*Mr Sharp regretted his failure to impose more stringent regulation on the crucial infrastructure when they left public hands in 1996 and said the process had failed to protect travellers from greed.
“It was a mistake,” he told The Australian Financial Review. “They are blatantly profiteering.”
“The one thing we should have done is provided airports with a more significant set of rules to protect the public interest and kept them in place right through to today”…
*“I should have given the ACCC responsibility for not just monitoring but administering that particular regulation.”
Handing a natural airport monopoly over to private operators was always going to lead to price gouging. It’s economics 101. The same could be said for privatising the nation’s telecommunications infrastructure via Telstra, which we are now paying dearly for in compensation for the NBN.
*…vocational training, prisons, toll roads, airports and hospital services such as parking, public/private partnerships skewed in favour of private operators, and about those who profit personally by exploiting privileged market positions and restrictive trade practices…
Ironically, many of the now privately owned businesses that provide essential services resulted from past privatisation of public assets.
*While these were mostly justified and sold at the time as a mechanism to achieve market discipline, lower costs and greater efficiency, they were driven much more by political and budgetary consideration of maximising the selling price, usually ignoring the market circumstances into which they were being sold, and failing to specify the required services to be provided by the privatised entity.
Markets are only as good as the institutional and regulatory frameworks within which the market forces are to be “free” to operate.Regulatory frameworks set to achieve a maximum selling price are usually unlikely to provide an appropriate competitive structure, nor guarantee socially acceptable service outcomes, in the longer-term…
Clearly, it is time for government and society more broadly to address what has become a most unfortunate trade-off between profit and the quality and availability of essential services.
There are three general criteria for ensuring privatisation is in the public interest:
it should increase competition within the relevant market, not lessen it;
the upfront funds received from the asset sale should outweigh the expected net present value of future profits; and
with respect to new infrastructure, the social benefits should exceed its social costs.
Unfortunately, most of Australia’s privatisations have not met these criteria, instead placing short-term financial windfalls above longer-term competitive and budgetary concerns.
The end result has been price gouging and, in some cases, greater inefficiency.
A Population Summit held by the SMH … one could be forgiven for believing it was to counter the current consequences of the high population growth … nah … it is about telling Sydneysiders the growth is inevitable … to get used to longer and more uncomfortable commutes
HOW can this guvmint make Sydney more liveable?
AS Leith points out …
‘The first major party that fully taps into this voter discontent will rule for decades.‘
In the lead-up to its fake population summit, which has been hijacked by ‘Big Australia’ mafia, The SMH has released a report telling Sydneysiders to get used to longer and more uncomfortable commutes as another 1.3 million people overload the city by 2030:
Overcrowded trains and busier roads. An extra 1.3 million people in Sydney by 2030 means a longer and more uncomfortable commute, particularly for residents in the city’s fast-growing western suburbs…
Despite the projected growth in rail and road infrastructure, population growth raises the risk of gridlocked roads and overcrowded trains in Sydney.
And congestion is likely to extend beyond peak periods to other parts of the day.
For many people there will be no escaping the crush as Sydney’s road and rail network comes under further strain…
The man responsible for moving us around does not subscribe to the doomsday model. NSW Transport and Roads Minister Andrew Constance paints a far rosier picture in his vision for 2030…
He spruiks the concept of the “30-minute city” and claims 70 per cent of Sydneysiders will live within half an hour of work, education and recreation by 2036.
But that dream is a long way from becoming a reality… Despite unprecedented investment in recent years, the rail and roads network faces massive challenges. It is partly due to a lack of investment previously, but also because the pace of population growth will keep piling more people into cars, trains, buses and ferries…
Sydney’s train lines are often overcrowded during morning and evening peak, with many services failing to run on time…
Meanwhile on the roads, major arterial routes including the M4, M5, the Harbour Tunnel and the Harbour Bridge will remain choked as traffic grinds to a standstill during peak… Add in some rain and Sydney seems to shut down…
Ultimately, the overriding question is: will crippling congestion render Sydney unliveable by 2030?
*As usual, the 1.3 million extra people by 2030 are presented by The SMH as inevitable, rather than a direct policy choice.
*Transport and planning academics are also quoted in the article claiming that Sydney’s growth problems are manageable and can be alleviated by ‘better planning’, more investment in public transit, congestion taxes, and the like.
All are lying through their teeth.
The fact of the matter is thatInfrastructure Australia’s modelling has projected worsening traffic congestion, longer commute times, and reduced access to jobs, schools, hospitals and green space as Sydney swells to a projected 7.4 million people by 2046 under ongoing mass immigration, regardless of whether Sydney builds up or builds out:
The hopes for a “30-minute city” were also crushed by Infrastructure Australia’s modelling, as illustrated clearly in the above table.
The fact of the matter is that net overseas migration (NOM) will drive all of Sydney’s future population growth, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics:
Therefore, rather than resorting to expensive policy band aids, the population pressures can be prevented by simply abandoning a ‘Big Australia’ and turning off the immigration tap:
*The comments to this SMH article are worth reading for the disconnect between the Sydney elite and the majority that want immigration numbers reduced:
beeg *All these series of articles keep presenting an extra 1.3M people as a fait accompli. Government needs to reduce immigration dramatically, and no extra 1.3M people. See how simple that is!
Dismaid “An option to alleviate the burden” might be to reduce the number of immigrants? Nobody seems to have thought of that.
brainstem You don’t have to take in another few million you know.
Le parc vert Sydney was once a beautiful, vibrant city. It has already lost much of its character, but these plans will reduce it to a soulless megalopolis. The population might increase by another 1.5 million in 10 years, but I have no faith that the government can make the place livable. Doomed to be a second Jakarta?
*Impartial observer This ridiculous growth is utterly ruinous for the environment,completely unwanted by the existent population and actually compromises the security of our nation by placing extreme demands on finite resources…
The people of Australia have given no mandate for this unsustainable growth…
Clever Who is it that decides for Sydney to have such a large population? Have we got nothing to say? In a democracy people can vote on such an important matter. Over the last decades the once beautiful Sydney has become overcrowded and almost unbearable to life in. You think you have water shortages now! Give people a vote!
dondazwardo What a horrendous city it has become
Bob And why exactly do we need another 1.3million people in Sydney (alone) over the next 11 years? Can someone please explain the objective of our current immigration policy?
*The first major party that fully taps into this voter discontent will rule for decades.
The introduction of mandatory electronic conveyancing on Monday has sparked fears that a lack of competition could cost home-buyers more in the long-term.
The transfer of property ownership in Australia was traditionally conducted using paper forms, but from July 1 must be done online in NSW.
However customer Service minister Victor Dominello has warned of the “grave risk” of creating another Telstra-like behemoth, given the online property exchange network is an effective monopoly, controlled by a company called PEXA.
PEXA was born in 2010 out of federal and state government desires for a national e-conveyancing platform. Until last year, it was owned by various stakeholders including state governments and the big four banks, before it was fully privatised and sold to a consortium.
While no one disputes the benefits of e-conveyancing, there are major concerns PEXA lacks an effective competitor, which Mr Dominello believes gives PEXA an unfair market advantage.
“There is a grave risk we are sleep-walking into a monopoly which would have a very bad outcome for the people of our country,” Mr Dominello told the Herald. “I just don’t think it’s healthy to have a situation where there is no choice.”
PEXA chief executive Marcus Price said his company has committed to “never increase prices beyond CPI”.
*”This is enshrined in regulation and through the contracts we have with each of our members,” Mr Price said. “Ultimately, as an industry we must advocate for a model that first and foremost serves homebuyers without introducing new cost, risk or complexity into the process.”
Late last year, there was a new entrant to the market – a company called Sympli – but major competition concerns remain.
I can’t think of any good that would come out of creating a corporate behemoth.
NSW Customer Service minister Victor Dominello
The key to improving competition appears to be interoperability. That would mean forcing PEXA’s and Sympli’s systems to integrate with each other, in the same way you can call and speak to someone who uses a different mobile phone network.
“I can’t think of any good that would come out of creating a corporate behemoth, such as [another] Telstra,” Mr Dominello said. “Ultimately it would be a perverse outcome if we have a Telstra and an Optus, but Optus [people] can only speak to Optus people and Telstra can only speak to Telstra people. We do need that interoperability and we do need competition.”
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has previously weighed in, urging the regulator to adopt interoperability which it described as “essential”. The competition watchdog criticised the fact that PEXA had “already commenced operations prior to regulatory measures being resolved”.
Without enforced interoperability, new competitors will face “significant barriers”, commissioner Cristina Cifuentes wrote.
“Even if the new [competitor] can offer a better price or a better service, the incumbent [PEXA] will already have the network advantage of a greater number of users and will be able to leverage this advantage, as each party to a transaction must use the same [network].”
As the largest state, NSW’s mandatory adoption of online conveyancing marks a critical juncture for the industry, because in the absence of a solution, PEXA gets first bite at the lucrative NSW property market.
Although NSW has taken the lead in lobbying for interoperability, there is frustration in the industry that it’s taking so long to act. The industry regulator, ARNECC, is conducting a national review, which is due to be released in coming weeks.
A national scheme designed to help low-income renters instead provided a “windfall gain” to property developers of more than $1 billion, new research suggests.
Instead of extending the troubled program, governments should increase rent assistance to tenants on low incomes and build more social housing for those at risk of homelessness, Grattan Institute fellow Brendan Coates said.
The National Rental Affordability Scheme was a Kevin Rudd-era policy that gave annually indexed incentives to developers and investors who charged rents at least 20 per cent below market rate.
It was scrapped in 2014 by Tony Abbott’s Coalition government and the incentives on offer are now drying up as homes hit their 10-year limit, with community housing providers previously warning some renters face homelessnessas a result.
Labor proposed a new policy of affordability housing subsidies before its election loss this year.
Developers with grandfathered dwellings still on the program receive about $11,000 of taxpayer money each year, but only provide a typical discount worth about $4000, new Grattan research – to be presented at the UNSW Social Policy Conference in Sydney on Monday – found.
That leaves developers with a gain of about $7000 a year per home, or total gains of at least $1 billion, the report found.
“The windfall gain to property developers was enormous,” Mr Coates told Domain.
“We don’t normally provide $1 billion of extra funding to not-for-profits without any strings attached.”
Subsidies on offerremained the same for a one-bedroom apartment, for example, and a more expensive three-bedroom house, he said.
Individuals can qualify to live in an NRAS home with an income of up to $50,000, and couples up to nearly $70,000, meaning the scheme did not help those who need it most, the report suggests.
It also found little evidence that the program increased the supply of new housing, compared to the volume that would have been built anyway.
Instead, the think tank called for a 40 per cent increase to Commonwealth rent assistance payments, indexed to changes in rents typically paid by tenants receiving income support.
This was unlikely to push up rents, Mr Coates said, because tenants on low incomes were already prioritising rent payments and skimping on food or other essentials that they could better afford with the extra payment.
“Most of it won’t be spent on rent,” he said.“Because it’s given to the tenant, the only way they can actually spend more on rent is if they move house.”
He also called for governments to build more social housing, targeted at those facing homelessness.
A similar program during the global financial crisis was “wildly successful”, he said, and suggested a new version could help boost the residential construction industry amid a slowing economy.
“Social housing actually makes very effective stimulus,” he said.
“It’s much easier to build a five-storey apartment building than to try to build a tunnel under the Yarra.”
Other reforms could income further changes to tenancy rules to make renting more secure, and changes to state planning rules to allow more homes to be built in inner- and middle-ring suburbs of major cities, making housing cheaper, the think tank said.
Victor Dominello: New processes for big tech and digital project approvals
Australia’s first minister for customer service – the NSW government’s Victor Dominello – has pulled back the curtain on the internal reforms driving the state’s digital obsession, revealing new structures for approving tech projects, infrastructure to enable real-time feedback, and a renewed focus on building internal capability.
The reforms include new structures – yet to be tested – for diversifying the state’s technology supplier base and to make it easier for small and medium sized companies to sell to government.
NSW embarked on a grand experiment six years ago when it launched its new digital strategy. With its re-election in March, Premier Gladys Berejiklian has doubled-down on its digital drive with an internal reform agenda that has put service delivery – and the technology behind it – at the centre of public administration.
In a headland speech to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello said the state was focused on digitisation because issues of service delivery were central to trust relationship between government and citizens.
“When government services fall behind citizen expectations from the other services in their everyday lives, their trust in government falls and disillusionment in politics rises,” Mr Dominello said.
“Politicians are generally high on the rhetoric, big on the money but poor on the delivery,” he said.
The machinery of government changes that followed the election have been dramatic, with a new Department of Customer Service sitting as one of three whole-of-government agencies alongside Premier and Cabinet and Treasury.
Mr Dominello outlined a streamlining of the Committee processes that ultimates run government, and which will have a profound impact on the way that government tech projects will be funded.
The restructure in NSW has radically consolidated the number of ministerial committees that run the state to just three – the Cabinet, the Treasury committee (or the expenditure review committee) and a newly-formed, customer-focused committee called the Delivery and Performance Committee (DaPCo.)
DaPCo is chaired jointly by Mr Dominello and the Premier, and includes as a members the Treasurer, the Deputy Premier and the deputy leader of the Nationals.
The committee is a radical departure from the way in which large IT projects have been traditional funded in government.
Mr Dominello says it is an opportunity for the most senior ranks of political leadershipto ask “the hard questions” on delivery, before heading off to the ERC to get budget approval.
“If you want money, then show me that you’ve mapped out the data architecture, show me that you understand your customers’ needs, and show me that you’re following the Digital Design Standard. I want to see working prototypes of services, not big business cases<” Mr Dominello said.
“In the past, most IT projects got started by taking a big business case to the Expenditure Review Committee of Cabinet, asking for hundreds of millions of dollars upfront and reams and reams of paperwork to back it up,” he said.
“Now for IT projects – and for that matter any other project that has a delivery aspect, which cover most proposals before government – they first have to come to DaPCo.”
The new committee has three primary questions: What is the data architecture, what is the digital design, and what is the customer lens. If these are adequately covered off and approved, only then can the project leaders go off the Treasury committee and ask for money based on a ROI or cost benefit ratio.
“This reform – is cultural and it is whole of government – it is the hard stuff, the messy and complex innards of government that nobody likes to talk about,” Mr. It’s not shiny but it’s one of the biggest enablers for digital transformation and service delivery – which is why we’re committed to getting it right.”
He said NSW had also embarked on a new capability-building effort, both in investing in people inside government, as well as making it easier to small businesses to work with government.
“We are not just talking about capability inside the public service. We are diversifying our technology supplier base, making it easier for small and medium businesses across NSW to bring their skills to government.
“Through the buy.nsw platform, we’re simplifying the processes that have long–inhibited small businesses from selling to government – and creating an open procurement marketplace that demonstrates that government is open for business. “
The proof of the pudding will be in the eating, of course. But it is fair to say for all of the work that the state has done in driving digital-based service delivery improvements, engaging with the local industry has not been a priority.
Mr Dominello has also outlined the state’s plans for improved Privacy, Security, Transparency and Ethics.
Fight begins to halt plans to redevelop site at Dalwood Children’s Home in Seaforth
A battle has begun to stop a push to sell off part of a historic site — used to treat sick children — to developers on Sydney’s northern beaches.
Jim O’Rourke, Manly Daily
September 2, 2019
*Community opposition is growing against a plan to sell off part of the historic Dalwood Children’s Home site to developers.
Dalwood supporters and its neighbours fear the proposed sale of a “surplus” section of the Seaforth site could result in multi-unit residences being built.
A meeting, organised by the volunteer Dalwood Auxiliary, has been scheduled for Tuesday night at the Seaforth Scout Hall to alert the community to the NSW Government’s proposed sell off.
*Auxiliary president John Darragh has described the Ministry of Health’s rezoning bid as the “thin end of the wedge” that could lead to more land, which was set aside for public health, ending up in the hands of developers.
“Our opposition is gaining momentum. People are angry and the phones are running hot,” Mr Darragh said.”
In its rezoning proposal, now before Northern Beaches Council, the Health Ministry wants to
*hive off a parcel of what it described as surplus land to allow four residential blocks as well as an area for “Environmental Living”, which allows for “low-impact residential development”.
The Ministry, in a report to council, said selling the land for housing would “generate funds for new and/or upgraded local health services and facilities on the site”.
Dalwood was a home for mothers and babies set up by the Food for Babies Fund. In 1931 it became a public hospital, and began to provide support to childrenwho could not be cared for in their own homes.
In 1989 Dalwood stopped operating as a children’s home but it still has non-residential programs on-site including a family care centre and the Dalwood Spilstead Service, which supports children at risk and vulnerable families.
*Mr Darragh said none of the Dalwood land should be sold off because it was either donated to the state — by philanthropist Albert Dalwood in 1928 — or purchased by the Dalwood Auxiliary in 1938, for the express purpose of improving the welfare of children.
*“What they think is unused land is actually land owned by the people of NSW that can be used in the future to provide more services that assist vulnerable children.
“Once that land is gone, it’s gone forever.”
The council has received 26 public submissions about the proposal.
CAAN: The Sydney Community has been writing submissions since 2012 … to be ignored by this Government …
*A spokesman for NSW Health said 0.54 hectares of vacant land has been identified as surplus to its requirements.
*CAAN: The NSW LNP Government has criticised the former Labor Government for selling off school sites … yet due to high immigration, and visa manipulation esp since 2013 our primary school children are schooled in demountable classrooms strewn across playgrounds …
“It is intended that the land will be disposed of by the Department of Planning Industryand Environment,” he said.
“Services currently undertaken in the facility will not be affected.”
The resident’s meeting is being held in the Seaforth Scout Hall in Sangrado Park, Seaforth, from 5.30pm on Tuesday.
It was 5.22am when the driver of a train carrying hundreds of people through the heart of Sydney saw a roof hatch on its front carriage sitting perilously close to the 1500-volt overhead power line.
At about 8.45am on Friday, the northbound train finally rolled away from a platform at Town Hall station, after the fibre-glass hatch was safely removed.
In the intervening three hours, the stoppage of one train had thrown Sydney’s rail network into chaos.
Trains carrying up to 250,000 commuters across the city were seriously delayed or re-routed during the morning peak, and roads gridlocked as people sought other ways to get around. At Wynyard station, commuters were advised to walk across the Harbour Bridge, so severe were the delays.
The incident on Friday morning has again highlighted the vulnerability of Sydney’s aged rail network – and the length of time it takes for it to recover from delays.
More than 12 hours after the train was halted, commuters were still experiencing delays to services across multiple lines during the evening peak.
After the operator stopped the train at Town Hall due to the safety risks posed if it continued, engineers were forced to scramble through tunnels to turn off “Frankenstein”-like switches so that they could cut power to the overhead line and remove the hatch, which was millimetres from the overhead wires.
*Sydney Trains’ apologetic chief executive, Howard Collins, said the mechanical switches to isolate power dated to the 1920s, and were likely put in when the rail network was first electrified.
“They are almost Frankenstein in their look,” he said on Friday.
*And while they “do a great job”, Mr Collins conceded that it was an “archaic” situation to be in when staff had to clamour through tunnels to flick switches instead of being able to do so remotely from an operations centre like they do on London’s underground network.
*“We are looking forward to getting further investment to get us up to the 20th century,” he said.
*”As far as I’m concerned, the future for us … is a remote isolation [switch] all done from the [rail operation centre and] … services are disrupted for 15 minutes rather than three hours.”
The rail operator blamed the loose hatch on the Tangara passenger train on an “external factor”, possibly a tree branch. “There are definite scratch and scour marks on the top of this fibre glass lid, so something has hit it at the front of the train,” Mr Collins said.
The hatches are secured by a large clip and a safety device.
Mr Collins said it was the right decision to halt the train at Town Hall because overhead wires on the North Shore line across the Harbour Bridge to North Sydney could have been torn down if it had continued.
“It could have meant days of damage … [and] the hatch could have come off and hit someone,” he said.
The incident shows the extent to which central Sydney is the “the squeeze point” on the rail network, and the ripple effect across multiple lines caused by a failure on it.
“[The network] is historically very connected, and when one bit falls down, after a while the others slow down and stop as well,” Mr Collins said.
The government is spending billions on upgrades to signalling systems on part of the network, as well as on new Waratah trains less susceptible to failure.
But the tens of billions it is funnelling into new metro rail lines has left it open to criticism that more should have been diverted to the existing railway, which will continue to carry the bulk of commuters for years to come.
Asked whether the government should have spent more on Sydney Trains, Mr Collins said “we need both” and the second stage of the city’s new metro line from Chatswood to the central city and beyond would provide an alternative during major incidents.
“There is no doubt that, if you spend on one and not the other, we still fail. With this incident, metro would have been able to take the haul all the way from North Sydney to Central and there would have been a realistic and reasonable alternative,” he said.
The NSW government’s plan to raise the height of the Warragamba Dam has triggered concern from the World Heritage Committee that the Blue Mountain’s “outstanding universal values” will be affected.
The committee issued its response to the proposal at a UNESCO meeting in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, on Wednesday. It noted the raised dam would likely increase the extent and frequency of inundation of the World Heritage area.
The committee requested the government submit the proposal’s environmental impact assessment to the World Heritage Centre “for review” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature “prior to taking any final decision regarding the project”.
Officially, Infrastructure NSW has been working on a project that would raise the dam wall of Sydney’s main reservoir by 14 metres to 144.5 metres, flooding as much as 5000 hectares of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.
However, as reported in the Herald in March, one document indicated construction would involve building 17-metre-high abutments that would permit a further raising with minimal additional work.
The World Heritage Committee also noted that it considered any construction of dams with large reservoirs within the boundaries of World Heritage properties “incompatible with their World Heritage status”.
It urged all governments to “ensure that the impacts from dams that could affect properties located upstream or downstream within the same river basin are rigorously assessed in order to avoid impacts on [their] outstanding universal values”.
Bob Debus, a former NSW Environment Minister who presided over the successful nomination of the Blue Mountains region for World Heritage state, told the Baku gathering that as much as 65 kilometres of wilderness rivers would be flooded if the dam wall were to be raised.
“The area proposed for inundation includes at least 300 known Gundungurra Aboriginal cultural sites, which would be damaged,” he said. “Its cultural and conservation value is exceptional even within the Blue Mountains area.”
“The government of New South Wales has in its own publications treated [outstanding universal values] as little more than an irritating afterthought.”
“[Australia’s] failure to protect World Heritage in the Blue Mountains would not be an isolated misfortune,” Mr Debus said. “It would amount to a fundamental attack on the [World Heritage] Convention itself.”
The Berejiklian government has argued that the wall must be raised to reduce the risk of catastrophic flooding in the Hawkesbury-Nepean river plain.
Much of the plain was frequently inundated during the first 150 years of European settlement although a relative dearth of floods in the past half century have prompted planning authorities to allow development of houses and other infrastructure in the flood zone.
Mr Debus said the government’s support for the project – to cost as much as $1 billion – “so far presume that the population living on the floodplain will be greatly increased”.
“It has so far demonstrated very little interest in a rigorous assessment of alternative strategies for flood mitigation, urban planning and water supply, even though strategies clearly exist.”
Stuart Ayres, the Western Sydney Minister, said the project’s environmental impact statement would be provided to the World Heritage Committee “when it is placed on public exhibition in early 2020”.
“The Hawkesbury-Nepean is a high-risk floodplain,” Mr Ayres said. “Raising the dam wall is key part of the strategy to reduce the existing risk to life and property on the floodplain.”
“The final decision to raise the wall has not yet been taken and will only take place after financial, environment and cultural assessments have concluded,” he said.
“While there will be environmental impacts from temporarily holding flood water from behind a raised dam wall, they must be measured against the social and financial impact a catastrophic flood would have on Western Sydney communities.”
We argued previously that the NSW State Government had hit ‘peak stupid’ in deciding to spend $2.5 billion to demolish and rebuild the Olympic Stadium and the Sydney Football Stadium, both of which are underutilised.
These stadiums were assessed to deliverzeronet economic benefits for the state, according to analysis by hired gun KPMG. Moreover, these stadiums are to be paid for by selling-off the lease to the state’s monopoly land titles registry– a move that will very likely see end-users being gouged by the new monopoly owners, with the NSW State Government also losing a reliable income stream.
In March, Premier Gladys Berejiklian compromised somewhat on the projects, announcing that“Allianz Stadium will be knocked down and rebuilt but ANZ Stadium will undergo a “major renovation” – as opposed to the full $1.25 billion for a knockdown and rebuild” – a move that would save some $500 million and reduce the total cost of the projects down to $2 billion.
Last week it was reported that the Sydney Football Stadium rebuild is in chaos with construction contractor Lendlease leaving project, along with a giant crater post demolition. And on Friday, another major construction company ruled itself out from the rebuild:
A W Edwards’ business development manager John Devlin said the company – which built the Victor Trumper and Don Bradman stands at the Sydney Cricket Ground – had decided against making an offer…
“We decided to advise Infrastructure NSW that we will not be submitting a bid for the new stadium. It would be a large project and we decided not to pursue it”…
Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Friday morning said the government had “until November” to secure another company to build the stadium.
With the pool of potential construction companies shrinking, the NSW Government will likely have to pay over the odds to get the project completed.
With widespread infrastructure bottlenecks across Sydney, and concerns over a ‘Big Australia’ and over-development at fever pitch, blowing $2 billion on this dud project makes as much sense as punching yourself in the face.
HOW can this be denied? But is there any mention of those who brought this about? As the coffers of the Big End of Town overflow, as they rise up the AFR Rich List
… this is the price that we pay for their Ponzi
… it can take us 30, 50 minutes to drive a few suburbs away!
Then where to park?
Public transport is inadequate … much of it now being privatised like that in the U.K. … to become prohibitively expensive too as with the motorways ? …
Where will the $$ come from to build more ‘public transport’ now that the Ponzi is cracking up or falling down? And the NSW Grubmnt is being sued …
Through Visa Manipulation … that which Scomo does not mention … an extra 2.2 MILLION Visa Holders are in the Nation … many seeking ‘permanent residency’ through education or buying our real estate … and compounding the need for more ‘public transport’
… like a dog chasing its own tail!
Commuting times soar, with house prices and population boom blamed for gridlock
His train journey from Melbourne’s north into the city takes 50 minutes each way, and he said the afternoon crush could be a nightmare.
“It’s how packed the trains get that’s the worst,” he said.
“Going home, mate if you don’t get in and push some old lady over you don’t get a seat.
“Driving in it would take maybe half an hour, but that’s leaving at 5:00am. Going home it’d take an hour-and-a-half.”
Long commutes create unhappy workers
The latest HILDA report is based on 2017 data and includes all workers aged 15 years and older, including those who work from home and have a commuter time of zero.
*It found a correlation between longer commute times and a desire to switch jobs, with everything from satisfaction around pay, flexibility and working hours all lower for those who travelled for longer.
Of those with a long commute, 19 per cent had looked for a job in the past month — compared with 15 per cent doing short trips, and 17 per cent with a medium one.
How people rated their work on a scale of 0-10
Flexibility to balance work and non-work commitments
But it is not just clogged roads and more people that are leading to a rise in travel times.
Statistically speaking, a male tradie with two dependent kids is the most likely to have a lengthy commute.
So meet Alex Gray.
The electrician has two young boys and is currently building a family home in the town of Warragul, 100km south-east of Melbourne.
His job often takes him to Melbourne and he estimates he drives about 1,000km every week for work.
“To me it’s worthwhile. Having an affordable lifestyle and where we live is more of a priority than living closer to where I need to be,” he said.
“The thing for me that we weighed up was living on the fringe of suburbia, I prefer to travel half an hour further on to Warragul and have the lifestyle that we can have in Warragul and the affordability of housing and stuff like that.”
The HILDA survey found technicians and trades workers were the most likely to experience long commutes, well ahead of sales workers at the other end of the scale.
Prevalence of different commute lengths, by occupation, 2017 (%)
Technicians and Trades Workers
Community and Personal Service Workers
Clerical and Administrative Workers
Machinery Operators and Drivers
Short = less than one hour a day. Medium = 1-2 hours a day. Long = 2+ hours a day.
Mr Gray said while better public transport might help office workers, it was not the answer for tradies. And the thinking that more people taking trains would ease congestion on the roads did not always stack up.
“In my case it wouldn’t help at all,” he said.
“There’s predominantly two waves of traffic each day, and there will be a time from 5:00am to maybe 7:00am where it will be all trades vehicles. Every one will be a ute.
“And then from 7:00am to 9:00am that will be the office workers.
“So for those trades vehicles I don’t see any other way … you need your vehicles, you need your equipment where you’re going to be.”
On the infrastructure side of things, Mr Denham said the answer was not necessarily to make commutes into the city easier, because this could drain the economy of regional towns.
Instead, he argued, we should make the regions more attractive and have better jobs.
“When you look at the amount of money that’s being proposed on spending on fast rail projects there seems to me to be an important question that’s not asked, which is how else could we spend that money to develop stronger, more vibrant regional economies that attract people to live there?”