Raising the BARR – Week ending 10th February

Raising the Barr


Over the past 10 years the NSW Government has spent billions and billions of dollars on public transport, almost all of which is in Sydney. Public transport is of key importance in any city of 5 million people.

Spending the money is one thing. But getting value for money is something altogether different. Making sure that our taxpayer dollars are spent carefully and wisely is an incredible responsibility for any Government. There can be little doubt, or little defence, for the many thousands of millions of wasted dollars spent on public transport in recent years.

We have had 2 different types of ferries purchased and built overseas, to be used on our Sydney waterways as public transport. The vessels that are intended to go up the river to Parramatta and the like are; dangerously too high to go under bridges meaning that people can’t sit on the top deck; built with windows that make it impossible for the staff of the vessels to see out at night; can’t do emergency stops; and are full of asbestos.

The vessels purchased to travel across Sydney Harbour to Manly; can’t dock at the usual Manly wharf on low tide; have leaks in the hull (bottom of boat); cracks in the fuel tanks after just months in use; windows that shatter in heavy swells; and emergency doors that are locked so as to not take people’s fingers off.

There have been various sets of trains purchased from overseas companies and shipped into Australia. Some of them don’t fit the tracks. Some don’t have facilities for our guards that manage passenger safety at each stop. Some don’t have re-fuelling in the correct position to fit our facilities.

Various sets of trams have also been purchased and shipped in from overseas only to be taken off the tracks within months due to cracking throughout the carriages.

Throughout all of this, having spent these many billions of dollars employing workers in other countries, manufacturing in Australia has been dying.

And to top it all off, the original negotiated price for these various forms of public transport have blown out in costs by many thousands of millions of dollars. This money could have built dozens of brand-new hospitals, or up to a hundred new schools, or allowed us to employ a thousand or more doctors in our health system, or made massive road improvement right across the state.

No matter what your personal politics are, it would be hard to give the various Transport Ministers in NSW, over the past 10 years, any grade other than an F for Fail. We really do need to be far more careful with taxpayer dollars and pay far more attention to the contracts we sign.

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For enquiries regarding the State Government or its departments, or to put you in contact with someone who can help, please contact my office.  My office can be contacted by phoning 4991-1466, by email to cessnock@parliament.nsw.gov.au or call into 118 Vincent Street (PO Box 242), Cessnock 2325.


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