The misery that is now St Kilda

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St Kilda’s misery
Two interesting but depressing St Kilda stories with “Costings missing from new St Kilda plan”, (6/9) and “Hope for a U-turn on Acland Street blues” (9/9).
It is remarkable that the City of Port Phillip is discussing the Triangle site – again – while its two existing major “iconic” St Kilda hospitality and shopping precincts are a misery.
How about fixing up the problems and demonstrate to residents and traders that council can manage precincts and amenity?
We might then have confidence that anything proposed for the Triangle won’t end up the same as Acland and Fitzroy streets.

Geoffrey Conaghan, St Kilda

Street of sadness
The Age has done well to document the woes of Acland Street. At the northern end sits Fitzroy Street. It was once a vibrant, seedy, eclectic thoroughfare with a life of its own. It was Melbourne’s Kings Cross. But no more.
The do-gooders destroyed it by removing car parks, widening footpaths, planting tram track plantations and turning the street into single-lane traffic.
A drive along Fitzroy Street fills me with sadness.

Alan Williams, Port Melbourne

In transit
The article ″⁣Momentoes in time″⁣ (9/9) was a compelling reminder of our transience. In our homes, we display collections of things that have been meaningful to us during our lives – we build ″⁣a museum curated by its owner″⁣.
Who wants all of this stuff when we die? Op shop surfers delight in it. Devoted family members keep some of it.
Should we start dismantling it as old age creeps up? Handing it on? But that is like losing pieces of yourself. Confronting indeed.

Glenda Johnston, Queenscliff

Costs of growth
Not only are we becoming less productive with a booming population (getting stuck in traffic, trying to find parking, ambulance ramping, insufficient teachers and housing), but our economic and environmental wellbeing is getting worse (The Age, 7/9). This is inevitably leading to poorer health, education and social outcomes.
Surely, the costs of this unsustainable level of growth are far outweighing any benefits.

Jennie Epstein, Little River

Limit speculators
Your correspondent (Letters, 9/9) is spot on in criticising a system whereby speculators can make windfall gains simply by gaining a permit and doing nothing but sell it on. No one ever queries what this adds to the cost of housing.
Permits should only be granted to a specific speculator, time-limited, for a specific project on a specific piece of land.
If the project doesn’t happen within the time frame or the speculator wants to sell the land, the permit should be declared null and void so the land is not sold at an unjustified inflated profit.

Margaret Callinan, Hawthorn

The grounded ones
Why all the carry-on about Qantas and Qatar and who can fly in or the price of their tickets. Those of us on a pension and those trying to make ends meet, what with interest rates and supermarkets making us us do their work but charging us more, we don’t give a toss because we can’t afford to go to anywhere anyway.

Gary Florence, Hampton Park

A star turn
″⁣I’d like to do it well″⁣ – Death of a Salesman star Anthony LaPaglia (Review, 9/9). He certainly did. It was enthralling to watch LaPaglia deliver a memorable portrayal of Arthur Miller’s tragic character Willy Loman. An inspirational interpretation forcing one to recognise the need of supporting those who may not know where or how to turn for help in coping with their circumstances.

Brian Marshall, Ashburton

Division already here
The No campaign’s argument that the Voice to parliament will divide the country by race ignores the reality that that division already exists. As a white man, my life expectancy is longer than that of my black countrymen’s. My health is likely to be better. So are my income, my education, my job prospects and my housing.
To say that Australia has no racial division is nonsense. The most important consideration about the Voice is where it came from. This is not a political toy. The Voice comes from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and should be considered on that basis.
Nothing I’ve seen suggests that parliament would be obligated to do anything but listen. Our politicians have shown no reluctance to pay attention to lobbyists. Why then should they be reluctant to hear what this group of citizens has to say?

John Cameron, Bellbrae

Privatisation failure
Peter Hartcher (Comment, 9/9) places the Qantas saga into context and highlights that the prime focus of all private enterprise is to satisfy their shareholders. Blind faith in privatisation has seen the failures of our banking system, aged care service providers, accounting and consulting firms. Regulators have also failed and governments have turned a blind eye to the behaviour of corporates. I am not convinced, however, that a charter of consumer rights is the answer.

Ray Cleary, Camberwell

Beginning of the end
Several letters yesterday discussed the destruction we face due to a heating climate and a degraded planet. In the same publication was a feature, ″⁣Undersea riches to be reaped by the few″⁣. Not content with destroying the planet through land-based mining, deforestation, overpopulation and the burning of fossil fuels, we now face further environmental destruction from undersea mining.
Will this only end when we have destroyed the planet?

Rosenna Hossack, Edithvale

Speak out
AFL, NRL, please find your voice.

Dylan Jansz, Broadmeadows

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