House:LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY- SECOND READING
Date:5.08 PM TUESDAY, 26 October 1999
Member:Thomas, Mr Bill
Subject:HERITAGE BILL 1999 - SECOND READING
Page:2590 / 1

Terrace is the site of the old Fremantle synagogue and that in itself has heritage value. The leader of the Jewish community in Western Australia in the early part of this century was a gentleman named Elias Solomon. He was one of the founding officeholders of the Fremantle Football Club, as the South Fremantle Football Club was originally known. Mr Solomon is the person after whom Solomon Street in Fremantle is named but he also has an association with this House. He was a mayor of Fremantle in the 1890s and he served in this Parliament as the member for South Fremantle from 1892 until federation in 1901. In that year he entered the federal Parliament and served as the first member for Fremantle of the House of Representatives. He was the leader of the Jewish community in Fremantle. The old synagogue backs onto what I have designated football square which is currently car park No 16 in the City of Fremantle and it is an eyesore. That building could be developed as the headquarters - the office premises and shopfront - of the Fremantle Dockers Football Club. It is presently a restaurant - although from my observations not a particularly commercially successful one - but the building is owned by the City of Fremantle and I hope that in due course it could be made available to the Fremantle Dockers Football Club to be developed as the shopfront, the public front, of the club. The land behind the building and adjoining the South Fremantle Football Club's premises could be developed as a square and the entire area opened up to extend what is known in the vernacular as the cappuccino strip, the recreation area of Fremantle. That district could be extended south of Parry Street and make Fremantle Oval the real attraction it could be. South Fremantle Football Club will continue to have its headquarters and to play at Fremantle Oval which means the oval will be a working football oval and not just a museum or a training track for an AFL team. It would be so much better if the South Fremantle Football Club's premises could be redeveloped as is necessary. That work could be done in conjunction with the redevelopment of Fremantle Oval to recognise its place in the heritage of Fremantle and Western Australia as one of the major football venues in Western Australia and one which should be recognised.

The statue of Gerovich and French would be a great centrepiece. It is a piece of sporting and social heritage. Many members would be aware that John Gerovich played for South Fremantle during the 1950s and 1960s. He commenced his football career at the age of 16 and worked in a clerical position at Fremantle Hospital for most of his working life. He was very much a part of the Fremantle community. Ray French, the person over whom Gerovich took the mark, was an industrial worker in the area and was killed in an industrial accident some years after the mark and photograph were taken. It is sporting and social history which should be recognised through public art in the area. I commend this proposition to the Dockers, the South Fremantle Football Club, the City of Fremantle, the Government and anyone else who could be involved in the realisation of the project. It is one that has merit.

My second proposal concerns the Parliament itself. I am pleased to see that Mr Speaker is in the Chamber because following this speech I will be writing a letter to him to make a suggestion about an aspect of the heritage of this Parliament which should be recognised. Twice this year I have had occasion to attend conferences in the New South Wales Parliament which were held at least in part in its Legislative Assembly Chamber. I noted that in the Legislative Assembly of the New South Wales Parliament there is a plaque which commemorates the members of that House who were killed in active service during wartime. I think one part of the plaque is for the First World War and another for the second; I am not sure of the details. However, many people are not aware that during the world wars it was, I gather from my cursory reading of that plaque and the records of this place, the practice of the New South Wales Parliament and this Parliament to pair members who joined the forces and went off to fight in those wars.

I believe that many people who have visited the Parliament, and many members, would not be aware that members of Parliament of an appropriate age were eligible for military service. The Parliament facilitated their service in the military forces by granting them pairs. Visitors to Parliament should be made aware of this aspect of the heritage of the Parliament and attention should be drawn to that fact. It is therefore appropriate to recognise, in the precincts of the Parliament, people who died on active service. Members would be aware, particularly from living in the community as members of Parliament with roles in their electorates, that it was common for war memorials to be erected in districts to recognise people from those districts who were killed in active service. It was also common practice in workplaces to recognise people who were killed during military service. The Minister for Energy would no doubt be aware that in the foyer of the Western Power building - the old SEC building - there is a plaque containing the names of SEC employees who were killed during World War II and, I think, also World War I. I recall a plaque in the Commonwealth Bank in Perth. Most members could probably recall other workplaces, in addition to districts, where recognition was given to people who served during the war and paid the supreme sacrifice.

Since visiting the New South Wales Parliament this year, I have taken the opportunity to cursorily read the records of this Parliament. I have found that in World War I, Bartholemew James Stubbs, the then member for Subiaco, joined the Australian Imperial Force on 29 January 1916. He was killed in Belgium in infantry action on 21 September 1917 when he was still the member for Subiaco, having been elected to the Parliament in 1911. Recognition of that fact should be given. Mr Stubbs was obviously a very interesting person. He was a tailor by trade. An entry in the biographical register notes that he was active in the foundation of Western Australia's tailors' union, vice president and president of the Trades and Labor Council - obviously a Labor member - and member for Subiaco until he met his end in World War I in 1917. It is fitting that there be an appropriate monument to such a person.

My reading of the records also revealed that a gentleman called John Verdun Newton was, interestingly enough, the Labor member for Greenough. My cursory glance at the records revealed that he was probably the only Labor member ever for Greenough. He was preceded by a Country Party member. As most members will be aware, John Newton was succeeded by Sir David Brand, who was a long serving Liberal member for that area and the State's longest serving Premier. Mr Newton's service is interesting because he joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1941 and was reported missing over Germany on 14 January 1944. However, he was elected to Parliament only on 20 November 1943. Obviously, he stood for that position and was elected while serving overseas. He was obviously held in high esteem in the electorate that he was