Isn’t it about time for some bins?

I remember when I bought my place on Wray Ave. My brother-in-law (at the time) remarked that it was that Fremantle street with all the glass beads in the pathways.

I was struck that this was an unusual bit of trivia for him to know about the street as he was from the other side of Morley. I was also struck that the street had some kind of desire to be pretty and beautiful in some kind of way.

Over the past several years I’ve become used to the glass beads, in much the same way that, when I lived in Esperance, I became used to the islands of the Recherche Archipelago as I rode to work along the Bay of Isles. Even beauty can become passe and be taken for granted. It was only the other day that I recognised the passing quaintness of the beads; while walking barefoot from my car and stubbing my toe that my eyes fell upon them again.

On the other hand, what my eye never misses is all of the litter that gets strewn along our street. The little verge en face my house is an ever-changing mound of trash. Hungry Jacks wrappers, Powerade bottles, empty beer cans, Smiths crisps packets and who knows what else all end up in the small patch of native flora that struggle to establish themselves there. I’ve sat on my porch and watched people chuck it into these bushes. When I call their attention to their littering, they ignore me or worse.

One guy, a repeat offender, thought it was okay to let his Dalmatian take a crap in this little strip. The second time that he did this I asked why he didn’t have a bag. Telling me he forgot, I offered to get him one. He rejected my offer saying it was only natural for his dog to vacate its guts on the verge if he liked.

There’s a contrast here between those that live on the street and want it kept beautiful and those for whom it is a thoroughfare and pay it’s beauty no heed. Whether it be customers from Galati’s chucking their greasy paper arancini bags in the shrubs, drunks smashing beer bottles on the path or a neighbour around the corner leaving his animal faeces wherever he pleases, I’m left in disbelief.

It’s antisocial and unacceptable on any street.

At the same time, there really aren’t many bins for pedestrians given the amount of people walking down the street. Not that I really think that is an excuse but it doesn’t help the situation. On the northside of Wray, there is one outside of Gourmet on Wray and another further down by Bentech computers. It’s not conducive to preventing litter.

 

I think that Wray Avenue has a special character that’s known by many across the Perth metropolitan area. It’d be nice if those who traversed it recognised this charm and the value of its limited public space.

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A multicultural Wray Avenue precinct… over a hundred years ago?!

This is a bit of a sequel to my last blog. When I was looking into the history of the Hampton Buildings, I found that there were quite a few business proprietors from an Asian background in its early years.

I find it quite interesting, especially given that, at the current time, there aren’t any businesses run by people from an Asian-background in this end of town. At the same time, I think that people around this area would probably claim to value multi-culturalism.

At the end of the 19th century and the start of the 20th, there was always a business person from Asian background occupying premises in the Hampton Buildings and there were several other businesses in the area with Asian proprietors

This is amazing given the mood in Australia at this point in history, with the Immigration Restriction Act (1901), commonly know as the White Australia Policy. Australia’s inaugural Prime Minister Edmund Barton introduced this legislation “to secure the future of our fair country against the tide of inferior and unequal Asians arriving from the north.” There was clearly significant racism towards Asian people in our country.

Staniforth Smith, a Senator from Western Australia at the time had said that “[i]f the question is not dealt with boldly and fearlessly now when the Asiatic nations are waking up, there will be an influx of coloured people which will mean an alteration in our national destiny.”

This Asian presence ended by the 1930s and, as far as I can tell, hasn’t returned. On reflection it seems sad that we’ve now lost the diversity of background that our street once had, though at a time when it wouldn’t have been valued.