Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here’s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.


 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate

Subscribe!
Subscribe





On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.
___________

Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

The truth about Rebuild NSW

By Robert Gibbons - posted Monday, 19 June 2017


There are daily Parliamentary and media debates about such commitments as the Inland Rail Bridge, urban metro and road works including tunnels (in most cities), and the adequacy of NDIS budgets. These amount to the usual good-governance challenge of using available funds wisely, and seeking more funds only when justified.

The most famous urban program in Australia now is the NSW Government's North West to CBD and South West Metro: a stated cost $23 billion and with uncalculated consequential damage to the Bradfield rail lines that the Metro duplicates.

It was one of the signature features of the "con job" ("stench", "fiasco" in then Coalition Premier O'Farrell's words) that the successive Labor metromeisters in the 2000s foisted on NSW that their favoured projects were "fully funded".

Advertisement

The Bairdian Governments made much of the $20 billion Restart NSW allocation which "is only possible by releasing capital locked up in the leased electricity network businesses (poles and wires)" that would help metros, hospitals, schools, water security and regions affected by mining and even the Zoo to improve their competitiveness and productivity. The Overview of the 2016 Budget stated that the disposition would be:

  • $8.9 billion to urban public transport
  • $6 billion in total for regional works
  • $2.4 billion for urban roads
  • $1 billion each for water, education and health
  • $0.1 billion for corridor reservation

Total $20 billion

Public references clearly implied that the proceeds from privatisation of poles and wires would allow the Metro's tunnel under the Harbour and extension to Bankstown. Baird's press release of 11 June '14 said this:

The NSW Government will unlock $20 billion in infrastructure funding, including $6 billion for regional NSW, by undertaking a long-term lease ... For Sydney, the centrepiece will be a new Sydney Rapid Transit line, including a second harbour rail crossing and extending the NW Rail Link through the CBD and beyond to Bankstown.

The PR of the following 4 June '15 included these words:

Advertisement

Sydney's much-needed second harbour rail crossing will become a reality now that funding has been secured for the NSW Government's $20 billion Rebuilding NSW plan ... this is a mega congestion busting project ...".

We'll come back to that $20 billion. What is the situation with the "con job": has Labor's recrudesced along with their Metro lines? or is there a new standard of accountability and efficiency (as announced when Restart and Rebuilding were created)?

The Metro bill alone, excluding WestConnex and the many associated road works including at least three new road tunnels, and trams, amounts to $9 billion from the NW to the tunnel, and $14 billion to Bankstown. That sub-total of $23 billion has to have $6 billion added to regions (not yet a reality), making a for-example and totally minimum total, for veracity, of $29 billion.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All


Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

4 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with del.icio.us Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Robert Gibbons started urban studies at Sydney University in 1971 and has done major studies of Sydney, Chicago, world cities' performance indicators, regional infrastructure financing, and urban history. He has published major pieces on the failure of trams in Sydney, on the "improvement generation" in Sydney, and has two books in readiness for publication, Thank God for the Plague, Sydney 1900 to 1912 and Sydney's Stumbles. He has been Exec Director Planning in NSW DOT, General Manager of Newcastle City, director of AIUS NSW and advisor to several premiers and senior ministers.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Robert Gibbons

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Photo of Robert Gibbons
Article Tools
Comment 4 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend
Advertisement

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy