Outside the square

Outside the square

BOB Birrell rejects John Brumby's typically tentative solution to Melbourne's destructive population growth, but his claim that the problems are "not so much due to the size of the city" is uncharacteristically silly. The extra million that Melbourne 2030 is planning for is roughly the population of Birmingham - Britain's second-largest city!

Equally serious is that rural Victoria is starved of population. Melbourne 2030 is to blame: its vision statement mentions only Melbourne but makes the claim that it will "provide maximum benefit to the whole state".

We must scrap Melbourne 2030 and encourage rural population growth. But Wodonga and Albury are emblematic of our unwieldy and destructive over-government - they have been encouraged to amalgamate but will not because a change of policy or government in either state could undo it.

We must scrap our states and adopt Britain's two-tier system (a strong central government checked by large counties) to tackle our water, soil, transport and communications problems and to rejuvenate the non-farm rural economy. Counties with constitutional power develop their economies and attract people naturally and permanently.

Barry E. Duff