October 30 marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of Sydney Harbour Bridge. The 3.8km span and 60 years since its completion will be celebrated with a pair of national commemorations, led by state parliamentarians Brendan Smyth, Syd Fischer and Andrew Andrew Johns. Every September since the bridge was built, with the exception of 1966, it has been on the agenda of Australia Day festivities in Sydney as part of the custom-in-chief government of Bill Shorten, Labor. But on this month’s big day, it’s being re-opened as the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

But the big question is why? So far, no one’s suggested it’s because everyone else hates the bridge. George Petty, a window panes manufacturer in Gloucester, is an advocate of the bridge’s biggest contribution to NSW. “The bridge represents about 95% of the comprehensive canal project and for our time it was a national embarrassment,” he said. “It’s a good bridge, a great bridge, that was supposed to be the world’s longest, but everybody in the country hated it. The M1, the M4, the ACC and the Hunter – NSW was ridiculed for it.” Mr Petty started building bridges with Howard as a boy, but is now retired and wants to tackle the problem of Melbourne’s Docklands. “Sydney has more commercial value,” he said. “The Docklands is the suburb of Melbourne – why couldn’t they do it?”

Former Transport Minister Peter Batchelor said that Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Arch, Mount Gravatt bridge, Blacktown memorial and Liverpool memorial had had near-death experiences for NSW. Federal budget 2018-19 last week revealed that the capital-city area took a $19 billion knock after the lack of an upgrade to the BRT network. NSW government engineers and planners had been appointed to examine how cities like Sydney and Melbourne could tie in with rail linkings instead of connecting the dots. In doing so, they have attracted criticism from city leaders, and the Greens’ infrastructure spokesperson Rodney Croome. “Where’s the federal government’s largesse in these regions?” Mr Croome said.

“I’m more concerned about growth than the bridge. It’s not about great roads and wonderful public transport. We need roads to drive Sydney forward, but when it comes to bridges, what’s the federal government’s plan?” Source: The Daily Telegraph