WITHIN four hours of the terrorist bombings on Moscow’s metro on March 29 – an atrocity that killed 38 people and injured another 60 – the city’s transport authority had restored services to the affected lines.And the Indian railways were able to resume running trains on the Mumbai lines within hours of the July 11, 2006, train bombings, which claimed more than 200 lives.Even after the July 2005 bombings on the London Underground, which left 52 people dead, some overland services had resumed by the afternoon.And yet Sydney cannot cope with a single accident involving two trucks on the F3 motorway north of the city without traffic delays of up to 12 hours.What a contrast, the difference being that in Moscow, Mumbai and London the transport agencies display a quality obviously lacking in the NSW government: a sense of urgency. It is clear that neither the RTA nor the office of the Transport Minister, David Campbell, believed the accident warranted immediate attention and so an incident that should have caused minimal delay grew into a full-blown transport crisis.No sense of urgency; no sense of public service; and now, with the Premier refusing to stand Campbell aside while his stewardship of the RTA is reviewed, no sense of responsibility.But this should surprise no one. It has become the standard operating procedure for the government over 15 years: shift blame to a bureaucrat, plead ignorance or adherence to some fuzzy protocol about ministers not interfering in ”operational matters”, absolve the politicians.But it won’t work.Campbell is resorting to the usual platitude about not having ”operational responsibility” for traffic management. But there is obviously a chasm of difference between, say, a police minister or an attorney-general refusing to interfere in, or even inquire about, a police operation or legal case and a transport minister not bothering to keep a watching brief on a disaster that was unfolding over many hours.This does not look like prudence but laziness – and an absence of urgency.
Nanjing Night Net