Some questions from noteworthy articles
Russell Degnan

Selective memory?

The rise and rise of outlet stores in Suburban Melbourne has raised the hackles of the Shopping Centre Council of Australia: "We believe that retail developments, no matter what sort, ought to be approved under the same conditions.". We'll assume then, that future extensions to existing large shopping complexes shouldn't be treated seperately to other planning applications? Direct factory outlets have their own issues. Not least of which, they are as bad - or worse - for public transport users as Melbourne's large complexes.

Does anybody know what is going on?

A relatively small-scale ($3 million) plan to use recycled water on Werribee's market gardens has/is stopped/slowed/going ahead soon. Given the farmers were using recycled water when the plant was built 100 years ago, is it so complicated to sell the water to the private concern at a market rate for low-quality water?

Melbourne port to 'unravel' if deepening not done

Amidst all the gnashing of teeth over the intansigence of environmental groups, and statements about the high cost of freight-trains lies this: "Funding for the project has yet to be finalised, but one option being discussed is for the port to recoup the cost by introducing higher access charges.". Heaven forbid if the beneficiaries of a deeper channel paid for it. Is there a reason why all options couldn't be pursued, or does port competition only apply in relation to other cities?

Something we already knew

"A State Government goal to boost public transport users 20 per cent by 2020 will remain a dream without a significant increase in funding, according to a local government group". If the goal was to increase users by 20% in 15 years then this would be incredibly sad. Of course, it is actually an increase to 20% from the current 9% (a 122% increase). Which isn't, and never was, going to happen. But then, it is easy to set goals for after your government has been thrown out of office, and you're safely retired. Perhaps some short term targets would be appropriate?

Sterner Matters 12th May, 2004 01:46:49   [#]