No sooner had the new State Premier of NSW emerge from the debacle of his predecessors ignominious departure, but he immediately put his foot back in it with his attitude towards the pet project of the voters of North West Sydney where, coincidentally, I happen to live.
Some background might help here, not about the chaos that was the Labor Party recently, but about the area in which we live.
This area was designated for development over twenty years ago. Acreage was subdivided, people built homes and moved in. We did this on the promise that although services were few and far between, they *were* ‘in the pipeline’ and *would* be built. Well ten years after we moved in we’re still waiting for one critical and crucial piece of this infrastructure… a rail link to Sydney.
The roads, despite being upgraded, are an utter joke, or would be was it not that the 3 hours it takes to go those few kilometres into town tends to leach away anything humorous about it. The M2 Motorway is blocked solid from 6:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. making it a nightmare for those unfortunate to have no other way of accessing the city available to them. And *why* is there no other access available? Because the promised ‘Metro Rail System’ seems certain to fall under the economic axe of the new Premier Nathan Rees.
By the way, we were originally promised a ‘heavy’ rail link with real trains… this was reduced to a tram-like system, but for commuters this is still preferable to a 3 hour wait in a queue!
That the project is almost certain to be killed was made clear by the sudden departure from government a week or so ago of the Deputy Premier who, strangely, was also Transport Minister. His demise was followed by the then Treasurer, Michael Costa being sacked and telling anyone who would listen that the project was a white elephant. Following close on his heels was the Premier himself who, in a classic dummy spit told the caucus that either they did it his way… or he hit the highway. And off he went into the political past resigning his seat as he went.
Well this is wonderful for them and it made headlines for days, yet it leaves the poor struggling commuters and businesses in the North Western corner of Sydney out on a limb. We’ve all invested heavily to live her in terms not only of finance, i.e. house purchase, but our kids go to school etc. There is a community here that is *desperately* in need of that rail link.
Sadly however, it is also a staunch Liberal stronghold and so there is little to be gained by Labor in pacifying the traditional voter of the area by allowing the project to continue. Sadly it looks as if political expediency will win out and we will, yet again, be left by the wayside.
The Labor government should be ashamed… but I doubt it is.