Archive for the 'Infrastructure' Category

Carbon Tax Debate Frustrations

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

Here’s a quick post to see if anyone out there can actually enlighten me as to how the carbon tax will actually reduce emissions; I’ve been seeing a lot of angry debate on twitter lately, and went in search of some numbers;

One very loud twitter personality keeps making the point that electricity will rise in price by about 2c per kwh under the carbon tax. The assumption, I am guessing, is that because power is then more expensive, people will use less of it; In theory, they’d be inclined to use about 2% less (as its about a 2% price rise if that figure is right). My thought is that, on one hand, people are not going to turn their heaters off in winter or their air con off in summer, and they aren’t going to shut down their fridge or hand wash their clothes, they’re just going to pay the tax. And even if they cut usage a bit, how much difference will that really make, considering demand continues to grow and the power continues to come from polluting sources?

So, my thought was, the best plan is to replace polluting sources of power with non polluting sources. So we will all switch over to green power for our electricity right? Wrong. The cost to move to green power is about 3 times the cost of the tax, so there is zero incentive for anyone to switch, and most people, struggling to pay their bills already, won’t.

Perhaps you can comment and give me an idea of how this tax will achieve it’s aim, and reduce pollution? I’d rather the feds just spent some of the billions they’ve wasted on hand outs on building some solar thermal power stations.

Wivenhoe management now a joke.

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

The recent news that the Bligh government has decided we should limit the storage at Wivenhoe dam to 75% of its intended capacity should be all the proof you need that the current government has no idea how to manage anything. Lets take a moment to spell it out so Anna can understand;

Floods happen. It doesn’t matter what you do with Wivenhoe, every so often we are going to have a flood. By all means do things to help lessen the impact, but dumping our water supply shouldn’t be one of them.

Improve infrastructure so when released from Wivenhoe are necessary, they can be carried out immediately and quickly. The reason why we don’t flush the excess water out of Wivenhoe in a big hurry when it does overfill is because we wash out vital road links across the Brisbane river. If we simply put a bridge across where the Moggill ferry now is, and raised colleges crossing a few metres, we could let the excess capacity (that is, over 100%) go more quickly, because there would be less consequences down stream.

Educate the public. Too many people didn’t realise they were going to be completely inundated. Leaders kept saying it was another 1974 flood, but plenty of new home owners and business owners are only in their thirties, so have no idea what that means.  You have flood maps, you have computers, why not just send a letter to every home and business once every five years and tell them what the flood risk is at their property? You waste enough money on other things, this would at least be helpful.

Build some sensible infrastructure. Why did we have ferry terminals that ended up destroyed in the flood? Why did we build river walk and then watch it tear free and float out to sea?  We have plenty of great engineers in this state, lets have them draw up plans for riverside developments that are build to accomodate the occasional flood, so we don’t have to spend millions of dollars replacing them.

Okay, I’ve digressed a little, but the point of this post is to draw attention to the knee jerk reaction to flush our drinking water down the river, because the Premier believes there are enough voters who will think this is a good idea to win votes in the early election she is almost certain to call. It’s all very cynical, and one can only hope when the next election does roll around, we end up with a better government that this one.

Qld Motorways up for sale

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Once again the Queensland taxpayer is being robbed blind by a high tax state government.

Anna Bligh’s plan to sell Queensland Motorways is just the latest con job our long standing labor leaders will force on us.

Surely a toll road should be publicly owned, with a view to removing the tolls once the cost of the road has been recouped?

Once these important transport links are sold off, we can expect even higher tolls, and to be paying them forever.

It’s high time things changed in Queensland. If we keep running the show this way, selling off all our assets, then we will end up broke. How will they fix the hospitals then?

The Goodna Bypass Fiasco

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

News out this week that our esteemed leaders in Canberra never really intended to scrap the Goodna Bypass should come as no surprise; Prime Minister Rudd has always been a man ready to say what needs to be said to get the votes, and worry about the doing later; But I think the important points have been missed completely or reported backwards by Channel 9;

First of all, there was NOT massive opposition to the bypass, and it was NOT the reason Shayne Neumann was elected; Polls conducted prior to the election in the area showed a majority supported the bypass, and anyone who has driven that corridor in the last 2 years will know why that is the case.

Even that’s not the big question in my mind; To me, the real question is, if you believe the bypass is going to be necessary, why on earth are you spending so much money massively upgrading a road that will later be bypassed?  It makes no sense at all, and you have to wonder what would motivate anyone to spend $2 BILLION upgrading a road you are going to replace.

Okay, $700 million of that is for the Wacol to Darra stretch, but still, it’s a lot of money for a road nobody will travel on when the bypass is put through.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out at the next federal election; Surely the folks who don’t want the bypass are going to be cranky, and the ones that did, equally so?

Climate change debate still makes no sense.

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Listening to the continuing CPRS debate in federal parliament today, I am still baffled that so many people seem to be accepting the Labor party’s line on the subject. To me, it seems pretty obvious we need to do things that will reduce our carbon emissions.

So why is the Labor party hell bent on imposing a new tax, instead of reducing emissions? Take labor man John Quiggin for a great example of what I am talking about;

“More generally, since the opposition plan amounts to picking some winners, and throwing public money at them, it’s obvious from first principles that it must be more expensive than the government’s ETS.”

Not to me John; The governments proposed scheme levies a huge new tax, and also guarantees to give all the tax money back in compensation. It’s obvious to me that means a nett zero effect on the economy, and will mean a zero impact on emissions;

As I understand it, the opposition are suggesting we actually spend some money on projects and technologies that will actually reduce emissions. That seems like the way to go to me, lets see some government initiatives in Solar, Wind, Tidal, Nuclear and other low/non carbon emitting technologies. How about we do something about increasing the range of electric vehicles?

Seems simple enough to me, so get yourselves into the comments and tell me why I’m wrong. (or that I’m right, either way is good!)

Socialism, but only for your mates.

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

I think it’s fair to say the federal Labor government have over the 12-18 months, lost all credibility they had as a progressive socialist government. They have consistently professed a desire to redistribute the countries riches more equitably to those lower down the societal ladder, but the evidence is now pouring to disprove that.

Labor’s Building the Education Revolution program is providing ample evidence that Labor is pouring money in the union dominated construction sector by approving construction at massively inflated prices.

The Herald Sun reports on one such example, brought to light by the school’s principal, who must have had the silly idea he could save a whopping $140,000 by getting the work done by contractors other than those appointed by the government.

Interestingly, this is the same school where the principal earlier this year refused to allow the feds to fund a $3 million gym, because the school already had one!

I wish more school principals had the guts to check what was going on at their schools and call the government out for the complete waste of money it is perpetrating. The real irony here is the kids it claims will get a better education because of it will certainly need one, because they’ll be paying back the debt for years to come.

Rates up, but no money for repairs / maintenance

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Carole Park residents on Sinclair Drive have been suffering with increasing noise levels since bushfires in 2003 burnt down the noise barrier that was erected to mitigate the growing noise levels from the Centenary Freeway.

As the traffic level of the freeway has increased, so has the noise, and finally residents get upset enough to start writing to their local representatives. You’d think they’d rush to organise a team to go out and repair the barrier upon having this pointed out.

No. Instead of actually fixing the problem, State Member Anna Palaszczuk and Councillor Milton Dick have come together to hold an information night. I’m not making this up. Seriously. An information night? What kind of information do these people need? They know the barrier is gone, they know the noise is hard to live with, how about you just repair the barrier?

This Cranky Queenslander wonders how much of this crap has to go on before people will stop voting for these fools.

Bets are on for new domestic airline

Friday, June 27th, 2008

Place your bets folks. VivaJet is set to launch in November, targeting the business traveller with a "non budget" offering that is sure to please. At least, the backers hope it will please more than OzJet’s offering in 2005 did.

I think it’s rather interesting that the expert editors of Wikipedia suggest that OzJet’s failure was in part due to launching a business class service right before Christmas (when business travel typically is at a low ebb), and VivaJet is set to launch….right before Christmas.

We’ll just have to wait and see what happens, but personally, I’d rather someone tried to find a better way to get me to the airport. It costs me more to take a tax to the airport than it does to fly to Sydney a lot of the time!

Secret Tunnel Plan Exposed

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Cool headline, but I am beginning to suspect this is nothing new. I was talking to a source the other day who told me that plans were approved and the deal was done for construction of a the southern hemisphere’s longest transport tunnel linking the airport with the western suburbs.

The story goes that everything is done, except the public announcement. So I headed home to do a little research before posting this awesome news;

Seems that our good friend Campbell Newman has been planning for a tunnel link between the airport and the North/South Bypass Tunnel for some time, and as early as April last year bidding was underway for the project.

So, perhaps my source was just ill informed, or in fact the deal has been done, and we are in the dark. The Brisbane City Council website has nothing up to date on the project, so the latter could well be true.

In any event, I support Campbell’s efforts to improve Brisbane infrastructure, and think the more traffic we can shove underground, the nicer the city of Brisbane will become. 

Paul Tully has no record of motorway complaints

Saturday, June 14th, 2008

Further to yesterdays article about the Ipswich Motorway fiasco, a footnote to this story is that Paul Tully, often quoted but rarely relevant local councillor, was quoted as saying his office has received no complaints from locals regarding the Rudd governments plans for the motorway.

Firstly, that’s because you have virtually nothing to do with it Paul. The road is a federal road, and under current agreements, is built, upgraded or maintained by the state government using federal money. The local council has little to do with it.

But more importantly, I think it’s time locals DID write to Paul and tell him what a crock this upgrade really is. He obviously doesn’t read the paper or watch the news too often, or else he would know that most people were in favour of the bypass.

Just for the record, I’ll tell you why that’s the case. Building the bypass would have resulted in almost no disruption to the existing road while it was constructed. Once built, it would have taken most of the traffic off the existing stretch it bypassed, allowing upgrade works to be done on it much more easily if still required.

Okay Paul, your turn. Give it to me in the comments :-)