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Melbourne Cup is just the distraction we needed

Melbourne Cup

Melbourne Cup is a great distraction this year.

Usually we’re arguing if Melbourne Cup is the race that stops a nation or an indefensible excuse to have a very long weekend.

Now we can add a third option: Thank God for the Melbourne Cup distraction from all the other worrying issues floating around.

I never thought I’d suggest something like that, but it seems to me the timing of this year’s race couldn’t have been scripted better.

Think citizenship muddle in Canberra and same sex marriage postal surveys.

Think the possibility that NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is seriously contemplating spending $2 billion – that’s right, two billion dollars – not on roads, rail, schools or other services we desperately need out here – but on footy stadiums.

The plan is to spend $1.3 billion to convert the Olympic Stadium into a proper rectangular arena perfect for the local football codes – local as in NSW, so it does not include AFL.

Another $700 million will be spent gutting and rebuilding Sydney Football Stadium, which is not even 30 years old.

The Olympic stadium was completed just 20 years ago for the Sydney Olympic Games of 2000.

Think real hard, Gladys.

Anyhow, that’s Macquarie Street, which is also responsible for stripping local councils of most of their powers to approve new developments.

As you can see it really is a muddle all the way through so for once we can say, thank God for the Melbourne Cup.

It would be nice to hope that our politicians will seize the break as an ideal opportunity to reflect on how hopeless they have become and what can they do about it.

There was a time when we had such great leaders that it looked our better days were ahead of us.

But somewhere between the global financial crisis and the pink batts scandal we lost the plot.

Elected prime ministers were cut down as we lurched from one crisis to another.

It all seems like a bad dream but unfortunately it’s reality.

 

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