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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Monday, 26 March 2007
Tebbutt declines cabinet confidentiality on road tunnel plan of "a good government" to raise her 6 year old instead
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: election nsw 2007

On Saturday we met then Education Minister Tebbutt as pictured here at the Warren Rd booth in Marrickville

and raised the horror scenario of a container truck accident in any of the Sydney motorway tunnels, as happened last Friday in Melbourne’s Burnley Tunnel.


Question: "Tom McLoughlin, SydneyAlternativeMedia news blog. On the record Minister, in relation to the terrible truck accident in the [Burnley] Tunnel in Melbourne, do you think that could happen here in Sydney with so many motorway tunnels?" Answer by Carmel Tebbutt local ALP MP for Marrickville: "I don't know anything about that. I really couldn't say."


The question required no answer. The point was all in the asking: We knew she was not the responsible minister for transport, emergency services, treasury or any other possibly related portfolio.


The point of the question was the subtext: Carmel Tebbutt as local member knows that the massive expansion of Port Botany will result in a road tunnel under Marrickville unless the politics are radically changed. All those containers can’t go on rail (40% maximum) and even the rail is disruptive already as per this recent letter to the editor:

Indeed local MP Tebbutt has been fighting off fiesty local Green Party members in the local Cooks River Valley Times March 8th 2007 front pager "Road tunnel"


"Labor MP for Marrickville Carmel Tebbutt, said the Minister has made it clear that there are no proposals before the NSW Government to build the M4 East or any such thing as an inner west motorway."


and from same paper apparently quoting her unchanged 2006 statements:


"While the $500 million investment in Port Botany will benefit the NSW economy , Sydney Ports Corporation must make every effort to ensure this proposed expansion does not adversely impact on the quality of life of local residents ..... I will continue to advocate the concerns of local residentsto Sydney Ports Corporation and ministers for Planning and Ports. As usual the Greens Party are offering no solutions".


In her February 2007 colour brochure Carmel states


 "Johnstons creek corridor abandoned/ The Johnstons Creek road corridor will be abandoned entirely between Parramatta Road and the Illawarra rail line. Road reservations on those roads which would have fed into Johnstons Creek road corridor, including Llewellyn Street and Addison Road, have also been abandoned. "This decision gives certainty to residents worried their properties may still be affected," said Carmel Tebbutt MP. " pictured standing next to colleague Minister Eric Roozendaal.


And then an expose of exactly what the minister has strongly implied won't happen, happened: $5b secret road under Sydney | The Daily Telegraph that is a secret RTA plan for a tunnel under Marrickville because anyone who has studied the Port expansion knows it's part of an overall scheme to deal with the 3 million plus containers, a tripling of volume.


And Tebbutt has form in the art of political double talk, and it would be very naive to think she is some kind of feminista political saint. Life is not like that:


"Ms Byrne [Greens candidate said] Ms Tebbutt "blatantly misled the public" about Greens preferences at the a climate change forum in Marrickville last Tuesday night. Ms Tebbutt told the forum that the Greens had preferenced the Coalition before Aboriginal Labor MP Linda Burney in the seat of Canterbury during the 2003 election ...This is false. The Greens have never preferenced the Coalition ahead of Labor in any state or federal electorate in NSW." in Valley Times p6 Thus 15th March 2007.


This is a direct accusation of electioneering fraud by Carmel Tebbutt at a public forum being levelled by The Greens.


Who knows if there is more to her move to the back bench? Maybe she saw those school kids late last week protest against the unfiltered Lane Cove Tunnel (Families protest against lack of filtration in Lane Cove Tunnel ...) which is in her portfolio. Maybe she considered our unexpected mortality as per those poor victims literally incinerated in the grim prophetic Burnley Tunnel and decided ‘no way am I going to miss my kid growing up’. On Friday we emailed to the local community this story on our blog:


 23rd March 2007

Container truck tunnel crash is Sydney's future too under ALP transport policies

As the three major dailies today editorialise to remove the ALP government in NSW in the vote tomorrow, and Ch9 prime time news ruin Opposition Leader Debnam's last pitch due to technical problems with a live cross, a tragic tunnel crash involving container trucks in Melbourne today (Road catastrophe: Tunnel crash kills three) underline everything wrong with the Inner West Motorway tunnel exposed by the press during this election for Sydney: $5b secret road under Sydney | The Daily Telegraph

Container truck numbers from the Port are set to skyrocket under the ALP (Task force to oversee Port Botany expansion. 25/11/2006. ABC News ...) to 3 million per year  at least (Port Botany - NSW Department of Planning) but likely even more than that (NSW Ports Growth Plan - Summary Sheet) with massive impacts on the Inner City congestion and suburban amenity from the Port Botany Expansion - 10/11/2005 - ADJ

The ALP over ruled an independent planning Commission of Inquiry (Port Botany expansion plan unwarranted: inquiry. 14/10/2005. ABC ...) and tried to stall the release of that report for 3 months (Port Botany Report - 15/09/2005 - QWN REP) making a new motorway tunnel an inevitability under the Iemma ALP Govt. One can assume fatal truck accidents like this today will also be an inevitability as above.

On Sunday another insecure road tunnel will open as the result of the election is finalised: Children at Lane Cove Tunnel protest - The Australian - 21 Mar 2007

Noxious road tunnels are indeed a powerful symbol of this ALP government as we go to the vote tomorrow as per The Greens last PR event for the day

The way Carmel tells it her son made it clear a couple of weeks ago she was needed at home. Morris Iemma says she told him on election night. Curious timing. Kevin Rudd is quoted pictured here The Glebe March 22nd 07 p3 presumably with no notion of Carmel’s intention to bail out to the back bench:


“When you’ve got Carmel as a senior minister in this government and as an effective local member, you are really getting double bang for your buck and I think that’s really good,” : Kevin Rudd

That’s false election advertising in reality.


In the same paper Tebbutt states “I think I am feeling nervous and anxious at this point” but in another local press article (a bit hard to locate now) she said she was a lot more relaxed than at the byelection 18 months ago, and that was the view of Deputy Premier Watkins too on ABC tv coverage last Saturday night. If the Greens were going to win it was going to be at the byelection. Only they suppressed the Commission of Inquiry report on the Port Expansion until 2 weeks after that byelection as well.


Indeed Tebbutt has moved from the comfort of an upper house seat with ministerial portfolio free of managing the needs of an electorate to a lower house seat with all the cost and expense for the ALP that implies and has decided to bail out to the back bench now?  And all the expense of a hard fought general election now to keep it?And she wants to bail out to the back bench?


Indeed Treasurer Egan virtually anointed her as a future Treasurer or Premier when he resigned with Bob Carr. Mind you who would like to look like the increasingly exhausted and aging Anna Bligh Deputy Premier and Treasurer (Queensland Treasury). Or pack on the kilograms as Chubby Morris below, or indeed Jodi McKay with increasing girth (pictured in the Telegraph) from all that worry contesting the seat of Newcastle.


That’s one hell of a conversation with your six year old for Carmel whose child has already grown up in a political family. (Sure enough, she is pictured with child in the press Tuesday 27th March.) That sure is enlightened parenting but lousy political organisation unless there is just a bit more to the story.


As a minister she could never defend Marrickville from toxic exhaust stacks from the inevitable push on to build a road tunnel under her electorate. Cabinet confidentiality would only be the start of her predicament. She would have to endorse the cabinet decision just like Gary Punch was expected to over the 3rd Runway at KSA and resigned instead.  Those shipping containers are coming as night follows day and her people and indeed family are in the firing line. She would never be re elected anyway after that in 2011 if she was seen to have betrayed her electorate. This is a fight she has to take on just like the Greens she has been sledging..


Also her husband federal MP Anthony Albanese is in real strife. If the ALP national conference supports expanded uranium mining as they will, Anthony will be stranded in a rampantly green voting area of Sydney. He will be lucky to survive the federal election and will need all his spouse’s help there.


So it's not only Mr Debnam whose “work here is done” to borrow the phrase from Two Weeks Out episode of the West Wing last Saturday night which cartoonist Warren must also have been watching by the look of this in the Telegraph today:

It looks like Carmel Tebbutt MP's work in covering up for the boys in Iemma's so called "good government" is over for the time being too as regards their Truck Tunnel. And that's a good thing. Bravo.


One last thing Morris: Go on a diet

Posted by editor at 9:51 PM NZT
Updated: Friday, 18 January 2008 11:18 AM EADT

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