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13 November 2019
Sir, – I read your editorial ‘Decentralisation insight’, October 23, with interest.
I was a Democratic Labor Party candidate in the 1960s and decentralisation was always one of our major policies back then.
It is a pity that no government party of the day ever took such a concept seriously.
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In 1963 the DLP proposed the development of “...a new town in the Portland area in line with the harbour and industrial development of the area.”
It was envisaged that such development would efficiently serve the development of the Western District, Wimmera and Mallee as well as parts of South Australia.
It also called for plans to develop Portland as a city of 100,000 by the late ’70s and anticipated a population of about 300,000 by the mid-90s, extrapolating those figures one could have envisaged a city of around 500,000 at this time.
A similar proposal – 1958, 1961 and 1964 – was for the development of a deep water port at Port Albert in South Gippsland that would have served the Gippsland regions of the state.
Imagine that if such ideas had been thoroughly developed we could have two thriving metropolis’ that would have considerably reduced the population congestion of Melbourne with all its subsequent development problems that currently plaque it and cost the state dearly.
There is no doubt in my mind that regional areas would have shown far better development and stability. Both Port cities would also have made it far more economically feasible for a modern fast rail connection such as Adelaide – Mount Gambier – Portland – Warnambool – Geelong – Melbourne – Warragul – Traralgon – Port Albert.
But successive State Governments, both Liberals and Labor, have been so Melbourne centric to the state’s detriment.
The entire November 13, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!