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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.Follow @madwixxy