January 14, 2013


The Victorian government is thinking of turning some prime real estate - currently built upon for public housing - into rivers of gold.  It's probably a good idea, as the high rise will, in due course, be too expensive to maintain, and will either need to be imploded or at least thoroughly renovated.  Logistically a bit of a nightmare, since in Richmond, for example, 3000 people would be in need of a little place to call home before, during and after demolition.  Fortunately there are no shortages of bridges to live under.

Two things about this proposal jumped out, neither relating to the imagined rivers of gold or the imagined maintenance cost-savings (for the intended new housing, not the old), although it's worth noting that PPPs* notoriously bleed money from tax payers - always and forever.
Car parking spaces could be limited to reduce car ownership and encourage residents to use public transport.
Because mostly poor people and mostly women use public transport, therefore public transport is inconvenient, unreliable, over-crowded, inflexible and starved of funds.  As the recent RMIT study suggests:  men drive cars and ride bicycles at much greater rates than women, which finally explains why money disproportionately goes into roads and bike paths.  Yes:  transport is a feminist (and poor person's) issue. Besides, removing car parking means more space to build private housing for those who own cars.
Councillors have previously raised concerns about a lack of consultation with the state government. Yarra Council chief executive Vijaya Vaidyanath wrote to Department of Human Services secretary Gill Callister on December 17 to raise concerns about a lack of consultation with councillors.

She said the community was ''largely unaware, or confused, of the state's intentions regarding the estates and that is creating a certain degree of anxiety''**.
Don't we all sit around largely unaware, or confused, and therefore suffering a degree of anxiety?

And that, folks, is why you don't let your kids grow up to be  bureaucrats.

Plan to turn estates into property gold

* That would be public-private partnerships.
** And I still have no idea what DHS would have made of this unaware and confusing raising of concerns.

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