|Pork in the flight path|
There two main strategies democratic governments use when faced
with decisions which will be unpopular regardless of the outcome -
procrastination and decisive procrastination. Both sides of government in
Australia are firmly committed to a second international airport for Sydney,
but neither really wants to commit to where or when.
John (wiffle-waffle) Howard has been stalling on this issue since the GST was a mere glint in his eye -
scrapping plans for the Badgerys Creek site (in order to prop up the value of
Sydney Airport for the sale), but retaining the Badgerys Creek land (funny
that). Simon (strong-man) Crean on the other hand has firmly committed to
something - to not build an airport at Badgerys Creek.
He hasn't actually committed to where else to build one, or even when - he
has merely committed to commission another investigation into other
possibilities. Yes, faithful tax-payer, that means more of your
money. But at least he has
committed to something - he has committed to
not doing anything in his first term. Now that's leadership!
Simon (I-beat-Kim) Crean is feeling pretty cocky about his leadership, and
he can now make decisions which are good for the ALP collective but which alienate
some members of his shadow cabinet, who are unhappy with not being consulted
about this non-decision. Simon knows that the next election will be won or lost in
the western suburbs, and the announcement is done to placate those voters.
But not the voters under the flight paths of Sydney Airport. House owners
under the flight path regularly whine louder than the jet engines about their
lives being unbearable due to aircraft noise. Apparently none of them knew that
jet engines made noise when they bought their homes, and the fact that their
homes were priced accordingly when they bought them, and that they stand to
reap massive capital gains from any scaling back of Sydney Airport, is lost in
That's the nature of politics guys - there's never
enough pork to