Monday, June 12, 2006

$150 million or a view of Corio Bay?

from Wendy
There's a huge argument going on in Geelong at present. The main streets of the city area lead directly to Corio Bay and an impressive waterfront. However a supermarket management team wants to spend $150 million on a major revamp which includes a large bridge across Yarra Street thus blocking out our view of the sea. The decision is yet to be made, but the supermarket guys say they will pull out the whole development if the bridge idea is blocked. There are already numerous supermarkets in the Geelong area, but the emphasis seems to be that this is the way of the world these days. I doubt if the bridge and area will look as pretty as that artist's picture!


Blogger The Moody Minstrel said...

That sounds a lot like the fiasco they've been having over in Queensland near Caloundra. There's a village there that's famous for artists and traditional craftsmen. There have never been any chain stores of any kind. It has been that way for years, and it draws a lot of tourists as a result. Well, apparently some rich bloke bought a piece of land there and planned to build a Woolworth's.

I think you can guess what a Woolworth's would do to all those little mom & pop stores.

Well, a large and totally peaceful protest demonstration was held to halt construction, but the government intervened, arresting 20 people including the protest leaders for "obstructing economic development". (Hmm...doesn't the Australian constitution guarantee the right to demonstrate?) The owner was given clearance to proceed...with police protection.

However, right when construction was slated to begin again, someone found a platypus nest on the site. That brought things to a halt again while the government and the owner of the land decide what to do about it. Meanwhile, the villagers are taking turns guarding the nest...and putting up all kinds of nasty anti-Woolworth's signs everywhere.

That's the state it was in last summer when I was there. I don't know how things have proceeded since then.

*sigh* Economic development versus human sensitivity and sensibility...

9:20 PM  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

In today's 'Geelong Advertiser' is an article that informs us that economics and more shops wins over the landscape focus. Isa lei, when will they ever learn! The planned development will go ahead, though they have conceded the bridge will be a few metres less in height, but it still will include a road for cars as well as shops on the bridge.

5:35 PM  

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