Ideas for WA


perth-from-kings-park

Despite the main thrust of this site being about system changes, this won’t happen overnight. Moreover, putting oneself forward on a single issue makes you largely irrelevant.   So I’m going to put forward a few ideas out that I think are worth progressing.  This list will be added to, and over time I will flesh them out with a bit more detail, and give them a post of their own.

1) A world class drawcard for WA.  WA (and more specifically Perth) really needs a world class drawcard.  And given that we are located rather a long way from anywhere else, it needs to be somewhere that people can visit for at least a few days, or even a week, and most importantly, it needs to be something that people would struggle to get anywhere else, and draws on our strengths as a place worth visiting…

2) Improving the commute.  It is hardly surprising, given that so many have to endure it, that every time a radio or newspaper talks about solutions to commuting, everyone has an opinion!  Unfortunately too many people seem to only want to improve the way that THEY commute, and hang everyone else, whilst if you find ways to improve everyones commute, then it would be better for all.  Again, its not as hard as might first appear, but it needs to be undertaken as an overall strategy, with each part showing benefits to the other parts.

3) Free energy!!  Well, why not?  Over the last twenty years, renewable sources of energy have got cheaper and cheaper, and with possible battery-based solutions to allow energy availability when the source isn’t available (such as solar power at night, or wind power when there is no wind), the opportunity to replace a rather inefficient, and occasionally dangerous, electricity grid must be worth considering and planning for.  We need to start moving towards a carbon free economy, and given we have so many great sources of renewable energy AND an abundance of space, why not try and find a way to make it work.  Imagine the advantage our businesses could have if they didn’t have to incur energy costs?  And there is no reason why we shouldn’t be ready to take advantage of electric vehicle technology which is, by all accounts, just around the corner.

4) Safety or revenue raising?  Unless you drive continually in cruise control, you will have without doubt exceeded the speed limit in your driving career, and if you are unlucky you have been sent a fine and possibly demerits too.  And chances are, your behaviour didn’t cause any major safety drama, indeed probably not even a minor one.  So why are our politicians so fixated on speed cameras?  Perhaps the money is just too good.  But the negative side is that it turns the majority of citizens into law breakers, and instead of making us trust the police more, does the opposite.  We should be serious about road safety, but not stupid.  If accidents happen most at junctions, how about putting more cameras there?   And at school zones when the kids are about.  If we are going to do this right, then lets do it right.  If there is no evidence that these cameras have actually cut the road toll, then lots not have a bit pretence that they have.  And lets stop taxing citizens for behaviour which is not clearly not unsafe.

5) The price of fuel et al.  What is this fuel price cycle nonsense?  It doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world, but seems endemic in Australia, and is different in different cities/states!  What gives?  As far as I can see, it is simply a means for fuel companies to bamboozle the punter who doesn’t know when, where or how he will get the best deal, which just means more profits for them.  Given that fuel is pretty much a staple that we rely on, we seem to be very open to abuse.  We need an in depth study as to why its there, and if the fuel companies can’t explain it, then we might need a bit better regulation in this area.

6) The price of cheese – well, it follows if they are up to nonsense on petrol, then they must be up nonsense here too.  We need to shine a light on the food chain, as we already know that the big supermarket chains are using their size to bully their suppliers.  So what else are they covering up?

7) Banking fees.  Having come from the UK, where I paid NO banking fees on my accounts, as long as I was in credit, I was astonished to find that every bank here does!  But they aren’t a cartel…  yeah, right.  Plus if they could get away with charging more, they would!  What is more, given that I am doing most of their work for them by doing the vast bulk of my banking online now, why should I still be getting charged?  If you want to know why banks are making such large profits, and paying their executives nonsensically large salaries, know that it is because the consumers have the choice between the devil and the deep blue sea.  I say we need to open things up and have a good hard look at what these corporates are up to.

8) What makes WA special…   I love Melbourne.  I really like Sydney too.  So why does everyone seem to think that Perth needs to be more like them?  Why can’t Perth be Perth?  We need to have our own flavour, and not just try to be wannabes.  One thing that I did used to love about Perth was Sundays.  With very few businesses open, you had to go out and do things.  As a family.  Or with friends.  Down to Kings Park for a picnic, to the beach to catch some rays and do some body boarding, or an impromptu barbecue or out for a few beers.  But Sunday is now little different than Saturday, and what value has that added to our lives?  Not much, in my opinion.  And has it made businesses more profitable?  I can’t see how – except to put further squeeze on the small guys, the very businesses that give character.  The last thing we need is for our retail to be limited to the big players with their soulless shops, especially with them playing their own adverts over the PA!  Enough.  Give shop workers a day off, and lets make Sundays a family day again.


About Steve Laing

Political observer, free thinker and problem solver, Steve contends that the current democratic processes have neither kept up to date with globalisation nor modern business practices, resulting in increasing dissatisfaction with modern politics. However, new technology could be used to not only reconfigure our system, but give the electorate even greater representation than was previously the case. For more background information on Steve, please check his LinkedIn profile.

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