Saturday, April 14, 2018

Too much Missy

Our deservedly respected local ABC Radio broadcaster often defends the population growth in Australia and points out how our city has changed for the good by such population growth. He speaks even more strongly with, do we want to go back to sleepy and boring Melbourne that we once were? I am with him up to a point, but before such monstrous population growth that is having an extreme impact on our lives, there was the 1980s, and maybe I would like to turn the clock back.

In the 1980s we could freely drive around our metropolis with minimal delay among quite competent, though perhaps speeding drivers. We could hop on a tram or get on a train and there would be a vacant seat to sit on. I now have to calculate about how to get a seat on a tram. Similar for trains.

We could go to an outer suburban park, choose a public barbeque and seats and have a lovely family gathering. I expect, nay know, we would now have to send an advance scout to take up a position.

In Myers as it was then known, we would be served, before extreme cost cutting arrived and the lad said to you, I am here only for one brand, so he is not store staff.

Massive roads are built and existing ones widened. New trains and underground train tunnels are under construction. We are suffering very badly from the consequences and may well not live long enough to reap the benefits.

As I have said in the past, the Australian economic model is built on a Ponzi scheme of increasing population.

Housing it taking over land that was once for wildlife, vegetable growing areas and what were supposed to sacrosanct Green Wedges, only to make outer suburban housing ghetto developments. In my mother's hometown I see what is being built on the old racecourse. Cheek by jowl, no public amenities, all the houses look the same, although it is hard to tell as they are almost indistinguishable. (I really like that last line)

Tourists, do come and see kangaroos hopping down our streets, except they won't be places you will want to visit. They will be following old paths that are now houses and streets.

Meanwhile, in inner suburban areas, also massive increases in the population have happened, and will go on at a fierce pace. Already services can't cope with the numbers.

This is not a post about immigration. It is about population growth and it needs to stop forthwith, and housing and rental prices need a good belting. Perhaps it is time for another recession we had to have.

Of course, in such expansionary times, wouldn't you think your basic cafe/care worker would be doing well? No, there is also a huge exploitation of labour underway that comes with large population growth.

At times I am pleased to be older and won't be around to see even worse to happen.

30 comments:

  1. What you say here is equally true and sad for California. I recall camping when no reservations were needed, you just drove to the national or state park and there were spaces available. You are right, economic stability is built on a Ponzi scheme of ever growing population.

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    1. Terra, thanks for you view of how it is elsewhere. I know we in Melbourne are not alone in this.

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  2. Remember when our politicians urged us to have another baby for the country? It really wasn't that long ago, and some of the country was already stretched to cope.

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    1. Peter Costello, I believe EC. One for yourselves and one for the country. Again it may sound like I am anti immigration, but it is true that recent immigrants have close to double the number of children that long time Australians do. We will win from this with many more young taxpayers to look after us when we are old.

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  3. I've only been in Melbourne since 2005 and have already seen so much change. From my apartment, I use to be able to see the Westgate bridge and the top of the Spirit of Tasmania when it was docked. Now I just see tall buildings everywhere.

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    1. Ad Rad, that is thirteen years; extraordinary what has happened in a bit over a decade.

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  4. The investment in regional areas must be increased 100 fold - with the equal investment in public transport.
    This massive coin splurge on footy paddocks is jingo-ism when our regional hospitals, schools and transport facilities all need more hip pocket promises.

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    1. Jayne, that is the key. Invest in rural areas and regional cities, but don't just send people there to turn such places into a copy of Melbourne and its problems.

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  5. I am glad I live in the bush but changes are evident here too, in the overuse of water pumped from our river for industrial size farms. I often wonder in regard to population growth when the madness of ever increasing numbers will stop.

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    1. Hi Cheryl. It's a bit chicken and egg. We now need these big farms to cater for our population but they are an unsustainable environmental disaster. And that is before even considering the extraction of underground water by bores.

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  6. It sounds just like Sydney, noise, traffic and people people everywhere. I agree it's nice to be old at this time because if things move at this pace for much longer the future is a bit dicy.
    Merle..........

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    1. Merle, having being in Sydney last week, and twice in the last couple of years, I think it is worse here, but yes, you have the same problems.

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  7. I mourn the loss of the Melbourne that greeted me - a new chum - in 1972. So much has changed in this city (and state) in the past 45 I wonder what life will really be like in years to come. We can't turn the clocks back but how do we stop them moving so quickly.

    I laughed at a pollie's remark about something or other they are about to splurge millions on as benefiting the population for another 40yrs. 75 plus 40 = 115.......don't think I'm going to be around to get the full benefit.

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    1. Cathy, I think that is the same year R arrived in Australia, and you would be of a similar age. He came by plane for £10 but I can't remember if you flew or came by ship. That is what I mean, just slowing the clock. No, there are many things our money is spent on that we won't see any benefit from but think of as planting a tree. You may not be around to see it to maturity, but others will be grateful that it was planted.

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  8. Absolutely not! Population growth does not need to stop forthwith! It needs to be directed properly. Melbourne and Sydney do not need more population but some beautiful cities are desperate for new citizens, for example Ballarat, Bendigo, Morwell and Albury.

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    1. Hels, at least considerably slowed. It is no good turning regional cities into mini capital cities with their current problems. Invest in these regional areas as the populations grow, not pick up pieces afterwards.

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  9. Europe has suffered from overpopulation recently with the massive influx of 'refugees' and 'economic migrants'. Millions have arrived from Middle Eastern and North AFrican countries, and no extra infrastructure has been supplied. We now have stress on housing, schooling, and hospital facilities, and people continue to arrive at unprecedented levels.

    It is important that Europe helps those in need, but they have to be catered for too.

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    1. Cro, I did once read about the terrible outskirt areas of Paris. Governments and business love the extra income migrants bring, but they simply fail to cater for them and the population growth.

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  10. I think the population is expanding too fast. We do need more people in Australia, but less of them less often, if that makes any sense.

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    1. River, and perhaps some growth could be directed your way. I don't think Adelaide's population is growing much. Yes, just slowing down the rate of population growth.

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  11. That's strange how it changes everywhere. Until into the 70th the UK shipped orphans to Australia and Australia needed more population. In Belgium coal was exchanged for Italian mine workers and Germany needed Turkish people for jobs no German wanted to do. And today everybody complains that we are too much ! I have to say I am not happy at all how my little Waterloo has changed. It has become a city and far too much cars. But when public transport is a catastrophe and you have to work some families have 3 or 4 cars!

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    1. Gattina, the Turks in Germany especially interest me and I have always followed their situation there. You said it, public transport is inadequate and the roads can't cope. Too many people too quickly.

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  12. Melbourne in the 80s was great.

    I always stayed at the Rathdowne Hotel, Carlton when I visited Melbourne. I would walk, at night, alone, from Rathdowne Street down to the legendary Mietta's Restaurant in Albert Place to dine. I walked across to Fitzroy and back again via Carlton Gardens (I think that is the name of the area I walked through)one Saturday night to attend a private party at a friend's place...without a worry in the world.

    Or I'd stroll up to The Lemon Tree that was on the corner of Rathdowne St. and Grattan St. for a nightcap or two. It was there that I had my first Frangelico...and became an instant fan.

    And how I loved Lygon Street...absolutely wonderful!

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    1. Lee, you may be pleased to know, and I think I am pleased to tell you, there is no reason why you could not do that now. My memory of Lygon Street in the 80s is hazy. I can only remember lots of Italian men in very tight and revealing jeans.

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  13. Since we having been coming over your way travelling since 2000, it sure has spread out with houses it won't be long and the houses will reach near Shepparton (well one day).

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    1. Margaret, where my mother lives was a country town when she moved there and had a country train service. It is now a suburban train service and by we used to leave the houses behind, travel through the country and then reach the town. Now it a freeway drive all the way, with very little country to be seen.

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  14. I've ranted on about it going on here too. Along with everything you describe. And there's nothing good about it.

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    1. Indeed you have, Strayer. What will be the future? I am not sure we will like it.

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  15. Since the start of this year, the traffic has been phenomenally bad. My trip to work has increased exponentially. The only time it is okay is during school holidays. It's so frustrating because nothing will change - it will get worse and worse until I will need to grow wings and fly above it all.

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    1. Tell me about it Fen. I have to allow so much more time for work travel. Can't you get the train?

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