An accusation that really bugs me as a baby boomer is that, somehow, we have sucked the economy dry for our own benefit and left nothing for anyone else.
After paying taxes for forty years I resent this. My taxes paid for all those new schools, those fabulous fancy arts centres, those new bridges, those flood and bushfire repairs, those hospitals. And those roads. You know the ones, the ones you hoon along at 20 kph over the speed limit, giving me rude gestures for daring to drive on it more slowly than you do.
The Hume Highway is a massive road that connects Australia’s biggest cities, Sydney and Melbourne. We rarely drove on it in the past. It was terrifying—trucks, semitrailers, the dreaded caravans, narrow, poorly aligned, hardly anywhere to overtake, degraded pavement.
Between about 1969 and 2013, this road was duplicated. It is now two lanes in both directions. This job took the whole of my adult, taxpaying life. While it was going on, it was a nightmare to drive on, with detours, delays, and long stretches of gravel and dirt.
Now it’s a dream. You could almost drive it in your sleep (it seems some people actually do that). And its fast. Canberra to Sydney was easily a four hour drive (now under 3 hours).
Just a little gift from us to you. You’re welcome.
All images from Roads and Maritime Services, NSW