Thursday, May 1, 2014

Gladys Berejiklian - possibly the worst transport minister NSW has ever had or seen

Ok let be honest here, I am not a huge fan of Gladys Berejiklian, in fact I would go as far to say that I despise her simply for the fact she honestly lies and tends to think she is the best thing since sliced bread. In fact I have been known to even call her old Aunty Gladys, Gladys the wicked witch of NSW and ever Gladys Berejerklian or Gladys Itsaberejerliating.

But why would I declare her as the worst transport minister has ever had comes down to a few things that I have obeserved and seen, but also based her lack of consultation process and the way she talks down to us mere commoners, as she seems to think.

These are just some of the reasons why I believe Gladys is the worst transport minister:

1) lies, lies and more lies 

Gladys has touted a number of projects were done by her Government and whilst yes they did ensure they were delivered during her stewardship but they certainly weren't either announced nor started under her control. These projects include:

  • The inner west light rail - started and announced under NSW Labor. Delayed for 6 months before re commencement under Liberal/National Government
  • South West Rail Link - announced and started under Labor. Somewhat finalized but not opened under the Liberal/National Government 
  • Rail clear ways program - started and most projects completed under Labor
  • Waratah train project - announced, started and somewhat delivered under Labor but saved and completed under Liberal/National Government

As you can see, most of the top big projects in the last 4 years were either announced with part of the work either started or done under the previous labor government.

2) North West Rail Link - an expensive rail shuttle to nowhere

This has to be the most and quite honestly biggest broken promise provided.

Why? That's simple. The NWRL does not intergrate nor will it ever with the current Sydney rail network. It has become a shuttle service that will push more people to already overcrowded existing Sydney trains services on the North Shore whilst causing crush points in the existing network, namely on the western line as existing ECRL (Epping to Chatswood Rail Line) trains will be forced to use the Nother Shore line which is at over capacity per trains per hour.

Why the NWRL is so bad is because the trains will be smaller in height but also driverless which means there would be no one around to help disabled passengers on or off the train or during an emergency during the train journey.

Also the tunnels are so small in design, the do not allow any safety ramps to be installed along side the rails within the tunnels which the ECRL has in case of an emergency. This also worries me because it would mean in the event of a fire, anyone in a wheelchair met end up loosing their life because they can't get off the train and they would remain stranded.

The other issue is that the NWRL does not go into the city, instead to terminates at Chatswood forcing more people into already overcrowded train services during the peak periods

3) Excuses, excuses, excuses

One issue I have with Gladys is her constant ability to constantly have excuses for why the rail network or indeed the whole transport system is broken - its Labors fault. This is certainly one excuse I think could be used for the first 1-2 years, but being we are now heading into the 4th year of Gladys being the transport minister, using this excuse is pathetic and quite honestly a joke.

Go back to school if you want to use lame and quite frankly childish excuses and antics simply because you don't have a plan to honestly fix the issues.

4) Maintenance - whats that again?

Under Gladys watch, we have seen the rail network continue to crumble and in most cases halt to a screaming stall simply because the lack of maintenance planning on her departments watch.

Yes I get they are trying to streamline the process of how maintenance is carried out but there have been way too many maintenance breakdowns and there has to be a point where we all question what the hell is exactly going on? Are maintenance checks being carried out in time or regularly happening or is Transport for NSW just thinking if its not broken or showing "little" wear and tear, its fine.

Obviously something has to give and then change for things to finally be sorted. 

5) Consultation - thats right, I don't have to be here

This is where my main criticism of the incumbent transport minister really come from. The issue that is at the heart of everything is Gladys inability to actually consult and when I mean consult, I mean actually have various meetings with actual stakeholders, community groups and the public in general and come up with fantastic ideas that will assist and help people who use public transport and have a disability.

However we know that the Minister for Transport has on one occasion stated to a group of residents regarding the announced city light rail project and the issues surrounding Devonshire Street where told that she didn't have to be at the meeting. That to us sounds like a Minister who is too self righteous and quite frankly not really wishing to hear the concerns or ideas or suggestions on how to engage with the public.

My emphasis

Lets be honest here. Gladys Berekerklian (yes I know, I spelt her surname wrong but its an appropriate title) is incumbent and whilst some of her lets say concepts may be worth some little merit, there is a lot she & Transport for NSW need to actually do to really transport public transport.

Concepts are one thing, but it remains to see whether her concepts will actually pay off or whether yet again transport in Sydney & NSW will suffer again another stuffed up project.

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