Standin’ on a corner – are bypassed towns doomed to die?

Simone - Myth Buster

Simone has a rich background in human geography, demography and urban planning – a background that was useful in her previous roles in the Commonwealth and State Governments, and now as part of the forecast team at .id. From the Queensland coast to the southern suburbs of Perth, Simone produces population and dwelling forecasts that help local governments make informed decisions about future service and planning needs. She is a regular contributor to .id’s blog and has spoken at several conferences on how our cities and regions are changing. She is a big advocate of evidence-based planning and how Census and other data can inform this. Outside of work Simone is a keen traveller and photographer – interests that tie in well with her professional life and help her to understand “place”.

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6 Responses

  1. Brett Flugge says:

    Betcha there has been renewed interest in seeing that corner of town since Glenn Frey’s passing.

  2. Roy Elton says:

    Great intro to a topic that has vexed governments and town planners for decades! While looking at the impact of the Hume Highway is a convenient place to start modelling the question of what happens to small country towns, it should by no means end here. The deeper issue is what happens to towns (generally away from main thoroughfares of travel) where lack of employment opportunities are minimal etc, etc. One – do we need to see these towns to survive in the first instance? and – two – what do we do for those towns that have no picturesque surrounds, minimal resources and no real attractions to drive visitors? How much do visitors pump into a small community?

    • Simone says:

      Thanks for your comment Roy – I totally agree that the conversation need not end here but I merely wanted to demonstrate with an example that was close to home (the Calder Freeway was my other option). With regards towns that are further away from major roads and have a lack of employment opportunities, this is a major social issue. For those without a car it can be extremely isolating. Of course if you have a car, it expands your own personal potential employment region, hence the rise of what I’ve heard termed “extreme commuting”. Certainly some thoughts here for future blogs!

  3. Joe Carmody says:

    Just a small correction – the old Hume Highway never passed through Wandong-Heathcote Junction, so it hasn’t been by-passed. The route of the Hume Freeway – which does now pass very close to Wandong – is here quite different to that of the old Hume Highway, which passed through Wallan and Kilmore (where its route is now known as the Northern Highway) and Broadford. Plans to redirect Northern Highway traffic away from Wallan & Kilmore are now under way, with an elevated monster interchange planned right next to Wandong, whose residents are rightly anxious about its overshadowing of their town.

    • Simone says:

      Thanks for that Joe – I will correct in the text. It’s actually quite hard to source all this information….

  4. Len Sargant says:

    Having just returned from a Highway 61 Blues Music tour of the southern states of the US ( from New Orleans to Chicago ), it was interesting to see how local authorities have tapped into the tourist market through this genre of music and Civil War history to supplement the earning ability of towns along that piece of road communication asset.

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