Inner West Independent

Fix NSW: The litany of failure.

Photo: Michael Agzarian

By Peter Hehir

The NSW ALP wrote the script for their electoral massacre in 2011 with political corruption surfacing on so many fronts.

Was it their push for privatisation, their many bungled public transport proposals or simply that too many pigs at the trough were caught with their trotters in the till?

The resultant electoral backlash gave the Neo Cons carte blanche to begin feeding on the public carcass.

The following was lifted from “Fix NSW. The list goes on” which was published in City Hub on the 5th December.

 “The assault on public institutions, from TAFE, to prisons and hospitals, to local councils, transport and the energy grid; the flogging off of everything that isn’t bolted down – and most of the stuff that is; this is the physical manifestation of an ideology that sees Government as an impediment to what is so ironically referred to as “progress”.

With the NSW State election looming, now is the perfect time to sabotage the State and accept responsibility.

The organisers of Fix NSW, a growing coalition of community groups, have locked down a date to protest the parlous state of politics here in NSW. Details can be found here.

The following litany of ills was published in Bottleneck! in August of 2017.

We are not just witnessing the distancing of ordinary people from the decision-making process, from having some say in determining the shape of the environment that they own and in which they live, but also the wanton destruction of our built and natural heritage; the loss of habitat; jail for protesting against projects like WestConnex; the destruction of heritage precincts; the theft of homes at below market value; the loss of open space; the forced evictions and council amalgamations; the loss of amenity; the imposition of State Planning controls on local councils; the stifling of speech; the appalling pro-developer biodiversity legislation that threatens endangered species; the mismanagement of the Murray Darling; the removal of protection for endangered flora and fauna; the hours of waiting for treatment in crowded hospital casualty rooms; the overcrowded and understaffed recovery wards for day surgery; the increasing student/teacher ratios, the proliferation of demountable classrooms; Urban Growth threatening to turn Sydney into a high-rise dormitory; the lack of heavy rail track maintenance; the paucity of seating on the privately run Metro; the under-utilisation of the existing passenger and goods rail network; the privatisation of the arterial road and rail networks and of State run essential enterprises; the need for sensitive routing of light rail; the forced dependence on the daily drive; the concentration and importing of motor vehicle pollution from the WestConnex tunnels; the unfiltered exhaust stacks; the preventable cancers caused; the imposition of burdensome tolls on the residents of the west; the absurdity of traffic inducing tolled radial and concentric urban freeways; the greenhouse gases emitted creating the concrete; the total disregard for the reality of global warming; the threat of climate change; the white-anting of democracy and the rise of fascism…   

On and on and on it goes. The list is simply endless…

This needs to change. We’re all diminished by the absence of political decision making that enhances our daily lives. And our Inner City communities are so much the poorer for it.

The contempt that both sides of the NSW Parliament have for the Inner West is barely disguised. There never was any real danger of the WestConnex Parliamentary Inquiry tabling a finding opposing WestConnex.

The adage “Never ask a question that you don’t know the answer to” was never more apt. The outcome was a forgone conclusion.

It was only agreed to by the Labor Party because it gave them an opportunity to put the boot into the Neocons and score a few cheap political points.

Labor’s promise of a Judicial Inquiry wouldn’t fare much better, given the ALP’s support for WestConnex.

NSW Labor’s response to pleas for a Royal Commission is; “Yes, we’re going to conduct a Judicial Inquiry”, as though they were one and the same. They aren’t. Don’t let them tell you they are…

Only a Royal Commission into Infrastructure with its wide ranging powers can expose the corruption and explain why both major parties have failed to provide a world class publically owned transport system here in the greater Sydney region.

So make sure you join the thousands expected in Hyde Park North on Sunday 3rd of March from 1 pm to 3 pm and raise your voice in protest!






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