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What price our "democracy"? $$$


Methusala
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I recently visited the wonderful southern city of Melbourne. Agree that it is a most livable place (except for the traffic). While there we attended the Preston Markets, a spread of around 1 acre of food stalls and other mixed businesses. Packed with people of all ages and origins buying fresh produce and enjoying al-fresco meals in the partially open air.

 

My cousin who was my host told me that there are moves afoot, likely to be successful, to close the market down and construct 10 story high density flats in their place. How is it that such a vibrant, popular and useful community asset can fall victim to the rampant profit seeking motives of the rich?

 

 

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You can make more money out of 35 to 40 metres of vertical airspace.

 

Exactly my point OME. In our pluralist society people and their needs should be above the pecuniary interests of a small, rich group of capitalists who are unlikely to live in the area and who "could care less" about the community. Time for a new deal.

 

 

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This is where good town planning comes into it.  A decent council knows the value of having shared space such as the market you describe, and will hold firm against the greedy developers.

 

Unfortunately we've seen evidence of councils that aren't so good.  I guess the quality of our local government comes down to us, in the end.

 

 

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@Marty_d, well done for keeping petty partisan poltics out of it :amazon: :stirrer: :oh yeah:

 

*ahem*,

 

Anyway, it is not democracy that is the problem - it is the frustration of democracy that is the problem - and of course, good govenance thaty balances the different and competing but legitimate agendas.

 

When I last returned to Melbourne, the development of YMMB looked like it had gone too far. The DFO was OK and a few other buildngs - fine, but they have basically taken it from a place of mixed use that had real ammenity to the local population as a place where they could take their kids, have a BBQ, play around and watch planes to a place that is claustrophobically over-developed and plain ugly - except airside, of course..

 

I recall as a late teenager not long after Naurau House was built in Melbourne going to take a squizz and on I think it was Collins St, a lovely little park that was the size of the footprint of a skyscraper. It was both an oasis and a sanctuary where people could sit and enjoy their lunch or just take a breath, relax and watch the world for a bit.. Of course, today, it has some skyscraper on it... I wonder if the rise in anxiety issues is the result of denser populated areas losing more and more of this.

 

Is it crooked councils? Maybe.. But maybe it is us, too. What sort fo mentality has people queuing up overnight to buy the latest phone?  What sort of metality embraces the soulless chains like starbucks, McDs, etc over character and quirky coffee shops and fish and chip shops and cafes/bistros? I remember in my early 20s, the Coles Myer attempt at a toy superstore opened its first shop/warehouse in Springvale, I think. There were queues a mile long to get in on opening night, which from memory was a Friday at 9pm! FFS - it is a shop . I went the next day and it had nothing special; nothing different to the Myers toy section in the city (except a lot more cheap carp).. and there was certainly nothing special about the building - no aroudn the floor model railway, magic waterfall.. it was just a warehouse stocked full of toys.

 

Instead of my Friday night return from London, I returned this morning (Sat). On the A303 (which passes some very nice airfields), I thought I coul use a nice cooked breakfast with a drink and read the paper a bit. All the "services" have had their sit down diners replaced by Starbicks - eye-wateringly expensive coffee (don't care; don't drink it) some pastries and limp sandwiches.  My poiny is the developers build it and the people flock to it.. so regardless of the councils, as a society, we affirm it...

 

And that, my friends, is very, very sad.

 

 

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Anyway, it is not democracy that is the problem

 

I'm moved a little to see the reaction to this post. I admit that I am not the sum total of opinion on urban landuse. Councils are elected from a population that, largely, have no time nor the motivation to spend. Therefore the positions are filled by those who have reason to make decisions. These people are real estate vendors and developers. However, as we know from "privatised" airports, constraints are needed. This is where a more democratic solution is required. We don't want Trump clones to rule our cities. Perhaps we need a benevolent dictator? (Laughter is heard off-stage.)

 

 

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Well they are really "servicing" you in the biological sense.. You will never stop them. Kick one out and there's a heap of replacements, waiting equally motivated against the interests of the average Poor bugger. and His /her social amenities. . . Even when an entire community vote against something, it is no guarantee you will stop anything. this "DEMOCRACY " you speak of. Is it still real?

 

  NO IDEA why it's in QUOTE   but you people are smart enough to cope with something like that. Nev

 

 

 

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It's sad to see local community based markets disappear. They seem to get forced out of heavily populated areas and thrive only in regional or suburban areas. As to the greed behind their demise, I don't know how people can fix that as it's systemic. Has unchecked and poorly controlled capitalism become so powerful that us plebs can do nothing to stop it's abuses? In their corporate mentality, we are just consumers for the plucking. Maybe some day it will run it's course and in the far away future society will return to some real things in life like community value and local markets.

 

 

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It's ironic the way the worst aspects of totalitarian communism and unbridled capitalism have drifted together and morphed into the imposter they call democracy today. Maybe there's another way that hasn't been thought of yet. The problem is the control of money and the power that it holds over ordinary people. I wonder if there is any future for cryptocurrencies and things like blockchain breaking that stranglehold of power. Maybe then we could get our markets back.

 

 

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                                        DEMOCRACY  

 

not all.  Australia has a PRINCIPALITY.

 

In Western Australia,

 

   " http://principality-hutt-river.com/ "

 

AND

 

the pollies are scheming to get a Dictatorship !.

 

 " Labor MP Julian Hill is pushing for a plan to get Australia to ditch the British monarchy and become a republic without a referendum.

  The Labor backbencher for Bruce, Victoria, is proposing a plan to get state and federal MPs to vote to change royal succession laws.

  Mr Hill claims the Australian public should not be responsible for changing the laws but rather it should be up to members of parliament."

 

spacesailor

 

 

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                                        DEMOCRACY  

 

not all.  Australia has a PRINCIPALITY.

 

In Western Australia,

 

   " http://principality-hutt-river.com/ "

 

I just read the announcement on the HRP website. It doesn't sound good. Prince Graeme doesn't give many details, but it sounds like they might be in a bit of financial trouble. 

 

 

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The father was doing all the work, his son's not that interested.

 

Or maybe has a job that pays more.

 

spacesailor

 

You could be right, Spacey. He said the farm wasn't earning much and the Province isn't either from tourism and sales. Maybe he's got a job off farm, in the mines or something. It's an end of an era, but I guess no one can be expected to follow their father's life; everyone has to make one of their own. The main financial advantage of the HRP was when it was a good tourism earner. The tax department couldn't charge any tax on earnings within the Province, only on income outside, like farm produce sold off farm. Recently it might be costing them more than earnings. It was an odd legal setup. Technically, they were still Australian citizens, but the taxation department considered they weren't Australian residents for taxation purposes for income derived on the property.

 

 

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Yes they were. In the early days, it wasn't that hard to get one. Later on, they tightened up on full citizenship requirements. After that, only a few qualified, but others could apply for a lessor status document. Something along the lines of a visa, I think. I was too late to get a passport; it would have been a good collector's item. I have some Hutt River coins somewhere.

 

I read a story years ago written by their U.S. Ambassador. He'd been a visitor to HRP in the early days and obtained a passport which he had taken to carrying with him on his travels. Later on he got caught up somewhere in a plane hijack. He was the only American on board and the terrorists were coming down the aisle checking passports, so he hid his U.S. one and showed them the HRP passport. After getting away with that, he was so impressed he contacted Prince Leonard and offered to be the U.S. Ambassador.

 

He might have been stretching the truth, but who knows. It was a good story anyway.

 

 

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 I read " Somewhere"!  Geez Louise, we just gotta stop this " somewhere " incredibility. Even reading it in the bilby is occasionally misleading (TIC) Do you want the facts  or did you read it ( here){ insert your favourite, most despised source of propaganda}).  You can't even trust what you SEE. . and we won't even think of what you can dream of. Nev

 

 

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  • 6 months later...

Well, all this was posted eight months ago when our biggest concern was ScoMo leaving the country while it burned. Since then we have had flood and pestilence and still no politician has stood out from the rabble to show leadership.

 

I wonder what would happen if in 2022 nobody voted in Federal or State elections, saying that none of the candidates was considered suitable as a representative of the electorate. 

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