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Sunday, 20 October 2013

Liberals let down Australia badly over Utzon

I went on a tour of the Sydney Opera House in July and was struck by the way the host, a young woman, kept bringing our attention to the building's construction budget blowout, during the early stages of the tour. She kept coming back to it again and again. And later we saw a video that made reference to the Liberal Askin government that came to power in 1965 and that caused so much trouble for architect Joern Utzon that he quit the country and never returned. But in the film they just said "the new government" with no reference to its political colour.

And the same thing happened last night on the ABC newscast when notice was made of the 40th anniversary celebrations that are being held today. It was just "the new government" again. But it was in fact a CONSERVATIVE government - a penny-pinching philistine and thus typical conservative government that only has regard for money and nothing else - that dangerously let down the people of Australia in the matter of the Sydney Opera House.

It was the same kind of government we have had again and again in this country, except that the Howard government was a higher-taxing and higher-spending government than either of the Gillard or Rudd governments. I think it's disgraceful how we have allowed parts of the elite to rewrite history and remove the stain of shame from the Askin Liberal government, a government that did not deserve the kind of innovative contribution that Utzon made to Australia, and to the world. The Sydney Opera House has recall globally second only to Mickey Mouse. It is a building beyond the wildest dreams of aspiration of the majority of people, let alone a penny-pinching philistine Liberal government like Askin's.

It's time to start telling the truth so that we will know, in future, what we are really facing when the time comes to choosing between a conservative government and a progressive one. Without Labor the Sydney Opera House would never have been conceived. The Liberals almost killed it.

1 comment:

Merilee Mann said...

There are parallels with the current arguments about the NBN. Designed and commenced by a visionary Labor government and about to be killed off by a penny pinching Liberal one.