Something Stupid

Posted: February 21, 2013 in Local Politics, North West Rail Link, Politics

I hear a lot of complaints about the media in this country, most of them revolving around bias. It is true that the Federal Opposition appear to have the loudest voice in the media currently, with the exception probably being the ABC and the Independent media online.

The media tell us that this is important as it is the oppositions job to hold the government to account, and the press also plays a major role in that process. This is fair enough I guess, but it is a rule that doesn’t seem to apply in NSW, as the opposition don’t seem to have an outlet for their voice here.

Maybe the press don’t think that Barry O’Farrell and the Coalition need holding to account? There are some exceptions, but it would be nice if the press could actually practice what they preach, even occasionally.

Personally, I think they need to be held to account, in a major way.

When describing the NSW Coalition Government I hesitate to use the word incompetent. The reason I hesitate, is that the word incompetent actually contains the word competent, and I would hate to give the false impression that any part of the Coalition we have running the circus sideshow we call a state government at the moment contains anything competent at all.

The motley crew of would-be politicians who make up this Coalition, the same bunch who needed the auditor general to find the $1Billion they lost have screwed up epically yet again.

Only a fool could misplace $1Billion. A fool and the NSW Coalition I mean....

Only a fool could misplace $1Billion. A fool and the NSW Coalition I mean….

The underground one day, above ground the next North West Rail Link has once again highlighted this governments total lack of ability to handle anything that may involve a dollar sign somewhere down the track.

The government that pitched itself as the “financially conservative party” have taken 13 straight budget surpluses from the former government and delivered two budget deficits.

They have done this while “misplacing” a billion dollars, giving $300 Million in tax cuts to pokie machine operators, giving $5.3 Million in rent cuts for jettys to those with a boat in a house on the harbour, spending $4.43 Million on furniture for treasury, and a whopping $230 Million on Consultancy.

Conservative indeed.

This week, it has emerged that there has been a bit of a blowout in the figures for the North West Rail Link. A whopping $35 Million blowout.

A breakdown of the contracts that have blown out and are now costing we the taxpayer money we would have rather seen go to health or education can be seen via the pdf linked below.

Nth West Rail Link cost blow outs so far

It needs to be remembered that this $35 Million is only these contracts and only now, how many more do we have to look forward to blowing out moving forward? This rail link has years and years to go before coming even close to being finished yet and figures are already blowing out to this degree.

No matter how many times we hear local politicians and local Liberal councillors blowing smoke up our arses and telling us how happy they are with the Rail Links progress, people are not stupid. Knocking down a house is not construction, making expensive brochures is not progress, it is spin and bullshit, and taxpayers are not impressed at all.

Construction or destruction? Local Libs Google it....

Construction or destruction? Local Libs need to Google it….

How much track has been laid? How much of the tunnelling is underway? How many stations have had construction started? None, none and none are the answers.

So the taxpayer is expected to fork out the $35Million based on the delivery so far of not a goddamn thing? This is nowhere near good enough. One can only imagine the blowout in costs once something actually happens that might be considered progress.

Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian, Premier O'Farrell, and another man seek the advice from one of barry's expensive but trusted consultants

Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian, Premier O’Farrell, and some other bloke seek the advice from one of Barry’s expensive but trusted consultants

In the meantime questions are being raised as to whether the line is going to be a backwards step. Some who wanted the line originally, such as many residents from Kellyville who have now seen plans for the stations have now changed their mind. Most now think that this line will create an $8 Billion eyesore and make their life harder, as well as putting greater pressure on the areas housing, schools, and services.

The below clip gives an insight into the thoughts of many locals.

As a local, I will tell you how I will be affected once the rail is going and the bus services are cut by the 60% figure the government has quoted.

I live in the Hills Shire, I currently have a 5 minute walk to a bus stop where I can catch an express bus to and from the city that takes approximately 15-20 minutes. Alternatively I can walk to the end of my street in about a minute and catch a bus that stops in more places but will put me in or take me out of the city in around 30 minutes.

After the North West Rail Link is completed, I can make my way to either of my two closest stations, Cherrybrook or Castle Hill, hopefully a bus service will be in place to do that, or it will be a roughly 45-60 minute walk. Then I would catch the rail link to Chatswood where I would get off, that trip is estimated at around 20 minutes. There I would change trains and board an already overloaded train to the city, which will take another 25 minutes at least, assuming I can squeeze on the first train at Chatswood. Two trains and a bus if I’m lucky, and more than double the trip time.

The crowding of the trains at Chatswood is no exaggeration either. Chatswood sits towards the end of the city run for the North Shore Line, trains are overcrowded on this line already before another rail line dumps more traffic in also.

Does that sound like a step forward to you? $8Billion well spent?

I for one am not so sure.

  1. Ben Down says:

    great article,
    They call Labor the poor money managers.
    Wait until Abbotts non policies are costed. {can’t call undoing the Mining tax, NBn, Pollution Tax, back to school bonus, Super etc effective policies.
    Then again, what is a POSITIVE policy among Abbott rantings

  2. joy cooper says:

    Top article Wixxy. Quite frankly the LNP seem like a bunch of amateurs to me. They’re running the states, where they are in power, into the ground but their spinmeisters have the electorate so hypnotised & bedazzled the voters cannot see this. The silly buggers over in WA seem set to vote them back in.

  3. Marilyn says:

    Talk about waste by LIeberals, did you see 4 Corners and Howards dirty deal with Lockheed Martin that has now blown out to $35 BILLION? For planes still not built or able to fly?

  4. clarittee says:

    I don’t trust any of the east coast LNP governments. I think Ballieau has a strong anti union programme. This anti union HATE thing runs deep in the Right wingers. Funny thing how the emergent democracies are just getting collective representation (which seems to be perfectly ok for Business and mine owners and things like VACC BCA etc) but rendering it ineffective and “demonising” it is par for the course, for right wing nutters.
    They don’t recognise that the right for collective representation is enshrined in UN policy, the right wing nutters are not inclined to take any notice of THAT organisation also.There are a lot of extremist tendencies in the new right wing, that should really worry ALL of us. How far are they from the beginnings of NAZISM? I’m being seroius..

  5. Helen says:

    Barry should keep his new adviser. Best one I’ve seen so far lmao

  6. Ben Down says:

    Be worried , the new adviser is the brains behind the out fit and policy developer

    • Geoff Andrews says:


      Helen opined, “Barry should keep his new adviser. Best one I’ve seen so far”

      Now I’m only a Queenslander so I’m not meant to be able to understand the complexity of NSW politics (apart from NSW rugby league politics, of course) but I sense a resonance with Helen’s comment and our situation here: Campbell Newman is the best thing to happen to Queensland politics since the Moonlight State and Russ “There Are No Brothels in Brisbane” Hinze.

      So, is Barry’s new adviser (sic) an asset or a liability.

  7. Ben Down says:

    a great asset
    any four legged friend has to have a bit more sense than a LNP fool.
    Also I can just see in the little pups eyes that he is gazing at Barry and saying, ” I’ve read Judge Judys Book “Don’t Pee On My Leg and Tell Me its Raining” , so don’t try it on fool ! “

  8. salzagal says:

    Onya, Marilyn. Glad to see at least one other person saw 4Corners on the F35’s.
    The silence is astonishing.

  9. Venecia Wilson says:

    If you think that’s a blowout, get this – in a matter of a few months, the projected cost of the Windsor Bridge Replacement Project jumped from $42M to $60M. The explanation? CPI. The projected cost is now in excess of $65M. The project is NOT approved, yet they are starting to dig up Australia’s oldest public square with an excavator and jackhammer. The only money that has actually been budgeted for/promised/announced, is $25M – about 3 years ago. There is no money in any budget document for this project, yet they continue to steamroll on over the top of heritage, lack of traffic improvement, socio-economic damage to the area and many other issues. Misinformation by the Minister is distributed by way of Ministerial Press release whereby Duncan Gay tells everone that there were over 100 submissions in response to the EIS and most of them were in favour of the project. Bullshit. There were 89 responses and 67 of them were AGAINST the project.

    Their calculators seem to have been infected with a trojan.

  10. Ben Down says:

    missed the report on F35s.
    Is there any indication we will EVER get them.
    Apparently, they can’t turn properly, can’t go within 25 miles of lightning and computer systems don’t work
    All the Koreans or whoever would need to do is wait for a stormy day !
    would be freaking funny if it didn’t cost so much !

  11. owen1967 says:

    … as if you didn’t already know Peter, i fully support the views espoused by Marilyn on this issue … the major parties are acting like populist bigoted wankers – again … how is their form, using terms like ‘illegal’ … whilst not keeping “our” part in the bargain (international laws, refugee agreements and the like) … all aided and abetted by the toxic mainstream media … turn OFF the tv Australia and re-engage your brain, your conscience and your sense of perspective …

    you should go a bit easier on The Greens Peter, as you appear to espouse many of their core beliefs (you know – the left of politics – where the ALP used to reside).

    thanks for bringing the debate up to date.

    • wixxy says:

      I do agree with a lot of what the Greens say, but I won’t see the ALP branded as racists. As a party nobody comes even remotely close to what Labor has achieved in matters of changes to discrimination laws, the apology to the stolen generation, pushes to end the White Australia policy.

      As for cheap shots against our armed forces, there are few who are willing to put their lives on the line to defend our country, and I won’t stand to see the whole armed forces having their reputation tarnished for the actions of a few by someone with an agenda to push.

      I make no apologies for that

  12. Ben Down says:

    My cousins son died in Afghanistan while serving.
    He held a strong belief he was helping the Afghan people not “murdering them”

  13. Julie says:

    As one lady said, she came from a communist country to Australia, only to find the same.
    Demolition of the Hills Centre is also a farce. Council want the 80 + million from the sale. 30 will go on their new council chambers.

  14. Oliver says:

    The nwrl will go down as the greatest white elephant in aussie history:
    1) the service will take considerably longer than the existing bus service;
    2) it will be less comfortable as you will be standing most of the way on both the shuttle (a lot less seats than a double decker) and the north shore line (the train is packed by then);
    3) the cost for anybody not within walking distance will be MASSIVELY higher due to the end of periodical tickets under the Opal card and the fact the Govt will NOT be removing the intermodal penalty when one changes from bus to train. From castle hill a current weekly ticket i believe is $36.80. Under opal the train from castle hill should cost $4.70 per direction × 8 = $37.60 (travel is free for the week after 8 journeys seperated by an hour). The bus to get to the station will depend how far from the station you are. At minimum it will cost an additional $2.10 x 8 = $16.80. If you are more than 3km away then the total cost will be $60 a week as opal has a $15 a day cap on fares (get to 8 journeys after 4 days. I am shocked at how few people realise how screwed they will be when the nwrl is finished and they end the express buses to the city (they will as they are counting on removing 100 buses an hour from the city from the north west in order to pedestrianise george street when the build the south east light rail.

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