By mid June, only weeks from the 2 July Federal election – after weeks of campaigning, Bill Shorten let slip his supposed radical election strategy. On ABC TV, he acknowledged that the conventional wisdom for Australian election campaigning for the major parties duopoly was for the opposition party to run dead (ie use a small-target strategy of no new policies).
It seems that with the change from Abbort to their new saviour Turnbull as “leader” in 2013, Shorten thought he would not win the double-disillusion election – and so brought out some Big Gun policies that he would normally keep quiet about until ALP won an election. Abbort brought out things like delay dole for six months and Unions Royal commission.
The Shorten ALP team’s hidden contentious “nasties” (not meant to be revealed until the first year of a new ALP government) – were to be not just a revenge-style Royal Commission into the Banking/financial sector. Bill now promised paring back of the untouchable middle-class privilege of multiple housing ownership, the sacred negative gearing tax concessions.
We were contemplating writing to the ALP, before the early election was announced – to suggest that they make some kamikaze type promises if they win, just not those type of conservative ones. Instead we have lobbied both ALP and the Greens about several seriously radical proposals – almost all of which we put in a poster for the 2013 election.
Our key one was about starting the construction of the Very Fast Train (VFT) rail infrastructure – in particular the long mooted section from Sydney to Canberra through Goulbourn. This was first proposed before Mascot airport was sold off (whose Banking purchaser killed it off) so there must already be plans about the exact route, if not complete land acquisition.
ALP Deputy Leader, Tanya Plibersek personally indicated early in the election campaign that completing the NBN had priority – which opinion polls later showed was far less important to voters. The ALP, through her and “cities” shadow Minister Albanese failed to respond in writing to us on this and other important proposals in our 2013/2016 “WHY VOTE” posters.
Since the Greens also didn’t respond in writing to our poster and letters to them on the VFT and other proposals (except our arts ones seemed to prompt them to suddenly get on TV with policies in response) here is our election strategy for the public to see. We wished to propose that at least the ALP propose building the Sydney-Canberra phase of the VFT.
This should include Goulbourn as an intermediary stop for it, as originally proposed – where an International Airport with 24/7 access be built. Any construction of an airport at Badg-ery’s Creek should not have 24/7 international aircraft access due to existing dense residential population around it. VFT would quickly get international passengers to Sydney.
Any airport in western Sydney would destroy the hard won Blue Mountains World Heritage status as planes would be constantly flying over it. Since any real kind of construction won’t start at Badgery’s Creek for several elections off – the VTR could easily be earlier construct-ed through Goulbourn to Canberra from say Parramatta, once the ALP/Greens win in 2019.
So the kamikaze type promises made by Shorten/Albanese for the 2016 should have been to start building the VFT from Melbourne/Sydney/Brisbane. That could have been to urgently start building sections of the VFT to ease overpopulation by decentralisation (ie unafford-able housing) in the eastern cities, accelerated by building Goulburn International airport.
Instead, the ALP and Greens effectively failed to give the voters a real alternative to pointless “concrete bank” concentration of more freeways and tin-pot driverless trains and dinky trams on public streets and parks in the cities. Obviously no amount of such expensive “infrastructure” will be able to cope with projected doubling of population within decades.
Effectively, the ALP/Greens have accepted the idea of high immigration concentration in these increasingly unaffordable and environmentally degraded cities – rather than plan ahead for major intercity VFT infrastructure. We wanted to suggest to the ALP and even the Greens, to propose in the 2016 election that they would start the VFT, at least from Sydney.
Given that the ALP would likely lose that election, they could then appear to drop that proposal by conducting a “small target” strategy at the next election – when they could try and avoid talking about it specifically. Instead, they were already avoiding talking about VFT and foolishly run just building NBN as their signatory policy (+Banking inquiry, tax gearing).
Unfortunately, the Greens then also failed to grasp the nettle and lead their campaign with VFT – but stuck with bottom draw policies like onshore boat-people processing, gay marri-age plus copying ALP goofy policies. Curiously, the Greens have long advocated the VFT to Canberra at least, as well as a new International Airport at Goulburn – so what happened?
It seems the ALP is trapped in a time-warp of thinking it is a mass party, though its chief backers – Trade Unions keep having its industrial worker base decimated by “free trade” agreements with low wage countries. Besides a growing workforce of part-time workers, unable to afford union dues – the movement is being taken over by female occupations.
This feminisation of ALP politics was heralded by the Julia Gillard PM years – where she squibbed the mining boom tax but shot to international fame by calling the Opposition leader a “misogynist”. The electorate soon came to hate her so much that the PM she disposed of (as his Deputy) had to be returned to try save the ALP from poll annihilation.
Meanwhile the Greens married the Gillard ALP after the 2010 election, though they never divorced or even separated from the Unions first. The Greens still fancy themselves as the left-wing mistress of the ALP – though the official Conservative coalition have been seeing eye to eye with the ALP for so long, they should just elope. Shouldn’t the Greens grow up!
Showboating “policies” like gay marriage don’t seem to be increasing tolerance for that minority community – nor do guilt games thrown at the mainstream public on “invasion”, to get a treat-ie. Most Australians are either descendants of "convicts" from brutal land-enclosure evictions of tenants farmers in Ireland/Britain centuries ago or else migrants since from those and other lands.