Thursday, September 13, 2012

Glad from up north

I so wish Victoria had a transport minister like Gladys in New South Wales. Someone with the name of Gladys would surely be a no nonsense type and get things done. The Hon. Gladys Berjiklan, MP and the Minister for Roads have a grand plan for transport in NSW. Please don't forget about that rubbishy old train that slowly chugs its way from Sydney to Melbourne and back.

I don't know if our Glad was trying to make a joke or not, but when she said that the private operation of Sydney Ferries was going swimmingly well, I almost choked on my ristretto.

Our population has long outgrown our transport systems, both road and rail. A very large amount of money needs to spent in our big cities to transport residents and visitors around.

In the past, governments would borrow money at very low interest rate to invest in building infrastructure. The cash return on the investment of borrowed money by governments may have been poor, but the return in the form of public benefit was immense. Experimentation with combined public private partnerships has generally been unsatisfactory. It is time to turn the clock back where local and state governments invest money in infrastructure. There is nothing inherently wrong with governments borrowing money to invest in infrastructure. We would have little in the way of train and tram lines if in the past money had not been borrowed to build them.


  1. Colin7:19 am

    Andrew. Well may you choke on your ristretto! I darn near dropped my early morning fix of coffee!
    Governments all have "grand plans" that's why we have changes of governments - in with the new and the grand plans and out with the old and the unsuccessful plans.(or is that never attempted plans??).
    Holy hell - the SYD/MEL/SYD XPT!!!
    For how many years, now getting close to the century mark, if not over the century has that grand plan of the straight track been tossed about?? The so-called high speed train!
    I would be surprised if "our Glad" has ever caught a train, the Qld transport ministers certainly never have. The previous and present "fools" seem to think that QR trains all wash themselves with fresh air, not high powered water hoses.
    Please keep your readers up to date with the activities and plans of "Our Glad"!!!
    Colin (Brisbane, frequent train commuter and late aspiring transport minister!!!)

  2. Colin8:40 am

    Oh what the hell, Andrew.
    Lets go Whitlamesque!
    "Well may you choke on your ristretto, but nothing will save State and Federal Transport Ministers"!

  3. TOH coming from Switzerland ,where the transport system is great can never stop being aghast at our attempts to provide decent public transport.

    Governments keep putting up parking fees to encourage people to use public transport which doesn't work because the infrastructure is not there.

    If you think Sydney and Melbourne are bad nothing compares with the Brisbane shamozzle.

  4. We're overpopulated. TOO MANY PEOPLE. More coming in.

    Public transport will never catch up.

  5. Yes Colin, I've never heard of completed plans for public transport. With your population now, it needs to be an east coast high speed train, via Canberra. I am sure it would be successful if it was fast enough to be as quick as a plane from city centre to city centre, and how much more relaxing. A least our ministers use trams, as they are right at Parly House and convenient.

    The Whitlam quote works well.

    Diane, an issue with your first sentence, I don't think there is an attempt to provide decent public transport. As you say, it happens in European countries. The knowledge of how to do it there.

    The Gold Coast light rail is interesting and what a battle that was to get off the ground. I think it will be very successful.

    RH, no argument from me. But if we are to be overpopulated, then more needs to be done.

  6. Stop immigration.

  7. Colin1:10 pm

    Andrew: Love your replies???
    Victorian politicans ride in trams to Parliament? Well, you have an exercise to do. Station yourself with your trusty camera outside the Victorian Parliamentary Building and produce photographs!
    Your Premier, Ted Ballieu, are you sure he would know what a tram was?
    Maybe his now official car and previously Mercedes Benz SL500 got stuck behind one, that's all he'd know. Does he catch the train to see the matches of his football club at Geelong? Does he catch a tram to go to the MCG for the cricket, or for golf at Royal Melbourne?? I think not. He is a member of all clubs.
    I agree totally with Diane, Swiss trains are clean and run on time, plus in that hilly terrain, they do have high speed trains.
    And as for this fantasy of all political parties for a high speed train from Brisbane to Melbourne, that is "Mickey Mouse" talk - all gibbish, complete fantasy land. As soon as the proposed track is outlined and it goes through the electorate of the sitting member of the ruling party - it becomes a "Lest We Forget" item. It will cause me to lose my seat and of course pensions (protected) and privilages.
    A good blog report Andrew, and as for stopping immigration the correct way, never will this be done. It would be suicide for Australia but not this boat business which I totally disagree with - Nauru, Manus, Christmas Island and various detention centres - turn the bloody boats back.
    Looking forward to more thoughts from your readers.

  8. Immigration is fine, We get a better class of citizen and cuisine. Stop Ockers banging uglies with the lights out! Though maybe one should be generously Christian and forgive them - for they know not what they do.

  9. It's time to bring out the scoops.

  10. LS, we've got enough and our cuisine can't get any better.

    FC, over my head.

    RH, you had a valid point, which I appreciated, but you know I don't allow people who comment to be insulted.

  11. Colin, I have no intention of stalking pollies to see if they use trams or trains. I doubt Teddy does, but many do. May I remind you of the train from Alice Springs to Darwin. No one ever thought it would happen. People have to keep pushing for this high speed train. I the revised Labor Party policy is to stop the boats, where practicable.

  12. Yes well calling our girls uglies risks getting his own lights put out.

  13. Ristretto? What is that please?

    Public transport will never be fixed. I say we should get busy building a few Stargates in every city. Step in at one location, step out in another.

  14. River, a wanky coffee drunk by inner city socialist chardy, latte sipping types. I am still waiting for me Jetsons back pack propulsion unit.

  15. Colin6:59 am

    If nothing else Andrew from your transport report, I have learnt something! Ristretto!!!!
    I thought it must have been a strange Italian meatball dish - ha ha. Never could have coffee come into the mix!

  16. Colin, ristretto might have been dramatic license. It could have been Nescafe instant.

  17. Jetsons back pack propulsion units were never going to happen. Manufacturing costs wouldn't have been high enough for governments to justify raising of taxes to cover it. A Stargate on the other hand would run to billions and governments should be all over that raising taxes to umpteen % to justify building them.

  18. My turn now, what is a Stargate?

  19. Gladys was the most prominent spokesperson in the former Opposition and I suppose the expectations were high when she became Minister that there would be transport improvements. The reality of actually having to achieve as distinct from criticise from the sidelines has hit home. A lot of promises; not much achievement.

  20. Victor, it has become so predictable. Promise the world and then later find out about the practicalities. At least public transport is now an election issue that can win or lose seats.

  21. Sorry RH, that was not a slight on fine Aussie sheilas. You're obviously not au fait with the term 'banging uglies'.

  22. I had misgivings later about the insulting comment(deleted)I made to you because you seem a decent bloke, however you put stuff aside from "uglies" into your comment which wasn't at all necessary.