Letters to the editor

LETTERS: Send letters to the editor to olivia.barnes@fairfaxmedia.com.au
LETTERS: Send letters to the editor to olivia.barnes@fairfaxmedia.com.au

Sad to lose railways

It is a sad day for Eyre Peninsula railways to come to a close.

It has served the Eyre Peninsula well and is a big loss.

The railway has carted many goods, like machinery, livestock, super and grain.

It is a big mistake to do away with passenger carriages.

EJ KEMPSTER

Port Lincoln

Privatisation

The EP rail system closure is yet another example of loss of a service to our community as a result of privatisation to a foreign company (remember the sale of Telstra in 1997, ETSA in 1999 and many others ).

When will conservative people realise that this obsessive desire to privatise almost anything that moves, thus losing control of our own infrastructure is not always the answer to a maiden's prayer?

When will they understand that governments need not run a country to make surpluses like a business but mainly need to provide essential services such as health, education, transport, communications, security etc.

Despite the Prime Minister urging us all to avoid voting for independents (yet it was only independents that enabled the Banking Commission to succeed in parliament), I for one wish a middle of the road party such as the Centre Alliance (previously the Nick Xenophon Team ) and its candidate Andrea Broadfoot the best of luck in the forthcoming election.

DION MANTHORPE

Port Lincoln

Truck transport concern

Where are all the environmentalists when you need them? Up in the farms trying to scare the farmers out of their homes and livelihood, I guess.

In a few weeks time, Port Lincoln freight trains will be replaced by an extra 25,000 truck movements a year.

Local police, RAA and the community are concerned about the decision to replace the rail transportation with trucks.

The RAA warned that this will have a disastrous impact on the region.

Some of these trucks are 58m long.

Usually harvest also coincides with the tourism season.

Safety will be an issue when driving on these country roads and the drive to Port Lincoln will then be a nightmare.

It seems that the consequences of transitioning from rail to trucks has not been thoroughly explored.

Mr K. Rowe wrote a very compelling letter (Port Lincoln Times, May 9) regarding the lack of public information leading to the closure.

While Viterra is telling us money and better reliability were the deciding factors to dump rail transport in favour of trucks we still would like comparative details between the two.

Who is going to pay for the ensuing pollution, maintenance and road building?

Surely Viterra ought to pay towards it.

At the moment the taxpayers will have to pay for everything.

The railways pay for the material, maintenance of the line whether the taxpayers are paying to maintain the roads.

Now that the competition is out of the way, the truck companies will be able to increase their prices as it suits them.

Years ago, the railways were thinking of connecting the line from Buckleboo to Whyalla line (standard gauge).

This would bring the narrow line to Whyalla and make a spare line for the narrow line and connect to standard gauge and main line.

It is a cheaper solution, means less pollution and less risks for road accidents.

The state and federal governments are shifting the blame and we are left with weak justifications and chaos.

DANIEL DI DONNA

Port Lincoln