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The Forum > Article Comments > Cross your fingers on Cross River Rail > Comments

Cross your fingers on Cross River Rail : Comments

By Ross Elliott, published 13/3/2017

In reality, the actual cost of the cross river rail project will be closer to $10 billion and that's before the inevitable cost blow outs.

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Good work, on an essential subject.

I have long argued against giving developer rights to privatised concerns and this seems to be part of today's message.

Think of Sydney and Melbourne airports's obscene profits from parking or even driving through to make a simple drop-off!

Consider also the situation that led up to the Tullamarine Airport crash which happened not on the airport's former grassed paddocks but on the roof of a warehouse.

Think also of the several Vary Fast Train proposals that pop up from time to time, always with assumptions that development levies and even the proceeds from rezoning along the route and within km's of stations will fall into the proponents' laps.

Or Barangaroo and its Crown Casino.

This tends to support the theory that privatisations and major developments are generally handled by lawyers and commercial organisations, with engineering involvement either subordinated or misled by the spin. Never let the facts get in the way of a good windfall. Accordingly, the top-secret traffic counts and projections are hidden from view... until the disgruntled parties have their day in court, but by then it is too late.

Professional city planners, of course, are seen by proponents and politicians alike as being irrelevant roadblocks who must be excluded.

The back pocket rules the brain, as usual.
Posted by JohnBennetts, Monday, 13 March 2017 2:59:52 PM
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As always, every decade of delay invariably sees costs double! And so also costs rise with politically engineered delay. In fact, delay always incorporates additional losses!

There is simply no case for infrastructure delay, given the increased economic benefit such projects create! i.e., Rapid rail rollout now may cost an arm and a leg today, but the economic benefits still outweigh projected costs; but can't forever or in just a decade? When today's 80 billion price tag could easily become 160!

That said, we could have all these projects now today and affordable, if we just disband costly ineffective state governments, and without losing a single service or public amenity. Then use the 70 billions per we'd save by employing that rationale to get some really big nation building projects up and completed.

Sadly, some derelict folk, think/argue that we need to keep these largely useless worthless appendages and make them seem more important than the funds we'd liberate without them.

We're just 22 Million people and almost the most over governed folk on the planet!

We need completed projects, much much more than endlessly prevaricating, power consumed politicians and or, their (yes minister) controllers!

While we need government, we just don't need the middle and costly middle (ultra costly) tier!
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Monday, 13 March 2017 3:07:21 PM
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What Ross fails to mention is that a very large portion of those traveling into the city daily are public servants, so can't be considered as WORKERS.

Move the bulk of those bureaucrats out of the city, to suburbs where the public would have much easier access to government, & a large percentage of the retail workers & consultants who depend on them for a living would follow.

Suddenly there is much less requirement for city bound transport, or city high rise office blocks, most of our congestion problems are solved, & we can save that $10 billion. The property council can then make millions converting all that office space to apartments for those silly enough to want to live in a concrete jungle. A nice habitat for greenies & other idiots.

What the hell do we employ the current crop of planners for, when it is all so simple, but they can't, or refuse to, see it.
Posted by Hasbeen, Monday, 13 March 2017 3:43:04 PM
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God Ross you write some depressing stuff. WTF goes on up there?
Look no further for a possible scenario of what may pass for a new rail river crossing, than the Victoria street bridge. The first river crossing of Brisbane.
After great fanfare it was opened in the 1860's... And fell down three years later.
Some clown decided to substitute iron piers with timber. Just what the Cobra borer loved!
A coach from Ipswich prompted the collapse, not surprisingly. And city hall has been paying out on Ipswich ever since!

Funny cattle up there Ross! I worked on the new bridge which opened in 1969. And was a member of the BLF. With one foot of the Victoria street bridge resting in front of state parliament, "they was interesting times boy". It's where I learned early lessons that violence pays...poor old Joe...gone now...replaced with "yes men" from bottom to the very top. Old Joe was not a yes man!
Posted by diver dan, Monday, 13 March 2017 3:49:14 PM
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A bit of rare and extraordinarily obvious common sense, Hasbeen. Why aren't you in city hall?

The best these folk can do is talk it to death or centralize and correlate, when what is needed is the opposite! i.e., regional autonomy! That effectively sidelines and renders irrelevant these time and money wasters!

Diver, agree with much of your musings, Joh got stuff done, these folk just stuff up, or sell the family farm/heirloom silver to prop up their pay packets and entitlements, which must absolutely come first and foremost and ahead of affordable housing and sane decentralisation!

We need to replace the dig it up and sell it (their only idea) with a make it here and export mentality. And with the right energy policy, eminently doable!

Just not available to the dry minds of stats gathering (rule in rule out) academics?

At the end of the day government is arguably only as good as the advice it gets, and or, those who advise it, and who ought to change with government to weed out the built up deadwood?
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Monday, 13 March 2017 4:42:43 PM
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An excellent article.

The case for the proposed Cross River Rail project in Brisbane is very unconvincing.

For a start, it goes from the southern bank of the Brisbane River a whole 10.2k to Herston, near the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.

That's virtually from nowhere to nowhere. Would it have any significant impact on Brisbane's notorious traffic problems? Doubt it.

The M1, running south from Brisbane, and the Bruce Highway, running north, have major traffic delays on a regular basis because they have inadequate exits and "no U-turn" rules, and a single car crash can gridlock the system for kilometres. If the state government has some lazy billions lying around in a bottom drawer, the Bruce Highway and the M1 are far greater priorities.

So far as I'm aware, there has been no significant tunnel project that has been financially successful anywhere in Australia, but others may know better. Tunnel projects have failed partly because of faulty traffic forecasting and partly because times are tough and people don't want to pay tolls.

The propaganda about Public-Private Partnerships is that that form of project financing works efficiently. Yet it doesn't. If the WestConnex project in Sydney is to be built by the government, as one report suggested, then sold to investors when the actual traffic numbers are known, the risk will be entirely borne by the taxpayers: socialising the losses and privatising the profits, as Kim Beazley Snr famously said in another context. Meanwhile, taxpayers foot the bill for all other roads and streets where tolls are not practicable.

It's about as logical as giving a private company a monopoly on a piece of essential infrastructure, as JohnBennetts has pointed out. The result of that little scam is that I paid $200 for a day's parking at Brisbane Airport last year. And Sydney and Tullamarine are similar or worse.

BTW JohnBennetts, the recent aircraft crash in Melbourne was not at Tullamarine, but at Essendon, which is quite some kilometres away.
Posted by calwest, Monday, 13 March 2017 4:50:20 PM
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