Wednesday, 13 March 2019

A PREMIER WHO DOES NOT TELL THE TRUTH FORFEITS THE RIGH TO GOVERN OUR STATE

I can't stand politicians deliberately not telling the truth. We can argue about different policies based on given set of facts, but just making up bold assertions like the Premier has on Labor's policies. In my view this means that she has forfeit the right to govern our state.

The following is what I mean and include the following:

CLAIM 1:
BEREJIKLIAN: He has just misled the public because no matter which way you look at it the public has to pay for the upgrade to a stadium. No-one else but the taxpayer.
FACT:
Labor will make the SCG Trust take out a loan to pay for a more modest upgrade, rather than taxpayers. Excerpt from the independent Parliamentary Budget Office’s (“PBO”) costing of Labor’s policy – 
CLAIM 2:
DALEY: They [regional NSW] were promised 30% of the funds from restart. They're getting 14%.
FACT:
The 2017 NSW Auditor General report into State Finances says that 14 per cent of Restart NSW Funds were spent in the regions.
CLAIM 3:
DALEY: According to budget papers this year, the Government's capital spend in public schools is $1. 8 billion for this year, less than what they're spending on stadiums.
BEREJIKLIAN: That's not true.
FACT:
Page 1-9 of the 2018-19 Budget Infrastructure Statement says that the total capital expenditure on Education and Skills in 2018-19 is $1.793 billion. If anything that figure is inflated because it includes all capital expenditure for TAFE as well. The Liberals and Nationals total stadium spend is $2.2 billion.
CLAIM 4:
BEREJIKLIAN: We came to government, New South Wales was the worst-performing state in the nation – highest unemployment...
FACT:
The final year of the Labor Government averaged an unemployment rate of 5.1%. Only Western Australia – which was in a mining boom – had a lower unemployment rate. This was following the largest financial crisis since the Great Depression.
CLAIM 5:
BEREJIKLIAN: “What concerns me is that every single policy the Labor leader puts forward is about axing a project.”
FACT:
Labor has over 100 positive policies (and there are more to come) which include:
• $1.4bn demountable replacement program • $800m cool schools
• New and upgraded hospitals
• 7Gw renewable energy
• 500,000 rooftop solar rebates
• $8bn for metro west – more than the Liberals and Nationals have committed • $3bn upgrade of existing railway network
• $900m regional roads
• $1.1bn pinch point program

One fact that neither the Premier nor the Treasurer have disputed is that they have wasted $14 billion on budget blowouts on major projects. All sides can now agree on this.

In contrast to Daley Labor, Premier Berejiklian and the Liberals and Nationals have a long history of not telling the truth. This includes:
[1] In December 2014 then Transport Minister Berejiklian said that the cost blowout for the Sydney Light Rail was due to “scope improvements.” However the NSW Auditor General found that “by October 2014, TfNSW [Transport for NSW] reported that mispricing and omissions in the business case had caused $517 million of the $549 million capital cost increase.”
[2] Stuart Ayers claimed that they took their stadium policy to the 2015 election. However the Liberals and Nationals 2015 stadium policy was just $600 million.
[3] The Sydney Gateway was included in the WestConnex business case but after blowing out from $800 million to $2.6 billion, the Liberals and Nationals claimed it was a separate project.

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

NSW LABOR SUPPORTS #VOTEMUSIC CAMPAIGN

Labor has backed the alliance of music industry groups who today launched their campaign to protect live music in NSW with a #votemusic message to voters before the March 23 election. 

Music industry social media pages today have changed their profile pictures to post images of static and white noise, in support of the #votemusic campaign. 

This campaign is a glimpse of the future of the NSW music scene – static and white noise. To save music in NSW we need to change the government. 

To #votemusic, vote Labor.

The campaign is being organised by the Australian Festival Association along with Live Performance Australia, APRA AMCOS, Live Music Office, Music NSW, ARIA and PPCA. Today the NSW Labor page joined in the campaign. 

Labor has announced that in government it would scrap the existing festival regulation and immediately consult with the Australian Festivals Association and relevant government agencies about the future of the licensing regime. 

Labor has announced $4million support for festivals in NSW, and its support for a streamlined licensing and multi-year approvals for festivals with a good track record. 

This is a part of Labor’s $35 million package to support the music sector, which includes $11.5 million of direct funding for artists and the industry, $3 million to keep venues open, $10 million to create a home for music in NSW, and a plan to rebuild the touring circuit across suburban and regional NSW. 

The contemporary music and festival sector for NSW, generates $325 million in revenue for the NSW economy with 6 million attendees every year.

More than 100,000 people have viewed the original post, which you can find here: 

Saturday, 23 February 2019

GREEN SQUARE TUNNEL MUST REOPEN AS URGENT PRIORITY

City of Sydney Deputy Lord Mayor Linda Scott and I have united in a call to the Transport Minister to urgently prioritise the reopening of the Green Square station pedestrian tunnel underneath Botany Road, citing the community’s concerns for pedestrian safety at one of the state’s busiest intersections.

The tunnel was closed by Transport for NSW (TfNSW), the state’s peak transport agency, in November 2018 to facilitate upgrades to lifts and stairs as a condition of approval of the “Infinity by Crown” development at 301 Botany Road, Zetland. 

The tunnel allowed pedestrians to safely cross underneath Botany Road to access the station, but its closure forces them to instead queue on a narrowed footpath and wait for the lights to change. 

The tunnel is expected to reopen in April 2019, but Cr Scott and say these urgent works need to be expedited to ensure passenger safety, which can only occur by agreement between TfNSW and the developer, Crown. We are calling on the Minister for Transport, Andrew Constance, to enter urgent talks with the developer to reopen the tunnel as soon as possible. 

Key Facts About Green Square Station 

The station is serviced by the Airport Line and is one of Sydney’s busiest stations. It is located at the corner of Bourke Street, Botany Road, and O’Riordan Street, a key heavy vehicle route and major artery servicing the CBD and Sydney Airport. 

More than 21,000 passengers access Green Square station by foot every weekday, a figure that increases 25% annually. 

A young mother was tragically killed and five other pedestrians were seriously injured in December 2018, after a truck carrying bricks plowed off the road onto the footpath just 150 metres from the entrance to the station.

More than 61 000 people will call the Green Square precinct home by the time it is completed in the next decade, making it the densest community in the country. 

This tunnel needs to finished and opened to the public quick smart. The Minister really needs to act. We know the risks that pedestrians face as long as this tunnel is closed, and we learned last year just how tragic the results can be in what was just an accident.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

NSW LABOR TO SCRAP THE LIBERALS’ FAILED MEDIUM DENSITY HOUSING CODE

NSW Labor will, if elected in March scrap the Liberals controversial Medium Density Housing Code (The Code). 

The Code, which was introduced by the Liberal Government in 2018, allows for the inclusion of medium density housing, such as one and two storey dual occupancies, and terraces as complying development under the State Environment Planning Policy.

Under the Code, complying developments do not require a full development application to a council, instead only a complying development certificate issued by a private certifier, taking away council and community input. This is not proper planning policy and has been done not to benefit the community only developers.

Each development need to be advertised and assessed on its individual merits after community consultation.

It is the role of government to have a legislative framework that provides an open, transparent, quick and efficient determination. It is essential that this framework allows councils to work with their communities to achieve that objective.

When Labor's spokesperson said: "The Code is just another example of the Liberal Government’s complete mismanagement of the planning system and disregard for community and council expectations;" she was right.

Labor will put people and communities back at the heart of planning and scrap the Liberal’s overdevelopment agenda.

Labor supports medium density when provided for in Local Environmental Plans, however, the failed Code was imposed on councils, and denied communities and councils input in determining what is best for their respective communities.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

SYDNEY CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL CARDIAC UNIT IN CRISIS

NSW Labor has called on the Berejiklian Government to resolve the long-running crisis over paediatric cardiac services at the Sydney Children's Hospital (SCH) in Randwick- saying doctors fear that patient safety is at risk.

NSW Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord said the State Government had to immediately respond to concerns expressed by the SCH staff medical council.

The Senior Medical Staff Council is set to vote on a motion of no-confidence over the lack of resources in the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network board, which was merged by the Liberal-National State Government in 2012.

Mr Secord was responding to a report in the Daily Telegraph – Page 7 -Hospital Pact in critical condition.

“Sadly, the Berejiklian Government has the wrong priorities. They prefer to splurge billions on stadiums rather than invest in health services for the most vulnerable in the community – babies,” Mr Secord said.

“Unfortunately, it is another day and it is another crisis within the health and hospital system.

“This is an extraordinary step to be taken by doctors at SCH in Randwick. It shows that their frustration has reached boiling point. Doctors do not take these steps lightly.

“It is wrong that the Berejiklian Government is forcing doctors in Sydney’s east and Sydney’s west to fight each other for resources.”

In late-November, the hospital issued a public petition signed by senior staff at Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick concerned about paediatric cardiac services there.

The medical staff have also written and signed an open letter to NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard on children’s cardiac services at SCH at Randwick.

The medical staff are upset about a “running down” of children’s cardiac services at Sydney Children’s Hospital.

Monday, 17 December 2018

WESTCONNEX REPORT CONFIRMS A CULTURE OF WASTE, MISMANAGEMENT AND SECRECY UNDER THE BEREJIKLIAN LIBERAL GOVERNMENT

A Parliamentary committee has delivered a damning indictment on the culture of secrecy and cover up at the heart of the Berejiklian Liberal Government over its management of the largest infrastructure project in the country, the giant WestConnex toll road.

In a 200 page report, the Public Accountability Committee lays bare how the Liberals used the cloak of the Sydney Motorway Corporation – the government controlled private entity set up to deliver WestConnex – to hide their waste and mismanagement.

The Committee found the State Government was not up front about the business case for the road, failed to get an independent assessment of it and that the SMC “weakened” the disclosure and accountability rules governing the project. 

It also said that the recent sale of a majority stake in the road to the private sector is likely to “exacerbate existing transparency and accountability concerns”.

The report comes after a deluge of negative reports into the Government’s terrible mismanagement of major infrastructure and the waste that has attended it.

Labor has found more than $13 billion of the $70 billion that the Liberals’ have reaped from privatisation has been wasted on cost blowouts on, among other things, Sydney Light Rail and the Sydney Gateway. 

Last week the independent Auditor-General found that sale of Ausgrid had been botched and was possibly in contravention of ICAC guidelines. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission found that a clause holding back the economic development of Newcastle in the sale of ports in 2013 was anti-competitive and illegal.

Today’s findings come a day ahead of an update on the Budget which is expected to show significant structural weaknesses in the state’s economy as a result of the Liberals’ privatisation agenda. 

NSW Opposition Leader Michael Daley said: “The Liberals’ record on Westconnex is emblematic of the way they have handled major infrastructure projects across the state.

“At $20 billion WestConnex has doubled in cost, eaten up all the proceeds of the sale of the state’s electricity assets and it is still under a cloud a secrecy.

“This report confirms all our concerns about this Government’s failure to properly plan and implement major infrastructure projects. What makes it worse is that the Liberals went to such lengths to hide it all from the public. 

“It is a terrible indictment of this Government and will not happen under a Daley Labor government."

Monday, 10 December 2018

NSW PORTS A BAD PRIVATISATION - RECYCLING OF ASSETS OR OUTRAGEOUS ATI-COMPETITIVE CONDUCT

The Liberals zealotry of privatisation will hit the courts after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission alleged that the agreements entered into by the NSW Liberal government in leasing Port Botany and Port Kembla are anti-competitive and unlawful.

I have a lot to say about the stupidity of this zealotry 6 years ago in parliament which you can ready here.

Matt O'Sullivan of the Sydney Morning Herald reports today NSW ports privatisation in firing line after ACCC takes legal action.

Why does it take 6 years to work these Liberals out? Where has the ACCC been for 6 years? The could have stopped it then. Sometime I just wish I was wrong.