Specialising in the human experience of Living with prostate cancer – warts and all

Wangaratta, a premier liveable city

with 4 comments

At the August Council meeting, the RCoW updated it’s 2030 vision of how Wangaratta is expected to develop. They broke the vision down into eight key themes and I shall be commenting each theme. The first of these is:

Wangaratta, a premier liveable city

  • The population of the Rural City of Wangaratta has grown to 40,000.
  • Growth has occurred both in Wangaratta and the larger rural townships, and has
    largely been focussed in existing residential areas.
  • Wangaratta is a thriving regional centre, renowned for its high-standard housing,
    employment, retail businesses, industry, sports and recreation, culture
    and tourism.
  • Key services and infrastructure for the wider region are accessible and centrally located in Wangaratta.
  • Housing growth has been gradual, well-planned and matched by the extension of infrastructure and services.
  • Wangaratta is a compact and thriving regional centre with a strong sense of community.
  • Wangaratta has a strong focus on its major rivers with a cosmopolitan riverside precinct.
  • There is a diversity of housing options, including inner-city apartments.
  • Wangaratta features a pedestrian friendly central business district.

Whilst this dream is about the city itself, there are a few key points that jump off the screen begging for comment.

  • Wangaratta has a strong focus on its major rivers with a cosmopolitan riverside precinct.
  • Wangaratta features a pedestrian friendly central business district.
  • Key services and infrastructure for the wider region are accessible and centrally located in Wangaratta.

These three key points reinforce the RCoW’s time honoured city-centric approach to the municipality.

A ‘cosmopolitan riverside project’ would indicate a sandy beach with colourful pavillions and kiosks something akin to what can be found in Europe. Sounds great, but we hardly have the climate or the population to make such a grand project work.

And what is ‘a pedestrian friendly CBD‘? We know there has been talk of a car free CBD by 2030 and that this idea has now been abandoned. Changing the name does not change the concept however. The only way it will ever happen is if / when we run out of oil or petrol becomes too expensive to use the car. In the meantime, the RCoW needs to define “a pedestrian friendly CBD‘”

With ‘Key services and infrastructure … centrally located in Wangaratta‘, the RCoW is going to have to provide more adequate public transport facilities to the rural communities. They do address this in another section with the promise of Solar-powered light rail and bus services connect(ing) Wangaratta to rural townships.

It is a pity that I, and many of those developing these grandiose plans, won’t be around to benefit from them.

Next discussion point will be ”The rural landscape, unique and distinct’

British Councils spy on sex lives of taxpayers

25.08.08: The sex lives of council-tax payers are being secretly monitored by local authority inspectors to establish whether residents claiming single person’s discounts are really living alone.

Undercover snoopers are being used to find out how often lovers visit and whether supposedly single residents are sharing a bed every night with the same person.

The covert tactics have been condemned as disproportionate use of council powers.  I wonder why?


Written by Greg Naylor

26 August 2008 at 12:00 am

Posted in social comment

4 Responses

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  1. What an absolute wank of a vision that is. Wangaratta (ie the CBD) will be “renowned for its tourism”. How? What will transform Wang from the non-tourist town that it is and always has been, into a “renowned” one? Nothing. Tourist towns cannot be artificially created. You are either a tourist town or you are not. The reason that most genuine tourist towns are attractive to tourists is due to the town’s natural features & surrounds. What is Wang going to do, build some mountains around its boring flat landscape? Turn the “mighty Ovens” into the a tourism mecca? Give me a break.

    “Where are you going for your holidays?”
    “Oh, I’m going to Wangaratta, it’s just so, so …
    “So nothing?”

    A “cosmopolitan river precinct” & “inner-city apartments”. Somebody is dreaming. Wang’s best bet is to attract families and they do not want to live in inner-city apartments, not in Melbourne, not in Wang and not anywhere. Who would want to live in an inner-city apartment in Wangaratta – and why?

    Is this your CEO’s work, Greg. He’s an idiot.


    27 August 2008 at 12:38 am

  2. I cannot recall a time when an item agenda was initiated by a councilor. For as long as I have been an observer, everything discussed at council eminates from the administration. Thus, I have to assume that the CEO, Doug Sharp, would be the prime mover.

    Not only do they see Wangaratta as a prime tourist location, they expect that Wangaratta and its surrounds (will) have become the solar and other renewable energy generation centre of the North East of Victoria, generating enough renewable energy to power the entire regional centre and support the national grid … The Rural City of Wangaratta will be the employment and industrial centre of the North East … and that … The Rural City of Wangaratta will be renowned as the cultural centre of North East Victoria.

    Some dream!

    They tell us that The 2030 Community Vision is intended to be an aspirational document, to encapsulate the community‟s outlook of how the Rural City should look and feel in 20 – 25 years time.

    They also tell us that a budget of $65,000 was provided to prepare this ‘aspirational’ document. Money well spent to hoodwink the ratepayers?

    Greg Naylor

    27 August 2008 at 1:55 pm

  3. It’s fine for a council to aspire to things but they have to be realistic. They should also be consistent with what the town’s or district’s present standing is – so that there is an actual connection and clear path between now and the future.

    Sharp has set unachievable goals here and, because they are so far out of reach, they lack any merit. This tends to suggest that Wang is just pissing in the wind with no real direction.


    27 August 2008 at 5:41 pm

  4. Well they say the best way to get your own back is to piss into the wind 😉

    Greg Naylor

    27 August 2008 at 9:02 pm

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