News

Keeping track of rail platform move at SAM

By Shepparton News

Good to see yet another objective call for further consideration of a possible train platform adjacent to our new Shepparton Art Museum.

The more community input the better.

What about a community survey on this one?

Give the punters some guidance, such as a pros and cons basic list, and some sort of reward for the best couple of analyses of the issue.

Perhaps you already can identify some of the pluses and minuses and there would be many of each.

Obviously most conveniently delivering and farewelling the hopefully-increasing Melbourne art-loving day-trippers would be the main purpose as would reducing vehicle movements and parking.

Not sure that a purpose-built railway station or lesser platform at SAM would be welcomed by CBD traders as it’s hard to imagine city-slicker art followers trotting off north in search of a shopping experience realistically of broader dimension than back home.

How would a five-carriage Thomas park in the SAM precinct anyway?

Not easily, Your Worship, when you consider competing bus and car parking requirements — with definitely not a square-metre loss of sacrosanct parkland.

Then there’s the strong possibility that locals themselves would want to board a southbound Melbourne train from the SAM platform, leaving their automobile for the day in the SAM car park — can you imagine it?

Well worth another objective assessment but on the face of it, to me, the prospect would seem prohibitively difficult.

●Ever thought of your local municipal council as an almost essential therapeutic facility — as an essential avenue for resident emotional tension release, even inadequacy discharge?

Now I’m not referring only to some Greater Shepparton City Council punters — it’s endemic nationwide.

I’m not fluent in Cantonese but I’ll bet someone could easily translate this overworked whingeing sentence, ‘‘Bloody council, they never listen to us ratepayers!’’ — roughly translated as ‘‘I don’t agree with anything they do. They never ask our 60000-odd residents about where they place the next toilet block. So out of touch.’’ It’s worldwide.

Don’t despair.

That miserable outlook can be good, cheap, rough psychotherapy for some residents — it can stop them going bananas.

Not to say we shouldn’t constructively disagree now and again with our elected representatives — that’s an important component of democracy.

What can become a problem, often for the trenchant municipal malcontent themselves, usually, but not exclusively, male, middle-aged to elderly, is that the constant dissidence takes over the everyday normality of the individual, and it appears hard to shake off.

Here’s an example. Listening to Nicole Chvastek presenting ABC Radio Victoria’s Statewide Drive Program, on Tuesday, interview separately the Melbourne-based eminent skipper and distinguished vice-captain of the illustrious Ratepayers Victoria, comment on Ballarat Council’s proposal to raise CBD parking charges.

Reckon our local ‘‘Grumpies’’ are grouches?

Those two make municipal malcontentment an artform — all councils are conspiratorial money-grabbing enemies of ratepayers.

RV also claims connection with the unincorporated Shepparton gaggle.

Please somebody preserve us — maybe we slightly sane need the therapy.

●The council convenes again on Tuesday next with a small backlog after a two-month break and there are a number of interesting issues waiting to be resolved.

Ford Rd as an ultimate component east-west alternative bypass of High St (Midland Hwy) is well due for a determination run — bound to understandably interest residents of the area.

A satellite shopping centre proposal in Shepparton’s north likewise has yet to be finally determined.

A revised Mooroopna-Shepparton flood study adoption awaits concluding approval, bound to activate a few parties, is in the wings.

There are also a couple of issues that probably don’t need to come to the council but can be controversial — The Cottage planning permit granting and the possible out-sourcing of CBD parking, being contentious among others.

Stay in touch — the council back on the front page is nigh.

Shepparton’s John Gray has vast experience in local government, urban water reform and natural resource management.