Thursday, 30 October 2014

The revenge of the Chinese communists

Rod Staples on the far right, ominously
NSW Treasury announced the contracts for the North West Rail Link on the 24th June:
"The NWRL will be delivered via three major contracts:

  • Tunnels and Station Civil Works package, to be delivered as a D&C;
  • Surface and Viaduct Civil Works package, to be delivered as a D&C; and
  • Operations, Trains and Systems (OTS) package, to be delivered as a PPP.
The TSC and SVC packages were awarded to different consortiums at the time of the announcement.

"The OTS package involves the design, construction and commissioning of rail infrastructure (including depot and stabling), procurement of rolling stock, operation and maintenance, and financing of the 23km of new rail network from Cudgegong Road to Epping, as well as the upgrade of existing rail network from Epping to Chatswood.

"OTS will be an availability PPP where demand risk will be retained by Government. A substantial State contribution will also be made during construction".

Delving through the acronyms it can be seen that this was a PPP where the private partner cannot lose. The taxpayer provides all the construction funds and takes all the risks and the private partner gets the profits, if any. The NSW government fought a costly battle in the courts to stop the SMH getting access to documents about the project claiming it would prevent the government from getting the best deal for the taxpayer, but it is impossible to imagine a worse deal for the taxpayer.

The announcement named Northwest Rapid Transit Corporation as one of the "two shortlisted consortia" that "successfully lodged their proposals in December 2013".

The $30 billion question is: Did NRTC have any inkling that Baird, the Treasurer in December 2013, would announce that if elected he would sell taxpayer assets to build a tunnel from Chatswood to Sydenham junction under the Harbour for no other purpose than to hand over the Bankstown line to the operators of single-deck trains?

If they did, then this amounts to fraud on a scale that is unprecedented in the history of Australia. This is fraud that reaches to the upper echelons of the NSW Liberal Party, far beyond Senator Arthur Sinodinos.

If they did not then this is incompetence on an unimaginable scale. The PPP was given task of selecting and procuring off-the-shelf rolling stock from overseas without any knowledge that it would possibly be required to pass up and down gradients so precipitous only lighter single-deck trains could negotiate them. At least, they think they can, they think they can. This was cited as a possibility in documents taken to Cabinet.
Leighton media release
The Premier's announcement on 12 June 2014 of the Harbour rail tunnel paid for by selling taxpayer assets clearly did not come as a surprise to Leighton Holdings. Twelve days later, on 24 June, they issued a media release: "The NSW government today announced the Northwest Rapid Transit Consortium (NRT) as the preferred operator for the North West Rail Link Project; the first stage of Sydney Rapid Transit, Sydney's brand new railway network".

Only a Royal Commission with the power to compel testimony can determine who knew what and when.

The Chinese communist domination

MTR Corp is "the major Operator participant with John Holland and UGL each having minority stakes". So what is the connection between the Chinese communist corporation MTR Corp and the multinational property development company UGL Limited?

UGL states on the ethics page of its web site:
  • We are committed to and take steps to prevent and detect bribery and corruption.
  • We do not make donations to political party funds or candidates
This has been contradicted by a series of emails published in exclusive articles in the SMH and Age newspapers. You can follow them here.

UGL paid the chief executive of Hong Kong C.Y. Leung ₤4 million in two tranches in a secret deal that was never disclosed. The deal was made in relation to UGL's purchase of Leung's insolvent property development company of which the shares were deemed to be worthless. The chief executive of Hong Kong effectively controls 76% of the shareholding of MTR Corporation leaving John Holland as the only independent minority shareholding in the unlisted consortium.

Baird will be selling taxpayer assets to fully fund a tunnel that has no purpose other than to hand over residents on the Bankstown line to a consortium dominated by a Chinese communist corporation and to dump 40,000 passengers an hour on the most vulnerable point of the rail system for south of the Harbour, crippling public transport south of the Harbour forever.

If MTR corp knew of or deduced Baird's plans before or after they lodged their submissions in December 2013 why did they not point out the obvious flaws?

The answer is of course: Why would they?

Revenge is sweet and sour

Baird has provided an "availability PPP", a new term where the NSW taxpayer provides all the funds for construction and takes on all the risks, then the tunnels and rails are handed over to the private unlisted partner. The private partner has nothing to lose. What's not to like.

B-52 wreckage at Victory Museum Hanoi
One of the 15 B-52s shot down during Linebacker II
Then there is the history between Australia and China. During the American intervention in the Vietnamese civil war more bombs were dropped on North Vietnam than were dropped on the whole of Europe in World War II.

We have been reminded by the death of Gough Whitlam that after being sworn in as Prime Minister on 5th December 1972 he and Lance Barnard had ended conscription and announced the withdrawal of troups from Vietnam on December 11 which was before Nixon launched Operation Linebacker II, The Christmas Bombings from 18-29 December. Whitlam criticised the bombings in a letter to the US President but it was evidently too late to save Sydney from retribution.

The carpet bombing of Hanoi was paid for by the American taxpayer and the North Vietnamese ultimately faired better than those in the south who are still dealing with the aftermath of Agent Orange and other things. The Viet Cong had tried repeatedly to tunnel under the defences of the Australian base camp at Nui Dat without success.

Now Baird will sell NSW taxpayer assets to build a tunnel under the CBD then pay a Chinese communist corporation to blitz the City Circle rail services with 40,000 passengers per hour at its most vulnerable point. Unlike the Operations Linebacker I and II which ended with election of a Democrat-controlled Congress, the bombardment of the City Circle will never end - the further the single-deck rail lines extend north of the Harbour the more intense it becomes. The irony is delicious. The Chinese authorities in Beijing must be laughing themselves silly at the stupidity of Australians.

Of course it is not the Australian people that are stupid just a little band of North Shore politicians who had festered too long in the rump of the Liberal Party. The NSW voters will have an opportunity to repudiate these politicians and re-establish their reputation for sound judgement and common decency on 28 March 2015.

If the unthinkable happened and Baird won the election then historians will record that this precipitated the collapse of public transport south of the Harbour. The City of Sydney will have been brought low:
Not by reds in the bed but by reds in the bedrock under the Harbour.

1 comment:

  1. Watch the whacky weed, doctors say it is bad for you. My family in Hk fighting the communists, they are evil, but not as evil as those drugs you're taking, they,ve convinced you that commies taking time out of their busy days to interfere in nsw transport decisions, when they are not.