Terminal Blues

Albert Barbusci

Albert Barbusci. Apparently the photographer cut the legs on his stool.

It’s been “over a year” since CBRM council has had an opportunity to speak directly to port promoter Albert Barbusci of Sydney Harbour Investment Partners (SHIP) and over five years since his “company” (it consists of two people, Barbusci and Barry Sheehy) officially began leading the campaign to establish a terminal for ultra-large container vessels (like the one that recently got stuck in the Suez Canal) in Sydney harbor.

Time sure flies when you’re accomplishing…nothing. (Unless you count trying to bury nuclear waste in Labrador.)

So little has Barbusci accomplished that Tuesday’s long-awaited “update” to CBRM council should have been over before it started, but apparently the in camera session took three hours. 

The CBC’s Tom Ayers spoke to Mayor Amanda McDougall following the marathon session, and she said nothing of particular note other than that she’s been speaking with Barbusci “almost on a bi-weekly basis” for five months, trying to organize this update.

But surely, if Barbusci actually had something to report, he’d have reported it five months ago? COVID is no excuse for not picking up the phone — especially since he clearly has been picking up the phone if he’s been speaking to the mayor on a bi-weekly basis.

Or why not just contact his partner, Sheehy? He was in Gabarus as recently as September 2020, which I know, because he gave an interview to Brad Mills’ Magic Internet Money podcast (the episode is called “The Cotton Bubble Accomplished with Barry Sheehy”). Mills, a bitcoin enthusiast, apparently bought a house next to Sheehy in Gabarus, Sheehy came over to offer assistance during Mills’ self-isolation, and the next thing you know, they’re having a 68.15 minute conversation I cannot actually be bothered to listen to, especially after I tuned in randomly and the first thing I heard was Sheehy declaiming:

You can’t pay people to do nothing…If you don’t get the economy back working and accept the associate risks, I’m very concerned.

By the time he’d move on to making a case for shipping fresh water in bulk from Nova Scotia, I had had all I could stomach.

There are eight months left in SHIP’s exclusive contract with the CBRM.

I think we should mount a count-down clock on the Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion.