Waiting For The Bus

This week I was trying to think of what the worst thing a government could possibly do was…. Privatise public assets, slash workers compensation to emergency service personnel, not tell a community for 5 days after they were exposed to a deadly chemical spill… Or maybe give a record number of MPs parliamentary secretary positions while cutting the entitlements of every other public servant in the state, it could also be betraying thousands by cancelling their government guaranteed rebates when they tried to do the right thing by going solar… Maybe slashing funds needed to upgrade hospitals like Blacktown and Tamworth all these things would qualify….and all are achievements of the new NSW government.

However, I think we saw the worst in NSW recently under the new Liberal government when they left hundreds of schoolkids stranded with no transport. Oh, and did I mention these kids are disabled?

It is hard to believe that any government, even this sad excuse for one, would leave 740 disabled children stuck at the side of the road. But what is even harder to believe, is that the Minister in charge of this fiasco, Education Minister Adrian Picolli, still has a job. Clearly he isn’t fit to mop Parliament House, let alone sit on the front bench….

Six-year-old Marquinn King, excited about his first day at school, waits with his grandparents Myrna and Sheldon Ross, for the school transport that doesn't come. Pic: David Marshall.

Then again, he does kind of fit in with brain-deads like Robyn Parker….

How did this happen? You may be wondering…. Well, the new Liberal Government decided to renegotiate the contracts with the people who operate the specially equipped vehicles. Desperate to save a few pennies, the government tried its hand at hardball. However the type of community groups that provide this service don’t have a great deal of room to move… Therefore the contracts were not finalised before the the previous ones expired. No contract, no transport…

Piccolli was told of this problem looming last October, yes that’s right, last year. How long does this inept excuse for a politician need to get his act together?

It seems inconceivable that a Minister would not realise that if there were no contracts in place that it would cause a problem. Unfortunately for Adrian Picolli, the magic buses that he thought would appear from the clouds, never showed up, and the kids were left by the roadside in their wheelchairs…

As terrible as that is, it gets worse…. Listening to callers affected on talkback radio made me ashamed to live in this state, as they described what this utter disgrace of a government used as a solution for these poor disabled kids..

Some of you may have seen the footage shown on 4 Corners, and pushed by animal rights activists of the live sheep being shoved into the boots of cars at markets in the Middle East… What happened under the control of the O’Farrell Government, and Adrian Picolli was along similar lines, and is nothing short of an attack on decency and morality.

We knew road safety was high on the O’Farrell agenda when in a vote grab, he promised to decommission some speed cameras…. A week after one of those cameras was removed a speeding ute collided with a truck, which ended up going through a house and killing a sleeping child at Urunga in the states north, right where the camera used to be….

Now we have this, an all new low in road safety…. To try and put a band aid on a gaping wound, we saw from this government makeshift chairs put in the back of station wagons, and disabled kids shoved in. This breach of virtually every road rule in existence was the governments solution. Cattle in this state are transported with greater care….

The future of disabled transport under a Liberal Government?

If I was driving a car with a child in the back like that, I would be made an example of… I would be in court real quick, probably all over A Current Affair as well.

Meanwhile, proud mother, and Community Services Minister, Pru Goward, has found a way to make foster care cheaper for the government. Simple, make the kids pay their foster carers….

You probably think I’m pulling your leg, but alas, if only… Goward and the O’Farrell brigade decided to punish foster carers of children aged 17 and over, by slashing their support payments by $214 a fortnight. These kids apparently don’t need feeding or clothing, and of course teenagers are cheap to bring up….

So Pru suggested to these foster carers, on the ABC Breakfast Show with Adam Spencer, that these carers attempt to make the kids pay them…. There are words I could use to describe Pru at this point, but I will refrain….

It amazes me how things can go so pear shaped in not even a year under an inept government….

If Barry O’Farrell wants to show us any integrity that he may be hiding, he will take away Pru’s ministry, and sack Picolli and call a bi election in his seat, as he is not even fit for a back bench.

Still, at the end of the day, we are really seeing nothing new….

Just another Coalition government attacking the states most needy, and leaving its most vulnerable left stranded.

Queenslanders, please take note….

44 comments on “Waiting For The Bus

  1. It’s hard to imagine that poor public transport was one of the telling reasons why Labor lost power in the last election. Every night, prior to the election, public transport received a bashing from the Opposition on the evening news. Didn’t they have any alternatives, or were they just there to complain?

  2. The concensus seems to be they have made it far worse… that is not my bias either, it is accross the board, I believe there is a big thing on 7 News tonight about how bad transport has become…
    This govts honeymoon period is now fast ending…. not before time either

  3. wixxy, sounds like the NSW government is living down to expectations. Slashing services left, right and centre and whining about being in debt?

    They can hardly complain they’re spending up on infrastructure or improving services and to kick the disadvantaged and disabled in the teeth in the callous way they have is an absolute disgrace.

    Pru Goward needs her fat, uncaring arse booted up and down the state and then used for target practice by foster carers and carers for the disabled and needy.

    Still, I suppose they have to look after the most disadvantaged-people like Gerry Harvey and others of his ilk. No doubt, Mr O’Farrell is bending over his desk with his trousers around his ankles as I write this.

    Honeymoon? Voters should be serving the divorce papers!

  4. Thanks for this, spot on! Have shared this widely on Facebook and hope to shake a few thoughts loose by doing so. Trouble is, people who give a hoot about this stuff are probably not enough to overcome the a) general inertia of the complacent Today-Tonight drip-fed population, combined with the b) who cares it’s not me attitude of another large segment of the population and c) the well-it’s-their-own-fault-for-being-disabled/unemployed/refugees/train users/whatever segment. Combined, these are the folks who voted for O’Farrell last time, and who’ll be ponying up to do so again next time, because it’s all the fault of the poor, disabled, unemployed etc …

  5. You have to love how these conservatives can claim the high moral ground on every issue while failing the very people that most need their help. Good on you for helping to highlight the very severe failings of O’Farrell and his barrel of monkeys.

  6. Wixxy what’s that, the media coming around… what is there new ownership I’ve not heard about? Sorry guys, surely after so many years in opposition you’d think they learnt something, alas it didn’t teach them anything; least of all how to work within the time restraints and a budget. Let’s hope the present shadow ministry is doing a better job of learning from mistakes, taking notes and isn’t simply opposing for opposition sake as did their predecessors.
    I also heard the interview with Goward, seems nice and simple, just charge the kids, she has either never had any (kids), OR being rich is somewhat different to raising kids in my house. Makes you embarrassed to be a NSWelshman for suffering this crap

  7. The thing that got me most, they then blamed the PS who were only following the ministers direction to offer less money.

    Money that did not meet the cost of moving the children.

    It left the owners of the buses etc no option but to say no.

  8. Wixxy, the problem is that very few realise how hard it can be to move many of these children.

    It can be nerve wracking.

  9. Wixxy – yes it’s worse than a tragedy.

    There are really two questions here.

    1. Was the Minister aware of the consequences before it happened and carried on regardless?
    2. Was the Minister not told of the problem when it became apparent?

    Either way, the Minister has a problem – either he is an uncaring excuse for a person and should be sacked or he has engendered a culture in the appropriate Department of don’t tell me the bad news and should be sacked.

    Either way, you’re right and he needs to go. The best thing for this story is people whinging on Today Tonight/A Current Affair which are both networked nationally and will be seen by the demographic in Queensland that is currently thinking about giving Newman the keys to George Street in Brisbane.

  10. Signe, there was a time about a decade ago that I was embarrassed about being an Australian. Fortunately, I don’t feel that embarrassment anymore.

  11. I’m sure that if a private company had have been contracted and delivered the same results, shouts of discriminatiion would have echoed throughout the media.

  12. Sadly, this is the way a lot of kids with disabilities are treated. I recall very very vividly the howls of outrage from a class teacher when I advised her that one of her students required class notes in size 14 font, on blue paper. How could she possibly cater for just one student, this teacher related. Then the Principal joined in and said that blue paper wasn’t catered for in the school’s budget..the child’s parents offered to supply the entire class with blue paper.

    My argument was that if ONE CHILD required blue paper due to a disability, then rather than just one set of notes being printed on blue (time, cost factor, inconvenicence to office staff was included in the argument)..why then couldn’t the entire class’s notes be printed in blue, given that the parents were prepared to pay for the paper.

    And I won’t even mention the complete outrage from these same people when it was recommended via a specialist’s report that the child be allowed to wear a hat in class..

  13. Signe, Goward’s got kids, alright. Her daughter had a very high profile and used to make regular appearances on an ABC comedy show in the 90s, I think.

    Help me Rhonda! For the life of me, I can’t remember the young woman’s name, or the name of the show, but I reckon she was engaged to James Packer or somesuch.

    Regardless of how simple Goward’s bullshit was, where the hell does she think these poor bloody kids are going to get the money to make up the shortfall? FFS, they’ve been pushed from pillar to post and that SLAG thinks it’s OK to sink the slipper a few more times?

    Perhaps she and the O’Barrell sleaze bags could take inspiration from Victorian England and knock up a few workhouses. That should teach these wastrel kids how worthless they are! And for good measure, maybe they could persecute kids born out of wedlock!

    Min, you silly creature. Your solution would have required a spot of lateral thinking and we can’t have any of that, now can we? Anyway, everyone knows paper only comes in white!

  14. Here ya go Jane:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kate_Fischer

    where the hell does she think these poor bloody kids are going to get the money to make up the shortfall?

    But, but, but, the deserving poor will always be with us, meanwhile Ms. Goward sent her girls to Canberra Girls’ Grammar School. The lazy parents should get off their @r$es and work harder so they too can aspire to send their kids to prestigious schools, or at least pay for their own transport – it’s the Lieberal way after all 🙄

  15. Jane, that little effort only took 7 meetings before the Principal agreed.. Stupidly enough because this young lad had a disability the school could provide a Teachers Aide but NOT blue paper. Now a Teachers Aide is very useful for some disabilities but not much good for a child with scotopic sensitivity syndrome.

    However, my favorite quote comes from this same Principal. Another of the specialist’s recommendations was that the child be provided with typing lessons in the Learning Center. Yes, it was agreed by the Dept of Education that all of the recommendations could be provided by the school..however, once at school level, the Principal argued that typing lessons were not necessary as the way of the future was computers.

    I proceeded to bash my head against a wall in frustration….

  16. Absolutely nothing Migs..a gem of a place, where a majority of the people are hardworking, dedicated and some are even kinda cute. :mrgreen:

  17. what is wrong with Canberra?

    It’s a boring, artificial town, inhabited by faceless, pencil-pushing, shiny-arsed bureaucrats and useless politicians. (with apologies to Bernard Keane).

    Or as someone who spent a lot of time there opined, “Canberra is of its essence a great mistake. Living in motels in Canberra is no fun. Going to Chinese restaurants in Manuka, it’s got its limitations

    :mrgreen: 😆 :mrgreen:

    Should I just ban myself now 😉

  18. Thanx, Bacchus. Yes, of course the old user pays and the Deserving Poor. All well and good. But Pru Let Them Eat Cake Goward seems to have shoved foster families in the UNdeserving Poor basket.

    “Cos we all know that the DESERVING are those poor old rheumy-eyed battlers like Gina Rhinohart struggling to make a crust. Silly me, here I was thinking the deserving poor really are poor.

    Off to the workhouse with the lazy buggers and bring on SerfChoices MK II, III, IV & V!!!

    Min, I take it the Principal was unaware that the use of a computer involved typing on the f*cken keyboard that comes attached??!!! Talk about rising to your level of incompetence! Are you sure his name wasn’t A. Abbott?

    Bacchus @4.16pm, I think you got the definition about right. I think you should avail your good self of several libations from Migs’s cellar.

  19. Jane, I’m glad that this thing didn’t escape your attention..because it certainly escaped that of that particular principal. The poor fellow had come from a private boys school and tried to enforce a strict dress code rule on the pupils of Mullumbimby high..the pupils won.

  20. Does anyone think the lead character from “Clueless was based on Ms Goward? This can’t be the only example of her stupidity, surely? Should we have a competition to find the most examples of dumb remarks by Pru Goward?

  21. how about this for stupid

    “In May 2007, Goward was caught speeding in a school zone. This was her second driving offence for 2007. Goward said “It was extremely careless on my part and like thousands of other drivers I deeply regret it.” [9][10]

    Pru Goward has said rumours concerning allegations that she had an affair or sexual relationship with Prime Minister John Howard had been frequently and strongly denied by both parties”[11]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pru_Goward

  22. I’m back at work tomorrow and fortunately I don’t have to catch the bus.

    I’m convinced that Canberra bus drivers used to be Sydney cab drivers. They’re crazy.

  23. Sue @ 8.51pm, she could have simply ignored the rumours … the mind boggles.

    Pru Goward has said rumours concerning allegations that she had an affair or sexual relationship with Prime Minister John Howard had been frequently and strongly denied by both parties”[11]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pru_Goward

    In fact I’d rather not think about it 😯

  24. Driving down the highway this morning I was traveling next to a Scott’s of Mt Gambier semi. I thought how good it was to see the major sponsor of my favourite football team here in Canberra. That is until – in true Port Adelaide aggression – the lousy bastard nearly ran me off the road.

    I should have taken the bus.

  25. Sue, nice to know good old Pru and the Rodent must feel empathy with the PM. Persistent rumours, strongly denied by all parties, fanned by the ever willing msm.

    Migs, I don’t think the unlovely Alan Scott has been a sponsor for some time-since Choco gave him the virtual finger in 2004, i think.

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