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Dire consequences of planning never emerge

Thank heavens, we have the Community Environment Network to offset the selfishness and short-sightedness of the Coastal Residents group with respect to the new Coastal Management Policy.

It is clear that the Coastal Residents have none but their own interests in mind and care nothing for the welfare of future generations who are going to face enormous costs and disastrous environmental degradation, unless some action is taken now to ameliorate the damage caused by past, thoughtless development patterns.

The concern that the policy will "stifle development and business activity", that is, limit profit-making and unearned income, says it all.

The fact is that this policy should have been introduced decades ago and that, if it had, the Peninsula would not now be facing the almost insuperable burden of remediating past errors.

Even with this policy in place, it is doubtful that more than Band-Aid measures can be achieved, because the worst mistakes are beyond curing, except at unacceptable expense.

It is, also, easy to suspect that the provisions of the policy sound better on paper than they will emerge in practice, unless there is a serious implementation process put in place.

Without this, "flexibility" will almost certainly prevail, and hard decisions will be avoided as politically unpalatable.

As for the scaremongering about the dire consequences of the Policy, we have heard it all before over and over again, and the Coastal Residents really need a new songbook, if they want to sound plausible.

I well recall exactly this kind of objection going back, at least, to the first planning legislation of 60-odd years ago, but the dire consequences never emerge, and life goes on unimpeded and usually for the better.

In fact, it would be a reasonable wager that the Code of Hammurabi was met with predictions of the end of society as known, if not worse.

That certainly would have been the case, if there had been a Chamber of Commerce in Babylon.

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