Esperance Express letters to the editor, March 20

RFDS celebrates first year of integrating two Rio Tinto LifeFlight
RFDS celebrates first year of integrating two Rio Tinto LifeFlight

First birthday for lifesaving jets

It is with sincere gratitude to our highly valued community supporters and fundraisers that the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Western Australia celebrates the milestone first birthday of our two Rio Tinto LifeFlight PC-24 jets 'Kimberley' and 'Victory' this month.

So far, both jets have travelled nearly 1.4 million kilometres and conducted 476 flights in total to reach 1,300 patients across the vast regions of WA - treating mostly patients with stroke and heart conditions where time is of the essence.

Over the last year, the jets retrieved the most number of patients from the Kimberley, followed by the Pilbara, Midwest region and from across the Goldfields-Esperance region where 122 patients were retrieved to Perth to access specialist care.

Thank you for your support and happy first birthday!

Rebecca Tomkinson, CEO, RFDS

We lack jobs, not workers

In regards to the decision by the Esperance Council to support DAMA visas, the DAMA will allow for low skilled workers from overseas to work in jobs like retail assistant, checkout operator, delivery driver, cleaner, clerk, bar and cafe staff.

This is not a good move. I've worked in mining services and have seen first hand how cheaper overseas workers have been used to undercut local positions and wages.

Esperance is not boomtown. The problem we have in town is a lack of jobs (not a lack of workers).

P. Saunders, Esperance

Jetty confined to 'history's scrapheap'

The Esperance Shire Councillors who voted in 2016 to demolish the Heritage Registered Tanker Jetty, who ignored the call from 8326 people who signed a petition calling for the structure's reconstruction in timber to the original 1934 design, have effectively consigned the structure to history's scrapheap.

Now, after four years of delays, denials and deceit, the jetty's crossbeams, planks and corbels are being wrenched apart (not deconstructed as required by the Heritage Council) and the structure that has graced Esperance Bay's seascape for 85 years is slowly and disgracefully being erased from our State's history forever.

Historically, the tanker jetty was to play an important part of the logistics chain for the 1930s 3500 Farm Scheme, what was to be the greatest economic development and migrant scheme ever undertaken in the British Empire. This project was intended to relieve population pressures and unemployment in Great Britain, populate WA and develop the State's economy.

While the scheme initially faltered because of soil salinity problems and the Great Depression that destroyed the hopes of many throughout the Wheatbelt, the land was eventually opened up and in 1935 the tanker jetty was completed. Until demolition started, it was the last of 80 timber jetties built along WA's coastline to facilitate trade.

Unfortunately, the Shire Council's opprobrious demolition decision had support from some senior State politicians, the very people who could have provided Esperance and the State with a different outcome. However, it wasn't to be.

In particular, Heritage Minister Templeman wiped his hands of the jetty issue, and this elected representative of the people of Western Australia refused to deal with or listen to those locally trying to save a heritage structure he should have been protecting.

His in-actions alone gave the local Shire the impetus they needed to progress their diabolical demolition decision, and single handedly the Heritage Minister demolished not only the jetty but the hopes and aspirations of local people.

And now in reviewing what has happened I, like Shakespeare, "..blush to think of this ignomy"

Richard Grant, Esperance