Vexing the Deep Greens

East Point beach, pretty much where the channel and lock would go through for “Arafura Harbour” according to the concept plan. I suspect this aspect of the plan will change to force the channel to emerge on the north side of East Point, which would make a lot more sense.

I’ve experienced one of those pre-senile dementia rushes of blood to the brain and written another Letter to the Editor of the NT News: Ill leap in where angels fear to tread and declare strong support for the Vos/Lynne Arafura Harbour marina estate proposal. It really is a visionary and exciting project, and these developers have a strong record of making big developments happen so it isnt pie in the sky. The greenies and NIMBYs will oppose it, but they oppose everything.

There will certainly be legitimate environmental, traffic and residential amenity issues, but they can be resolved constructively to the satisfaction of all but the extreme minority. Some long term residents like senior Murdoch journalist Nicolas Rothwell lament that Darwin has lost some of the seedy, raffish charm they once knew and loved. To my taste Cullen Bay, Bayview and Tipperary Wharf have all enhanced Darwin and made it a much more beautiful, vibrant and comfortable place to live than 26 years ago when I first arrived here. But then I dont mind the Gold Coast and I love Noosa.

The Darwin Waterfront promises to be even better when its water recreation facilities open in the next few weeks. Ill be one of the first in line to try out the wave pool! Arafura Harbour would take Darwin to a new and even higher level of sophistication.

Messrs Vos and Lynne might well have some problems raising finance to begin work during the current Global Financial Crisis, but this isnt a project for next week. It will be built over a decade or more. Extreme greenies are very good at convincing some politicians that they enjoy broad support. In fact theyre a tiny, noisy, reactionary minority. Mind you, Im not sure Id fancy paddling up that 2000 metre course in a fragile rowing shell, not with all the crocs around anyway. But thats another story.

Yours faithfully …

*The concept plan is over the fold.

arafura

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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Gaby
Gaby(@gaby)
12 years ago

I am not at all sure you can exempt a canal development, even a canal development that is said to be ‘visionary and exciting’ from criticism by declaring that critics of canal development are greens or nimbies.

meika
12 years ago

OK, I’ll bite.

Swamp Life

Unless you are really into smelly watersports, you have to ban all dogs, cats and fertiliser for lawns and gardens or have totally isolated run-off from houses to “canal”, AND make sure the edge of the waterway is not a lawn/concrete but a sedgeland, wetland type thingo… otherwise the waterway becomes a nutrient enriched soup extremely fit for the ‘weed species’ of aquatic life. Much like living on a dilute sewerage farm.

Floating suburbs in the bay would be a better idea, their underneath would still collect enriched deposits, but it’s more easily dealt with by the sea. (And if you water life on the water, then go onto the water) preferably by growing “coral” with some electricity powered nanofacture (see Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age: or A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer (1995)) Destroying the current geomorphology will bring about the return of the dominant strange attractor.

But then Neal Stephenson is a real visionary, and (un)real estate developeers are sheep.

Baa!

meika
12 years ago

Currently growing coral with an electric boost is still fairly slow.

But then real visionaries would simply see that as a character building challenge.

Tony Harris
Tony Harris(@tony-harris)
12 years ago

“Environmental and other issues (which clearly exist with developments like this) can be resolved constructively to the satisfaction of all but the extreme minority”

Amen. It sounds like you have extremists who start out with ambit claims and then they decide to stick with them. The same applies to the debate over abortion at least in the US which appears to be dominated by fanatics on each side.

I recall the late Lou D’Alpuget getting livid when boating regulations were introduced that required all the yatchs on the Pittwater in Sydney to use pump outs instead of flushing their loos into the sea. He calculated that if all the loos were flushed daily (though practically all were sailed weekly at most) the poo would be roughly equivalent to the excretion from a decent-sized school of mullet coming in on the tide twice a day to feed in the Pittwater.

On pet poo pollution, would-be regulating Greens in the US were upset to find that the supposely pristine waters of woodland steams in their native state contained poo from the native animals, in higher levels than they were drafting for Clean Water Regulations in populated areas.

Wicking
Wicking(@wicking)
12 years ago

Be interesting to see how these joints handle a severe cyclone, seawalls or no seawalls. Although much of Darwin would be in terrible strife if we cop a cat 3 or above, last place I’d want to be is on the foreshore. And a flying superyacht landing on my house in the burbs would make me extremely cranky.

meika
12 years ago

Depends on superyacht as I’d claim salvage rights.

Tel_
Tel_
12 years ago

Unless you are really into smelly watersports, you have to ban all dogs, cats and fertiliser for lawns and gardens or have totally isolated run-off from houses to canal, AND make sure the edge of the waterway is not a lawn/concrete but a sedgeland, wetland type thingo otherwise the waterway becomes a nutrient enriched soup extremely fit for the weed species of aquatic life. Much like living on a dilute sewerage farm.

I would have thought that if there really is a problem of this nature, then it ends up reflecting in the housing prices. I wouldn’t want to live in a place like this myself, especially when the faux waterfront tries to attract a premium price. However, runoff is not going to bother anyone except other marina estate owners so if they can find buyers who want to live that kind of lifestyle then good luck to them from me. Maybe they don’t care about the smell, or they don’t want dogs, or there is sufficient rain and tidal activity to keep the water from stagnating, its a problem for the owners to deal with, not government.

Trying to double-guess the outcome with environmental regulations (especially when the authors of regulation have no investment riding on the outcome, not even their reputations because they invariably remain anonymous) seems like a pointless exercise.

meika
12 years ago

Bigger, better visionaries via spacecollective.org.