Writers from the cult classic ABC show Utopia have confirmed their involvement in the recently published North East Link proposal. While they initially denied taking part in the project, it was quite clear to outside observers that their fingerprints were all over it.

According to their website, Utopia is a “multi award-winning satirical comedy about a group of people charged with building this nation”. Now in its third season (check it out on iView), the show chronicles the struggles of a company heavily influenced by the publicity-hungry spin doctors residing in the upper echelons of government. It seems, regardless of what work actually gets done, the most important thing is how it will be portrayed in the media. 

The provision of four “options” for the North East Link is actually quite comical, as it soon becomes clear that there is really only one option to choose, and they haven’t even tried to hide it amongst the other options – they’ve actually called it Option A. Weighed against the other potential routes for the link, financial and logistical factors make Option A the obvious choice, leaving many observers to ponder how much actual research was put into Options B, C and D. Were they just roughly drafted to show the people that there was no viable option but to tunnel under Banyule Flats?

Another obvious pop culture reference of the proposal is from The Simpsons Movie when a White House adviser presents President Schwarzenegger with five options, but clearly only has one that he wants the President to select. When the government sits down to officially select the preferred North East Link option, will they reference President Schwarzenegger’s immortal line from that same movie: “I was elected to lead, not to read”.

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