IS the renaming of all major roads in NSW a waste of money?
Roads Minister Duncan Gay says they’ll be changed to an alpha-numeric system that will cost $20 million to roll out.
Highways will become motorways and will start with M with a numeral attached while roads of national significance will be named A and roads of state significance will be named B.
So if you’re heading off to Cowra, for example, you’ll be on the B81. Going to Wagga on the Olympic Highway you’ll take the A41.
On a trip to Sydney through Katoomba you’ll travel on the A32 or the B59 if you go on Bells Line of Road.
The Newell will become the A39 and the Hume Highway will become the M31.
The Pacific highway will be the M1 from Wollongong through Sydney to Newcastle and the A1 from Newcastle north. It will also be the A1 from Wollongong south.
The idea is the changes will make going places easier, particularly on roads that involve a number of different names.
But $20 million?
Around Orange we have lots of Mitchell Highway signs that will need to be changed and it’s anyone guess what will happen to names like Burrendong Way and Escort Way.
You’d think some of the $20 million would be better spent fixing some of the roads around here rather than putting up new signs adding some A’s and B’s and numbers.
If you reckon every second vehicle in your rear vision mirror is one of those ugly four-wheel-drives that attack your back bumper like cranky bull terriers, you’re pretty well on the money.
Of 38,515 vehicles registered in Orange up to June 30 this year, 6,828 are four-wheel-drives and 5,660 are tradies-type utes, making a total of 12,488, which is nearly as many as the 15,431 cars registered here.
And Orange motor dealers, doing very nicely, are adding to these figures with big sales.
In the first seven months of this year they’ve sold 1,815 new vehicles and of these 648 were cars, 561 four-wheel drives and 324 light tradies’ utes.
In the 2800 postcode, the number of new vehicles sold was higher with a total of 2,008 including 717 cars, 621 four-wheel drives and 359 light utes.
For country sales figures, only Wagga Wagga with 2,117 new vehicles is doing better than us. Tamworth dealers sold 1,874 vehicles, Dubbo 1,520 and Bathurst 1,451.
The most popular vehicle colour is white, followed by silver, grey and black.
One for the drive
A taxi driver asks a Scottish visitor wearing the full cossie of kilt and sporran whether it’s his first visit to Orange.
“Ai,” he says. “And not only that but I’m on my honeymoon.”
“That’s great but where’s your wife?” the cabbie asks.
“Oh, she’s been here before.”
Media Watch scrutiny
It’s interesting to see that ABC program Media Watch had to apologise this week for breaching the ABC's Code of Practice which requires reasonable efforts be made to give people an opportunity to respond to allegations made about them.
Really, if ever there was a nit-picking show on TV, Media Watch fits the bill.
A few years ago I featured on this program and was well and truly dudded.
I had written a story for a Sydney newspaper on historian and special events promoter Dr Jonathan King who was directing celebrations in the high country town of Corryong for the 100th anniversary of the publication of Banjo Paterson’s book, The Man from Snowy River and Other Verses.
Dr King had run up against an unexpected obstacle of political correctness.
Talking to him for the story he said he had been knocked back by sponsors and TV networks because they claimed The Man from Snowy River was too sexist.
He said one network would consider doing something if he changed the celebrations to The Person from Snowy River to give an equal balance to genders so women were featured in the story along with other minority, ethnic and gay groups.
Dr King said it was impossible to rewrite history to fit in with what was politically correct.
He said: “I can’t transform The Man from Snowy River into a gay horse rider who’s having an affair with Clancy of the Overflow and that’s why they spend all their time together in the bush. Neither can I say he was a feminist sympathiser helping to promote the women’s movement because you can’t apply politically correct values from the present day back to 1895.”
After my story appeared in the Sunday newspaper a woman from Media Watch phoned to ask which TV network was involved and I told her she should speak to Dr King and gave her his mobile number.
She said she would and thanked me. That was it.
But Media Watch didn’t contact Dr King and that night’s program singled me out for an attack for “beating up a story without knowing who made the complaints, who the sponsors were and which TV network wanted the name change.”
And so on and so on and so on ...
It looks as though nothing has changed with this mob.
There’s 11 people involved in producing Media Watch and it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money.