Have one for Gee­long

Geelong Advertiser - - YOUR SAY -

WE’VE long prided our­selves on be­ing the state’s sec­ond big­gest city.

Big enough to be taken se­ri­ously. But not so big that you lose our lovely spa­cious, coastal vibe and trade it in for the ‘rat race’ feel of a cap­i­tal city-sized me­trop­o­lis and all its at­ten­dant prob­lems of park­ing, trans­port, amenity, im­pa­tience and rude­ness.

But the news that Wyndham City coun­cil has pipped us in the pop­u­la­tion stakes by about 10,000 res­i­dents is cause for con­cern and should have our sense of com­pe­ti­tion stir­ring.

Now, there is a fun­da­men­tal flaw in Wyndham’s pop­u­la­tion boast and its com­par­i­son with Gee­long.

And that is Gee­long is one big city while Wyndham is an ar­bi­trary col­lec­tion of Mel­bourne suburbs such as Hop­pers Cross­ing, Laver­ton and Wer­ribee.

Wyndham’s mayor has said Gee­long needs Wyndham and Wyndham needs Gee­long.

If that’s his plan what Gee­long re­ally needs is a wall.

We agree with our mayor when he says Gee­long has its own iden­tity and we don’t want to be part of Mel­bourne.

We cer­tainly don’t need to be joined at the hip with Wer­ribee — mainly fa­mous for what we can only po­litely re­fer to as its main im­port in­dus­try.

But, as the say­ing goes, quan­tity has a qual­ity all of its own. De­mo­graph­ics drive their own agenda. And Wyndham is cer­tainly in the grip of a pop­u­la­tion boom.

When Peter Costello in­tro­duced the baby bonus he urged Aus­tralians to go for the third child: Have one for mum, one for dad, and one for the coun­try.

While we want to main­tain our idyl­lic life­style and not grow to the size of the cap­i­tal, our re­gion’s pros­per­ity in the face of an age­ing pop­u­la­tion can only be helped by young fam­i­lies who can af­ford it hav­ing that ex­tra baby.

Frank Costa is right, peo­ple should be en­cour­aged to go for that ex­tra bun­dle of joy.

Let’s not let Wyndham out­grow our re­gion.

Have one for mum, one for dad and one for Gee­long.

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