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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Governing Sydney town « Previous | |Next »
May 21, 2005

I'm in Sydney for the weekend for some meetings and a new job. I've a few hours off this afternoon so checked out Glebe Books and Fish Records. I'm currently working from an internet cafe in Glebe.

These headlines hit me when I saw them over breakfast at the Novotel in Darling Harbour. The piece says:

Faced with surging demand for power-hungry air-conditioners, the NSW Government is preparing to approve the extension of a coal-fired electricity plant near Lithgow and has cleared the way for more coal power stations.

They are doing the same as Victoria: reassuringly talking about climate change and the need for environmental sustainability whilst doing the very opposite on the ground.

The skyscraper skyline of Sydney, as seen from my room in the Novotel, indicates a very wealthy global city booming from the financial flows of international finance capital. NSW is the premier state in Australia because of its financial power. This is the driver of the new capitalism that is rebuilding Sydney.

Though it will probably run out of water in the near future, there is no sense here that there are ecological limits to economic growth. What is Sydney going to do about its long-term water shortage? Wait until it runs out of water?

This coming up against the limits of growth is not due to the booming population--many people are leaving Sydney because of a lack of quality of life: it is too expensive to live there and the traffic flows are too clogged. You need to be a millionare to have a quality life in Sydney.

Sydney just refuses to recycle its storm and waste water--it still all flows into the sea. This refusal by Sydney Water suggests that the Carr ALP Government lacks the courage and political will to engage in infrastructure reform. You get the sense that things are drifting along in terms of governance, with the government reacting to each crisis in education, health, transport and water as it happens.

Update: 23 May 2005
This cartoon captures the contradiction of the Carr Government's governance of NSW:
Cathy Wilcox

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 4:40 PM | | Comments (0)