Saturday, June 17, 2006

Why environmental planning is in such a mess

This house will never be finished because it was stopped midstream; It's on a landslide . The Bracks government no longer stop such disasters , they wait for them to happen. Or they tell us they could happen Click here for Victoria . Click Thredbo for Australia . (The above update on 26th July)
How long before the biggest landslide risk area in Australia has a disaster? - no big ones that we could have stopped so far. Its all very well talking about potential problems (website), but Vic Government (as from 2006) no longer do anything effective to prevent them.

You heard it first on blogger.

The above does not relate directly to sites mentioned below .
Another story on a landslide site from last year.
Corangamite Shire
Came across someone trying to build a house on a landslide yesterday . The site was levelled, sighting pegs were in and PVC drainage pipes up. Reinforcing was stacked up on its side and the concrete was ready to pour. I though of another site we should have stopped the pour on last year . Would we do it this time ?
My young work experience assistant took some photos of the drain behind the house and closeups of the soil, but was typically not engaged too much about the dangers( or how to minimize them on site).
The risk of slope failure was so high that even major new site drainage works would be unlikely to make it safe for the lifetime of the building .

"Are you sure its dangerous?" was a question I sort of hoped for " What makes you think it will move ? Any question would have been a welcome change from the grunts and groans of sophisticated silence or soppy sentimental unsubstance that greets us a response from most of those who are now in charge of "the env agenda" "
The young Yr 10 student was, through no fault of her own, being brought up in a society which doesn't prepare them for dangers - at least the really serious scientifically and practically dangerous things like houses falling off hills( and permanently polluting waterways - both things we were also documenting that day )

Clearly, as the house project had got this far, noone had seen the danger coming. To give you an idea why , the slope on which this house was being built was none too steep.(18%) We grow up with preconcieved ideas of what makes something dangerous. Steepness is one of those things. Yet the risk is there to be seen --all around the owner - if only he would just look and or ask someone who knows .Then he would have known . the Shire would known ; The builder would have known .18 people wouldn’t have died at the hand of man at Thedbo .

When the children are in charge, its much harder to raise the idea of a new danger --the leaders think they know .Experience is the best teacher, but they not only not listening to them ; they are sacking them . Leaders think they now what real threats the country is facing but clearly they watch too much TV, drink too much coffee and don't get out enough amongst the rough and tuf .Dangers from rising sea levels , Shortages of water and coming shortages of hardwood pulp .The world is heating up – “its obvious isn't it” they say . Not to a scientist it isn't/ specially on a geological scale You name it they told you about it first . The children, in charge, that is

Save every drop. The Premier has put his name on the idea . Doesn't sound like he knows much . Save us from the dropkicks more like it .Don't they know water goes round in cycles like almost everything else. Sure our city cousins could be saving a lot more drops, but we don't all need to save every drop. By setting some unreal fence on some flat terrain where the living should be easy ( provided you don’t drive too fast ,keep your eyes open and use some common sense ; where is that these days? ) our leaders are have us all building fences and putting up signs where no fences or signs are required. Maybe the save your droppings campaigns overall effect will be more conservation - a good thing-- but look at the down side of making conservation simple - you risk credibility and careers. Such simpleton driven stupidity creates indifference amongst the young and cynicism amongst those trained to