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The Forum > Article Comments > Victories and disasters in planning. > Comments

Victories and disasters in planning. : Comments

By Robert Gibbons, published 6/1/2011

A brief history of planning and Australian cities.

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How can any rational person take Robert Gibbons seriously when he sums up his article by saying “The population debate is largely a distraction given existing backlogs and crises in the major urban conurbations”?

A bit like someone organizing a bucket-line to deal with an overflowing bath, but not bothering to turn off the tap running into it.

Has he even bothered to look into the Australian Bureau of Statistics data, whose latest release shows the population (mostly city based) increase at 1.7 per cent? That equates to a new Canberra each year.
The Federal Government continues to encourage, in less outspoken terms than Rudd, population increase. It also leaves the States and Territories to carry most of the burden associated with that.

He has given us some history, but the author has done some funky monkeying with the underlying fundamentals of planning problems in this article.
Posted by colinsett, Thursday, 6 January 2011 8:26:59 AM
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So where do we go from here on. NSW State Government will be changed at the next election and then it will take some time to check out the real debt. Then I guess nothing much will be able to change as the money will not be available.
Looks like NSW has been stuffed properly. Liberals will then spend the next term trying to sort out the damage and then probably will be thrown out as the public will be expecting them to perform a miracle in one term.
Plenty of disasters have occurred but I can't really see too many victories ahead in the near future.
Just goes to show that all the so called Planning by the bureaucrats really does not achieve a result that addresses the problems of NSW, such as population growth and congestion on our roads.
NSW Politicians need to go back to basics and do their planning around the need for more roads and infrastructure maintenance. Let the private sector work out the plan for housing. Get rid of the restrictive zoning that prevents competition in shopping and housing by locking out any real competition. One example would be orangegrove shopping centre that would have been a competitor but for the fact that it was knocked out on a restrictive zoning principle
Posted by 4freedom, Monday, 10 January 2011 3:46:36 PM
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Under the Heading

“Planning by necessity” Robert Gibbons comments:-

“The later “necessity” elements included the Snowy hydro scheme; the expansion of Mascot Airport; the relocation of coal handling to Port Kembla and of containers to Botany Bay; the Ord River scheme; the construction of various universities and of various waste and nuclear facilities; and the redevelopment of old railway yards and workshops. Currently the national NBN expenditure of more than $40 billion is being justified as essential and necessary.”

The ‘relocation’ of coal handling was the result of the State Government rightly overruling the grandiose and impractical plan of the Maritime Services Board to construct a massive silo based coal loader in Botany Bay. This coal loader in turn was the justification of the massive civil engineering construction which had already been commenced without adequate evaluation of port operations and economics.

Building a new coal loader at Port Kembla, where the existing coal loader was underutilised and subsidised by the profitable Newcastle operation, was a political decision (the new coal loader at Port Kembla continues to be underutilised and subsidised). A national or even a state overview would have resulted in the money spent on the Port Kembla Coal Loader being spent in Newcastle.

The relocation of containers to Botany Bay was driven by the need to find some means of utilising the acreage at Botany Bay lying dormant following the cancellation of the proposed Botany Bay coal loader. Again there was not adequate evaluation of port operations and economics with viable, better located facilities in Port Jackson being deliberately closed down. Technology in container handling at Botany Bay is based on cheap land not process efficiency and in terms of worldwide practice has gone backwards.

Of course, as is well know the rail links and roads impact of these decisions was not considered when the Botany Bay coal loader was mooted and the Botany Bay container terminals set up.

So basically no planning was involved but rather a cover-up.
Posted by 20x8, Sunday, 23 January 2011 9:46:15 AM
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