March 1st 2008

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: The Australian economy a 'house of cards'

EDITORIAL: Timor troubles: the way ahead

CANBERRA OBSERVED: What remains to be done after saying sorry?

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Brian Burke and Kevin Rudd cross paths again

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS: Economic policy-making in conflict

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Hysteria in the House / US election campaign / "Say sorry" segment / The economy

ISLAM: Uproar over Archbishop of Canterbury's Islam gaffe

AUSTRALIAN HISTORY: Why Australia's Christian heritage matters

HUMAN RIGHTS: The 2008 Olympics and China's Communist regime

TAIWAN: Chen: Almost over, but not out

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS: Australia and Japan set to draw closer together

AS THE WORLD TURNS: Global warming? It's the coldest winter in decades / Capitalism's enemies within

Reality gap between words and action (letter)

Wentworth's vision for Australian railways (letter)

Thuggery at Brisbane pro-life rally (letter)

The struggling Rudds (letter)

BOOKS: IT'S YOUR TIME YOU'RE WASTING: A teacher's tales of classroom hell, by Frank Chalk


Books promotion page

Wentworth's vision for Australian railways (letter)

by Kevin O'Neill

News Weekly, March 1, 2008

When the late William Charles Wentworth MP set out to standardise the rail links between all of the mainland capitals of Australia, he produced a slim volume of 37 pages of foolscap size, costing, at a guess, about a half a million dollars.

Many million of dollars have since been squandered on feasibility studies for the Melbourne-Brisbane rail proposal already, with more to come and no decision in sight.

The Wentworth Report is called The Report of Government Members Rail Standardisation Committee.

This slim volume was all that was needed to convince Parliament and the people of Australia that the work should go ahead, and the job was started and completed with the support of all parties in Parliament.

At present there are two main route proposals for the Melbourne-Brisbane trunk rail route.

However the eastern route via Albury cannot use double-stack containers, nor can the Melbourne-Sydney route through Albury.

This guarantees in advance the failure of the Melbourne-Brisbane rail route through Albury.

With the need for double-stack containers' superior capacity on the one hand, and the threat of rail curfews in urban areas on the Albury route on the other, the western food-bowl route through Shepparton is the outstanding preference.

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

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