Disrepair

Posted: June 25, 2013 in Local Politics, Politics

There is a saying that confidently states “Third Time Lucky”, I often use it myself, however here in NSW we are starting to question the validity of that saying.

You see, in NSW we have now had the third budget from a Coalition government, and luck is not something that is smiling down on us here. In fact it would seem over the past three years NSW has turned into the land that good luck forgot about.

Needless to say under a Coalition government we have had hat-trick of budget deficits. Quite an achievement considering that as a State we were in surplus when the Coalition was elected claiming to be “financially conservative”.

Under the previous Labor government, despite its problems, upheavals, and leadership changes there were only two budget deficits in 13 years. Under Barry O’Farrell and the Coalition we have managed three deficits in three years.

That is a 100% deficit rate so far.

The Coalition were always quick to label the former Labor government as a dysfunctional failure, however are not so quick to glance into the mirror themselves.

What happened to the States funds Barry?

What happened to the States funds Barry?

When it comes to mirrors however maybe its best we don’t know what the publicly masturbating Arts Minister George Souris does with one, but other ministers are not much better.

Environment Minister Robyn Parker thinks logging is good for Koala’s, Health Minister Jillian Skinner’s office is evacuated at the threat of a few nurses delivering her a cake. Education Minister Adrian Piccoli publicly signs a pledge to maintain TAFE funding in his campaign and then slashes TAFE services as part of the Coalitions $1.8 Billion Education cuts which cost 800 TAFE workers their job. Emergency Services Minister Michael Gallacher I believe is the first Minister in Australia to ever have his Party actually booed out of Parliament by a gallery full of police, quite an achievement, Th video of this is below, apologies for the sound quality. Gallacher later made the decision to close Fire Stations around the state during a heat wave and spate of bushfires, forcing communities to rely on volunteer services and fire services from other area’s which were left unprotected.

Then we have the two front benchers who are involved in the budget process, the Treasurer and the Finance Minister.

Treasurer Mike Baird can hold his head high and claim the dubious honour of being the man who took NSW from surplus to deficit almost instantly and has kept us there for three years so far and counting.

He has managed to accomplish this while having money thrown at him by the Federal Government, $942 Million of it actually, and whilst selling off public assets and services frantically like it’s the closing hour at the fruit market.

Baird has been working with an increased income from road users as the cost of Green Slips, registration and traffic fines have all increased as well as extra speed cameras added.

State government revenue has also had a windfall from the problem gamblers as more and more pokies are rolled out into our suburbs, with plans now to allow for the rollout of bigger, hungrier, and more profitable gambling machines into our clubs to further assist them in being “part of the solution” no doubt….

Part of the solution? The clubs and Coalition think so....

Part of the solution? The clubs and Coalition think so….

Commuters have also been slugged with increased prices on public transport, and small business is wondering what happened to the tax breaks that they were promised three years ago and never saw delivered.

I hope that the Auditor General has had a chance to have a good look over the numbers this time around as last year Treasurer Mike Baird lost $1 Billion of taxpayer money where it was eventually found by the Auditor General who likened the running of the states finances to the running of a school tuckshop. How a Treasurer can get away with a Billion dollar blunder is beyond me, although when dealing with this Coalition government nothing surprises anymore.

Greg Pearce looks on as Treasurer Baird is told that $1 Billion may have been found under a bar stool...

Greg Pearce looks on as Treasurer Baird is told that $1 Billion may have been found under a bar stool…

Where does one start when it comes to Finance Minister Greg Pearce?

Minister Pearce has not been available to comment on the budget, some may think State Budget a strange time for a Finance Minister to have time off, not in NSW.

Minister Pearce is off for a month of paid stress leave.

Maybe it was the prospect of a third budget deficit in a row, maybe it was being investigated for using taxpayer money for private trips, maybe it was the matter of giving top jobs to mates hitting the press, whatever it was it sure made Minister Pearce hit the grog like an Irish stockbroker when the GFC hit DEFCON 3.

Most organisations would consider someone so drunk at work that they had to be helped to their car by their staff not fit to hold a high office. Not the Coalition though, someone with alcohol problems is fit to manage the state’s finances according to the “Financial Conservatives”.

Rumours that next year’s state budget will be sponsored by Carlton United Breweries are yet to be confirmed.

Barry O’Farrell tried to talk down his Finance Ministers drunken behaviour by saying that the public should accept that a Minister may have alcohol problems as they represent society and many in society have alcohol problems.

To me this tells us two things, firstly that Barry O’Farrell thinks the citizens of NSW are morons, and secondly that his Finance Minister’s drunken episode was not an isolated incident.

Finance Minister Greg "I don't know what it is, but I'll drink to it" Pearce

Finance Minister Greg “I don’t know what it is, but I’ll drink to it” Pearce

There are lots of people who represent a segment of society, but that in no way means we should be OK with them being drunk on the job as Barry O’Farrell is suggesting. I tend to prefer my cab drivers to be on the sober side for example, and should I ever require open heart surgery, I’ll tend to lean toward a surgeon who hasn’t been on the grog all day.

The same goes for if I chose to use a financial planner, I’d try and find one that was not drunk when making financial decisions on my behalf. Barry O’Farrell seems to think that the citizens of NSW should not use the same discretion when it comes to the States finances however, any old drunk will do apparently.

However it is not all bad news in the budget.

Consultants for example have had a boomer of a year under the Coalition with a whopping $83 Million spent on external advice for projects that may or may not happen in our lifetime.

The Coalition have also spent millions of dollars on flyers, brochures and many other pointless exercises promoting the North West Rail Link, despite it being over a decade from completion. This has been done via letterbox drops, newspaper advertisements, public displays and seminars, and a storefront in Castle Hill that has been open for two years with several staff members there to provide information on the non-existent line. All of this is being done under the guise of keeping people informed of the progress.

Progress so far is it no longer goes to the city, it is a shuttle service to Chatswood. It is to be privately run, not publicly owned. It is light rail so it will be a different rail gauge to the rest of the network. Epping to Chatswood line built under the former Labor govt will have to be downgraded to suit. It is now almost half the capacity of original plans, doing from double deck carriages to single level, which can never be upgraded as the tunnel is being drilled small to prevent upgrade.

In the meantime we have lost the use of public facilities such as parks and the Hills Centre.

Progress Liberal Party style…

Barry O’Farrell’s new best mates, the Shooters and Fishers Party must be happy, not only did they receive a nice pay rise this year from the Coalition,  but the NSW Game Council got a nice little windfall also.

The NSW Game Council received an extra 63% in funding, while hospitals and education were receiving cuts.

Part of this funding boost is being used by NSW Game Council to sponsor a TV Show called “Beyond The Divide”. The show is all about killing animals and is designed to show the “true adventure behind the hunt”, as opposed to the pointless pain and suffering caused by the hunt…

The first series focuses on hunting deer in New Zealand.

It begs the question why is the NSW Government sponsoring shows designed to send tourism dollars overseas?

NSW Taxpayer dollars well spent...

NSW Taxpayer dollars well spent…

With a government prepared to cut on things like hospitals and education while at the same time spending millions on spin doctors, consultants and the promotion of shooting, is it any wonder we are facing our third budget deficit in a row?

To those who were thinking third time lucky with the State’s budget, don’t hold your breath on the fourth one being any better. After all this is a government is made up of such inept MP’s that even the utter ridiculousness of having a problem drinker for a Finance Minister is acceptable to the Premier, as there is nobody any better than the Parliament drunk on his team to do the job.

To those who voted for the Coalition thinking that they were going to be better off and have a government that was going to take the State forward, you would have been better off wishing upon a star.

The Coalition were elected on a promise to “Fix NSW”.

Three years later it is becoming clear they are going to leave it us in a state of utter disrepair.

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Comments
  1. Joy Cooper says:

    This just so typical, isn’t it, Wixxy?? The inept Coalition make themselves out to be financial wizards but in reality they are a bunch of amateurs when comes to running a big business such as the state of NSW. The problem is government should not be run as a business as it exists for the satisfactory running of services for the people not for just making a profit.

    That this idiotic government, who would fail at running a McDonalds’ outlet in a busy shopping centre, has managed to not only run up deficit after deficit after deficit after taking over a surplus, despite slashing services to the bone, is a mystery to me. Also a mystery is why the MSM & the Coalition voters/supporters have let them get away with it.

    The bluff & bluster of Mike Baird when it was pointed out to him that he had “forgotten” nearly a billion dollars available to them after he had solemnly delivered a nasty slash & burn first budget, was, indeed a sight to behold. Trouble is he kept both the pared to the bone services as well as the money & still delivered a deficit the next year!!!! What a dolt.

    As for the rest of them the less said the better.

  2. monicaswickedstepmother says:

    Things aren’t much better on the other side of Australia. Premier Colin Barnett has claimed to have delivered budget surpluses every year, yet during the four years of his Government, State debt has risen from $3.6 billion to $18 billion (and still rising). I’m sure I could create a surplus if I was allowed to borrow the money! Barely a squeak from the media (daily paper and TV station owned by billionaire Kerry Stokes) on this amazing feat of borrowing a surplus.
    Barnett is busy building his monuments (new football stadium conveniently next to James Packer’s casino, and Elisabeth Quay) while state housing waiting lists blow out and private rents are at eye-watering levels.

  3. wirilda says:

    Well put Wixxy. It’s mind boggling that the voters of NSW can’t see through the lies. I guess it was Murdoch who bashed Labor up there, but that Obied bloke sure didn’t help you lot. I’m a Victorian who’s disgusted at Napthine attending that IPA dinner here too. Money is their language and they’ll keep spending it for their own ends and installing more skewed senior public servants. That Scippioni bloke scares me too. I bet he’s a capital “L” lib, like the bloke they appointed down here. A mate of mine is middle management in the education department here. He tells me the bloke who got put in to slash the staff in his area was Bolt’s brother! Says it all I’m afraid.
    Loved your reference to Souris!

  4. Kel says:

    Gruesome reading. We’ve just moved to NSW from Victoria albeit on the Murray. You’d think Australia would run out of objectionable, self serving types but the Libs keep unearthing them at a rate of knots.
    Just as worrying though is the absolute lack of any scrutiny of these bushrangers. I have no brief for Clive Palmer but I am aware of the Limited News attack on him since he left the Lib fold. But bugger me, last night watching the ABC we had an in depth attack on Clive over his finances. Is scrutiny of Clive’s finances the most important issue facing this nation? Is Rupert scripting all our media?

  5. Dave Bradley says:

    Well now we know what we have to look forward to under an Abbott federal government.
    Utter incompetence and arrogance and greed protected from scrutiny by the media.
    I just had a really scary thought this morning, with all the forces lining up to try to knock Ms Gillard out of her job and replace her with a leader the independents probably wouldn’t support, giving the Libs a probable vote of no confidence they have been trying to get for three years (which is the situation she has amazingly withstood since the election with unbelievable courage and resilience) they have failed and failed.
    They just didn’t have a John Kerr this time.
    But the point I want to make is how incredibly incompetent as a politician as a party leader is Abbott in that he has been unable to unseat this leader whose position is so vulnerable.
    Italy usually has had hung parliaments and they usually only last six months or so (until with Berlusconi they combined party leadership with mass media ownership in a billionaire with a dubious history, sound strangely familiar to the direction we are being propelled in?) and yet Ms Gillard has withstood abuse at every level and achieved a record with the passage of legislation and responsible economics that is amazing.
    If Abbott and his advisers and his shadow ministers and some of his shadowy party members can’t even run a political party with all the help they are getting, how can they run the country?
    Your collections of reports on the corrupt selfish brutal ideological and incompetent acts of the O’Farrell liberal government look like a blueprint for a feeding frenzy by an Abbot or Turnbull led federal government.
    The Abbott opposition has already moved politics in a shameful direction and they supposedly are on their best behaviour, what next!
    It is scary
    Thanks for all your hard work, as you said it’s all there, all you did was look and tell us!
    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)

  6. DP says:

    Other than agreeing with earlier comments made all I can say is :

    Thank you Peter for this insightful analysis on important issues while the MSM devalue their own services of (not) informing the people – and are very busying scrutinising Julia Gillard’s knitting !

    You are showing the value of Citizen blogging and how vital it has now become for improving governments & keeping the people informed.

  7. sulphurcrested says:

    Australia will go to hell in a hand basket with the incompetent, self serving Lieberals.
    They are utterly sickening and disgusting.

  8. Möbius Ecko says:

    There were several failures of the O’Farrell government that came out over the last few weeks, but this is one of the worst.

    At a time Victoria held an enquiry into victim’s compensation and found the $70,000 maximum was inadequate, O’Farrell found that NSW’s $50,000 was too generous and slashed it whilst taking away other victim’s rights.

    That came after the slashing of workers’ compensation.

    There are so many other things you could cite in O’Farrell’s failings, like always appearing in fluff pieces and conspicuously disappearing whenever something goes wrong with his government, which is quite often. From health, crime, public transport, education, you name it, they have all regressed under O’Farrell, not that you would know it from the media.

    And that’s my main beef with O’Farrell and this State government, the media. When in opposition there was O’Farrell and/or his cronies front and centre bleating loud and long against the State Labor government on every shooting, stabbing, traffic snarl, train breakdown, late train, hospital death or incidence, DOCS failure, criminal sentence (not harsh enough), cover-up and it goes on. They were daily and often several times daily on the news cycles, radio, in newspapers in a tirade of painting every single thing as a negative against the State government, and they were given free reign and never questions on their assertion.

    The intimation and many times straight out statement was he, O’Farrell, and his fellows would do much better if in government and there was always the overarching catch words of “we will fix it”.

    Has he fixed any of it?

    Of course not, in most instance they have gotten worse. But that’s not my irk. The problem is that unlike when O’Farrell was in opposition, most NSW people don’t hear about the ongoing failings and broken promises of the O’Farrell government. There are no daily or several times daily pointing out of the broken promises, like being transparent but actually being more secretive than the previous government. Everyone of those items I’ve mentioned along with the things this topic has raised are stark examples of O’Farrell failing what he promised time and again when in opposition, and of his flopping in not only what he promised he would fix from the previous government, but worsening them.

    But if you you would be hard pressed to find a media outlet anywhere holding O’Farrell to account like they were supposedly doing for the previous government.

  9. Möbius Ecko says:

    Oh not to mention he looks like repealing the restrictions on Australian native bush land clearing, so like Queensland where Newman is allowing open slather, whole scale raping of large swaths of our land will once again be conducted across our landscape.

  10. clarittee says:

    ALL that pain and still no gain? LieNP are all about favours to their mates. It’s called corruption. How much will selling the Port of Newcastle bring in? Of course you can only sell anything once.( unless its your arse).
    Labor builds society and infrastructure for that society and LieNP sell it off because of some created economic emergency., and install private Prisons ( who would have a vested interest in having more criminals and not rehabilitating any.)
    Under the LieNP the rich get richer and the poor eat cake.( Play Poker machines) The POORER suburbs get more of them. than the well off suburbs.. Brave new world!

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