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Sorry folks, it appears I may have been wrong about something…
Some of you may have read my posts regarding NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell’s massive unfunded promise of the North West Rail Link. I have had a lot of negative things to say about the decision to put a 4km stretch of this rail link above ground through a residential area. The section of the rail link the Liberal State Government has imaginatively called the SkyTrain.
My views have apparently been misguided in regards to the “SkyTrain” section of the North West Rail Link. As I will endeavor to explain.
I am however, not alone in my mistaken state, The Hills Shire Councils official position is the same as mine, that the 4km stretch from Bella Vista to Rouse Hill should be underground, as the public were expecting.
The Hills Shire Mayor Greg Burnett, who despite my having the occasional shot at, really is a decent well-meaning bloke, despite being a Liberal Party member ( I guess we all have our shortcomings),…. Anyway Mayor Burnett has gone on public record many times with the view that the Hills Shire would prefer that the SkyTrain idea be trashed, and the line be underground where the vast majority of the public expected and prefer it to be.
However, it seems after talking to some local businesses and local residents we have all been mistaken, the SkyTrain will be welcomed by many residents, and will give many businesses a boost.
Talking to some local parents the other day most expressed their enthusiasm for the SkyTrain, saying it would “Encourage their kids to play outdoors”. They think it will encourage their kids to take up a new hobby, and take an active interest in the arts, particularly painting.
I thought it was worth asking some of the kids, so I went to a park nearby where the kids hang out with their skateboards. I had a brief chat with about a dozen kids about the SkyTrain and was encouraged by their interest.
These were just your average kids, you know, baggy pants, hoodies, skateboards under their arms, some had backpacks that seemed to rattle when they moved…. But these kids were enthralled by the idea of the SkyTrain, they were almost salivating at the prospect.
It is fantastic to see such an interest from the youth. They were full of questions about how long the SkyTrain section was, how big the pylons holding the rail up in the air were, whether the pylons were steel or concrete, whether the area would be fenced off or if there was easy access, what kind of safety surveillance would be used…. They had a real interest which I thought was fantastic.
Not only is the SkyTrain good for families, it is also good for local business. I spoke to several local businesses who were all looking forward to the SkyTrain being completed, and all stated that it would not be good to have the rail underground as the vast majority seem to believe.
These businesses have asked that I not use their real names for fear of a negative impact on their business, or for fear of getting in trouble at their work. So I will use false names to express their points of view
Dave, is a young father from Rouse Hill who is excited at the thought of the SkyTrain, and could not speak highly enough of the concept. He is expecting his workload to go through the roof and thinks he will have to employ more staff, which is great news for the area. Dave works for himself, and has owned and run his own graffiti removal business for 3 years now. Dave says the bus shelters bring in some work, but nothing on the grand scale a SkyTrain promises.
Local glazier Tim, was just as excited. although he wouldn’t go into detail as to why he thought his business would increase, as he had concerns over an Environmental Impact Study or something… He just thought that there would be a sudden and huge uptake in requests for double glazing.
Speaking to staff at the local Bunnings was also encouraging, they expected to see huge growth upon the SkyTrain being built, particularly in the paint section. In fact there was talk of tripling the size of the spraypaint display and stock to cope with the expected increase in demand. That’s pretty impressive….
Garry, who is a plasterer who has been doing it tough since Barry O’Farrell brought in his own version of Workchoices is also optimistic. Garry told me that since O’Farrell and the Liberals started stripping away the entitlements of the public service employees, things have been tough, as a large sector of the public now don’t want to spend money and attempt to do the work themselves, like on the dumb reality TV shows. Garry says that the vibrations from the SkyTrain will be brilliant, he is expecting years worth of work from cracking cornices and walls.
It is not only hardware and trade services getting excited either.
Salespeople at electrical retailers The Good Guys, and Harvey Norman are also looking forward to the SkyTrain. Not only are they expecting many local residents to have to upgrade stereo equipment to cope with the extra noise, there was another unexpected surprise….
The building of hundreds of cheap high-rise apartments, in order to boost population density to attract investment for the rail link O’Farrell can’t pay for, has come as a welcome surprise. Not only will this bring in new customers, but due to the height of these apartment blocks, many current residents will have far less access to sunlight. This means extra sales of things like clothes dryers and heaters. Brilliant.
Given that these apartments will be cheap, local bottle shops are also excited as they are expecting a lot of young people to move in and share accommodation. This will increase alcohol sales enormously, as local parks fill up with older teens keen to have a drink with their mates. It is excellent to see the SkyTrain having a social impact as well. Also expected to benefit are local shops that sell small bottles of juice, although some locals have raised concerns that their garden hoses may constantly shrink or go missing….
So it would seem this SkyTrain may not be that bad for local business, I had no idea…
Maybe it is just as well the electorates concerned have 2 of the laziest State MP’s ever, Dumb and Dumber, on crack… I speak of Ray Williams, and David Elliot, both Liberal members. Clearly there are actually a few people who will be cheering the fact that these 2 excuses for MP’s have absolutely no respect or regard for the overwhelming opinion of their electorates.
Two local State MP’s that we can always rely on to do nothing, and that sadly, is no mistake…
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