Why own the farm when you can rent it? 1.2.2011


There have been three scary articles in recent days about public assets.

The first was what the Herald called a ‘fire sale’ of Newcastle City Council owned buildings to avoid a $134 million maintenance backlog. You can read it here.

‘The plan…involves selling public buildings and replacing them with new multipurpose community centres that would be scattered across the city.

The council could not say yesterday whether any specific assets had been targeted for the sale, but the report said many of the organisation’s 506 buildings were quite old and “beyond their useful life“…”.

Other problems include buildings that are rarely used, poorly located and that provide services available elsewhere…The latest sustainability review report..also recommends that council-owned businesses be built up until they are profitable and then sold off.’

We wouldn’t want to keep anything old, would we? Plastic and glass – bring it on.

Secondly, there were threats to the city’s public pools.  ‘Deficits at the pools have grown every year since 2001, and last year they lost a combined $1.8million.’  Sounds like a bargain to me. The readers’ comments are fantastic. One of my favourites is from Norbert7:

‘Folks, things cost. Life costs. When are our elected and non-elected leaders going to put the bean counters in their place? I for one would much rather live in a community and a society. I’m so tired of living in an economy.’

A few years ago there was a council plan to close one of the pools and it was shelved because of a community campaign. 333 people have done the Herald’s poll asking if a major aquatic centre should be built at the expense of neighbourhood pools and 74% disagreed. Hear, hear.

And the last article was a state issue: ‘Public lands rezoned’ tells us how that wonderful government department, that has all our best interests at heart – Planning – has told local councils they must redraw their maps so infrastructure sites take on the zoning of adjoining areas.

So if a school is surrounded by houses, the school will be forced to take on residential zoning unless the council can demonstrate it is of regional significance and should retain “infrastructure” zoning.

The department document says the approach “provides greater flexibility and adaptive management of land used for the provision of public or private infrastructure”…

An urban planner, John Mant, said the changes meant the Department of Education could slice off a school’s playing field and sell it to a developer without having to go through the public process of rezoning the land.

Greens MP David Shoebridge said the government was priming infrastructure sites for sale.’

We can build more plastic and glass units. Excellent. Home


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: