Tuesday, 4 November 2008

The Greens are mad

Two articles from the SMH today really help to reinforce the point that many Greens are completely mad. Bonkers. Stark raving crackers.

The first is to do with Callan Park, which ironically used to be a loonie bin. I go through or around Callan Park every week or so as part of one of my bike rides, and the only changes that I see each time are the new signs erected by "groups of concerned locals" who are attempting to extort money from either the state or federal government for their pet project. The whole place is running down - the site is covered in old buildings that range from quite attractive to "One flew over the cuckoo's nest" hideous, and it won't be long before most of them are reduced to a shell surrounded by broken glass from having every window smashed. If anyone ever wants to do a remake of Full Metal Jacket, they'll be able to use this site as a set for the second act - the Battle for Hue.

The state government is currently strapped for cash. It's in such dire straits, it's slashing school subsidies - something that only the desperate would contemplate. It's laughable that in this fiscal environment, the Greens dominated local council would demand tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars to "greenie-ise" the site. The state government had agreed to give the site to Sydney Uni, which had the money to pay for a cleanup, but the locals didn't want an "evil" institution of learning taking over the site and filling it with people. In their minds, it was more important to fill the site with trees instead of students. So the uni pulled out, away went the money, and now the Greens are demanding that someone else pay for their vision.

The council is now estimating that maintaining the park could eat up 20% of their annual revenue. To that, I say, "so what?" You have a few choices to make. You can use part or all of the park to generate some income and make it self funding (but that would involve evil capitalist processes). They could jack up their rates by 20% (assuming the state government let them), but that would "hurt the poor".

Welcome to the world of making difficult choices, my lunatic Green compadres. Resources are limited. Choices have to be made. Making choices will make some people unhappy. You can't promise everything to everyone and make everyone happy 100% of the time. Get used to it. These idiots don't seem to realise that they money has to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is our pockets. It doesn't matter how the money is raised - whether it comes via the GST, stamp duty on house sales, land tax, car registration fees, petrol excise, payroll taxes or council rates - in the end, it all comes down to extracting money from my wallet. The Greens seem to think that if the state government pays for it rather than local government, somehow "they" don't have to pay for it. And we all know that whilst local government finances are fixed and limited, state and federal governments can create money out of thin air (ha ha ha).

The other story relates to "affordable housing". Under this madcap scheme, councils could force developers to hand over a portion of the units in any new development. To the Greens, this must seem like free money. Everyone knows that every developer is an evil Jewish billionaire who drives a Rolls Royce, so taking a few units from them won't send them broke.

The argument advanced by the Greens is that the people that perform valuable public jobs can't afford to live near the inner city, so social housing is required for nurses, police officers, ambo's and teachers.

How nice. Think of the nurses.

However, I doubt reality will bear any resemblance to the rhetoric. Once the Greens get their hands on the sort of patronage that social housing represents, they'll stuff it with their clients - who will of course vote for them in perpetuity out of gratitude. I bet that not a single copper or ambo or fireman will get a look-in at this social housing, because those people have jobs. They work for a living. They do something useful. Instead, social housing will be full of social workers, student activitists, counsellors, artists, single mothers, drug addicts and other assorted rif-raf.

In country areas, it is quite normal for government departments to provide housing for their staff. Stationmasters used to get a house near the railway station. Police lived in police housing next to the Police station. Teachers are also provided with housing. The departments do this because staff are usually not assigned to a place for more than a few years, so it isn't worth it for the staff to buy a house and settle into an area. The housing market in many country areas is also highly illiquid, so if they did buy, they might not be able to sell. It's also an inducement, since they can't pay higher salaries - the free rent doesn't show up in the final salary calculation, but saving a few hundred bucks a week on rent can add up over a posting of a few years.

If these same agencies are having trouble finding staff in the inner city areas, why not do the same and build or buy housing for their staff? They can go into the open market and pick up the sort of housing that they think is appropriate - and there is absolutely no need to steal any from a developer.


Wand said...

Ah Callan Park - I remember it well. Hmmm perhaps not but many years ago I attended a seminar run by the Health Department and I'm pretty sure it was in an auditorium in the grounds of the Callan Park site. Even then it had relinquished its role as a mental hospital. The funny part of the day was that one strange fellow managed to gain access to the seminar and started asking partly intelligible questions during question time. Everything proceeded until some of his questions became somewhat incoherent and he was recognised for who he was. I think he had been a former inmate then our on the loose but free to return to familiar locations. LOL.

Well funnily enough I received an email today that had this story about the 'redevelopment of Callan Park and thought you may be interested.

As for Callan Park, I think a chicken farm would be just fine and perhaps some goats would add some colour too.

Boy on a bike said...

I'd prefer some cattle. They could then put a steak restaurant on the site, and you could watch your dinner graze before chowing down.

Anonymous said...

What is it with NIMBY's and former loony bins?
Kew Cottages in Melbourne was (and is) going through the same bullshit from "concerned community groups".

Couldn't be something to do with the immense real estate value of the homes surrounding these sites could it?

Nah, Peace and love, dude.