I sometimes ponder on the rationale people use when selling assets, especially councils to raise funds for infrastructure spending.
Councils sell assets such as vacant land to raise funds to improve roads or pay for bridges for example. The problem with this scenario is that once the asset has been sold and the money spent you no longer have the asset growing in value for you and generally the money that has been spent on the bridges you cannot recoup again.
As councils can borrow funds at such low rates, would it not be an option to actually develop some of the sites and have productive assets instead?
For example if you had industrial land why not improve the value of the asset by building storage sheds on them? Then there would be a regular income stream to put towards the infrastructure spend required. These are low maintenance and only require small management.
Then there is an asset that is growing in value and working for instead of against them unlike just vacant land and the cost of maintaining it.
So much of our land is sold off, including parkland, by the state government or councils and they don’t always consider the impact this has on the local community. The community uses this land for their children and outdoor activities for their families.
Children desperately need open space to run around on and interact with other children. The technology age in which we live in does not support connection with others, children often sit alone behind a computer screen, and have emotions directed to a game or even still pent up with no outlet at all.
We need to encourage more community engagement for our society and come back to simple living and spending time again with each other, supporting each other.
How does this all relate back to asset sell off, well there is much more to consider than the choice in front of us. How do we affect the community as a whole when decisions like this are made? Does selling everything mean that we will have income in the future? I suspect not.
We may need that income stream to support buying back land that the state government has ear marked to sell for development so we can keep our parklands locally.
We forget about the people at times and stop listening to our community, putting money and profit in front of sensible decisions, for the simple reason of, “that’s what we have always done”. Let’s start looking outside the square and be open to more options for our future.
The simplest of ideas in my experience have grown to be the platform that our society stands on and these always include people first.