Mark Latham destroys Queen Lucy’s “Aerotropolis airheads”

By Leith van Onselen

Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Alexander Downer, played ‘blame the victim’ and lambasted voters for creating political instability, former Labor leader Mark Latham has hit the nail on the head, via Facebook:


Mark Latham’s Tuesday Column

There’s a surprisingly simple way of ending the malaise in Australian politics. Turn off the fast forward button.

Everything is happening too quickly: leadership changes, internal party squabbling and a turbo-charged 24/7 media cycle, hungry for publicity stunts and scandals.

Everything is on fast forward, except the thing that would actually help the Australian people: policy changes in immigration, education, energy and human rights law.

Australia has entered an era of complacency. GDP has grown, notionally, for 27 consecutive years but two-thirds of annual growth now comes from Big Australia immigration, bringing extra people, their assets and bank accounts into the country.

It’s a crude, simplistic, unproductive policy that does nothing to increase GDP per capita. The nation has the appearance of being better off while, in reality, people are struggling with sluggish wages growth, unaffordable housing and overcrowded cities – three by-products of big immigration.

I left the Federal Parliament in 2005. Since then the country has churned through seven Prime Ministers: Howard, Rudd, Gillard, Rudd, Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison; while in my home state of NSW there have been seven Premiers: Carr, Iemma, Rees, Keneally, O’Farrell, Baird and Berejiklian.

With the rise of major party machine politics – the natural-born restlessness of faction bosses to flex their muscles and show their supporters they have command of the numbers – leadership has become a revolving door.

Meanwhile, the policy challenges facing the nation continue to bank up. You can feel the pressure on the dam wall.

The bursting point is getting closer, making a major political correction in Australia more likely.

Our governments are deteriorating faster, rapidly losing contact with the electorate and any sense of sound public administration. Look at the situation in NSW.

It took 14 years for the previous Labor Government (1995-2011) to become totally self-serving and out-of-touch. Yet the O’Farrell/Baird/Berejiklian Government has been able to do it in half the time.

Let me give a local example of what this means in practice. Last week I met with residents of Kelvin Park, a pocket of land in semi-rural Bringelly, west of Liverpool.

Without any consultation by the NSW Government, 300 households have been advised of future land use proposals for their properties, as part of the development of nearby Badgerys Creek Airport and its surrounding commercial and residential districts.

To cut a long story short: they are copping it in the neck.

In one of the most bizarre town planning ideas I have ever seen, the government wants to turn their neighbourhood into a water park, a cross between Venice and Disneyland.

Their land use is being frozen under a ‘non-urban’ zoning. We hear a lot of talk about land rights in Australia. These residents are losing the most basic right to their land: flexible use and a fair resale value into the future.

How is this happening? To deal with the airport’s development, the Berejiklian Government has created a new, all-powerful authority, bearing the grandiose name of ‘Western Sydney Aerotropolis’.

Who thinks of this nonsense? All they needed was some commonsense town planning. Instead, the Aerotropolis, over-staffed with faceless, arrogant bureaucrats, has gone over-the-top with land use plans that are simply unachievable.

Kelvin Park is bordered by South Creek. It’s not a river, it’s not an estuary – it’s a creek. At the moment, given the dry conditions, it is best described as a trickle.

Yet the fantasists working for the State Government think they can turn it into a major waterway. The Aerotropolis wants to develop a “network of waterways to create greater environmental, social and amenity benefits”, including yachting and other water sports.

In a special dose of global warming hype, the waterways are supposedly needed to “contribute to urban cooling” in Western Sydney.

The residents of Kelvin Park would prefer to turn on their air conditioning, instead of losing large tracts of their properties for the development of the new WaterWorld.

New South Wales hasn’t got enough water to service its farm stock and crops, without worrying about limited flows in South Creek.

A realistic planning approach would have taken the one-in-100 flood areas either side of the creek, creating a 200-metre wide bushland and recreational corridor.

Instead, the Aerotropolis airheads have decree a waterway width that could carry the Queen Mary, a corridor one kilometre across at its narrowest point and two kilometres at its broadest extreme.

Properties well outside the flood zone, some of them on substantial slopes and hills, have been included in the restricted non-urban zone. It’s a planning mess, a jumble of inconsistent, incongruous zoning proposals.

Naturally, the residents are distressed at being treated this way, as pawns in a game of bureaucratic arrogance and town planning fantasy. It has been another rushed process, another example of government’s malfunctioning fast forward button.

From the same people who brought NSW the greyhound ban, unwanted council amalgamations, George Street light rail, crazy lockout laws and its anti-fishing marine park plan comes the latest horror story: the WaterWorld Aerotropolis.

This is the modern trend in government. The more public officials interfere in people’s lives, the more human misery they create.

Richard Nixon had it right. One day in the Oval Office he received a memo from inside his administration advising of another planning stuff-up, another failed project.

Along the bottom of the document the President wrote by hand, “Government doesn’t work”.

UPDATE: I should point out that residents across Bringelly, Rossmore and Kemps Creek are affected by this problem, the Aerotropolis arrogance and foolishness.

In psychology, this is called “gaslighting”, an abusive behavioural process in which one person (often disordered certainly ruthless) bullies or manipulates their own version of reality onto a normal person or persons, disavowing their needs, despite obvious falsehood. In Australia’s case, we have an entire disordered parliament doing it to an entire nation.

It produces one guaranteed outcome for any individual or group subjected to it: rage.

[email protected]

Unconventional Economist


  1. Turning that into a water park should make someone very rich at the tax payers expense!
    Put the big two parties last at the ballot box!!!

    • Agree Zulu.
      Latham did save our PBS system when JW Howard wanted to destroy it.
      Latham also wanted politicians’ superannuation rates to reduce to the same % as the ordinary worker, 9 % from the generous 12 % they were getting. Once elected JHW raised the superannuation for the “poor” pollies to 15 %. Parasites !
      Labor then knifed Latham! ….assisted by the MSM.
      How dare he want to reduce the super perk for pollies to the same rate as the “great unwashed” ??
      Politicians are still on a very generous Defined Benefit Super paid for by the taxpayer.
      Now we have 7 PMs on DBS pensions with all the trappings that go with a PM retirement fund. Maybe score a job with The Clinton Foundation. ( Gillard )
      Labor has never and will never serve the “working” class. This is just a rouse for the gullible socialists.
      Obama still on vacation on Sir Richard Bransons’ private Caribbean Island ??

  2. The whole Badgerys Airport deal has been a game of mates of wealthy well connected land holders in the area eager to get some development in the area. All the lobbying has been done by the Tele with associated Business Chamber and Property Development groups. The airport alone wouldn’t have enough demand from the local catchment (Western Sydney where only 15% of all Sydney’s flights originate from) and was deemed completely uneconomic but of course that isn’t where the money is anyway. It’s in the rezoning and developing of all the farm land where the real money is. Nothing more than the tried-and-true way of making it rich in Australia – land banking and rezoning (a.k.a. the aerotropolis) making sure your well connected so no one pushes you off your land (see article above to see what happens when your not well connected).

    I would rather they just stopped building things people weren’t demanding; seems to be full of corruption. Meanwhile the local hospital in the area has the longest wait times in NSW, the train line is the worst in Sydney and there’s traffic jams already everywhere.

    • truthisfashionable


      Also the planned Catholic STEM school seems like a bit of a misnomer these days.

      Like others, I think the second airport should have been built closer to Goulburn with high speed rail to Parramatta and Canberra. But perhaps thats my idealogy getting in the way.

    • Hopefully they eventually close Mascot and this becomes the only airport complete with fast rail links to Wollongong, Parramatta, Sydney CBD, Southern Highlands and Newcastle.

      The siting of the main airport in Mascot is terrible for everyone. Planes forced to fly in restricted hours over the densely populated East, horrific congestion, and a long journey for anyone coming from West or North. Patching up the infrastructure to improve access is an incredibly expensive job, starting from scratch out West should produce a vastly superior facility.

      • I actually think the opposite should occur Dan. People near the current airport have chosen to live in a city; they should know that there are costs to that as well in terms of noise, congestion, smog, etc. Mascot’s been there for quite some time – people near there have bought near the airport; and according to the stats are the airport’s main customers (the Sydney to Melbourne Monday morning and Friday afternoon peak period is mainly used by CBD businesses as an example). Moving it only moves the negative externalities to a group that travels substantially less and moves the airport away from its main customer base which doesn’t make much economic sense. I think the position of the airport is actually ideal – close to the CBD it serves; there’s just been bad planning around it but that’s typical of Australian infrastructure anyway. If your concerned about noise and such rather than the economics move it outside the Sydney basin entirely and put fast links to it from the CBD.

        Of course the rule of thumb is that the poorer end of town should get the bad stuff so your position may be consistent with that. They’re already taking on the migration of Sydney mostly and getting substandard service; now they will get the noise and smog too.

  3. No mention of “donations”. Why do corporations give money to politicians? To corrupt everything.

    Many forms of lobbying were banned throughout the 19th century. In Georgia, the state constitution at one time read that “lobbying is declared to be a crime.” In California, it was a felony.

    Over the course of the 20th century, lobbying gradually lost the stench of the illicit. But even once the activity became normalized, businesses remained reluctant to exert their influence. As late as the 1960s, major corporations did not lobby directly on their own behalf.

    • Australia has been importing the dumbest people we can find – on and off – since 1788. In 1945, we were importing “ten pound poms” – no skills required, just pay £10 and come here. Then we began to import Italians and Greeks who were not good enough to get a job in the Ferrari factory, and now we are importing Indian and Chinese “students” who are not good enough to get into the top unis in Delhi and Beijing.

      It all makes sense now.

  4. This comes right out of Arthur C Clarke’s “Fountains of Paradise”.

    Lucy has decided that she shall be Queen Kalidasa, building a suburban Waterworld as her monument; one of the 7 wonders of the neoliberal world. She’d considered the ‘Hanging Gardens of Kelvin Park’ but didn’t like the implications of a political execution. But by Christ we need a political hanging ground in Australia. Leave the carcasses hanging high for the crows – as a warning to those who follow in public office. If we can jail Salim Mehajer how come Lucy Turnbull is still free?

    • Hi bendy wire

      Why not Latham for PM.
      Latham stopped Howard destroying our PBS and wanted politicians’ superannuation reduced to the same % as the average worker, 9% but once elected JWH raised it to 15%; parasites !
      Labor then knifed Latham in the back and the rest is history.

      • Yep, I’d love to see Latham and Dick Smith to form an Australia First type party – I’d vote for them. Perhaps they can get togther with Pauline and help reform her party into something a little more palatable.

    • The vast majority of Australian’s would never vote for Latham.
      Partly because the Mainstream Media would do everything in their power to kill off any chance of entering Parliament again and partly because the vast majority of the Australian public simply cannot handle “truth talk”.
      Aussies prefer to live in the fantasy land of “reality” television and fake news.

  5. Jeez, what did latham ever give us that has been enduring… Reading the comments here its like a conga line of suckholes

    • He saved the PBS from Howard’s attempt to undermine it and he tried to put the politicians on the same super deal as everybody else. But really it’s not so much Latham as what’s on offer.

  6. Political parties are a frightening cocktail of Narcassists, Phycopaths, Sociopaths and Schitzoids. I have always said, if you desire to be in politics, you should automatically be excluded. It should be a public service for our brightest. Politics should not be seen as a vocation.

  7. Unfortunately, I do believe you get the government you deserve, setting aside a dictatorship of course. The collective ‘we’ allow this behaviour because as a nation we have enjoyed
    an uninterrupted cruise for the past 27 years. That is at least two generations of people who have never known real struggle. As ET said, you humans are at your best when things are at there worst — Australia’s prosperity has made us self-interested, short-sighted and complacent to do anything dare it interfere with our access to investment properties or uber eats.
    Australia would benefit from a small war, to refocus our attention on what matters — a planned future that doesn’t sell everything off to the highest bidder. It has to start from the ground up…..if no one supports the stupidity of the government it won’t survive…..but in reality the majority do, which is why there are still people on Naru, negative gearing and mass immigration….it’s easy and means we don’t have to think too much. Vote for anyone, bar the majors—agreed!!!

  8. Australian leadership has become like walrus mating season.

    The males fight, often to the death, until one reigns as Beach Master. He gets the harem of female walruses.

    The tricky part of being Beach Master is that an excellent specimen can fight and win numerous fights but eventually he gets tired and wounded and taken out by a lesser male, who will then become Beach Master almost by default.

    This is Australian politics.