This is perhaps the most intensive critique of a national Treasury CEO in history but efforts to negotiate a win-win solution as is corporate best practice has been negated by embedded manipulators. They have put their evil intentions and outcomes on me and that finishes – NOW – STEAL FROM ME & KILL KIDS.
The personal experience of the main source of innovation in Sydney for four decades, Robert Gibbons, throws light on the general issue of removing barriers to innovation so that genuine productivity and service improvements can be achieved through proper planning protocols. This is opposed to “picking winners” through capricious political “gifting” which runs against mainstream economic studies such as Sirolli’s Ripples from the Zambezi and Hayes and Wheelwright’s four principles of “increasing strategic impact” and the fabulous Reinventing Government.
Innovation can be done well or badly, encouraged or strangled, facilitated or over-taxed in different places and times. Turnbull and his erratic friend Stephen Kennedy (and the worst planning blunder in history, his “Western Sydney City Plan”) emphasised but did not understand “productivity” in infrastructure: in 2016 Gibbons estimated that the cost of suppressing his innovations exceeded $40 billion in current capital terms and $ trillions in lost opportunities ($1 billion-plus alone off the Goanna Bridge in The Bays, at low capital cost), while Turnbull’s pet projects embedded avoidable rising congestion and housing costs measured by transport statisticians to exceed $20 billion a year once the cancerous underpinning is taken into account.
Here is what went right off the rails in governance terms, the internalisation of policy processes in backroom lobbying and profiteering:
Completely suppressed was a “Swifta” train/train from the North West down the existing Main North into Strathfield and then across the Canterbury area on road surfaces to Hurstville and the Illawarra Line, crossing the Main West and Bankstown/East Hills Lines, which would have obviated some $30 billion in tunnels and trackage and more in later closing and fixing the new metros due to fundamental engineering and economic blunders which are characteristic of Malenomic breakdowns in “due diligence”.
“Inclusion” is a key word to stimulate smart people as in US “innovation districts” versus NSW Premiers’ Baird’s and Berejiklian’s developers’ priority which reduces competition and design quality. One Monday morning the head boss of planning in the NSW Ministry of Transport arrived shouting at me, solve that blinking transport problem at Sawpit Creek near Mount Kosciusko! I recovered sufficiently to tell him my idea which he liked and which was approved by the Minister. We issued a call for ideas and Ken Bilson came out of the woodwork with his proposed funicular railway from near Thredbo to Blue Cow. Transfield stepped in and voila! It is still running.
The opposites such as Sydney’s “shiny toys” (below) are the products of breakdowns in “due diligence” and “integrity”, the latter getting a lot of attention in Australian politics but in limited terms. Similar disorganisation was seen in the economic and governance responses to bushfires and coronavirus, with small business, renewable technologies and affordable housing discarded by insular bureaucrats and petticoat politicians.
Diagrammatically, from widely-published warnings in 2018 onwards, ignored by LNP & ALP:
This accords with the observation by long-term infrastructure mandarin Mike Mrdak that if you want to kill a good idea, send it to Stephen Kennedy in the Department of PM & Cabinet – over which comment PM Turnbull sacked him.
Kennedy also killed initially and repeatedly the most important national economic policy opportunity, the “infrastructure re-planning template” I gave to Turnbull in December 2015 and he and Morrison subsequently, which continues under the nominally-opposite ALP Government – where the PM has a special interest in the proposed vector, his creation Infrastructure Australia (iA). This a muddle around a vicious bias.
“Innovation” was the mantra of Turnbull which he spruiked widely and frequently, as did his wife in the Greater Sydney Commission. Turnbull lost his rag when the main innovation economist, Professor Roy Green, accused his government of reducing funding of innovation, in a disturbing public spat. Otherwise infrastructure is a “closed shop” around Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) which is tied at the hip to iA. Associated effects were the de-skilling of managerial ranks and abolition of central intelligence so that the corona malenomics chaos merged with recession stimulus to produce oscillations around capricious central gifters, namely Morrison and Frydenberg (with Kennedy):
Innovation is a primary focus for the malice of monopolistic agencies which resent even marginal losses of sales, margins and profits. The US car industry was notorious for suppressing and/or buying-out exhaust and fuel-saving technologies to the detriment of air quality in the cities (cf Ralph Nader’s and Matt Crenson’s 1960’s campaign and books).
The Bairdijiklian/Turnbull/Kennedy malice led to intense crypto-political actions over greyhounds (a new Localism approach to replace traditional remote regulation) and the rejection of “Revive Blue Mountains”, indeed leading to Baird’s resignation:
Malice is indeed the focus of Gibbons’ experience with Bairdijiklian Malenomic “Corruption of Suppression” via a sample of 7 major extra instances ~
- Bus Rapid Transit framework proposal by Gibbons at request of Mike Baird in 2008, stolen by him, messed up for 8 years then abandoned in favour of a more expensive, risky and environmentally and socially destructive tollway with a deep tunnel at the most inopportune area, the Spit gully – led in 2008 to Baird’s endless and bottomless venom at my request to have a payment arrangement when he become Treasurer in 2011
- The “best idea in 100 years” – the Sydney CBD traffic oasis, circumferential by-pass route, transit boulevard, Goanna Transit Bridge and “expressnet” transit systems off the western end of the Goanna – all grouped as an holistic solution under the title “Barangaroo Expressnet” (the first use of “expressnet”)
- Cost savings and faster results on the NW to Bankstown Metro amounting to about $4 billion better Budget outcomes, the plagiarism being explicitly excused and camouflaged by Matthew O’Sullivan of the SMH/News Media
- Replacement of the Greater Sydney Commission’s corrupted “Sydney Regional Plans” by a proper planning approach which meshed better with distributed suburban densification and integration with networked infrastructure as opposed to over-densification of tower blocks along a railway line or highway – GSC stole that, unbelievably excused by limpid journalists (NB iNSW naïvely accepted the GSC framework, thus neutering their fundamental principles under inaugural chairman Nick Greiner)
- Gibbons’ work during the Coronavirus mayhem produced world’s-first payment calculations and vectors which would strengthen community resilience and reduce long-term medical and policing costs – Berejiklian, Frydenberg and Kennedy reversed the logic and closed down SME tourism and accommodation, arts and recreation industries not just unnecessarily but malevolently contrary to the OECD templates which were excluded by PM Morrison and Treasurer Frydenberg (Kennedy has a Ph D in health economics and completely mismanaged the corona economics!)
- Similarly Morrison came up with a Coronavirus governance directions package through response and revival which was designed to de-power State and Territory leaders but shift expenditure away from climate mitigation and other OECD recommendations into buttressing coal and gas mines and plants. Regrettably that also entangled the ALP through its regional and priority carbon commitments
- Gibbons proposed to the then Rockdale mayor a special way to approach the redevelopment of the Brighton-le-Sands precinct on Botany Bay which led to famous proposals to re-create the famous Baths but incorporating underwater car parks, a pier with public open cinema especially for world sporting events, and in-beach exercise and catering facilities. The incoming Labor mayor sacked all consultants including probity advisor and tried to replicate the program through staff. That was an infamous failure
- Another example is a neat transit solution using the boys’ own Personal Rapid Transportation notion but really being based on technology implemented around the world including at Heathrow Airport (“ULTra”). I was given permission by ARUP to use their winning submission for perway at Bath and applied the concept at the Bondi Beach and the Broadway/SydUni precincts where additional roadspace cannot be found and congestion and parking stresses are at maximum levels. It would work if transport ministers would listen but local addictions to the former trams recrudesced through the Liberal Party, wasting money and time.
Innovation can be conservative in ironic ways. Christie, Greiner and Gibbons pointed to ways of strengthening the capacity and spread of the legacy Bradfield heavy rail network, once the envy of the world, instead of the “30-Minute Club”’s shiny Hong Kong metros which have lower capacities, higher risk, lower returns (with the necessity of debt funding even of operations) and changes in suburban life which are contrary to Australian culture, all without Parliamentary or electorally legitimate engagement. Consequentially in 2018 and still now (Perrottet falsifying Budgets),
And under Turnbull/Morrison/Kennedy,
Climacterics are “changes of life” such as the Ford Model-T’s impacts but better was Sydney’s transport/housing Royal Commission of 1908-09 leading to the great Bradfield rail electrification scheme which remains a world exemplar of technology-smart and community-engagement benefits supporting many generations.
That compares with Sydney’s metro trains which are unplanned and disorganised, with engineering and financial disasters camouflaged by bi-level and bi-Party government relations with the PRC’s Hong Kong MTR, and lacking a sustainable financial model so they blow out into Debt Lakes.
They have massive adverse implications for heavy-rail based transit and freight capacity problems and options across the Illawarra, South West, West and North West regions of Sydney – all in all a corrupt and clumsy permanent hit on national productivity.
So much macroeconomic and microeconomic comes down to a rug rat who has run around the Canberra corridors for decades and been encouraged into a false fervour by erratic politicians. Their damage has been inflicted on me and now they pay the price.
There has been much talk of the “Canberra Bubble” and that remains a challenge for the Albanese Integrity campaign if it is to reverse Bairdijiklian Malenomics – but time is slipping away and the 2022 Budget is likely to miss its target if the OECD/Greiner protocols as I have presented them are still ignored: