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The last two weeks have shown us a great deal about the integrity of the new Liberal Government in New South Wales.
I’m not just talking about the thousands of people protesting in Sydney about the new Workchoices mk 2 legislation that is being pushed through. I’m not just talking about the privatisation of Sydney Ferries, nor is it the scrapping of guaranteed solar rebates, which has damaged investment in this state, and produced a civil action lawsuit against the government.
The latest drama is the O’Farrell governments election promise to build the North West rail link, a promise we are already starting to see major problems with, as the truth starts to emerge.
The North West rail link was going to be funded by NSW. Barry O’Farrell , during his election campaign, was constantly saying that he could do this project without the Federal Government. This week all of that changed. There is now a “Fund It Now” campaign aimed at the Federal government, so that someone else can be pressured to pay for Barry’s promises.
Oh well. I guess it won’t be the last time we see a Coalition leader being “Liberal” with the truth, it certainly ain’t the first.
There are currently tenders out for companies to provide financial advice to the new Liberal govt on this matter. I’m sorry, but should this have not been worked out before the election promise was made? Still, I guess this should be seen as a positive thing, as the Liberal Party is notoriously inept when it comes to budget black holes and basic math. However I’m sure the Liberal bean counters will be accurate when adding up party donations to see who wins the tender… actually, I probably shouldn’t say that. I’m sure these fine companies had other good reasons to give generously.
This week in the Hills Shire, we had the pleasure of a visit from the new Transport Minister, Gladys Berejiklian. She has highlighted a number of issues regarding the building of this Liberal White Elephant.
Some of the things that Ms Berejiklian stated during her short visit, to the area which received the biggest election promise, were things like “It is vital that we have the support of the Federal Government”. Vital? Is it really? During the election campaign it was not at all necessary….. Now it is not only necessary, but “the Federal Govt has an obligation to fund it” Ms Berejiklian tells us. An “obligation” no less. Wow, is a Labor govt always obligated to bail out a Liberal govt that can’t fund its own promises?
When asked about the costs involved with building the rail link, Ms Berejiklian answered “ that it would be impossible to commit until the homework was done” Most of us in this electorate, kind of hoped that you had already done some homework Ms Berejiklian, but alas…
However Ms Berejiklian assures us “We have our best team working on the link”. That is a relief, because I would hate to see their worst team, or even their second best team on it, based on the A Teams efforts thus far.
So far, Team Liberal, Berejiklian, and O’Fail have told us:
1. That they now desperately need Federal govt funding
2. Have not done their homework on costings
3. Now have tenders out to find their “Best Team”.
Pardon me for not sounding in the remotest part confident.
In the meantime, James Fiander, Chairman of the Hills Transport Working Group, has estimated that due to the govt having to seek so much private funding, tickets for a one way trip are expected to exceed $20. That is at least $40 return according to my math, which over a five day working week equates to $200. We also know that parking at the stations will be privately owned so there will be costs involved for commuters there as well.
At these prices, it is almost cheaper to fly to Melbourne or Brisbane to work.
This is going to end up an expensive hole in the ground that nobody can afford to use at this rate.
One thing that we are getting out of it though, is a nice shopfront.
In the Liberal Party’s bid to “end the waste” there is construction being carried out at present inside a shopfront being leased by the Barry O’Fail govt, using taxpayer’s money.
This shop is going to be the North West Rail information Centre, and I’m wondering if a cost benefit analysis has been done on this waste of taxpayer money. How much money is being wasted on the rent, the staffing of this ridiculous shopfront for 6 days a week? Just what information are they going to be giving out to the public? As the Govt Minister, Ms Berejiklian, by her own admission hasn’t even finished the homework.
The public should see this for what it is, a Liberal Party campaign office, funded by the taxpayer, the very people they are screwing.
Mr O’Farrell, I had low expectations for you when you won the un-losable election. However each day I find I have to lower my expectations further.
Barry, just man up and tell the people in this area that you took them for a ride, and you did it because the train never will.
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