PETER Wiseman once again is intent on creating misunderstanding with his letter in yesterday’s Bendigo Advertiser (“Criticism of Labor’s rail failures is correct”).
My letter was about the fact that those at the “coal face” in the railway industry were never listened to or heeded over the years. Of course, as Mr Wiseman points out, the governments of the day took advice from their experts in the rail system; that’s how they destroyed it.
Some of these so-called experts came from the road industry without any knowledge of the rail system, such as chairman Gibbs, former managing director of General Motors Holden. He came from an industry that, along with oil companies, had most to gain from any reduction in railway services.
The Lonie Report in 1979 was headed by Murray Lonie, who was a senior executive of BHP, and another member on the panel came from the Country Roads Board. Transport Minister Robert MacLellan made sure that the inquiry reflected his own or party views.
No member of the public transport users association or any representative from 16 unions in the rail industry were given input.
There is an old adage that goes: An expert is a person who knows more and more about less and less (especially when they come from outside the industry).
As for the accusation of ranting, I can only add that ranting got me through 40 years on the railway, working in a number of positions, and some fine years in municipal government.
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