Thursday, June 11, 2009

South Australian Government, The Three Stooges, and the plight of the Homeless

Egalitarian? Communist? Socialist?

When it comes to the politics of this country, I am not terribly well versed with terms such as left wing, right wing, and what do geese have to do with it anyway!

But recently, our State Treasurer and Deputy Premier, Kevin ‘ Globetrotter’ Foley, announced he has earmarked $100 million to lure AFL games to the Adelaide Oval.

On the same day, it was reported that some 8000 citizens were wandering the streets of South Australia looking for somewhere to doss down for the night.

Earlier, Minister Pat ‘MacBelfast’ Conlon announced the acquisition of six spare Madrid trams at a cost of $36 million. Oh, Mr Conlon, Mintra only paid $3.5million apiece back in 2004...BRAND NEW ONES!

In addition, 2 days ago it was announced that a further $1.1 million had been added to the Politicians chauffer-driven taxpayer-owned vehicles budget for 2009/2010.

I remember writing a Letter to the Editor of the Adelaide Advertiser back in the early 80s highlighting two juxtaposition stories in the morning paper.

A prominent headline drew attention to some metal windmills that had been erected outside the Festival Centre at an extraordinary expense to the taxpayer. And a not-so-prominent story, many pages later, conveying the plight of Adelaide’s homeless. Nearly 30 years ago.

Since my 1980s letter? Labor, Liberal, Labor, Liberal, Labor………..does not seem to matter, because according to some authoritative sources, nothing has changed for Adelaide’s homeless.

A few years ago, Premier Mike ‘Miguel’ Rann, at taxpayer expense, of course, chauffeured-in a Thinker In Residence American Roseanne Haggerty to address the homeless issue. She produced a report, ‘Ending Homelessness in South Australia’.

I still say that this Program of bringing in overseas gurus is an insult to our own experts.

Normally, I keep my thick, thickest dictionary nearby when trying to decipher one of these T-I-R reports, but unusually not the case with Ms Haggerty.

One of her recommendations stands out like a homeless mum lurking in the swank jewellery-rattling look-at-me foyer of the Festival Centre:

Get the job done.
The jurisdictional leader must make ending homelessness a personal priority and speak regularly to the goal and on the initiatives taken and success won. The leader must support the designated leader in disrupting the bureaucracy to implement an integrated, cross-agency, multi-sector effort if significant results are to be achieved. All successful communities have had strong and vocal leadership on the issue – from the top.

Well, I can stand corrected, but where this average hombre sits and observes from, I have heard Jack Crap from South Australia’s illustrious leader(s).

And this only highlights the value of the Thinker-in-Residence program if, unless, Observations & Recommendations are to be shelved away for some Stargate team to ponder over in centuries to come.

Particularly in this hardened economic period, more so when our Treasurer Kevin ‘a week in London for 5 hours of meetings’ Foley tells us all to suck it up & take it on the chin.

Like I said, I do not fully understand all those fancy words I mentioned earlier. However, some things I do know.

If you are down & out and have trouble making ends meet, your water, your electricity, your gas will more than likely be shut off.

If you got no food on the table, you might get food stamps from places such as Anglicare. But these are places that also will tell you how strapped they are for money.

Got nowhere to live? No problemo, provided you are happy dossing out for years as your name crawls up the Housing Trust waiting list.

BUT, if you want AFL games to shift from Footy Park to Adelaide Oval, the Treasurer has set aside $100 million of OUR MONEY to make it happen.

AND if you are one of the people that commute from HOME to the city JOB fear not. The State Government has assigned $36 million for 6 surplus trams sitting in some shed in Spain….oops, there’s that word again, SPAIN!

What is the answer? In this era, I doubt there is one. In 1854, there was the Eureka Stockade!


Anonymous said...

In the five years to Dec 2007, Kevin Foley spent $1,020,000 on his personal travel (Source Advertiser FOI). He always pays full fare, supposedly for flexibility, but I suspect he also enjoys the fancy transit lounges and the frequent flyers points. No comment from the Libs - they enjoy the same perks.

Anonymous said...

I suspect Kevin Foley travels full fare so he can meet the upmarket blondes he prefers.
Had to laugh a while back to see poor ol Kevin F stood up. He stood looking at his watch and moving around impatiently like he was standing on hot coals. He eventually got through on the phone after standing around just outside the restaurant for ages. I know cos we watched it in amusement. After his phone conversation, when he looked none too please he snapped the phone and strode off looking V p**** - just maybe not the kind of p**** he had been anticipating. lol.