The “Save Sydney” suite started as setting out a better basis for meeting societal needs over the current and imminent generations. It set out better options to ill-directed projects. It included “governance” but not “budgetting” per se.
It is said that apples rot from the top of the barrel. There is a perception that governance standards are failing across many countries; but Sydney has gone from an urban improvement exemplar under the great Reform Council of 1900-12 through to 1932, to “fouling its own nest” by not managing population growth and instead worsening congestion and living affordability.
The distortions started in NSW from 1995 and especially 2006 under Labor, with their “planning stench” (O’Farrell) over Hong Kong-inspired Metro trains and conjoined apartment towers – Labor was thinking of implementing enforced clearance of targetted precincts. The projects were said to be “fully funded”, but that was a fiction as (not) seen in annual Budgets.
The NSW Coalition promised to end all that, to re-empower communities, and especially to keep to double-decked trains – its transport spokesman Gladys Berejiklian said that “the metros are dead”. The new Infrastructure NSW under the Liberals’ greatest Premier, Nick Greiner; with Sir Rod Eddington in the national equivalent, were to ensure that the machinery met the electoral promises.
The reality of the new Coalition Government from March 2011 came to more fully implement Labor’s priorities – the deceitful reversal of the rail promise, Brad Hazzard's “Landcom on steroids”, and further forced-densification in angry suburbs, and extravagant promises to fund massive transport and other projects, without a “city plan”, under the “Baird Model” which would turn privatisation windfalls of $15.9 billion into a motley collection amounting to up to $80 billion.
It has become evident that Federal and NSW Budgets and Mid-Year reviews have been corrupted by top-down ethical, policy, self-interested and plainly distorted relationships. The errors under PM Turnbull, with his Treasurer Scott Morrison, and Morrison with Josh Frydenberg, reflect misdirected priorities, massive waste, de facto authorisation of illegitimate projects, and associated funding arrangements, and the rejection of Greiner and Eddington. Baird's and Morrison's offsider P. Gaetgens was witness to the degradations.
Budgets are the real expressions of policies and values, with distortions coming from 2016, so detailed evidentiary and analytical reviews were published and circulated. That included the failure to acknowledge and measure the strangulation of the Bradfield CityRail system by 40 per cent and more.
The “Baird Model” collapsed and is now a “debt lake” that breaks every prudential standard. Even the Governor of the Reserve Bank has been entangled in Federal distortions in its “$100 billion over 10 years” “pipeline”.
Treasurers and Finance Ministers, as well as PMs and Premiers, and their front and back benchers, have refused to address ANY of these issues; and further de-skilled and isolated their advisory and surveillance agencies and departments. “Political appointments” have been taken to an extreme level, without the protections of the American equivalence. “Leadership” has become “PR spinning”. Damage to communities, past and future, are completely shrunk into the fine print.
Brutal unfairness associated with deliberate plagiarisms, which is the sequestration of a citizen’s rights to earn a living from his or her work, are another reflection of the extinguishment of ethical values in government. Baird and Berejiklian, and Turnbull and Morrison, have been the first political leaders to abandon accepted probity and due diligence standards, including the deliberate perversion of “Menzies values”.
I will not accept, ever, the smashing of my rights and my right to support children in need and grief, families in fire paths, NRL cancer and brain foundations, better awareness of our forgotten heroes (most recently my friend Tim Fischer – rejected by the PM, Deputy PM and Frydenberg*), and some good ideas for regional revival.
I will also fight against the corruption of Sydney’s taxation and financing systems which will cripple future generations as demonstrated in this Report.
* The long-standing political insider, Senator Arthur Sinodinos, is specially included as he has been appointed to represent Australian values in Washington DC and had direct knowledge of the personal damage to me – but blocked my email address.