Letters to the Editor: 16 March 2022: Council made a bad financial choice

Letters to the Editor: Council made a bad financial choice

I concur with Keith and Norma Sims from last week's letters. As an ex-oil company business manager, I can advise with a little credibility that borrowing capital to the extent of $26.5m, $2m taken from roads and infrastructure and topped off with $5.4m withdrawn from the City's cash reserves, it is a financial disaster about to happen for the City and the subsequent rate rises due to be thrust upon all the ratepayers.

It will be difficult enough for some with the significant rises in the cost of living happening already. Use your voice and be heard either way.

I am not against a performing arts centre, but the scope and huge costs for this project.

Frederick Van Ranzow, Dunsborough

Councilor Anne Ryan's motion regarding vaccinations and mandates last Wednesday night was defeated 7-1.

This was her opinion and some of her points were actually supported by other councilors who chose not to support the whole motion.

I have had my three COVID-19 vaccinations but I do not agree with the vitriol that has been thrown at Cr Ryan or businesses.

Remember she has fought tirelessly for the community and is also one of the four councilors who voted against the motion to build the Performing Arts and Convention Centre.

This was finally as a result of the City of Busselton $25k Catalyse Survey, that had 64 per cent not wanting that building to go ahead.

Fortunately, we live in a democratic society that allows everyone to have an opinion whether others agree or not. That is what the people of Ukraine are now fighting with their lives for, what we take for granted.

The same vitriol comes from the anti-vax members of the community who should be ashamed of themselves for targeting businesses at their premises and online.

They should spend their time on that issue telling the state government what they think, not disrupting compulsory and legitimate business actions.

Businesses are just doing what the state government has forced them to do with regard to signing in, wearing of masks and the presenting of COVID-19 vaccination certificates.

Keith Sims, Busselton

I write to correct some factual details in your recent article (Mail, March 2, p3) report on the Wardandi street march which took place in Busselton on February 22 the 181st anniversary of well-respected Wonnerup pioneer settler George Layman's death in 1841.

With all due respect to Nyoongar descendant Mr Billy Webb, I point out that his claim that his "ancestral grandmother was a witness to George Layman's death" from a spear hurled into his back by angry elderly Nyoongar chief Gaywal, could not possibly be true, since both of Billy's grandmothers were not even born until around 50 years after this terrible event took place. Even his great grandmothers are unlikely to have been born by 1841.

I am about four years older than Billy Webb and my great great uncle, Robert Heppingstone Junior, who was an employee of George Layman at that time, was an actual witness to the killing of his employer that took place at Wonnerup House following an argument with Gaywal over the fair distribution of the damper George was cooking for his Aboriginal workers at the end of the latest harvest.

Robert Heppingstone's report was carefully documented and followed up a few days after the murder by a well worded letter from Frances Bussell of Cattle Chosen that described the killing and its aftermath in full detail.

Included in her letter was that Gaywal's five wives deserted him after the event and the majority of the local Aboriginal people were so upset about the killing of their kind employer and benefactor George Layman, that they themselves speared Gaywal through the leg as tribal punishment for his actions.

There is evidence to show that eight Aboriginal Gaywal supporters including Gaywal himself were killed in Governor Hutt's legally approved hunt for the perpetrators led by local district magistrate Captain John Molloy.

Others including Gaywal's three sons were captured and sent to prison at Rottnest Island.

There is no reliable evidence to support the white settler "massacre claims" made by Billy Webb, Mary Blight and others at "Minninup" and places further south, and there is certainly no evidence in particular that Busselton's peace-loving founder John Garrett Bussell, who like his youngest fellow pioneer brother Alfred Pickmore Bussell [Mundal] had a great respect and admiration for the local Nyoongar people, ever killed anyone in his entire life.

Please, let's just get on with promoting the many good happy stories and the positives of our multi-cultural, highly successful, modern-day Australian society, rather than delaying true reconciliation by continuing to exaggerate and emphasise some of the unfortunate episodes that happened, or are alleged to have happened 180 years or so ago when the laws of the land were a lot different from those that exist today.

Vernon J Bussell, Whicher Heights Walsall

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