I’m afraid someone has found the plug and pulled it.
The Swan River is draining. In fact it is nearly empty!
This was the scene at Maylands yesterday.
Back in 2009, Colin Barnett won an election with a glad-handed promise to build a rail line to the big new outer Metro suburb of Ellenbrook.
He broke that promise. He substituted “improved” bus access.
In 2013 he made the same promise because WA is a boom state. It deserves these bright shiny toys and Mark McGowan had made a fully costed proposal for bigger and better railways which cost less than Barnett was able to offer.
About 48 hours before the election he explained that his plan would be financed by the Commonwealth. A Commonwealth Government everyone expects to be run by his mate Tony Abbott.
It seems that his ability to run a Government successfully is dependent, not on the business success of the State but on the generosity of a Commonwealth Government.
Today, in Melbourne, Tony explained clearly, to another mate, that his Government does not “do” railway infrastructure.
It does roads.
So Colin Barnett is just going to have to break the same election promise two electoral cycles in a row! More fool us for thinking any other outcome was likely.
Breaking promises. It’s in his DNA!
After watching “Check-out” tonight, on the ABC, I’m wondering if it is possible to return the Barnett Government to the Electoral Commission and get our votes back.
If that fails, should we take Barnett and his lying mouth to Consumer Affairs?
Western Australia is so lucky to have the Coalition Government it has.
Bear Brendon Gryllth hath thuccesthfully demanded that country districts benefit from Australia’s biggest pork barrel. The Royalties for Regions rort is so big it is becoming impossible to spend all the taxpayer’s money allocated to this delightfully flush slush fund.
In the urban areas, the Premier Autocrat, Colin Barnett, has chosen to over-spend the remaining tax and royalty dollars on magnificent developments on the Cottesloe foreshore and in huge projects for mates in and around the CBD.
The Cottesloe developments will be there for Mr Barnett to gaze at in satisfaction as he takes his retirement perambulations next year after his well deserved retirement. That view will ease his conscience pangs as he tries to ignore the chair-sniffing proclivities of his successor.
It will not be necessary for him to travel into the CBD and its surrounds to have his eyes offended by the giant phallic symbols he has encouraged and approved.
There is only one small section of the Western Australia community which is being ignored.
No new rolling stock for the existing rail lines. Once-again promised new rail lines which we will believe in this time! No wage rises for the most over-worked sections of our public
slaves nurses and teachers. Incompetent road planning as shown by the three lane section of the Kwinana Freeway which becomes two lanes just before the Roe Highway feeds thousands of vehicles a day onto the Freeway. Such a wonderful traffic jam is created every day!
The suburbs have no special pleaders in power up on Harvest Terrace. There is only one time the Suburbs get some benefit from the taxes they pay. And that is when Labor is in charge. Labor tries to spread the available cash evenly to all of the electorate. The Coalition is a coalition of special interests and that is what we are seeing at the moment.
If you care about your community -
The Western Australian Electorate gets to vote on the behaviour of the Barnett/Buswell/Bear Grylls over the past four years.
One of the things we are being asked to do is “Trust the good economic management” shown by the Buswell/Porter/Buswell Treasureships under the Barnett Government.
Should we look closely at that?
We may accidentally see the Perth Arena.
We may accidentally discover that, in the midst of the State’s greatest ever boom, our deficit is the highest in history. This must be of some embarrassment to the Liberal Party Australia-wide given the Tony Abbott hatred of anything less than a surplus. The West Australian Barnett government has flagged the boom state’s first deficit in 13 years, sparking calls for a complete review of capital expenditure programs.
Then we may, again accidentally because it won’t be drawn to our notice, discover that our State debt is a little bit bigger than under the last Government.
Off again, on again treasurer Troy Buswell appears to be using Hockeynomics to unbalance our State books.
“The annual interest bill on WA Government debt is poised to top $1 billion – enough money to buy a new sports stadium every year. And the total amount of debt is set to balloon further after Treasurer Christian Porter junked Premier Colin Barnett’s pledge to keep total debt below $20 billion.
The growing debt is causing friction between Treasury officials and politicians, with bureaucrats worried that the Barnett Government is focusing on projects which are politically popular but yield a questionable return for the State.
State debt was $9.9 billion on June 30 last year. It is expected to rise to $14 billion within four months and hit $19.9 billion in 2014. A few weeks before Mr Barnett became Premier, it was $3.6 billion. The corresponding interest bill will blow out from $682 million in mid-2010 to $1.01 billion in 2014 – equal to $735 a year from every adult in WA.”
Don’t be caught thinking “Of course, we have a billion for the Stadium, we have a couple of billion for the railway and we have 2.6 billion for Elizabeth Quay.” That money has not yet been spent. That will only increase our debt levels to the point where we will lose our AAA credit rating! And with the Perth Arena example, how can we trust these numbers?
Listening to the leader’s debate on the ABC last night I was left with the impression that Colin Barnett belives it is the job of his Government to spend up big at the moment because the state will get a lot of revenue “over the next few years.”
Mark McGowan was the leader who sounded prudent and careful about our finances.
So we have a choice on the 9th.
The good economic management” shown by the Buswell/Porter/Buswell Treasureships under the Barnett Government and go into so much debt our grandchildren will still be paying it off.
Or we can be prudent, elect an ALP Government and wait till the cash is in our hands before we spend it!
Back in the Olden Days
A fleet of ferries on the Swan were operated by Jack Olsen and Claes Sutton who operated as “Swan River Ferries Ltd”. Their vessels’ names all began with “V”. The Valfreda, Valkyrie I and II, Valhalla and the Valdhana ran along the southern shore of the Swan, between jetties at Point Belches (now the Southern end of the Narrows Bridge), Mends Street and Coode Street. This was before there was a bus service along the stretch of land between the Swan and Canning Rivers. The Government ferries ran from Barrack St across the river to Mends St.
After the war finished the long awaited bus service began and the Valhalla was sold to the Government.
It was during that time that I remember travelling across the river to the Zoo in the Valhalla. Pre-war my father had been a 14 year old crew member on the old “Duchess” which was the other ferry I remember travelling on back then. Back then? Late 1940’s and early 1950’s.
When the Narrows Bridge was opened in 1959 the bus service to South Perth was opened up and the ferry service declined. Amongst other changes, the Valhalla went out of service and disappeared.
So much for history.
Instead of travelling downstream, I headed upstream. Up past the Maylands Boat Yard. And I saw it.
I had to double check, blink several times to ensure it wasn’t a mirage But it was real.
Old and almost derelict but being restored.
I wonder when I shall see it back on the river.