Compelling case for rail transport (letter)by Kevin O'NeillNews Weekly
, April 9, 2005
Rail is back from the dead. The address by Stephen O'Donnell, CEO of Pacific National, at the National Press Club on February 16, 2005, in support of rail transport will be a circuit-breaker in the transport debate in Australia.
The Victorian Kennett Government and the New South Wales Carr Government have opened the way for private ownership of the Australian railways.
Stephen O'Donnell has outlined a compelling case for rail transport.
Just as the case involving a road transport company, Hughes and Vaile Pty Ltd versus the State of NSW
, which came before the Privy Council in 1954, lifted the dead hand of government from road transport, so private enterprise will revitalise the rail system and give a massive boost to Australia's economy and defence potential.
Because of the appalling neglect by state governments, rail has some way to go to be really effective.
Fortunately Federal Minister for Transport Mr John Anderson has a vision for the future of rail in Australia.
We are the only nation on earth to occupy a whole continent by ourselves. Our flat plains are ideal railway country, we should have the best railways in the world. Sadly, this is not so; but we should aim to achieve that in the 21st century.
The Australian farmers who have fought for their branch lines, and the men, and particularly the women, who have battled for an appropriate passenger and freight rail service for the bush, should not give up.Kevin O'Neill,
Progressive Rail Association,