Monday, 28 January 2008

White Bay

I ride past the old White Bay powerstation in Balmain almost every day. At least I think it's Balmain. Whatever. It's a big old brick thing near the ANZAC Bridge.

I have just been reading some PhD thesis about the loonie left in Leichhardt (don't ask why) and found that the powerstation closed in 1984.

It's now a pile of shit, right on the edge of the city. And it's pretty much on the water too.

Until now, I have never been able to understand why it has not been taken over by a developer and turned into a block of expensive, but hideous apartments.

I think I now know why. Leichhardt Council has long been wedded to the idea of no development over two storeys high, low densities and lots of low cost housing (ie, cheap rent for bums).

Anyone with any grasp of mathematics will quickly understand that it is going to cost a lot to clean up and re-develop a site that once housed a powerstation. The place is probably rotten with asbestos, which would have been used as lagging on the pipes to reduce heat loss. The only way a developer can hope to break even is to build apartments that sell for a lot of money, and to build a lot of them. You can't build low density, low cost housing on a high cost site.

But Leichhardt is full of socialists and compassion junkies, and they have no grasp of numbers. Their usual solution is that the 'government' should do something about it.

Like I said, complete whackos.

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