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Politics

Aug 11, 2008

NSW government in distraction mode

The constant question to be asked about the dunderhead NSW government is whether the little jokes it plays are intentionally on itself -- a joke on a joke, so to speak -- or just on its hapless citizens? writes Michael Pascoe.

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The constant question to be asked about the dunderhead NSW government is whether the little jokes it plays are intentionally on itself — a joke on a joke, so to speak — or just on its hapless citizens?

For example, some 19 months after the Firepower story broke, after South Sydney ran onto the field with the scamsters as their major sponsor, the NSW Fair Trading Minister, one Linda Burney, has announced an inquiry into additives and products that claim to improve fuel economy.

“Companies must be able to provide Fair Trading with independent scientific evidence to prove that their products actually do what they claim to do, or they will be issued with a substantiation notice,” Ms Burney has decreed. “Fair Trading will then commission testing of evidence by accredited authorities.”

So just where have Linda and her miserable department been for the past couple of years?

Holding the traditional “Minister For Christmas Killer Toys” portfolio, Linda doesn’t receive much media attention outside Santa season, except for the touch-up she copped for junketing in Cannes   representing Frank Sartor while Beechwood Homes was collapsing.

Thus she must have been right miffed to have scored a blow for Premier Dilemma’s main policy initiative: Provide a distraction, any sort of distraction, from the appalling job we’ve been doing.

That might also be the only logical explanation for nominal Health Minister Reba Meagher diversifying from her specialty of hospital and medical disasters into the gossip columns, complete with a “we recently started seeing each other and I am very happy” quote in the Sunday press.

That would have been just a nice but brief distraction except for her brilliance in forgetting to tell her government driver she was going home with the new boyfriend in a taxi — leaving her driver to spend the night in her ministerial car, waiting for her to return from the pub.

It’s the classy little touches like that that can keep a distraction running for days, even during the Olympics.

Don’t worry about the overtime the driver must have logged – that would be just another distraction. It’s important to focus on remembering the bigger examples of why this is Australia’s worst government — such as the near-criminal behaviour in paying $25 million to delay the narrowing of Epping Road until after the last election.

Of course, despite the now-complete funnelling of traffic from Epping Road, it appears the Lane Cover tunnel is likely to follow the Cross City Tunnel into receivership with Standard & Poors warning  it could default within the year.

At least it will be a distraction.

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One thought on “NSW government in distraction mode

  1. Stuart Midgley

    “It’s the classy little touches like that that can keep a distraction running for days.”

    That’s gold Michael. You’re spot on – this mob are really setting the standard for some time to come in bumbling bewilderness. I too ask myself if they could really be this bad naturally, without practice and rehearsal.

    For what it’s worth, I do think they will be cactus at the next election. I only brought myself to vote for them last time as I needed the state IR system to protect my wages against WorkChoices. Now that that problem is fixed, and as long as Barry O’Farrell looks like keeping the liberals from becoming too extreme, my vote will be changing.

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