Time for some answers
For some years now, I have been privately advocating a Royal Commission/Senate Inquiry into the actions of the Australian Rail Track Corporation. I would like to share my reasons with your readers.
It is my view that there is a need for such a commission/inquiry, looking into their past record and future-planned building of the inland rail and its management of our railway infrastructure. Looking at the past failures in this regard is well-documented.
Australian Rail Track Corporation continued use of 'plausible denial of responsibility' has worn very thin with me. Who is responsible?
As for the Australian Rail Track Corporation's plans to bring the inland double stack rail track through Wangaratta and other communities, I question their ability and willingness to uphold community values and respect community heritage, history and rights.
I am struggling to understand why they conducted the so-called 'public consultations'.
The 'forums' I have heard about and attended were, in my opinion, nothing but public relations exercises to tell us what they are going to and how they are going to do it and explaining away or disregarding any or all community concerns of their actions.
Why would they tell one group one thing and another group entirely something else? Eg filling in the already lowered east track with toxic soil over an existing drainage system running/draining into the Ovens River. And telling another group that this same area was going to be handed back to Vic/Track for future use!! (ie expansion for V/Line passenger services).
Regardless of whether a Royal Commission comes about, I hope that all communities along the entire route of the inland rail project and the involvement of the Australian Rail Track Corporation, are addressed at the up-coming elections.
There must be accountability, especially when it involves dignity, respect and billions of taxpayers money.
David Maroney (Snr), Wangaratta
PM so far out of step
The prime minister’s declaration that the Christmas Island detention centre is to be reopened with a $1.4 billion hit on the public purse is the sort extravagance normally heralding a revolution.
Unlike our American cousins Australians have not yet developed an appetite for government by stunt ,and Scott Morrison may find himself left on the side of the political plate.
A background in marketing with its volley of slogans, baseball caps and biblical rhetoric summoning a refugee armada from over the horizon may prove insufficient to warrant the blank cheque implied by the Christmas Island announcement.
The real crisis on the land occasioned by drought, fire and flood, crisis in aged care and mental health makes this fake political grandstanding an act of contempt toward the electorate. Perhaps when Morrison’s political boat is in sight of the ballot box will he sober up and discover his government out of step with the generosity and compassion of the nation.
For all the scary “border security bunting" of the week, Scott Morrison seems more appropriately captaining the Titanic rather than Endeavour.