Unless you’ve been on an Antarctic expedition or living under a rock for the past few months, you will have heard of ‘Mr Fluffy’, which despite the cute and cuddly name, is anything but that. Mr Fluffy was a supplier of a particular type of loose fill insulation material in the 1970s, which has since been found to contain amosite asbestos fibres that have been almost impossible to eradicate despite a government removal program in the 1990s. Remnant loose fibres are believed to still be present in up to 1049 Canberra homes, now known as ‘Mr Fluffy homes’.
In Yojimbo, a lone samurai wanders into a town ruled by a two powerful families who are constantly vying with each other for control. Each family believes the samurai’s skill with a sword will help them to finally overpower the other, and both try to win him to their cause. Meanwhile the samurai begins to play one family off against the other for his own benefit.
Well these days you’re a lot like that samurai, only the powerful families are banks (and there are way more than two of them) and instead of a sword have your mortgage. Now, while you can’t cut the banks in half with your home loan, in today’s market it still gives you a lot of power if you know how to use it.
There is plenty of talk around at the moment about the redevelopment plans for the Northbourne Avenue corridor and what that means for many of the buildings along the route. And much like living with a teenager, whenever a city starts to grow and mature, there will always be a certain degree of angst for all involved. Perhaps we need to take a chill pill, have a good lie down and then start to think about this a bit more rationally.
In the late 1970s/early 80s, Brisbane was experiencing much the same as Canberra is now. There was a firm desire to take the city from what was essentially just a big country town and turn it into a thriving capital. Many beautiful historical buildings in the CBD were razed to the ground to make way for the exciting Southbank precinct that is there today. And who wants an old sandstone building that nobody uses when you can have some great riverside restaurants, right? Well, not quite.