Train ser­vice un­likely with cur­rent at­ti­tudes

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - NEWS -

There is merit in the sug­ges­tion from Tom Weyrich to ex­tend rail­way pas­sen­ger ser­vices from Echuca to De­niliquin ( PAS­TORAL TIMES, Fri­day Jan­uary 4).

The hope­ful One Na­tion can­di­date in the up­com­ing NSW elec­tion quite rightly says it would com­ple­ment the up­grade to the Echu­caBendigo rail line which, when com­pleted, will in­crease speed ca­pa­bil­i­ties to a po­ten­tial 140km/h, with a sub­se­quent boost in pa­tron­age.

There are many rea­sons why pas­sen­ger ser­vices would be ben­e­fi­cial for De­niliquin and dis­trict.

Firstly, of course, it would pro­vide ac­cess to our re­gion for more peo­ple. In­stead of trav­el­ling by car or lim­ited bus ser­vices from Mel- bourne or re­gional Vic­to­rian cen­tres, the train would pro­vide an­other op­tion.

Train travel is un­der­go­ing a re­nais­sance in Vic­to­ria — the more its state govern­ment in­vests in train ser­vices the more pop­u­lar they are be­com­ing.

This takes cars off the road, re­duc­ing the risk of ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dents, not to men­tion the re­duced wear and tear on road sur­faces.

In our re­gion the ac­ci­dent risk is much higher, es­pe­cially be­tween Moama and De­niliquin where kan­ga­roos are in plague pro­por­tions and we have a city-based govern­ment that is not pre­pared to take any ac­tion to re­duce this dan­ger.

Cr Weyrich says the NSW Govern­ment should fol­low the lead of its Vic­to­rian coun­ter­part and in­vest in train in­fra­struc­ture so we can take ad­van­tage of its many ben­e­fits.

While we agree, we be­lieve there is vir­tu­ally zero chance of it hap­pen­ing, though we sug­gest the very least the NSW Govern­ment could do is com­mis­sion a fea­si­bil­ity study.

Per­haps if Cr Weyrich is elected as our par­lia­men­tary rep­re­sen­ta­tive for this re­gion he will have greater in­flu­ence over our fu­ture.

At present, with rep­re­sen­ta­tion by The Na­tion­als through Austin Evans, we do not ap­pear to have an ef­fec­tive voice in Syd­ney.

The im­por­tant is­sues that need to be de­vel­oped in the in­ter­ests of our pros­per­ity con­tinue to be ig­nored.

It is un­likely that im­proved train ser­vices will be any dif­fer­ent.

We are at a loss to de­ter­mine what needs to hap­pen for The Na­tion­als to wake up that they ei­ther lift their game, or face the very real risk of be­ing aban­doned — like they have aban­doned this re­gion — when we go to the polls in March.

Per­haps their lat­est in­ter­nal polling, which sug­gests they will win the seat of Mur­ray in a can­ter, has led to the party putting our re­gion back on the ‘‘we’ll win it, so why bother?’’ list.

Our com­mu­nity can­not af­ford this at­ti­tude. We must stand up and be counted, and never has there been a more im­por­tant time than the next three months.

Be­ing con­tin­u­ally taken for granted by The Na­tion­als is no longer ac­cept­able, nor it is an op­tion this com­mu­nity should tol­er­ate.

Whether it is trains or a host of other im­por­tant is­sues af­fect­ing our re­gion, we con­tinue to be ig­nored.

Un­less this is quickly rec­ti­fied, the PAS­TORAL TIMES will be cam­paign­ing heav­ily in com­ing months for change.

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