Having spent the last 16 months building 16 schools (God bless you Miss Gillard and your BER) I vowed never to get involved in another school. This may be a touch premature as last night I was contacted by one of my Arab friends regarding building schools in the Middle East. Of course, having spent considerable time in that part of the world my response was a littered with broken Arabic a touch of French and a liberal sprinkling of the de riguer combination of Mafi Mushkila and Inshalla ( No problem and God Willing). In other words lots of enthusiasm but no actual commitment. In the world of Arab negotiations you need to dance around the issues several times before you get down to brass tacks. Talk about the health of the family, the world cup, mobile phone reception in Dubai, property prices in Doha, but don’t ask about specific female family members, Isreal or Syria, and never put the guy on the spot to make an immediate decision.
There are a couple of differences building schools over there and Gillard’s pathetic BER. Firstly they know what they want, secondly the consultants (architects, engineers) are an integral part of the construction team, and finally they hire the best companies.
OK they have plenty of money but they spend it much more wisely than the government do in Australia. But where they beat us hand down is their governments have vision and they do not need to worry about elections!!