Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The pizza boy; he delivers

Jeff Goodling came to Australia to work on the MAX light rail project in Perth. He had previously worked on the Portland Light Rail that has never made a profit. He jumped ship to become project manager for the NSW government's light rail project in June.

I confronted him at the community meeting on 21 September about the discrepancies in the different consultant's reports in the EIS. He responded that he was not a technical guy and could not answer those kind of questions; his role was to "deliver the project".

The front page headline in the West Australian today is:
DERAILED Election train promises shunted to distant future

The MAX light rail system had been fully disclosed before the last election and has not led to any major objections from the Perth community. In the election campaign at the last election, Barnett promised to start construction during this term of government. Now the project will not begin until after the next election, if at all. It will be up for debate at the next election.

Contrast this to the situation in NSW where the O'Farrell government is railroading the state into a system that was not disclosed before the last election, and has not been properly disclosed, even with the exhibition of an EIS. The route through the CBD was chosen on the whim of the Premier without professional analysis and has been showed to be catastrophically flawed.

This situation is comparable to what happened with the Republican Constitution - it did not bloody work, no matter how earnestly fringe politicians wanted it to work. The people were given a vote on the Republican constitution and overwhelmingly rejected it.

The construction of tram rails along George Street will have irreversible consequences for Sydney and the matter needs to be taken to the next election. And this matter will be, no matter what contracts and agreements the O'Farrell government signs.

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