May 26th 2007

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: CANBERRA OBSERVED: Kevin Rudd still in front

EDITORIAL: East Timor: end of the Fretilin era?

HOUSING: Soaring house prices give illusion of wealth

LABOR PARTY: Sir Rod Eddington, Labor's business guru

PRIMARY INDUSTRY: Vital issues in wheat single-desk decision

OPINION: Family First takes on Howard's workplace laws

DRUGS CONFERENCE: Reality check needed on illicit drugs

SCHOOLS: Choice would be eroded by centralisation

INTELLIGENCE CORNER: Shssh - don't mention the war!

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: Politics could worsen global health pandemic

QUARANTINE: Drought used as excuse to relax quarantine standards

STRAWS IN THE WIND: No kangaroo meat - thank you very much / Tony Blair - a class act / Vladimir the Cruel / Turkey - between a rock and a hard place

UNITED STATES: US Supreme Court bans partial-birth abortion

WORLD AFFAIRS: Islam: the questions which must be answered

States more accountable than Canberra (letter)

Problems facing Brisbane-to-Melbourne rail-link (letter)

News Weekly informative, timely (letter)

The media and freedom of speech (letter)

CINEMA: A luminous film of great beauty

BOOKS: WHAT'S LEFT? How Liberals Lost Their Way, by Nick Cohen

Books promotion page

Problems facing Brisbane-to-Melbourne rail-link (letter)

by Kevin O'Neill

News Weekly, May 26, 2007

Whether the proposed Brisbane-Melbourne rail-link goes through Shepparton or albury should take into account the national aspects of the proposal.

I would have though that a fast rail-link joining the food bowl of Australia in the Murrumbidgee, Murray and Goulburn Valleys with the seaboard capitals would have been overwhelmingly in support of the Shepparton route.

The Cootamundra-Melbourne leg is in the foothills of the Dividing Range, whereas the flat plains between Caragabal and Mangalore are ideal railway country and very much in need of an appropriate rail service.

In addition, Albury and Wagga are located on the under-used Melbourne-Sydney route that carries about 10 per cent of the available rail freight.

If this available freight is increased, together with the proposed Melbourne-Brisbane freight, the increased services will attract rail curfews and defeat the on-time aspect of the whole proposal.

Double-stacked containers between Albury and Mangalore need clearance from road bridges, and the Bethungra spiral would be an expensive item.

Please don't give us another railway white elephant!

Kevin O'Neill,
Progressive Rail Association,
Tocumwal, NSW

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