Alistair Coe decries the Greens

johnboy 9 June 2011 29

The Liberals’ Alistair Coe is shrieking after his discovery that the Greens don’t favour new road building or urban sprawl.

“Why do the Greens believe that Gungahlin residents should have to put-up with congested roads like the half built GDE?

“How many hours of lost productivity and accidents must occur before the Greens realise that the current infrastructure is grossly insufficient?

“Given ACTION buses travel on these congested roads, the bus network would also be improved by an upgrade to roads infrastructure.

“This is a timely reminder that the Greens are a party of extremists who are anti-roads and against those who live in the outer suburbs,” Alistair concluded.

Well spotted Alistair.


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2604 2604 7:04 pm 10 Jun 11

Thoroughly Smashed said :

2604 said :

The Libs may be a bunch of tossers, but at least they are usually interested in what works. Labor/Greens are all about “fairness” – a special kind of fairness where the majority has more and more of its money confiscated to fund the lifestyle of a minority which is increasingly dependent on welfare and unlikely ever to be weaned off.

Sounds like something you lifted from a Piers Ackerman or Andrew Bolt rant.

Your post sounds like something from the book of socialist cliches – namely, anyone who criticises a leftist idea or policy is automatically an ultra conservative.

Thank goodness the real world isn’t actually so black and white.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 1:44 pm 10 Jun 11

The Frots said :

Mothy said :

+1 Gungahlin Al @ Comment #16.

Though you missed the completion of Horse Park Drive from Amaroo School to that random place it stops at the back of Ngunnawal 🙂

Yes – great post Al and your so right Mothy – that road needs to be completed.

Thanks guys. I didn’t mention the missing link because it will all be built anyway during the construction of Moncrieff and Jacka, And the first big chunk of it was funded this budget

colourful sydney racing identity colourful sydney racing identity 12:21 pm 10 Jun 11

Androyd said :

Whenever I see the leftover posters on the community poster monoliths at Lyneham shops saying, “Labor spent $17k on this instead of funding the Fringe Festival”, I always want to put up another one saying “The Liberals preselected Alistair Coe instead of this comparatively useful concrete block.”

Absolute gold 🙂 🙂 🙂

Thoroughly Smashed Thoroughly Smashed 12:19 pm 10 Jun 11

2604 said :

The Libs may be a bunch of tossers, but at least they are usually interested in what works. Labor/Greens are all about “fairness” – a special kind of fairness where the majority has more and more of its money confiscated to fund the lifestyle of a minority which is increasingly dependent on welfare and unlikely ever to be weaned off.

Sounds like something you lifted from a Piers Ackerman or Andrew Bolt rant.

The Frots The Frots 10:42 am 10 Jun 11

p1 said :

Androyd said :

Whenever I see the leftover posters on the community poster monoliths at Lyneham shops saying, “Labor spent $17k on this instead of funding the Fringe Festival”, I always want to put up another one saying “The Liberals preselected Alistair Coe instead of this comparatively useful concrete block.”

Best quote ever. Might have to print some out tomorrow….

I’m still laughing – great post +1

The Frots The Frots 10:42 am 10 Jun 11

Mothy said :

+1 Gungahlin Al @ Comment #16.

Though you missed the completion of Horse Park Drive from Amaroo School to that random place it stops at the back of Ngunnawal 🙂

Yes – great post Al and your so right Mothy – that road needs to be completed.

Mothy Mothy 9:59 am 10 Jun 11

+1 Gungahlin Al @ Comment #16.

Though you missed the completion of Horse Park Drive from Amaroo School to that random place it stops at the back of Ngunnawal 🙂

MrMagoo MrMagoo 9:26 am 10 Jun 11

Androyd said :

Whenever I see the leftover posters on the community poster monoliths at Lyneham shops saying, “Labor spent $17k on this instead of funding the Fringe Festival”, I always want to put up another one saying “The Liberals preselected Alistair Coe instead of this comparatively useful concrete block.”

GOLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Pure Gold.

p1 p1 11:23 pm 09 Jun 11

Androyd said :

Whenever I see the leftover posters on the community poster monoliths at Lyneham shops saying, “Labor spent $17k on this instead of funding the Fringe Festival”, I always want to put up another one saying “The Liberals preselected Alistair Coe instead of this comparatively useful concrete block.”

Best quote ever. Might have to print some out tomorrow….

2604 2604 10:49 pm 09 Jun 11

Deref said :

The Libs have a consistent and well-understood policy:

1. Jesus is coming

2. The poor deserve our consideration – they should be given work as domestic help.

3. God save the Queen!

4. GREAT BIG NEW TAX!

5. Privatise the profits, socialise the losses.

6. See 1.

Sounds like something you lifted from the pages of Woroni.

The Libs may be a bunch of tossers, but at least they are usually interested in what works. Labor/Greens are all about “fairness” – a special kind of fairness where the majority has more and more of its money confiscated to fund the lifestyle of a minority which is increasingly dependent on welfare and unlikely ever to be weaned off.

damien haas damien haas 9:59 pm 09 Jun 11

Excellent response Al.

It isnt Majura Parkway OR Public Transport, both can be achieved. The Majura Rd certainly needs upgrading, to remove soft edges and allow a second lane south, and I like your idea to go directly to the Monaro instead of via the existing dogleg.

Make PT reliable, frequent and attracive and commuters will use it. This will reduce road congestion. I still dont understand why people blanch at PT investment, but not road funding. I suspect its because some peopel will never use PT and resent it. Im not likely to drive down a road in Theodore, but i dont begrudge them having it sealed, lit or have lines painted on it.

A worrying sign from the Gallagher government is that there is no transport minister, or real transport portfolio. You have to search through the list of Corbells responsibilities to figure out if he’s really in charge.

Androyd Androyd 9:30 pm 09 Jun 11

Whenever I see the leftover posters on the community poster monoliths at Lyneham shops saying, “Labor spent $17k on this instead of funding the Fringe Festival”, I always want to put up another one saying “The Liberals preselected Alistair Coe instead of this comparatively useful concrete block.”

Grail Grail 8:52 pm 09 Jun 11

Unlike almost every other field of engagement, roads truly are one of the scenarios where “build it, and they will come” holds true. Back in the good old days when I was a kid and the world was perfect (i.e.: Bob Hawke was PM), people commuting to work didn’t worry too much about the time it took to travel by bus. Of course, most of the commuters would arrive home to a wife and kids and home cooked dinner.

Times have changed of course. In the intervening 20-odd years, everyone wants a room for every person in the house, plus a home office, plus air conditioning, plus a main bathroom and ensuite, plus a double lock-up garage, plus a car for every family member, etc. As a result, we have to resort to sending both parents off to work (and in some cases, all the kids over 13) in order to fund our lifestyles. No longer do we have a member of the family as housekeeper ensuring that we always have groceries and home cooked meals.

We’ve gotten to the point where people complain about the 20 minute drive home – perish the thought of reading a book for an hour on the bus ride home.

We cannot keep developing Canberra as a land of detached houses with one car per family member. At some point we have to increase the housing density, reduce the number of rooms per person to something closer to 1, reduce the number of cars per person to something less than 1, find ways of encouraging commercial and government tenants to move to the satellite towns, reduce the average distance required to commute to work, and get people back into public transport.

In towns like Amsterdam, there simply isn’t the room to have a car. The houses start where the street ends. Most people use bikes, trams or busses to move around. At times you can’t even drive for the number of pedestrians and cyclists on the road 🙂

In the next few years we’ll be facing the reality that the world simply cannot continue to support our high-consumption lifestyles. Something has to give – either we reduce the number of people on the planet so we can continue our high consumption of fuel and food, or we reduce the consumption of fuel and food to the level that can be sustained.

Part of facing this reality is abandoning the idea of designing Canberra around cars. Along the way we have to find people to run ACTION who don’t think that busses will magically appear when you schedule routes to be run.

I reckon a great deal of good would be had (despite the carbon footprint) from sending large numbers of school kids to Amsterdam or Copenhagen for student exchange for 6 or 12 months 🙂

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 8:18 pm 09 Jun 11

HB: you asked my thoughts. These are my thoughts and because I will be somewhat political in this, it is mine not a GCC position. And I know it is long but it is a complex issue and can’t be summed in “the Greens don’t have a clue.”

The cry for more roads is always a vexed one. You build more of them and more people drive rather than use PT. You build more parking and more people drive meaning you need more roads meaning you need more parking meaning… get my drift?

Car transport and road building is an insatiable beast that will suck every cent out of a government budget if one takes a John Hargeaves-style approach that “Canberra was designed for cars and always will be.” Which is patently crap. And is the sort of approach we are seeing more of from some political quarters because it suits their current positioning, mirroring the approaches being taken in the federal sphere these days.

So governments need to pick a careful middle line between providing reasonable road infrastructure, balanced by public transport. There is a tendency among some governments to drive people into PT by making car use decidely unattractive, even though the PT option isn’t brilliant either. I’d suggest there has been too much of that in the ACT over recent years.

An alternative approach is to make the PT option attractive. Comfortable when on it, and comfortable while waiting/interchanging, a lot cheaper than using a car, and quicker than by cars – even when the traffic isn’t gridlocked. And we have seen very little of this approach recently. Although the current investigations into segregated PT and cycleways on Flemington and Northbourne is encouraging – if the recommended projects are then funded.

To return to road construction, few people realise just how incredibly expensive it is, and getting more so every week. When the Majura Parkway was first mooted about four years ago, the tag was $150m, then it became $250m and now $288m. Hell of an inflation rate.

And if you were to fix Gungahlin’s traffic problems through just roads, then this is only scratching the surface. Gundaroo and William Slim Drives need 4-laning their whole length – probably a similar cost as Majura due to higher costs of having to work around existing usage, build accompanying cycle lanes, residential screening, and the dreaded Barton Hwy roundabout, etc. The rest of Flemington needs doing – maybe another $10-20m? And Horse Park Drive will have to be duplicated too. Majura cost over again? Then there is Federal/Northbourne – where do we start?? So we are headed up owards $1b to clear up the traffic problems for what we have now and the next decade-ish worth of traffic generation.

And a government will find it, because people never seem to blink at road funding. But as soon as you mention costs of providing PT, people blanch and treat it as if it is some luxury, and if this is dared spent on PT, then car drivers will suffer cruelly. They seem incapable of realising that if you have a legitimate reason to need to drive commute, but there is smicko PT with stacks of people *happy* to use it, then the car drivers will have it a lot more pleasant to boot, often even without expanding the roads.

But if you were to consider a *transport budget* rather than a roads budget and a PT budget (as I have suggested to Katy as Treasurer) then you can do good PT, and spend less on roads, and still everyone wins.

So to get back on topic, I believe what the Greens have proposed is a combination solution:

Get serious segregated PT funded to link Gungahlin to Civic and then to the Airport, spending a similar amount to what is being quoted (this week) for the Majura Parkway, and do it soon so that there is also the opportunity to cash in on improved land sale revenues along the route and in the town centre that would result from having dedicated PT in place.

At the same time, consider a solution for Majura Parkway that perhaps isn’t the full Rolls Royce Tuggeranong Parkway-style solution. They’ve asked me about what Majura needs to fix the current problems and I have said (as I would say to the Liberals or anyone else who asks) there are two problems. The bottom end needs to align with the Monaro Highway instead of dog legging through two sets of lights. In doing so it would also bypass the whole Brand Depot area and particularly those two stupid little roundabouts that slow everyone up. The second problem is the morning commute – one lane southbound isn’t enough, and we can park the entire blame for this with the Howard Government for selling off the airports around the country with blank cheque conditions, and the Snow empire for taking full advantage of Howard’s largesse (or negligence). Without everyone commuting to Brindabella Park, we wouldn’t need to do much more than straighten out some bends and fix the southern end. So it is arguable that a second southern lane is needed. But I don’t think that the northbound afternoon commute is too bad is it? Afternoon traffic is always much more diffuse than the morning “I have dropped the kids at school now I can go” peak.

So a wholistic solution is what the Greens have talked about, and I think I’m cool with that. P{eople should read their media release properly.

The problem is that political players pick that combination apart and focus on one bit or the other as it suits their spin/headline needs. And a media that should know better, does little to pull them up on it. Because in journalism school they are taught that polar black/white debates sell more media than trying to explain shades of grey. And we the consumers accept it.

Personally, I think politicians should focus more on achieving good *outcomes* for the community than scoring headlines, then the good headlines will follow. If that requires working collaboratively across political divides then so be it. As a Councillor in Maroochy Shire we could have fierce and divided debates on one issue, then side with each other on the merits of the next, and always we sat down to lunch with each other afterwards.

BTW Alistair comes from Nicholls. He does get actively involved in Gungahlin issues, recognising that part of his electorate is in Gungahlin, for which I credit him – it is more than we see from a number of other Ginninderra MLAs. And he achieves some outcomes for our community. However, I don’t like the way he does the politicking, and I’ve told him so. And I strongly disgree with his car-first stridency.

So Housebound I hope that answers your question, and now I really to get on my bike.

zippyzippy zippyzippy 6:03 pm 09 Jun 11

You can do better than that, alistair. I want you to promise me TWO majura parkways and a road between my front door and my washing line.

Deref Deref 5:35 pm 09 Jun 11

p1 said :

The thing I prefer about the Greens (as opposed to the Libs) is that they at least have a pretty obvious ideology (even if it resembles a watermelon). You might not like it, but it is predictable.

That’s really unfair. The Libs have a consistent and well-understood policy:

1. Jesus is coming

2. The poor deserve our consideration – they should be given work as domestic help.

3. God save the Queen!

4. GREAT BIG NEW TAX!

5. Privatise the profits, socialise the losses.

6. See 1.

Mysteryman Mysteryman 4:10 pm 09 Jun 11

John Moulis said :

Like Mr Magoo I dislike The Greens intently but at least they are able to contribute to local political debate and deal with people who disagree with them rationally without spitting the dummy and acting like a spoilt little brat.

Jon Stanhope couldn’t do that, and yet people of Canberra voted him in numerous times. He even went so far as to insult the voters who didn’t agree with his choice of art.

p1 p1 4:09 pm 09 Jun 11

The thing I prefer about the Greens (as opposed to the Libs) is that they at least have a pretty obvious ideology (even if it resembles a watermelon). You might not like it, but it is predictable.

Maybe those people in Gungahlin should work in Gungahlin, then they wouldn’t need the GDE?

John Moulis John Moulis 3:43 pm 09 Jun 11

Alistair is getting on a lot of peoples’ nerves. He had a blowup with Jorian Gardner on 2CC yesterday morning and as a result the local Libs have declared Gardner black, and they won’t appear on the breakfast show until Mark Parton returns (when presumably they will get an easy ride).

Alistair is too precious and immature to be a government member or minister, or even an opposition member. He defriended me on Facebook after I criticised the Australian Christian Lobby, and his contribution to political debate in the ACT is more like an annoying mosquito buzzing on a summer night rather than anything more substantial.

Like Mr Magoo I dislike The Greens intently but at least they are able to contribute to local political debate and deal with people who disagree with them rationally without spitting the dummy and acting like a spoilt little brat.

The Frots The Frots 3:13 pm 09 Jun 11

Keijidosha said :

housebound said :

But that horse has well and truly bolted now.

It only made it as far as the GDE.

And it wouldn’t be too far down the GDE either!

It’s a bit strange – he’s generally comatosed and now somebody’s wheeled him out to have a spit. Anyway, have to agree about the Greens.

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