Tag Archives: NSW Government

How Did We Get Here?

Vicariously, Cannes

It’s a weird sort of thing, but I have a project headed for Cannes to look for financing this year. It doesn’t happen every year and it’s been a while since I’ve had a script doing the rounds so it feels strange. The producer-director is an Australian citizen, a fellow graduate from AFTRS but he is a migrant from Lithuania, way back when it was a communist satellite state. He is, however, also a member of the European Film Academy. He’s somebody in Europe, as opposed to a struggling borderline unemployable middle aged person back here in Australia; and this owes no small thanks to the complete retreat of the Australian government from supporting the Australian Film Industry.

We have approached Screen Australia for support but the answer we got was that the project was not going to be Australian content so we had no chance of getting any such support. We pointed out that ‘The Great Gatsby’ was hardly Australian content but received millions in investment from  Screen Australia, all on the back of its creatives being Australian and it being shot in New South Wales. The answer we got was “that was Baz and his team. You’re not Baz.”

In other words, Screen Australia supports only that which is already successful and doesn’t need support. No surprises there. Who wants risks in the film industry? Crazier still, the institutional narrowness of having such a selection ‘criterion’ – while well known and understandable – can be a big filter that weeds out successful projects. It seems to be the negative imprint that matches the tremendously unsuccessful commerce that is the Australian Film Industry. Honestly, on some simple level my producer-director ought to be getting more support than he is, just as other producers I’ve worked with ought to have received more support, from their own government agency.

Frankly, it’s a disgrace.

I’ve been wondering about how things came to this path for him and I. Obviously, I am neither European or the sort of screenwriter that aspires to the kinds of art house fare that is being planned with this project, but it still seems to me quite absurd that people properly credentialed as  Australian film makers should have to go look for funding overseas. I will point out that this is the third project in my life that the principal money would have to come from overseas before an Australian bodies would look to support it.

This is my blog, so I’m just registering my bubbling discontent right here. But really, I ought to be happy that my producer-director has hocked his whole life to get to Cannes on his own to look for funding. No? Instead, all I feel is a desire to kick Screen Australia in he crotch.

I guess if my producer-director does get his film up on the back of his trip to Cannes, that would be a kick in the crotch enough.

AUD At US 90c

As David Byrne famously sang “How did I get here?” Here’s a random bit of information. Fox Studios in Sydney still has 22years left on its 40 year lease. For the last 18years it has been going, the second half has been marred by the high Australian dollar. In other words, the service subsector of the Australian Film Industry that faced America, has been knocked out by the mining boom and the subsequent high Australian Dollar. Screen Australia had to pay Baz Luhrman to shoot in Fox Studios in Sydney. The structure of investment right there is “good money after bad”, without even getting into the quality of the project or the returns. In fact Julia Gillard as Prime Minister put money into ‘The Wolverine’ from her office to secure the shoot in Australia.

The irony might be compounded by the fact that the NSW Government gave 20th Century Fox a very favourable deal in that 40yar lease in the hopes that it would lead to a constant churn of projects at the Fox lot in the middle of Sydney, transforming the service sector and infrastructure. Back then, nobody thought the Australian Dollar would rise to parity or that it would stay over US 90cents for so long. The back of the envelope calculations that made it competitive and viable had the Australian Dollar between US45c and 55c.

It’s easy to see that one of the most well equipped studios in the Southern Hemisphere is actually a bit of a white elephant infrastructure; a bit like an expensive Rolls Royce that only gets taken out on a rare Sunday. The Australian Film Industry’s service subsector servicing Hollywood will not get viable again until the Australian Dollar practically halves in buying power again. There’s really no other solution to the structural problem there.


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News That’s Fit To Punt – 18/Mar/2013

Tin Ear Drum, Tin Ears, Tone Deaf

It’s a new week and a new poll says Julia Gillard’s got to go. As far as the electorate’s concerned, she’s a Dead Leader Walking.

The Prime Minister conducted a live-in campaign tour of western Sydney, announced $1 billion for the WestConnex expressway, promised a brace of benefits for workers, pledged $1 billion for aged care staff, attacked foreign workers on 457 visas and championed ”Aussie jobs,” and presided over strong growth in the number of people in jobs.

All for no electoral gain. The only movement in Labor’s primary vote was a 1 per cent rise, which is within the poll’s margin of error of 2.6 per cent. Neither offers to meet voters’ needs nor appeals to their prejudices made any discernible difference. The evidence of the last month is that, as a campaigner, Gillard is ineffectual. So if Gillard can’t do it for Labor, who can?

The poll tested the standing of four alternative leaders – Kevin Rudd and the three Gillard ministers most commonly touted as leadership material, Bill Shorten, Greg Combet and Bob Carr.

Asked whether they would prefer Gillard or Rudd, respondents chose Rudd by exactly two-to-one, 62 per cent to 31. His edge over Gillard on this measure has risen by 5 percentage points in the last month. Asked to choose between each of the other three and Gillard, respondents chose Gillard every time.

”The voters are saying, ‘if we can’t have Kevin Rudd, we’d rather have Julia Gillard over any of the alternatives’,” Stirton concludes. In short, there is no realistic option of a ”third candidate” to lead Labor.

That’s sort of the problem, though, isn’t it? It’s too late to go back to Kevin Rudd because even if they did, they’re not going to win. That choice was way back in February 2012, so as far as we can tell, the ALP is accepting it’s going to go down with all hands, thank you very much Captain Improbable.

Julia Gillard defiantly says she won’t flinch. Well, neither does a corpse, so I don’t know how not flinching is going to help.

”I’ll just keep getting on with it and dealing with the issues that actually matter and all of this kind of side-commentary can do whatever it does. It’s not going to deter me – or distract me.”

Ms Gillard has just emphatically ruled out any prospect of her stepping down before the election, insisting Labor made its decision on leadership when it rejected Kevin Rudd’s challenge last year. ”I haven’t revisited it since and I won’t be revisiting it. The decision’s made.”

But, in an expansive exclusive interview with Fairfax Media, Ms Gillard said Mr Rudd would play a prominent role in the election campaign, saying he would be ”asked to participate in the campaign more broadly than his own electorate”.She also indicated she would not resist a return by Mr Rudd to the front bench after the next election, saying: ”It would obviously be a matter for him that I would deal with in the circumstances of the time.”

Good heavens! After the next election when the ALP gets decimated in the polls, it might be only Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard remaining. She sure as heck won’t be keeping the leader’s seat after she presides over a mess that is likely to go down in history as the mother of all drubbings.

One of the more awful trends in the last few months has been the growing acceptance that come 15th September, it’s going to be Tony Abbott as Prime Minister. It’s like the 5 stages of grieving. We’re done ‘Denying’ it. We’ve been ‘Angry’ for 3years now. Some people are trying to ‘Bargain’.

The optimistic conclusion is this: Life under Tony Abbott may not be as bad as we fear. Perhaps. If we’re lucky. Assuming he’s fair dinkum and his mates don’t succumb to the power aphrodisiac.

I forgot to mention the other finding from the German research was things never turn out as well as optimists predict.
Such is life …

This is what we have been reduced to. I guess I’m going straight to ‘Depression’. It’s going to be very hard to accept Tony Abbott as Prime Minister. There’s something so insidiously  wrong about that – but what can you do? Vote of Julia? Puh-lease!

How Rotten Is NSW Politics?

If anything has been busily hammering the nail into the coffin of the Federal ALP, it’s been NSW ALP with all the horrible bits and pieces coming out of the ICAC inquiry. For a start, the Morbid Obedity that is being explored doesn’t just cover coal; it turns out it covers Ron Medich and the Michael McGurk murder. It even goes far back as Offset Alpine. Eddie Obeid’s right in there with Rene Rivkin. (In fact, that mess of course leads to the Caroline Byrne thing but we won’t go into that here.  The point of all this is that there was a cabal of people in and out of each other’s deals, cleaning up on the scraps left over by government; and Eddie Obeid made sure that he left big scraps on the table and that a sizable portion of the scraps went into his own pockets.)

I seriously wonder if the ALP will survive this scandal. They may not come back for over a decade, both in NSW and Federally. We may be witnessing the end of the ALP. And they would only have themselves to blame.

Oh, let’s never forget that Eddie Obeid’s support and sway over the NSW Right Faction swung the numbers for Bill Shorten and Mark Arbib to oust Kevin Rudd. Julia Gillard may well wonder why she does so badly in NSW. If she could get her head around our deep disgust, then she might even get her head around flinching in revulsion and resigning.

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Morbid Obeidity

‘Obeidity’: A New Word For Rampant Corruption

We knew the NSW branch of the ALP has been very odd for a long time. The depths of the corruption that is coming out in the ICAC hearings is at once unsurprising and yet so repugnant. From what we are to understand from the hearings, Eddie Obeid held the NSW Right faction hostage, placed Ian MacDonald (‘Sir Lunch-a-lot’) in a position where he would have inside knowledge, then used that inside knowledge to stake out a position wherein they would have to be bought out in order for a coal mine to be built, finagled his family trust into owning the mining concern that would win the tender on the back of knowing where the coal was, and by having Ian Macdonald decide who would win the tender. In the process, Ian Macdonald had side deals with Greg Jones and a cast of characters have either opted in (and out); all of it as a result of the shenanigans carried out by Obeid and Ian Macdonald.

The surprising thing in all this is that the fast and furious chopping and changing of Premiers from Morris Iemma to Nathan Rees to Kristina Kenneally may have been done to preserve Obeid’s advantages in the various deals and had nothing to do with:

  • Points of public policy
  • Policy differences on public policy
  • Inner ALP politics and machinations for political advantage
  • Inner NSW Right factional politics for political advantage.

No, no, no, no, no! Eddie Obeid was pulling strings and throwing his weight around just so he could have his snout firmly entrenched in the comings and goings in these deals. That all the public incredulity and angst about the state of the ALP over these changes had sweet fuck all to do with anything of actual importance. It was all about the Obeids getting more out of the public purse. So, it may well be that since Bob Carr left office as Premier, NSW politics has essentially stood still, unable to do anything because these corrupt toads were  busy filling their own pockets and making out like bandits. And if nothing else it explains how the extremely insufferable and stupid Kristina Kenneally came to be our Premier. The Obeids played us all for suckers and stuck a muppet with hair up there, knowing full well that voting was just some kind of popularity contest when the real deal was the deal making to stuff one’s own coffers.

The true tragedy in all this is that the ICAC can’t lay charges, and that the DPP won’t be able to prosecute the Obeids unto a conviction because the ICAC evidence won’t necessarily fit through that tight door into the courtroom. That’s right. Eddie Obeid and his family just might get away with all this. I *hate* saying this but the Angry Fat Man is right: this is moral turpitude at its most flagrant worst.

And we’re all the poorer for it. All those policy points we’ve argued about and waited for our government to action, such as public transport or infrastructure spending never really took any part of Eddie Obeid’s greedy little mind. It didn’t matter who lobbied whom, none of it was ever going to happen (and didn’t) because frankly this guy did not give a shit about public policy – at all – And he just rope-a-doped his way through office, hardly turning up, pulling down his salary (and the Parliamentarian superannuation now), just being generally obstructionist so that nothing that got in his way, got done.

So the question today is this: given the Obeid/ICAC thing, the Craig Thomson thing, and the Nova Peris/ Trish Crossin thing, (not to mention the Rudd removal) how can we bring ourselves to even contemplate voting for the ALP in all good conscience? How do we know the next candidate they put up in Dobell to replace Craig Thomson won’t be some union hack or some low grade party apparatchik? How do we know Nova Peris won’t become a corrupt politician with her snout firmly embedded in the public purse, and un-removable by dint of her ethnicity? Forget high ideals and lights at the top of the metaphorical hill; where the heck are we supposed to find any faith in this mob?

It’s bad enough that we’re confronted with a 2-Tax Systems Tony Abbott and his attack-poodle-of-death Christopher Pyne. Just what the hell are we supposed to do? Vote for these muthers?

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Won’t Have Kristina To Dick Around Anymore

No Splintering To The Left

I have to admit that I must be pretty radical when it comes to the political spectrum. I’m not exactly a communist – far from it, but I sure as hell don’t run with the conservatives come hell or high water. Which chased me into my choice of voting Green. I don’t regret it even though in my seat, the Green candidate won’t come close to the line. The Liberal Candidate ended up with a 25% or so swing in his favour according to the election night telecast on TV. (Thanks Angela D’Amore, you are the gift that keeps on giving, like a Herpes virus).

I’m a little amused that Kerry O’Brien started off the night by saying it was going to be a bloodbath, everybody knows the result; the only question is just how much of a bloodbath. Even more amusing was the ALP colour commentator they had – Luke Foley, I think he’s called – who came across as somebody with an IQ of about 75. He had to admit it was catastrophic, the resulting devastation was going to be cataclysmic and that the ALP were going to have to do a lot of soul searching. Well, d’uh.

I guess nobody looks smart when their heads are getting beaten in; and yet even he had one reason to crow and that was that Carmel Tebbutt was likely to hold Marrickville against Fiona Byrne, and went on to bag out Fiona Byrne for being a terrible  candidate for the Greens.

Which all got me to thinking how much of the ALP vote that might have been swinging votes and traditional votes ran to the right into the arms of the Liberal and National Parties. Luke Foley was saying that the ‘Labor Heartland’ no longer exists. That might be true, and by extension this might be one of those elections that changes the state for ever. The ALP may not be able to win in NSW until well past 2020. And if the Hawke-Keating years and  the Howard years proved something, 10+years can change the culture of a place dramatically. NSW might turn into an arch-conservative state.

So where does that leave me with my radicalised environmental vote? Gagging on my recycled materials wooden spoon.

The Rush To The Right

Given the sort of miasma and nauseating whirlwind that was the Labor government of the last 4 years, it’s not surprising that the middle rushed to the right, just pull the handbrakes on the craziness. I don’t know if it’s even a rational choice given that 79% of the electorate don’t know what the Coalition’s policies are and that 65% voted them in.

The poll is at odds with predictions that the gap between the parties would narrow as voters paid more attention closer to the election. It suggests voters switched off long ago.

Asked how much they felt they knew about the Coalition’s policies, 79 per cent said they knew either ”little” or ”nothing at all”, with just 21 per cent saying they knew a lot.

Knowledge of Labor’s policies was slightly better, with 68 per cent saying they knew little or nothing and 31 per cent saying they knew a lot.

This could mean that a lot of people are going to wake up tomorrow and wonder just what the hell they’ve done but I guess it’s too late for that now. The ALP haven’t done much for the image of stability. That Karl Bitar fellow and ‘protected’ US informant Mark ‘The Mole’ Arbib have done over Morris Iemma, Nathan Rees,while doing the same Federally for Kevin Rudd and helping Julia Gillard to a hung Parliament has made the ALP a laughingstock in most conversations I’ve come across.

The unfortunate upshot is that it’s pushed a lot of people to the right, and it amazes me how unimaginative people are when it comes to their politics. Here’s the thing. I voted Greens last time too, but I preferenced ALP. If Nathan Rees was still Premier, I might have been persuaded to still vote ALP even. As soon as they dumped Rees and put in Kenneally I vowed they would not get my vote, and it’s a sentiment that’s been shared by many people I’ve spoken to. I’m amazed that most of the people who felt that way took it as a cue to vote in Barry O’Farrell, but I guess that’s the 2 party system for you.

In any case, it’s not like all is lost for the ALP faithful of NSW. It’s just a bleeding state election to kick out a tired, over-ripe, incompetent ALP government. Surely some of those who ran to vote in Barry O’Farrell will come back as prodigal votes. It’s the nature of politics.

Can The Greens Get Beyond The Marginalia Of Politics?

On the basis of tonight’s result, I think this is going to be a tougher ask than I thought. So far it’s counting about 11%. That suggests that:

  • 10 out of 11% are crackpot socialists and tree-hugging hippies and dope-smoking Newtown-ites.
  • Only the extra 1% represent the people who jumped to the left. The 20% swing to the right represent the middle.

I think 1% is an incredibly hard basis to build a platform upon when you’re already outnumbered 10 to 1 by the loonies in your own party. 13% at the Federal election was a good showing, but in closer examination, the Greens are still the party of feral-loonies, druggies, hippies the dispossessed and socialist-idiots.

By contrast, at 50% of the vote, the current crop of Coalition voters are people with desperate mortgages and the NIMBY crowd. Laura Norder didn’t even factor into it this time around.

One Final Thought About Kristina Kenneally

I’ll be flayed for writing this, but what the hell. Everything else is going down in flames.

I’m thinking that Kristina Kenneally has to represent the end of the line of that crappy brand of 1980s feminism that saw male chauvinism layered in to every text and wrote post-modern essays about gender politics in Shakespeare to Bananarama. Let’s call it, ‘Quota Feminism’ for want of a better tag. It gave us Verity Firth and Carmel Tebbutt and Angela D’Amore and Virginia Judge and Kristina Kenneally in an awful hurry.

Here’s the thing: If that line of thinking really had merit, Kenneally and company would have been more persuasive figures – And I do say this with my deepest condolences to the Po-Mo 1980s feminists I know, but the rise of Kristina Kenneally (and to some extent Julia Gillard) has got to be one of the more abstruse and disaffecting manifestations of that line of thinking.

Was it any good? Goodness, the proof sure is in the pudding tonight, isn’t it? Half the electorate ran screaming to a patriarchal-looking Barry O’Farrell. Doubtless Germaine Greer is going to write an article for The Observer over in the UK saying how this proves we’re all sexist shits in NSW, and how Kristina Kenneally was defeated by the forces of backward oppressive patriarchal men. But you see, that’s exactly where the ideological rot is at.


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On The Eve Of The NSW Election

Vote Green

I was at the usual shop picking up lunch when I ran into some people I always meet. One of them said he was thinking of voting for the Greens. The other was a gnarled mechanic in overalls saying the Greens want to bring in death duties. I interjected, “well why not?”

“Kerry Packer said why should his family give up money so you can misuse it?” the older guy retorted.

“For the common good. That’s why. I mean Jamie Packer didn’t exactly work for that money. Why the hell should he get such a big head start in life on account of his dad being obscenely rich?”

“Yeah but if my mum dies and she leaves half a million, why should the government tax that?”

“For the common good.”

“…But they’ll only waste that.”

“…and you’d only sit on it for you own pleasure. How’s that helping anybody? If it’s all the same, the 15% they would take from it would be put to better use than you sitting on it,” I offered. “I mean, you didn’t earn it. Your mum did; and when she goes, she can’t take it with her, so a portion may as well go to the state, because the state probably looked after her as much as you with its hospitals and doctors and nurses.”

You should have seen the guy’s expression. He was apoplectic with rage. I said, “mate, don’t worry. I think they should tax everybody more, but that’s just me. We don’t pay enough taxes as it is and we wonder why our hospitals are clogged with waiting lists.”

He looked even angier.

“I mean, tax everybody. Who really cares?” I continued. “The money you get taxed, do you really miss it? There’s still enough for you to pay your bills and pay your rent and still have a drink with your mates. I mean what were you going to do with it that was going to change other people’s lives? That’s what governments do, so give them what they need.”

“…But they’ll waste it,” he offered again. “That’s what governments do. They waste it.”

“What? On hospitals and ambulances and police and emergency rescue workers and all that? Roads and trains and water and sewerage treatment and electricity? How about schools for kids, day care centres for infants and libraries and colleges and TAFE? Apprenticeship schemes where you got your training, it’s all a waste is it?”

“Bullshit mate,” he snarled, grabbed his lunch, and stormed out. Couldn’t say I blamed him. I’d hate to be harangued by me while picking up my lunch too.

The first guy said, “I’ve been back to Greece and when you go to the country side, they have nothing. No roads, no schools, no sewerage or running water. It’s like medieval times. They don’t even know about taxes. Never even heard of the idea, let alone paid it. And the place is so backwards and they wonder why. So yeah, taxes are fine by me,” he said.

Apparently, that’s the way things are in the spiritual home of democracy and a country racked with sovereign debt issues.

So vote green, peeps! Vote for higher taxes for the rich. Get a little Bolshy. Higher taxes never killed anybody.

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The Lady Deserves A Beating

Sexism? I think Not

Kristina Kenneally may not indeed be the most odious Premier of NSW. It is a point I must concede. After all, Robert Askin sounds like he was as crooked as they come, and Bob Carr seems like one of the most insufferable human beings a man could meet. Nick Greiner left such a slimey impression what with his board memberships on so many dodgy PPPs, and Neville Wran was… Neville Wran.

The point being it is entirely possible she has not been the worst human being to grace the position of Premier of NSW. However, this puff piece had me choking.

During Verity Firth’s husband’s ecstasy scandal last week, Keneally’s staff almost fell over laughing when asked if their boss had dabbled with drugs. She similarly fails to grasp sexual innuendo during office banter, they say.

For all these reasons the Premier is likely to recoil, rightly, at the disturbingly sexist view of her that has arisen in focus groups assembled by the Liberal Party.

A senior Liberal source says a theme has emerged, particularly among male voters, that can be boiled down to: Keneally is the one-night stand who was fun at the time but insisted on hanging around the next morning, even though you wanted her to leave.

It’s always hard to know if selected snippets of internal polling like this reflect the true results or, more likely, illuminate one element for damaging effect. But there’s no argument that opinion polls showed voters had an immediate attraction to Keneally when she took on the job from Nathan Rees in December 2009.

”It was a flirtation, or some sort of infatuation,” the senior Liberal said. ”She’s obviously attractive but it was more than that; it was a novelty to have an American as premier – an American woman as premier.”

Almost everyone is surprised by how hard and fast Keneally fell in the polls when the love affair ended – to the extent that she now lags the Liberals’ Barry O’Farrell by 20 percentage points as preferred premier.

If people believe they’ve somehow been taken in by Keneally, that’s their view, fine. But our first female premier deserves better than being objectified because of her gender.

The last bit  is nuts. What she deserves is the line from ‘Unforgiven’, “deserve’s got nothing to do with it.” along with the electoral bullet to put her out of her misery.

But before getting to that point, here are at least 2 problems of Kenneally’s own links to scandal that this article glosses over. Number 1 is of course just how deep her dealings with Ron Medich (and the whole corrupt dealing aspect of Medich’s empire) actually go, and number 2 is the allegation that the Barangaroo contract for car parks benefits her husband Ben directly. So no, it is not true to say she is scandal free herself.

The four women who marched in to replace Nathan Rees with Kristina Kenneally as Premier, if I recall correctly were Verity Firth, Angela D’Amore, Carmel Tebbutt and Virginia Judge. Of these 4 MPs, Verity Firth’s in this drug scandal with her husband even if she had nothing to do with the said pill; Angela D’Amore has since been found to have been corrupt and been kicked out of the ALP; Virginia Judge has been accused of handing out grant money to her mates; which leaves Carmel Tebbutt the only one free of scandals.

I think the electorate has actually been highly supportive of the politically correct/anti-sexist line to the extent that when these women engineered the first female premier of NSW – though unelected she may be – the electorate perhaps was willing to give her a go. Okay, it’s true, I made a commitment to never vote for her government – one which I will keep – but other people around me have been umm-ing and aah-ing. They’ve told me they like the reality of having a female mayor of Sydney, a female Premier of NSW, a female Prime Minister and a female Governor General, plus a Queen.

In other words, sexism isn’t what’s going to kick Kristina Kenneally out. In all realistic appraisal, when Kristina Kenneally’s government does get voted out on 26th of March this year, it would be because of the collective shenanigans of all the NSW ALP members and staffers. That she contributed very little to the parade of scandals is not going to persuade people to keep this NSW government. Any argument mounted in favor of Kenneally’s government should face up to that daunting, brutal, frank reality.

In that light, the article was one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read in the SMH in a long time.

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Public Private Perversions

What A Downer

The news of the week was the price collapse of Downer, which was supposed to deliver new trains about 18 months ago. It hasn’t, and as a consequence, the shares for Downer EDI went down 25% or so on Thursday, only to dead-baby-bounce up 5% yesterday. (It’s interesting how a dead baby metaphorically bounces higher than a dead cat, but there you go). So today, there’s this article about how all of the Public Private Partnerships have gone awry.

The cash-strapped NSW government was among the worst. If you had to concoct a list of vital infrastructure needs, virtually no one would have come up with a short tunnel from Balmain to Randwick.

But the Cross City Tunnel became a reality because the government needed cash and the investment bankers advising it knew they could sell the project to gullible investors. They worked the numbers backwards. They knew how much cash the project needed to generate, and then calculated how many cars needed to run through the tunnel to generate the cash flow. Brilliant!

And to achieve those traffic numbers, roads would be closed to ensure commuters were forced to pay.

These were projects designed not to achieve a public benefit, to solve traffic management problems, but to deliver windfall gains to a cash-strapped administration. The same process was repeated on the Lane Cove Tunnel and on the Brisbane projects.

It’s nice to see the Sydney Morning Herald finally spelling out just what has been wrong with this state under the ALP. This awareness of how bad these PPPs have been, is a story that’s been waiting to break for 15 years, except now that we all know how profoundly fucked they are, there’s nothing we can do to fix them.

Anyway, somebody I know has been working over at Downer EDI and the last time I ran into him, he was pissed as a newt spilling interesting stories about how they *don’t* work at Downer. He went out to a rail yard where they were allegedly building these carriages, and all day long he couldn’t see anybody do anything resembling work. The workers all milled around in groups sucking on ciggies. He couldn’t believe that was the rail carriages “being built”.

There were other stories which if I divulged here would probably cause a big stink, but the sum total of the stories was that it is going to be a long time before those trains get anywhere near running on rail tracks. Believe me, I’d love to write them all here, but I don’t want to be the Julian Assange of NSW rail, so you can all forget about it. 🙂

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