THE SS Coalition has hit an iceberg (in the shape of Frankston MP Geoff Shaw) and the crew is now manning the lifeboats.
The Captain, Ted Baillieu, has dived overboard. I swear I can hear the sound of crunching metal, rushing seawater and Celene Dion warbling every time I see a state government polly on the news now.
Worst of all this “crisis” follows news that Victoria is sliding into a recession.
It’s all bleak and desperate and may just hasten the end of the world. Okay, that may be overstating things – but only by a little. Here in South Gippsland we know about adversity and disadvantage, especially when it comes to our Third World roads. People might be shaking their heads and asking, “Where’s the money going to come from now?”
But, I reckon there’s a way to turn it all around.
I had the idea a couple of weeks ago, but I can’t claim to be the first. Call it a phenomenon of collective consciousness or a confluence of thought. Whatever is happening, it’s almost like the Universe is sending us a message.
Rather than complaining about the deplorable state of our potholed thoroughfares, we need to turn the problem to our advantage. And make our potholes a tourist attraction.
Local roads campaigner Lisa Burge told me she is already considering t-shirts, mugs and bumper stickers. The slogans are yet to be fleshed out, but would run along the lines of: “Welcome to pothole country” and “I survived South Gippsland’s roads and all I got was this crappy t-shirt”. A stubby holder could have something like: “I need a stiff drink after driving on South Gippsland’s roads”.
Lisa has also suggested an official tour, with maps to South Gippsland’s worst potholes – something akin to one of those Hollywood star things. The potential problem would be buses falling into the potholes and ensuing lawsuits from the families of Japanese people who decided to take a tour of South Gippsland but were never seen again.
I know this all sounds a bit silly, but if the roads are never going to be fixed lets embrace it.
You could get angry about the inaction of government, shout that nobody gives a damn about people in the country, or you could join me. Embrace it. Nothing’s ever going to change until we initiate change. The only way to rescue our region is tell the world: “South Gippsland has the worst roads in the world. Be brave, come on down.”