Missing the history

Once again Ivan Kitt has written to the Weekly (March 3) and mentions the demise of the V/Line Bendigo North Rail Workshops under Jeff Kennett’s government.
But he fails to mention that under the Cain Labor government the workshops’ staff was reduced from 500 plus to just over 200 when Kennett took power.
A majority of experienced tradesmen and foremen took packages during Cain’s time.
With the loss of this expertise the workshop became unviable as a government enterprise, hence the rationale for selling them.
Ivan also fails to mention that with the exception of Swan Hill, Kerang and Echuca all manned rail stations north of Bendigo were closed during Cain’s time with the staff being made redundant and offered packages.
I should know as I was the one signing the cheques.

Ed Thomas,
Kangaroo Flat


We care for all

One morning each week, we Grandmothers Against the Detention of Refugee Children stand in select places in Bendigo asking passing motorists to toot support for our cause.
We have been overwhelmed by the huge numbers of tradies, truckers and bikies who beep and wave.
Thank you to all of the other motorists who also toot and wave.
For those who feel our focus is too narrow, rest assured that we care for all of the underprivileged and alienated in our society.

Kate Olliver,
Spring Gully


Power counts

There is an old saying, “To have a brain snap, you have to have one in the first place”, a brain that is.
Our fearless leader has claimed Michaelia Cash was bullied.
Only two weeks ago, the prime minister alerted to the fact that politicians needed to lift their game, stop dropping their pants, and start behaving themselves.
At the time such a statement from the PM was very apt, as apart from his backflips, he is someone who most would consider, has at least a sense of decency about himself, until the “road Cash” engulfed him.
What is it about leaders, who totally lose perspective when the actions of one of their colleagues goes off the rails, again, that is casually described as a brain fade.
What rubbish, Cash knew exactly what she was doing, she has a track record of it, so why did Turnbull fall for the three card trick, and jump into the sewer with her?
Effective government stopped in this country with the election of the member of Warringah, who acted like the leader of a circus boxing troupe, but with the change to Turnbull, this was hopefully going to restore some civility and decorum.
Sadly we were all wrong, and I cannot believe that Turnbull himself would be happy with his recent performance.
Australians are desperately wanting effective government, long term planning, cost of living pressures being addressed, not question time being held to ransom by a bunch of desperados, to which power means everything.
Our debt and deficit problems are being ignored, billions of dollars is being earmarked for big business, while ordinary Australians are fighting a daily financial battle just to stay afloat.
Most Australians are entitled to ask, just where do these politician have their heads, in the sand, or somewhere else more obscure?
The deterioration of our once great country is on our television screens every day, and the actions of our so called elected leaders does not enhance any change, as you just have to watch question time to see what our “adults” are acting like.
Is it any wonder we are in the current predicament? And as sure as night follows day, it is not going to get any better, because at the end of the day, power is the only thing that counts.

Ken Price,


No credibility

It’s hard to trust the Liberals and Nationals rail announcement – going by the history books.
They have no credibility when it comes to regional rail – all they’ve done is cut and shut.
When last in government they didn’t order a single new carriage for two years, didn’t start a rail project anywhere and ripped $120 million out of V/Line – and it was a Liberal National government that shut regional rail lines.
We’ve stopped the cuts, restored the funding to V/Line, ordered 87 new regional carriages and already begun the design work needed to run VLocity carriages on long haul lines.
We’ve added 600 services to the regional network and additional VLocity carriages to services that need it most.
These carriages, built in Victoria, reduce crowding on the busiest services and allow more trains to run more often and we’ve invested in the design work necessary to replace the classic feet with modern trains.
If the coalition want to do something useful for V/Line users they should pick up the phone to Malcolm Turnbull and tell him to release the money he has promised for Regional Rail Revival so we can get on with upgrading every regional line and run modern trains across the state.

Jacinta Allan,
Minister for Public Transport


More motors

On June 1, 1912, the now-defunct Bendigo Independent proudly announced that Bendigo now had 100 “motors”, and the 101st was about to be delivered.
About that time in Amsterdam, the city council was planning to install its first waste-to-energy plant to burn garbage and generate electricity.
The plant began operation in 1919. Today the fourth generation plant processes 1.5 million tonnes a year on the same site to deliver enough power to run Bendigo and supply district heating.
Here in Bendigo we have? More motors.
Brian Stanmore,
Try harder Bendigo
Visited Bendigo for Scots Day Out – great.
Visited Lansell Square, Kangaroo Flat, Not so great – 5.45pm on a Friday and all the food outlets were closed.
Stayed on View Street – accomodation great. Looked for breakfast, nothing open. Had to go for a drive to find a place open.
C’mon Bendigo, I have lots of fond memories here, but it is the 21st century.
Please try harder.

Robert Bradshaw,


New promises

New promises from the leader of the opposition on what they are going to do for public transport if elected at the next state election.
Does he not remember that it was the Liberal Party under the leadership of Jeff Kennett, that dismantled public transport, sold off the trains, trams and buses, closed or privatised the workshops that for many years built and maintained all our rolling stock both passenger and freight?
That caused a big loss of employment in rural and regional towns that resulted in the slow death of those places.
His big statement is that he is going to replace the steel-bodied carriages, and replace the diesels with the new fast VLocity trains with speeds
of 160 kilometres per hour.
After all who was it that knocked the fast train proposal?
Service times have not improved much time-wise since the days of steam and diesel when we didn’t have speed restrictions applied.
He has pledged to buy and make these trains in Melbourne – they are not going to be made they are going to be assembled here from imported components just like every VLocity train that runs on our systems, another false statement.
What needs to be done is upgrade the tracks so that we don’t have these ridiculous speed restrictions once it reaches a certain temperature, return the double line and get rid of the loops that are holding up trains, and complete the designated line from Sunbury to Southern Cross for the Bendigo line.
He says they want to improve services in regional areas, then why when they were last in government did they rip up all the cross overs between Castlemaine and Maryborough?
While our rail system could be run better it is superior to what was left after Jeff Kennett’s wholesale fire of public transport, gas, electricity and water that has left our state reeling and the federal government’s actions are compounding the

Ivan Kitt,