Save our railway
After listening to our federal member telling a Tumby Bay crowd about all the wonderful things the government has done and are doing for the EP, I was so close to heckling - what about our railways?
I recently wrote letters to our two local politicians, Peter Treloar and Rowan Ramsey, describing what I and many others see as the cost or danger of closing our railways.
I asked them to explain why we seem to be losing our railways without a fight, and to reveal the reasons why it is not feasible to keep them operating.
The disappointing, response from Mr Treloar was, he agreed it was a pity, but it is not viable to keep them going. I got no response from Mr Ramsey.
Maybe they are right, but at least give the public some detailed information about their reasons.
Why don't they treat the electorate with some respect by clearly outlining all the pros and cons of the options for our rail network.
Maybe someone can give answers to the following questions:
How much would it cost to buy back and restore the railways to full function?
How much profit are the current owners making (or losing)?
Is it possible that the government could buy back this infrastructure and ensure its future?
How much will it cost to make our roads safe for large trucks?
How much will it cost to maintain our roads and repair the damage from current and future truck loading?
Is it true that it costs $10 million to build one passing lane?
Does any political party think it acceptable that the wonderful new Commonwealth grant for EP Roads (covering an area almost three times the size of Tasmania) is perhaps equivalent to two and a half passing lanes?
How much do farmers pay for rail transport of their grain?
How much do they pay for truck transport? Will this increase?
Is it true that Quinn Transport has a virtual monopoly on grain transfers at the moment? How are contracts won/determined?
What about the mining boom that we have been told is going to happen? Are they going to put millions of tonnes of ore on the roads and therefore countless more trucks?
What are the relative costs in greenhouse gas emissions for transporting the grain by rail or truck?
Will there be an impact on our tourism industry, having more trucks, less comfort on our roads?
How much value do our politicians put on the almost inevitable damage done by road accidents caused by impatient drivers trying to overtake a truck or cars being pushed onto unstable verge on narrow roads?
What are the chances of someone being killed by this increased truck traffic? Surely someone has researched this.
Is any candidate for the upcoming election prepared to speak up about this and try to come up with some solutions?
Someone - please explain!
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