Rubber collar with Andrew Charlton

Labor candidate Andrew Charlton is smart, successful, rich and handsome, but wait, how about that neck?

Labor candidate for Parramatta Andrew Charlton alongside Anthony Albanese (Image: AAP / Flavio Brancaleone)

In the middle of Parramatta Square on a dark weekday evening, tired workers coming home, glass towers soaring above the tangle of cyclone wire, plastic sheeting and a few remaining shops, I looked at a particular history of the horror in glass and steel, and I thought, “That building is fucking that other building.”

All the while, the building did not stand still: it was vast, low and long, with the sides of sheets and panels of glass and twisted metal, expanding in all directions. It loomed behind the old two-story, yellow brick, graceful Victorian Town Hall, overshadowing its modest roof and arches, and, well, it reached just the back of it.

It was a very neat trick, I thought, because it ruined the look of both buildings, without giving either of them the necessary space. Put together in ways that some concept documents no doubt claim to be “deconstructive rearrangement of urban syzygy,” the whole scheme has failed, stupid and very, very 21st century Parramatta. On Google Maps, I left a pin at the building address. PHIVE, it was said. FIVE?

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