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Your views: on bikes and carparks, safe water, SA population and Holden

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on city parking versus cycle lanes, the cost of safe drinking water for remote communities, SA’s demographic challenges and Holden wages.

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Commenting on the story: Adelaide CBD: big on cheap parking, behind the pack on cycling

Aurecon consultants stated in their report that “like other large cities, Adelaide has historical difficulty with introducing new initiatives that deprioritise private vehicles”.

What is wrong with the above? Let me count the ways, and not simply the gibberish.

How many reports/reviews/strategies do we need to state the bleeding obvious?

That we need more bike lanes, and safer ones, truly separated from vehicles.

Why on earth do we need on-street parking in most of the CBD when we have so much spent by ACC on car parks?

Why doesn’t council simply cast a vote – immediately – one way or another?

And how do we calculate the time councillors have wasted on indecision muddied by conflicts of interest?

What a self-interested bunch of bickering no-hopers. Robbie Brechin,

With the proliferation of e-scooters and e-bicycles it makes sense to build these ‘second sidewalks’ to make it more convenient and safer for people to travel longer distances across the city and arrive right at their destination without the hassle of car parking.

This new way of travel will be a fantastic addition to our city, giving it a real boost!  Will Matthews

Why not make Pirie/Waymouth and Flinders/Franklin one way for cars in opposing directions? – Chris Rawlinson

Commenting on the story: SA Water told to fund $200m plan to deliver safe water to remote communities

Re SA Water’s claim that: ‘Our customers have a strong sense of fairness, consistently telling us they value safe, clean water for all South Australians and are prepared to pay for providing drinking water to these 650 regional properties that currently receive a non-drinking water supply.’

In fact, the survey on which SA Water based this claim asked (part of the survey is here:

15: Upgrade water supply for 650 regional properties from non-drinking water to drinking water/No further improvement for 650 regional properties/Drinking water supply for 650 properties over 8 years/Drinking water supply for 650 properties over 4 years.  

There is a big difference between asking to grade how important this task is, and saying something like: “Should we be charged $200m, or give up $200m or other options in order to provide this’.

As I did this survey at the time, I believed that it was disingenuous on the part of SA Water, and constructed in a way to get the answers it wanted.

Perhaps if South Australians had been asked the specific question, they would still have given the same answer, but we don’t know. Cathy Chua

(SA Water) made the comment that there was overwhelming support for customers to pay for this water to be installed – well, who did they ask?

No one asked me. The government should pay to install this water supply, it is their job, and the customer getting this supply I am sure will pay some sort of rates the same as those in the city. We pay enough already. – Betty Alberton

Providing people with safe drinking water is a human right – it is not negotiable.

This solution is also being framed in potentially racist terms – poor white people in urban centres are able to access  safe drinking water.

It’s on the thin edge of the wedge to even use the terminology of this town being “predominantly Aboriginal” as I have never seen InDaily using the terminology of a town being “predominantly white.”

The ethnicity or background of any Australian person shouldn’t come into play when it is a question of equal rights for all Australians.

Likewise, it is irresponsible and racist of the current government ensuring that everyone already receiving huge water bills becomes aware that they will need to support a “predominantly Aboriginal” town – it is playing wedge politics and that should be anathema to all Australians. Christine Nicholls

Commenting on the opinion piece: Richardson: The fraught politics of SA’s death spiral

Given the hyperbolic description of SAs demography, it’s a wonder your reporter still lives here.

An ageing population is hardly unique to this State. Just ask the Japanese.

Thankfully we still have reasonably open borders, where new immigrants can be brought in to supplement the relatively minimal decline in population. Trevor Wilkins

This idea that unless our population in always increasing and balanced in age distribution then disaster will strike comes up against another – we have a finite planet.

On various measures it has been calculated that to support indefinitely our current world population in our current, varied economic states requires not one planet with its resources but 1.4 planets.

In other words our current situation is not sustainable.

So I actually find it exciting that SA might have to learn how to deal with a constant or even slightly declining population in an effective way.

Currently “growth growth growth” is the mantra of business and government, but logically we have to come to a steady state that will require a massive rethinking of how we live and what we value.

We will certainly go through a period where our age distribution is unusually skewed to the older age.

But there are opportunities in this. Older people make massive contributions to society. Childcare, sharing of wisdom, linking people to the past so they can learn from it, volunteering is so many areas – including in caring for other older people.

Unlike many other societies who deeply value their older people, we have a tendency just to see them as a cost. That is false.

Certainly the requirements to love, support and enable older people will create lots of “jobs” whether paid or unpaid.

We need to value and support our carers.

The problem will not be the lack of work in such a society, but how to make the money go round. That will require some different thinking.

SA has had a history of social development to meet the needs of the community.

I look to see SA take the focus off numeric growth and have a focus on development of a better society – one that values every person and gives them the opportunity to develop and contribute, in their way to the benefit of us all.

Finally the issues that Tom Richardson has described are ones that need to be faced and worked through.

I look for us to do it without just adding more people.

PS: I want to say I appreciate having good local news. Richard Wilson

Commenting on the opinon piece: Holden demise was inevitable – but shouldn’t have been

Elizabeth was the last Holden assembly plant to shut down.

When Elizabeth Assembly ceased operations, workers on the assembly line were being paid $50 AUD per hour.

At the same time, assembly line workers in the Southern US states of Alabama and Mississippi were receiving $17 US an hour.

Across the border in Mexico, workers assembling automotive components received $3 US per hour and in China, workers on the vehicle assembly lines received $0.50 US per hour.

Mercedes ML SUV were assembled in Alabama, so, quality was never an issue.

Chinese assembly plants use US quality standards and practices.

The Vehicle Builders Union priced Holden out of the market. – John Donovan

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