News and events transport


Four media stories published yesterday, not placed together, but maybe I’m not the only one to see the link.

State government wants 2.2 billion dollars from the Feds to widen the Western Ring Road.

People keep buying cars, despite high oil prices. With governments (particularly the Feds) pouring billions into roads and spending a fraction of that on alternatives, are we surprised? Most people have to drive.

Which means we need lots of oil. Which is driving oil prices up further.

So now the Feds have confirmed what most of us knew all along: the Iraq war is actually about oil.

We know that it’s bad for us, but as each fix gets more expensive, and we have to fight harder (literally) to get it, our oil addiction is getting worse, and we’re doing nothing to try and avoid it.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

13 replies on “Interrelated”

2.2 billion – wow, that’s a drop in the proverbial bucket in defence spending, I’d guess. But of course, will Howard stop spending on a useless war in Iraq? Not until his puppet master, good ‘ol George says to stop dancing to his tune. Sorry, but it’s just a total farce to be in Iraq from day 1. I’m truly glad Canada didn’t give in to the arm twisting exercise, and showed some backbone, and asked the question “where will it stop?” Just where will it? Where will the fight for oil stop? Before or after the inevitable invasion of Iran, I wonder? :P

Yeah, to put it into context, a report I saw somewhere suggested the Iraq war had cost the AU govt $20 billion. So it’s not much compared to defence spending.

But it is a lot in transport spending. $2.2b would widen one freeway, or it could build or electrify/duplicate the most needed 5-6 suburban train lines and you’d still have money left over for smaller projects.

Oh yes, I don’t deny one sec that 2.2 billion would go a heck of a long way towards solving the transportation woes if it was applied to the rail network. Why the heck can’t politicians see the benefits themselves? Sadly, what’ll likely happen is that a good portion of the money will end up in building highway(s) because that’s what the majority of people want: more room to drive their gas-guzzlers. What it would take to get the politicians to change their mind is a concerted effort by many, in letter writing, and in media blitzing to say this isn’t right. Fund Public Transit, because it truly is for all.

God… 2.2 billion dollars could totally fix the shitty public transport system.

Unfortunately the roads will give back to the government thrice more than what the PT would, which is why widening the freeway would get the big nod. More money for petrol (and all the govt taxes), more in revenue raising – oh, I’m sorry, I mean fines for traffic offences – more car sales (thus more stamp duty for the govt). Yeah. *mentally kicks local member*

i dont think there was an ‘admission’ that the iraq deployment was about ‘oil’. the actual words were to do with resource security.

of course if the media twists a statement to suit a headline and you think it supports your existing biases, then accuracy and truth wouldnt matter.

the original deployment was to prevent WMD proliferation – fully supported by the UN and in oz the government AND opposition. The current deployment continues at the request of a legal elected democratic iraqi government.

well the age is hardly a bastion of accurate bias free reportage. is there a link to the actual interview anywhere ?

i dont see oil tankers lining up in honiara to suck the solomon islands dry for the free worlds SUV’s, yet the ADF and AFP have large deployments there.

WRR is officially ……. pwnage. Its ……. congested in peak, so it needs widening. It took me 30mins to drive from Sunshine to Broady last Wednesday :(

Alfred: It’s been all over the news.

ABC has the precise quote (below) and the video includes Nelson saying the latter half of it, and Howard citing energy demand. (What other energy does the Middle East produce?)

Nelson: “Energy security is extremely important to all nations throughout the world, and of course, in protecting and securing Australia’s interests

“The Middle East itself, not only Iraq, but the entire region is an important supplier of energy oil, in particular, to the rest of the world.”

Jarf: You want $2.2 billion to cut your 30 minute trip? I can not only think of better things to spend the money on, I bet it doesn’t provide a lasting solution.


the problem with journos looking at a big picture document which sets out strategic policy and goals, is that they have no faculty to digest it without filtering it through their own biases.

in the context of the interview, nothing he said could be construed as ‘the Feds have confirmed what most of us knew all along: the Iraq war is actually about oil.’.

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