Letters to the editor, August 16.

Shire of Esperance deputy president Natalie Bowman. Photo: Supplied.

Shire of Esperance deputy president Natalie Bowman. Photo: Supplied.

A response: Setting the record straight

I am not normally a letter to the editor person, but I felt that Mr Wandel's recent letter to the editor contained false information and questioned my integrity and it required a response.

The jetty - Mr Wandel recently claimed that "3 years ago they could have demolished & fully reconstructed our heritage jetty for $6M." If only it was that simple, Mr Wandel. There has never been a plan presented to me that showed this was possible or viable for this price.

None of the plans presented by community groups had Heritage Council approval, some lacked engineering drawings, had major cost oversights and certainly were not complete enough to make me want to change my mind on the decision I had made.

What I overwhelmingly hear is that our community wants a jetty that they can use, can afford and can enjoy for a long time. The project I have supported will provide this, is fully funded, has approvals in place, and I look forward to the project beginning very soon.

Mr Wandel then moves on to an opinion on the siting of the new waste facility, referring to it as 'a complete disaster'. Once again, there is no evidence provided to backup the claims and the catastrophising statements.

Mr Wandel's claims that the chosen site is over the Esperance water supply is completely incorrect and he would be well aware of this, so I have to wonder what the intent of the statement was.

I have heard the opinions and concerns regarding this site, and that is why I voted to use science to check the validity of those opinions.

To date, none of the testing completed has shown me that we can't safely build a waste facility here, but if it does, then I will be the first to agree to move and start the process again on a new site.

Mr Wandel suggests that it is not the councillors who are making the decisions, yet I have not seen him at any council meetings in the last few years, nor have I seen him attend briefing sessions or the Long Term Financial Plan workshop.

Perhaps if he did, he may better understand the process we go through before making decisions and why.

Mr Wandel, you may not agree with my decisions on these two projects, and I respect that, but they are decisions that I have made after carefully and logically considering the options, the impacts and the facts.

That is after all, what I was elected to do.

Shire of Esperance deputy president Natalie Bowman.

Voluntary Assisted Dying response:

In his July 19 letter, Murray Hindle accuses me of being influenced by "dogma".

However, he fails to actually address any of my arguments and simply repeats the claim that "carefully safeguarded assisted death" should be available when "all palliation has failed". Unfortunately, the euthanasia legislation recently introduced by the State Labor Government is not careful by any stretch of the imagination.

As the Australian Medical Association WA warned this week, the legislation is in fact fundamentally flawed and lacking in essential safeguards and oversight.

For example, there is no permit required to ensure that euthanasia actions are legal and supported by scientific evidence.

There is no requirement to assess patient capacity just prior to administration of the lethal drug. There is also no requirement for the two doctors involved to be independent of each other financially, nor to have any expertise in the medical condition experienced by the patient or palliative care.

In remote areas, only one doctor is required. In many cases, it is difficult to argue that all palliation has failed when adequate palliative care hasn't even been offered.

WA has the lowest number of publicly-funded palliative care beds per capita in the country and also the lowest rate of palliative carers to patients in the country, with only 15 palliative carers available for a population of 2.6 million.

The situation worsens the farther one travels from the metropolitan area. Palliative care is extremely limited in rural areas and practically non-existent in remote areas. Offering people access to lethal drugs but not decent palliative care is strikingly inhumane. It is not the hallmark of a caring society.

Frank Upshire, Castletown.

The balance of probability

I would like to comment on the article in last month's Esperance Express regarding the proposed tip site at Merivale.

"It's about the balance of probability, you can never be sure of anything in the geological environment."

These words by Mr de Broeckert should ring alarm bells for the shire. The shire should take example from the Tour de France this year and cancel the site. Better to be wise before a disaster than after. This will save a lot of money and heartache for the people of Esperance and ensure the safety of the wetlands.

Helen D'Emden.

From your Esperance Ratepayers and Electors Association

Esperance Ratepayers and Electors is concerned with the council's protocol and lack of empathy towards the community following the approval to install very contentious 5G telecommunication infrastructure at Lot 100, Downes Street.

More than 300 locals signed a petition seeking an alternative and a safer location.

They wasted their time. Like previous petitions put forward by community members to the council, it fell on deaf ears.

Research has shown that 5G, higher frequency signals emit significantly higher gigahertz frequencies than earlier generations of G technology and present serious health issues, including some cancers and other chronic ailments. Between 1G and 4G, a 1-6 gigahertz frequency was used; for 5G it is between 24 and 90 gigahertz.

Significantly higher cell tower radiation is emitted. As a result of health concerns, twenty-five countries worldwide have called for the introduction of 5G technology to be suspended until the effects are better understood.

Scientists want 5G progress to be halted. Reasons for the local call for the tower to be relocated include the close proximity of the selected site to the Esperance Senior High School and Residential College, the proximity to residential properties, and the effects it could have on the environment and the health of people living close by.

While 5G technology will provide a better reception and quicker service, what will be the cost? What effect will it have on people who live close to electromagnetic fields, such as a telecommunications towers, long term?

The health concerns for people living close by should have been a primary concern to our councillors and with due diligence a more suitable site could have been found.

A concerned resident investigating this issue contacted Vision Stream (Telstra's contractor) who stated that co-location with already developed telecommunication sites was a possible alternative to Downes Street.

A motion was put forward to the March 26th council meeting to allow councillors to get a better and safer outcome for the community; however, it was For 3, Against 6 with the president voting against.

Councillors then voted in favour of the development application for a 40-metre-high telecommunications tower at Lot 100 Downes Street, the vote was For 5, Against 4, with the president voting in favour.

The association members believe that, as her term in office winds down, the president should call for further discussion and investigation of these important issues when eight councillors cannot decide on a matter, rather than voting in favour of what the administration puts forward.

Jo-Anne O'Donnell, Esperance Ratepayers and Electors Association, Secretary.

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