Tolls should help state
Can Shelley Hancock explain to me why contracts are awarded to a foreign company—Transurban; a company that in the first half of 2016, made $799 million from tolls paid by Sydney motorists.
Why is this so?
Why cannot NSW Roads and Maritime Services collect the tolls?
Look at WestConnex-F4; a motorway built by SRG Limited and Fulton Hogan Limited.
Yet Transurban is set to be awarded the concession holder right to levy and retain tolls on the motorway for the next 43 years.
Why can’t the NSW Roads and Maritime Services collect the tolls, pay the road builders and pay the rest of the tolls collected from thereon (billions of dollars) into Treasury?
John Macleod, Berry
Tunnel vision on trains
Transport Minister Andrew Constance is so far down Confusion Street that he is never likely to ever find his way back.
Behind the ongoing indifference shown towards the concerns of the long suffering train travellers of the South Coast Line lies a myriad of Railway Operational Indifference.
In meeting the requirements of any modern world rail requirements, our local railway system rates just two out of 10.
It’s a fine weather line which is frequently knocked out of operation by wet weather, landslips and high winds.
It frequently requires anything up to seven locomotives to haul loads up the steep winding grades to Sydney.
The massive amount of diesel fuel required to power these slow moving trains adds millions of dollars to transport costs, and prevents an efficient passenger train timetable from becoming a reality.
The Stanwell Park Viaduct is nearing the end of its useful life, and the only back-up available, the Moss Vale Line, needs big dollars spending on it.
A new tunnel all the way from Wollongong to Waterfall is in fact, quite affordable and essential.
With no Maldon-Dombarton Line ever likely to eventuate, we urgently need a modern reliable rail system to access the much lauded jobs and growth that has failed to eventuate in our region.
This Transport Minister never mentions the millions he pays out for the Werris Creek to Armidale train service, which interestingly has just one passenger train a day in each direction and no freight trains.
This is just hundreds of kilometres of political pork-barrelling to keep Barnaby Joyce in parliament.
Helensburgh has long been owed a free bus service to convey passengers to its own railway station.
Forget politicians, we are on our own.
D. Cox, Corrimal
The trouble with sport
Bernard Tomic might, in his own exasperating way, be telling us something.
That professional sport has something intrinsically nasty about it.
Plenty of money to be had - like $50,000-plus for losing a match – but often not much joy or fulfilment.
Money, by itself, isn’t the right kind of fulfilment.
Once upon a time, Ron Clarke tripped and fell during the 1500 metres final at the 1956 Australian National Athletic Championships.
Fellow runner, John Landy, stopped and doubled back to check that Clarke was OK.
Clarke got up and they both started running again.
However, Landy’s attitude has won an honoured place in the hearts of all Australians.
That was a different century and a different world.
And it was something selfless and truly good for us moderns to admire and try to emulate.