Critical failures in Sydney’s post-Bradfield planning and rejection of more cost-effective options©
I am near to the publication of “Sydney Metro Trains: the case for a pause lest the Bradfield legacy be destroyed” and five associated documents and website. I’m writing to Manly as there is a real personal element to this correspondence as you will see, and I will always be professional and fair.
I have made a fair effort to talk to Rodd Staples. You might like to take a personal interest as it is MsP and Ministers, not public servants, who are accountable to the citizens for the wise use of their money and the welfare of their families (including probity and honesty in applying generally-accepted assessment processes to options), genuine community engagement, minimisation of risk, avoidance of slum consequences, and intergenerational equity, as examples. The lack of fore-planning of WestConnex and the metro trains, and of proper sequencing of land use and ESD, are indicative of a lack of appropriate skills and processes which affect the Government’s reputation (after Labor’s sloppiness).
At a time when the reduction of congestion costs is a national priority, I am concerned that current “black box” projects will demonstrably worsen congestion while poor choices are growing in community awareness. In particular, it is amazing that there are so many great options which have been ignored, with a rapidly emptying bucket prejudicing the choices available to our and future generations. These include (but are not limited to):
* personal copyright RG ©
I assure you that I am committed to a successful transition to a sustainable infrastructure planning cycle, led by and linked to ESD/DOPE/GSC “plans”. I regret that there are so many defects in the current situation, against each of the items in the second paragraph. My pathways for planning system and operational reforms are even part-based on your father’s ideas in 1995 although there are half-forgotten problems with ITS.
Add these to the appalling consequences of municipal rating defects which I alerted you to but which have continued deliberately. Families and SMEs in the Blue Mountains will have to pay at least $190 million more than they should over the next 10 years. This is exacerbating falling employment and trading levels and rising homelessness. I would also be obliged to correct the public record on recent erroneous statements on Bradfield and Greater Sydney, both specialisations in my academic and history background, and add my perception of at least five IP transgressions by Ministers/bureaucracy. Local government amalgamations run a long second to my “Creative Reconstruction of NSW Local Governance”.
I would rather you decide how to resolve this imbroglio before it is too late; and realise that while it is Christmas, I have waited more than long enough for fair treatment.
NB Baird went on to greater disasters, of course.
The leaders of NSW and Federal Coalitions have betrayed Menzies, Eddington, Christie, Sir Thomas Hughes and other past heroes, city and regional communities, and me.
NSW Labor was the same in the face of RUDD and GILLARD - and KENEALLY - but the Morrison Government has moved permanent and disastrous CONSEQUENCES from UNINTENDED to DELIBERATE.
Turnbull’s political mountain, my predictions are coming true
Sydney has brought down Government’s before in terms I’ve quoted Mark Coultan on; while the fact is that “Oppositions don’t win elections, Governments lose them”. NSW has entangled the Prime Minister’s fate through continuing controversies and back-of-the-envelope brainsnaps. There is now Insiders speculation that the PM will have to go to the polls ahead of NSW (as this analyst has been predicting, such is the NSW/Fed “stench”).
It has yet to sink in but the PM and his Ministers have made a number of recent announcements that appear to be protective of Berejiklian and her agencies, including the Greater Sydney Commission, but which have revealed the weaknesses of the thin resources he has and the cadres that Berejiklian has in all guard posts.
This is a political/ideology cartel that has no ability to formulate plans with due diligence, engage communities, listen to valid options, understand complex systems and interactions, or set up contracts and tax effects that show a primary care for community and secondary attention to foreign corporate interests.
These defects are seen in the suite of “plans” put out by the Greater Sydney Commission, the current PR focal point. Coincidentally, today they issued a group email which contains that sweet naïve expression that the current generation uses, in their happy belief that all who went before them are irrelevant, namely “For the first time Greater Sydney now has land use, transport and infrastructure plans that have been developed concurrently”. The greatest tragedy is that that is more than delusional, it is deceitful as they have already had explained to them they are the weakest of post-War generations.
It’s no wonder the Governments are in such deep trouble. (Both the Premier and the Chief Commissioner have vowed to push on despite guidelines requiring review where circumstances change, and axial densification along the Bankstown Line, and cost and revenue changes, have been shown to be impracticable – 67 high-rises in Campsie alone.)
Survey crises, repeated & repeated
The public explanation for Mike Baird’s downfall was the greyhounds crisis where such issues were on plain view. There was another major concern: the pre-ordained strategy of densifying axial rail and road corridors had another poll at about the same time, October 2017, finding 66.4% of NSW residents oppose more development in existing areas. Liberal supporters were 61.7%opposed.
The current State Editor is reporting that “Overdevelopment is harming the character of Sydney’s suburbs, say 60 per cent of NSW voters who, in an exclusive poll, identified the city’s growing pains as a major issue”. It was also typical that the Planning Minister had to play catch-up with nothing but smoke to offer in defence of the “negligence” that the Grattan Institute identified from NSW’s reiterated poor “pre-planning”.
Baird’s “I am not a dictator” was against the Herald’s then State Editor’s – “the government under Baird's crash or crash through approach had grown supremely arrogant”. The same Editor wrote of a later Reachtel poll that “Berejiklian is seen by 75% of being equal or more arrogant than Baird”.
Premier Berejiklian’s imperium has cracked. The current Editor is writing now that the stadiums debacle will be “the beginning of a narrative of a government who cannot sell its message while anxious MPs snipe in the background”.
That last poll was Sydney, not the State, and the question was different; but the 66% and 62% give credibility to the thesis that trams in the Eastern Suburbs, CBD and North Parramatta; WestConnex over many hot-spots; metros especially along the NW to Bankstown axis (in many suburbs including the North Sydney and Sydney CBDs); and botched small issues that grew “like Topsy” such as the Tibby Cotter Bridge and move of the Powerhouse Museum, are coalescing urban unhappiness across many aspects of arrogance and incompetence.
Fused into mystified silos
Undue precedence is being given to corporate interests over the community engagement that the UK and USA emphasise in urban revitalisation.
NSW has no City plan and the Federal agenda is a mish-mash, an example of what the Planning Institute attacked in 2009: “ hoc, project-by-project decision-making does not constitute planning, and could pre-empt the best transport solution. Decisions significantly affecting the development of Sydney, such as on the Metro projects, cannot be made without an overall long-term metropolitan plan. Sydney is too important”. Turnbull’s core promises of reducing congestion, improving the professional standards of iA assessments, and making housing affordable, are in tatters.
Previous PMs intervened in NSW crises including the Snowy Scheme in 1949 and most recently Turnbull’s criticisms of ACT and SA energy policies; but he and NSW have put themselves into Adam Smith’s great quote: “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices”. In modern business psychology terms, there is groupthink with hints of hubris and Dunning-Kruger complex as I’ve explained previously.
My last option: go on the attack
Articles and/or briefingsare circulating already, increasingly more widely, including on
I’m developing three case studies of how Localism and City Deals should be applied, in replacement of the Western Sydney one initially.
I’ve had one session on Alan Jones, with other media booked, due to the frustration at ignorant recusals.
The following headings have been documented for a website and series of articles and advertisements. You’ve seen a lot of details and are accountable for reading all I’ve sent. All I wanted and still want is a fair negotiation, my commercial IP and claims for fairness on one side, the community’s interests in better governance on the other.
For the first time you’ll see here the “community consequences” of the unfair way I’ve been treated (which I’ll be advertising). If leaders and ministers don’t understand political and ethical realities, and stick to legal “cones of silence” and cossetted by mute minders, they should get out of politics, in my view. (Blocking addresses just creates an accountability problem without affecting the status of outbounds.)
Critical Failures - Causes
Cruel Hoaxes - Symptoms
Cruel Hoaxes – Denial of Benefits