Saturday, April 5, 2008

Ideas for Ballarat 2020

There's a gathering in Ballarat today of 150 people selected as the best, brightest, most visionary in the local land, sitting down and knocking out ideas for their local member Catherine King - for her to dutifully bind together in a specially labelled ring-binder, cover in pithy post-it notes and place on the ever-expanding desk of Prime Tin-Tinester Kevin Rudd.

I managed to call the media guy for Catherine King and asked if anyone could pop down and have a chat. Or even have a listen to what was being said. The short answer was... no. Apparently what these people discuss and chalk down for the future of Ballarat is not for Ballarat people to know. Knowing what the popularly elected member for Ballarat will do with the opinions of these fellow electors is not for the electorate to know.

In light of that, here's my basic questions/discussion tips for Ballarat's future in 12 years time.

- stop electing pitiful dickheads to your local Council and then complaining about the pitiful dickheads at the local Council.

- why is it a small cabal of former private school rowers can command the Council and State Government to pour millions of dollars into refilling a lake that has gone dry?

- how come one ex-police officer can control nearly all of the licensed venues on one block of one town?

- why is it the Begonia Festival can drain the council of so much money when so many people of Ballarat think it's shit and never go?

- how much money did the Council sink into the Sovereign Hill Music Festival, and why didn't they book any local artists?

- if there's such a skills shortage, why then does the newly opened UB Tech have such a low number of students?

- how can one cinema manage to maintain a monopoly on cinemas, and why do they insist on showing only shit films continually, with only the briefest of schedules for anything vaguelly grown-up?

- do you really think the superpipe is going to fix all your water worries?
All these questions and more... but my feeling is we'll get muddled gravy of bureaucratese feel-good, with some basic keywords: "sustainability" "fighting obesity" "lowering petrol prices".
Meanwhile... the ship continues to flounder.

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