WestConnex: A Case Study In How Things Are Still Done In NSW

This is an excerpt of an opinion piece written by NSW Greens spokesperson on WestConnex Jenny Leong, published in New Matilda on 30 Jan, 2016

Corruption, dodgy deals and vested interests have unfortunately been synonymous with NSW politics for a long time. After 16 years of ALP rule, which saw government ministers delivering sweet deals for big business, developers, coal mining companies and their mates, the NSW public made it clear that enough was enough.

The Coalition was elected on a landslide in 2011, only to be exposed for having some rather dirty laundry of their own.

But when Mike Baird stepped up to lead the state nearly two years ago, there was at least a sense that those dark days were behind us and that things would change. Surely, we would see an end to in-house corruption, improvements to governance, and increases in transparency and improvements to independent oversight – all cornerstones of a functioning democracy.

However with the Liberal government’s privatisation agenda working overtime and Baird driving the country’s most expensive – and apparently the southern hemisphere’s largest – urban motorway project, there’s a growing lack of confidence in his seemingly shiny clean exterior.

WestConnex is the penultimate example of how things are still done in NSW politics. Shoddy, irregular and ad hoc planning, the lack of a credible business case, massive budget blow outs, a complete absence of any genuine community consultation, no clear community benefit – all of this is on display for all to see.

So why this mammoth infrastructure project? And who’s benefiting from it? It seems NSW politics is back to its old shady ways.

Read the full article here

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