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Gary goes in to bat for the Immigration Bridge

By johnboy - 16 June 2009 35

The Canberra Times reports that the local Liberal Senator Gary Humphries has put his cards on the table and come out swinging in favour of the Immigration Bridge. He’s also writing off much off the opposition as the rantings of retrograde loons.

Sadly for Gary he invokes the local equivalent of Godwin’s Law in planning debate, he raises the spectre of Walter Burley Griffin:

    Senator Humphries said he warmly welcomed the bridge, saying it filled a ”great omission” in the design of Canberra namely, a monument to migrants many of whom helped to build the national capital. He also maintained the bridge ”clearly is within the vision foreshadowed by Walter Burley Griffin”.

Even if you don’t mind poor Walter’s corpse being dragged around the city walls one more time you’ve got to admire Gary’s bravery considering where the public polling on the issue appears to be pointing.

UPDATED: The text of Senator Humphries’ speech is now online. It’s even more bang on in favour than I’d expected.

What’s Your opinion?


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35 Responses to
Gary goes in to bat for the Immigration Bridge
BerraBoy68 7:41 pm 16 Jun 09

johnboy said :

I think it’s fair enough that a monument to immigration should go from one place to another and actually cross something.

which does rather limit possible sites.

Lets just have a series of immigration themed Aust. Post stamps then, JB. They can go from point A to point B, cross the globe and not cost us as much as a bridge.

I’m an immigrant but I recognise the opportunity cost of this bridge. I’d rather see the funding used for other things like hospital beds, upgrading someone who’s been in hospital for almost two years house, etc..

Postalgeek 7:30 pm 16 Jun 09

Maybe we could have a little foot bridge that crosses the Jerrabomberra creek over to the Maconochie Centre, tying in nicely our past and present. Warm fuzzies for everyone.

jjoking 4:38 pm 16 Jun 09

sorry posted with out finishing a bridge accross this bay would be great for tourisum in canberra and link the museum to the city.

jjoking 4:37 pm 16 Jun 09

what about a bridge from the city side of the lake near where people park for floriade accross that bay to the museum, it would make it easier for people to access the museum, the current bridge seems to go from the museum to the middle of nowhere! a bridge accross this bay

johnboy 4:26 pm 16 Jun 09

I think it’s fair enough that a monument to immigration should go from one place to another and actually cross something.

which does rather limit possible sites.

Gungahlin Al 4:21 pm 16 Jun 09

sepi said :

I’ve thought about this, and if what the pro-bridge lot want is an attractive bridge to serve as a monument, and the objectors want the lake to stay open to boats, then why not satisfy both with a nice bridge that goes along the lake.

The bridge could go about 10 metres out from shore and then follow the lake shore at a nice part of the lake (maybe behind the national gallery).

It would be attractive and serve as a monument to immigration in our history. It would be accessible and people would actually walk along it. And it wouldn’t get in the way of boats.

Ha! A bit like the Brisbane River boardwalk?

jjoking 4:03 pm 16 Jun 09

Gary is a big supported of a mutli cultural society he is at the UC international night every year, but mate you have got in wrong on this stinker

sepi 2:00 pm 16 Jun 09

I’ve thought about this, and if what the pro-bridge lot want is an attractive bridge to serve as a monument, and the objectors want the lake to stay open to boats, then why not satisfy both with a nice bridge that goes along the lake.

The bridge could go about 10 metres out from shore and then follow the lake shore at a nice part of the lake (maybe behind the national gallery).

It would be attractive and serve as a monument to immigration in our history. It would be accessible and people would actually walk along it. And it wouldn’t get in the way of boats.

54-11 1:49 pm 16 Jun 09

Al, you’re dead right with your comments, particularly the way in which Gazza reckons he’s in the right and everyone else doesn’t know what they’re talking about. I’m personally against it, because it limits use of the lake and because the proponents will be expecting that govts (Fed and ACT) will need to pay for some of it, whether in-kind (land), in establishing the bridge, or maintaining it. If it’s such a great idea, then those that want it should pay and take full responsibility for it, while reducing adverse impacts.

JB, I like your local version of Godwin’s Law – every ratbag developer, ratbag polly, or whoever, drags it out to support their particular (usually warped) position on anything to do with the Lake or its surrounds.

phototext 1:42 pm 16 Jun 09

If it had a decent cafe/ bar in the middle that would be cool.

sepi 1:28 pm 16 Jun 09

It is a stupid idea and Gary must be losing the plot – or just desperate for something to have a whinge about.

The Brisbane footbridge is great, and I would actually like to walk over a footbridge on our lake, but this useless bridge goes from nowhere to nowhere, and there is no parking at either end, so the pedestrians will actually have to make a real effort to even get to the start of the bridge to try to walk accross.

Now a road bridge from Yarralumla to Acton sounds much more useful. Or a footbridge from the lake at Kingston would be a nice attraction.

But this imigration bridge is a crock – it is just a giant decoration. If they want to still control Canberra they should revoke self-govt. Otherwise – let us decide if we want this thing. I don’t want it, and I haven’t met anyone who does.

Skidbladnir 11:14 am 16 Jun 09

The idea that this bridge will be a beautiful and significant part of Canberra’s landscape, will be a landmark welcomed by the locals, and will be such a fitting tribute to the legacy of every little ethnic Granddad\Grandma…

Well, if you believe that, someone will try to sell you landmark bridge.
Oh wait, thats exactly what they’re doing.

I really do suspect that this should be catalogued as another Canberra Scam, instead of invoking the Griffin Plan, as we’ve clearly diverged from what he intended 100 years ago, and besides, what is shown on that Plan looks more like a road traffic bridge between Yarralumla & Acton than a pedestrian footbridge.

Gungahlin Al 10:56 am 16 Jun 09

Gary’s new found position on the topic is fair enough, but I don’t accept his slagging off at everyone who doesn’t agree with it.

He wasn’t calling everyone “people who apparently cannot see the wood for the trees” and complaining about “unfortunate tendency of some people to reject any notion of change in the appearance of Canberra” BEFORE the inquiry.

Gary seems to be wedded to the Howard-era wedge approach – ‘you’re either with us or you’re agin us’. This little rant has devalued his position and I find it disappointing.

Why does everything have to be adversarial? Setting up for the next pointless brawl with Kate Lundy on 666?

Far more civil to just say something like “I came to the inquiry without a position and I listened to everyone. There were points put that I found myself agreeing with, points I didn’t but were well made nonetheless. And there were some positions I thought were stretching the argument. On the whole I think the proponents made a more compelling case and I therefore support them.”

Personally, I don’t have a position and haven’t been across the whole issue enough to form one, although I can understand concerns of the yatching fraternity – one of the few sources of ‘colour and movement’ on the lake. However, I’ve seen similar arguments over the Brisbane footbridge between QUT and the Southbank, which now swarms with people.

As for the link to immigrants, unless we are Indigenous, we all come from migrant stock. It could perhaps be argued that those brought here forcibly for minor misdemeanors, whose toils and indeed lives helped establish the nation, may be as much if not more deserving of some form of recognition in this the nation’s capital (with or without bridge).

johnboy 10:32 am 16 Jun 09

The WIN and CT polls that I saw were at least 70% against IIRC.

caf 10:12 am 16 Jun 09

Got a link to that polling? I knew the boaties were agin it but I didn’t think the white shoe set was a big constituency.

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