Satellite Cities


Mark Moncrieff

Do you remember.. when I wrote about 11 million Victorians?

In that I said that if that takes place ‘It [Melbourne] will reach Geelong, Ballarat, Seymour and Warragul making them all suburbs.’ In Wednesday’s (22 October 2019) Herald-Sun there are a number of articles in an eight page wrap-around that is very excited about a big Victoria. The new idea is satellite cities!

Each ranging in size from 100,000 to 400,000 people, with a distance of between 100 and 250 kilometres from Melbourne. High speed rail, the eternal answer to all our transport problems, is to connect these satellite cities to Melbourne.

Will they connect to each other?

I doubt it as that will cost a lot of money. If the past is any indication, start with big plans, then over spend, then tell everyone that the project is running on time and under budget, then talk up the problems with the unions, then suspend work on the project because of the unions, then spend the next thirty years doing spasmodic work on it all the while talking up how much it cost and how many jobs it created!

This is not a new idea, it’s just another of the ‘Big Australia’ projects that keep getting put forward. In fact it’s so prevalent there is even an Australia TV series that sends up the whole idea called ‘Utopia‘. Here’s a short, less than two minutes example, Utopia: Snowy Mountains Scheme.

In theory the idea of decentralising Australia makes sense, 40% of the population lives in two cities, Melbourne and Sydney. But top down planning is not the way to go. There needs to be a real reason for people to live where they live. Not a grand plan.

Originally published at Upon Hope on 26/11/2019.