The Age Letters: This crisis offers a chance to do better

The Age Letters: This crisis offers a chance to do better (11th November, 2008)

If the world financial crisis causes extravagant, unsustainable infrastructure projects like Sir Rod Eddington’s $9 billion road tunnel to be scrapped (“Transport strategy delay as federal funding wobbles”, The Age, 8/11), there would be a silver lining to this otherwise dark cloud.

Let’s hope it hinders other unsustainable projects like the desalination plant, which will double the cost of water, and the Frankston bypass, which bisects the last metropolitan habitat of the southern brown bandicoot and pastoral landscapes down to Moorooduc. If it takes developer pressure off green wedges, so much the better.

Let’s follow Ross Garnaut’s advice and use the the $12 billion left in the Building Australia Fund for projects that contribute to solving, rather than worsening, climate change problems. Let’s build railway lines to forgotten suburbs; put money into recycling stormwater and sewage so we can close the Gunnamatta outfall and the stinking drains into the bay.

The credit crunch has silenced self-serving housing industry pleas for more land for affordable housing, which developers do not provide anyway. Let us build public housing by the Government purchasing 20% of new housing, which should be environmentally sustainable developments. Let’s provide what people need, not just construction company profits.

Rosemary West, Edithvale Continue Reading…

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