Opinion

Mall consultation will be key

by
August 03, 2017

There will be a public survey and targeted engagement with key stakeholders as part of the Maude St Mall conceptual plan assesments.

Nine days ago Greater Shepparton City Council tenders closed for analysis, conceptual plans, assessments and cost estimates for four (up from a council-resolved three) options for a Maude St Mall rebore.

What? After council-picked consultants are appointed and come up with the four proposal details?

Well, according to an official response from the council, it’s ‘‘likely’’ that there’ll be ‘‘a public survey as well as targeted engagement with key stakeholders’’.

I’d reckon the most important ‘‘key stakeholders’’ would be the ratepayer ‘‘financiers’’, wouldn’t you?

Besides, aren’t they the shopping customers traders want enticed back to the CBD in general, and the mall in particular?

Keep an eye on the important degree of consultation.

By the way, I need to make an apology regarding a claim I made in my last column in respect to the Wendy Crow mall proposal.

You see, I asserted that that concept design — featuring slow-moving south-bound (Fryers St to High St) traffic, no tree-loss and a multi-use family-friendly Fraser St (east) ‘Town Square’ complete with a modern kids’ playground — would give a no-net-gain parking situation.

In fact it’s anticipated that 12 of the existing 28 Fraser St (west) spaces would remain with an anticipated minimum of 27 new parallel bays in Maude St — a net overall gain of 21.

Sorry about that, as I do try to justify my opinion with correct info.

By and large, if it could be substantiated that calm one-way traffic would significantly generate increased mall trading, that basic configuration would arguably be worth consideration.

●According to The Age (April 4, 2013): ‘‘Right to Life Australia has warned politicians not to explore assisted suicide or voluntary euthanasia laws, saying it will take Australia down the same path as Nazi Germany.’’

In among pizza coupons and carpet cleaning cut-price offers, in my morning mailbox came what at first glance bore symptoms of nut-case propaganda from Right to Life Australia Inc., asking the householder ‘‘Do you believe in Suicide Prevention or Suicide Assistance from a doctor?’’

Sure, I believe in suicide prevention, but no, I don’t believe in suicide assistance from a doctor or anyone else.

Suicide assistance?

Perhaps the promoters of this flyer meant ‘‘euthanasia’’, I thought, scanning the text for that word — for sadly a nil return.

Euthanasia means ‘‘the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma’’.

Suicide means ‘‘the action of killing oneself intentionally’’.

Were the promoters deliberately trying to deceive us country bumpkins from better-informed San Fran East Brunswick?

Then I read that our Premier ‘‘plans to legalise government-sanctioned suicide by doctors for the sick and infirm? (sic)’’. Interesting. He gets one ‘‘conscience vote’’ only and there’s not even such a proposal to legalise suicide — none whatsoever.

Everyone has an unalienable right to a view on euthanasia — either for or against — but they do not have a right to stuff their views down my throat.

You may have a different opinion.

The Victorian Parliament will debate the issue, proposed with heaps of safeguards, later this year. Most pollies will have a conscience vote.

Anyone with strong views is entitled to present those thoughts to their local member or the newspaper — free of deception, preferably.

Nazi Germany indeed!

●Great to see some three letters to the editor over the past 10 editions but surely we can do much better. Hate to see other provincial papers putting us to shame.

What’s that? We get some Facebook comments?

C’mon, many of them are reactionary, just off the top of the head, where most letters are thought out.

Sure, some letters are penned in anger or frustration but Facebook comments more often as well can be ill-informed and much less interesting.

Besides, we know the letters are genuine — checked and found to be authentic.

What’s your grouch or who needs a rocket? Maybe somebody has actually done something worthy of praise.

As well as sharing your opinion, writing can be therapeutic — get that issue off your chest.

Shepparton’s John Gray has vast experience in local government, urban water reform and natural resource management.

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