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Gladys who?

By John Hargreaves - 8 May 2017 7

I see in the print media constant whingeing about the tram and I think to myself – get over it, guys! Come up with something new!

If it’s not the tram, it about stopping residential development, particularly public housing in the sacred burbs! Those public housing tenants will eat all our children, and burn us all in our beds.

Come on! Let’s have something really juicy to sink our teeth into!

When Gladys Berejiklian, Premier of Somewhere-I-don’t-want-live-in, shirt fronted the ACT, only a few of the cranky old gits gave vent to their spleens. The letters and talk back about the tram and public housing objections outnumbered the anti-Berejiklian letters two or three or four to one.

So I take it that we don’t give a monkey’s about the ACT as a whole but we do get riled if our little patch is interfered with. Yes? No?

Well, I want to give Premier B a serve.

One of the idiotic justifications for, in her mind, not getting a fair suck of the sausage at COAG meetings is the population differences between the ACT and NSW. What a lot of rubbish!

Just for the record, she didn’t single out the Northern Territory (pop 245,700) Tasmania (pop 519,800), according to the ABS for September 2016. Oh no! We were singled out because we had a measly 400,000 (actually it was 398,300 but who’s quibbling?) so how come we are the bogeymen?

She complains that she doesn’t get her share of what? It’s a formula agreed by consensus of all states and territories, so if you don’t think you’re getting a fair share, come up with a convincing argument. WA thought so recently and threatened all sorts of things but had to cop it sweet (until the Prime Hamster and ScoMo wanted to influence the WA elections).

So let me get this straight. There are nine first hamsters round the table. Some shout louder than others, some have reasoned argument and some just make up the numbers. To get something through, other than a split of the GST, a majority can be applied. So the big states, NSW, Vic and Qld (total population of 18, 719,100 out of a total for Oz of 24,220,200) need to get two more hamsters to make it five out of nine. The usual thing is that the Labor states back each other and the Libs do the same. So the partnerships change from time to time.

But hang on. What about reality? What about a reasoned argument? What about common sense and fairness? Just because Premier B can’t rule the roost, she spits the dummy!

Her argument that the ACT exerts an influence over our entitlement because we have less people than Newcastle is actually wrong anyway. Its population in 2016 was 377,000. But more so, it is a fallacious argument because the decisions are made not based on population, but a shared vision for the country.

COAG (the Council Of Australian Governments) is a forum of equals. If one member has more clout than another, it is because that member has a better argument, has a power of personality, and can muster the numbers.

What I can’t figure out about her outburst is what she wanted to achieve by it. By her effective admission that Andrew Barr has more influence than she does, she compliments Andrew and us all. That a Territorial Chief Hamster can have a greater influence over the Prime Hamster than the First Hamster of NSW suggests to me that it is she who is out of her depth, not the rest.

Watching the table tennis game of COAG in recent times, I reckon the player she should be wary of is Jay Weatherall, not Andrew Barr. Jay is an accomplished debater, who doesn’t raise his voice or use violent expressions. He argues forcefully and effectively and if he scores more often than Gladys, she is the loser and should learn from Jay. And the population of SA is a mere 1,710,800 compared to NSW 7,757,800. Her argument that NSW is the most populous state and therefore should have greater influence just shows the shallowness and selfishness of her approach to the federation we call the Commonwealth.

I know first hand the dynamics of ministerial councils and the big states often get their way because they gang up on the smaller guys. I’ve seen NSW, VIC, WA, QLD, and SA gang up on TAS, NT and the ACT with the feds just looking on. Want an example of bully boy tactics? Check out the Murray-Darling tussles, check out the industrial laws tussles, check out the marriage equality debates.

I’m only pleased that her dummy spit only got coverage in NSW and here. In Canberra, we should be offended because she has joined in with the Canberra bashers because we are fair game. The burghers of NSW should be offended because their First Hamster is a shallow, inarticulate banshee, wailing about her irrelevance in the company of her betters.

A guy wrote to the Crimes last week saying he saw a NSW number plate with the slogan – “NSW – Towards 2000”! Says it all really!

There! I’ve had my say and I feel better, now!

What’s Your opinion?


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7 Responses to
Gladys who?
1
PMB 10:27 am
08 May 17
#

I’m never surprised anymore when Liberal or Coalition politicians attack, it’s literally in their job description. To them we’re a town of public servants who have voted against Liberal for nearly two decades, that’s what makes us the bogeymen.

Like you say we’re worried about local issues and not getting outraged by it, but maybe that’s a sign that Canberra is growing up, us saying ‘why worry about what they’ve been saying forever?’ The drawn out light rail debate shows there’s passion here about local issues, even the housing issue at least shows people are waking up to the fact that consultation isn’t what they thought it was.

It’s like we’re still learning how to have our own government, and in a lot of ways this disregard of the Canberra bashing has toughened us up to the realities of what we can and can’t control. We’re learning that if we focus on something like that, something else will happen locally while we’re not watching.

2
switch 10:57 am
08 May 17
#

Wouldn’t it be nice if they recognised Canberra as the second largest city in NSW instead of that other thing.

3
dungfungus 2:22 pm
08 May 17
#

switch said :

Wouldn’t it be nice if they recognised Canberra as the second largest city in NSW instead of that other thing.

Well, I would be happy if the Parliamentary Triangle was left as the ACT and the rest came under the control of NSW. The economics would benefit everyone except maybe 25 sitting MLAs, their staff and about 20,000 ACT public servants.

And NSW would get a few hundred thousand extra Labor voters.

4
bigred 5:05 pm
08 May 17
#

John H has clearly not met and talked with the current NSW Premier. I have!
“Call me Gladys” is the antithesis of a modern liberal leader – she is female, warm, intelligent and on top of her portfolio. She is also obviously well aware that the ACT is highly likely to be rolled into NSW once the potential residential land is all sold up, the population refuses to pay any more taxes and charges and the liquidators are called in.

5
HiddenDragon 5:39 pm
08 May 17
#

All of that and not one mention of the fact that Gladys is pro-tram. With that, and some of her other views, she could almost qualify as a Canberra “progressive” (but will sadly have to make do with the consolation prize of Premier of NSW).

On one of the other issues floating around in all of this, it would be interesting (if robust data was actually available) to see a comparison of the impact on the ACT Budget of a pro-rata (or something closer to that) distribution of the GST offset by full compensation for the net cost of services provided by the ACT to NSW residents and vice-versa.

6
dungfungus 8:43 pm
08 May 17
#

bigred said :

John H has clearly not met and talked with the current NSW Premier. I have!
“Call me Gladys” is the antithesis of a modern liberal leader – she is female, warm, intelligent and on top of her portfolio. She is also obviously well aware that the ACT is highly likely to be rolled into NSW once the potential residential land is all sold up, the population refuses to pay any more taxes and charges and the liquidators are called in.

That may happen sooner than a lot of people think.

7
Queanbeyanite 10:58 pm
08 May 17
#

Come on! Let’s have something really juicy to sink our teeth into!

OK John, I’ll bite, how the hell you’re going to get 350,000 people to pay off a $7 billion tram debt?

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