Letters to Redlands2030 this week address efforts to promote discussion about the South East Queensland Regional Plan and the plight of south east Queensland’s koalas which should be a key issue in regional planning, but doesn’t seem to be.
Thought leadership series…was it serious?
I had no idea what I was walking in to when ordering my tickets online to Council’s promotion of New York’s design guru Ethan Kent from design company Projects for Public Spaces. The man our council has engaged to advise them on city planning, I think. Many of us today have no idea what we went to last Monday night. Was it for real or was it a wind up?
Today’s google search of this American company shows Ethan Kent has 8 pages written as a self promoting testimonial and monument to himself. He’s the company’s Vice President and from what I read it’s only employee besides his father Fred who founded the company Ethan has inherited.
It was clear from the onset Ethan’s mind set was art for art sake and his personal concept of liveability. He proudly presented slides of community seating that in his opinion creates culture. Slide after slide of people gravitating to oversized artist painted seats all looking rather lost with nothing to do. Millennials making out on a seat with a group of strangers with his comments ‘bringing a feeling of love’ caused half the room to swap butt cheeks. But my favourite, the $15 Big W pool side banana lounges in Time Square and people lying watching the neon signs with their sunnies on had me in sweats. Was this a wind up? It was about here 2 councillors got up and walked out. This was no wind up. It was for real and we the rate payers were quite likely paying him to be here to consult to who knows what in Redland Council. I doubt he had spent time consulting in council and then preaching to the residents for a free lunch.
“Design for traffic and traffic will come. Design for people and people will come” was the opening and continual mantra from this man who’s only employer appears to be his father. New York has the perfect living design bringing people into the town centre Ethan believes. Not a vehicle in site in any slides. Had his pictures been photo shopped or cropped because my photo’s taken in the same place 4 months ago show a continual sea of traffic congestion. That’s what you get when there’s over 14,000 taxi licences in NY operated by 54,000 drivers 24 hours/7 days a week not including Uber which is uncontrollable in NY. It’s a huge problem for the NY mayor who is not popular after announcing he’s cutting licences by 20% , putting 10,000 people out of work so traffic can move while the people queue. The century old horse rides have to go too. So much for Ethan’s mantra.
When asked how he suggests we control crime with the masses of people coming he was the one to shift butt cheeks. I had to question whether he was being truthful or in denial with his restless and side shifting response ‘in our experience around the world, when people have culture in their city they become self regulating’! That created a rumble. In his home city of New York, the perfect example of create a place for people and the people come, there’s over 33,000 police which increased recently by another 1,300 to keep the people self regulating. Not. The NYPD are also there to move the homeless around and hopefully out of sight of tourists but there was no mention of any of this by Ethan Kent of Projects for Public Space.
Birds, wildlife, large trees were all missing in his slides which was pointed out to him. He thinks getting the balance needs to be more for the people than the green aspect. The words wildlife or animals never came out of his mouth. The closest we got was a slide with fake grass.
It reminded me something the tour guide said when asked where’s the animal in Central Park? “There’s no animals, only squirrels” she said. “You need to go to Australia if you want animals” she quite seriously noted to the tour bus. Now that’s a baby boomer who knows what she’s talking about.
Del B, Cleveland
Do Koalas really need another expert panel?
Nobody can seriously believe that an expert panel is the answer to the effective extinction of Koalas in South East Queensland. Any Minister trying to look like they are doing something as opposed to doing nothing can arrange a panel. So what does Steven Miles, Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef, do?
He appoints an expert panel. In the absence of a real action or a real decision a committee makes for colour and movement. Mere political camouflage. Meanwhile koalas just die-off and the Koala Coast is no more.
If the Queensland Minister for Environment and Heritage can’t do something serious about protecting Koalas what chance has he got to do something about the Great Barrier Reef, land clearing laws or keeping the Moreton Bay Marine Park out of the hands of developers?
Steven Miles seems well meaning but he is no match for the Seeney-Trad team, their seamless passing of the developers baton when the Government turned from LNP to ALP caught many by surprise. In fact the Toondah development was given a 450% boost in yield under Trad’s watch. What chance koalas?
The Premier, the Deputy Premier and the Minister should act NOW! How about a moratorium on the removal of all habitat trees for say 5 years, or call on the both major parties to deliver a Koala Protection Act after the Federal election. But an expert panel …its a cop out. By the time the Committee reports there will be no koalas to worry about….
As John Williamson sings……
Our koalas are all dying, can it really be
A national disaster, a world catastrophe
….Goodbye Blinky Bill Lyrics | MetroLyrics
Dave S, Bulimba
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Published by Redlands2030 – 11 June 2016