Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Political maneuvering

One reader to The Age newspaper wrote: "At last, democracy in action. Reading that the Government's ridiculous decision to destroy our green wedges and further turn our once most-liveable city into a monstrous urban sprawl is being put on the back burner, due to Coalition and Greens resistance, is a breath of fresh air." (Comment and Debate, The Age, 6 Jan 2010)

We must remember this is election year. The same government of John Brumby changed the rules a few months ago to enable developers to fast track their projects and removed the power of local councils to raise any objection. This was met with resistance from many council members, but nothing was done about it. Now in a run up to the state election (in November this year), some political maneuvering appears to be under way. The reader recognized it was the same government that initially proposed to turn some of the existing parks into housing estates. However, he was too quick to commend the government for listening to the people now. Personally I am skeptical. I believe it is just a political move to appear to listen to the public while the election clock is ticking. Once it has secured another term, we will see another round of brash actions not necessarily what the naive public had bargained for in the election. I recall clearly that Brumby's predecessor Steve Bracks, just before the election, promised that Eastlink would be a toll-free road. Within a week after being re-elected, Steve Bracks brazenly announced that "there is no such thing as a free lunch." We all know Eastlink is now a toll road. John Brumby was Steve Brack's Treasurer then.

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