Thursday, 11 July 2013

It is not just me

Member for Sydney
On a Round Table, out of the loop.
I went along to the Light Rail Community Forum at the end of April in good faith. We had been promised that there would be information about the Light Rail through Surry Hills. Instead we were handed the brochure released when the Project was announced and we were told by the Deputy Director General at Transport for NSW, Chris Lock, that no changes were possible, there would be no information on impacts on Surry Hills as surveyors would be working on alignments and he kept spouting jargon about "Round Tables" and "stakeholders". He kept chanting assertions that were clearly untrue. A TV News report on the meeting is in the bottom bar.

I could not sleep after the meeting and set about writing a letter to the Minister for Transport, my third letter ever to a Minister of the Crown, pointing out the obvious flaws in what Chris Lock had said at the meeting and in the infantile modelling exhibited in the brochure. I revised what I had written the following day and roamed the mean streets of Surry Hills to confirm the practicality of what I was proposing, and posted it off.

Chris Lock attended a Randwick Business Breakfast later in the week to give an address on the Light Rail Project. He chortled disingenuously to the breakfasting burghers of Randwich that he had been to a meeting in Surry Hills earlier in the week: "There are winners and losers and we all have to deal with this in our day to day businesses and politics and so on and so forth. The Minister was very clear to say if you happen to be a person who lives on Devonshire Street, we are very sorry, we are sorry, it is going to be nasty for a while." These were not the Minister's words, and they are not only disingenuous they are specious. The changes Chris Lock is making to the road systems of Sydney are not for a while, they are irretrievable.

It takes a while for emails and letters to a Minister to percolate through the system and Chris Lock would not have bebusen aware at the Breakfast that he had a lot more to be sorry for. Make no mistake, Chris Lock is a nasty little shit, and he does not care how many businesses or jobs he destroys so long as he can sell his Project to a private consortium, but he was not intelligent enough to realise that there are a lot more losers than the people who live in Devonshire Street.

In fact almost everyone who lives in the Eastern Suburbs, the South Eastern Suburbs and the inner Western Suburbs or lives or works in the CBD of Sydney will be very seriously disadvantaged by the Project. I will list the two irretrievable consequences of the Project that will impact the most people:
  • Every traffic artery from the Southern and South Eastern Suburbs of Sydney to Eastern Australia, from Kirribilli to Cape York, will be narrowed to one lane, or none, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year till the end of time.
  • Every bus service to the Sydney CBD will be severely degraded.
The Minister received letters from other people who have also contacted PUSH. After the Breakfast Chris Lock and the Minister for Transport retreated to their bunkers and have not answered any further questions about the Project or given any further addresses. Attempts to use "Freedom of Information" requests have been rebuffed on the grounds that the brochure gave full disclosure of the Project.
When the Daily Telegraph reported that my local Member of Parliament had been invited to join the Light Rail Round Table I emailed him to ask him to use his position to obtain information about the Project. His Electorate Officer has replied that unfortunately we do not know any more than the general public. O'Farrell is showing the same contempt for Parliament as he has for the people of New South Wales. I include a link to my email and the reply here.

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