Brisbane City Council

Should Brisbane aim to be like Vancouver? - the naked truth about a world class city

In the televised debate amongst three of Brisbane's Lord Mayoral candidates Greg Rowell, and Campbell Newman, on Thursday 6 March Newman stated his wish that Brisbane eventually be like Vancouver on Canada's West coast. Vancouver also has a reputation amongst public transport advocates of being a highly livable city. How deserved is that reputation? (Also at )

In a letter to a friend, , an expatriate of Vancouver, who now lives in a more laid-back rural community on Quadra Island to the north west of Vancouver relates his experiences of a past visit back to Vancouver.

The naked truth about a world class city: Letter to a friend

Brishen, re. Vancouver, 17 February 2007

Grass-roots environmentalist to stand for Lord Mayor of Brisbane.

James Sinnamon, a grass-roots environmental activist has nominated to stand for Lord Mayor of Brisbane.

James is standing because of his growing alarm at the way the political leaders who wield the levers of power on our behalf have fallen abysmally short of the task before them. Instead of acting to prevent the terrible looming environmental catastrophe threatening us all, they are making the problem worse.

Liberal Lord Mayor Campbell Newman's Brisbane City Council administration is about as bad as they come. He pays lip service to lofty goals of sustainable, but in fact undermines the achievement of this goal.

His most harmful policies include:

  • A massive program of the most inappropriate infrastructure imaginable given the looming threat of Peak Oil, namely the construction of a virtual parallel underground road transport network at an astronomical cost to Brisbane's ratepayers and road users.
  • The encouragement of continued rapid population growth in spite of the obvious serious problems caused by past population growth.

Sadly the Labor 'opposition' is little better than Newman. In 2006, after making pretences of opposition to Newman's North South Bypass project, they caved in and voted for them, in the case of the NSBT even before the residents of Brisbane were able to see a contract that, according to David Hinchliffe that would make Brisbane ratepayers liable for millions of dollars should they have not wished to proceed with the agreement.

Whilst the Greens should be the obvious alternative to these two dismal choices, they have proved unwilling to initiate the kind of broad grass-roots coalition that would be necessary to defeat the Labor and Liberal Councillors.

At best the Greens can hope to hold the balance of power on a new Brisbane City Hall. This could be a start towards something better, but still, a long way short of what James Sinnamon believes should have been possible.

If he doesn't win on this occasion, James Sinnamon hopes to use the occasion to give prominence to the issues he sees as important and to encourage the formation of a grass roots political movement that he hopes will in the not-too-disant future make it possible for ordinary Brisbane residents to take City Hall out of the hinds of the stooges of property developers and corporate interests.

If you would like to help, please .

For further information on the campaign, please visit the related web site .

Letter to Courier Mail: No passenger terminal for Brisbane!

The following letter was posted to the Courier Mail Newspaper in response to its beat-up story (see ) about the lack of terminal facilities for luxury cruise ships on the occasion of the docking of the Queen Victoria near the grain terminals. The letter was not published. Amongst the four short letter published, none raised environmental objections to the luxury cruise industry.

Dear Editor,

Brisbane no more needs a new luxury passenger ship terminal ("Tourists sure to harbour a bit of resentment", 27 Feb) than it needs the North South Bypass Tunnel, the Hale Street Bridge, a second airport runway or any of Lord Mayor Newman's other extravagant white elephant projects.