September 09, 2016

Horse 2162 - Porsche Sees Red Over Not Seeing Red Dust
Luxury car brand Porsche has accused the Northern Territory Government of running a "nanny state" for removing controversial open speed limits on some stretches of road.
The NT, along parts of the Stuart Highway between Alice Springs and Tennant Creek, has been the only part of Australia where drivers can travel as fast as they want.
New Chief Minister Michael Gunner said that would change by the end of the year after he implemented his pre-election promise of removing the unrestricted speed zones.
- ABC News, 8th Sep 2016

Well done Porsche. Good for you.

I read this on the ABC News Website after hearing about this on the midday news on ABC Radio National and I thought to myself: "Here is a prize doofus who has probably never left the city and has no idea about the real world." Given that he is from Porsche, it's more than likely that he's never left the black top in his motor car and apart from the Hume Highway and possibly the Pacific Highway, has never been down any major stretch of highway in Australia.
One thing is certain. As someone from Porsche, it's not his company who is on the hook for the expenses incurred because someone has wiped either themselves or some innocent person out in a motor accident. No. That is picked up by the good and fair people of the Northern Territory and by extension the people of Australia through the Medicare levy.

As someone who likes driving quickly and who would very much like to build a racecar, even if it is just a 24 Hours Of Lemons car, I understand perfectly that the road is not a racetrack. Although I think that the speed limit on the Hume Highway should be raised to 150km/h in parts because the road is easily of good enough quality, I also think that there is no way in Hades that other parts of that same road should have their limits raised to 100km/h.
A dual carriageway with grade separated intersections is a good idea and in a country where the distances are massive, I think that it makes sense from a safety standpoint to raise the speed limit so that people spend less time on the road and that this would reduce accidents which are the result of fatigue. I also think that roads with no hard shoulder can not support those kinds of speeds and that in a lot of places where all you have is a two lane road with one lane in each direction, a speed limit of 100km/h is madness. Yet this is exactly the sort of road that this person from Porsche wants the limits raised on and even abolished altogether.

The Stuart Highway in particular, that ribbon of road that slices the country in twain, is mostly a two lane road with nothing but red dust, spiky bushes, giant bouncing rats and running suicide birds who make up the coat of arms, and death, death and more death extending in all directions. If you're eating up the miles in a low slung sports car and you happen to hit a rock while doing two miles a minute, then you should expect to join the red dust, spiky bushes, giant bouncing rats and running suicide birds, and death, death and more death, in a couple of shakes of a lamb's tail. You will become part of the landscape, part of the never never and part of the dream time as you taste the red dust clouds of death.
I wonder if he's ever experienced losing control of a car while doing 32 in a 100 zone while in the Snowy Mountains because he found black ice. I wonder if he's ever gone camping and found that a nuggety looking wombat has taken umbrage with the tyres of his car and slashed them all to shreds. I wonder if for him, the wallabies are just a rugby team that him and his school chums went to see and not some brown thing that literally decided to jump out in front of you on a poorly graded road. Probably not to all of these things.

I'd also further posit that the actual number of Porsches which pass down the Stuart Highway is numbered in double digits every year if that. Sure, the excuse given is that other companies have been given dispensation to use the roads for advertising shoots but that's a very different and specific set of circumstances and not comparable with the usual run of big four wheel drives, semis, b-doubles and road trains which pass down The Track. This is one part of the world where owning a CB radio is advisable and moving out of the way if you happen to be in a tiddler of a car, is appreciated.

I also find this pretty strange:

"We've done a pretty good job of killing off the local car industry, the manufacturing of local cars in Australia, and now it seems the Northern Territory Government's doing its best to deter international car companies from coming to Australia to spend money and invest in the local economy," Porsche's director of public relations Paul Ellis said.
- ABC News, 8th Sep 2016

Well yes, you have done a a pretty good job of killing off the local car industry. For your bit Volkswagen, you stopped building cars here in 1976. As for: "Coming to Australia to spend money and invest in the local economy" What investment would this be then? Is VAG setting up a manufacturing plant here? Not a bar of it.

I really don't think that this man from Porsche has any clue about anything like this from his cushy leather clad office. Come to think of it, the Western suburbs of both Sydney and Melbourne are probably a complete mystery to him. He probably has more in common with the folk of the 9th arrondissement in Paris than he does with the people of Spotswood or Kingswood, let alone the road that takes you from Daly St Darwin to King William St Adelaide.

No comments: