The Andrews government in Victoria is a monumental con. Far to the right of Jeff Kennett, they have privatized the port (a monopoly asset, of course); and the titles office (also a monopoly). Roads have been outsourced (literally) to Transurban with vast private royalty flows five times the cost of just building them ourselves. And dont get me started on how they import hundreds of thousands of migrants, grab 40k off them upfront in stamp duty (at the most), then dump them in new outer suburbs and leave the 300k each migrant needs in lifetime infrastructure for future generations to pay.
All the while doing this, they’ve skillfully saturated the media and gullible journalists (ie, all of them) with chinwobbling social justice messaging and virtue signalling, making Victoria out to be a caring, sharing, politically correct nirvana, while all the while, in the real world, privatizing everything in sight. It’s quite an achievement.
The state was going into heavy deficit well before the virus. This is a combination of (a) wasteful public spending (armies of useless government bureaucrats) (b) idiotic privatization deals (ie getting private providers to build roads and hospitals and either paying inflated access charges locked in for forty years or just bailing them out if they go broke (thus paying for the same asset three times) (c) bloated spending on ‘consultancies’ (hiring useless big four accounting firms to tell you the time and get you to spend more on their services) and (d) running a population ponzi, where you get migrants coming in (who ultimately cost 300k plus in infrastructure each), grab 40k or so off them in stamp duty, and dump them in outer suburb seats while building nothing and letting future taxpayers pay for it.
It really is amazing. The virus, in a way, is the best thing to happen to the Andrews government, as it will enable them to (momentarily) cover up the stupendous waste of simultaneously flogging everything off, paying for it three times over in the most inefficient way possible, importing people in an upfront scam and STILL going broke.
As always, the media are to blame. I well remember just as the Andrews govt. flogged off the Land Titles office, (selling something that had worked well for 160+ years), they distracted the press gallery with a simultaneous ‘announcement’ of a mythical outer rail loop for Melbourne. At the time, I thought the media couldn’t be so stupid to fall for such an obvious trick, but fall they did; all the media pundits and letterwriters started pontificating and chattering about a magical rail line that will never be built, while the irreversible land title privatization sailed through with virtually no comment. Oh well.
When the accounts are really done on the Andrews govt., nobody will believe the waste, but by then, all the ministers and their ‘advisers’ will be well into retirement on their lucrative super payouts and pensions.