Archive for September 5th, 2009

John Laws does an ad for Legacy

This one caught me off guard yesterday. I turned on the radio just before 3:30 and heard this ad right before my recorded news bulletin was due to air…it took me a moment to work out why John Laws was on the radio as I had tuned in half way through and heard Lawsie talking about how he had worked as a jackaroo…I thought he was talking to a caller at first.

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It’s nice to hear John Laws on the radio when he is talking sense, as happened on this occasion.

Samuel

4 comments September 5th, 2009 at 05:40pm

The top 101 failures of Nathan Rees’ 1st year as Premier

This email arrived from the NSW opposition this morning. It came from one of Barry O’Farrell’s media reps, but isn’t attributed to any politician in particular, so I’m hesitant to attribute it to Barry as the rep does produce press releases for other opposition MPs. (Update: It’s from Barry’s office, so it can be attributed to Barry.)

All that said, the list is rather amusing, so I thought I’d give it a run here. Enjoy!

1. 8 September 2008 – Appointing the ‘dodgy brothers’ of NSW politics – Eric Roozendaal and Joe Tripodi to the key economic portfolios of Treasury and Finance Minister. Nathan Rees delegates the responsibility of selecting his Cabinet to ALP boss, Karl Bitar.

2. 10 September 2008 – Forced to new Police Minister Matt Brown after he admits that he danced semi-naked on fellow ALP MP Noreen Hay during June’s Budget ‘celebrations’. Two days later, Noreen Hay is dumped as Parliamentary Secretary, but Rees claims it is purely because he wanted a “fresh face”.

3. 19 September 2008 – Nathan Rees shows he’s got his priorities wrong by calling for an inquiry into the Black Panther sightings in Western Sydney while failing to address the real issues affecting the people of NSW.

4. 22 September 2008 – More than 8,000 cars are diverted from the M5 tunnel in sweltering heat as the second computer glitch in 3 months forces the tunnel’s closure, bringing the city to a halt.

5. 16 October 2008 – Dubbo Hospital nurses reveal that they have been forced to purchase bandages from a local vet to use on patients due to Greater Western Area Health Service’s failure to pay bills on time.

6. 17 October 2008 – The Rees Labor Government’s failure to properly fund NSW health services results in four NSW Area Health Services reportedly owing millions of dollars to medical suppliers, who have been owed this money for up to 6 months.

7. 18 October 2008 – Rees Labor Government loses former Deputy Premier John Watkins’ seat of Ryde to the Liberals with a swing of over 20%. There are also massive swings against the Rees Government in Cabramatta and Lakemba.

8. 22 October 2008 – Nathan Rees allows Union heavyweight John Robertson fills the Upper House vacancy left by Michael Costa. Despite filling the vacancy, he fails to deliver anything in his portfolio.

9. 23 October 2008 – Nathan Rees ponders Sydney’s traffic congestion problems with the curious phrase, “If you think you are in love, you are in love. If you think you are in traffic, you are in traffic”.

10. 23 October 2008 – It’s revealed trains on the Chatswood to Epping Line will be as loud as a Boeing 737.

11. 24 October 2008 – Nathan Rees announces the Rozelle Metro – but embarrassingly doesn’t know cost or route.

12. 27 October 2008 – It’s revealed that 10 years after unveiling their rail transport blueprint, the NSW Government has failed to build a single one of the 5 major projects promised.

13. 27 October 2008 – Infrastructure Australia submission failed – Sydney was allocated less than 1% of the total road, port and transport funding because of Labor’s incompetent submission, which was riddled with spelling errors.

14. 28 October 2008 – Nathan Rees confirms he had signed off on about $5 million in pay rises for NSW’s senior bureaucrats weeks ago, despite claiming he had only heard about it the previous evening.

15. 31 October 2008 – Nathan Rees axes the North West Metro failing commuters in North Western Sydney.

16. Ongoing – Has still failed to build Kincumber Fire Station, which was first promised by the Labor Government in 2000, then again in 2001, then again in 2008 with not a single sod turned.

17. 7 November 2008 – Nathan Rees fails to honour handshake agreement on campaign finance reform to adopt the Legislative Council inquiry’s recommendations to limit political donations and cap spending during Election campaigns made at the ‘Leader’s Pub Debate’.

18. 11 November 2008 – Nathan Rees sacks Small Business Minister Tony Stewart after he allegedly verbally abused and touched the leg of a female staffer during a function a week earlier. He is suing the State Government over his sacking.

19. 11 November 2008 – Nathan Rees hands down the failed Mini-Budget with a $917 million deficit. It introduces congestion tax, axes the $50 back to school allowance and free bus travel for students, cuts petrol subsidies, closes 8 DPI offices, doubles car parking levies and increases green slip charges, and slugs the coal industry for more royalties.

20. 11 November 2008 – Rees Labor Government fails to provide a ‘Fly Over’ for West Gosford Intersection – promised prior to the 2003 election – all funding removed in 2008.

21. 11 November 2008 – Nathan Rees axes the South-West Rail Link, which was originally promised in December 2004.

22. 11 November 2008 – Introduced a blood tax, to reap $26 million over 4 years.

23. 11 November 2008 – Introduced a 50c levy on ferry fares – taxing people who use public transport.

24. 11 November 2008 – Axed JetCats leaving thousands of commuters stranded.

25. 11 November 2008 – Raised the Waste and Environment Levy without reinvesting it, using it to cover his budget black holes.

26. 19 November 2008 – Fails to prioritise education when it’s revealed the Rees Government plans to sell 140 hectares of the 160-hectare Hurlstone Agricultural High School in Western Sydney.

27. 26 November 2008 – A report on the Epping to Chatswood Rail Link shows there are thousands of defects in the way the tracks have been fixed to concrete slabs.

28. 27 November 2008 – The release of Commissioner Peter Garling’s Report into NSW hospitals contains 139 recommendations for a complete overhaul of the system, which he says is ‘on the brink’.

29. 1 December 2008 – Nathan Rees botches the introduction of the list of the most dangerous pubs and clubs in the State by using flawed data to assemble the list and failing to ensure mechanisms for pubs who clean up their act to be removed from the list.

30. 2 December 2008 – It’s revealed Ian Macdonald’s wife has a $110,000 a year job as a liaison between her husband and the Director-General of DPI. Questions are raised over the potential conflict of interest.

31. 21 December 2008 – Nathan Rees fails to discipline the Minister for State Development, Ian Macdonald after it’s revealed he has used Department credit cards to purchase a TV, cabinets, desks and other furniture for his home, enjoyed upmarket lunches at taxpayers’ expense and hired a helicopter to the Hunter Valley for a $2000 lunch and mining tour. Minister Macdonald is dubbed “Sir Lunchalot” following further revelations he spent $150,000 on accommodation, food and drink for a wine advisory council he established.

32. Ongoing – Nathan Rees allows continued over-development in the Ku-ring-gai Council area, continuing to override local democracy.

33. 5 January 2009 – It’s revealed the NSW Labor Government has spent $2.4 billion on Government funded advertising and consultancy since it was elected in 1995.

34. 6 January 2009 – The Rees Labor Government fails Rosemeadow residents when up to 100 people from a local housing estate are involved in a riot and their local Labor MP Phil Costa refuses to visit the site until shamed into it a week after the incident.

35. 9 January 2009 – Miscarriages at Maitland Hospital show Labor has failed to implement miscarriage protocols that were developed following the Jana Horska case in 2007.

36. 12 January 2009 – Rees Labor Government fails to get its priorities right when it makes the decision to charge patients and their families more for parking at hospitals – costing families an extra $6 million over 4 years.

37. 14 January 2009 – Nathan Rees fails to live up to his promise that his Government will be honest and transparent when it’s revealed the NSW Ombudsman has made a damning provisional report to Premier Rees regarding the interference of former Roads Minister Roozendaal’s office in FOI requests, and referred them to ICAC.

38. 19 February 2009 – New Minister John Robertson splashes out $500,000 on a Ministerial office refurbishment. While initially defending the luxurious renovation, Nathan Rees only axed it after public outcry.

39. 23 February 2009 – Epping to Chatswood Rail Link finally opens – three years late, one billion dollars over-budget, and half its original distance.

40. February 2009 – Fair Trading Minister Virginia Judge reveals herself to be incompetent when she bungles referring herself to the ICAC over allegations she used her position to influence the Minister for Police over a decision affecting one of her major donors.

41. 3 March 2009 – It is revealed, Bernie Fraser and Ian Macfarlane, economic experts hired by Nathan Rees, refuse to endorse his failed Mini-Budget. Mr Macfarlane stated in a letter to the Premier’s Director-General: “I would like to point out that I do not have any particular expertise in these areas, and would not like to be cited as having advised on, or approved of policies in these areas”.

42. 5 March 2009 – FOI documents reveal over $20,000 in Back To School Advertisements that advertised the wrong day to return to school.

43. 6 March 2009 – The Rees Labor Government strips the NSW Ombudsman of its ability to review preventable child deaths and reduces the regularity of reports from the Ombudsman, effectively hiding this important information from public scrutiny.

44. 11 March 2009 – Labor’s failure to recruit obstetricians sees Wyong Hospital lose its maternity unit.

45. 19 March 2009 – NSW loses out in the major events stakes when Nathan Rees claims 1970s musician Brian Eno is a bigger draw card than golfing legend Tiger Woods who is to play in Melbourne’s Australian Masters. Premier bizarrely claims, “I’d much rather Brian Eno’s work on display for the people of NSW for three weeks than Tiger Woods for three days”.

46. 22 March 2009 – It’s revealed senior Police raised concerns with the RTA CEO about the employment of Hells Angels’ boss Derek Wainohu, following the brutal murder of a bikie at Sydney Airport.

47. 22 March 2009 – Nathan Rees announces he’ll renovate the Opera House at a cost of up to $1 billion. Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd then hangs Mr Rees out to dry saying he would rather the money was spent on schools and hospitals.

48. 30 March 2009 – It’s revealed Rail Bus and Tram Union boss Nick Lewocki demanded and received a Gold Travel Pass, despite only working for RailCorp for 18 years and taking leave without pay for more than a decade. Rail employees are only eligible for a Gold Pass if they have worked for 30+ years in the network.

49. 31 March 2009 – A major power blackout brings Sydney to its knees, with a third of emergency loudspeakers unable to be used due to lack of battery back-up systems. Faults in four major power cables supplying two major substations caused the disturbance.

50. 6 April 2009 – It’s revealed the Attorney General, John Hatzistergos employed a person with a criminal record in his office.

51. 9 April 2009 – Rees Labor Government shows a failure with its priorities again, when it decides to ban crucifixes and Bibles at the Royal North Shore Hospital chapel.

52. 13 April 2009 – RTA moving offices from the CBD to North Sydney at a cost of $23 million, including nearly $1 million on new chairs.

53. 15 April 2009 – Nathan Rees forced to review car-parking arrangements of Ministers after it’s revealed Ministers had two car spots, one at Parliament and one at their CBD offices in Governor Macquarie Tower. It’s also revealed $1.4 million a year was being spent on 147 parking spaces in GMT.

54. 16 April 2009 – NSW taxpayers foot a $20,000 bill on a personal film crew for Nathan Rees.

55. 30 April 2009 – Rees Labor Government fails the local community when it’s revealed Rockdale Police station has been closed.

56. 5 May 2009 – Rees Labor Government rejects an Upper House Committee’s recommendation that Bundeena be provided with adequate ambulance infrastructure.

57. 12 May 2009 – Finance & Infrastructure Minister, Joe Tripodi defends his $290,000 around-the-world junket, at taxpayer’s expense.

58. 20 May 2009 – Wrong decision to make patients eat more pre-packaged food in hospitals.

59. 27 May 2009 – Sydney Ferries CEO, Rear Admiral Geoff Smith is sacked for misconduct. It’s later revealed he worked up a $237,000 debt on his taxpayer credit card.

60. 27 May 2009 – It’s revealed Nathan Rees plans to axe 600 frontline rail staff leaving many stations unmanned, particularly at night.

61. 28 May 2009 – Poor prison security sees notorious convicted gang rapists, Bilal and Mohammed Skaf able to stash mobile phones in their cells in a maximum security gaol.

62. 29 May 2009 – Following a fortnight of documented leaks from a water main that were frequently reported to Sydney Water, an enormous crater appears in Bellevue Hill. Sydney Water later admits they failed to assign a maintenance crew to the correct address for two weeks.

63. 2 June 2009 – The entire NSW Roads Budget is leaked to the NSW Liberal/Nationals showing a $160 million reduction in capital and maintenance funding on regional roads. It was revealed the on-again, off-again plans for Sydney’s M4 East extension appeared to be off again, along with a link between the M2 and the M7.

64. 3 June 2009 – Official ABS figures show NSW falls into recession after experiencing two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth in State Final Demand (-0.4% for the December 2008 quarter and –0.2% for the March 2009 quarter).

65. 16 June 2009 – State Budget Day – Includes a “Made in China Ban” policy, which is widely criticised by the Federal Labor Government which warns it will cost local jobs and potentially trigger retaliation from major trading partners.

66. 16 June 2009 – Wrong decision to cut health infrastructure spending in the State Budget by $236 million. Delayed or cancelled vital health infrastructure and promised hospital projects like Wagga Wagga, Bega Valley, Parkes, Forbes, Northern Beaches and Tamworth are all either on hold or delayed.

67. 16 June 2009 – No funding for a public radiology/oncology unit on the Central Coast.

68. 16 June 2009 – No funding in the State Budget to widen Terrigal Drive.

69. 16 June 2009 – Every household in NSW burdened with $30,000 in debt and liabilities from the Rees Government.

70. 16 June 2009 – Rees Labor Government fails to listen to the community and keep Schofields station in its current location, instead building a new station 800 metres down the road.

71. 16 June 2009 – Total cost of the Iron Cove Bridge Duplication has now blown out by $75 million to $175 million, and the community remains vehemently opposed to Labor’s plan to duplicate the bridge.

72. 16 June 2009 – State Budget cuts spending on the Princes Highway by $66 million.

73. Ongoing – The continued closure of Blue Mountains maternity unit, forcing pregnant mothers to drive down the Mountain whilst in labour because of Labor cuts to Katoomba Hospital.

74. 21 June 2009 – Wrong decision to send man with broken neck home with a Panadol after attending Ryde Hospital.

75. 24 June 2009 – Groundhog day in the Legislative Council – Rees Labor Government shuts down the Upper House to avoid losing the vote on crucial legislation.

76. 30 June 2009 – Health Minister John Della Bosca embarrassed after re-announcing GPS systems in ambulances which were promised to be installed a year earlier.

77. 1 July 2009 – The merging of the Protective Commissioner and the Public Trustee to allegedly save only $100,000 but in reality funding the cash-strapped Protective Commissioner out of the funds held by the Public Trustee.

78. 8 July 2009 – Fails to take action on Spit congestion: a total of $31,000 taxpayers money spent on review into whether there can be any reductions in the number of times the Spit Bridge opens on weekdays.

79. 8 July 2008 – Nathan Rees fails to fund much-needed Fourth Pod at Port Macquarie Hospital during a visit to the region.

80. 9 July 2009 – Nathan Rees left red-faced after announcing a bottled water ban despite three companies having contracts with his government to supply it with bottled water until March 2011.

81. 11 July 2009 – A murderer has his sperm smuggled out of a NSW gaol in a serious breach of security allowing him to father a child.

82. 11 July 2009 – Sold Brooklyn Police Station. The Rees Labor Government hid the sale of the Police Station by its listing on websites as a “period residence” with 3 bedrooms.

83. 13 July 2009 – The Auditor-General reveals travel times on seven major traffic routes have reduced to 30 km/h in morning peak and 41 km/h in afternoon peak.

84. 15 July 2009 – It’s revealed Nathan Rees’ new State logo is actually a lotus, not the State’s official emblem, the Waratah.

85. 15 July 2009 – An internal Education Department audit reveals up to 700 NSW public schools face school land sell-off.

86. 21 July 2009 – A proposed merger of 160 NSW Government Agencies into 13 Super-Departments revealed to have been stolen from the Queensland Government. The Rees Government fails to implement the super-ministry structure by the July 1 deadline.

87. 21 July 2009 – Meg Makila, a severely disabled 15 year old has her nose almost bitten off in an attack at a Rees Government respite home by a 22 year old disabled man who was housed with her. Government policy dictates that adults must be housed separately from children.

88. 21 July 2009 – It’s revealed no schools in the Penrith Electorate have school zone flashing lights.

89. 3 August 2009 – It is revealed that the cost of the Tillegra Dam in the Hunter Valley has blown out by more than 90% to $477 million, but it has a ‘one in a million’ chance of being needed.

90. 6 August 2009 – Unemployment in NSW at 6.1%, which is higher than the national average of 5.8% – more than 140 people a day have lost their job since Nathan Rees became Premier.

91. 6 August 2009 – Rees Labor Government has bungled the delivery of the Commonwealth’s Building the Education Revolution program, stealing $142 million in ‘project management fees’.

92. 11 August 2009 – NSW taxpayers likely to lose at least $500 million a year in 2010-2011 under new GST carve-up despite promises of a better deal under Federal Labor.

93. 18 August 2009 – It’s revealed Labor mate Bob Ellis is being paid more than $4,000 a month by Nathan Rees – double what Mr Ellis was getting paid when Mr Rees was only a Minister.

94. 18 August 2009 – It’s revealed almost half the planned hazard reduction burn offs were not completed for 2007/08 and it is forecast the figure will be similar for 2008/09.

95. 19 August 2009 – Nathan Rees admits his failure as Premier when he says: “To be honest, I’ve been disappointed with my performance on a number of fronts”.

96. 23 August 2009 – Nathan Rees inappropriately uses his official Australian National Flag Day message to propose the adoption of a new Australian Flag offending organisers and war veterans.

97. 26 August 2009 – It’s revealed the Labor Government’s Anti-Graffiti Action Team has only met twice in two years.

98. 27 August 2009 – Rees Labor Government continues to undermine the independence of NSW Crown Prosecutors by reducing their numbers forcing court cases to be delayed and risking criminals walking free.

99. 31 August 2009 – Health Minister John Della Bosca resigns in scandal forcing Labor to appoint its fifth Health Minister in just four years.

100. 3 September 2009 – It’s revealed hospital waiting lists have grown by nearly ten per cent under Nathan Rees – with an additional 5,200 people waiting for surgery taking the total to 62,890.

101. 3 September 2009 – Nathan Rees ignores growing community calls for an early election by using Labor Party numbers in Parliament to vote down a motion of no confidence in his Government.

Samuel

18 comments September 5th, 2009 at 03:29pm


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