of demands in this morning's paper. Our state Premier is still trying to blame the Prime Minister for the demise of Holden and demanding well over a billion dollars be poured into the state's economy "immediately". It isn't going to happen, nor should it happen.
The demands being made are simply quite ridiculous. The Premier wants the Federal Government to commit to building more submarines and warships in this state. I don't know whether we "need" them or not. Even if we did however such projects are, at best, a short term fix. They might buy time but they will not buy investment in the state.
The last lot of submarines cost far more than they should have. Yes, there were some problems with the design but the biggest problem was the wages and conditions demanded by the union movement. "Security" meant they had the government over a barrel and they knew it. The same issue will prevent them from employing just anyone who puts their hand up for a job there.
Then there are the "transport corridors" - north and south. Oh yes, they will get people to work - in cars. The question has to be "what work?" Another question has to be, "why cars?" Oh yes, I forgot we are also supposed to be sending heavy goods vehicles along those roads. I wonder what they will be transporting? (And I still refuse to believe that "double handling" of containers on and off a train is more expensive than employing someone to drive a container half way across the country. If it is then it shouldn't be. )
In transport terms we would be better off looking at our rail network and going south, east and north. (Go west and you would go into the sea.)
But, what we need is new business in the state - and that will be hard to find. Setting up a new business anywhere is hard enough but it is often said it is more difficult here than in most places. We have, like any other place, our share of corrupt officials of course. They make life difficult but they are not the only problem. There are three layers of government to deal with - local, state and federal. There are rules and regulations for all of them.
That would be hard enough but there is also another layer, the "activist" layer. These are the groups who demand additional "environmental impact" statements and who appeal against decisions which would allow development to go ahead. They can add months and even years to the delays already caused by other layers of red tape.
It does not stop there either because the unions add yet another layer. Union numbers may have fallen but unions still wield power, especially in some areas.
I would not want to try and set up a business here - or not in the current climate. It is just too difficult. There are simply too many hurdles. They are not, as is often claimed, safeguards but restrictions designed to benefit some and not others. They provide opportunities for petty officialdom to wield power at their pleasure and leisure.
I am sure other people will say "it's just the same here" but how many places have to deal with all those layers, all those different rules and regulations and all those demands?
If the Premier had said, "I want the Federal government to sit down with us and work out how to make it easier to invest in the state" then I might have been prepared to believe he really wanted to help. Right now he is still thinking in the past and refuses to take any responsibility. Would someone care to remind me why we elected him?