Raising the BARR – Week ending 14 July 2017

Raising the Barr

Selling The Harbour Bridge – Seriously?

I have been inundated by community complaints about the NSW Government’s plan to “sell the Sydney Harbour Bridge” (SHB).  It is both appropriate and troubling that we would be so concerned about that one piece of real estate.  So many other items have been sold and barely an eyelid has been battered:  hundreds of parcels of Crown Land, Travelling Stock Routes, iconic sandstone buildings, school sites, Aboriginal sacred sites, our ports, our motorways and even our land titles.  I understand that the SHB is iconic, it appears in all of our tourism promotions and possibly has more visitors and photographs taken than any other Australian site, but really, is it any more or less important than some of these other things already sold (please don’t get outrageously upset with me – I am just charging a logical argument).

You see, the reality is that at the moment everything in NSW that makes a profit, or is simply deemed by Government as an “asset” as opposed to a “necessity” is being sold.  And in reality, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is no different – it certainly makes a nice tidy profit after having being paid off decades ago.  The private sector is only interested in buying profit making assets.

The question you really need to be asking yourself, your family and your friends, is whether or not you believe selling it all is the answer.  And if you in part agree with the philosophy, then where and how and why do you draw the line.  At the moment, it is impossible to even say that there is a line in the sand for the Government.  Nothing at all seems to be not for sale.  Forget the SHB, what is more important than land title – the foundation of our Nation’s economy?

But it doesn’t end with the sale of assets. Just a few weeks ago I moved a Motion in Parliament to prevent the Government from selling all of our personal and private information.  I did this, because they had just moved a new rule to allow for it to be sold.  The truth is that all of our information, from cradle to grave, is held by Service NSW – formerly RMS (RTA), Births Deaths and Marriages, Fair Trading, etc.  Prior to the new rule by Government, made and proclaimed in April this year, no external non-Government agency could access your information.  This all changed in April.

Is the Harbour Bridge more important to you then your own personal information?  Do you want these corporate profit making entities knowing about your health, your disabilities, your licences, your business dealings, your insurances, your marriage status and everything else?  Please, don’t get me wrong, I think that the proposed sale of the SHB is disgusting.  But I am equally, and at times more, disgusted by some of the other “for sale” items that make up the $50B worth of assets sold by this Government since March 2011.