The Battle of Brisbane: Australia and the Yanks at War

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Jun 24, 2011 No Comments ›› admin
Canberra is in great danger of losing its unique character and arboreal heritage. The myopic dunderheads at the National Capital Authority are preparing us for their plan to sweep away the bushland between our town centres. They want to turn Canberra into just another ugly, medium-sized city.
And why? Because, they say, it will make for ‘more viable transport corridors’.
The NCA, now led by a Mr Gary Rake, is organising a public forum on 29 April, ostensibly to ‘guide a review’ of the city’s future planning with a ‘steering committee’ of the usual suspects. But the truth is that Mr Rake and his cohorts have already decided the direction they want to go. They are determined to ‘curb urban sprawl and support transport infrastructure investment.’
It is all part of the uglification of Canberra.
And it is dumb.
It has a superficial attraction for those who can think no further than next Tuesday. By ‘compacting’ Canberra we would reduce travel costs and – in theory at least – reduce the perennial losses on our bus service.
However, Mr Rake and his purblind associates are operating on the ridiculous presumption that essentially nothing will change in the way we go about our daily lives. But anyone with half an eye on the future can see that we are on the cusp of a revolution.
With the extraordinary communications technology developments already coming on stream – beginning with the national broadband network – our lives will be transformed. The economic madness of the daily lemming-like rush to and from places of work will be halted. The time is not far off when most of us will work from home; and that home is just as likely to be in Tuross as Canberra.
Sure, we will get together to press the flesh from time to time. But that will not be in horrible, boring office buildings but in more congenial purpose-built locations. The same general approach will apply to visits to the doctor, the accountant, the lawyer (though, alas the dentist’s torture chamber will remain unavoidable). Most of our visits will take place from the communications and entertainment room in our homes.
Those ridiculous big buses will be replaced (as they should be now) with a much more flexible system of minivans. They will still lose money but not nearly as much as the present system.
More and more, the nearby bushland will be an essential element in our way of life – for calming walks, for recreation and communal gathering.
But here’s the point: if we allow Mr Rake and his clique to steamroll us into tearing down the bushland for more monstrous O’Malleys and ghastly Gordons, there’s no going back.
Walter Burley Griffin’s vision will have been trashed. Canberra will have lost its uniqueness and been uglified for no reason at all. Indeed, the horrible McMansions will stand in the way of our making the kind of thoughtful development that science and technology offers for a truly engaging and satisfying future.
Think again, Mr Rake.

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