By Tony Morrissey.
IN THE DAILY Telegraph article on 21/3/2018 “A year of living on the hustings” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian believes that over the past seven years her government has got the bread-and-butter issues right.
But failure to maintain a reliable NSW power system; blocking access by our youth to affordable vocational training; and not protecting the security of our property title deeds, is a more a case of voters being served burnt toast and dripping from the premier’s groaning table.
Power station fire sale: what’s happened since to the NSW supply?
Gladys Berejiklian has overseen the biggest fire sale in Australia history by selling six NSW power stations for just over $1.56 billion dollars. Then the Chinese company that brought Wallerwang power station (1,000MW) in 2013 sold it six months later. It’s decision making like this that led to the Tomago Aluminum smelter being forced to shut down to avoid an embarrassing blackout on that sweltering day of February 10 last year.
Now we discover the pending closure of 2,000MW Liddell power station means the vulnerable system will require an additional 800MW to keep the lights on.
Selling off the land titles registry for stadium rebuilds
The Berejiklian government has also put at risk the security of property deeds by selling off the 150-year-old land titles registry to Hastings Funds Management and First State Super for $2.6 billion. This money was to finance the knock down and rebuild of the ANZ and the Allianz stadium in which cost had already blown out to $2.7 billion. It’s time the referee blew the whistle on that particular game.
TAFE, thanks Minister Barilaro
But even more distressing is the NSW government’s shocking decision to block young people from one-time access to an affordable vocational education system and forcing them to use the shonky private providers instead.
The Berejiklian Government under its Smart and Skilled Program has also resulted in 5,550 TAFE teachers being sacked; the selling off 27 TAFE Colleges of which 21 are in the country. Consequently, TAFE enrolment have dropped from 539,146 students in 2012 to just over 200,000 in 2017.
The NSW government has been criticised by the Auditor General for the $531 million bungled TAFE computer system (EBS) and the wasted $140 million dollars in its Smart and Skilled Program.
If a Labor Government was making destructive and harmful decisions like these, there would be a media feeding frenzy, as happened with the closure of Victoria’s 1,800MW Hazelworth power station. Gladys is crowing about her government’s seven-year success story. But it’s more like a seven-year hitch!
— Tony Morrissey, BSc (ENG) UNSW, SMIEEE, MIE AUST CPENG, Sydney
IMAGE: Sue Van Homrigh, Dreamstime stock background
Bulletin Editor’s note:
To be fair we think the NSW government has got regional trains on the right track and their all-purpose Service Centres are also a big improvement on previous models.