Don’t you just love it when people come down here and fill your ears with stuff we’ve been banging on about for years? It happened again recently, this time an acquaintance of mine, a chap who dabbles in politics and motivational speaking. Here are his words in full.
“Friend,” he began, “lend me an ear. I have a few things to say and keep in mind that although I may seem arrogant, I am an honourable man.
“It will not be my intention to talk down to you, or to bury your pretty little Albany, but to empower you and your fellow townies.
“You know what you should do with York Street? Pull it up and install a tram. Tourists want an old fashioned mode of transport on an old fashioned street. This should connect with a high-speed railway that brings people direct from Perth.
“What’s more, given the allure of Albany, why aren’t there direct flights from Singapore, Hong Kong, New York and Buenos Aires. Pam Am should be offering holiday packages to cashed-up private equity partners and merchant bankers looking to escape the next financial crisis.
“Albany has all the allure of Copacabana, but all the attraction of Darkan. What are you making of it? From what I can see, nothing.
“Your port could house a permanent steamship docked as a museum and testament to the grand old days when Albany lived and breathed the life of a major town, rather than the coughing and choking life of a decaying appendage on a mighty state’s rump.
“Think big – hot air balloons over Ellen cove; hover-craft running from the Boatshed to the Yacht Club. Build yourselves a chair lift from Mt Clarence to Mt Melville; a water slide from Mt Adelaide to Middleton Beach; install giant emu’s at emu point and a hair restoration facility at Bald Head.
“And that sand patch at Middleton Beach, that’s prime land down there and ideal for a Scarborough beach type development featuring wine bars, small intestinal restaurants, a drag strip and luxurious multi-story apartments. Haven’t you got any property developers in Albany?
“This town needs a focus, a major entertainment centre, coffee shops, markets selling fresh produce and you should make something out of your Anzac connection.”
He offered to forward me list of suitable entrepreneurs and property developers, all friends of his and all honourable men.
I offered to drive him out to the airport and, amazingly, a plane arrived. I shoved him on it and encouraged the pilot to take him somewhere else, and leave him there.