BIZARRE WAYS TO SQUEEZE 'EM IN. Charge by the kilometre.

Mark O’Connor commented on this article in The Conversation.:

To reduce congestion, imagine the government charged by the kilometre By David Hensher, University of Sydney The hip pocket must be where road pricing reform commences. The call for a congestion charge is getting louder and more frequent in many countries, as major metropolitan areas experience increasing levels… - -

Yes, an ingenious idea that might make good financial sense. Yet it's still a way of palliating (for a time) rather than solving the underlying problem. Why can't we have stable cities, like Europe does, rather than ones that are forever outgrowing their roads? and their parks, sewers, power and water infrastructures, water supplies,and perhaps even in time their food supplies? Why is

Australia growing at more than three times the average for advanced countries, paying baby bonuses to encourage more births, and pushing up immigration again despite Gillard's promise to get us off the Big Australia path? There seems to be no limit to the deterioration in our quality of life that our leaders, and some planners will propose, sooner than concede there must be limits to population growth.

Here are some of the things we are regularly asked to give up:

  • Urban green space
  • Houses with gardens
  • Affordable houses
  • The right to drink water that has not come from a sewer
  • Koalas
  • Abundant and varied birdlife
  • Land on which to run a pet
  • Land on which to have a clothes line
  • Affordable meat.
  • Roads without traffic jams
  • The last three city plans...
  • The chance for Australian school leavers to be trained and to find jobs
  • Resource security
  • A city that would not have to be quickly surrendered in war if its main highways for food-trucks were cut by missile strike. (e.g. Sydney) Power-security Freedom from the risks of nuclear power. Continuing public ownership of profitable utilities
  • and public lands

and now it seems we must add:

  • Freedom to drive without a mileage toll.