Picture: At right, Mitre 10 advert "Can't help fix the traffic ...." taken at corner of Grove and Illawarra Rd in Marrickville with a view to CentrePoint Tower in the CBD 10 km away. You know things are crook when hardware chain stores are leveraging a widespread public perception of gridlock in transport in the city to sell their products so drivers spend more time in the backyard.
Having spent what seemed like an eternity in the libraries of the Australian National University in Canberra, I can but only agree with Deputy Premier John Watkins that APEC Australia 2007 and their 21 govt leaders etc should wrack off down there in September this year. That's what Canberra was built for - security from the hustle and bustle of economic major CBD's and trade.
The controversy is gleefully reported here in Melbourne which was never in contention for the APEC junket/juggernaut in The Age local newspaper there:
April 30, 2007 - 12:39PM
Prime Minister John Howard has accused the NSW government of small-mindedness for suggesting the APEC summit should be held elsewhere.
Sydney is to host the gathering of world leaders on September 8 and 9, and NSW Deputy Premier John Watkins has warned of mass disruption to business and traffic while delegates are ferried around the city.
Mr Watkins has said APEC will bring little benefit to the people of Sydney and suggested the summit should be held in Canberra.
Mr Howard said he was amazed by Mr Watkins' attitude.
"This will bring millions of dollars, hundreds of millions of dollars to the NSW economy, and it will bring untold benefits in prestige to the entire nation, and very particularly to Sydney," Mr Howard told reporters.
"This will be the most prestigious gathering of world leaders ever in Australia, and is the NSW government saying that Australia's biggest and most international city can't handle that?
"I am just astounded at the small-minded, provincial attitude being taken by the NSW government."
Mr Howard acknowledged the summit would disrupt business in Sydney but said that was the fault of terrorism, not democracy.
He urged the NSW government to support APEC.
© 2007 AAP
Another report here today on the ABC Howard slams APEC doubt 'small-mindedness', and the Sydney Morning Herald Get ready for pain Sydney, APEC's coming, and here front page today Thanks for nothing, says NSW
The Sydney City Council seems to be doing its best with its own webpage in anticipation APEC 2007 in Sydney - City of Sydney but this all misses the point. It's why Chile has government town Valparaiso, why the USA has Washington, why New Yorkers hate the UN generated traffic jams, and Australia ....has Canberra.
So PM Howard can complain as much as he likes about NSW govt dissension over his arrogant choice of hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Conference next to the Opera House and Harbour but he will pay for it with votes at the federal election, is my feeling.
But this trading of rhetorical blows seems even more willing than normal, with evocative metaphors re "tumbleweeds" blowing through the Sydney CBD, and PM Howard double quick in launching a counter attack. And therein lies a clue to something more.
We get the feeling this is a proxy argument over an even more serious contest between the state and federal sphere: The impressive cooperation of the former to hire highly respect Professor Ross Garnaut to do a 'Stern Report' on Australia's economic future under climate change: ALP's climate expert urges nuclear caution, and terms of reference here Garnaut Climate Change Review.
And in particular this honest exchange of intellectual equals here, Prof Garnaut and Oxford educated Mark Colvin on PM show last night ("Hello Mark, good to be with you" indeed.)
Could this genuine spat over APEC be a symptom of a deeper existential angst over of the two major parties, knowing full well they are both failing their sacred duty of welfare and good government of the People as a whole with their bipartisan support for loggers and coal mining?
Already heavy hitters in the retail energy market like Paul Anthony , CEO of AGL on Difference of Opinion - ABC last night,
also given a big rap with large picture in Robert Gottliebsen's article on the weekend
are saying its not nukes, or coal but natural gas and renewables we need to promote here as much more greenhouse friendly. And Alan Kohler hints at pretty much the same thing here: Hot air on both sides of political fence - Business - Business ...
We recommend the Difference of Opinon show last night with a summary of the panelists here:
Dr Tim Flannery: is the 2007 Australian of the Year, and an internationally acclaimed scientist, explorer, conservationist and author, in his latest book The Weather Makers he says climate change is the most serious issue facing humanity. He is a leading member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, which reports independently to government on sustainability issues. His an advocacy of nuclear energy and criticism of coal as the asbestos of 21st century have made him a controversial opinion leader on how to tackle climate change.
Sam Mostyn: is a Group Executive at Insurance Australia Group, a global insurer and one of six companies that started the Australian Business Roundtable on Climate Change. IAG is developing an extensive risk assessment of the impact of climate change in our region. Sam is also a member of the NSW Premier’s Greenhouse Advisory Panel. Sam has a BA/LLB from the Australian National University.
Paul Anthony: is chief executive officer of AGL, Australia's largest retail energy company, which has recently joined the world's first legally binding carbon trading program - the Chicago Climate Exchange. He brings international experience as CEO of the largest renewable energy company in the UK - Energy Power Resources, and as a former Executive Vice President of the British Gas Group.
Warwick McKibbin: is a Professor of international economics at the Australian National University and a board member of the Reserve Bank. He is also a Professorial Fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington and has been a consultant on economic and climate change policy issues for the Japanese Government, the US Congress and the World Bank.
This week's gallery from our in-house cartoonist Warren Brown, who produced these cartoons during the course of the program.