A ‘shonky’ decision
November 17, 2011
While I have enough to protest about concerning government approval of developments that encroach on sensitive environmental areas in Australia, I feel driven to register my dismay at the reported ministerial approval of the industrial development that threatens to encroach on Devonshire Marsh.
When I was a teacher of Junior Science at Purvis School in the 1970s, I used to take some solace from places like Devonshire Marsh. Even then land that wasn’t developed or urbanised [or " garden-ised"] was at a premium. But, I thought, at least little areas like this have been set aside to give some "breathing space," a reminder of what the old natural vegetation of the island[s] was like. The value of such pockets of space and vegetation cannot be over-emphasised, especially in a tiny country like Bermuda.
Now, alas, it seems that this space is no longer afforded the protection it deserves. One has to say that there seems something very irregular about this procedure. In Australia we have a useful word: 'shonky'. Not that plenty of dubious activity of a shonky nature regarding developments and the environment doesn't occur Down Under. If an irregularity of ministerial procedure has occurred, then it seems that it would be appropriate for the Premier of the present government [or the current Minister of the Environment] to rectify the situation by revoking this governmental approval.
Sometimes when I survey some of the occurences in my own area, or other countries I know and love Britain, the Solomon Islands, I feel like the poet who lamented, 'By the Rivers of Babylon we sat down and wept...' In this case it is not literal servitude one laments, but what the Scots philosopher David Hume termed The Natural Depravity of Mankind. In so-called free societies, governments and their actions, which have impact on that society and a country's present and future well being, are accountable to [dare I say it?] the people, the electorate. I hope the people will take note. [That is, I think ministers should be 'available for comment',]
I wish Bermuda well and I'm sure, like many lovers of the country, hope to see Bermuda served responsibly by its public servants. A Bermuda whose last remaining reserves and parks are encroached on in this manner cannot, I maintain, be said to do this.
Byron Bay, NSW, Australia