Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Lockhart, a nice little town in rural NSW

I spent a day and a night in the tiny town of Lockhart just recently. Just a town of around 800 people, but obviously a great council and an ample supply of artists. A notable feature were the sculptures that were seen all around the town. 

It's in NSW,  around a half hour's drive from Wagga Wagga, an hour from Albury.

It is an artistic town, with some wonderful street art. 

The best of them all

On the basis of our temporary stay and talking with a couple of the residents, the two big problems experienced by this little town are both caused by government.  
 The first is that they absolutely do not want their Council to be amalgamated with another.  This is a push from State Government, with the purported reason that small councils cannot survive into the future. Since their success up to date is disregarded, I wonder if the real reason is some State Government bureaucrat wanting more power.  In our travels we've seen signs in so many rural towns - 'NO FORCED AMALGAMATION.' 
The other is that the so-called NBN rollout has reached Lockhart. (National Broadband Network)   NBN was supposed to deliver much faster internet speeds, and was to have given preference to places remote from cities, the places that need it most.  Well, that was years ago, the plan has been repeatedly downgraded, and according to the locals we spoke to,  their recently acquired  'NBN' amounts to a WIFI hotspot from a tower.  If you are in 'line of sight,' you can get it, if not, forget it.  But worse, it has messed up all other avenues, and even TV.  They spoke of a 'shield' that stops TV signals from Albury, as they used to have.  I don't know about that, but what I do know is that it's the first place in Australia, that we had no TV at all.  (Caravan, small antenna.)  Many no longer have internet. Farmers have no hope.  So much for the talk of ensuring good internet access for country people so that they would no longer be disadvantaged. 

I liked Lockhart.  It's just a shame that the government is so inept in their interference.  Though maybe they've done good things in other aspects.  We were only there very briefly.