ReachTEL: 51-49 to Labor in New South Wales; YouGov Galaxy: 52-48

An encouraging first poll for Labor’s new leader, as the burden of federal politics weighs upon the Berejiklian government four months out from the election.

The first New South Wales state poll in a surprisingly long time (considering the imminence of the election in March) is a uComms/ReachTEL poll for the Sydney Morning Herald, which credits Labor with a lead of 51-49. After excluding the 3.1% undecided (there may have been orced-response follow-up results for these, but the Herald report doesn’t relate them), the primary votes are Coalition 37.7%, Labor 35.2%, Greens 9.9% and One Nation 7.7%.

The poll also has new Labor leader Michael Daley leading Gladys Berejiklian 54.2-45.8 on preferred premier, which is not bad for a newcomer non-incumbent, even allowing for the peculiarities that ReachTEL’s forced response preferred leader questions tend to produce. After a week of election-decided-on-state-issues malarkey from politicians with an interest in such matters, the poll finds 50.2% of respondents saying federal politics would indeed play a role in their decision, with only 36.4% saying it wouldn’t.

The poll was conducted Thursday night from a sample of 1557. Come back later today and you might find an updated state poll trend chart attached to this post.

UPDATE: And now a YouGov Galaxy poll from the Daily Telegraph, this one of 903 voters conducted Thursday and Friday, showing Labor leading 52-48. The primary votes are Coalition 37%, Labor 39%, Greens 9% and One Nation 8%, with Gladys Berejiklian holding an unconvincing 33-31 lead over Michael Daley as preferred premier. As per ReachTEL, they asked about the influence of federal factors, but specified “the Coalition’s federal performance”. This had 33% saying they had become less likely to vote for the Coalition, against 35% for no influence and 20% for more likely.

And now for that poll trend, the current reading of which is 51.3-48.7 to Labor, from primary votes of Coalition 37.2%, Labor 35.9% and Greens 10.0%.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

104 comments on “ReachTEL: 51-49 to Labor in New South Wales; YouGov Galaxy: 52-48”

  1. What are the chances of a hung parliament (in the Legislative Assembly) with Independents of a right-wing populist orientation happening at the next NSW state election. I believe that potential prospect is why Mark Latham decided to run for the Legislative Council instead of the Senate and there has been an alliance struck between the Shooters, Farmers and Fishers Party and One Nation in NSW.

  2. Pull the other one!
    Senior Liberals said Ms Berejiklian was a “strong progressive leader”
    This is just a ploy to fool the public who heard Dan Andrews in Victoria claim they were the most progressive state in Australia and look where it got him. They want some of that vibe to rub off on the Libs here even if it has nothing to do with their actual policy positions.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/the-feds-are-poisoning-us-nsw-liberals-anxious-after-shock-polls-20181201-p50jm0.html

  3. @Jim:

    “That’s not right. The plans changed recently to be less disruptive – probably in response to Labor policy.”

    That’s because someone in the Minister’s office named Andrew is lying. The whole shape of station platforms is not conducive to automated metro train operations. That’s just for starters. Mr Boatie McBoatface has been personally pushing this in the face of all expert advice.

    I wish the engineering challenges were not so severe and the conversion could be done cheaply. But they are. Alas.

  4. @Tristo very good chance of hung parliament on those poll numbers. There are currently 7 cross benchers, 5 of which would probably be described as progressive, 1 Shooters Fishers Farmer, and one rural independent.

    One Nation vote will be interesting – with optional preferential, many minor party voters may just vote 1 and have their vote exhaust.

  5. @Andrew_Earlwood that’s right, which is why the original plan was to realign track around stations and straighten platforms.

    That is no longer the case – they will now use mechanical gap fillers where the platform is not straight enough. Cheaper, but another moving part to potentially break down.

    Check out the latest “preferred infrastructure report” on the department of planning website, it details all of the changes in planning to use the existing platform and alignment.

    You can bet that the change was driven by Labor’s criticism!

  6. I’ve been at Central at the start of a University semester, and personally counted 800+ people in a line for an express bus to UNSW (which is just up the road from the SCG). And this was with busses arriving non-stop to try and service that route. The tram line was absolutely needed.

    The ridiculous delay (now 18 months I think) in its completion is the problem. In an effort to keep Anzac Pde open they’ve been doing parts of the construction in stages, but after every stage there is some interim solution that requires extra construction. The side-walk has been dug up more times than I can count. You rarely see women wearing high heels on that street near the university, it’s just too dangerous – and it’s a major restaurant area! Plus all the bus stops keep moving every 3 weeks, and the street at night is flooded with people in yellow vests directing you to cross the road 5 times in 500 m to avoid the construction.

    Talk of revamping the SFS now that things are getting close to done seems even more stupid. If you were going to take the SFS out of service, why wouldn’t you have done that while the transport system was being revamped to take some stress off of it.

  7. DVC
    I agree re the new tram/light rail – a good idea butchered by bad delivery. The Gold Coast one was built faster and has worked well – it moved over 90,000 people a day during the Commonwealth games. Service relocations are a common fearure in all tram/LRT projects so you have to wonder what was in this contract to trigger such a large cost claim?
    Score: Palszczuk 1 Berejklian 0

  8. The delays/cost blowouts have surprised many but we are talking about the oldest street in Australia and obviously know one had an idea of what is under the tar. Excavation is now near Central which used to be the site of the general cemetery and benevolent asylum. Guess what – they are now uncovering bodies – what a surprise

  9. Just a thought – if these bones had been dug up by a farmer in Flanders the DVA would spend a motza identifying them and “bringing closure” to the diggers great great nieces and nephews. But as they were found in Chalmers St they were thrown on the footpath

  10. As a lifetime Labor voter and a resident of Canterbury – it’s very simple for me – I want the new Metro. Labor says they will not deliver the Sydenham to Bankstown component of it, and as a result I cannot vote for Labor this coming NSW election.

  11. My main concern is that a policy that started as a Foley thought-bubble is going to cause Labor problems when going for reelection in 2023, as the Airport line is growing patronage at 10% per year and without those freed up Bankstown line slots this line will fall apart. There isn’t going to be enough time to come up with and implement an alternate solution within the next term, and if the issues can be seen as being a result of the Bankstown line conversion Labor won’t be able to blame the Coalition.

  12. Something has definitely changed in Australian society over the last year, people are starting to demand action be done over issues such as Climate change, activism spearheaded by the young has really come into fore. Personally I was too optimistic in my predictions for the next federal election, I assumed that it was going to be a close result. However now I believe the Coalition are going to face one of their worst defeats on record.

    I am predicting the Coalition could lose around 20-25 seats, both Peter Dutton and Tony Abbott are going to lose their seats. The middle class electorates of the major cities are going to see some enormous swings. In Melbourne Julia Banks, Chris Crewther, Jason Wood and Michael Sukkar are definitely goners. MP’s such as Tony Smith, Alan Tudge, Kevin Andrews, Tim Wilson, Kelly O’Dwyer and Josh Frydenberg could either come close or even lose their seats.

    In Sydney apart from Tony Abbott, MP’s such as Trent Zimmerman and John Alexander could be facing defeat as well. I socialize with many middle class professional people and they in general reserve nothing but hatred for Scott Morrison. Plus the deposing of Malcolm Turnbull and Peter Dutton almost becoming Prime Minister really shook them to the core. Some do have reservations about Bill Shorten and the Labor Party, however their hatred of the Liberal party is even greater.

  13. As someone who lives about 700 kms from the Sydney CBD I remain curious about what any of the parties have to offer me. Even in my corner of the state homelessness is rife, cheek by jowl with fortresses carved out of rainforest by multimillionaires with more money than sense.

  14. Fox you haven’t really argued why you think the George street part of the light rail should be buses.

    That’s hardly a better outcome.

    As for the southeast bit. Would have bern better as a metro but that was also going to be a lot more expensive.

    People are going to like a pedestrianised George street and they are going to like having trams every few minutes a lot better than a conga line of buses.

  15. Jim the Bankstown metro cancel thought button didn’t come from Foley. It came from certain parties whose career dates back to ShittyRail.

  16. Socrates the contractor expected utilities to be treated in a certain way. They signed a contract. Then a month later the electricity utility handed them a large detailed document that contained a bunch of gold plating. The contractor claims that they would not have signed had they know this. So this was either a major blunder or TfNSW being far too clever.

    Most of the delays have arisen from the light rail constructor being hostage to the electricity utility which has taken its own sweet time ticking off on every last bit of concrete.

  17. Thanks Cud Chewer and others for educating me on rail issues. I originally thought metros were just part of a ploy to privatise the system-and maybe to some extent they are-but from all I’ve read, they genuinely do add a lot of capacity. Adding extra capacity to the existing rail network seems just not economically or technically viable, for all the reasons others have outlined. Labor would do better to just accept existing transport projects and add something on top of those as their policy-something in southern Sydney impacting the seats of Oatley and East Hills would be nice, as these formerly quite safe ALP seats are resisting swinging back to where they were pre-2011.

  18. Jim Andrew

    The Bankstown line conversion was reduced in scope. Partly cost. Partly to reduce disruption. Pleasing Labor/objectors hardly factored into it.

    Even in the original version, Dulwich Hill was to remain curved. Testing mechanical gap fillers on this line will mean more experience/confidence in introducing them elsewhere. Perhaps also on non metro lines. Thst would be a good thing.

    The scope change lost a lot of good things. Improvements to bridges, a cycleway and other usefull stuff.

  19. However I would have thought that a bespoke fleet of a dozen single decked train sets (each operated by a driver and conductor) would work effectively with the metro to sydnenham. The rolling stock plus sydnenham station upgrade would cost around $2billion, but the overall cost savings would be enormous.

    Andrew what you’ve just described would be more expensive and take years to actually do.

  20. Aqualung..

    They’ve preserved some red rattlers. Perhaps they can rip the seats out and press them into service.
    Can’t see destroying the Bankstown line helping the grossly overcrowded Western line and please don’t insult people by using Gladys’ meaningless alphabet soup bs.

    Since when does giving the users of a train line 7-10 minutes off their morning commute plus doubling the frequency of trains they get amount to ‘destroying’?

    As for the inner west line. Its very simple. The city circle can handle 20 trains in an hour coming from the inner west line. The Bankstown line takes 4 of those ‘slots’. Therefore the inner west line is limited to 16 trains. Take away the Bankstown line from the city circle and the inner west gets 20 trains.

  21. Parramatta moderate

    Having a private operator doesn’t achieve much. We could have just as easily created a new organsiation to do that. Its not rocket science.

    Having a private operator was also a dumb idea because it prompted a lot of dishonest claims.

  22. The delays/cost blowouts have surprised many but we are talking about the oldest street in Australia and obviously know one had an idea of what is under the tar.

    This is where the culture of TfNSW comes in. Despite introducing metros there are a lot of people in TfNSW who are very conservative in their thinking. When they were asked to build light rail they basically hired people who were going to design it like a heavy rail line. So we have a trackform that is over a metre deep with multiple layers of concrete, many containing over-redundant conduits and of course all formed in place by hand. The deeper the trackform the more utilities it intersects.

    Then they decided to do a quick potholing, trenching and scanning exercise which discovered hundreds of undocumented cables and conduits and pipes. Despite this they decided to go ahead with the project knowing that if you go deeper, you’ll find yet more undocumented utilities. Well over a thousand in fact.

    What they should have done is to be more conservative. Go at it one block at a time, not just pothole and trench but dig up the entire volume needed. Identify and survey everything. Cover and reseal and then go back to the computer and work out precisely what would be built and the process involve. And only then entered into contracts. Instead they left the light rail contractor to deal with the unknowns on the fly, resulting in a lot of stuff sitting around and often having to break and redo things.

    Of course doing it properly would actually make the whole thing take longer overall. But it would result in less disruption in any given location. But they didn’t do this because they had a political deadline and the folks in TfNSW were culturally incapable of going back to the Minister and saying “hey wait a minute, lets do this a bit more carefully”.

    Of course, there’s better ways to do things. Once you’ve dealt with the utilities and have clear space, you can then go back and build the trackform quickly, even using factory prebuilt modular sections. Again the culture doesn’t allow them to innovate.

    Better still you can use battery powered vehicles. Once you take away the catenary you also take away all the underground wiring. And you can go one step further and go trackless. You still need a good layer of concrete to support the weight of a “trackless” tram but its relatively shallow.

  23. “Pull the other one!
    Senior Liberals said Ms Berejiklian was a “strong progressive leader” “….

    That’s nothing. Just wait until they start saying: “Comrade Gladys promises to fund full free education and medical care in the next five-year plan if the Liberal People’s Party is returned at the state election”…. Then you will understand that it’s well and truly over for the poor Liberals…..

  24. Cud Chewer — I think you’re in for a big disappointment when people still hate the opened light rail. Those conga lines of busses came far more regularly than 4 minute intervals if you were (southbound) alighting at or before Railway Square. If you were travelling further along Broadway… too bad the light rail doesn’t go there anyway? You either change mode or travel up a different congested CBD street.

    Busses on George St used to be slower than walking during the peak because the middle lane was a carpark. (Emphasis on car.) The busses couldn’t pull into stops as they were stuck in queues for the lights, and likewise couldn’t pull out again as there was no space to merge into. Remove the cars and the main thoroughfare for bus routes at that time, conveniently in the centre of the city rather than the eastern edge, would have been far more free flowing. All for the cost of a few signposts.

    As for the south east bit, it sounds like the same flawed logic being applied to the NBN at the moment. If the light rail is soon going to be (or already is) insufficient to service the SCG and (what’s left of) the SFS, build it properly with a metro, once, while interest rates are at record lows and stamp duty at record highs. Duplicating it later is going to be even more expensive. I assume the single lane each way light rail is also incapable of running direct/express to both UNSW and the SCG? Bet the students will be impressed when they learn they suffered through the construction for no travel time saving.

  25. You are right with the light rail- should have been a metro. It is predicted to be over capacity with the Uni and Hospital on Day One.
    To make the new main transport corridor for South East Sydney a tram that does a rat run on the streets is beyond madness.
    To move all the South Eastern commuters from the Eastern side of the city to the Western (George St) side to clash with Western commuters is madness.
    To make travellers from the East traverse the whole length of the city on a road is madness.

    The project was not properly planned, and the Libs as always grabbed for the supposedly cheapest option.

  26. fox

    I think you’re in for a rude shock when you discover that like on the Gold Coast, people actually like the light rail. No one likes noisy, smelly, lurching, uncomfortable buses. Of course you can take buses, make them electric, given them step free access and segment them and give them priority and a dedicated lane.. and oh.. you’ve just created something a lot like light rail 🙂

    The CBD light rail was originally pushed by Sydney Council as a means to humanise the city – get noisy traffic out of it and pedestrianise George Street. And frankly, that’s a good objective. Again we need to distinguish between objective, outcome and implementation.

    Btw, few seem to remember that the Gold Coast light rail construction ended up taking twice as long as promised and there was a lot of objection to it from shopkeepers (some of it quite reasonable). Now the locals love it, not just because of the transportation but because its a better environment to be in.

    I’ve already said that I preferred a metro to the south east. The sad fact about that is that had it been a metro you’d be waiting many more years for it.

    As for football crowds, you’re quite right that the light rail won’t handle that even though there will be additional services shuttling to Central. What’s actually likely to happen is that more people are going to take the new pedestrian route to Central via Devonshire.

    As for timing. The light rail to UNSW is likely to be slower than a non peak bus, and faster than a peak bus. I’d have done more to give it more priority. Maybe that can be fixed.

  27. You are right with the light rail- should have been a metro. It is predicted to be over capacity with the Uni and Hospital on Day One.
    To make the new main transport corridor for South East Sydney a tram that does a rat run on the streets is beyond madness.
    To move all the South Eastern commuters from the Eastern side of the city to the Western (George St) side to clash with Western commuters is madness.
    To make travellers from the East traverse the whole length of the city on a road is madness.

    Would you have waited another 10-15 years for a metro?

    Are you aware that Metro West will probably involve a branch east of Zetland, probably to Maroubra and it will certainly involve interchange with the light rail route. Which means for instance that UNSW students are probably going to take a hop on the light rail and then take the metro. That will take a lot of load off of it.

    Its also possible to run the light rail network at higher frequency and I predict that this is exactly what will happen.

    I’m not exactly sure what you mean by a ‘rat run’. There are routing decisions I disagree with btw, but its not the worst either.

    I have no idea what you mean by ‘clash with Western commuters’? Are we talking spears and clubs?

  28. Doesn’t take 10-15 years to build a 6-8 km metro spur line…I imagine the Chinese could do it in 3 years, which is quicker than building the tram, which will take the best part of 5 years because of all the surface complications.
    A station at Zetland is no use for the University or 2 teaching hospitals.
    The thing about a service to a University and teaching Hospital (and Racecourse and stadium), people travel from all over Sydney (and the state) to get to them. By the time they get to Central they may have been travelling for over an hour. To then subject them to a peak hour, on road service that takes another half an hour at best, when a Metro would take less than 10 minutes is just torture.
    All in all, just bad planning for a city that will soon exceed 6,000,000. Comparing it to the Gold Coast Tram (population 500,000) is just ridiculous.

  29. Doesn’t take 10-15 years to build a 6-8 km metro spur line…I imagine the Chinese could do it in 3 years, which is quicker than building the tram, which will take the best part of 5 years because of all the surface complications.
    A station at Zetland is no use for the University or 2 teaching hospitals.
    The thing about a service to a University and teaching Hospital (and Racecourse and stadium), people travel from all over Sydney (and the state) to get to them. By the time they get to Central they may have been travelling for over an hour. To then subject them to a peak hour, on road service that takes another half an hour at best, when a Metro would take less than 10 minutes is just torture.
    All in all, just bad planning for a city that will soon exceed 6,000,000. Comparing it to the Gold Coast Tram (population 500,000) is just ridiculous.

    It takes about 6-7 years from inception to operation for a new metro here. Also, you’re talking about $5-6 billion for a simple metro from (say) Central to the southeast. Compared to how much for the southeast portion of the light rail line? About a billion. (The CBD portion is by far the most expensive bit).

    In reality if you didn’t build the southeast portion of the light rail line, a metro would have to take its turn after higher priorities (such as Metro West). Meaning it doesn’t get operational till 2030. There are actually higher priorities and Sydney isn’t just its eastern suburbs.

    A station at Zetland for Metro West isn’t meant to help UNSW or the hospitals. Its just a branch point. From there they will build a branch line to the southeast. That line could go to UNSW as its next stop.

    The only reason for bringing in the Gold Coast was to point out that light rail detractors have no idea how popular light rail is with real people (and how much they hate buses). I can remember well the meter maids chained to posts protesting the Gold Coast light rail. Now the very same business interests are lobbying hard for stage 3.

  30. Worth noting that the Sydney light rail fleet will not have absolute right of way at intersections; that is, it will still be open to being delayed by other road traffic.

    As someone who works on Devonshire street, I’ve watched the progress of this stretch for 2 years now. It’s an absolute disaster, with countless businesses gone, others struggling to stay afloat, and daily inconvenience to drivers and pedestrians alike.

    Why a NSW Premier would ever appoint someone from outside of Sydney as Transport minister is baffling. Of course Constance thinks it’s all great; he’s never had to regularly use public transport in Sydney.

    News Ltd’s headquarters are a block away – I’m certain if this was the work of a Labor government, the light rail project would have barely left the front page of the Daily Telegraph over the past year.

  31. Rossa I agree with most of what you’ve said. It hasn’t been well executed.
    As for priority, you can blame the RMS for this. They are the real 600 pound gorilla, not TfNSW.

    I would happily join you in lobbying for the light rail to get better priority.
    Also, there is plenty of room for the light rail to operate at higher frequency (and capacity) and I’m pretty sure this will eventually happen.

  32. Cud,

    Thanks for all your comments and it’s great that someone with real insight is making comments.

    Labor, on their current trajectory are going to be terrible for transport in Sydney. They need to change to ensure they have a good plan.
    If Labor were in control of the building of Light Rail in the SE, I almost guarantee the same delays would’ve occured.

    IMO:
    Bankstown conversion needs to occur.
    West Metro can’t be sped up
    Beaches Link can be modified or delayed
    WSA trains are hopefully Metro and not driven double deckers, although I wouldn’t be adverse to an extension from Leppington as a terminating service

    I am often envious as to what the NSW government has achieved in the transport space over the previous 2 terms. Their social credentials though? Hmmm.

  33. KJ fully agree

    There’s a lot to hate about the Liberals in NSW. But as a transport person it shits me no end some of the anti-metro people.

  34. I think what I dislike is, some of the biggest hate is reserved for the areas they aren’t doing badly in and it’s being fuelled by misinformation, exactly what we complain about with regard to Brexit and Trump etc.

    The problem is, if it’s seen that they lost because they were building good infrastructure and not because the killed nightlife, war on drugs, over use of privatisation etc. then everyone loses.

  35. There are serious problems with the path on which they’ve decided to run the light rail; this Devonshire street section alone will be a nightmare for pedestrians, with the carriages running alongside a single lane of car traffic – it’s already a very narrow street.

    One stop has been placed at Ward Park, near a very large public housing estate – the state government hoped to sell that off once the light rail was operational. There are similar opportunities available to the state government along the entire route, as if that was the key thinking behind the path rather than suiting the needs of existing commuters.

    Potentially most laughable of all is that the light rail is projected to be at capacity from day one; combined with the removal of several bus services, Sydney’s public transport capacity will have literally decreased in real numbers overnight.

    Between the light rail, poor management of Sydney Trains, the stadium demolition, the Opera House drama, and WestConnex*, there’s quite a list of reasons why people in Sydney want to boot the Berejiklian government out.

    *I don’t have any real issue with WestConnex, as the city does need the motorways joined in a loop. Labor support WestConnex anyway, so there’s no way it’s about to be called off partway through, no matter what the Green for Newtown says or does. Is there any better demonstration of the pointlessness of the Greens? Jenny Leong ran primarily on a “No to WestConnex” platform, and she won. Did that actually achieve anything? Nope.

  36. Rossa,

    I suggest if you are going to demonise the route it’s best to suggest a better route and the reasons why.
    You state the Ward Park stop was purely to sell off the housing estate? There are a couple of points on this:
    – Where are you going to put a stop so that it isn’t space constrained? Ward Park seems logical.
    – If they didn’t choose that alignment, I can imagine people complaining that those who require access to public transport the most, have the least access to it.
    – The initial capacity is not the ultimate capacity of the line. In saying that, a metro will come eventually and soon there will be both the light rail and the metro. This is a great outcome as the LR will be for the shorter trips and the metro for the longer. I also will argue, that even if it’s not planned for now, the buses will be reallocated and not removed, as what happened with the GCLR.
    – The light rail was petitioned for by the left leaning Sydney City Council. It would have been madness to only have it on George Street so this solution is a fair compromise.

    If it wasn’t going to be light rail, then it should’ve been Metro. Unfortunately, most people who seem to be against light rail have not been pro-metro in the same corridor.

    Light Rail – my comments are above.
    Poor management of Sydney Trains – Whilst this needs to be improved, the unions need to take a big part of the blame for this also, as in Queensland.
    Stadium Demolition – Whilst excessive, I’d be interested to know how you propose to bring the stadium up to modern standards without demolition. Governments don’t just propose to demolish and rebuild things just because they feel like it. There are many things that could be done.
    Opera House Drama Agree that this was pathetic and falls under my social issues banner.
    WestConnex – A project started by Labor and completed by the Liberals. There are arguments both sides to this and I sit on the fence. this is also more about perceptions than realities.
    *note your comment about WestConnex and I think we are in agreement.

  37. Rossa there are lots of reasons not to like the NSW govetnment but…

    Light rail in the the south east is not decreasing capacity. That’s an unfortunate bit of disinformation. It will replace some buses but not all.

    The prediction is certsin trams will be full in the morning peak owing mostly to UNSW. As I said its very likely the light rail will be increased in frequency in future. The good thing is it can. Also a southeast branch of Metro West will help.

    On other issues. I’m one of those who thinks these stadiums can be refurbished. I’m not so keen on reducing the capacity of Olympic stadium as far as they have proposed.

    On Westconnex. It has major dedign flaws. One of my colleagues – a financial analyst who has done research on the Westconnex documentation – has gone from a hardline Liberal to “Gladys must go” on this issue.

    Its complex but..

    – The overall design (shape) is wrong. It should have connected north and south further west.

    – Western Harbour Tunnel design is wrong. Especually creating a monster out of the Warringah freeway. Wait till you see the construction woes on that puppy. It should have been a connection to the M2 west of the Lane Cove Tunnrl

    -Beaches Link cannot be funded by tolls. A metro would have been better and cheaper.

    – The F6 is stupid. You don’t point motorways at the CBD. Better would have been to upgrade the A6 to near motorway standard M5 to Princes Motorway at Engadine.

    The whole thing lost control when Treasury decided to do it in a wsy that pleases Transurban. Without fast publuc transport and high speed rail it will fill with cars. Suits the toll operator but makes a lie of the business case.

    And for the record I support lockouts. They don’t stop you hanging around and getting trashed. They do stop you getting trashed and then venue hopping.

    Also I was very much in favour of the greyhound racing ban and disappounted thst they caved in. This is an issue that will return. I’ve know greyhound racing people. Its an ugly culture.

  38. Jeez I feel sorry for all you City Dwellers. After reading all your comments on transport problems I am thankful that I live in the bush. Five minutes to work, three minutes to the shops, no traffic lights and plenty of facilities. You poor buggers must be stressed out of your brains. Move to the bush and get a life is my advice. By the way. our local state member is an Independent, none other than Dr. Joe McGirr who recently knocked off the sitting Lib member. The Libs had held the seat for something like sixty years.

  39. Jeez I feel sorry for all you City Dwellers. After reading all your comments on transport problems I am thankful that I live in the bush. Five minutes to work, three minutes to the shops, no traffic lights and plenty of facilities. You poor buggers must be stressed out of your brains. Move to the bush and get a life is my advice. By the way. our local state member is an Independent, none other than Dr. Joe McGirr who recently knocked off the sitting Lib member. The Libs had held the seat for something like sixty years.

  40. Surely it’s too late to make substantive changes to WestConnex at this point? There probably isn’t a silver bullet when it comes to motorways, but there’s long been an obvious gap in the network.

    Whereas with the light rail it would appear that there’s still time to improve some of the decisions made by the government; among them the ways the light rail carriages will interact or overlap with roads used by cars.

    (Separately the piles of cash being thrown at this thing is off the charts, and anyone who’s witnessed the crews at “work” is shocked and disgusted. These men and women march around like they own the streets, loud swearing, boorish behaviour. The Chalmers street Central exit is a mess, seemingly deliberately designed to annoy pedestrians. Sections of road and footpath have been dug up, resealed to a finished standard and then dug up again more than thrice. I’ve seen fellows climb aboard bobcats, drive them back and forth a stretch of (fenced-off) road five or six times, carrying nothing, only to disembark and head off somewhere else. Three possibly Irish backpackers are employed daily (and paid very well) as foot traffic wardens at Central, bossing people around in between loudly swapping stories of the weekend. It’s infuriating to experience this every day.)

    My clubbing days are long over, but the lockouts again seem to be more about making property available at rock bottom prices for redevelopment. Allowing the casino to sit outside the lock-out zone tells us all we need to know. Then there’s the feedback from health professionals who indicate that the problems have just been moved from one part of Sydney to another – Newtown and surrounds have seen a spike in patrons with a corresponding rise in violence and antisocial behaviour.

    I agree with the greyhound ban but would also support abolishing horseracing – there’s something of a class-based discrimination at play otherwise. Horses aren’t treated well, and the links between “having a punt” and other social ills are well documented.

  41. I’m also in the ban horse racing camp.

    As for lockouts. I just don’t get it. They don’t stop you from going to your favourite venue and drinking. To the extent that they have affected trading I have to wondet about business models based on people getting trashed and then going to another venue. Our culture is wrong if this is true.

  42. “You poor buggers must be stressed out of your brains. Move to the bush and get a life is my advice. ”

    People generally live where they must – the cities host most jobs, so their surrounding suburbs remain sought after areas in which to live. While I work in town, my commute is a usually pleasant 40 minute train ride.

  43. On lockouts, it’s not even necessarily about getting trashed. I can totally understand a group of people being out at one venue and deciding that the place has died down a bit so wanting to move on somewhere more exciting. Maybe go dancing. Maybe meet up with someone who’s already elsewhere. Even if you’re completely sober, if it’s past a certain time you’ll be denied entry – it’s quite silly.

  44. That’s right, only 1.30 am. Not that I’m keen on partying hard anymore, but there are plenty of folks who start their night out at 10.00 pm. It’s pretty poor form. Not to mention the statewide bottle-shop trading hour restrictions.

    Again though, I don’t think Labor are suggesting significant changes to the lockout suite of rules so it’s a moot point.

  45. Cud Chewer — no, I am not even remotely shocked to hear that light rail is working well on the Gold Coast. As others noted, light rail working well there doesn’t mean it’s well suited to the CBD & South East of Sydney.

    I think many people are/were onboard with the objective of humanising George St and getting the traffic off it, and a majority with at least the ideal of it. However, that is incredibly far removed from the scope of the current project; it’s disingenuous to dismiss the current fiasco as just poor implementation. Given most of George St [north of Central] won’t be pedestrianised by design, just a small stretch, no project team could have ever met this objective.

    If you’re committed to building light rail along George St, the most useful route for existing public transport users of that road would have been Circular Quay to RPA. (Leaving Elizabeth St for the eastern commuters and York St/Clarence St for the northern commuters.) This reduces the number of users of these bus routes who will need to interchange. It also happens to be the route the trams used to take (as far as USyd at least) before being ripped up way back when. Shunting the western majority to the eastern edge of the city instead is bizarre.

    As for busses with their plentiful forward-facing seats being marginally less comfortable than light rail, well… I’m sure people would put up with them for a few more years if it means a proper metro gets started now and delivered in the end. Especially knowing what the FttN of public transport planning has done to the city instead.

    Final aside: most students aren’t doing 9-5. If the light rail is slower to UNSW in off-peak then it’s slower.

    Anyway, moving on to the football: have you ever actually been? The vast majority of the foot traffic between Central and Moore Park goes via Foveaux St, not Devonshire St. Even after they built that stupid spiral bridge, which takes longer to cross than it does to walk the entire way via Foveaux, the situation is unchanged. The government could spend a fortune encouraging venues (LOL) and reclaiming properties so you don’t need to pass through poorly lit alleyways and it wouldn’t matter one iota. Why? It’s a simple matter of geography: it might look great on a map but unless TfNSW is planning to substantially terraform the suburb of Surry Hills, flattening hills and smoothing valleys, it’ll always be the long route. The other problem? It’s already faster for healthy adults to walk to Central or even Museum than wait for public transport, anyone prepared to walk the distance is doing so already.

    And the lockout laws are an embarrassment and disgrace to our city 🙂 The 12 o’clock swill you’re proposing is no solution, Keep Sydney Open.

  46. fox

    None of what you say is an argument for not building the CBD section of the light rail line.

    I’ll grant you there is a good argument for it having extended towards Camperdown instead of the southeast. Having said this I’d like people who argue for a metro instead to acknowledge that a metro would cost at least 5 times what it cost for the southeast portion of the light rail and that had we gone down this path we would be waiting till late 2020s for a metro. Just a simple acknowledgement of those facts. Personally had they said “this thing stops at Central and you’re going to have to wait another decade for a metro” I’d have been ok with that.

    However one of the consequences of such a decision would be having to bring buses from the southeast further to the edge of the CBD.

    Pedestrianisation of George Street from Circular Quay to Bathurst Street a distance of 1.3Km is not a “small stretch”. This is disingenuous on your part. The Pitt Street mall for instance (something that was also strenuously objected to at the time) is only 200m long.

    The original Council concept was for pedestrianisation further south. Iirc it was to Liverpool Street. I’d have gone further and included the block to Goulburn Street. My understanding is that the RMS stuck its nose in about this. Regardless, an extension to Liverpool is still possible after the fact.

    People who stick their hands up and say “oh no we could have pedestrianised and had buses instead” have to own the fact that this isn’t a good solution. Of course you could go for electric buses and platforms but its still an ugly and imperfect solution. The sheer number of vehicles you need guarantees queueing effects and irregular service.

    Frankly you’ve lost me about forward facing seats. The majority in a light rail “tram” are forward facing. Its a simple fact that you get a more comfortable ride on light rail than on a bus. Its why I would like to see light rail through Broadway (possibly a reorientation of the IWLR) and I’d like to see light rail on Oxford and also King Street (Newtown).

    I’ll also repeat that there are far too many bus routes that terminate in the CBD. Its a poor way to design a bus network. We have far too few buses that act as local shuttle services to stations. The best use for buses is on relatively short, localised routes. Not for routes that take an hour or more in order to eventually end in the CBD.

    The vast majority of foot traffic from Moore Park to Central goes via Foveaux because of the current configuration of footpaths and bridges. Watch what happens when the pedestrian bridge that leads directly to Devonshire opens. I’ll bet you your favourite brew that more than half the foot traffic goes via Devonshire. Its actually a taller hill via Fitzroy and this is one of the reasons why the light rail didn’t go that way.

    As far as lockout laws goes. I’m sorry but I’ll have to disagree. Its not a 12 O’clock swill. You can keep drinking beyond 1:30am if you want to. Frankly the loutish behaviour we used to have was disgusting. I’m a big strong guy who can easily toss someone through a wall and even I found myself watching my back. Now its a lot more friendly and relaxed at night. So you’re just going to have to agree to disagree. If we are a culture where the only way we know how to enjoy ourselves is to drink to excess and people base businesses on that culture, then fuck them.

  47. Cud Chewer – to my knowledge you have a few factual errors in your post.

    1. Circular Quay to Bathurst St is not being pedestrianised, it goes back to road somewhere around Wynyard. No disingenuity here.

    2. My memory of occasionally travelling on the inner west light rail is majority standing room and limited sideways facing seats. (I could be mistaken, honestly it was always so busy you could never see them.) From what I’ve seen of the new interiors it’s similar, bar a few areas with 50% forward and 50% backwards facing seats. In comparison, I rarely had trouble getting a seat on the busses when only going as far as Railway Square. It’s not a simple fact that light rail is more comfortable, just higher volume.

    But you’re right, I’m not arguing against your objective of light rail and pedestrianisation in the CBD, I’m arguing the objective of the current mishmash is not that. Even if the implementation had gone perfectly smoothly the current line would still be a dud when it opens. Nor am I arguing for a permanent system of “electric trams”, just that bus only zones during peak would have been cheaper and less inconvenient to carry us over until something better for the long-term can be completed. But I am arguing the Liberals deserve every bit of hate they get for blowing the opportunity they had to do it right.

    I suppose I’ll have to wait and see re the pedestrian bridge, but needless to say I won’t be holding my breath. It also makes no difference to my point about people prepared to walk already doing so.

    As someone who actually lives closer than 3h to Sydney, and isn’t quite so strong, I can tell you I felt alot safer when the city was buzzing rather than dark and deserted. Most of the women I know agree with that sentiment too. Agree to disagree indeed. I don’t want to drink with either a deadline or absurd BAC in mind, I just want a beer when I choose… this isn’t a country town in the 50s!

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