AMCN Twisty Bits

Published on September 30th, 2010 | by Boris

YES, MINISTER

IT is clear to even the dumbest NSW government staffer that the Keneally government is in its death throes. It is like a gut-shot dog, whining and trembling and dragging its flea-bitten form under the house to die. The next election will certainly see it politically slaughtered and flayed for the disgusting way it has mismanaged NSW. The opposition will feast on the greasy yellow hearts of Keneally’s ministers and it will grow fat and sassy at that overladen table.

As a wonderful example of just how utterly appalling the Keneally government has become as it swirls down the shitter of irrelevance, let me direct your attention to the latest in a long line of Transport Ministers, one David Borger, and the nonsense that is being pedalled in his name.

I refer to this article, which appeared in the uber-tabloid and fishwrapper of note, the loathsome Daily Telegraph

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw-act/inquiry-into-motorbike-safety/story-e6freuzi-1225918628272

Now there’s a load of quite obvious bullshit being aired in this article – and by implication, attributed to David. But I was especially excited to read that there had been a “28 per cent rise in the number of motorcycle riders killed in accidents in the past decade”.

YesMinister1_600x338

Oh, if only they were running NSW…

Really? I thought to myself.

The assertion that motorcycle fatalities have increased “in the past decade” is just cack – and if David actually said this, then David’s time as a Keneally government minister would be refreshingly brief. So I did some digging and this is what I discovered about motorcycle fatalities in NSW, straight from the Roads and Traffic Authority website…

  • 1999 57 m’cycle fatalities per 78,604 m’cycle registrations
  • 2000 62 m’cycle fatalities per 84,617 m’cycle registrations
  • 2001 74 m’cycle fatalities per 94.361 m’cycle registrations
  • 2002 55 m’cycle fatalities per 78,604 m’cycle registrations
  • 2003 58 m’cycle fatalities per 99,251 m’cycle registrations
  • 2004 60 m’cycle fatalities per 105,289 m’cycle registrations
  • 2005 63 m’cycle fatalities per 111,253 m’cycle registrations
  • 2006 66 m’cycle fatalities per 120,827 m’cycle registrations
  • 2007 62 m’cycle fatalities per 133, 512 m’cycle registrations
  • 2008 54 m’cycle fatalities per 140,583 m’cycle registrations
  • 2009 69 m’cycle fatalities per 162,076 m’cycle registrations

Interesting, isn’t it? Motorcycle fatalities in NSW have actually stayed around the 60-odd mark while registrations have more than doubled. The lovely RTA graph on this page illustrates it perfectly, ie. Motorcycle fatalities have, in real terms, actually gone down.

So I rang David’s office and asked to speak to someone who could shed light on all of this, because David thinks he is in possession of “facts”. He even says so himself: “They are the cold facts.”

Sadly no-one was available to speak with me personally, but it was suggested I email a lady called Cara, who would clarify the nonsense contained in the newspaper with what I hoped would be an erudite wisdom befitting someone who purports to speak for a minister of the state.

“Cara,” I typed. “Would you be kind enough to advise me as soon as possible where the minister got the figures he referred to in the following article (above)? I refer specifically to the ‘28 per cent rise in the number of motorcycle riders killed in accidents in the past decade’. Any information you can give me regarding the source of this statement, or how it came to be made, would be great.”

Within an hour, Cara responded. But not to my question.

“Hi Boris, the figures in the story were not in a quote from the Minister. The following figures are correct: Last year the NSW provisional road toll was 460, which included 69 motorcyclists. In 2008 the road toll was a record low 374, with 55 motorcyclists killed. That’s an increase of 25 per cent in motorcyclist deaths in one year. More than 2,600 motorcyclists were injured in 2009, an increase of seven per cent compared with 2008.”

“Thanks for that, Cara,” I typed, feeling that perhaps my original question wasn’t clear. “Could you please point me to where the raw data for these figures comes from?”

“Hi Boris,” Carla responded. “NSW Police and the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority.”

At this point, I stopped typing to Cara. Clearly, it was not going to get me anywhere, and it certainly wasn’t going to get me an explanation as to why the bloke in charge of transport in NSW doesn’t understand that motorcycle fatalities are going down and have been for a decade.

Could the Daily Telegraph have been making shit up? Well, you should be bright enough to make up your own mind about that. But what I’ve made my mind up about is that David Borger is yet to publicly distance himself from the garbage-cloaked-as-fact put forward in that newspaper story.

Yes, Minister. That state election can’t get here fast enough for me. How about you, David?

Then maybe we could have an inquiry into some really important things. Like how our former Transport Minister interpreted important data when he was in office.

Cos that’ll be fun, won’t it?

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About the Author

is a writer who has contributed to many magazines and websites over the years, edited a couple of those things as well, and written a few books. But his most important contribution is pissing people off. He feels this is his calling in life and something he takes seriously. He also enjoys whiskey, whisky and the way girls dance on tables. And riding motorcycles. He's pretty keen on that, too.



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