At Kew, nothing is as it seems | The Age Letters Dec’08

THE problems at Kew Cottages (Insight, 13/12) look increasingly like the Jack Nicholson movie Chinatown, in which nothing is ever the way it appears. The promised profit for the disabled is instead a $17 million loss; the new multimillion-dollar houses are not what was on the plans, and the “flagship” development is instead an environmental disaster.

Meanwhile, more than 3000 Victorian families are desperate for short-term respite care for their disabled kids, but have no options. Yet at Kew there are perfectly good buildings, a special swimming pool and other facilities that could all be used immediately, but instead are slated for demolition.

A potential alternative plan for the Kew site, including a statewide respite care centre and integrated community-funded sporting precinct, was recently supported by an upper house select committee. What was the Government’s response? Stubborn silence.

It’s time we all stepped back, deleted the politics and looked at what good things could be achieved with this large piece of public land at this difficult time.

Lindsay Grayson, Kew


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