The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

A few things I’ve missed

  • Because of an ugly conflation of factors that conspired to keep me from blogging this week, I missed a bunch of cool things, like the article about PerthNorg in last Tuesday’s West Australian, complete with a lovely photo of Bronwen ;-)
  • How did I not discover Galacticast sooner? It makes little sense if you’re not a sci-fi nerd, but if you are, it’s a whole new level of awesome.
  • In Federal politics, this week saw the re-emergence of boat people! and dangerous immigrants! and topics like that. First there was Johnny’s off-the-cuff mention that he thinks HIV-positive people shouldn’t be allowed to immigrate. I agree that this’d be horribly discriminatory … but I find myself not that concerned, since it’s basically no change from current practice. I mean, my cousin recently spent $150 on X-rays to prove he doesn’t have tuberculosis, and that was for a bloomin’ tourist visa.
  • As for the more recent announcement, about swapping asylum seekers with the US, I’m seeing lots of comments calling it “illogical”. But although this policy is no less discriminatory, I have to give credit to Johnny for its brilliance. Given that the man’s stated goal is to keep boat people off Australian shores by any means possible, a plan to ship them across the world immediately is genius. It’s also a cheap attempt to switch the punters’ attention away from Ruddster-love and back to issues on which the little man seems trustworthy, but it’s failed miserably thanks to other matters dominating the news.
  • Perthlings! The public comment period for Northbridge Link has been extended to the end of the month, so if you haven’t already filled in the online comment form, you should!
  • And a final word about Perth: when Jeff Kennett came over a few weeks ago I heard several people say we could use a bloke like him in power here. But I think they picked the wrong Victorian: what we really need is a rock-star Lord Mayor like John So. Seriously, could you ever picture people doing stuff like this for Peter Nattrass? Problem is, none of the current candidates for this year’s election look good enough.
  1. I am a Curtin Architecture student and your blog is fantastic. I am interested in your comments about the Northbridge Link because it is one of our design projects. I think the Link masterplan currently is a shame. Here are some of my observations:

    The Link’s project director brushed over social housing provisions at a recent Curtin lecture. He made the remarkable claim, saying that it will be hidden so that you can’t see it from the outside,

    There needs to be a stronger link from the Arena to the Train Station. Internalising this alleyway for residents only is a wasted opportunity to connect these two magnets of the Link, and

    The Horseshoe Bridge proposal for a giant skyscraper could be better by having small mixed use extending westwards from the current railway platforms.

    Charles Landry has made a big impact on our design discussions and most of us seem to side with Landry. Perth is really a town, not a city. Or as theorist Colin Rowe describes much like the fox and hedgehog difference. Perth is also a hedgehog!

  2. Hehe, I am glad to serve :-)
    It always impresses me to see how many people agree with Landry, given that we have such a strong current of obstinate ‘town’-style thinking.

    I agree with you about linking Perth Arena and the existing station, the masterplan’s (single-sentence) mention about keeping the western alley for residents is a mistake. But I don’t think it’s that big a problem — even if it isn’t changed, the rest of the plan still seems pretty good to me.

    Not sure what you’re saying about social housing, though that’s a rather strange thing for a project official to say … AFAIK, Northbridge Link just includes the government’s standard percentage of Homeswest housing, and being the CBD I’d expect it to be fairly high quality (like, say, the development on Queen Victoria Street in Freo).

    And I happen to like the plan for 25 storeys at the Horseshoe Bridge ;-) Would you prefer the space not be a public square? because I don’t see much room there for low-rise development without sacrificing that.

Care to leave a comment?