Home life Melbourne

Moving the borders

A mysterious group of faceless bureaucrats loosely arranged into a group called the Place Names Committee has been busy moving suburban boundaries around Melbourne again. Apparently they take submissions from local councils, residents, and anybody else who can be bothered moaning about it, then they get together with a Melways and a few beers and decide that a particular suburb should shrink and an adjacent one should grow.

This invariably seems to result in the more popular suburbs expanding, since if a boundary moving were to result in somebody’s house being worth less money because it was suddenly in a less popular suburb, all those people who seem to spend all their time worrying about whether or not it makes economic sense to go and sell their home and drag their family into a new one to make a capital gain would take to the streets in protest. Or at least they’d write a lot of indignant letters.

Having your house suddenly be in a more popular suburb doesn’t, of course, make it any sunnier or less polluted. It doesn’t make it more crime-free or stop dogs using your nature strip as a toilet, and it certainly doesn’t mean that your annoying neighbours will move out in search of somewhere more downmarket. It’s all about marketing. East Malvern instead of Chadstone. Yarraville instead of Spotswood.

So, this time round, Gardenvale got a little smaller, Elsternwick got a little bigger. Moorabbin shrunk, while Bentleigh bloated. I have a theory that in about fifty years, all the down-market-sounding suburb names will have disappeared completely, and everyone in Melbourne will live in Toorak, Bentleigh, Williamstown or Ivanhoe.

Meanwhile in my little neck of the woods, the more-or-less stable but tiny Glen Huntly (they confine the arguments to whether or not there should be a space in the name), I just want to have a whinge about the stupidity of my neighbours. How is it that people who apparently have enough intelligence to stay alive in this complex society of the end of the twentieth century, are unable to understand the concept of recycling?

There’s a small bin in the carpark, which is for bottle, can and milk carton recycling. But can you guess what these people have put in it from time to time?

  • shards of broken glass
  • cigarette cartons
  • egg boxes
  • old shoes
  • plastic bags full of miscellaneous crap

If you answered All Of The Above, you’ll understand how irritating it is to have to remove this crap from the bin. If I don’t, the recycling contractors, being the lazy gits they are, will just leave the whole bin, including my immaculately sorted cans and bottles.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.