Prevailing wisdom in the political class envisages big population increases in Victoria in the next few decades. Whether these increases are a good idea, or will prove to be illusions after COVID 19 is not clear, but in any case the state parliament is running an enquiry into ‘the current and future arrangements to secure environmental infrastructure…for a growing population in Melbourne and across regional centres.’
‘Environmental infrastructure’ sounds complicated, but is simple: it includes ‘parks and open space, sporting fields, forest and bushland, wildlife corridors and waterways’. The enquiry is mainly interested in land ‘within or close to urbanised areas.’
You don’t have to be very sharp to get that this list includes the very thing that DELWP staff have just devastated in Maldon: bushland close to an urban area, popular for recreation by townspeople. We’re hearing a lot about the very real mental health problems caused by COVID 19 and the resultant lockdown: pleasant places close to home are a substantial benefit to mental health, and should be looked after, not trashed by the very people trusted to manage them.
We suggest that readers have a go at submitting on this one. A few words would be enough, to plant the idea that one good way to ‘secure environmental infrastructure’ would be for government employees to refrain from destroying environmental assets.
Submissions are due on September 28 via
Email to email@example.com; or
eSubmission at www.parliament.vic.gov.au/eii; or
Hard copy to:The Committee ManagerLegislative Assembly Environment and Planning Committee, Parliament House, Spring Street,EAST MELBOURNE VIC 3002
Email or eSubmissions are preferred, owing to staff problems arising from the virus.