Ever wonder why real wages are falling?

METRO TUNNEL COSTS COULD BLOWOUT TO $3B
A messy fight is looming over who will pay the huge extra costs of the Metro Tunnel, with the Andrew Government reportedly warned the total blowout of..

The Metro Tunnel is Victoria’s very own NBN, although there are quite a few others like it but not quite as draining although very bad as well. There was the desal plant, and the billion spent on the Miki Card, getting rid of level crossings in the city, others too, but this one is big big time. Infrastructure spending at its absolute stupidest. The above story is a snippet from the H-S this morning.

There are economic idiots everywhere, but the biggest ones are the ones who think government infrastructure projects like this are good for the economy. Even the Premier is beginning to see what a black hole this is. Construction everywhere you turn in the City, whole city blocks turned into construction sites, billions of dollars being spent, and not a dollar’s worth of actual value-adding output anywhere to be seen. We are looking here at immense costs, for which there will NEVER be a single cent of profit ever earned.

Keynesian economics was once only about getting an economy out of a recession. Now it’s about massive and permanent deficits coupled with massive and permanent forms of public waste. Now they have overrun their original costs to $3 billion, but there is more than just the tunnel that comes with all of this. Victoria is bankrupt in the same way that economic theory is bankrupt. I was just up in Sydney and they are about to finally start running their idiotic streetcars down George Street. That, too, will never turn a dollar of profit, which means it will never ever repay its costs in the benefits it provides. Pure waste but presented as a public benefit. My biggest query is always why isn’t this obvious?

Modern economic theory is a disaster for anyone whose government believes any and all of it. Public spending has its role, but is a drain on an economy’s productivity. Oddly because of the Keynesian nature of the National Accounts, all of this will show up as growth in GDP even though it is nothing of the kind. And there will be many people employed, except not employed on projects that will add to the economy’s net level of real production. They are not value adding. They may create a dollar’s worth of value, but for each dollar of value created it will cost much much more than a dollar. Why does this make sense to anyone?

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65 Responses to Ever wonder why real wages are falling?

  1. Tim Neilson

    Don’t forget the $1 billion that the Hunchback of Spring Street paid to stop the EastWest Link (which, at least by the standards of public infrastructure, actually makes sense to anyone who’s seen the Eastern Freeway traffic grind to a halt and bank up where the freeway just stops at Hoddle St).

  2. Tel

    I was just up in Sydney and they are about to finally start running their idiotic streetcars down George Street. That, too, will never turn a dollar of profit, which means it will never ever repay its costs in the benefits it provides.

    I remember when the monorail went in and at the time I was a young and naive protestor who thought it was a plain dumb idea (and that’s been proven, it was massively uneconomic and usually ran empty) but I also thought that people protesting might discourage government from doing something stupid. It was a peaceful protest without morons throwing themselves in front of cars like happens these days.

    So they have only just finished ripping the useless monorail back out again and then Sydney got a case of “tram envy” because Melbourne declared itself a great city (well they would say that) and God know why but I suppose the NSW government felt the need to blow as much money as possible. At least these new trams probably will not run empty like the monorail did, but I agree they will be constant loss making and propped up by Western Sydney taxpayers who never use the facility.

  3. C.L.

    Oh here we go.
    The inevitable unforeseen “blowout.”
    This is how things roll with the Five Families in New York.
    The only difference here is that our mafia corruption is legal.

  4. stackja

    Tel
    #3215540, posted on November 19, 2019 at 9:49 am

    Monorail: build it and they will come, except they didn’t
    https://www.smh.com.au › National › NSW
    Jan 9, 2012 – The then premier, Neville Wran, announced the project in 1984, and it was left to his minister for public works, Laurie Brereton, to steamroll the project to completion: a new shopping complex and a sweeping harbour foreshore open to pedestrians.

    The gaudy elevated railway was how he and his cabinet chose to solve one of Darling Harbour’s key problems – how on earth to get people there?

    The monorail, backed by Sir Peter Abeles’s TNT empire, was to be the solution, transporting up to 12 million passengers a year. (It averages a third of that.)

  5. Roger

    My biggest query is always why isn’t this obvious?

    Because we are governed by very dim people.

    Now they have overrun their original costs to $3 billion…

    Will any of the no doubt numerous project mangers lose their job and be barred from future contracts?

  6. Gerry

    the payback to the CFMEU must be worth it in future election funding surely..

  7. I_am_not_a_robot

    The Metro Tunnel construction hasn’t been entirely welcomed by some city residents:
    “… The public profile of tunnel works increased through the end of 2017, with Lord Mayor Robert Doyle complaining that the City of Melbourne’s pest controllers were being overwhelmed by rats disturbed by underground works …” (Wiki).
    Interesting fact:
    The big red TBM (tunnel boring machine) is named Joan after former Premier Joan Kirner (RIP).

  8. FelixKruell

    I agree in so far as the infrastructure is designed to increase GDP/employment. A waste.

    But there is some benefit when these infrastructure projects actually deliver value – shorter commutes. We are adding massive numbers of people to our major cities each year, so we need some infrastructure spending to keep our roads/rail etc from being swamped.

  9. Tel

    The gaudy elevated railway was how he and his cabinet chose to solve one of Darling Harbour’s key problems – how on earth to get people there?

    Except that never was a problem, because Darling Harbour is a very easy walk from Sydney CBD, and also an easy walk on the other side from what has become the hipster student and ABC hangout around Ultimo.

    Eventually they put a light rail link directly from Central train station to the edge of Darling Harbour and that does get used, but it’s only saving you a five minute very easy walk. The whole Monorail project never even made the attempt to link up with existing transport options.

    What’s more, if you want to walk or cycle between Ultimo and Sydney CBD or even the banking district out past Wynyard, or even the Casino and pub area down at Pyrmont … then Darling Harbour provides the most direct way to get to those places so it automatically picks up passing pedestrian traffic. There never was a problem in any way shape or form getting people coming into Darling Harbour. The monorail was a bad solution to an imaginary problem.

  10. struth

    But there is some benefit when these infrastructure projects actually deliver value – shorter commutes. We are adding massive numbers of people to our major cities each year, so we need some infrastructure spending to keep our roads/rail etc from being swamped.

    All caused by government policy in the first place and completely arse about.

    But this is all OPM.

  11. Peter Greagg

    And of course, the “so-called-experts” ignore the cost of imposing the taxation to raise the money to spend on these White Elephants.
    If we don’t get $1.50 of value from every $1 of tax spent, then we all become poorer.
    Which (I think) is Steve’s point.
    http://catallaxyfiles.com/2017/03/10/guest-post-peter-greagg-the-policy-implications-arising-from-the-economic-costs-of-taxation/

  12. Mother Lode

    I will give this much to NSW – the new interconnecting tunnels are going to be a boon.

    The M4 finishing in Strathfield and all three lanes being squeezed onto Parrammatta Road was a ridiculous situation. Now it will not only flow to the city underground, but it will connect with other motorways underground. You will be able to go from Lapstone in the mountains to the airport or the ACT without a traffic light.

    Also creating tunnels to get you from the south to the north – instead of duplicating crossing where the Harbour Bridge is – requiring all the same traffic to choke along the same roads to have a choice of crossings they are going to have crossing points elsewhere.

    They screw up a lot of things, but this is sorely needed infrastructure.

  13. Diogenes

    You could see the same thing in the geeat depression. Believe it or not the NSW railways actually turned a profit, which is why states kept their trains. After building a gazillion miles of branch lines as infrastructure to open up the country, the collective drag meant they never made a profit again.

  14. It’s not public spending, it’s public theft. It’s a means of transferring other people’s money into the pockets of their maaaaaaates so that they can then later give the pollies and PS a sinecure and also donate money to the Labor Party via the Unions who benefit the most.

    The projects are vastly overinflated but the public have no idea and no recourse to correct it if they do.

    Anyone ever notice how many working holiday people you see on these projects? Because the Unions and Government can easily rob them of their Super. Every single person employed on Government projects is a cash cow for the thieving Union spivs, Labor maaaaates and bankers.

    If a private company was engaged in this level of criminality and corruption there would be a National emergency declared.

  15. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    Typical of inner city latte drinking academic. Kates might not have noticed, but the commute in Melbourne has become difficult for anyone not living in the inner suburbs. Improved transit infrastructure is long overuse – as it is in Sydney, where the corruption of planning promoted housing developments with no services of any kind.

  16. Tim Neilson

    I will give this much to NSW – the new interconnecting tunnels are going to be a boon.

    The M4 finishing in Strathfield and all three lanes being squeezed onto Parrammatta Road was a ridiculous situation. Now it will not only flow to the city underground, but it will connect with other motorways underground.

    No, you’ve got it all wrong. The Hunchback of Spring Street has told us.
    Tunnels to let traffic flow, rather than choking inadequate streets, is bad policy, and it’s worth spending $1 billion of taxpayers’ money to stop it happening.

  17. Bruce of Newcastle

    And you can’t do much without electricity…

    Manufacturers getting ready to get out of Victoria this summer if power fails (19 Nov)

    Victorian manufacturers prepare for power crunch

    Angela McDonald-Smith and Mark Ludlow, AFR

    “Manufacturers are drawing up contingency plans to shift operations out of Victoria this summer as fears of blackouts and sky-high electricity prices for the March quarter keep nerves on edge.

    While worries about blackouts in Victoria have eased in the past three months, Coca-Cola chief executive Alison Watkins said on Friday the company was prepared to beef up manufacturing in other states should the worst-case scenario eventuate in Victoria and generation fall short of demand.”

    Just another burden and inefficiency on business.

    As power gets more expensive and unreliable the Victorian government is blaming coal:

    “Victoria’s Energy Minister, Lily D’Ambrosio, reiterated her concern that the increasing failure of ageing privately owned coal power generators was the biggest threat to Victoria’s power supply. She noted the work by AEMO “to secure the back-up power we need to compensate for this unreliability”.”

    I suppose it is good that the lefty AFR and the gilded Lily have noticed that Victoria is in deep electrical excrement, but to blame the only generation sector that can get them out of it is a beaut bit of lefty sophistry. Especially when the closure of Hazelwood due to rapacious government royalties is the cause of the whole problem.

  18. Roger

    Kates might not have noticed, but the commute in Melbourne has become difficult for anyone not living in the inner suburbs.

    Which brings us to another government created problem – mass immigration that nobody voted for.

    Now having filled the cities to the brim, they’re looking to inflict the malady on the regions.

  19. Roger

    D’Ambrosio is a standout in the stupidest politician stakes.

  20. FelixKruell

    Struth:

    All caused by government policy in the first place and completely arse about.

    Agree, but given we can’t undo it (only fix it going forward), I’d prefer some new infrastructure to sitting in traffic with 2 million extra residents every morning.

  21. MACK

    The Metro tunnel is just the warm-up. Victoria’s real rival to NBN waste will be the suburban rail loop. Current estimate $50 billion, and there is no support from Infrastructure Victoria, Infrastructure Australia, the coalition, or anyone with any brains at all.

  22. FelixKruell

    Mack:

    Current estimate $50 billion, and there is no support from Infrastructure Victoria, Infrastructure Australia, the coalition, or anyone with any brains at all.

    Agree. And that same loop is already serviced by busses, with tiny patronage numbers. There simply isn’t much demand for loop travel on public transport.

  23. I_am_not_a_robot

    “… Especially when the closure of Hazelwood due to rapacious government royalties is the cause of the whole problem …”.

    Not to labour the point, the increase was not motivated by rapaciousness, the intention was clearly to drive Hazelwood out of business.

  24. struth

    Agree, but given we can’t undo it (only fix it going forward), I’d prefer some new infrastructure to sitting in traffic with 2 million extra residents every morning.

    Stopping immigration for a while not an option as well?

    Government made mess requires increase in Government and government spending.
    Funny about that.
    This is the tactic used.
    Create problems to grow government.
    Importing Mooooooosies, or dividing off and shoving in welfare hell holes, our aboriginal people.
    It all grows government, which is the primary goal of government.
    All creates problems.
    Now government has grown to a point it can no longer build infrastructure that will be viable for the money spent.
    We must learn to get government back under control and stop spending money on problems they have caused in the first place.
    At least get government out of infrastructure spending.
    There was once a time they could do it without too much of an overblown cost.
    Those times have long since past, and the corruption involved means more pain for battling Australia.

  25. Bruce

    On a slightly different tack, documentary footage from the LSM:

    Franco is still dead.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axByUFSa7N8&feature=youtu.be&t=55

    At about the three minute mark, Oz even gets a brief mention.

  26. Bad Samaritan

    Sorry to have to disabuse you all of the notion that this is stupidity or anything else. Like it’s a mistake; wrong-headedness or whatever else. No, it’s all intentional waste.

    Nearly all modern politicians are thoroughly corrupt; out to make a fortune whilst in govt. Straight theft is sometimes on the cards, but usually it’s doing favours in return for kickbacks. The easiest way to make really big money is to organize borrowings for current and future taxpayers to repay. Of necessity there has to be debt via overspending (= budget deficits) followed by the borrowings to fund it….followed by kickbacks from the financial institutions lending the dough (ie buying the bonds).

    Of course there are other more brazen scams like that Treasurer in Qld buying cheaper property where she will direct new transport hubs to go. Or the son of Malcolm Turnbull buying up beaten-down wind and solar companies a few months before his dad announces billions in free money to those same companies, but in general the upfront commissions followed by trailing commissions on govt borrowings is the real cream.

    Govts have seen how it works with mortgage and business brokers. With car dealers, travel agents, electrical and furniture retailers arranging finance, The mark gets the loan and the arranger gets the cut. That’s all there is to it; waste money to make money. Doh!

  27. Old Lefty

    Is Dr Kates also arguing for road pricing? After all, the roads don’t turn a profit either.

  28. Iampeter

    There are economic idiots everywhere, but the biggest ones are the ones who think government infrastructure projects like this are good for the economy.

    I’d love to hear more from you on this but you supported tariffs, so…

    Without intellectual consistency covering these issues isn’t really possible.

  29. Old Lefty

    By the way, the Sydney light rail project is all about value capture in the corridor for the government’s developer mates – as it is in Newcastle, Canberra and everywhere else. My replies in Randwick fear that the cost will be the dismemberment of the eastern suburbs bus network, which works well and is heavily used.

    And the name of Sir Peter Abeles brought back memories, of the monorail and many other things.

  30. anonandon

    Victorian government debt is on its way to $100B and who knows from there. Combine that with the other states and the feds and were are looking at around $2 trillion in government debt. Now lets include personal debt – probably another $2 trillion. Private company debt – who knows. Add in unfunded future government liabilities (yikes).

    This country is drowning in debt to the tune of probably more than $200K per man/woman/child. I keep hearing you should borrow more when interest rates are low but that kind of thinking seems to have got us where we are now.

    I have no personal debt and there are many others like me. Someone is having a red hot go, that’s for sure.

    Summary: this country is in deep doo doo. I wouldn’t want to be relying upon the pension in my old age.

  31. Tim Neilson

    I keep hearing you should borrow more when interest rates are low but that kind of thinking seems to have got us where we are now.

    The problem is, no-one articulates the proviso “if there’s something you can invest it in that will give a return greater than the interest expense.”

    Summary: this country is in deep doo doo. I wouldn’t want to be relying upon the pension in my old age.

    You’d be insane if you did.

  32. max

    Ever wonder why real wages are falling?

    Because:

    Australian federal government is taking ~ 500 billion from ~11 million private sector workers.

which is around $45 000.

And number of laws and regulations are unknown.

    https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/mf/6248.0.55.002/

    https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/mf/6202.0

  33. C.L.

    Which brings us to another government created problem – mass immigration that nobody voted for.

    Indeed.
    They make the problem, then they profit from the ‘solution.’

    Also in the news today:

    Merging of Brisbane and Gold Coast powers on, but ‘don’t blame developers’ for growing pains.

    LOL. Oh I don’t blame developers.

  34. struth

    Australian federal government is taking ~ 500 billion from ~11 million private sector workers.

which is around $45 000.

And number of laws and regulations are unknown.

    And many of those private sector workers are working on Government contracts.

  35. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    finally start running their idiotic streetcars down George Street. That, too, will never turn a dollar of profit

    It should never have been approved, let alone built. Vandalism on a monumental scale.

    Guess who’s responsible for the useless monstrosity?

    Oh, that’s right – the stupid.forking.gliberals.

  36. Bruce of Newcastle

    the Sydney light rail project is all about value capture in the corridor for the government’s developer mates – as it is in Newcastle, Canberra and everywhere else.

    Which will disappoint them since the light rail is as stupid as it was when the Ncl tram network was uprooted in the 1930’s.

    My impression is the Ncl light rail is notable for the lack of anyone actually travelling on it. Happy to be shown wrong, that is my impression albeit without any data.

  37. Mundi

    What amazes me is how wrong and stupid they often are.

    In brisbane they built the clem7 tunnel. This tunnel is a by pass off the inner city bypass. It fires and takes you to the same place just a couple minutes faster. And the only reason it’s faster is that they knee capped the western end of the inner city bypass but not having it feed on/off the freeway in two nice lanes.

    So this is the sort of double insanity: pay for a white elephant, then create an artificial problem to try and drive traffic on to it.

  38. Dr Fred Lenin

    The way I read the metro tunnel is from apractical engineering angle .
    The population is increasing .
    The road system wont be able to handle increased traffic .
    Therefore increase use of public transport .
    Trains are great people movers .
    In the existing rail system there are two chokepoints ,Richmond from the east and south ,and
    North Melbourne from the northwest ,west and Geelong .
    The exising number of tracks cannot be increased ,therfore the number of trains is limited into the CBD .
    By taking the Sunbury to Pakenham line out of North Melbourne you enable more trains from the west and Geelong to access the CBD the tunnels take the new line north of the city then down through the centre of the CBD rejoining the line to Pakenham at South Yarra avoiding both major bottlenecks .
    It is a good plan and increases rail capacity considerably .
    As for the cost ,when has a government ever costed any project properly ? The NBNwill cost between 3 and 476 billion would be a fair statement . The end of story is if you keep increasing the number of people you have to build infrastructue .

  39. Very true Mr Kates, imagine if they just declared the Bega Valley catchment a tax free trade zone for 40 years and just stood back and not interfere, the capital city overpopulation problem would be solved in 5 years. There’d be a lot of annoyed Bega residents.

    I could never see the point of a manager paying a lot of money for CBD office space when he could issue vouchers to staff to use at home or walking distance shared office space. Then he could fang his new electric Porsche along the empty roads between Mosman and Claymore.

  40. Iampeter

    Which brings us to another government created problem – mass immigration that nobody voted for.

    Indeed.
    They make the problem, then they profit from the ‘solution.’

    Immigration is only a problem if you hate limited government, so as usual it’s not clear even to you what problem you’re trying to solve and what you think a solution might look like.

    Socialist capitalists unite! Or is that capitalist socialists…?

  41. Arky

    Listen up you Sydney people.
    It isn’t all about you.
    This was a post about OUR corrupt chicom stooges. Not yours.

  42. John A

    getting rid of level crossings in the city

    On this one, I disagree with you, Steve, because it was not primarily sold as a Keynesian pump-priming exercise.

    No doubt those economic “benefits” would have been included in the business case (there was a business case, you ask?) but it was mainly a long-overdue policy change on separating rail and road.

    NSW engineering policy to eliminate level crossings has operated since the 70s but stupid Vicroads and Vicrail could not see eye-to-eye and government never gave a policy direction until two cowboy truck drivers derailed a train, killing one and injuring thirteen at Abbotts Road level crossing on the Cranbourne line. This was the last of six within twelve months which brought the question into focus at last.

  43. The Beer Whisperer

    Roger
    #3215627, posted on November 19, 2019 at 11:11 am
    Kates might not have noticed, but the commute in Melbourne has become difficult for anyone not living in the inner suburbs.

    Which brings us to another government created problem – mass immigration that nobody voted for.

    NSW government jobs are proudly stating population growth in Sydney of 140% over just 20 years. That’s 12 million people in Sydney by 2040. You can find this for yourself on Seek.

    Read it again. And then try and tell me the fix isn’t in.

  44. Chris M

    We are looking here at immense costs, for which there will NEVER be a single cent of profit ever earned.

    I know nothing about this tunnel but if properly designed and utilised (?) it should assist with city traffic flow and therefore overall efficiency or productivity if that is the right word?

    Agreed the costs (and therefore management) of these projects are nuts and the money will never be repaid.

  45. anonandon

    Iampeter

    You speak in riddles. Either you are very smart or a BS artist because either way I don’t understand you. Which is it?

  46. John Constantine

    Story is that kickbacks of up to eight percent of the OBOR debt a bankrupt banana republic is unswervingly signed up for is paid as respect money to the political class that did the signing.

    Looks like the chicoms are getting their signatures pretty cheap here, by the aldi bag of cash, not the tiptruck.

    Interesting that it is more of a gdp stimulus to have the taxpayer fund the stripping of the flammable peoples liberation army cladding off the peoples liberation army billionaires death trap dogbox apartment developments than if the things had been built properly in the first place.

    Comrades.

  47. sfw

    In Vic the cost of the projects is expected and intended to ever increase. These projects have little to do with traffic etc. They are straight out payoffs to Vic Labors bosses, the unions especially the CFMEU. I had a mate who worked on the desal plant, made huge money and did little work, he and his mates called it ‘milking the cow’. The reason the Eastern Freeway Tunnel project was dropped (at enormous expense) was because it the contracts had been written so as to exclude the CFMEU, the union didn’t like that and they wanted the project scrapped, they also wanted a project to milk and so the Westgate Tunnel was born.

    If only there was a an opposition party in Victoria but there doesn’t seem to be, just a ‘soft’ Labor Party masquerading as an opposition.

  48. Dr Fred Lenin

    Sfw ,Im not sure if there is a liberal branch of the Uniparty in Victoria ,I know there is a Communist gangrene faction which frightens the life out of the union mafia branch of the party .
    We all know there is no branch of the liberal wing of the Uniparty in SA the media never me tions them ,nor do they mention Victoria ,turnbull must have eliminated them as ordered by the soros globalist communist fascist party communists cant tolerate opposition ,it shows how crap they are.

  49. nb

    Roger #3215560, November 19, 2019 at 10:06 am says:

    My biggest query is always why isn’t this obvious?

    Because we are governed by very dim people.
    Because we vote for very dim people.

  50. DaveR

    I keep hearing you should borrow more when interest rates are low but that kind of thinking seems to have got us where we are now.

    That is correct.

    But the complimentary discipline is that governments must pay down debt when interest rates inevitably rise again.

    Like thats ever going to happen. Most guilty governments are usually not even in power when the cycle turns.

  51. DaveR

    Its probably just a little early to start shouting, but the old adage that you cant trust Labor with money looks like it is going to get a good workout in the lead up to the next Victorian state election.

    Andrews was re-elected in the middle of the Turnbull malaise, when even liberals did not want to support the Liberal party, but that is over now. Even an election held now would be much, much closer.

  52. areff

    Check out the map. There is no need for the tunnel in the first place. It’s a boondoggle and always has been.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metro_Tunnel#/media/File:Melbourne_Metro_Rail_Tunnel_route_map.svg

    (posted by mistake on the OT)

  53. Mark from Melbourne

    Steve,

    As someone said upthread, I think lumbering in the level crossing removals with the absolute rubbish that is the Metro Tunnel is over-egging the pudding a tad. I’d be very surprised if all of those removals don’t add value over time.

    That said, the “normal” playbook is very much in use… there is not even a semblance of probity, and the entire schedule is, it would appear, governed by the political rather than the practical.

    But as it is the only thing the Hunchback has done which even vaguely approaches sensible…

  54. Steve. Did the London Tube ever make economic sense? Serious question. Just want to know.

  55. Squirrel

    The monstrosity which will make the NBN look like a masterstroke is the east coast high speed rail line -the ultimate (I hope) wet dream of the Big Australia nutjobs.

    There was a similar debt-funded splurge of development to cope with a population surge in the 1920s, one of the reasons Australia was particularly hard hit by the subsequent Depression – everything seems to be in place for history to repeat.

  56. The Deficit.
    It will have to be paid off somehow.
    I don’t think there will be many wages being paid when this particular bull is running amongst the crockery.
    Looks like the superannuation funds have already been spent.
    Or maybe the government will just pull the same trick the Nazis did in Germany – declare a state of emergency and demand the Superannuation funds/Insurance Companies/Banks buy Third Reich Infrastructure Bonds.

  57. sfw

    I thought the Liberal Party in Vic folded after Kennett lost. I haven’t seen anything to convince me otherwise.

  58. I thought this tunnel shut the Greens up and at the same time was a sop to union bosses as sfw notes.

    You will be able to go from Lapstone in the mountains to the airport or the ACT without a traffic light.

    Also creating tunnels to get you from the south to the north – instead of duplicating crossing where the Harbour Bridge is – requiring all the same traffic to choke along the same roads to have a choice of crossings they are going to have crossing points elsewhere.

    They screw up a lot of things, but this is sorely needed infrastructure

    I agree mother lode.

    Try traveling on the Hume after work on a Friday during snow season.

    Oof.

  59. Rohan

    You can lay the blame squarely at that moron Kroger’s feet. He created the Vic soy boy Liberals, so he can wear it.

  60. Old Lefty

    Agree with John A re level crossings. Undoubtedly there were union rorts galore and it cost far more than it should have. But the result has been a winner politically, not just for train users but also for motorists who no longer face 30-minute queues at crossing gates. Hence my query about Steve’s narrow focus on profit. There will be efficiency gains, as well as social benefits, from enabling people to move about faster, but profit in the sense of the balance sheets of individual firms or government enterprises won’t measure them. Don’t get me wrong – a.lot of what Andrews is doing is extravagant and overpriced. But on Steve’s analysis, would we ever have had sewers or would we still be letting people tip their chamber pots into the street?

  61. Tel

    Or maybe the government will just pull the same trick the Nazis did in Germany – declare a state of emergency and demand the Superannuation funds/Insurance Companies/Banks buy Third Reich Infrastructure Bonds.

    They already demand that the Super funds hold a certain amount of cash (which of course means bank deposits earning zero interest) and the Basal III demands that banks hold Commonwealth Government securities, at least to some extent. So we are part of the way there.

  62. MatrixTransform

    bugger the tunnel … just put the level crossings in Chelsea underground and extend the Frankston Fwy.

    Chelsea = Black Rock South

    nah…yeah

    the cost of the benefit to me is distributed amongst yous

  63. Michael Lewis

    The NSW Govt has hit on a winner for the new Metro extensions, under North Sydney, Martin Place and Town Hall. They have resumed blocks of prime real estate, maybe 10 times or more than what is actually needed for the stations construction. The stations will be concrete boxes, just a bit bigger than the tunnels they service. But the Govt is left with huge blocks of emptied, rail serviced land, to sell off at an enormous profit. Totally different to CSELR (George St etc) where useless O’Farrell was shanghaied by the wily Clover Moore.

  64. Nob

    Last week I was in a taxi from Tulla, stuck about Royal Park somewhere, trying to get across to Abbotsford.

    I said to the young driver, “pity they didn’t build that tunnel”

    He didn’t seem to have heard of East West link.
    He said, “oh but they are building a tunnel. It’s from St Kilda”

    The thing about transport infrastructure: it’s not all about moving commuters. No amount of rail will replace the need for good road infrastructure. The

    Greenies rhapsodise about European public transport in their holidays and long service leave but never notice that, say, that at most times of day the quickest way driving East West past Munich is right through the middle thanks to all the road tunnels. Done it many times going from Salzburg to Augsburg and beyond.

    Even bicycle friendly Copenhagen has better and bigger roads around the central city than Melbourne.

  65. Nob

    Needless to say, the taxi ride took longer than the flight from Adelaide.

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