Messages and Media

The West's Cartoonist, Alston, summed up the situation.
The West’s Cartoonist, Alston, summed up the situation.

Last Wednesday at its monthly council meeting, Fremantle Council controversially canned the annual fireworks show on Australia Day for political reasons, which drew strong criticism from Aboriginal leaders across the nation. The story made the front page of The Australian newspaper and Alston devoted his cartoon (above) to the subject.Some have said that the fireworks issue was deliberately put forward to deflect the heat from the issue of the King’s Square Business Plan, which made the TV, radio and newspaper two days earlier, a subject which got into the media not because the media finally understood what a sham the business case for King’s Square actually is, but  because a celebrity lawyer put his name to the issue.

The council meeting raised the issue of trees on private property, and council indicated that, following public consultation, it may one day require landowners to apply to chop down large trees on their property, instead of council having to do the work of making a significant tree register for private property like the one they did for public property.

Ironically, if a landowner currently wants to demolish a building on his property, his request cannot be refused unless his property is ALREADY on a heritage register. Good luck to the trees.
The tree and tree canopy issue is urgent and important, especially given that Fremantle has the second worst tree canopy cover of any municipality in WA. The council’s target of 20% tree canopy cover by 2020 is impossible to achieve unless council gets out of its political handbooks and into real action. Council has not allocated nearly enough money in this year’s budget to tackle this climate change issue which has significant social and health outcomes as well as environmental ones.
Thanks to Alston and The West for the cartoon.

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