Friday, December 12, 2008


Red News Readers

Makes you wonder what may be in the contracts for further privatisations and PPPs?

Jenny Haines

There's money in mushrooms, mate!

Chris Henning, smh

December 12, 2008

Scene: The Premier's office. Nathan Rees sits at a laminated chipboard desk. The phone rings.

NR: Yeah?

Michael Daley, Minister for Roads (tinny voice over phone): You're not going to like this boss.

NR (rolls eyes, disgusted): Tell me something I don't know. When did I last like anything around here?

Daley: The harbour tunnel's gonna cost us a billion dollars.

NR: The harbour tunnel? But that's like decades old.

Daley: Yeah, but the contract's still on foot, and people aren't driving through it as much as we promised they would. We're up for about $60 mill this year in compo to the operators.

A tour group enters, led by a woman holding a furled umbrella above her head as a banner.Tour leader: Now here we are at the climax of our tour. Before our final display, I just want to thank you for coming, and to remind you that all the tour fees you have paid will go to consolidated revenue (wan smile) to help get NSW back on its feet again.

NR (Glances up, waves to tourists with a forced grin. Then angry again.): Well can't the bloody RTA just put up some barriers somewhere, and shovel cars through it? If people want to go from Manly to Crows Nest, let 'em go via Woolloomooloo. That worked with the Cross City Tunnel didn't it?

Daley: No boss, actually it didn't. People moved interstate rather than use it, remember?

Tour leader: We're in the office of the Premier of NSW, Mr Nathan Rees. As you can see, Mr Rees is hard at work running NSW -

Daley: Actually I was gunna talk to you about the CCT. Tripodi reckons we should flog it. A mate of his wants it for a mushroom farm.

NR: How much?

Daley: Well, I haven't gone into it, but Joe reckons his mate could certainly go a couple of hundred thousand, no trouble. There's money in mushrooms, mate.

NR: Ma-ate! The thing's worth billions.

Daley (scoffing): Oh-hoh, no mate no. Not billions mate. No way. It's a dud, mate. Totally buggered. Except to mushrooms.

NR: Has Joe put you up to this?

Daley (protesting): Joe? Course not. Perish the thought.

Tour leader (Quiet voice): Now if you look carefully, you'll see Mr Rees has gone a bit pink. Very shortly, if we are lucky, I'm expecting the Premier to go off.

NR: Rrrrrrrrrh

Daley: Mate? Nathan? You there?

Tour leader: Mr Rees is reliable, and gives a good display. Earlier premiers did not go off as -

NR: RAAUURRRGHH! (He leaps onto his desk and jumps up and down, breaking it. Then picks up some wreckage and chases the tourists. The emergency sprinklers come on, amid much shrieking. Curtain.)