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14 November, 2006

Smart State Buys Stupid Cars

When you live in a state that calls itself ‘the smart state’, you would expect its government to do at least a couple of smart things now and then. Don’t you think? Well, not Queensland. The smart state seems to go out of its way to be as stupid as it can be.

It’s not just the big things. Like damming and wrecking the Mary River because it wakes up after decades of ignorance and denial and realises we’re running out of water and we’ve got to have some fast! Which, by the way, means hundreds and hundreds of families get thrown out of their homes to make way for this folly and the rare, indigenous lungfish is driven to extinction. (You know, they tried. They hoped for rain for years and then they prayed for rain for years but, for all their efforts, we still ran out of water. You can hardly blame them for that!)

No. It’s the small things too. Like not having daylight savings like the rest of Australia ‘because it would lead to more skin cancer’. Although the Cancer Council of Australia denies this, based on the research, I suppose we’re to believe the Premier instead because… well… just because. Or like the cars they buy for the state’s senior civil servants.

These are easy to spot because (a) they have distinctive number plates (b) they are all large-engined and foreign-made and (c) their drivers seem to be even more pushy and aggressive than most. I see a lot of these cars on the roads of Brisbane. As I sat in my car this morning on Moggill Road and then on the Western Freeway – two of the smart state’s longest car parks – I saw two of them. One was a big, black 4-wheel drive, BMW 5X and the other was an even bigger, silver, 4-wheel drive (I couldn’t see the make or model but it was really, really ugly). Others I have noticed lately were Audis, Alfas and Lexuses.

I suspect there are at least a hundred of these cars about – possibly a lot more. I looked up the price of a BMW 5X today and they start at AU$75,000 and go up to about AU$120,000. The others I’ve seen are a similar price. So if there are 100 of these about, the state must have spent something like AU$10 million on them. So I ask myself:
  • Why is the smart state spending AU$10 million on ego-massage for its civil servants?

  • Why is the smart state sponsoring foreign imports of cars to the tune of AU$10 million?

  • Why is the smart state encouraging its employees to drive around in cars with engine capacities between 3 and 4 litres at a time when global warming is choking off the state’s water supplies?

The only answer I can find to these questions is that the smart state must be seriously stupid.

1 comment:

Scott said...

And then there's "Smart cards for the Smart State" initiative!

Maybe a fleet of QG MINI Coopers would suffice?! :)

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