General Category > Politics

Has capital expenditure in and around Sydney one too far?

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Chris:
There are roads outside Sydney which our urban dwellers wouldn't believe exist. They've got so used to the smooth asphalt covered surfaces that even the slightest pothole will bring them to an apoplexy of fury about the "collapse of the road system", and asking questions such as "where are our taxes going?" They have no clue that *vast* areas of NSW have roads that are quite literally tracks in the *dirt*. These regularly develop potholes and corrugations which then have to be scraped or 'graded' to return the tracks to some sort of useful state where axles etc aren't broken by the constant vibration and shock.

So where *is* the money going? Well for starters, there's the new M12 motorway which will link the M7 to the new airport at Badgery's Creek. This was already estimated to cost $1.2 billion, but is now expected to top $2 billion. Much of the reason for this has been the inflated cost of the land being bought for the airport itself. There was indignation last year when reports indicated one parcel of land worth around $3 million, had been bought at a cost of $30 million from a political crony!! Just as an aside, a green environmental belt has been established which has seen some landowners ruined with no chance of compensation. One poor guy saw the value of his property drop from $11 million... to just $1 despite having to pay a whacking great mortgage for the next 20 - 30 years!

Is this fair?? Well obviously on all sorts of levels it is *not*. It's unfair on the millions living in rural and semi rural areas who desperately need infrastructure to make their lives easier and provide economic benefits, and it's unfair to individuals who are arbitrarily being deprived of their livelihoods whilst others make a fortune just from knowing the 'right' people. This is just one example but there are hundreds more where money is being spent, not to improve the lives of all, but to support those lucky enough to live in the urban sprawl around our state capital.

The answer *should* be in the ballot box, but with nearly all political power resting in the cities, change is highly unlikely! We need people with a clear vision leading us to changes that improve the state as a whole. Rant over.

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