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Progress in international development aid

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Comments (Video)

I lived for years in Jakarta and watched it grow from a manageable 3 million to a nightmare of 12 million. This happened without adding the necessary infrastructure and with the developers having a free hand. So now there are 4 million cars and 6 million motor bikes on the gridlocked roads. It makes you feel sick to be stuck in that sort of traffic. Also the pollution is beyond description.

So a pleasant liveable city has become a nightmare. You can see why I am so protective of Melbourne. You can see now that schools are back and holidays are over how hard it is moving around Melbourne again. We need good planning, and more say by residents and for the infrastructure to catch up with the population we have now.

Take a look at the article - link above- and think about Melbourne.


It seems that Melbourne is closer to having Jakarta's nightmare of gridlocked traffic than many people realise.

The following was written in the Melbourne Age article Gridlock choking life out of city of 27 May; 2007.

MELBOURNE'S transport congestion is worse than the Government has let on, with internal documents revealing a train system at bursting point, trams among the slowest in the world and clogged freeways and major arterial roads.

The following was written in the Herald Sun article Brace yourself, highways to hell coming of 5 Feb 2012 nearly five years later:

MELBOURNE is on the road to a congestion crisis, with an extra 101,500 cars forecast to clog the city's freeways within five years.

VicRoads' official traffic projections, released exclusively to the Sunday Herald Sun, show an enormous influx of cars on five major Melbourne thoroughfares by 2016.

Traffic experts have warned the projections - which do not include trucks or motorbikes - exposed the growing threat of city-wide gridlock.

Our political rulers and their corporate masters have caused this by imposing population growth and continuing to do so. How they have gained from reducing by so much the quality of life of each Melburnian on average and what they stand to further gain by continuing to to do so is difficult to understand.

Yet they must have gained. Otherwise, why would they continue with these policies?

That they gain from reducing the overall quality of life of all citizens shows that our economy, based, not on the production of actual wealth, but on land speculation, property development and financial paper shuffling, is gravely dysfunctional,

To add to Mary's population picture, Jakarta's population was 800,000 in 1945, just before independence and grew to 8.2 million by 1990.From a very quick "read around" it would appear that Jakarta's population has grown rapidly and much faster than the country's over all growth rate because of migration (presumably from within Indonesia) into the city. It appears the governor of Jakarta made it a closed city in about 1970 with strict entry criteria but the influx has continued. In one of the Jakarta newspapers I read that the fertility rate is 2.1 and they want to get this down to 1.8. Indonesia grows more slowly than Australia.(because Australia doubles its population growth rate with immigration into the country) According to another article in the Jakarta Post, Should Jakarta be a closed city? of 18 Sep 12, some are even worrying though about an aging population with anticipated population decline ! Sound familiar?

Having spent a total of about 3 weeks in Jakarta -one week in the mid 1980s and another 2 in about 2005, I found it an unwieldy, un-walkable, slightly overwhelming city with very interesting pockets and great contrasts between rich and poor. In the 1980s, staying in wealthy Menteng I was fascinated by the broken glass embedded on the tops of some of the walls around the great houses as a deterrent to any trespassers. As though that were not enough, the friend I stayed with had a 24 hour guard outside his house. When I returned to visit with the same friend 20 years later he lived in a different suburb, still had a 24 hour guard but no glass. I have noticed an increasing number of gated communities being built in Melbourne. This would have been a totally alien concept 30 years ago when really there was not a yawing gap between the quality of life between rich and poor and people of quite modest means could command a generous amount of private space of their own. We could be headed in the direction of Jakarta. Like anywhere Jakarta is livable if you are rich and can get around in air conditioned chauffeur driven comfort. If you are a becak driver sleeping in your vehicle every night as I believe some do, then I think life would be very much a matter of day to day survival and trying to take in more calories than those expended in using pedal power to taxi people around the spider like city.

The Victorian branch of SPA will hold a stall...

The Victorian branch of SPA will hold a stall for 3 days at Melbourne's Sustainable Living Festival from noon Friday Feb 17th -8 p.m. Saturday Feb 18th 10-a.m. -6.p.m. and Sunday February 19th 10 a.m. to 5.00pm festival stalls are on and around Federation Square. Come and visit if you are at the festival.

Those poor Africans.

"The independent Southern Africa Resource Watch, says the companies are moving villagers to poor land far from jobs to make way for coal projects in central Mozambique. Local entrepreneurs are also being sidelined, says the organisation, which monitors the impact of mining across the region. The criticism is based on the findings of researchers who have studied resettlement efforts by Rio Tinto of Australia and Vale of Brazil, which recently began mining in Mozambique's Tete province.
Rio Tinto did not respond to requests for comment."

Sounds like Andrew MacLeod, who has gone off from the so-called Committee for Melbourne to head PR for Rio Tinto in London, will have plenty of spinning to do.