With Sydney finally dead, Mike Baird’s work is done! But I am pretty sure that Property Council of Australia, Urban Task Force and a lot of local and international property investors wish he had stayed, at least until he had done the opening ceremony on the first stage of the sydney METRO.
Expect some bad news to come out early in the term of the next Premier of NSW. It will be about serious safety issues with what has already been built in the north west of Sydney, inevitable late delivery and extreme cost blow-outs. A lot of investors who have committed to high density residential developments close to all the stations along the sydney METRO Northwest route between Rouse Hill – Epping – Chatswood will be sweating blood now if they have huge borrowings for their project.
Investors who have committed to sites and building projects on the sydney METRO City and sydney METRO Southwest between Chatswood – North Sydney – Barangaroo – Martin Place – Central – Waterloo – Sydenham – Bankstown will have a little more time to consider their options. But there is already a glut of new or close to completion apartments in much of Sydney. So minimising their risk by disposing of their land package with probably effect land prices in a negative way. Read that as a potentially huge loss on the land they have already purchased.
Baird’s resignation is far more than giving him more time to spend with his family! Expect a lot of alarming headlines about cost over runs on sydney METRO, WestConnex and the Sydney Light Rail. Expect Gladys Berejiklian, or whoever gets the new gig as Premier, to immediately go into damage control! The many billions accumulated in NSW Treasury through privatisation sales to shrink incredibly fast, like a snow ball in hell is an appropriate phrase. Dont be surprised when Gladys Berejiklian, as the new Premier or continuing Treasurer, pushes forward very hard to dispose of the NSW Land & Property Information (LPI) for more than $2 billion to help plug the sink hole that suddenly appears in the NSW Budget.
Bulldozer Baird and his ‘kitchen cabinet’, which included Gladys Berejiklian, as former Transport Minister and now Treasurer, have known about the bad news of safety issues, cost over-runs and significant late completion dates for as long as 12 months, in the case of sydney METRO Northwest. But did they tell anyone outside their tight little cabal?
- Why do you think, many months ago now, that press photographers were being kept away from the construction site of the Skytrain segment of sydney METRO Northwest where there was visible evidence of major cracks in the pre-stressed post tensioned long bridge segments?
- What damage control was being implemented by the Baird Govt to stop this bad news getting out to major investors in high density projects all along the route of the sydney METRO?
- Why do you think all progress reports on sydney METRO, WestConnex and Sydney Light Rail have been shrouded in secrecy from Day 1?
- Why has the site acquisition and demolition of homes, factories and even high rise office blocks along the routes of sydney METRO City been fast-tracked?
- Probably because they knew the financial and project management sink holes were starting to appear, and Bulldozer Baird wanted to put in place irreversible actions, in case the brown stuff hits the oscillator! He was the man at the top where the buck stops! So remember that when you hear all his mates in the LNP coalition of NSW and federally singing his praises as a great Premier.
- Remember the famous words… “The opera ain’t over until the fat lady has sung!” Journalists, academics and political analysts will be raking over the coals of the Baird Premiership for years, unravelling all the dodgy decision making and the huge hidden costs that will have to be repaid for many years, probably by the poor bloody battlers. through our taxes and rapidly council rates, thanks to his totally unjustified forced mergers of local councils. David Shoebridge has already spoken widely in the NSW Parliament Upper House about Baird implementing all the requests of the Property Council of Australia and Urban Task Force.
- Why did the Baird Govt race ahead to demolish Parramatta Pool for the new $1.5 billion dollar sports field at Parramatta, without making any provision to provide a replacement? The speed of their rush to demolition has been obscene, against all the normal rules of thumb for proceeding cautiously on high cost, high risk infrastructure projects.
So do not be surprised when the media and informed, community based advocacy groups start asking very embarrassing questions about what roles current Ministers and Heads of a few major agencies (like Treasury, Finance, Crown Lands, Planning and Roads) had in Bulldozer Baird’s ‘kitchen cabinet’ when decisions were being made to press the accelerator to the floor on extreme privatisation and intense investment in new public infrastructure, without the appropriate risk analysis and governance being performed. There will be some VERY creative excuse generation going on after the financial and planning disaster of Bulldozer Baird’s era as premier are revealed to the general public.
In the meantime
Enjoy this following piece by Andrew P Street who puts the current Baird mess very well, with lashings of extreme sarcasm, in his commentary piece in Sydney Morning Herald Friday 19-jan-2017
Architects for Better Planning in NSW