Letter To The Editor of the Coment News, 03 May 2006

The full text of the Letter to the Editor of the Comment News, sent on 03 May 2006, is below.


I have read the article about the Selby Street Reserve, on page 1 of the
Comment News dated 2 May 2006, and I appear to have been slightly misquoted,
and some things need clarification.

I did not at any time, refer to the reserve as a "slum of a park". I had
said that the city council treats the area where the reserve is located, as
a slum beyond redemption, and that the council neglects the reserve, as with
the rest of the area, allowing the grass in the reserve, to grow to knee
height to waist height before mowing it, and then running a tractor mower
over the reserve, without first checking and removing the bottles and other
rubbish that accumulate in the long grass because the grass is so long,
shattering the bottles, and other rubbish, and, as the council has knowingly
made the reserve a danger to public safety, with the shattered glass and
other dangerous rubbish, the reserve should be fenced off and shut down,
until the council is forced to clean up the reserve and make it relatively

However, I have since found, from having contacted various state government
departments and ministers' offices, that it is apparently acceptable for
local governments to recklessly endanger public health and safety, as no
state government body or ministry, has the power to compel any local
government, to make any public facilities or areas under the control of the
local government, safe, or to eliminate clear hazards to public health and

I note that the only office that I contacted, that was able to accomplish
anything, was the office of the state opposition spokesman on health, whose
liaison officer managed to cause a council officer to meet me at the
reserve, to be shown, and thence for the council officer to remove, the
shattered glass that had been left behind after the city council staff had
made a number of attempts to clear the glass, the shattered glass that was
picked up in front of me, being large, sharp, and in clear view, immediately
next to and under the playground equipment.

I am not surprised that the city council has "a very limited budget" to
maintain or neglect its reserves, after the mayor admitted at the special
meeting of electors held to try to protect the open recreation land and the
heritage buildings between Woolworths and Armadale Road, that the council
had paid $350,000 of ratepayers' money, against the wishes of the
ratepayers, to "persuade" the people responsible for the destruction
associated with Woolworths, to take on the project that involves the
destruction of part of Armadale's heritage and recreation open space. That
money, and, other money so spent by the council, would have gone a long way
to making the reserves in Armadale, safer.

The published statement by the mayor, that "the park was inspected every
time it was mowed", is interesting, given that a council staff member told
me in the week preceding publication, that it is not feasible, to inspect
the park when it is mowed. Perhaps, the council should get its story
straight, and everyone agreeing what to say, before anyone says anything.

Thank you in anticipation, for publishing these clarifications.


I can be contacted by email by clicking on the link at Bret