Monday, 15 February 2010

Our Sustainable Development Commission

members are sustained on $3000 a day - plus expenses. They have been charged with the task of finding $750m in cuts permanent cuts in the state budget.
That should not be difficult. I could suggest a few cuts myself - and for less than $3000 a day plus expenses. The problem is that we do not apparently see the need for the same sort of cuts.
There is, for example, the tram line to nowhere. It should have gone in the other direction - to the hospital. There is, of course, a very good reason it went in the opposite direction. It will now go past the proposed new hospital which is to be built over the railway yard. I would have sent the tram line past the old hospital - and rebuilt the old hospital. It could have been done. It would be closer to the university and the other facilities the hospital and the patients use. It would also have been closer to the Botanic Gardens and the parklands - both used by patients and staff. It would not however have been a brand new hospital which the present Premier aims to be opening in a few short years from now. He will, after all, still be the Premier. Nothing is going to shift him. He has backtracked on the proposed name. Isn't that enough? Now he believes he has the right to go on governing and to have the hospital where he wants it - even if it is in the less desirable and sensible location.
Then there is yet another sports stadium. This one is designed to change the quiet, pleasant ambience of the Adelaide Oval - where world class cricket has been planned in a gentlemanly and not so gentlemanly fashion - into a soccer shrine. That way the Premier will be able to meet and greet the stars of the soccer world - for a price. This is apparently essential to the economy of South Australia - just as it was essential to pay a certain cycling star a million dollars to advertise the fact that the Premier is the Premier.
There is the desalination plant - but that is underway. This is because we cannot be seen to harvest stormwater. Apparently 'expert' advice to the government is that stormwater is not fit for drinking. I am not sure what flows into the River Murray or any of reservoirs but apparently it is not stormwater - despite the fact that much of it is urban run off.
There are plans for a freeway to the north. The southern freeway is hardly free of traffic snarls and has a strange one way system - designed to save money and cause accidents. The northern one is being similarly designed because it is a 'success'. There are vague plans to extend the railway to the south but they may go in the is SDC decides this could save money.
All this is, of course, designed to preserve the precious AAA credit rating built up by the previous government after the State Bank disaster of the previous government of this political flavour. It is designed to 'keep the budget in surplus' - and the present politicians in power.
I am of the view that sport should pay for itself. The government should not be subsidising the wages of over paid individuals who happen to be able to kick a ball or ride a horse. I believe we should extend the rail network before we extend the road network. It makes good environmental sense and has other benefits. I am concerned about the environmental impact of a desalination plant - and the quality of the water from it. I am also concerned about the failure to recognise the importance of the healing environment with respect to the location of the proposed new hospital.
But an AAA credit rating has to be maintained at all cost. That is why the government has 'requested' me to do some further unpaid work this week. Apparently I must assist them in finding .0001% of the $750m.


Rachel Fenton said...

I feel like I'm in Alice in Wonderland or some such similar mad realm. I know I'm bad with numbers but as I was reading that first paragraph I was thinking - ha, you've made a typo there, added an extra couple of noughts....not! Sickening. Go on strike, Cat! All you need is one small simple word - "no".

catdownunder said...

It sounds easy doesn't it? The trouble is then I look at the kid who really, really needs something and the family who are struggling to keep themselves together under the weight of caring for a kid they love dearly - and I say yes.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry, I am sitting here reading your little note above the comment box, and you are going to censor me!
I agree with you, but find it difficult to not be offensive when our premier is any part of the discussion!
Judy B

Anonymous said...

Wish the word verification creator would learn to spell ..... should have had two 'o's in porat.
I think I had better go to bed!

catdownunder said...

This morning's paper says it all!