19 September 2006

GDE and Jerrabomberra Hilton to blame for road decay?

| johnboy
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Bill Stefaniak has been out for a drive with Steve Pratt and they’ve put out a media release decrying the ongoing decay of our once fine roads.

Bill and Steve blame a failure to draft a replacement to the five year road plan which ended last year, also the poorly contained costs of the Gungahlin Drive Extension, and finally the money being spent building the new prison (floridly described as the “Jerrabomberra Hilton”), for why there isn’t cash to fix the holed and pitted surfaces of Canberra’s roads.

(These are all good points but as Bill and Steve want to lock more people up wouldn’t it be best to stop paying a fortune to NSW to house them?)

In any event I can’t see it getting better until the car hating cyclists are purged from the ACT’s transport bureaucracy. Increasingly bad roads actually work towards the policy goals of the Stanhope Government as near as I can understand them.

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Absent Diane11:35 am 21 Sep 06

get breast job done and I am sure the job is yours

barking toad11:13 am 21 Sep 06

Probably cos he doesn’t want to be punched in the mud button while enjoying his 5 star room with plasma TV in the mayor’s politically correct facility.

Describing prisoner accomodation as “five star” is usually the domain of tabloid ratbags, a la the telegraph or Today Tonight. Yes, it is expensive to retain a prisoner, oddly enough because you need to apply a lot of expensive security. But if you think it’s five star luxury, then why not rob a bank?

Thumper: “five star accomodfation for our prisioners “?? Are you applying for a job on Today Tonight?

“I now get to work at 0730 – leave at 1530 – get paid 44k for 38 hours p/w.
Most I got in hospitality was about 38k for up to 70 hrs a week.”

Ha Danman plenty of jobs in the Oil Gas sector. $110,000 a year for Chefs offshore on the North West shelf fly in fly out 4 weeks. Can still live in your beloved Canberra and have a leisurely 6 months off per year.

It never ceases to entertain me that the Liberals complain when the government tries to raise money through various means, and then also complain when the government either doesn’t spend it on areaS deemed to be important to the Liberals or spends it on areas deemed to be unimportant to the Liberals. The interesting thing is that the Liberal Party never suggests other means of either raising or saving money. It’s great being in opposition – you have the freedom to criticise and the lack of responsibility for finding an answer.

Gotta agree with JB’s assessment of onroad cycle lanes, in that pedalpushing beaurecrats have made a mess of our roads.They are unneccessary and will ultimately result in the deaths of cyclists.
Not that there is anything too bad about the state of our roads, apart from the ones that have been recently repaved and are already disintegrating.

The insidious winding back of amenity to motorists in the ACT is demonstrated beautifully by the traffic lights installed at the gate to the Jerra Hilton, This is a bare block of land, with access via a locked gate. Do we really need to fork out for this (fully operational) infrastructure, with its additional ‘early warning system’ and 80K limit, to access a locked gate??!! Just who the hell is given the right to decide that this measure, inconveniencing many, many motorists, is in the best interests of the ACT? Is this twit able to be second guessed? Hargreaves, are you there?

don’t even start on the roads out to the airport….

Seepi, don’t take this the wrong way, but if the politics (local/national/international) of recent years have illustrated anything is that citizens have jackshit rights to anything, less those pushing the agenda feel that upholding and for that matter denying a right will further their political careers. Legislated rights are incredibly vulnerable and common law rights in this country can just be legislated away.

As citizens don’t we have the right to ask our govt for things like decent roads? In Germany the roads are in perfect condition – even in the little hick towns.

James-T-Kirk1:33 pm 20 Sep 06

“Yet again JTK weighs in to demonstrate his superiority ‘cause he doesn’t work for the government. I bow before your private-enterprisiness and admit the failings of all my ilk. Sure, every pube fits the cardigan-wearing stereotype.”

A couple of points:

1 – I wear a cardigan – I like to wear it, as it is comfortable. I don’t wear a tie, except on the *rare* occasion where I really have to. Occasionally, I wear Jeans, and very occasionally, a suit.

2 – I arrive at work at about 9.15am, and leave at about 4pm. Sure I do the occasional Saturday, or night work when it is required, but I certainly don’t spend my life in pissing contests (Except when it comes to stirring up the Riot ACT).

3 – I have spent *many* years in Government, and in the end of private industry where things are set by somebody else. While I did enjoy it, I realised that working 80 hours per week doing Government IT for about $70K was shit! There was the constant threat that my job would be outsourced, and there were *many* pissing contests. Doing 90 hours/week was also not worth it.

4 – I hope that I am not superior. My intentions are to cause disharmony with the thinking group – I want people to think about *why* they work. Whether they enjoy their job, and What they are doing. If they decide that they don’t enjoy what they do, they should do something else. Sometimes starting a company is all that is needed. But do something, don’t complain.

5 – I genuinely believe that there are public servants who are worth something. I also know ofr a fact that there are people who are not worth the oxygen they are wasting, simply based on the additional workload we have to put in to fix their mistakes. (Perhaps we will call them Ministers)


“Some of us choose to work for the government because we don’t want to work in an environment where an 8-hour day is an aberration and evidence of a “lack of drive”. My drive (if you will) is to do my job properly without spending 14 hours a day engaged in a pissing contest about “who can stay the longest”.”

Hate to burst the bubble, but there are private sector jobs in this town where you work 40-45 hours per week, and make upwards of 100k. Perhaps it has something to do with accountability?

I’m highly amused by JB’s confidence in the government. You actually beleive if the current mob were paying more attention to local affairs, they’d manage them better? Judging by their approach when they go on national frolics (half-arsed, brainless and guaranteed to antagonise), we’re bloody lucky they’re not

I’d also point out that having a prison locally does mean that we might get a chance of getting a few more people imprisoned – when a judge is making a judgement call whether to impose a custodial sentance or not, one of the considerations is going to be how hard it’s going to be for their family to visit them. A prisoner is far more likely to be drawn into bad behaviour if they don’t have something to expect when they get outside again.

Now, I know there are a fair few enthusiasts for the “chuck ’em up against a wall and shoot ’em” method of justice, but if you’re going to believe in a prison system, you may as well try to work things so that that people who come out of it aren’t likely to reoffend immediately.

They could also point to the fact that they have had to put in roads, sewerage, power and all of those other urban niceities to the Airport on behalf of the Federal Government who decided it would be nice to put a shopping precinct out near where the ACT Government was putting one anyway. ACT coffers had to come up with the goods, and our roads are suffering for it.

But since voting labour in Canberra will never deliver a labour federal government there’s not a lot we can do about it really.

I worked as a chef in the private sector for 7 years.
Most people have heard my (and other RA ex chef posters) rants RE Hospitality and private sector.

I now have a “Guvvie” job I love it.

I get regular annual leave – can have sick days – get public holidays off AND PAID FOR and get weekends off.

When I was a chef Annual leave was just a bonus you got on completion of your tenure at a certain restaraunt. Sick days also just meant that you were going to have a shit day at work. As wrong as it is – most kitchens are understaffed so having a sick day is paramount to asking to be sacked. Bad – but its teh way it is.

I now get to work at 0730 – leave at 1530 – get paid 44k for 38 hours p/w.
Most I got in hospitality was about 38k for up to 70 hrs a week.

Growling Ferret11:54 am 20 Sep 06

As you would be well aware, its not just local govt that answers constituents questions with vague, non-committal answers!

Growling Ferret11:41 am 20 Sep 06


As I have never written to an MLA, what is the response one gets, if any?

The majority agree that the mob in the ACT Legislative Assembly at the moment have their priorities about face – but if building the Jerra Hilton means we can develop a source of income into the future by taking NSW prisoners to make it a near revenue neutral facility, we have used land that could not be developed for residential purposes under a flightpath well…

But saying that, where are the possible revenue growth areas for the ACT Govt? Does anyone have any suggestions that will bring increased revenues, either through business/tourism/influx of residents into the ACT?

Yet again JTK weighs in to demonstrate his superiority ‘cause he doesn’t work for the government. I bow before your private-enterprisiness and admit the failings of all my ilk. Sure, every pube fits the cardigan-wearing stereotype.

Lots of people have their wages set by someone else. It’s called a CA, jackhole. If you’re happy with a CA, why the hell not go with it? I’m pretty damn happy with mine. More money would be nice, but who wouldn’t say the same. If I wanted something different, I’d talk to my boss.

I get easy hours, good pay and excellent benefits. Why the hell would I want to change that?

More money? What would I have to do for more money? Work for longer hours?

Some of us choose to work for the government because we don’t want to work in an environment where an 8-hour day is an aberration and evidence of a “lack of drive”. My drive (if you will) is to do my job properly without spending 14 hours a day engaged in a pissing contest about “who can stay the longest”.

Some of my friends work in the private sector, and I wouldn’t switch with them for twice the pay. I value my leisure time more than money.

Must be my lack of drive.

You illustrate my point perfectly. People are easy to criticise but lazy to take on the responsibilities that have a direct impact on their lives. We vote every few years or so, then quickly get back to our important lives, donut munching, tv watching wastes of time and we expect those elected to do the thinking and make all the decisions to run the place for us. What’s worryingly contemptIble isn’t my suggestion to step up and do better – unlike Stanhope I have nothing to gain by this request, but your determination not to directly act and change those things that affect you. Barracking and booing from the sidelines is the very common laziness you suffer from. And the government ain’t to blame for that.

James-T-Kirk11:14 am 20 Sep 06

VY, I agree,

Whinging won’t work. The employees in Government are clueless.

As long as people are happy to work in an environment where some other schmuk sets their salary, you will get clueless people with no drive .

Poor bloody teachers, and bus drivers.

There’s not a lot of point expecting the public to field better political candidates – the ones who could genuinely do a better job are already much better paid than our elected officials anyway. Besides, it’s much more fun to bitch and moan.

There are plenty of irreconcilable interests in our little system of democracy here in the ACT, indeed nationally. And until we face up to these, the system will remain broken. But I’m going off topic.

Love RA for news content. In the ACT, there’s no better.

Such as our monopoly water, electricity and gas provider. We don’t need TV ads tellings us how wonderful you think you are – because we have no choice anyway.

Also UB i’d wager that if Government agencies and corporations stopped lashing hundreds of thousands of dollars around in entertainment themselves and justifying their existence there’d be a bit more money for things people want.

hey, we hardly ever do health scandals for exactly he reasons you enumerate.

frankly i have little faith in our democratic system which is why i haven’t tried to start a new party.

I don’t want to end up like pauline hanson.

I agree – managing our ‘urban services’ is a core responsibility of the elected government, operative word there being elected. You don’t like what they’re doing, then step up and do better. I’m all for participative democracy – don’t like what the government is doing? Then let the masses step up and vote them out. Better yet, let those who are really incensed (there seems to be plenty in the RiotACT ranks) provide alternate and competent candidates.

I’ve heard the financial mismanagement arguments about road, schools and health (not least from every single cab driver in this place). This is very much about the ACT and I’ve said it before. We are over-serviced here with public infrastructure for our population level. The cost for this is incredibly unsustainable. Rates are going to go up, services will have to be further rationalised. We’re seeing it with schools. And travelling to other suburbs for an education is wholly acceptable. Health – no state, federal or territory government in Australia has been able to adequately fund health services to meet demand in their jurisdictions. This is potentially a bottomless pit. It will always be a point to bitch about. But I had to wait over 3 hrs to see a GP this week. Happy though to have had the access when billions elsewhere have no such opportunity. We are used to the high standards of life in the ACT – it’s just incredibly unsustainable. Face up to it. So who’s going to pay up?

The ACT roads are getting worse at a worrying rate.

Are you suggesting that because the opposition are crap we should just lie back and let the Government do as it pleases?

I love a good bitch fest – can anyone here do better? Then step up please. I’d love a competent alternative to vote for at the next ACT elections.

The ACT has fantastic roads, leave the ACT, travel the country and for that matter the world and you’d soon appreciate that fact. Cocooned, self-obsessed, spoilt Territorians – How I love thee.

Growling Ferret8:56 am 20 Sep 06


The roads all over Canberra have gone to crap – Adelaide Avenue South opposite Deakin playing fields is a 300m stretch of potholes, the Parkway going north before the Cotter Road bridge is a minefield, and there are plenty of other examples. After the rains last month, there were some massive potholes that appeared overnight – the drought is saving the roads from being torn up even quicker…

BTW – I’m also a semi-regular cyclist.

I’m surprised how wide the lanes are around Canberra. I think making the lanes (including the slip lanes and shoulders) a bit narrower so you could fit 3 lanes in would be a good idea. Not only would it mean the same road can carry a larger traffic volume, but it would force people to be a bit more careful, so they didn’t wander between lanes. We seem to live under a regime that tells us if we don’t speed we’re somehow completely safe, but it just isn’t the case – encouraging accurate driving could be a step in the right direction.

Yeah and Tony Gill the chief huncho of Roads, is a cyclist.

Coincidence that bike lanes are appearing everywhere around the ACT? Just look at the disgrace that they did to the end of Hindmarsh Drive in Weston Creek.

We should have a bet on when the first “Do Not Pickup Hitch Hikers” sign appears

Well I’m annoyed about the extra set of traffic lights (so huge and bright it’s like aliens have landed) and the reduced speed zone, from 100km to 80km, on Monaro Hwy near the gaol.

The roads here are still pretty damn fine. The only place I’ve seen that even approaches the poor quality surface of King Georges, Princes Hwy or Paramatta roads in Sydney is a short 5m stretch on Russell Dr. that is looking a bit tired. Not to mention that our lanes seem 1.5 times as wide as those in Sydney.

I guess I’ve not driven to Belco, Tuggers or other outer suburbs recently though… Is it really that bad?

I’m not blaming cyclists, I’m a cyclists myself

I’m blaming zealots who think that buses and bike paths are an acceptable mass transit system for the people of Canberra which would succeed if only motoring can be made sufficiently unpleasant.

I don’t think you can blame cyclists for road decay. Try looking a little closer to home…

But, hey, we’ve got a bill of rights we can drive on.

Only if we pay a pile of Sydney silks for their opinion of the compatibility of the purpose of our journey with the Bill of Rights, wait for them to deliver a report on that compatibility to the Government, at which point the Government might choose to ignore the report.

barking toad5:21 pm 19 Sep 06

Chris Uhlman (sp?) had an article on the state of our roads and the reduced funding in yesterday’s crimes.

The patch ups of the past years (and they’ve been reducing) can’t last. Reconstruction will be required and the mayor has a bare cupboard.

Shifting car lanes and installing bike lanes with lashings of green paint to “protect” cyclists hasn’t been wise expenditure.

But, hey, we’ve got a bill of rights we can drive on.

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