Losing Open Space in Adelaide!

28 11 2009

O what a sad state of affairs it is, when modern leaders fail to recognise the value and importance of Open Space for human beings. It is sooooo…. necessary for our physical and mental health and well being.

This is a semi-political piece, in a way. But it is theological, too. Lord help us!

* A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD’s and the fulness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein; (Psalm 24:1)

In South Australia, the ruling (often dominating) Mike Rann Labor Government has been behaving in a reprehensible manner concerning our open space – our public open space.  They are up for selling it off.  They are being most unwise. Why? Real Estate concerns!  Valuable public real estate is being sold off. Why? Why? In a word, money!  In words: Greed. Money. Power. Thoughtlessness.

Lack of consultation with the public, is unacceptable these days. Refusal to hear the public. Refusal to see the state of our society. Refusal to listen – to the Spirit.  People feel their leaders are arrogant and remote. Sad indeed. Sure people need housing, but not jam packed housing areas.

In recent days we have seen this government “trimming back”, imposing upon, and reducing open space. This will not help our society.  I hope we may react sooner, rather than later.

Some, (just a few) of many areas being restricted and ruined, include:

1. St. Claire Recreation Park, at Woodville. (For years a great blessing).

2. Glenside – hospital grounds for mental illness. (Lord knows they need space!)

3. Cheltenham  Race Course, Torrens Road – ideal for water catchment and birds.

4. Port River surrounds, including Pelican Point, ideal for fishing, and recreation.

Add to this, … some people want it to be illegal to jump off the local jetty, and others want it to be illegal to drive onto Sellicks Beach, for recreation. (this is why we are called ‘the nanny State’).

Human beings are made to relate to the creation around them. This is essential to our humanity. Flora and Fauna – lovely friends of humanity. Birds and bees. Places to run and play. Dogs, prams, walkers, runners, bike riders, people talking, praying, thinking, getting some space.  O Australia.

Sadly the back yards of homes are getting smaller. Sadly, parents feel their children are unsafe without supervision. Sadly, we have embraced the TV stations, and internalised our life; fine, fun it may be, it is, it can be, sure.

But we need outside life.  Yea… wealthy people can buy a hobby farm in the hills. Wealthy people can have a block of land for a motorcycle, and a dam, a creek and a horse. But the majority of Adelaide residents need accessible space – here in Adelaide.

No wonder the whole creation groans, as it waits for the liberty to come…

Praying for a profound change of heart and policy at local leadership level, and within our minds and hearts, generally. Lord have mercy!


Adelaide to Darwin

18 07 2009

Arrived home this week from a driving trip (on annual leave) to Darwin, in the Northern Territory (NT). What beautiful territory!  From the flat city named after Queen Adelaide, to the Modern City named after Charles Darwin – it was mostly dirt, termite mounds, blue sky, green pick and long grass for cattle, lots of bitumen, and … I like our term: “the bush!”

It is staggering how much wide open space there is in Australia. And some strange, odd, stunning, and interesting places there are!  Alice Springs is a very lovely looking town. Standley Chasm is always a favorite.

But that Big Rock is still a stand out: Uluru – or Ayers Rock as we said for a while. (And of course Kata Juta – the Olgas). Always reminds me of this Blog Spot – ‘And the Rock Was Christ’… provision of water springing up in the dry land, the law for aboriginal children ‘rustling in the leaves of the trees’ (innate in creation, we might say), and the sheer mystery of it.  Ha. …. I rather like the Aboriginal explanation as to how it all came to be… ahead of the one by the geologists (still plenty of room for mystery when both have had their say!)

To the west of Elliott, (half way between Darwin and Alice) there is a great Waterhole with more pelicans and other birds catching fish in a big expanse of water – the Longreach Waterhole. It is near to Newcastle Waters, and so worth a look.

Then, to the top end…. Wow! The salty crocodile, is a fearsome creature! The fresh water crocodile, is mostly, rather like a very sleepy lizard. Ha.

Mindil Beach sunset markets, on Thursday and Sunday nights is quite an event. Food and people from all over the place, but with a distinctive Darwin feel.

And winter in Darwin 32 degrees! Can you believe it? Quite nice to get about in shorts for 3 weeks.

Then, there are the water holes… Douglas Daly, hot springs, cooler pools and cold rivers. Very refreshing. Litchfield National Park – what excellent Falls into the waterholes. And the lovely open wet country on the road to Jabiru.

Speaking of Jabiru – what a colouful masterpiece is the bird they call the Jabiru. And then there are the hawks and raptors – birds everywhere…. Enough of all this.

Psalm 150:6 is a good summary:

“Let everything that breathes praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!”

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