The Age: Letters – Still in delivery mode. 25 September 2014
Still in delivery mode
I’m having a real problem with the word ”delivering” at the moment – because of the way it is being used, misused and overused by the Napthine government. This word hadn’t even entered Liberal lexicon until about six months ago. Now, every form of government advertising (which has been ”delivered” predominantly to railway stations) has the word ”delivering” printed on it before the name of each proposed project. The government is ”delivering” on each project, but I’m hard-pressed to see any project even started.
The cynic in me is seeing the government mired in election panic.
The advertising for the airport line, which is all over Southern Cross station, is a case in point. Is it really in the ”delivering” stages? As far as I’m aware there’s still 12 years on this project time frame. I can’t see the Liberals dropping the use of their favourite word, but they might consider that actions speak louder than words. Where, then, is the action?
Jeremy de Korte, Malvern
Why the modesty?
Through its saturation coverage of advertisements, the state government is very keen on telling us how good it is in improving security through police and protective services officers. So it seems odd that the Chief Commissioner and other government agencies are refusing to release reports on their due date (”Public being treated with contempt”, 23/9). It supports the public’s view that the Napthine government is all about secrecy in its dealings with the public.
John Tingiri, Mornington
Members of East West Connect, Lend Lease and Acciona like to trumpet their commitments to the community and sustainability, but the article ”East West builders demand $500 million kill fee” (24/9) shows these companies for what they really are. Let’s hope $500 million is all they expect from the Victorian community into the future. Companies that treat the community with such contempt will lose their social licence to operate.
Petra Stock, Carlton North
Risk par for the course
The government would be irresponsible in the extreme if it signed contracts before the election. There is no justification to expose taxpayers to a $500 million burden for the sake of a few weeks’ delay in a five-year project. But there are very important reasons why the contracts should not be signed.
This government was elected on a public transport policy with no mention of building East West Link in this term; as the biggest infrastructure project built in Victoria, voters deserve the right to decide on whether they want it. If Labor wins the election, taxpayers would then only need to repay the two tenderers compensation for costs already incurred. (Leighton, the third tenderer, has been promised $12 million compensation). If the government is re-elected, it would be free to continue the project. Finally, any business thinking of investing in Victoria should see this process as democracy in action. Risk associated with government decisions is par for the course.
Howard Tankey, Box Hill North
The wrong legacy
It appears that Premier Napthine aspires to emulate Jeff Kennett in leaving a grand, memorable legacy for Victorians: the freeway equivalent of Kennett’s big sheds. There is little other explanation for the haste in moving ahead with the project before the election. A far superior legacy that Dr Napthine could leave is to provide public transport right across the city, affordable and accessible to all – not enriching companies without the public’s say.
Associate Professor Alastair Iles, University of California, Berkeley