been travelling at at least 80+ km. This is not a one off incident, people speed down this road daily and gun it through the roundabout. Although it's a busy artery it does not mean that this sort of driving is acceptable. We have fences and locked gates, I am vigilant and do not let my child out of my sight. This sort of speed that occurs daily will kill any body that happens to be on the road. Please spread the word for people to slow down, we live here, it is not a race track! And to the person in the Land Rover, if I see you vehicle again doing this I outside my home I will be reporting you for dangerous driving. Thanks, on behalf of the little people of Fifth St x

 - Gillian.  

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An apology for some high speed driving on Brand Hwy

"Just to say sorry to all the cars I blew past in my Jeep earlier today on the Brand Highway, Tarcoola. My wife contacted me on the phone, she had had an accident at home and was laying in the backyard and couldn't get up. I was near CGG Council Chambers so I knew I could get to her faster than the Ambos, so I put my boot into it to get to her. Also thanks to the guy travelling west on Bellimos Drive who stopped to give me a helping hand with her. cheers mate. and yes she is ok, bit of bark off and a bit sore and sorry. So once again apologies to all, not normally the way I drive."

- L

Thanks Dongara Police - "They were waiting on the highway for him"

"A community thank you to the Dongara Police. We are driving to Perth and some maniac was aggressively tailgating us at 110km speed within a metre or two of our bumper (and then proceeded to tailgate those in front of us). We were about 30km north of Dongara so I called ahead and notified the police about the car. They were waiting on the highway for him and had pulled him over as we passed. Fantastic response time!"

This boy from Strath just made a stranger's day

A big shout out to a high school boy named TREVOR of Strathalbyn College for helping me get my car out of our garage this morning.

Power was out in Strathalbyn and I didn't know what to do. My husband was already at work and me and my 4-year old daughter were going to school. I saw Trevor on his scooter, going to school and asked him if he had a celphone that I could borrow so that I could ring a taxi (sad to say, I ran out of celphone credit and I couldn't recharge because the internet was not working too).

He said he doesn't have one and asked me what's the problem. I told him about the garage door. And then he told me that the garage door can be opened manually (I never knew that.. sorry people). And then he helped me, and just in time, we arrived at Allendale Primary School.

Today is my daughter's book week parade and because of this kid's help my daughter won a prize, yay!!!

Again, thank you so much TREVOR for the help.

- M.

Geraldton Marina

Regarding that deadly intersection at Hosken St - Letter to the Editor

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Dear Editor

Hosken Street Intersection

I was most concerned to read of your near miss accident at the intersection of Hosken Street and North West Coastal Highway.

It may come as no surprise that this intersection was listed in the RAC’s Risky Roads Survey, October 2015 Report Card at number two for dangerous intersections in Regional WA.

I have been calling on the Barnett Liberal National Government to address this problem since December 2014 following an approach by residents, extremely worried for their safety and the safety of their children.

I wrote to the then Minister for Transport and have asked many questions in the Parliament since, most recently in June this year.  On each occasion I have been told that plans are either not finalised or are still being considered.

Just how long is the community expected to wait to have this matter resolved? It is not good enough.

I only hope we will see a positive outcome and soon before something very serious happens at this dangerous intersection.

Darren West MLC

MEMBER FOR AGRICULTURAL REGION

 

Link to original article "This Intersection is Deadly"

 

In Defence of F.I.F.O.

Letter to the Editor. Received Sept 15, 2016

Author is a local Geraldton resident who asked to remain anonymous. 

I've seen a few posts lately about the evils of the FIFO lifestyle. What it does to families and communities etc. 

This time last year, we were a FIFO family. My husband started working on the mines when my youngest child was about 7 months old. His (the youngest child's) sisters were 4 and 6. We did it for financial reasons. Having met, married and had our family a little later than most of our friends, we found ourselves wanting to be able to provide for our kids, and plan for our retirement and we realised that we'd left it a bit late. So off went my husband, to a better-paying job than he'd been in. Not hugely better-paying, but enough to hopefully pay off our mortgage before retirement age (Not looking good at this stage, but here’s hoping!)

I wouldn't say it's been all plain-sailing, but then life never is. Yeah, sometimes it's hard to be the stay-at-home parent. 24/7 responsibility, for everything, over 50% of the time; No-one to fix complicated stuff when it breaks (I have however, learnt to re-wire trailer lights, change mower blades, use high-school-level physics to lift and shift heavy stuff, and bury dead pets); showing up alone so often to school events that people think you're a single parent; Most of all, a lack of sensible adult conversation. My husband missed the kids horribly; had to juggle his own needs when he was home, with the need to take care of "stuff" (mostly the afore-mentioned complicated broken things); and deal with the sense of isolation that comes with being absent - whole chunks of life that happened while he was away, and that he struggled to catch up with.

Then my husband was made redundant. And suddenly we have him home again!! Or do we? 

He is now working in the same industry he was in before he became a miner. On less money than he was getting 11 years ago; with shitty conditions; away most of the time, usually at short notice, and usually with no idea of when he’ll be home again.

It's still hard to be the stay-at-home parent. 24/7 responsibility for everything 90% of the time and with no ability to plan ahead; Still no-one to fix complicated stuff when it breaks (No time on his 1-2 days off every 2-3 weeks, so now some of our reduced income has to pay people to do that stuff); Both of us showing up even less to school events because I'm trying to work extra hours to cover the loss in income; Having to rely more on friends and neighbours to help us out with running kids around, while having less ability to return the favours; Adult conversation has become less sensible and less about us and our family, and more like a counselling session to help him cope.

Most of all, my 11 year-old son misses his Dad. He always did, but I could always tell him when Dad would be home. We could plan stuff; We could prepare surprises or special meals and events for when he was home; If he was going to be away on a special occasion (Birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries), we had time to adjust and organise to celebrate on different days. Now we never know if he’s going to be home in 2 days or in 20. Or for how long. 

FIFO doesn't suit every family. You have to be strong, and you have to be resilient. As a stay-at-home parent, you have to learn how to fix stuff (or when to call an expert in); You have to learn how to ask for help sometimes; Sometimes you have to learn how to make decisions without discussing it with your partner; You have to work on friendships, because it's your friends who will provide the adult conversation, the support, the baby-sitting and transport to sports events etc. (and the assurances that it doesn't matter that you can't repay the favour); and every so often, the shoulder to cry on, or the loan of a husband to help you shift something really heavy. 

You also have to learn not to burden the FIFO partner unnecessarily. He or she is lonely, tired and isolated. There's a difference between sharing what's going on at home, and worrying them. 

So what if the family car blew an engine and is going to cost $4000 to repair. Telling them one day into an 8-day swing is not going to help anyone. They can't do anything. Except worry. While they're working. With explosives and heavy machinery. A kilometre underground. On 12-13 hour shifts.

That’s why we never got into the habit of phoning every day. Perhaps I’m a product of an age where telephone calls were a luxury; not every family had a phone, and it was completely normal to go days, or weeks without contact. I have friends with FIFO partners who spend a fortune on telephone bills. I have friends whose children get upset if they can’t talk to Daddy every day. (Personally I think I’d struggle to know what to talk about if we spoke every day!!!). I also have friends whose partners live at home, but whose kids go days, and sometimes weeks, without seeing or speaking to their Dads… people who work as truck drivers, shift-workers, farmers, fishermen…. For my kids, it’s normal not to talk to Dad every day. They know they can phone him if they need or want to, but otherwise they’re pretty chill with the situation. At least these days, we have telephones, the internet, social media, government-funded support agencies, mobile phones etc. for when we really NEED them. 

Our forebears had none of that. Imagine waving goodbye to a partner going off to drive a mob of cattle from one end of the state to the other. Or to a fisherman, going off for weeks, if not months at sea. Or, almost unimaginable to most of our generation, to a newly-wedded husband off to war. These days we have mobile phones, social media, skype etc. The really BIG stuff can be shared, and partners can come home if they're really needed. 

So yeah, there’s a certain degree of strength needed if you plan to embark on a FIFO lifestyle. But there are also many benefits, apart from the financial incentives. It will always be a matter of personal choice. 

Personally, I’d welcome the chance to return to being a FIFO family. I’d like to be able to book annual leave from my job at a time that suits the family. I’d like to be able to commit to events 6-12 months down the track. Or in 3 day’s time.  I’d like to be able to accept an invitation to an event, or a chance to work extra hours, or to attend a work-related course later this month; I’d like to be able to promise my kids that they’ll be able to go to an event 3 weeks from now; I’d like to plan to do stuff with my husband. 

In my opinion, FIFO is an opportunity, like any other lifestyle choice. There are many other lifestyles that are far harder, and less certain, than the FIFO life. There are also many options that are easier. Choose carefully, based on your own personal circumstances, but please don’t demonise the FIFO lifestyle without giving it a fair go, or blame it for all the ills of society. It works for many of us.

Letter to the editor: Kind and compassionate customer service

Here is a shout out to Chapman Animal Hospital.
Last week we had to put down our dog due to cancer.
The vet came home and the whole procedure was conducted with utmost professionalism and compassion.
Received the attached (unexpected) card today in the mail with a memento of our dog's paw imprint, which made our day.
Thanks to the whole team at Chapman for taking such good care of her when she was sick, in the final hours and afterwards.
Legendary customer service and care.

Steeve Poligadu

Positive feedback on Gero drivers from a visitor

I had a recent trip to Gero and whilst working as a relief Traffic Warden, I found the need to commend Gero drives for their consideration and courtesy on the roads. I am pleasantly surprised at the habit I noted of some driving SUVs and larger vehicles who actually stop slightly back from a road junction to let the smaller vehicles SEE AROUND THEM! AWESOME! Everyone who drives a car knows how frustrating it is trying to see around these larger vehicles...much safer too! Oh, and the parking bays at most shops are larger too! Thumbs up Gero :D

- Di Neil

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My husband nearly died - Letter to the Editor

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My husband got extremely ill on the morning of 17th of August at 2am. He started vomiting initially, I thought he had gastro so didn't panic. By lunchtime I was concerned as he wasn't improving.

I got a doctor appointment but on the way to Dr at 3.50 he started to go down hill fast, so I changed direction and took him to Geraldton regional. He was rushed into resuscitation unit and RFDS to Perth where he spent 13 days in ICU, and was placed in an induced coma. His kidneys and body were starting to shut down.

A few days later we were advised he had salmonella poisoning. As no other family members were sick we believe he may have eaten some takeaway or fast food on Tuesday 16th August.

The only reason I am writing this post is the Health department in Midwest are not investigating as they believe it was an isolated case.

If you or any family members had similar symptoms I urge you to go to the doctor to be checked out, you may still have salmonella in your system. My husband is still on dialysis and is in hospital in Perth quite ill.

This was not a simple illness for him as he almost died from this. If anyone has this it can remain in their system for a substantial amount of time.

My husband was lucky I changed direction and headed to the hospital otherwise we would not be having a fathers day. Please, I just want others that may have been ill to see their doctor and get tested.


Anon

Letter to Editor: RE Civic Cenre site for Kmart

With regards to the possible use of the current civic centre site to develop a complex such as K Mart, which would then allow the council to develop its premises within the marina precinct, is in my view stratigicly short sighted, and creates more problems than it solves;

The parking and current road networkwithin the CBD precinct around the Civic Center, is currently under pressure during busy periods.

Add a complex the size such of a K Mart into the mix, only increases the pressure on the road and parking networks that are already under pressure, Currently net alone 5-10 years time.

Stratigicaly, In my view it woul be better for the location of a complex like K Mart to be located at the super works site, A green field site that allows plenty of space for future expansion, together with future parking needs and has the highway road network advantage that a location within the civic precinct does not, and that allows for the correct planning of traffic management requirements from day one the rate revenue from commercial, retail development within the Marina precinct should be maximised as much as possible,It is valuable land, and should not in my opinion be used to locate a local government administration building , which is basically the function of a civic centre, within the precinct, Local Goverment buildings don't pay rates, the rates revenue from development of the Marina/foreshore precinct should , In my opinion, be used towards the financial upkeep of  the amenity and maintenance of these precincts

Thank you .

Ron Ashplant.

Letter to the Editor: Fed up with builders in Geraldton

Being in Geraldton for five years,and still renting a house,we have decided to start building our own house. One reason being that we have been paying someone else's bond now for five years. The other reason, is that we are not getting younger and it would be nice if we have our own house to retire in. So, we decide on building a house because then you can have your own design and your own choice,right?  

So after saving some money we bought the land...nice big one,no problem there. We started with builder number 1 - he took us to few show houses, and we immediately liked one of them and decide to get the building done, but wanted them to add another metre to the rooms - that's it,no other changes. The gentleman tried his best to talk us out of adding to the house and recon that the house was big enough as it was! As if it is for him to decide!! So we decide to try a other builder - number 2:  He was really helpful and talked with us numerous times,but unfortunately they closed doors and was unable to assist us further. So off we went to builder number 3: He was VERY keen and promised us lots and lots of things. He told us if we find one of their designs that we liked,he will help us change it to our taste. But the minute we had the plan drawn up,changed and printed,his promises soon changed to no more than just talking about it.

So off we went to builder number 4:  He listened to our story,shook his head and told us that we are to get someone to plan our house and pay a fee for it, then that way we have exclusive rights to it. He even gave us an business card from the designer of his choice.
We phoned him and set up an meeting. He very happily came to our house to do the design. Then he said he was scheduled for surgery,but will get hold of us as soon as he can and in meantime will sent us a few of his designs - are still waiting. Eventually, he phoned us after 2 months!! 

So we went to builder number 5:  They told us as soon as we step in the door that they were going on a holiday,but said that they will soon return and in the first week after their return get back to us so we can set up an meeting......we are still waiting!! 

We are now on builder number 6: Our last option because according to the word on the street and customers did not have a pleasant experience with them....we shall see soon.

We are also thinking to just buy existing and leave the building until, one day we can find SOMEONE that is really looking for business and are able to give us what we need,because it is just like banging your head against the wall. Is it really that hard to get what YOU want in Geraldton - it is not that you get it for free or What? 

One unhappy client
Retha Bezuidenhout

Letter to Editor: Thank you for your honesty

Last weekend Saturday I bought some clothing from Best and Less to enter my son into the Funrun over the weekend.

Somehow, don't know how, it got misplaced. But this morning (July 6) I got a phone call to say someone dropped it back into B&L.

I would like to say Thank You for being honest and returning back to the shop. My son was happy to have the bag of clothes back.

- Keisha