Friday, January 25, 2008

Bad girl, bad Sydney

Of political disappointments, I could name a few

Too many, now where's my frou frou

They've come and gone, at different times

I just shake my head, and give my opine

But now here is one

That takes the cake, bar none

Nah, even with Frank's help, a songwriter I ain't, but I was thinking about ex New South Wales Premiers, Mr Bob Carr in particular, although there has been many interesting ones, from the uber corrupt Bob Askin, to Nifty Neville Wran who I cannot say is corrupt because he is still alive. I shan't even hint at it. The laughing stock Barry Unsworth to that greasy Greiner and fairy floss Fahey.

State government is about being seen to be doing stuffs as much as anything. By listening to all the talk, perhaps you think they are doing stuffs. There is the odd occasion when they do do stuffs, but they are not often and you hear about them ad nauseum from self promoting mouths.

The State of Victoria can hardly crown itself in glory with forward thinking, but New South Wales beats us hands down, especially when it was under the rule of Premier Bob Carr. Mr Carr managed to successfully pull off the Sydney Olympics, but what else?

All the tourist dollars that just automatically flow into Sydney, are the envy of other states. The wealth in Sydney is just extraordinary.

Yet they cannot even come close to an acceptable level of public transport service or health care. I haven't looked at education. Perhaps that is where all the money went. Somehow I don't think Sydney teachers would agree.

Last time I was in Sydney, I caught a train on a Saturday afternoon. In Melbourne, on Saturday afternoons, trains run to time, unless something really serious happens. Not so Sydney. Fifteen minutes late, no explanation. Always running late, a local told me, they come from such a long way out and get held up at Redfern.

The new whiz bang ticket system was supposed to be ready for 2000. It is still not and has just been dumped by the state government. Why not dump it in 2000 when it wasn't ready. Talk about prolong the misery. Here is the latest.

Maybe they have been spending too much on hospitals and medical services. Not by this current story and a blogger's moving woes over the extraordinary death of her partner while in hospital care.

The Sydney Ferries organisation seems to stagger from disaster to disaster, as often as they change its big boss.

We really ought to expect better in Australia's premier city.


  1. Anonymous6:47 pm

    I beg to differ, Andrew. Melbourne's rail network is Connexified - which means it's synonymous with bad service, zero excuses and overcrowding. Sydney might have these issues, but at least they're investing more into necessary projects (rather than useless third tracks to Dandenong):

  2. On an immediate cost benefit analysis, perhaps you are correct about the third Dandenong track, but in the long term, I think it is a good idea. There is no guarantee that Dilemma can get the electricity sale through and I am not a believer in selling public assets anyway, regardless of how well the money is spent. As for underutilised assets being sold or better managed, heard it all before, so many times. While I am no lover of Connex, things were not so rosy under government ownership either. Some terrible times in the eighties and into the nineties. I don't think that you could argue that Sydney Trains is better than Connex. I was talking about the present and the past. For the future, the smaller states seem more on the ball.

    Ah, normally I don't argue my case, but I enjoyed that :)

  3. Poor Vanessa, she deserved SO MUCH MORE!! Things have GOT to be better than this!

  4. Just swinging through to say don't go too crazy celebrating Our National Day ...
    peas and love, brownie

  5. Yep Cazzie. 99.9% of the time perhaps the RNSH gets it right, but when they get it wrong, the really get it wrong.

    Happy Oz Day BWCA and Happy Indian Independence Day.

  6. Anonymous1:49 pm

    The Dandenong third-track, Andrew, is pointless because there are more important problems at hand and also because in the 50's the network ran 50% more trains on less 'capacity', so how could there be a capacity crisis.

    Just ask Mees about it.

  7. I have listened to Mr Mees argue for public transport for many years. I am well acquainted with his thoughts and his views are quite sound. My view is also based on the opinion of a friend who catches the train daily to and from work in the city from Huntingdale or Oakleigh. Your point re the fifties is on target, but trains with two doors as against umpteen, and trains not being able to move before the doors are shut play a part. Safe working back then was the driver's problem. Now it is tech problem and the driver would not dare to take an initiative decision. For safety reasons, this is probably good, but it does slow the system down. As I said, I am not a Connex hater, just a disliker of private public transport, but things were not so glorious in the olden days.

  8. Anonymous11:54 am

    I totally agree with you - they certainly were not. But it might interest you to know that it was Connex in the first place pushing for the Dandenong 3rd track. So whose interests are they serving? Theirs or us commuters'?
    Besides, Doncaster is a more desperate situation. The poor folks out there need rail or face a crippling deadlock. Rowville and Tarneit also need branch lines.

  9. Can't disagree with Doncaster or Rowville.