It is not amusing to recall that George Megalogenis agreed on my thesis of long-term culture distortions - as far back as October '12! Wish I'd remembered earlier so I could have prodded harder as he wrote the bible on Budget manipulations:
THERE is an economic slur from the 1970s that has returned to haunt us: crowding out. In the decade of stagflation, it described the over-reach of Gough Whitlam, when the federal government choked national activity by getting too big too quickly at the expense of the private sector.
This time, the crowding out is occurring at two related levels.
John Howard started the process of politically targeted spending and a politicised public service in 1996. Labor has merely adapted his regime to its ends....
He quoted Professor Deborah Cobb-Clark:
"Enormous amounts of money are being poured into a couple of things, then other things are being shrunk and I can't see any evaluations, or no evidence necessarily that you ought to be doing one thing or the other. I'm not even aware of public debate on this, or what the process even would be for having this conversation."
A wise American journalist has concluded, about a context that we know well - including the complete disconnect between infrastructure planning and intergenerational equity - that
It is now widely understood that famines arise from local political failures in the trade and distribution of abundant global food supplies, not from local crop failures. And floods devastate communities not because the local rivers are unusually watery but because poor zoning and subsidised flood insurance encourage people to build their homes on floodplains.
Those same politicians already have made decisions that may seal a country’s coronavirus fate, and it won’t have anything to do with quarantines or restrictions on travel or large gatherings. Rather, the important choices may have already come in the guise of technocratic health spending and investment decisions that were made largely out of public view over many years.
Six months later, the NSW Government still has not released the Building Commissioner's report on fire-risk cladding. They either "know better" than us, which is possible but weird, or "they know nuttink", which is pretty true of most issues.
13 January 2020
David Crowe gave the PM a quick rub-down and massage, in contrast to the normally-reticent Glover who used a cat-o-nine-tails. Crowe might never learn that Berejiklian runs Morrison and the shared vindictiveness will underpin any PR stunt. Force majeure is on the way and will envelope Crowe, and Glover has to run after his decades of recusal:
BLACK SATURDAY #2 NSW & VICTORIA, 4 JANUARY 2020
The nonsense continues, the PM committed troops to the NSW clean-up phase but the RFS Commissioner says the announcement "blindsided" him. The poor bugger has been running between his Premier's mothering of her sibling and his inability to keep his mouth in check. He is facing exposure of his evil suppression of my offer to provide demonstration fireproof housing in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.
Now there's to be a Reconstruction Authority, bravo, truly, but Twiggy Forrest moved so fast in 2009, will it?
Bushfires are raging and the PM and Premier Berejiklian are expressing concern while wandering in circles - they have been deliberately frustrating my bushfire safe housing initiative since December 2015.
Postscript - PORKY ALERT
On 29 December '19, The Age revealed that PM Morrison had made another characteristic "captain's call" -
Yes Virginia, this is about promising to pay volunteers but not as a long-term commitment and not on equal terms to public servants. WHO DID HE TALK TO IN RFS IF NOT THE COMMISSIONER!
* This is about the fourth time Morrison has verballed "fire chiefs", the NSW RFS Commissioner having been reported 5 days before as saying he "rejected calls for his members to be compensated for their work in the ongoing bushfire crisis, saying it would undermine the spirit of volunteerism underpinning the RFS. Don't do the volunteers a disservice by suggesting that you're going to pay them, because then they're no longer volunteers and that's absolutely the sentiment that I'm getting loud and clear everywhere I go," Mr Fitzsimmons said in response to calls from Labor....
Who is telling the porkies this time! The sloppiness in detail matches that of the earlier announcement of 100 Gl of water released from South Australia, the profligate water-waster, for Vic and NSW farmers - try to find the details on that! Looks like, smells like ---- Treasury Trickery.
A SAD PATH FROM LOGIC & LEADERSHIP to
DECREPITUDE & CONTEMPT FOR COMMUNITIES
Mon, 2 Dec 2019 07:00:30 +1100 - to Cabinet Ministers
Subject: Draft score sheet for Josh's MYEFO (c)
Last year's effort was regrettable and we must learn from those mistakes - https://sydneyimprovementpolitics.com/josh-too
It is critical that higher standards be achieved this time as the outcomes of previous Budgets are reaching crisis points : https://sydneyimprovementpolitics.com/josh-myefo-blues
I sincerely hope that the silence I'm hearing is not a sign of further extensions of Prime Ministerial distraction.
Focussing on the quiet ones should mean strengthening democratic protections and due process - the rule of law and Minister Birmingham's laudable "balance".
Whoever hurts one of my flock hurts me, the wisest leader said: https://sydneyimprovementpolitics.com/cruelty-%26-deceit
You have previous explanations going back over a year, so this is no surprise, making ignorance implausible
20 December - to Prime Minister
You’ve been so mean that I wonder if there’s any possibility of redemption.
Josh, Gaetjens and Kennedy are under active review now as a consequence of your behaviour towards me - and especially your plagiarisms.
You stuffed me around so long that all Coalition MsP and Senators have been informed of my dispute with you. By tomorrow all councillors in all NSW fire grounds will also have been informed.
If you want to deal with me, ring me and listen with Christian humility, that is what I offer you.
cc to Cabinet with this covering text
Good afternoon and Bonne Noel, but not for the kids in slavery and misery, nor the PM or Treasurer
I’ve written before on serious topics, which have reached crescendo due to apparent lack of effort. That is what I’ve predicted for 6 years, and now Josh has again smashed my goodwill and hard work. Ask him why.
The PM came back from Hawaii due to his seeming insensitivity, but that is not the problem. He has run away from me 4 times and been cruel and uncaring for a long time, and crocodile tears will cut no mercy. I remind you of my fireproof home program that he has stopped me from proceeding with.
Please read this https://sydneyimprovementpolitics.com/josh-crashed and understand that I have been homeless for 5 years because those bastards stole my work and refused to pay me for what they stole.
That means much more as the email says – Save the Children, Salvos, families in firepaths, Tim Fisher – all dishonoured by the weird non-values inside that Morrison Bubble.
Josh Frydenberg has traduced proper standards and his conduct is called into question there. Two poor MYEFOs and 1 Budget – not one problem solved, waste increased and lies about debt, hadn’t you noticed?
Messrs Gaetjens and Kennedy are similarly singled out for review and re-direction. They should not enjoy largesse while their actions cause so much harm to our economy, regions, cities and generations.
PM Morrison received a letter in early September 2018 - similar to earlier ones - which set the benchmark for a serious case of "maladministration" if the explicit warnings were again ignored. That letter is here appended with its update message to
The PM and his confidants have had time to ponder a better option to my publishing this, but once again they are pretending that the sky is purple with pink polkadots.
The 2019 MYEFO was to be released in late January ’20, according to the Treasury website.
That Josh brought it forward means his embarrassment comes earlier and the damage greater.
He left the roadblocks in place so that
Ø there was no repair of the growing pile of blunders
Ø there was mischief about debt trends
Ø new errors were introduced
Ø moral turpitude worsened
The Economic Model underpinning both NSW and Federal Budgets has been discredited:
Ø absence of farebox and property revenue, with a fatal reliance on rising debt
Ø absence of “city plans” and normal budgetting processes as dictated by COAG in 2009 – with random jumbles of city plans, developer compacts and pipelines undermining the accepted protocols of due diligence, probity, accountability and systemic efficiency
Ø outcomes are deteriorating including population growth and dispersal, living affordability including housing, congestion, and community engagement and well-being. "Options" are still maliciously excluded as dictated by Premier Berejiklian.
Other pages in the website extinguished much of the smoke’n’mirrors from the Turnbull / Morrison and Morrison / Frydenberg Budgets.
The author had an eminent academic career at Sydney University, was appointed the first Policy Analyst in the Ministry of Transport in 1977, and drove reforms in water and sewerage, transport and roads, minerals and energy, State Development, the Council on the Cost (and Quality) of Government, the Department of Administrative Services, Newcastle City Council, Rockdale' and so on.
An innate sense of practical initiative was intrinsic to that career, and the further initiatives were stolen by Mike Baird from 2008 and others.
Morrison's team has no one like that in their ranks. They have under-qualified and thoroughly bubbleistic rapscallions and termagants aplenty.
Offers have been made to settle plagiarism issues as well as enhance Australian society since December 2015:
Customers have questions, you have answers. Display the most frequently asked questions, so everybody benefits.
The 2019 promised debt trend was "down" - the blue line. Off-Budget items might need to come back "on"
The bars show the sizes of the new figures Vs Josh's misleading chart, will each year go higher?
Gaetjens and Kennedy received career-enhancing promotions without any justification on the basis of initiatives they had implemented successfully, contributions to communities, or understanding of national and international city and region transformative programs.
So they have to face questions now, and with them, their masters. They have to justify their rejection of a far superior person who has a deep commitment to community - and has been outraged by "their" theft of his work (certainly extending such), denying him the chance to support his family and stated community interests including Save the Children, family safety in firepaths, Men of League, young families experiencing the trauma of brain tumour, and remembrance of past heroes.
They have to escape the possible claim of favouritism or worse.
The wise use of our assets, protection of the interests of future generations, and proper engagement with our communities, are prevented by the Morrison EgoSphere or Bubble.
The reasons and methods are explained under "Guide to Issues".
The interesting thing is The Australian's editorial on "Turnbull as town mayor".
Take the greatest symbol and the greatest threat to the Budget and the NSW economy - Inland Rail, which McCormack reads, from his notes, is going well. BUT ...
Its economic case has been destroyed by the Western Sydney Metro. The $100 billion reality looks like this:
Large amounts go to congestion works across the county which will cause construction-related congestion, as well as longer-term through induced demand increases, and create resource cost increases by stretching construction capabilities. The Government had not acknowledged or calculated these effects even though they were debated during PM Rudd’s GFC programs, but Morrison panicked and attacked the Governor of the Reserve Bank - that story is told under the next tab. (Similarly, Berejiklian endorses metros without knowing that the real estate and operational aspects are out of whack.)
The promise of a fast train from Melbourne to Geelong is stated to be $2 billion, receives just $50 million over three years, and is said by the Victorian Government to be really $20 billion.
CLARA always was a con as Paul Fletcher implied and I published, and so it came to pass - thank you Malcolm - but the total of 13 fast rail promises out from PM Morrison and Premier Berejiklian show that the inmates run the asylums
The Leader of the Nats, the hapless even deceitful McCormack, has made every problem he inherited from Truss and Joyce worse. He has been dominated by bureaucrats in the manner of Labor's Eric Roozendaal.
The contrast with past Leaders is compelling.
Tim Fischer is the obvious candidate, also being the chair of Tourism Australia who shifted out the Director who could not talk to the Board, S Morrison.
My first Minister, Sir Charles Cutler, following the great Earl Page. Doug Anthony followed Black Jack McEwan - all strong men. I worked happily with Milton Morris, both in Sydney and then in Newcastle, where we built up HROC.
McCormack promised Tim and me 231 days ago to talk to me about resolving my solutions for the ports, inland rail, city deals and so on - but the rat has ducked.
He appears to have no interest in solutions to problems in real life. His abuse of farmers over climate change-related risks was disgusting and cruel.
Other pages shows maps of service gaps, charts of adverse financial and other trends, and quotes from respected sources. That they were communicated clearly, but treated with contempt, is shown in the following emails.
Legendary public service reformers like Gerry Gleeson spotted early signs of the extinguishment of professional in Ministers' Offices and agencies. The next section expands on this.
This is Josh Frydenberg's third stint in Treasury so there is no presumption of ignorance. There were signs of prejudicial bias in his blocking RG's email address, inveigling the Governor of the Reserve Bank on the $100 million blaumange, and crappy treatment of successive MYEFO correspondence.
The appearance is of a loss of sense of moral compass and Treasury reality.
As Mark Rosenberg of Balanced Curve puts the dominant “Club’s groupthink’” -
Josh is known to have personal staff he trusts absolutely. This is not necessarily "political", so long as he and they respect independent, professional advice. Having two backroom warriors (who have real accountabilities to face) as CEOs generates suspicion of "political appointments" that might fail Congressional confirmations if the US system applied here.
It is suggested that Josh's reputation will deteriorate if he continues to reject "budget repair" and professional administration. He has a long way to make up for two deficient MYEFOs and one (so far) Budget. There can be little confidence that Australia's best interests are at the front of the Government's processes and priorities.
PM Turnbull and Treasurer (now PM) Morrison got the Commonwealth into a fused mess with NSW which has produced distortions in national arrangements, especially off-Budget “gifting” mechanisms. The joint Western Sydney City Deal is the greatest planning blunder in history, while the Commonwealth’s under-funded $100 billion infrastructure Budget and NSW’s debt lake have parallel characteristics. The difference is, the Commonwealth is saying it is reducing debt while NSW’s is exploding.
The NW Metro could not pay its bills from the first wheel hitting the track, with 1 million passengers in two weeks when it needs at least that number every day. It will take 30 years’ tax contributions from about 125,000 families to pay the finance and operating costs of a “train” that under-performs even Bruce Baird’s “ghost train” to KSA which was insolvent in 6 months. But its stench goes on in the form of excessive station access charges.
Same issue, the obvious decrepitude of the NW Metro.
Costa 2008, Greiner 2012 - BRT, defer 2nd Harbour Crossing, RG obviate the same
Perrottet - out comes the begging bowl whenever Berejiklian waves her magic wand.
Unfortunately the legal, planning and architectural professions and the city silo in the SMH (as worst of the bunch, not the only one), failed to provide awareness assistance to politicians and communities.
There are four levels of roadblocks, all inherited and continued by Morrison and Frydenberg:
1. political appointments which in higher categories in the US are subject to Congressional vetting, with many candidates not proceeding, but there are no precautions in Australia. None of the Australian examples have special or even relevant qualifications unlike in previous generations as Gleeson emphasised:
a. agencies – CEOs and division heads, research directors, friendly auditors
i. all NSW transport, land use and oversight bodies, and embedding all project and development planning, rule- and instrument- setting, developer negotiations and project / deal approvals – especially through the Greater Sydney Commission and associated functions now under Berejiklian’s “Kremlin NSW Inc”, recently reinforced further through agency consolidation and disguised lines of accountability
ii. Similar at Fed level but especially head of PM&C Phillip Gaetjens and Treasury’s Stephen Kennedy -
b. Offices – the Boards of iA and iNSW comprise conflicted persons as a rule. The latter in particular is substantially based on Chinese banking especially HSBC which is a partner of the Hong Kong Metro operator. This eliminates project discipline, weakens statutory reporting documents, and falsifies public discussions
c. special enquiries – the principal of the main Liberal access point, Barton Deakin, was given special tasks by both Turnbull/Morrison and Berejiklian – there was no secret dealing but what was the best sort of person to undertake such tasks?
2. party donors, sponsors and friends: the principal of the main industry lobbyist was on the board of the Committee of Sydney with Lucy Turnbull, represents all NSW agencies and also IPA and other industry peak bodies, and is on (at least one) project boards
3. lobbyists who are also “mates”, often reported in the media as being boastful of “connections” and who primarily represent corporates involved in designing, planning and financing “projects” regardless of community needs. Similar is true of a notable business figure who is an unashamed booster of public spending on the Football stadium and metro, and NIMBY opponent of the Harbour Floating Heliport. A Lobbyist Code of Interaction is documented on this website; and
4. journalists who embed themselves in political ranks such as News’ lunches with Ministers, and Nine’s fundraiser for Morrison (rejected as a failure of judgement). However, the lack of interest by News, Nine, ABC and various independents, and the mistakes made in “churnalism” (re metros, ports, logistics, senior appointments, conferences and current affairs topics), suggest the conclusion that bias and deskilling are heavy influences. The “Right to Know” campaign is misdirected as reflected in (unanswered) correspondence – the Four Pillars of Democracy require the vigorous intervention of the journalism we used to see in Australia and still do in America and Britain.
Roadblocks can be referred to as forces of inertia, knowing that stasis will be produced, which under natural laws is the “slowing of the current of circulating blood”.
This website and its companions give forensic expositions of the causes and consequences of the replacement of the “rule of law” in administration, planning and budgeting, by gifting by political and business elites. The “BBQ stoppers” are no longer the prices of houses, but “what will those bastards in Canberra (or Sydney/Melbourne) do next”.
The cynicism extends to malaise in journalism and electoral instability.
There was a weird event when Berejiklian said that to maintain her lie over the Paddo Stadium was “unpolitical” but to revise it would be “political”. This is nonsense as seen in the discussion of non-decisionmaking and un-politics, as merit-less decisions are typically submerged as in crypto-politics, from the Greek word for “hidden”.
The lie was that the cost of the option was, she claimed, over $500 m, when the actual figure was $17 m. It was a dreadful farce in an effort to avoid “budget repair”, which seems for these protected elites to be equivalent to the terror of confessing to the Spanish Inquisition.
That style now applies in the Morrison Bubble which has backed away from its simplistic mantras of “bust congestion” and “stimulus” in the last year, under forensic criticism, but fearfully avoids
Ø a fair price for fair effort
Ø respect for volunteers, and
Ø truth in planning, budgeting, taxation and administration.
To not understand that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance, or to think that mute acceptance is feasible, we have Menzies’ phrase, it “is to occupy a position not of dignity but of contempt”.
To understand the culture of a political class, outside a totalitarian regime, which excludes critical civilised values, one has to look at the Kremlin under Stalin, the Khmer Rouge under Pol Pot, and South Africa under Apartheid.
Not Australia under Menzies, not NSW under Greiner, not England through its waves of patriotic reform.
But yes, what Australia has become under the suppression of ethics and promotion of secular self-interests (including of the Members of Parliament who have their focus on spinning myths, not nation-building).
As a microcosm, the lessons of greyhound cruelty were not learnt and were repeated in horse racing, all without any governmental or journalistic willingness to put an effective response in place. But most of all, Baird would not listen, he expelled Cabinet Ministers who muttered, the locus of responsibility is still with him.
That was the standard that has infected Canberra.
The PM and his close colleagues seem to need guidance and re-direction but do not seem to receive such from the Party Room (and MsP who say they are committed to citizen rights).
The proposal put to the Treasurer two years in a row was to cost-effectively establish a planning overlay so that economic, demographic, congestion and other changing concerns could be dealt with in the form of a Planning Commission, using RG's vast IP.
This would allow the vested interests to make their submissions in the full light of day, to be measured against others'. iA, iNSW and GSC have disqualified themselves now.
Guess what! That was how Sydney was reformed by its greatest ever statesman, a man who soared above Baird, namely Sir Thomas Hughes, first Lord Mayor of Sydney, to whom this website is dedicated (with Fitzgerald and Garlick). That he was Lucy Turnbull's great grandfather seems to have been almost coincidental seeing that GSC has rejected that philosophy.
The modern style of un-politics is to form circles of consensus among co-venturers, to the exclusion of talented people inside and outside the circle. The lines show the coincidence of the three champions, Baird, Berejiklian and Turnbull, and the facilitators including Morrison. He had promised to clean-out Turnbull barnacles but did the opposite.
Berejiklian recruited her natural cheer squad from the metro lobby groups and proceeded to close-down accepted due diligence protocols. Paper was not needed or wanted by her cabal, it was just for camouflaging. Her influence enveloped Fed and State spheres in the most dominant and destructive manner ever seen in Australia.
Gaetjens and Kennedy were more than mechanics 'cause they really weren't process types, but they were sweepers of unwanted papers and assuagers of distractions.
There are further notes and flow charts under Ethics & Solutions and elsewhere.
There are many more emails and a new file is here to supplement the downloads (including topical emails) that are set out in various pages.
My resume is also there to show I am highly qualified, experienced and successful in these policy fields, and I intend to cast my work against Messrs Gaetjens' and Kennedy's as this debacle rolls on - if it does.