Flat White

Patronising the arts

24 April 2019

1:30 PM

24 April 2019

1:30 PM

The first of an occasional series by the Flat White team.

“The Massachusetts of the south.” That’s how John Howard once described Victoria.

How does this work in practice? Well, former Melbourne lord mayor Robert Doyle should perhaps thank his lucky stars he never got involved any Chappaquiddick-style scandals, but that’s sorta by the by.

Here’s a better illustration. The business lobby candidate won the election to replace Doyle when his alleged activities in the pants department were revealed. Now the Melbourne City Council wants to cut the city speed limit to a 30 kph crawl as an opening fusillade in a war against the car. A business lobby controlled council, not one run by the Greens, wants to dissuade people from visiting the CBD in private vehicles to shop, consult professionals, visit its galleries and museums, enjoy the theatre, a drink or a meal – to do business, in other words.

But said Council is happy to throw cash at the wildly woke Yarramboi indigenous arts festival over 10 days next month.

Here’s something that struck us as a particular attraction:

Free! Just think of that. As the old sooth goes, the labourers are worthy of their hire. Presumably the same applies to the price paid for their work.

John Batman, the now highly problematic founder of the city, supposedly declared “This is the place for a village” when he found the gently sloping spot by the River Yarra where Melbourne now stands.

A modern seafarer drawing to the shores come midnight on May 4 may hear the cacophony erupting from the Town Hall and wonder if the swamps of Albert Park or the Moonee Ponds Creek are still inhabited by bunyips.

Illustrations: Melbourne City Council/Yirramboi.

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