Hot tip for Australian politicians: can we please stop Tweeting your over-the-top infrastructure ideas at Elon Musk?
Yes, former SA premier Hay Weatherill did that with the mighty lithium ion battery in Jamestown, which is the reason why the state is now almost entirely powered by renewable energy, with zero blackouts during the recent heatwave. But now it’s becoming A Thing.
Jeremy Buckingham was, until recently, a NSW MP for the Greens before quitting over consistently-denied sexual assault allegations and is now an independent. He’s also the MP who threw up while visiting the dead fish graveyard that the Darling River has become.
And now he’s tweeting his big ideas for reducing Western Sydney’s congestion problems at Elon Musk and getting quotes.
About $15M/km for a two way high speed transit, so probably around $750M plus maybe $50M/station
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 16, 2019
Now, this is a version of the prototype loop system Musk has built in LA and relies on a lot of yet-to-be realised technology – mountain-piercing digging machines, electric commuter vehicles – to reduce congestion. And given the cost of Westconnex was initially $10 billion and has since almost doubled in cost blowouts, that does sound like a bargain.
That said, the plan still involves digging the whole way through the Blue Mountains, which is slightly less practical than writing one’s name on the Moon with a superlaser. But you can’t accuse Buckingham of being unambitious!
And sure, cynics would say that Buckingham will never be called upon to make this happen, but if the NSW election is a close run thing maybe the government will have to agree to the Elon Musk Hyper-Wombat Burrow Scheme if it wants to pass anything else.