Crisis is a word that gets used a lot in newspapers. There’s the cricket crisis. The Global Financial Crisis. The sports doping crisis. Crises like these are often unexpected, tumultuous events - they naturally grab the headlines.
And then there are the slow burn crises that sneak up on you. Like the obesity crisis or the energy crisis. They’re like a frog sitting in a pot of water over an open flame. Sometimes you don’t notice the crisis until your frog is completely cooked. And so let me draw your attention to a crisis that is directly in front of us, and about to reach boiling point.
Our cities are in crisis. Deep down, we all know it. When it takes 30 minutes to drive a two kilometre stretch of road. When we’re late for work because the bus didn’t turn up. When our kids are late for school because you were stuck in traffic. When we don’t get home until 7pm because of a traffic incident in a suburb five suburbs away.
Our roads and rail systems are struggling under the weight of our ever growing population and it’s time we did something about it.
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There has been much fun for many going through Bob Carr’s writings to embarrass the incoming Foreign Minister by highlighting his private citizen notions about Barack Obama, the Dalai Lama and others.
But so far no one has pointed to the passionate campaign which gave Mr Carr when NSW Premier the nickname of The Malthus of Macquarie Street.
Bob Carr is against a big Australia. He wants a national population smaller - much smaller - than some projections indicate it will be by 2050.
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At the outset I declare that I am unashamedly pro-bike. Cycling is a great sport, a clean form of transport, and has undoubted health benefits for those who regularly ride.
Most years the annual “pollie pedal” route is through my electorate – as was the case this year. Had I not been heavily pregnant, I would have ridden with the team again (albeit for a short distance).
But I have to say: what’s the deal with designated bike lanes?
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Treasury secretary Ken Henry should spend less time hanging around with hairy-nosed wombats and more time talking to working families in suburban Sydney.
That’s not to bag wombats, especially hairy-nosed ones. Nor to question the right of anyone to take a holiday, and to do what they like with their leave.
As Dr Henry said last year amid criticism of his five-week wombat-rescuing odyssey into Queensland’s far-flung Epping Forest National Park, there are 10 times as many pandas in China as there are hairy-nosed wombats in Australia.
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