What is whacky now!

Summarising the three most desirable and the three most damaging features of Sydney 2019:

Both sides of NSW politics learnt nothing from Labor's "planning stench" and the Coalition's "Malenomic" fiascos.  A climacteric shock is needed.  

Cities prosper or shrivel depending on holistic planning, whereas the political parties' dominant mode is dysfunctional project-by-project which the Greater Sydney Commission is perpetuating in defiance of its duty to achieve "orderly development".

What makes for success OR failure of cities

Electoral Integrity

Stable democracy produces prosperity & equity, the Four Pillars of Democracy must all be intact and respected

Due Diligence

The Rule of Law sees accepted criteria of fairness, efficiency, economy and sustainability enforced through all agencies


Society produces and recognises the Chifley, the Menzies, the Whitlam, the Wran, the Greiner and the Hawke qualities of leadership

Political malice & manipulation

Individuals extend narcissistic intent to corporate betterment, not societal, using media, agencies and suppression of independence.  Dolts with shiny shoes surpass experts

Systemic Deceit

Meisters appoint political cadres to all guard posts, have secret understandings with foreign corporates, use PR to conceal and distort "facts", and avoid due diligence .  Media self-censor and accept grooming


Election promises are smashed, un-elected agencies (under political cadres) "operationalise" forced interventions over community protests, and taxes are moved from corporates onto citizens

Whence Sydney?

Whence Sydney?

The NSW Coalition came to office in 2011 on the basis of a set of promises:

  • People told us they were sick of having to fork out millions of dollars for failed government promises like Labor’s disastrous city Metro, pushing essential local projects like cross regional road connections, and long promised rail links, further back into Labor’s never-never. They wanted professionals, not back room political tacticians, to make important infrastructure decisions. They wanted government to get its act together with an integrated transport strategy.... to meet the needs of customers, not bureaucrats. And they wanted local people to have a say in local planning decisions, and not to have their own neighbourhoods decided by the political whims of a backroom power broker ... (2012) 

Mike Baird's Planning Minister got this right in his earlier, seemingly forgotten, PhD thesis:

  • The progressive erosion of effective democratic institutions in planning by state governments is likely to increase the political potency of planning as an election issue at a state government level.

The founding Executive Director of Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, and offsider to Nick Greiner, Professor Gary Bowditch, said it well in the AFR in 2015 (words The Fin has forgotten);

  • Community support and trust towards credible infrastructure plans must be earned with sound community engagement and better customer service outcomes. These must form the central plank of the new long-term infrastructure-planning regime, not just a focus on assets and projects. This is by far Australia's most pressing infrastructure imperative. 

The answer is, pause, more metros is just one option but the model is failing and lacks the logic of the only "metro plan" - Ron Christie's in 2001. 

Looking again at Greiner and Eddington is another, add the innovations on these websites, and start to re-build community confidence that history has not been totally forgotten by the best of Sydney's planners - only by the political ingenues who will soon be gone.