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Archive for July, 2009

The CFMEU today voted to formally recognise a ban on construction in Union Square in Pyrmont where the NSW Government wants to build a station for the CBD Metro.

This follows an interim ban a few weeks ago preventing the demolition of terraces considered historically important.

The CFMEU and local residents argue the destruction of Union Square isn’t necessary as the station should be located near Star City Casino. Some even argue that the metro itself is a ridiculous proposal and an enormous waste of money.

The metro has caused an enormous amount of trouble for the Government, being derided by the Opposition, The Greens, local councils, residents and transport experts.

It will be interesting to see how the Government responds to this. It could attempt to buy off the CFMEU or decide to use “scab” labour. This of course assumes that the Metro will ever make it to the construction phase, something I highly doubt.

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This article gave me a chuckle:

THE Labor Party has hatched a plan to do a “Maxine McKew” on Malcolm Turnbull in his seat of Wentworth at the next election by searching for a high profile candidate with Green credentials.

Senior ALP sources yesterday confirmed the party wanted to repeat the 2007 election strategy where former broadcaster Ms McKew unseated then Prime Minister, John Howard, in his seat of Bennelong.

Shock horror! Secret ALP sources confirm the party is looking for a high-profile candidate with credentials that match the electorate’s demographic!

Who’da thunk it.

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The Liberal and National parties in NSW have formally signed an agreement clarifying their relationship in the build up to the next election.

The National Party will run in Monaro (ALP), Tamworth (IND), Dubbo (IND) and Bathurst (ALP). The Liberals will run in Wollondilly (ALP) and gain an extra spot on the upper house ticket.

On current numbers I would expect the Liberals to win both those seats, The Nationals to win Monaro and be competitive in Tamworth and Dubbo.

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I know the State election is almost two years away but these days it looks like the Australian political blogosphere likes nothing more than watching Labor supporters go at it with Green supporters.

Following on from recent Green successes in the ACT and the Fremantle by-election I have been involved in many heated debates on Pollbludger, Pollytics and The Tally Room. The general nature of the debates varies but the same questions keep popping up. Is the rise in The Green’s vote over the past election cycle something the major parties should be worried about or is it just a protest vote? Has support for The Greens reached its ceiling? If The Greens are a serious third force in Australian politics than why can’t they win lower house seats in a general election?

The last point is the one I want to focus on in this post. In terms of shifting perception away from The Greens being considered a Senate party or just a protest party in the same vein as the Democrats, as well as actually gaining more power and influence, it is important that The Greens start winning lower house heats.

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Mining the food bowl

The ABC’s Four Corners had a program this week analysing the current battle between farmers, mining companies and the NSW Government over the rights to mine fertile agricultural land.

The program was specifically looking at the issue of long-wall mining in the Liverpool Plains. The Liverpool Plains are regarded as the country’s most fertile agricultural land due to a combination of nutrient rich volcanic soil and massive aquifers below ground that provide a steady supply of water.

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This afternoon the Premier of NSW informed me that 2009 had the best results in 10 years for trains running on time.

The interesting thing is the definition of “on time” which in 2005 was changed to allow trains arriving within 5 minutes of schedule to be classified as “on time”. A bit weird in my opinion and when you think about the time gaps between peak hour services a 5 minute window makes the whole “We’re on time!” exercise quite pointless.

A more important statistic is the total number of passenger trips – 300 million, up 20 million from last year. The government is of course already planning to deal with this extra demand by buying 626 new train carriages.

They are scheduled to come online at the end of 2010.

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You do now. Back to posting when I am healthy again.

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