Tuesday 16th of August 2022

Drawing The Line- Halliburton's Profit On Australia's Future

This map from the South Australian Defence site holds a thousand word painting picture- a line through the middle of Australia, owned by Halliburton, along which every freight container leaving Darwin needs to pass. 

South Australia - the Transport Hub of Australia

Adelaide Darwin Rail-Link map

" Completion of the line increases accessibility to the Cultana Training Area and positions it as a major asset both for South Australia and the Australian Army." proclaims the website.  It doesn't say that every tank and  every boxcar of uranium waste will line the pockets of the company once run by the U.S. Vice President.

 

Halliburton is a major shareholder in theconsortiun that will own and operate the railway for another 48  years. The Alice Springs-Darwin rail link was bult by a joint venture between Halliburton  KBR, Barclay Mowlem, John Holland and Macmahon.  The 1420 kilometre line took 31 months to complete from the start of the earthworks.

Ironically the Royal Bank of Scotland, to whom Cheney gave the job of assembling project investors didn't mention tanks, missiles or radioactive things that go bump in the night.

[extract] 

FreightLink, the operating arm of the Asia Pacific Transport Consortium (APTC) comprising Halliburton/ Kellog Brown & Root, Australian Railroad Group (the 50/50 joint venture between Genesee & Wyoming and Wesfarmers), Barclay Mowlem, the John Holland Group, Macmahon Holdings and S.A.N.T. Holding, will then link by ship from Darwin to the export markets of Asia.

Darwin has invested a great deal in expansion of its port, and the project fully expects that Darwin's proximity to Asian markets, combined with an efficient, fast, rail connection and integrated logistics system, will enable APTC to reap the benefits of the expected increase in export freight volumes through Darwin.

The railway is expected to offer significant time saving over the sea freight alternative around Australia from the southern ports.

I'm beginning to wonder how many such projects across the world have been instituted in such a manner.  The current White House Administratration, with a few "gold mines" such as this up its sleeve, will not need to worry to much about superannuation.

Former Defence Minister Hill's organisation of the expansion of the Coultana training base into a Middle-East training camp will earn Halliburton a few dollars, as will Prime Minister Howard and Nuclear Minister Downer's inevitable proclaimation of Australia's development of a uranium enrichment industry.  Add to this the extra American troops that, the way things are going, Australia is going to need and it's been a fairly profitable exercise for all concerned, wouldn't you say?

You can tell that my mind's going in circles at the moment  A cassette tape of the names Dick Cheney, John Howard, Alexander Downer, Malcom Kinnaird, John Olsen, Robert Hill and Robert Gerard is playing endlessly in my head. 

Knowing that the railway project began to take shape the year after Howard became PM, when Cheny, in his capacity of Halliburton CEO came out to Australia to assimilate Malcolm Kinnaird's company, makes me wonder about the rewards that Australia's leader will receive upon retirement.

Like Bush and Cheney, I'm sure he'll never have a cash-flow problem.

Another map

The House magazine has an article on proposals for a north-south inland rail link,  "All aboard?" (pdf document).

In the same mag is a story "Dog fight over jet purchase", with details of debate about the JSF, but this article is not available online.

I reckon they should put the whole magazine on line, so we can keep up with Dick and Don's plans for Oz.

Ken Davidson, in The Age, keeps trying to warn about PPPs in Victoria, The growing stench around PPPs:

...Secrecy begets corruption. There is already enough stench around most of the PPPs entered into by the Kennett and Bracks governments to warrant a royal commission on this expensive form of financing public infrastructure.

Maybe Ken should shut up, as he is probably encouraging MacBank to try harder. 

And here's a story that won't find a place in the dailies - Bolton at Oxford: Jeered and Taunted:

... During his Oxford harangue, Bolton said that America is a democracy where people vote for change and the policies they believe to be right. His own role in the racist politics of the South, the cessation of vote counting in 2000 and the obstruction of the Iran Contra investigation transforms every word he ever says claiming America as a model of democracy into the ne plus ultra of political hypocrisy. George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Perle, Condoleezza Rice and John Bolton are a comfortable clutch of hypocritical politicians, and their approval ratings now demonstrate that they are not the agents of democracy. Quite the opposite, the democratic disconnection ­ the increasing disparity between popular opinion and government policy - in Bush and Bolton's America is a scandal of global proportions that could well be driving the United States over the precipice and into the abyss of failed and failing states.

Securing North America

From North American Union Already Starting to Replace USA:

... What we have here is an executive branch plan being implemented by the Bush administration to construct a new super-regional structure completely by fiat.  Yet, we can find no single speech in which President Bush has ever openly expressed to the American people his intention to create a North American Union by evolving NAFTA into this NAFTA-Plus as a first, implementing step. ...

Also, Bush Administration Quietly Plans NAFTA Super Highway:

Quietly but systematically, the Bush Administration is advancing the plan to build a huge NAFTA Super Highway, four football-fields-wide, through the heart of the U.S. along Interstate 35, from the Mexican border at Laredo, Tex., to the Canadian border north of Duluth, Minn. Once complete, the new road will allow containers from the Far East to enter the United States through the Mexican port of Lazaro Cardenas, bypassing the Longshoreman’s Union in the process. The Mexican trucks, without the involvement of the Teamsters Union, will drive on what will be the nation’s most modern highway straight into the heart of America. The Mexican trucks will cross border in FAST lanes, checked only electronically by the new “SENTRI” system. The first customs stop will be a Mexican customs office in Kansas City, their new Smart Port complex, a facility being built for Mexico at a cost of $3 million to the U.S. taxpayers in Kansas City. As incredible as this plan may seem to some readers, the first Trans-Texas Corridor segment of the NAFTA Super Highway is ready to begin construction next year. Various U.S. government agencies, dozens of state agencies, and scores of private NGOs (non-governmental organizations) have been working behind the scenes to create the NAFTA Super Highway, despite the lack of comment on the plan by President Bush. The American public is largely asleep to this key piece of the coming “North American Union” that government planners in the new trilateral region of United States, Canada and Mexico are about to drive into reality. ...

Rather puts Alice Springs and the Sydney-Devonport ferry in the shade. Never mind, Macquarie is after AB ports.