Flo Stopper, Fake News’ traffic correspondent, analyses whether there’s any chance of George Street recapturing its glory days as a Sydney traffic thoroughfare, and doubts whether Glad has the street-smarts to fix it.
Experts are beginning to have serious doubts about whether the Sydney CBD can ever achieve a balance between light rail and heavy traffic.
The trouble is that the track record of State Governments in managing infrastructure projects does not inspire confidence. The last NSW Labor Government were convinced they could do it merely through making announcements.
They announced plans to redevelop Sydney as the City of the Future at least twice and the North-West Metro was triumphantly launched four times all without turning a single sod. The only infrastructure actually completed by Labor was a ministerial one-way street from Parliament House to the Big House.
A member of Labor’s team of announcers from that era is still announcing today. Each time the current Coalition government goes beyond an announcement and actually starts developing infrastructure Michael Daley immediately denounces it as a bridge or a road too far.
This is all very helpful for the public in that it facilitates direct comparison between Labor’s infrastructure policy of development by an announcement and Glad’s more action-orientated policy based on the conviction that half a light rail is better than none.
There is, however, growing concern among the Sydney cognoscenti over whether Glad’s grand vision of Tomorrow’s Sydney will ever see the light of Today.
Mike Baird made a determined start to prevent George Street becoming the world’s largest free car park but he soon found that he couldn’t keep a good or a bad dog down and fell among the money lenders at NAB.
And now Glad is finding that a pain from Spain is sending George Street down the drain.
The Spanish operator building the light rail network is demanding $1 billion-plus compensation for the loss of siestas and all the bull they’ve had to fight from the State Government.
Michael Daley continues to criticise the government for taking action rather than making announcements and Luke Foley is consistently announcing his intention to cancel all Glad’s infrastructure developments apart from announcing the things she hasn’t yet announced.
Glad now has to decide whether to take George Street in a totally new direction and rename it Boy George Street and she must make every effort to ensure that tomorrow’s Sydney doesn’t go down in history as yesterday’s because people can’t tell the difference.
At the next NSW Election, voters will have a clear choice. They can punt on Glad for another rails run down George Street. On the other hand, a win for Labor would foreshadow an announcement from Michael Daley that a deal has been done with Clover to convert George Street into a cycle lane or to make it an extension of the North-West Metro.
Flo Stopper became traffic correspondent for Fake News after she lost her way as a parliamentary press secretary for the Greens and decided she needed to take a turn back to reality.