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Aust must guard against "BANANA" syndrome: Abbott

07 July, 2014

Paul Keating once spoke of Australia becoming a banana republic back in 1986. Now the humble fruit has become the topic of conversation again with Tony Abbott telling a conference in Melbourne that the nation must guard itself against the "BANANA" syndrome.

In a speech to the 2014 Economic and Social Outlook conference dinner last week (3 July), Abbott slammed critics of productivity-enhancing infrastructure that aims to alleviate the woes of traffic jams that "plague big cities" and freight that "waits and waits on efficient road and rail connections".

"There's the syndrome known as BANANA – build absolutely nothing anywhere near anyone – that has been a further handbrake on building the infrastructure Australia needs," Abbott said.

"Little boosts confidence more than seeing cranes in the sky and bulldozers on the ground – because it shows that investors have faith in the future.

''It shows that investors have faith in the future. All too often, at every level, governments have been thinking short term, not long-term.

''It's why, in my own city, road congestion costs some $5 billion a year and why a plane trip from Sydney to Melbourne can take longer than it did 50-odd years ago.

"It's why dams haven't been built and the construction of new base-load power stations is mostly put into the too-hard basket.''

Abbott concluded the speech saying his government would drive its budget through parliament regardless how long it would take, quoting former Prime Minister Ben Chifley by saying, "if… a thing is worth fighting for, no matter what the penalty is, I will fight for the right, and truth and justice will prevail."

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john | Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 4:52 PM
Abbott can jam a banana where the sun doesn't shine. was that thoughtful enough this time?