You can't fool all of the people ...

BIG LIES - you can't fool all of the people all of the time

PM Turnbull said "we are caring for Sydney".  PM Morrison said he'd "be like Menzies".  They are not the biggest lies.  Labor destroyed itself with a Dept of Premiers-driven "planning stench" (O'Farrell).  That that continues means that "congestion busting" is a monumental whopper.

The lie that Sydney will have to bear for generations to come is that the Metro program was cost-effective, operationally-appropriate and proportionate to congestion and demographic challenges.  It is none of those things:  it is an obsession driven by Hong Kong corporates (including banks).  The "Baird model" is broken but the obsessives are continuing, including in PM Morrison's and Berejiklian's backyards,  especially under the hapless City Deal and "Port Botany" monopoly club.

The recent NSW State Election was misinterpreted as a win for Berejiklian, when it was a loss for Labor.  Aaron Patrick wrote in the Financial Review that "Building train lines through dense cities is complicated, politically and physically.  Berejiklian was responsible for the project's inception when she was transport

minister, and had guided it into being seven years later as Premier.  She was entitled to feel proud".  In her dreams.

Berejiklian was reported in the SMH as trying to find a better way to densify - no, that Baird "crash through or crash" approach is destructive and counter-productive, it is is citicide - the better way is defined in these pages would but Berejiklian be as listening and caring as she claims to be.  Instead, she has multiplied the unfunded and improbable project myths like a metro to Badgerys Airport and fast rail in all directions (when not even one is possible).

Former PM Turnbull got the facts wrong as in the tram history:

  • Take the North West Metro - it has been talked about for many decades. Should have been built years ago. But it took a Liberal government and a dedicated minister like Gladys to get it underway and so it was fantastic to see her riding the new North West Metro this week. When it opens for public service later in the year it will be the biggest single addition to our urban rail network in my lifetime - and I am quite a bit older than Gladys!   This is a government that has delivered what it promised. So you can trust them to deliver on their promises again.

No Malcolm, it was a broken promise and humiliation of Nick Greiner as well as betrayal of NSW.  It will be the second "Baird ghost train" after the 1995 catastrophic corporate insolvency on the Airport Link.


Defeating the Commission of Audit

the essence: Berejiklian defeated the commission of audit then iNSW (Greiner) in 2012

The Coalition promised to have independent verification of infrastructure and related promises (which includes the Metros) – why was this avoided as well as the requirement to produce a business case etc? (An email dated 6 January 2016 from the Metro advised that the business case” is still in development” - well after profound decisions about the Bradfield network had been taken.

The Government’s election manifesto in March 2011, “Make NSW Number One Again” contained these words:

… over 15 years of Labor, projects have gone off the rails with multi-million dollar cost overruns and blowouts in completion dates. Some projects have incurred hundreds of millions of dollars in expenditure – and been cancelled with nothing to show for it. No boardroom, or CEO in the private sector would be permitted to get away with such incompetence…. Labor’s Rozelle Metro fiasco has cost at least $498 million in cancellation compensation costs. (The Coalition will have) Independent verification of Treasury costings; and Clear statements on the impact of costings on forward budgets.

Long-standing Treasury guidelines provide for a feed-back loop to recover from poorly-conceived decisions:

There should be reassessment of major project parameters as project planning proceeds, and if these vary significantly reassessment of the decision to proceed with the proposed project may be necessary to avoid implementing a project that has negative net benefits…. For large projects, a preliminary economic appraisal may be required, and subsequently updated as new material and data become available.

Forgive the long quote but these precious words are critical from the Interim Report of the Schott Commission of Audit (early 2012):

The Commission agrees with the Lambert Review “that rigorous and holistic asset planning in NSW is sometimes absent and tends to follow, rather than lead, the commitment to an infrastructure investment”. Notably: 

  • some specific infrastructure projects have been pursued for their own sake with little consideration to their objectives or the outcomes they actually deliver. The supporting evidence base for projects has sometimes been inadequate and anecdotal in nature 
  • an emphasis is placed on providing new fixed infrastructure over addressing some of the demand drivers, or maintaining and improving the utilisation of existing assets 
  • projects were not always subject to rigorous evaluation or detailed studies before they are announced publicly. This includes financial and economic cost-benefit analyses which are sometimes treated as a ‘compliance’ exercise, rather than being genuinely used by agencies to identify and evaluate optimal service solutions. Announced cost estimates are often much lower than actual delivery cost 
  • there is a general lack of prioritisation and coordination of new infrastructure within and across sectors 
  • a failure to strategically prioritise needs within realistic future funding limits set by reference to the fiscal capacity of the State. 

These failures are manifest through flawed project prioritisation and selection, feasibility or integration problems, cost blow-outs and policy reversals. For example, NSW set out seven, sometimes conflicting, transport plans between 1998 and 2010. Many of these prematurely announced projects have not been delivered. The Commission’s view is that the existing business case criteria are essentially robust and comprehensive. For material capital investments, agencies are required to elaborate on: 

  • what contribution the proposed investment will make to the program delivery requirements 
  • how this contribution relates back to strategic and business plans of the entity and government 
  • whether alternative forms of infrastructure may deliver the same outcome 
  • the financial and economic implications of the proposed capital investment, including of whole-of-life costs and how these will be met 
  • key performance indicators that the investment will influence, including a commitment to performance targets if the investment is undertaken 
  • the evidence base supporting the investment, including its provenance and a statement on its robustness 
  • alternative forms of infrastructure that may deliver the same outcome; 
  • alternative programs that might displace the need for infrastructure 
  • whether existing assets could be better leveraged or adapted to deliver the investment objectives. 

It is important that agencies fully comply with the business criteria and ensure that all these aspects are addressed in a well-articulated and unambiguous manner. Agencies also need to be held accountable against the appropriate key performance indicators if the proposed asset investments are undertaken. Gateway is important to Treasury. The reviews provide a level of assurance on whether the investment is warranted, the strategic options, and the agency’s capability and capacity to manage the delivery of the project. Mandated in 2004 these reviews test the soundness of the business case for major projects with the objective of ensuring agencies apply an appropriate level of procurement discipline being applied. In a review of the Gateway process in 2008, it was identified that Gateway is capable of delivering significant benefits to the whole of government throughout the process lifecycle. 

Schott put this critical assignment in the hands of public servants. It should be with the Premier and Treasurer, and has been so in previous governments. Can we intuit why she went this way?

That Report and the preceding Lambert one emphasised the benefits to be gained from systematic planning. It is impossible to see how these views and the recommendations based on them were implemented in the cases of the Metro itself, Tibby Cotter Bridge, changes to WestConnex (none moving in the right direction, towards the Southern Cross Drive), the Strathfield to Olympic Park tramway that has one of the most foolishly optimistic reports behind it, the uber-dumb idea of extending the snail-tram imposed in 1995 to White Bay – making the arrival of tourists from both airlines and ships a dreadful transit experience.

Add the location of a metro station in Waterloo where there are two stations already and the population load has been lied about.  Three N/S routes and none in the critical E/W direction.

The recent "decision" to put a cruise liner terminal at Yarra Bay, abutting the KSA N/S runways - was the loopiest one possible anywhere in the history of transport planning.

The complete smashing of the protocols is documented in the following and adjoining tabs.

How the corruption rolled out: 2012

2012 saw the biggest betrayal in Sydney's history


berejiklian undermined bradfield w/o election or Parliament legitimisation


Berejiklian's lack of expertise

Fiddling while Sydney burns

WestConnex is about to dump 20,000 more vehicles per day on the Anzac Bridge and Berejiklian is refusing all local transit schemes lest her Metro obsession be threatened.  She is trying to accelerate the West Metro, not knowing the history there and having wasted $77 million proving a tunnel was near-impossible at the Spit - as usual, she would not listen when that was foretold.

She does not understand the differences between congestion reduction through local transit, and long-distance fast transit remote from localities. This includes the Goanna Transit Bridge which Urban Growth tried to steal in 2015 – extensive peer reviewing produced the observation, that “it should have been done long ago”. This is the opposite of Turnbull’s promise: “Infrastructure should be assessed objectively and rationally on its merits. There is no place for ideology here at all.” Yet he had funded the still-mythical West Metro. That Labor supports it is no justification.


Here is the Whopper Lie - Metro Capacity

.The first mistake was made in Berejiklian's TfNSW but it was picked by by Greiner's iNSW and then iA - all without checking the veracity of MTR's "bid" numbers.  The reality was that the metros would reduce the network’s passenger capacity while falsely claiming it will provide a 60% increase – the numbers  distorted the comparison between double-decked trains and metros by about 95%. That canard was repeated by iA which presumably did not check the numbers or understand Sydney despite the issues being ventilated by ABC Fact Checkers, Ron Christie (former Rail Coordinator General) and the ABC’s Lateline, as well as being formally submitted to Ministers and governmental inquiries. (Metro’s changes to proposed timetables, to increase train numbers while maintaining the 85% standing ratio that will be disastrous in operation were surreptitious and meaningless.)  The central portal mistakenly used by the Western world's worst pre-planners will limit overall system capacity, permanently, thus reducing the credibility of Sydney "ghost metro" (to match Bruce Baird's "ghost train").

In fact,  20 double-deckers can run 32,480 passengers an hour under full system loading. 28 of the CBD Metro 6-car equivalents would be needed (40% more). TfNSW has yet to justify its numbers for the NW which on the face of it would need 21.6 trains (8% more). The rail safety report submitted in May 2012 described 24+ trains an hour on existing tracks as having “extremely high risk, operational impact and cost”, with “costly and disruptive” upgrades of CBD stations and Central flyovers. (London is pondering 40 trains per hour but in their circumstances.)   Ron Christie's quote (he knows more than all of TfNSW combined) was  “If double deck rolling stock were to be replaced by single deck rolling stock, between 15% and 50% more trains would be required …”.

Gibbons beat Berejiklian again

My work is focussed on evidence, unlike Berejiklian's on ideology.  The main way to improve CBD congestion remains the removal of trains! The circumferential would reduce usage of the Harbour Bridge while delivering commuters and other travellers to northern and NW locations without having to go into and out of the CBD. That simple logic has been screaming for attention in Sydney for a long time.

Metro Business Case - a fraud and BIG LIE

The Metro Business Case - was it a fraud?

Business Cases were to be the medium for probity and other due diligence protocols.  None were more important than WestConnex's which was a disgrace that led to the "company's" excusal from FOI;  then Bankstown Metro's, the essence of replacement of the Bradfield system without electoral or Parliamentary legitimisation.

The Summary Business Case for the CBD to Bankstown Metro contained 110 redactions on all important cost and benefit dimensions, which is critical because the only benefits are in real estate yields.  There were no capacity and scope improvements over the Bradfield rail system it replaces, meaning nett disbenefits from the closure of the Line for up to a year and derived increases in housing costs and congestion associated with “axial densification” on the Hong Kong Metro model.  

A negative BCR would be matter of national scandal normally, but Andrew Clennell in the Daily Telegraph glorified it with "Sydney's long-awaited new southwest rail line will be the 'ultimate congestion buster' carrying up[ to a staggering 60 trains an hour".

Transport Minister Constance promised the Herald he would release details of the real estate deals within a week;  but much later revealed the developers in the Central Station section of the route might have to be subsidised by several billions to make the project work - the Metro was not about service but about helping developers, especially from Hong Kong.  The DT's subsequent niggles about capacity claims never reached the real questions about whether this was the right route, the right option, the right timing, the right technology, the right engineering, and the right community/developer balance.

There are community protests in Campsie which is one of the Bankstown Line’s densification axes, namely 67 new 10-storey equivalents where there are none now.  AECOM’s Asia-Pacific CEO labelled their residential developments as "fortresses" that were geared towards profit, not liveability 


Thus Berejiklian was confused about transport principles


Slumification of Redfern-Waterloo

GSC was warned.

These notes were prepared when Baird, Berejiklian and Stokes started the silly competition between SydUni and Stokes' own UrbanGrowth:


The cost range of $11.5 billion to $12.5 billion is counter-intuitive. This is too low if it includes Metro City & Southwest (page 8) or too high if just Sydenham to Bankstown. The benefit/cost ratio of 1.53 is questioned due to the practical understanding of an expert economist and the previous Jim Steer results of <0.5. Road user benefits at 13% of total benefits is “crazy”. Low benefits result from Waterloo (p 73) decries spending on a new station where there are two stations already and iA proposes a tram route! There are too many credibility gaps.

The area will have three north-south transit routes plus roads, and none in the critically-congested east-south corridors.  That is what you call a real inverted outcome!

can GSC Learn - NO!

At the beginning, GSC was advised that its methodology was flawed, and now - through Bankstown, Crows Nest and Waterloo - it is proven dangerous and counter-productive.

The current announcements show that MTR is milking the Metro, having lost along Bankstown and burning in Crows Nest.  Stokes decided the issue on interests, with SydUni failing to use professional logic.

There is existing congestion and there will be insufficient transit to avoid growing - out of control - congestion.

NewsLocal works to reveal the truth - not Berejiklian

Transform? - or destroy Liberal Heartland!

Berejiklian increased local densification targets by 300 units

Was it smart politics to have a consultation date weeks before the State Election?  Yes, about as smart as Roberts' and Berejiklian's "decisions" usually are.  Only NewLocal is protecting the community.  (North Shore Times 7 March '17)

The Stadium Mayhem ahem

The Stadium Mayhem

The SMH revealed on 20 March 2019 that the cost of bringing Allianz Stadium up to standard was actually put at $18 million versus the Government's stated $714 million which they said would justify spending $729 million.    

A press release dated “March” stated this canard: “We are a Government that does its homework and listens to the public,” Ms Berejiklian said. “That comprehensive homework means we will be able to deliver two outstanding stadiums for Sydney at the best possible value for taxpayers.”  This apparent deceit reflects the loss of trust and probity in the Bairdijiklian Malenomic structures.

Further, the importance of “business cases” emerged during Nick Greiner’s brief period as chairman of iNSW. His guidelines mirrored iA’s under Sir Rod Eddington which are more clear than iNSW’s now.   The stadium analysis stated Benefit/Cost Ratios of 0.53 to 1.29 which is an extreme range considering similarity of all main variables – an apparent manipulation of Refurbishment benefits and not credible .

Waste and costs rise as the lies unravel

The BIG LIES are unravelling

Berejiklian and Baird used the BIG LIES of "transformative" and "congestion busting" when marketing the pre-planned metro succession of blunders (see and dragging in the willing co-conspirators, PM Turnbull and Ministers and his agencies especially DIRD and its iA:

  • Urban crises over congestion and housing densification and affordability, and political unrest, are being made progressively worse by 
  • Metro axial densification and reduced passenger capacity, without route spread – Greater Sydney Commission is a signal failure
  • WestConnex’s poor engineering, rejection of better options, over-centralisation through the Rozelle gateway and 2031 exhaustion of capacity, 
  • diversion of funds from Portals and F6 to unproductive replacement of busways with trams at massive cost
  • catastrophic capricious decisions that remove infrastructure efficiency from the Second Airport and Aerotropolis, SW and Illawarra commuting and freight flows, and Manly-Warringah congestion
  • failure to implement a sustainable financing cycle in line with international best practice, &tc
  • State crises are similarly getting worse through
  • forcing fringe housing developments with commuting reliance on clogged interstate freeways
  • failure to develop a freight and ports plan that will remove trucks from local and regional traffic streams
  • subsiding an implausible fast rail corporate, CLARA, at the expense of a regional rail revival through more sensible means. 

Better options are in EDDINGTON BEDROCK in the adjoining tab.  The timelines and contexts have been explained more fully in the tab Crypto-Fascism 2012.