Councils are going crook in Sydney because developers are using fanciful names for new housing subdivisions and councillors reckon they’re geographic phantoms with no relevance to the areas.
One new estate in Blacktown is called Elara. It’s apparently the name of a Las Vegas hotel, a Jupiter moon and a mortal princess in Greek mythology. Other names include Ropes Crossing, Jordan Springs, Willowdale, Bridgewater, The Ponds and Bella Vista.
We’ve got a multitude of subdivision names here including Shiralee, Southcrest , Northern Gardens, Snow Gums, Parklands, Bluestone Lake, Sunset Ridge and Robindale Downs. Except for Shiralee they’re simply a marketing strategy and not the name of the locality, so they really have no relevance either.
That little known quango – the Geographical Names Board, which is based at Bathurst – is tough on councils naming roads and streets to ensure they’re not confusing, racist, derogatory or demeaning or too commercial. They must be easy to spell and preferably not exceed three words.
But the board has nothing to do with developers’ names for subdivisions and they can call them what they like to make them sound more attractive to the market.
Some of the estate names, though, like Wentworth and Ammerdown, have stuck, and that’s confusing when the official suburb or neighbourhood name is lost. Maybe the city council should have a look at these estate ghost names.
COUNTING THE COST OF SPEAKING PLAIN ENGLISH
THE Department of Human Services is apparently up the creek without a paddle. The department is forking out around $140,000 of taxpayers’ money for classes to teach 200 of its senior bureaucrats to speak ‘plain English’ so they can be easily understood when dealing with people with diverse backgrounds and low literacy.
Strike me pink. What next?
Everyday Aussie talk is well and truly alive and kicking because with only a few words, like g’day, owyagoin’, orright? hotenuforyer?, cool, awesome, she’ll be right, give it a go, goodonya, no worries, fairenuf, absolutely, seeya and catch ya, we can hold a sensible conversation.
The way we twist, make up, join and shorten words and phrases has almost reached the stage where people who ‘talk proper’ would be totally misunderstood
In fact, the way we twist, make up, join and shorten words and phrases has almost reached the stage where people who ‘talk proper’ would be totally misunderstood, and that includes the Human Services’ staff who are apparently about as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike trying to communicate.
So spending around $140,000 to educate them to ockerism will no doubt bring tears to the eyes to many taxpayers.
ALL HAIL THE (POTENTIALLY USELESS) CANONS
WITH all the damage hail has caused in the past few weeks to Orange cherries and apple crops and to houses and cars in Sydney and Queensland, it’s interesting to note a few years back Orange orchardists set up hail cannons around Canobolas and fired them every time it looked like a storm.
They were eventually scrapped because of noise complaints.
The cannons sent shock waves into the sky that were believed to prevent ice from forming but there was a lack of scientific evidence they actually impacted weather conditions and minimised hail.
However, Volkswagen still uses hail cannons outside its factory in Puebla, Mexico, to protect new vehicles in storage yards from hailstone damage. But local farmers claimed the cannons have led to a lack of much-needed rainfall and heavy losses of crops so VW has now agreed to only use them when weather conditions determined hail was imminent.
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