The Age's chief gobbler of thoughts more empty than any ping pong ball has today tapped the Parkville Asylum's Brendan Gleeson, professor of urban policy studies and director of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, who thinks it is a terrible idea to build a tunnel connecting the Eastern and Westgate freeways. As you might imagine, anyone who heads an institute with the word "sustainable" in its title would say that, in this instance wrapping his personal disdain for cars and the freedom they confer in the garments of, ahem, economic analysis, purported polling and professorial insight.
What Gleeson doesn't mention, nor did the editor who published his thoughts, is that bottom-line considerations he cites are but waving branches above the rather less apparent tap root of his objections. You will need to survey his output to see where he is coming from, and it is most certainly not Doncaster en route by private vehicle to Werribee, otherwise he would be promoting the tunnel for all his ARC grants and sinecures are worth (a very pretty penny, that).
The thing to understand about Gleeson is that when cars go whizzing by his Malvern Star he thinks not of others' convenience but of class struggle and injustice. Indeed, amongst his grant-funded scribblings, concern for "the disadvantaged" and their alleged lack of personal mobility features prominently:
The problem of transport-related social exclusion has formed the basis for a great deal of transport policy development in the United Kingdom in the past decade. More recently, the problem of transport-mediated social exclusion has been investigated in Australia through notions of forced car ownership...
Unless you are a Fairfax editorial page director, you will get the picture: If we are to have a just and more equitable society, better-off citizens must be forced to get around on bicycles and public transport, which Gaia wants with all heart:
...the east-west link scorns the urgent need to decarbonise our cities in the face of a species emergency, global warming. Other cities and nations will judge us severely for building this smog factory in a time of planetary crisis.Come on, Gina, stop buggarising around. If you're not going to take full charge of Fairfax, then dump your holding. Even a minority interest in this stupid, stupid company demeans your good name and reputation.