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Why Canberra is not like Wollongong

By johnboy 14 November 2008 34

The Chief Minister is on the air on ABC radio as I write. He is once again pushing the line that Assembly interference in the planning process of his precious power station will put us on the path to Wollongong Council.

Having spent the last year living in the Illawarra, and having met a few of the personalities thrust into the spotlight by that infamous corruption inquiry this confuses me.

It confuses me most because the problem at Wollongong was the reverse of elected representatives interfering in the planning process by public debate and vote. The (cough cough) Labor caucus on the council resolutely blocked any such interference.

The corruption occurred in the “proper planning process” with hidden officials manipulating the process. Transparency and accountability was then blocked by the permanent Labor majority.

Labor (or any single party) constantly getting it’s own way on planning is the road to Wollongong. Not open debate and votes on the public record.

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34 Responses to
Why Canberra is not like Wollongong
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I-filed 1:38 pm 15 Nov 08

All the way north of Wollongong the sun goes down at about 3 pm in winter because of the escarpment …

poptop 1:29 pm 15 Nov 08

Having lived in Wollongong, the racism is there.

Being Greek/Macedonian/Serbian/etc doesn’t stop racism against the Vietnamese, Lebanese and other, newer immigrants.

simbo 12:37 am 15 Nov 08

I think some of these statements need to be clarified JB – in particular, the one about them all being closet racists…

From memory, you lived closer to Kiama than to Wollongong proper, am I correct there?

Becuase, yes, Kiama IS very whitebread and middle-classish (and … potentially closet racist). Unlike Wollongong, which still has a large collection of greeks/macedonians/bosnians/serbs/italians from back in the steel-works days.

It’s also part of a different shire to Wollongong Council, which … you probably should have disclosed … I understand that, yes, this means that you were near enough to still hear and be in contact with a lot of info about the doings of Wollongong Council, but confusing the Illawarra region and Wollongong happens all too often (I’m originally from Wollongong myself…) and … well, accurate information is something that should be encouraged…

Particularly if we want to remove confusion between “Canberra” and “The federal government that meets here”… we may as well get details about other cities correct too…

radonezh 2:26 pm 14 Nov 08

Skid@30: Tourist attractions???? No, we don’t need none of them round here, thank you very much – especially none of them foreign-looking ones. I mean, whose country is this anyway?

Skidbladnir 2:10 pm 14 Nov 08

I mean, foreigners show up, undertake a massive local construction project which will incidentally become an international tourist attraction entirely paid for by donations, fill it with foreigners and locals who are there to study, allow walk-ins and guided tours, hold cultural festivals where they give away free food and temporary gifts to everyone who shows up, and none of them are actually there to steal jobs or put people out of work, and instead employ a large number of locals…

And then when racists try and confront them about it, they just sit there, accepting the beating because they know its only temporary.
It must be a truly terrible thing to be -that ignorant-.

radonezh 1:53 pm 14 Nov 08

Yeah, almost makes you feel sorry for them.

Skidbladnir 1:51 pm 14 Nov 08

It must be terrible for any racists living in the shadow of Nan Tien, too.

radonezh 1:25 pm 14 Nov 08

johnboy wrote:

johnboy said :

Culturally it’s a desert. The huge population growth they’re having is, in large part (IMHO), racists fleeing from all the differently coloured people who’ve moved into Sydney.

Wonder how the racists moving to Wollongong are coping with the rather large population of Macedonians and Greeks who live in Wollongong?

jimbocool 11:59 am 14 Nov 08

I thought the airport was all on Federally controlled land – so designated under the national capital plan. The genius of Snow was recognising that any development at the airport, such as office parks and factory outlets, would not require any Byzantine approvals from the ACT planning authorities, but rather the NCA and the (easily influenced) Territories Minister. So it’s all the Feds fault.

Holden Caulfield 11:48 am 14 Nov 08

Yeah, nah, Canberra’s not a patch on Brisbane.

So I’ve been told.

NoAddedMSG 11:40 am 14 Nov 08

I spend half my time in Canberra and the other half in Wollongong, for work. While I can live 5 min from a glorious beach with cheap rent in Wollongong, I still prefer Canberra. Wollongong is not well planned, it is cut into ribbons by a couple of freeways and the railway, meaning getting around often involves a complicated route of overpasses and on/off ramps, and it is an outright dangerous city to cycle around. The supermarkets are surprisingly lacking in fresh produce and in my area there is nothing like the IGAs in Canberra – the corner store seems to consider bananas an exotic food stuff. On the plus side, they are sensible enough to have their late night shopping on Thursday so it is actually useful, and the range of cheap-and-cheerful restaurants in the central city area is really good.

Holden Caulfield 11:36 am 14 Nov 08

johnboy said :

…Cultural homogeneity (you never have to ask someone how they spell their name)…

I don’t believe that for a second…

Belinda – Belindah – Bilynda
Taylor – Taylah – Taillah
Michaela – Mikaylah – Mykala

johnboy 11:29 am 14 Nov 08

ant said :

Is wollongong becoming a dormitory town for Sydney? We used to go up there from our coasat place sometimes… it’s on a gorgeous bit of the coast, and was thriving but very much its own town. Now I get the impression that people are living there and workign in Sydney.

About 10% of the population work in Sydney IIRC.

caf 11:28 am 14 Nov 08

I understand that the airport is acquiring some public land, but it’s not as much as you were implying above. The old boundary of the airport extended beyond the fenceline, and included things like the servo – it went right up close to the old road.

It’s nonetheless pretty appalling that they’re able to get away with it (though I understand that they are having to pay for the additional land, and presumably its on a standard ACT Crown Lease). I just don’t think it’s a Conspiracy For The Advancement Of Terry Snow.

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