Allan Takes Aim Blog

Budget can stir epithets

Posted on: 24 May 2010


First published The Chronicle, Canberra, Tuesday 18 May, 2010

Budget is a six-letter word that caused people I always thought polite to surprise me when they described the budget, delivered by the ACT Treasurer two weeks ago, with a number of four letter words, some of them new to me. The politest words they used: the ACT Government should be hung, drawn and quartered. Perhaps some of you felt the same.

Their hackles were raised because, while boasting about population growth the budget made little provision to remedy the growing scarcity of doctors. And despite Government’s boasting of its more affordable homes program the hackles of young married couples and single people were raised because extra charges would make it almost impossible for them to buy or rent homes. 

But the decision that millions of dollars would be devoted to the Arboretum is what raised my hackles. I thought, irreverently, that if Chief Minister Jon Stanhope wanted a memorial to be remembered by, apart from it being much cheaper than an arboretum, a statue like that of Al Grassby would suffice.

I wondered also why an arboretum needed a Five Star Hotel and cycle track. The Canberra Business Council (CBC) provided the answer. The many builders and their associates who are members thought the hotel was a good idea that would also aid tourism. No doubt, the tourism aspect was based on a survey that showed thousands of people wanted to visit Canberra and, after a strenuous day watching trees grow, retire to sleep in a five star hotel.

Perhaps, too, their survey showed that supporters of cycling also wanted to visit Canberra to watch cyclists tire themselves out racing then, like the watchers of growing trees, recover in a five star hotel bed. But the fact that the arboretum needs a hotel and cycle track to make it successful suggests to me that talking of it as a tourism attraction is nonsensical.

No doubt, the CBC and ACT Tourism (because it has to) also support a five star hotel because they do not believe the forecasts of climate change experts that, by 2050, the ACT’s climate will not sustain agricultural growth. Perhaps they don’t think of trees as agricultural?

But let me not gainsay the CBC, ACT Tourism, or other supporters of the arboretum. Indeed, despite my doubts, let me suggest an idea that is sure to come into its own many years hence. Why not let the forests grow as nature intended so that in time they become a jungle. On reaching the jungle state, the arboretum could then be stocked with lions and tigers for example, whose natural habitat is jungle, thus creating the possibility that, in the future, safaris could be mounted.

Safaris could open up a wealth of new opportunities. For example, entrepreneurs could be licensed to conduct safaris. Naturally, only those tourists and local residents allowed to explore Canberra’s jungle would need to obtain a jungle exploration diploma from an ACT Jungle Training School (JTS). Such training would be necessary to make them aware of the danger they faced from wild animals. Shooting animals would not be allowed.

Tour packages could be developed that included a JTS course focused on breast-beating and chanting mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa so that tourists on safari parties could apologise when they disturbed the animals’ habitat. A special funeral plan would also be available for safari members who found out too late the danger posed by wild animals.

The JTS course could also be useful for politicians, business executives and bureaucrats who work in different jungles while the special funeral plan could be adapted for cabinet ministers, senior business executives and senior bureaucrats who also find out too late that the environment they work in is dangerous.

And while I might not be around many years hence, because politicians, business people and bureaucrats obsessed with leaving a legacy will be, I hope my idea is not forgotten.

And though I’d like to end on a positive note, I can’t. All I can say is, that when Karr composed his epigram ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same,’ I wonder if he, too, was thinking of budgets, business people, bureaucrats and politicians!

dca@netspeed.com.au

For Canberra’s best Community news, The Chronicle, published every Tuesday

Advertisements

11 Responses to "Budget can stir epithets"

donallan.wordpress.com’s done it again. Great read!

You’ve done it once again! Incredible article!

If only more than 14 people could hear this!

Really great post. Really!

You’ve done it again. Incredible read.

Jimmie,

Many thanks for the comment. I’d also be pleased if you could pass details of the blog to your friends.And if you’ve got something that you think worth publishing send it to me.

Regards, Don Allan

Lorene,

Many thanks for the comment. I’d also be pleased if you could pass details of the blog to your friends.And if you’ve got something that you think worth publishing send it to me.

Regards, Don Allan

Alton,

Many thanks for the comment. I’d be pleased also if you could pass details of the blog to your friends.And if you’ve got something that you think worth publishing, send it to me.

Regards, Don Allan

Bednnett,

Many thanks for the comment. I’d be pleased also if you could pass details of the blog to your friends.And if you’ve got something that you think worth publishing send it to me.

Regards, Don Allan

Really awesome writing. Honestly..

Wow am I honestly the only comment to this amazing post?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


  • None
  • chilecomex.com: This site was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something that helped me. Thanks a lot!
  • sua tarefa: I blog often and I truly thank you for your content. This article has really peaked my interest. I will bookmark your blog and keep checking for new
  • ZAP Stun Gun: I love it when people come together and share views. Great site, continue the good work!
%d bloggers like this: