Fast Buck$, Coorabell
Senior council staff everywhere have to deal with dim-witted councillors and others who ask silly questions. Accordingly they develop the politician’s skill of appearing to answer questions while in fact avoiding them. Locally they have frequently used big city lawyers to frame the evasion more convincingly, but Mayor Simon Richardson is clearly trying to develop some skill of his own.
Asked by The Echo about vulnerable species in the vicinity of the bypass and whether the bypass will/won’t ‘open the surrounding areas to development’, Simon elected to address only the first part. He went on and on about the difficulty of rezoning E-zones to commercial, and he’s heard of no discussions along those lines with Council. That’s highly reassuring; Simon, as we all know, there’s no way staff would plan anything without your knowledge, eh. God help us.
So Simon neglects the reality that much of the Butler Street area is in fact residential, and that this area is a natural for CBD expansion for commercialisation. That would explain an approach made to Butler Street residents about two years ago by someone indirectly connected to staff: back off and we’ll rezone your land commercial. It would also explain the laying of ten high-voltage underground cables across the bypass for the purpose of ‘future-proofing’ the area.
Simon concedes that in theory ‘anything can happen in the future’. Well that’s right; who, for example would have predicted ten years ago that people purporting to be ‘Greens’ would compromise a highly endangered species and permit the dumping of 30,000 cubic metres of fill into rare wetlands, just to temporarily shave 90 seconds of travel time across one part of town.
Simon, you have a lot to answer for. I say this more in sadness than in anger.