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Federal

Apr 1, 2010

Bob Carr: Why our cities will really choke with population growth

The population debate is not about multiculturalism, says former NSW premier Bob Carr: it's about how adding millions of people to our nation’s population will affect the environment, water reserves, economy, infrastructure and quality of life.

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The debate is not about immigration and its benefits. We all believe in them — Australia is a migrant nation. The debate is not about multiculturalism and it’s not about the source of migrants. The debate is about whether immigration should be running at very high levels. It’s about whether we end up with a population of 36 million in 2050 in contrast to the previous expectation of 28.5 million.

There are strong economic arguments against this immigration surge. Immigration worsens skills shortages. The tradesman who’s recruited for a specific job arrives with his family. Immigration adds more to the demand for labour than it contributes to the supply. The Productivity Commission Research Report (2005) The Economic Implications of an Ageing Australia made clear migration does not reverse the ageing of the population.

Bob Birrell has pointed out you would have to run immigration at very high levels for a very long time to have the slightest effect on population aging. The population is aging in Australia and just about everywhere else. Get used to it. Nurture older workers instead of driving them out of the workforce the moment they turn 55. High immigration is not the solution.

There have been very silly comments about immigration and infrastructure. I don’t know of any period in the nation’s history when people said that infrastructure had kept pace with population growth. It can’t. The worst gap was in the 1950s when the roads of new suburbs were unpaved and Gough Whitlam’s children had to travel from Cronulla to the city to go to high school and people had to wait years for a PMG-delivered telephone connection and Queensland was an education slum, etc. We will never see that level of under-servicing again.

Federal and state governments struggle to keep pace. But struggle they always will. Increase the intake and the infrastructure gap will be more acute. South-east Queensland makes the point.

In January one academic on the 7:30 Report said that we need a new federal authority to take responsibility for all planning. This, he declared, was the answer. Once we have it we can stick to high immigration. Really? As if shifting responsibility to another level of government would dispose of all the arguments over densities, sprawl, social equity, environmental assessment, design and sustainability.

Actually Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide (I don’t know enough to comment on Brisbane and Perth) already have very sound, environmentally sensitive metropolitan plans. Among other things they identify transport corridors and areas around rail stations or transport hubs as locations for higher density development. So they are public transport-based.

They work to limit urban sprawl. Sydney has been most successful at this, achieving the highest percentage of dwellings in high and medium density. It has also got the highest percentage of the population using public transport.

But our cities will be more congested with 36 million, no matter how much goes into public transport. The arguments over sprawl and higher densities will be more intense. There will be environmental loss and a loss in quality of life: the beaches choked, the adjacent national parks degraded by force of numbers, the congestion of peak hour more intense (there is no public transport system anywhere in the world that avoids peak hour congestion). The cities will work. They will be different cities and it would be a brave person who would promise they’d offer a better quality of life.

Yet I’m far more worried about water — that is, about Australia’s erratic rainfall as a constraint on the over-ambitious population growth we seem locked into.

The business lobby won’t acknowledge any of this; they are focused on the total size of the economy, a crude measure. They don’t look at GDP growth per head. Increasing productivity is going to be harder, not easier, if this runaway immigration continues. And business should stop imagining it can have lower corporate tax rates and high immigration. High immigration mandates higher government outlays, and therefore higher taxation.

You can’t add millions to the nation’s population and expect a lower tax regime.

Public opinion has moved — is moving — and I don’t think the high growth option will be entertained politically, by either side.

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257 comments

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257 thoughts on “Bob Carr: Why our cities will really choke with population growth

  1. Greg Angelo

    It is quite obvious to anybody with half a brain that exponential population growth cannot be maintained. Suggestions have been made by politicians that the population of Bangladesh is sustainable therefore we have nothing to worry about. Australia’s standard of living is a function of the population levels relative to the resources available in the environment. This includes clean air, water, and open space.

    Melbourne has already outgrown its environment. We cannot survive on the available water within the Melbourne catchment area without significantly degrading the environment. Accordingly we have a totally amoral and hypocritical government turning highly polluting brown coal for both a desalination plant (which we wouldn’t need if we are constrained our population), and aluminium smelter (fed by under priced electricity) which we don’t need except to feed a few union subscriptions into the ALP coffers.
    Unfortunately and we also have an unholy alliance between building unions, ALP factions, property speculators and land developers, and of course ordinary householders whose property values are steadily rising as a consequence of property scarcity. All of these players have their snouts in the trough while the environment is being trashed.

    Here in North Balwyn, trees are being bulldozed for McMansions and I cannot you get enough water to keep my garden green. Yet we have a Premier who is hell bent on a 5 million population for Melbourne whilst we are choking with inadequate public transport infrastructure, and inadequate roads investment whilst steadily increasing the population density per square kilometre in the inner suburban areas.

    At the federal level we have a lunatic running the asylum where we have a 300,000 new immigrants per annum placing additional pressure on the environment and our living standards.

    It is sad that Bob Carr was silent on these matters while he was Premier of New South Wales and it would appear that he has had a “deathbed conversion” now that he is no longer subject to factional supplication .

  2. Elan

    It shames me that some Australians do see this as overcrowding.

    We are nothing of the kind,-rather the opposite.
    ___________________________

    What the hell is going on? I know this isn’t an April Fools thing. Suddenly we have so many topics here on Crikey alone, dealing with immigration/immigrants/population explosion/’illegals’/boats that are approaching Australia akin to the Dunkirk landings/ foreign ownership of Australian dwellings.

    For God’s sake get a bloody grip! What a self-centred lot we are. We settled this land whether its indigenous peoples liked it or not-and treated them VERY badly in the process;-we haven’t changed our behaviour in that very much, but we have said sorry…, so that’s OK.

    We continue to pander in political expediency, to (in modern history) our American friends, willingly joining them in illegal invasions- bringing ‘democracy’ to countries with rich oil deposits, and in this endeavour causing the deaths of countless innocent people. At the same time we and our powerful allies ignore the cruelty, exploitation, and killing in countries that have ‘nothing in it for us’.

    What happens? People are disenfranchised if they are lucky. Murdered if they are not. They run for borders…..

    And they try to achieve a life…by any means possible… that WE set out to achieve in this country of :- immigrants!! (If I was in the same position I would get on a bloody leaky boat too!)

    BUT: we cannot allow that can we? We spout on about ‘too many people/not enough water/we will all end up as Moslem’s/they are taking our homes/they are terrorists’.

    When will we ever learn? What an utterly self- absorbed lot.

    “I have achieved the best life I can, but I am closing the door on you. I will do nothing to assist you. I will categorise you in the most degrading manner, and demonise you, and thus dehumanise you, to justify my moral high ground. To make me simply someone who really does care for my country.”

    Can’t you see what is happening? Look how many topics here and in other media, are now obsessing about this?

    We are returning to the utter evil that was Howardism. That man and his regime fanned the flame of hatred and intolerance.

    And here we go again…………………..

    There is a gossamer thin line between tolerance and simple humanity, and the white hooded hatred lying just beneath the surface of those just waiting for the type of ‘we’re all doomed’ bullshit currently being touted in the media at large.

    This makes me utterly fucking furious!!!!!!!!

  3. Norman Hanscombe

    The sad aspect of the ‘debate’ is that Carr’s opponents seem to feel it’s enough to attack his/motives/past/mother in law or anything else rather than concentrate on the issue. Even if Bob is a Martian spy (and I stress there’s no evidence he is) wouldn’t it be worth considering looking at the argument itself, rather than shooting messenger?

    There’s little doubt that rapid growth, in the short term, can and has raised our living standards. The reasons for this are understood too well to require lengthy discussion of that topic. There’s also no doubt that the planet, including Australia which is after all part of that planet, will become a disastrous catastrophe if population simply continues to grow — and the longer the current alarming growth continues, the more intractable the problem becomes.

    Add to this the fact that non-renewable resources of all kinds are being depleted at ever-increasing rates and I don’t think it’s being over-pessimistic to suggest we might have a problem — an extremely serious problem — facing us. If anything, I’d suggest that Bob is being a tad too optimistic.

    For the obsessed true believers on all sides of the debate, however, careful analysis of facts isn’t necessary. Whether you’re a true blue tree hugger, a 100% denier of even the remote possibility of climate change, a member of the Citizens’ Cttee for the Defence of the Human Rights of Cockroaches, or any other of the myriad of progressive and/or conservative sects proliferating in Western Society, since you ‘know’ you’re right, who needs to do anything other than abuse the messengers?

    I guess I’ll just have to adjust to the ‘benefits’ for our lucky country having so many tertiary educated students around these days who have discovered that in the postmodern era, they only need beliefs, not arguments for supporting those beliefs?

  4. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Bakerboy, not that I want to see Brisbane expand (ie. cover an enlarged area) but do you really believe that it is not possible to increase the city’s population within the current boundaries? Brisbane covers an enormous area. The CBD is surrounded by tens of kilometres in every direction of sprawling suburbia. And you would wish this sprawling suburbia on Qld’s regional cities?
    Take a look at Townsville some time. Townsville is being touted by Anna Bligh as the next stimulated growth point – a regional capital (of all things!). Successive ALP local government administrations (25 years straight) have colluded with all of Australia’s best known subdivision developers to push onward and outward across the coastal flatlands creating the country’s 12th biggest city (150,000+) with hardly a medium density development more than two kilometres from the CBD. The recently deposed mayor of 19 years, now the ALP’s National Executive-appointed candidate for the Liberal-held federal seat of Herbert, is closely associated with a huge greenfield (well, spindly eucalypt woodland) urban development proposal some twenty kilometres out of town where it is proposed that a sprawling satellite city of 60,000 will be planted – totally dependent on road transport, air conditioning and the meatworks/metallurgy/military complex that Townsville has become. It’s not as if this is some silicon valley or stairway to heaven. It’s just another 2,000 ha of bush being turned into McMansionville. Apart from a water supply from the bountiful Burdekin Dam (Queensland’s largest and overflowing virtually every January), about the only thing going for this site is that it is well above sea level and of course some of Labor’s best mates have a handy stake in it, thank you very much. In every other sense it is cursed with the same drawbacks as all the rest – including that it will sprawl across the last viable habitat of an endangered finch population. Anyway, what’s one bird species when you have over 700 others?
    The developers and their contractors will almost certainly have to import labour on 457 visas to build it. Our population is so busy making money for the corporations and CO2 for the environment that we don’t have the manpower to build our own towns. Doesn’t that seem a bit odd? What do you think Micky J?

  5. Liz45

    NORMAN – And of course in the US we had George W stealing the election of 2000 and probably the next one too! Watch ‘How Bush Won Florida’ and read more about it. The CIA now have permission to kill any US citizen anywhere in the world without the messy nonsense of a trial. They have prisons in Afghanistan, Iraq and who knows where else, and of course Guantanamo Bay, where the rule of law is a joke. You could also watch ‘Unconstitutional- the US war on civil liberties’ and many others. The US cares about its citizens so highly, that well over 130,000 of them died between 2000-’06 because they had no health care. How many of its citizens does it execute each yr; hasn’t even signed the policy re no violence to women and kids, invades countries for their resources and thinks it can go anywhere in the world and do anything including mass murder- and we support it! Raising these things is ’emotive nonsense’?

    Cuba on the other hand is training 1000 people from East Timor to be doctors. Cuba & Venezuela were the first on the scene after the Haiti disaster. Cuba at one stage had more doctors in other countries than in their own. It’s a better global citizen than we are and certainly much better than the US. We’re stealing the monies that are rightly East Timor’s via oil and gas. An agreement sorted out by Howard/Downer, and Rudd to his shame hasn’t either changed it or spoken out against this injustice. Downer had the right to lecture East Timor when they had the damned cheek to complain – “after all we’ve done for you” was Downer’s retort! What an insult to the people of East Timor seeing we helped in Soharto’s genocidal policies that resulted in 180,000 deaths!
    If it wasn’t for the Australian people’s rallies etc Howard/Downer wouldn’t have been forced to go to their aid the last time?

    What do you know of Cuba anyway!

    “Even taking in everyone who wanted to come wouldn’t make a dint on international problems.” Elan didn’t advocate taking in everyone who wanted to come” nor did I? I just think that we’re getting bloody selfish and insular. It wouldn’t be so bad if we either participated in causing so much of the misery(Iraq,Afghanistan and sucking up to Israel and ignoring their horrific violent acts against Palestinians etc) but to participate in the violence and then carrying on in a racist manner re those particularly from these countries is just indefensible in my view, and yes, it makes me f*****g furious too!

    Going by your ideas on how we should behave – it’s a case of let’s do anyone and any country over and just look after ourselves! Anything less is immature and/or idealistic!
    We’ve achieved this standard by lowering our standards over many yrs by killing etc the indigenous people of this land – we’re still doing it – we just use different methods these days!

  6. mickyj

    Norman I understand and I like the way you think. These “unquestioning beliefs” are what prevents man from being an evil destructive butcher also. The “strong innate need” makes us struggle to be good. Otherwise why would we bother being good? Leadership or a human without a strong innate sense of right and wrong can become monsters or psychopaths as we name them now. Similarly as you point out many have acted brutally in the belief they were serving their god or some authority fugure.

    When society moves, usually out of neccessity, into an organised hierachical organisation say like the plains indians of North America, man is confronted with the notion of government. Being told what to do. That is our problem now; how do we allow ourselves to be governed? Only today its more complex. Zimbardo conducted famous studies of what humans can be made to do if they are told to do it by an “authority”. Those studies revealed a lot about government, authority and what humans will do if “properly” ordered to. Hitler is a great case in point as every thing the Nazis did was techincally legal at least wthin Germany at the time.

    In mans early communities long ago a common power scam was invented to take on the authority of the accepted god of the tribe. So the witchdoctor or shaman holy man was born. They frequently set thems selves in mutual orbit around the chief who was ostensibly the miltary muscle of the tribe. Later the money power became a permanent member of this power triumvirate . Together they would rule for themselves usuaully at the expense of the tribe. A study of the Roman Empire and the last 2000 years of European history will show this.

    We must continue to struggle for enlightened constitutionality severly binding the hands of government leaving the individual as sovereign. That is why I am so critical of some left wing and right wing doctrine/ideology as it places its faith in the state which always leads to tyranny.

    If you want to know where I think we are headed, study Europe and its royal families over the last 1000 years and how they governed and controlled. This short blossoming of relative freedom in the west we have in the last 100 years is reverting rapidly back to a type of feudalism from the persective of the individual. Only a thousand times more virulent and scientifically informed.

  7. Liz45

    mickyj
    Posted Saturday, 3 April 2010 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    “Norman I understand and I like the way you think. These “unquestioning beliefs” are what prevents man from being an evil destructive butcher also. The “strong innate need” makes us struggle to be good. ”

    Perhaps you could both explain, why in a relatively short time, we’ve created enough horrific nuclear weapons to destroy the planet thousands of times over; committed brutal and violent genocidal acts; invaded and terrorised countries out of greed and the need to build empire; have kids dying from starvation every 30 seconds, and all we do is waft and theorise about over population?? Human beings are all wonderful except for the few who aren’t? Perhaps because it’s happening ‘over there’ we can just ignore it all!

    We’ve (humans as a species)learnt a lot of amazing and helpful positives through technology, but it’s just made people more vicious and greedy!
    We’re not content with that, we have to destroy vital parts of the flora and fauna, indeed the whole planet via our greed? Makes our concerns about over population ‘problem’ pretty insignificant – in comparison to the extra misery we’ve caused to other countries – like Iraq and Afghanistan for example!
    In the final analysis, we must admit, that much of our wealth and quality of life is on the broken lives of others! I don’t find the future outlook to be very bright at all, unless we deal with the main problem – our greed and callous disregard for others on the planet – of all species! How can we, while we’re killing, maiming and destroying others?

    While there’s enough of you who think this is emotional nonsense, don’t expect to move very far forward – we can’t solve the problem unless we look at the whole problem, not just our little ‘corner’ of it? Been too much of that over the last ??yrs?

  8. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Yes, Liz45 and Norman, humans are vicious and greedy and want to demonstrate it all the time – even in this blog. And yes, Micky J, we can all point to external crises that have been used against us and tribes and civilizations and psychos from the past who have done all these things better or worse than we are/will. And between us we have elected the governments we deserve – there’s no point whining about the taste and choice of your peers or their ancestors. But since we have some say in the here and now and we are interested in where that ‘say’ might take us to, what would you like to see happen with the development of the Australian population? Forget about who might have ripped off who, or whether primeval man is a hero or an evil villain. What’s the best thing for you in your street or town or piece of countryside? There’s a million different viewpoints out there, do you have just one? Bob Carr has put in his 10 cents worth and invited the rabble around to discuss it. Are we just a rabble or do we have a constructive contribution to make?
    Me? I think we should try to level off the population pretty smartly so that it plateaus out by about 2030. That should be easily possible simply by adjusting the immigration rate. Not to zero tomorrow but through judicious picking and choosing to slow the growth towards a target. And the target has a location factor as well as a content factor. And what about developing our economy? Well, it has to be cut to suit the same cloth. And the aging population? I think the most powerful contribution my baby boomer generation can make to the bulging world is to, instead of retiring to wallow in the excesses of superannuated travel and leisure (I’m not there yet), we should be devoting our own considerable healthy energies and resources to create a world for the elderly (soon to be us) which meets the exacting standards which we have come to expect. Don’t wait for the government or our children/grandchildren or some indentured Asian labour to show us how it’s done.

  9. Venise Alstergren

    MICKYJ: I hope you aren’t against abortion and euthanasia? You should deplore the religious right wing fundamentalists who are inane enough to believe in god or the terrible stupidities which are still being committed in his name.

    We continue bringing in huge numbers of skilled? semi skilled? migrants, because our education is so far under par that school leavers emerge as illiterate and incapable of thinking above the level of the Herald Sun comic section. They aren’t even qualified to take on jobs which involve manual labour. And we pay a thousand dollar bounty to each woman who produces another child. This is the sort of thing the rust-bucket states of America produce, for Christ’s sake.

    As these same men get into their forties and fifties huge beer guts emerge to reveal a level of physical exercise that is non-existent. This needs to be remedied.

    There, currently, seems to be in state and federal government as dread a bunch of terminally mentally- challenged politicians as Oz is ever likely see. Just look at the idiot who is always posing in his Lycra budgie smugglers. Tonight in an ABC ad for Q&A, next Monday night, he was on the point of taking off his shirt. He was looking at the audience and asking them if they wanted him to take off his effing shirt.

    Oz needs politicians who can think rather than menopausal men who flash their undercarriages and who have passed up on rational thought and logic. We need politicians who haven’t been brought up in the Catholic faith, or any other brain sapping cult. People who believe in a secular society. Because that’s what we are meant to be.

    Amongst all the other things Oz needs are brains, education, the ability to be enthusiastic, and a shared concern to live in harmony with the environment, rather than just the finite mineral producing mining industries who see mega-billions in each hole in the ground. An interest in compassion wouldn’t go astray either.

    Abortion and euthanasia must be legal, and anyone wishing to become medical practitioners should be vetted for ardent Catholicism. To refuse to pass on help by way of appropriate medical referrals for women who are desperate to abort the results of being raped-frequently by their fathers-is an act of barbarism which should be grounds to kick them them out of their medical practices.

    We haven’t even touched the needs of existing populations, yet we face a world of people fleeing from over population and poverty and rushing here where our infrastructure and town planning is still rooted in the 1950s.

    Above all we need water. And we ain’t got it. And not all the technology in the word is going to give it to us. We needed to practice some fifty years ago the end result needed for the year 2040. But you know Australians, always so quick to say ‘she’ll be sweet’ as the next squillion dollar government plan runs into a brick wall. Myki anyone????

  10. Liz45

    I’d say to the both of you, to do some reading prior to insisting on religious zeal of non facts to argue points. You’re both ignorant of the facts and obviously choose to remain so. That doesn’t change the facts – it just leads to more frustration. It’s part of the idealogy that allows discrimination of mainly women and girls in all spheres of life, including incomes, fertility issues and relationship violence!

    The fact is Mickyj that the stats in English speaking countries are a disgrace – and pointing the bone at others that are either perceived to be or are worse does nothing to remove the stats here. Using your logic, they should be heaps better if not non-existent, the fact that you think that shows a poor reflection on you and your attitudes, not the facts that too many are or have lived!
    Your own utterances are a graphic example of your contribution to the problem – continuing to argue against it only reinforces your level of contribution!
    Your whole demeanour to me is an example of your ‘passive violent’ attitude – your demeanour to other men shows your opinion of yourself is supperior to them?
    To put it bluntly, you’re part of the problem!

    Go to the White Ribbon Day site or the Australian Domestic & Family Violence Clearinghouse site or just put Domestic Violence into Google and see how many millions of sites are there that relate to behaviours in the English speaking countries!
    Nothing to boast about there I assure you! We’re not even safe when we’re old and in a nursing home for goodness sake! How disgusting is that?

    This is relevant to the population of our country. How we relate to and treat people is the very essence of a country and its values, and how it’ll solve this issue and others. If there’s going to be lots more people living in even more confined spaces, the violence factor will be very relevant! Although, it’s a very real factor in ordinary dwellings of reasonable size and space now! Perhaps this is why the Rudd govt has promised $45 million for programs that discuss and help prevent violent abuse! Why it’s foreshadowed, that DV this year? will cost this country $13 billion!

  11. Liz45

    VENISE – Thank you and that’s fine!

    Most of the argument or discussion to date is the nuts and bolts of life and living. There’s been at least 3 different articles on the same or similar issue this week! Anyone (BILLIE for example) who raises other aspects is castigated by the likes of mickyj who only shows his contribution to the problem by displaying his own controlling, manipulative, rude, arrogant, know-all and abusive self! He takes a particular delight in denigrating women, via their age, assertions, political affilliations and just life’s experiences. People like him would never lower themselves to engage in the real ‘blood and guts’ issues that are of equal or more importance to peoples’ lives and quality of life – because he’s only pre-occupied with his own, which is apparently ‘I’m OK and f**k the rest of you’ type of attitude!

    There’s only so many bloody ‘nuts and bolts’ on offer isn’t there? People can be miserable in a one roomed shack or a mcmansion. If we don’t get the ‘blood and guts’ issues sorted out, the rest will not matter! In fact, ‘the rest’ will be a damned sight worse than now!
    Most of us agree, that there is or soon will be a problem re over population in relation to housing, food, employment etc – how many times do you hop on the merry go round re this. Yes, let’s start with importing less people via immigration, but keep our responsibilities and humane-ness to asylum seekers etc. Let’s make sure that we provide education that will most importantly fulfill the psyche and provide rewarding employment, that contributes to all our needs first, and wants after! Other than that, unless we start bumping people off, what else is there to discuss? The continuance of govts that don’t plan beyond the next election let alone too far into the future? The over-emphasis on goods and services, on ‘things’ and employment, but never on the real important stuff that brings either happiness or misery, or perhaps, contentment of us all! People like mickyj think that this is “emotional twaddle”? Why is this?

    And if we don’t like the people on offer in govt, or who intend to stand for any level of govt, let’s get off our collective bums and do something about it. How many people here protested about Howard’s cruelty, or said, ‘stuff it, he’s wrong but I’m not getting involved’? Well, that leaves the likes of yours truly and friends (of all ages and sexes I might add) who get bloody lonely sometimes, standing out there while others are down at the pub or club making whooppee! Say you do it at all, and sir mickyj will quickly and without any insight, put you in a labelled pen with your name on it! Even if it’s ‘motherhood stuff’ like protesting at elderly women being raped or sexually abused! Has he written any letters or emails about this? Complained about the non-compliance with the presumption of innocence of too many? High cost of child care? Invading other countries to steal resources; remaining silent about torture or Dr Haneef? I bet not!

  12. Elan

    GERARD: you are nissing into the pind!!

    (The way things are going with increased moderation, half of these comments should be deleted on Tues, so what the hell!)
    _______________________

    “Your out of your league Liz. You havent offerred anything that has convinced anyone here otherwise. I disagree with feminsism and marxism. I can get as technical and detailed about why as you like as you like. Who cares how old I am? Old enough. Its not your age that counts but what you leearn with your years. Back up your thoeries with arguement rather than keep asking everybody what their life experience is or how rich or poor they are. It matters not Liz. You have annoyed and lost respect from just about everyone you have engaged here.”
    ———–

    Now Michael;-you are veering into the twilight zone. This little number (when I deciphered it) is
    a wee tad naughty, don’t you think?

    ‘Your (sic) out of your league’ : a put-down to suggest superiority (with the first spelling mistake ..; what superiority?!?)

    ‘I can get technical and detailed’ (over feminsism ((sic)) and marxism ((sic-:capital dear boy, capital)) : …so why didn’t you? Given that you are ‘talking’ to someone ‘out of your league’ ?

    ‘ leearn (sic)….Back up.. thoeries (sic) with…arguement’ (sic).

    THIS is what you learned????

    ‘ You have annoyed and lost respect from just about everyone you have….’

    Congrats. Finally a sentence without any sic bags in it!!

    BUT: yet another disingenuous stab at divide and rule. Where did you arrive at that masterful theory maestro??

    (You of course being the uniting force on this topic ((and others)!!!

    Even Hamstrung our Guru has deemed fit to pass comment on this style and eloquence (with a sense of humour), which is rather sweet don’t you think?

    So? My turn?

    Try it.

    (We’ve got until Tuesday).

  13. Norman Hanscombe

    Suffering from a mental stammer, Ms45? FOUR posts to say so little?

    I don’t know the song, Lizzie, only knew Jesse. She regularly visited our home and (despite their very different social backgrounds) spent a lot of time discussing politics and social issues with my grandmother who, despite having left her small Qld school at 13, was in a very different class from you when it comes to literacy/analytical skills.

    I merely sat and listened to them, because while my literacy level may have exceeded where you’re at now, my self-confidence then was no match for what yours obviously is now. The advantage was that listening attentively to the ideas of rational people can be a valuable learning tool — provided always, of course, that you can follow what they’re saying?
    .

    I’ll never understand, however, your enthusiasm for attacking people’s allegedly — what was your quaint phrase — “gutter level” arguments? Have you ever thought about sitting down (prefereably not in a gutter, now that it’s winter) and trying to work out why the term ‘human rights’ has meant so many different things to different people? You might realise then that it’s become little more than a catch-all label, covering whatever the individual wants to grant special status, without actually checking out the logical basis for that belief.

    I’m sure though, Lizzie, that your heart’s in the right place, even if the same isn’t true of the head. No thoughtful head would have been so confident (especially on such flimsy evidence) that I had to fit into one of your two strange categories.

    You may have spent those years in an Infants school, but don’t forget that the standard of trainees has collapsed since the peak in the late 60s, as a result of dropping the Teacher Training Scholarships. Sadly, anyone boasting about being able to enter teaching long ago became a joke. I’m sure your grandkids love you, but some might believe you need to set a higher literacy level than that before doling out self-praise?

    Except, of course, that for some decades now we’ve been so busy deluding anyone who’ll listen with such sadly unjustified high self-esteem, that it’s no wonder people assume making wild statements is worthy of a Nobel Prize. So it’s not entirely your fault, Ms 45.

  14. Liz45

    Somewhere between listening to those conversations and now, you went horribly wrong. A bit like the equivalent of an ‘uncle tom.’ I didn’t say what years I spent in the schools or what I was doing? You didn’t assume did you? Put me in another little box?

    (your facetious use of ‘Ms’ reminds me of the then Infant’s mistress and her insistence with the Principal, an egotistical misogynist, that all the females wished to use Ms, whether or not they were married – this was in 1979-80? 30 yrs ago – most amusing at the time?)
    ( There’s another post that is still awaiting the moderator – no longer than your last one, so? who knows!)

    “the term ‘human rights’ has meant so many different things to different people? You might realise then that it’s become little more than a catch-all label, covering whatever the individual wants to grant special status, without actually checking out the logical basis for that belief.”

    How many “logical basis” have to be offered re abuse by husbands/partners against women and kids, before it’s worthy of some import in your view?
    When discussing the future population and desired priorities of a civilized country and its people, the emotional/physical/human rights of all its peoples are an integral and important part – or they should be in my view. Money and a comfortable home don’t mean a lot when you’re violated each day – with or without children!

    Fortunately, the United Nations agrees with me – that the violence towards women is a most serious crime around the world, which includes Australia! White Ribbon Day in this country is growing each yr. All the activities are the initiatives of active men from many walks of life. Check it out on the WRD website! There are lots of wonderful men who’ve ‘taken the pledge’ against violence towards women – not to condone it, not to remain silent, and to actively campaign against it. Kevin Rudd launched the ‘I Swear’ program last yr.

    mickyj’s attitude to women is far away from any sense of justice – yours is not much better! Those who are so against striving for the human rights of others, are usually fearful of losing some of their own power – your position perhaps? Not that you’d own up to it!

  15. Liz45

    VENISE – I’m fine thank you! I submitted a comment at about 3pm but it’s still awaiting the moderator’s decision?

    mickyj – An article in the Sun Herald, Feb 26 ’09, headed,
    “Millionaires blasted for claiming pensions”? by Stephanie Peatling.

    “The pension system is so badly organised, that more than 50,000 people with disposable income of more than $60,000 receive the age pension, and a further 14 per cent are paid the benefit despite their assets being worth $1.6 million.
    The Brotherhood of St Laurence, which commissioned research into the pension system, wants the Federal Govrnment to include owner occupied homes in the means test for the pension to stop payments going to people who do not need them.
    “The system is a mess and in dire need of reform” the Brotherhood’s general manager of communications and development, Nicola Ballenden said. “The system is looking after people who earned money throughout their lifetime, but is not looking after people at the bottom”
    SINGLE AGED WOMEN(my emphasis) were the most disadvantaged group because they were less likely to own property or have savings. Nearly two thirds of women in the pre-retirement age group, from 55-64- had less than $20,000 in superannuation making them the most likely recipients of the age pension. Pensioners living in private rental accommodation were also badly off, with 83% having less than $20 a week to top up their pension.”

    When you add this to the millionaires who also received Family Benefits and lots of other forms of middle income welfare, those people who only have a pension as income are living beneath the poverty line and worse. Those who have to pay private rent are living in a hideous position. I heard of one elderly man who paid 80% of his pension in rent? Yes, I’m most grateful I can assure you!
    There’s more-track it down if you wish!

    The pain medication was prescribed via a pain clinic at a major Sydney Hospital, led by a specialist who’d seen me 20 years before, and after all other attempts to manage the horrific pain had failed. It’s very stringently supervised. I wouldn’t even wish the need for it on you MICKYJ! That’s really big of me as you’re a very nasty and insensitive little twit! Incidently, I’ve met even worse excuses for human ‘flotsam and jetsom’ than you! Not that many, I agree, but they’re out there!

  16. Bogan

    Please see these photos of the shoddy building and construction work at Docklands http://anticharisma.com/wordpress/?p=20 and tell me if we even have the know how or the zeal to accomplish the building of enough infrastructure to service more worker ants imported from the 2.5 odd BILLION sized populations that dream of living here. I mean note how even a door is constructed with foam core on oone building, so flimsy its dodgy as.

  17. Norman Hanscombe

    Liz, you ask how I know. Merely being interested & observant can often help. For example in ‘48, as a pupil, after looking at past syllabuses and test papers, I realised standards had been eased. Only later did I learn this had happened as a wartime decision, ‘43 from memory. In ‘55, before becoming a teacher, I took an interest in standards and found, e.g., that at the time Qld primary school students were ahead of other States in spelling. In the late 60s, after having left teaching, I was interested to find NSW primary students had (as the result of the highly effective reading scheme then I use) improved so much that State-wide I.Q. norms had to be raised by five points —a highly significant jump. The Department then threw out the scheme, and reading comprehension in NSW schools fell off again. Is that enough?
    I’ve never deemed myself, as you put it, “Brilliant”, but over the decades I have come to suspect there might be people out there who aren’t particularly strong in some academic areas. As for “medication in yrs to come”, I’m already over the hill intellectually, but haven’t sought that sort of help. After all, I’m coming downhill, but I’ve still a very long way to go before I reach a point where the competition is a challenge.
    I feel for your trauma in that Mature Age “examination”, liz, but can’t get too excited about your result, as I’m aware of how ‘demanding’ those courses are. I entered tertiary education via a University Matriculation Exam, but they dropped that form of entry decades back, because they needed something less demanding if they were to fill all the expanded places. With your writing standards, just be grateful you didn’t have to sit it.
    I shan’t bore you with details of being wiped out in a car accident, written of as a DOA (although that prognosis proved a tad over-pessimistic) missing the entire final third of the year, then — but it’s not about me is it? After all, I was a lucky working class male from a sole parent home, with a mother working in a clothing factory. I feel embarrassed not acknowledging all my advantages.
    Did I overlook anything important, liz? Please let me know if I did.

  18. Venise Alstergren

    MICKYJ: Although agreeing with you about governments-of every shade, the at times limited Left, but mostly with the clowns who think they were born to rule, the misnamed Liberal Party, not to mention the socialist party of the rural brigade cunningly named the National Party aka ‘The Everything Belongs to us Party’.

    “So I say bugger the environment and tax everyone witless, because we, the National Country Party deserve to be subsidised. Without us you lot would starve. We support the RSL. to the hilt by encouraging Oz youth to fight for our superior allies, the Americans, during their continually losing-after WWII, and Korea-wars.
    They saved us from the Japanese at the Battle of the Coral Sea and we owe them our ever-lasting love. F/uck the bloody Poms they screwed Australia when they lost to the Japanese at Singapore.

    “And we are as right-wing as it possible to be, except when it suits us to rip more money out of everyone’s taxes. This is when we show our adaptability. We change our philosophy of lofty superiority, to the money grubbing stance of the socialist left in order to declare ‘What’s yours is ours, and what’s ours remains ours’. Shades of Uncle Joe, or Chairman Mao anyone?

    “Finally, you city folk should lean to live without water because it all belongs to us and our irrigating, monolithic pals such as the folks who own Cubbie Station.

    “Contrary to you what you parasites in the cities believe, we love our Sheilas, especially when they are chained to their ironing boards, being pregnant, and working like a drover’s dog to sustain our kids, cook for the shearers, and become members of the CWA. But we love them most of all when they run around after us.

    Have any of youse gotta problem with this?” He turns to whistle up the border collie who jumps up into the ute and the wind removes yet another layer of dried up soil.

  19. Elan

    [It appears the specific post you are referring to ended up in spam – which we don’t look at – not sure why it did – will follow up tomorrow – Mod]

    I’m unsure because I can’t prove……..To say anymore would be scurrilous, because I have no proof.

    I have recently experienced a situation where I COULD post on the partic topic; -on anything BUT what that topic was discussing.

    At first I thought it was a comp glitch,-then it became clear that I was being censored (NOT modded) from posting an opinion.

    This was NOT Crikey proper. That is all I can say.

    Crikey does not respond to any email, but they DID fix the ‘problem’.

    Last night a post ‘vapourised’ . Again, I didn’t pick up on it. When I did;-I could post anything as you see;-but not on the topic…………., or to be fair;-not on the heated discussion we are currently having here.

    Today I was able to post by structuring that post as carefully as I could. As you see it posted.

    It seems logical to me that if one can actually post- yet not post in a manner that responds to the current discussion-then it is equally logical to suggest that such is open, at the very least, to conjecture..
    _________________________

    Anyway, I cannot see most all of the latter part of this thread remaining. Deviating from the topic is one thing,-but we have all veered well away from the original topic., occasionally paying lip service to it!!

    We might see a lot of italics tomorrow, or perhaps a closed thread?

    Make hay………………..!!

  20. Norman Hanscombe

    1. I’m sure Bob will understand, elan, why you don’t find his views ‘riveting’, they’re not in line with your deeply held, and I’m sure genuine, beliefs. As for anyone being patronising [n.b. no ‘z’ again?] towards you, it’s unfortunate that you’re so touchy about your literacy shortcomings. I’ve worked with very mediocre students at times, and found that IF they concentrated on understanding what their shortcomings were, as opposed to shooting the messenger, it was surprising how much they could improve.

    But I forget. The main interest for many these days is boosting self-esteem, not the hard work of tackling shortcomings, and thus gaining a reason for the greater self-confidence we’re constantly told is so ‘important’. Best wishes anyway. I really do understand your personal dilemma.

    2. Liz, it’s a mistake to assume politicians of any stipe, even the Greens, are doing much more than window dressing with any conservation ‘plan’ . With Desalination plants, it’s largely so people will feel something is being done. Whether nuclear power is ‘good/bad’ changes over time. The Labor Party was enthusiastic about it once.

    Even such currently emotively powerful issues such as whales have undergone spectacular (if hardly noticed) changes. Once the Labor Party condemned their opponents for selling off a Government whaling station. Nowadays? Then there was the furore (before my time on this one) because Labor’s opponents sold off Government butcher shops. May sound like I’m joking, but it actually happened.

    Politicians sometimes implement bad decisions because their critics, while high on confidence, aren’t quite as effective when it comes to carefully researched, logically argued cases. On the other hand, it’s often a mistake to assume automatically that politicians are hide their ‘true’ motives. They can be just as blindly confident they’re the ones in the right, as can their critics who are certain the only ‘truth’ is represented by what the protesters believe.

  21. Liz45

    VENISE – I have a soft spot for Wonthaggi. My late father was born there, and the 6 siblings preceeding me were also born there. I’m the first born in NSW. I didn’t think the opponents would win(I wonder why?) but ‘hope springs eternal’ etc! It sounds as though Brumby isn’t much better than NSW govt – and that’s saying heaps!

    NSW Labor just lurch from one disaster to the next – it looks as though they can’t even sell of the ‘family jewells’ without stuffing it up. They sold off State Lotteries but committed a giant blunder during the discussions – promising one only of more bounty, and now they could be tied up in the courts, costing us heaps while it’s sorted! Mind you, the other mob aren’t much better.

    If the Libs win, we’ll have Opus Dei, a far right catholic mob with ? number of members in the govt? Scary thought isn’t it? Our state govt also sacked 2 councils, and deprived us of our democratic rights for 4 yrs – which of course takes us past the election date next March? Convenient? The ALP will get a trouncing in both the state election and local govt when we next get the chance to vote. I will not be voting for the conservatives of course. The Greens in NSW are very impressive and work very hard.
    In the meantime, we have Administrators in! The city of one council now has parking meters – something the Labor controlled council would probably never have done? Ho Hum! On and on it goes! I’m hoping for some pretty good independent people to stand. The community is pretty fired up after the sackings-people working on exposing the alleged corruption etc. Still wating for some to have their day in court defending corruption allegations by the ICAC?

  22. Liz45

    BAAL – There’s only so much one can say about increased population – over 4 days? Most of my spelling mistakes have been typos – laziness in other words! I think the important thing is communicating, although norman doesn’t think I’m very good at that! Unlike his good self, who is superior to us/most mortal beings? Must be good! I’m usually pretty good at spelling. Human beings eh? Got the full bit here! I made a resolution once, that I won’t put up with peoples’ grotty behaviour. If everyone else tells the rude bastards to cut it, perhaps they will?

    VENISE – Re being stalked. I didn’t know NORMAN H was a scientologist? I’ve missed something? Makes sense now. They’re pretty obsessed and determined to denigrate anyone who challenges their yukky attitudes and behaviours! As we asserted on that post neither of us were impressed with them. Worse than that other mob that knock on your day at the most inopportune times!

    I had a run in with them yrs ago. I’m usually polite, firm and just state that I’m not interested, but…It was yrs ago and my 2 eldest were only toddlers. These people knocked on the door as I was emptying boiling water from the copper(tough going)into the washing machine-I had to pick up both kids, take them with me to the door etc. After a few instances of this, I opened the door the next time, shouted, “why don’t you go and get a proper job instead of tormenting busy people”, and slammed the door. Funny, they didn’t come back!

    If you’re really concerned, do something tomorrow – ring up Crikey or send an email! The young woman I’ve spoken to re subscriptions sounds really nice – I’m sure they’ll be pro-active!

  23. Elan

    I agree HBAGS with your first line!, and also agree that this is not an easy problem to tackle.

    Firstly: IF (as you have clearly picked up!), such problem is commented upon by someone who has richly benefited from his public life, -it diminishes rather than enhances the message conveyed.
    It is abundantly clear (!!), that Carr’s comments have created somewhat of a flurry of strong discussion that mutated into a rather more expansive range of topics!!!

    I see that as inevitable. Carr and anyone else is entitled to give an opinion-we have after all the veneer at least of a democracy! I guess what is so irritating, is that ‘public’ figures WILL get their views publicised – and some of these publicised views are coming from those who express them from the rarefied air of their ivory towers.

    THAT is much vexing. It is bloody annoying,-and destroys the credibility of their argument.

    BECAUSE it was Bob Carr, I am not in the least interested in what he has to say.

    Secondly: ‘the system’ always, ALWAYS deals with effect- not cause. I’m not going to repeat what I said early in this thread, but suffice it to say,- unless we look more closely at the causes of this- nothing will ever improve-it will inevitably get worse.

    It is politically expedient for the so called ‘First World’ countries to turn their eyes away from these sorry souls, and more importantly-what causes them to flee.

    It is far easier to condemn them- to use the terminology “WE will decide who comes to our country”. A sentence that should go down in infamy for its calculated desire to encourage a gang mentality against those who HAVE gone though hell.

    The utterly absurd notion that ‘terrorists’ would subject themselves to these dangerous conditions is beyond stupid. As is the ‘they will take our houses’ crap.Yet that has been thrown into the mix, by those who sought to gain public support by generating fear in their community. A historically popular tool used by Governments.

    This ‘problem’ will continue to be a ‘problem’ until Governments face up to the cause.

    And they never will. Because there is nothing to be gained.

  24. gerard

    Jeez,
    We do not pay much tax. Like America and Japan we have a low tax regime. Please read this:
    http://comparativetaxation.treasury.gov.au/content/report/html/02_Executive_Summary.asp

    Most countries with good socal infrastructue pay close to 50% tax, including a social security tax.

    We pay a higher than average income tax but our GST is lower and we d0 not pay a social security tax.

  25. Elan

    Liz45, I’m trying hard not to go off on a tangent, but I must acknowledge your comments on Malalai Joya.

    She is Pashto. So am I. The Pashto/Paktun/Pataan (as my ma called us), do not have a good track record in Afghanistan. Historically the Pashtun, dominated smaller tribes. And THAT is sanitising it.

    BUT; MJ is an absolute force for good,-and an extraordinarily brave young woman. She has been unafraid to criticise both the Muja and the Tali. Both have committed atrocities, and both target her.

    She reminds me of Phoolan Devi, the Indian woman who was pack-raped. Devi literally became an outlaw and went after her attackers. She got them all! She was in prison for years-her ‘gang’ of male helpers were released early.

    Devi eventually became a MP!! She was also threatened for years. They eventually got her; she was murdered.

    But ‘they’ are unknown in history. Devi is not forgotten.

    My Papagee (as I always knew him), was from Kabul. He left Afghanistan; I am told he as an utter pacifist, and abhorred violence. He never discussed his past with any family member, including his wife.

    It is so difficult. The illegal invasion by the ‘liberators’ took place at a time when the Muja were pushed back, only holding the Panjshir Valley. It would have been a bloodbath if the Tali’s had got them.

    ……..the trouble is, that neither side wants the West there anymore. They have well outstayed their welcome. (And I might add ‘the West’ was only there because Afghanistan is of great strategic importance).

    The Afghan is a fighter;- he will always fight against other tribes. Nothing will ever change that.

    The irony is that the Tali do not practice ‘Bacha Baazi’ the boy ‘dancers’ and sex slaves of very many Muja commanders.

    There is at least something to be said for the Tali taking on these Muja pedophiles….
    _________________________

    I know. Off topic.

  26. Liz45

    @ELAN -Do you have any relatives still in Afghanistan? It must be a daily nightmare for people – just to survive! And when I hear Obama, Rudd etc carry on I just want to scream at the TV that they’re lying. I heard recently about the 3 men and 3 women who were just murdered during a raid on a home – no reasons? The US first denied it, (as usual) then they finally admitted to it but said they were ‘insurgents’ or taliban etc and then finally said it was an ‘oooppss’ type situation, but then hastened to add ‘that the families will receive compensation’! What? I yelled at the radio, ‘oh, well that’s fine then-tell the kids who’ve lost their parents’ and they’ll feel so much better now? A miserly few hundred or a thousand US dollars shut up money? I wish more people would acquaint themselves with the reality in Afghanistan and how we’re complicit in causing so much death and misery – for oil, gas and other resources!

    Last evening on ABC radio, the leader of the Conservatives in the Britain referred to the ‘illegal invasion of Iraq’ and I thought ‘Wow! -that’s progress!’ Now all they need to do is tell the truth about Afghanistan and at least that lie will be revealed too! The alleged terrorists re 9/11 didn’t even come from Afghanistan, but Yemen and Saudi Arabia, and the US allowed at least 20 extended family members of Osama bin Laden to leave the US the day after 9/11 – so what’s going on there???? Very smelly indeed!

    Incidently, notice how the US/NATO don’t carry on about the other countries in the Middle East run by dictators – with no democratic elections, such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt for a start! Of course they do the US bidding, so they’ll leave them in peace to continue as they are! The same hypocrisy applies to Africa. Mugabe is a dictator, but there’s other countries in the neighbourhood just as bad, but they’re allowing US access for oil or who knows, and they’re left alone!

  27. Liz45

    ELAN – I agree! There’s only so much you can discuss about population – small or large? I get frustrated when serious issues like this are politicised, particularly when it hurts people, either physically or emotionally. This revolting dialogue re asylum seekers is a good case in point. when I hear about little kids bashing their heads against a wall due to a jail like environment, I just want to go and get them out. I can’t understand how we can boast of being ‘you beaut’ when we do this sort of thing. If we did it to animals, the RSPCA would take us to court – and rightly so!

    I was raised in a conservative family-most of my siblings would vote for the conservatives-I’ve not been so easy to con – either due to my own experiences or those of others. In fact, yrs ago one of my sisters said she wouldn’t discuss politics with me, as I knew more than her! Funny, I’d have just been more determined to find out! She remains in ignorant bliss – doesn’t even watch TV? Perhaps that’s the best way to be! Watch the Soaps and form views accordingly! Ouch! Yuk!It’s strange, but in yrs gone by they’d rely on me to use my insights and contacts to sort out family issues – aged parents and their care etc?

    It’s amazing that the US is using drones etc in Pakistan, and the rest of the world thinks that is OK. Surely this is illegal? Just put drones in the air and pick of your enemies, without anyone protesting? I read the book ‘Enemy Combatant’ about the British citizen, Moazzam Begg(middle eastern parents) who was kidnapped and ended up in Guantanamo Bay – he’d done nothing – was released without charge 3 yrs later – much like Mandouh Habib and David Hicks? In fact he saw both of them at Gittmo – more interaction with Hicks! He only saw Mandouh Habib while he was chained up, with his arms above his head, and left there until he collapsed. Horrific stuff! Begg’s father worked like hell to get his son released(like Terry Hicks did) and finally won. But of course there lives will never be the same again – too many awful memories. Solitary confinement leads to mental illnesses without any other forms of torture.

    I’m going to take advantage of the break in the weather to tidy up my plants. It’s been raining for almost a week now – not complaining, but? have to organise before I leave and spend time with my grandkids!
    I hope all your extended family members are safe – wherever they are! I wouldn’t go to those countries either. Too risky!

  28. Liz45

    VENISE – I think we were engaging in a little light relief! I understand what you’re saying. Just think, it could be worse?

    You could be living in NSW with this Labor govt that is just beyond ?? The latest! Due to what our govt did to the electricity companies, borrowed their money some time ago? the electricity charges are going to increase by (allegedly)64%. We(residents)have to pay it back??Not the govt, us! Now this story was in Murdoch’s Telegraph so I’m not 100% sure of its validity, as I had a quick look while waiting at the hairdressers, but I wouldn’t be surprised. Last yr I bought a gas heater – wow! good thinking – I got an interest free loan from a church group(not that I’m a churchie, as you know) I’ll be most diligent about turning everything off at night, including the TV etc. I have a water bed but I don’t think it uses much – it’s salvation for bad backs, necks etc?How people on low incomes with kids will get on, I don’t know. I feel so sorry for them. I remember those yrs – kids and no money – not for a good while anyway! But of course, pollies are on good money, send their kids to private schools that the ordinary person pays for – twice!

    The trains in Sydney have been in a mess and OK and in a mess etc for yonks – but mostly inadequate and shameful! They wasted ???many millions on an alleged you beaut ticketing system that went pear shaped – more millions wasted! Toilets on trains are horrific, and not all trains have them, even if the trip could take a couple of hours – you have to notify the guard and the train will stop at the next station – as long as it’s staffed and the toilets are still open? This after 30 yrs in govt? Perhaps more! Not that the other lot would be better, probably worse?

    The govt has allowed a housing development on land that many believe is a flood plain – filled with ‘land fill’? We had excessive amts of rain in ’98 which did awful damage. If it happens again, these people will be in big trouble? Another development close to the escarpment has only 2 main roads in or out – with several thousand people? If there was a fire, it would be Victoria all over again – people would be trapped. Another development has roads so narrow, that you can’t have 2 cars parked opposite each other – the ‘bays’ are staggered? If there was a disaster requiring police, fire or ambulance or maybe only one, tough luck! How are these things allowed to happen? Amazing! You just shake your head in disbelief. I’m not an engineer or anything, but common sense dictates different plans and policies!

    Oh there’s lots more! If this is an indication of careful planning, god help us all! How would you trust these idiots to plan for the future growth of cities etc. It’s slower now to travel to Sydney by train than it was 60 yrs ago? So much for getting people to work in a reasonable time – some people’s days are 14 hrs at least!

    Didn’t Kennett sell of the rail system? At one stage it was muted that the govt should buy it back? Haven’t heard anything since, so??Do you still have trams? I used to love the old trams in Melbourne? Sydney got rid of them yrs ago – stupid move, now there’s too many cars in the city! On and on it goes! I despair!

  29. Liz45

    @GERARD@VENISE – Lucky escape Gerard! Scary!

    Venise, we have a war going on at the moment, where the NSW govt is determined to allow a company to put up about 50 ‘holiday units’ in a lovely state park, that should be left alone for the benefit of all people, not just those wealthy enough to pay for accommodation. There is already homes not far from this beautiful place, and we are currently fighting against it. There’s a great beach that board riders etc absolutely love called The Farm, which has not long been added to the list of places to be left alone? I forget the title – heritage listed? The whole area is just magnificent and should be left alone. The argument pro is that it’s only a 50 yr lease(what BS-once it’s there??) and there should be a fee etc. The original company went broke, and so we hoped it would fall over, but no, they’re looking for an alternate company!
    Oh yes, there’s evidence, via The Greens in this state, great people, that at every stage of the approval process, large donations were allegedly handed over to the ALP? This info is on The Greens website. Sylvia Hale is a great woman, who’s done amazing work on this!

    These horrific(I’ve seen the plan – they look like school demountables to me – horrible?) dwellings will block the magic scenery of the beach, surrounding ocean, rocks etc. The park is called Killalea State Park, one of the many parks that are left alone and free to enter – which is how it should be! I’ve taken several people to see it and they can’t believe it when I tell them about the proposal? I’m sure that every person in this municipality would pay a few dollars a yr to pay for the upkeep, grass cutting etc. I would, willingly! I’m not a property owner, but I’d be more than happy to pay, but it shouldn’t be necessary! It’s also used for educational purposes and is truly breathtakingly beautiful! You can picnic at the tables or on the huge areas of grass etc, kids can run around safely, play cricket, big enough for several games of cricket at once? etc. Great park! Damned crime! Bastards!(when did god pass the land over to state govts, councils or property developers, real estate agents etc?)
    We’ll get arrested if they start the nonsense – I haven’t before, but there’s always a first time! The Unions are on side, and so let’s hope they green?ban it. We’ll call on the lovely Jack Mundy if necessary! (Saved The Rocks & Centenial Park Sydney plus others yrs ago – a living treasure, and a lovely bloke – there was a doco on ABC about him?)
    Put Killalea State Park into your search engine, and have a bo-peep! I know that I’ve blown my cover re where I live, but I don’t care – it’s important that people know what’s going on- regardless of where they live! Could be your area next!
    Off to the library!

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