Report on meeting at Cowra
As instructed by the meeting in Temora, Dennis and I went to Cowra to talk with Bill West, Mayor of Cowra to find out where we are heading with rail and road.
The rail lines are still in a state of confusion even though I was invited and did attend the presentation of a cheque for $5 million to Hilltops Council for work on opening of the line from Harden to Young.
It would appear that the spending of this money now depends on a business case to prove the viability of the project.
The Councils are now asked to contribute more money for another study on the section and there is considerable doubt in my mind that the Govt. will ever be satisfied.
The huge dump of grain at Maimuru is being shifted by trucks. One can hope that there will be even larger piles of grain to be moved in the future. But this big job is gone.
One can blame Graincorp but the grain would rot in the heap before the Govt. would have acted. We are faced with a plethora of problems with rail operation in NSW with up to four sections of the network having to approve even one train out to Caragabal to shift a load of grain and if there is a hiccup anywhere in the set up then Graincorp pays.
For additional information see Blayney-Demondrille project page
Bells Line of Road
Bill West gave a promise to brief Graham Dunn on his concerns that he is being ignored which Bill says is not the case as every idea put forward by Graham has been checked and researched by the Engineers and they at this stage offer no distinct advantage over existing plans.
Ian Armstrong is the Chair of the Bells Line of Road Group and the group is making very slow going on the project as there has been no reservation of any path across the mountain.
Agreement has not been reached with anyone to come to a decision to build another bridge over the Hawkesbury River nor has a path down the mountain been selected.
It would appear that there is considerable resistance to doing anything.
I now quote "Bill West respectfully suggests that there is an opportunity to be saying both rail and road transport and freight corridors are clear evidence of the lack of strategic long term planning by Govts. of all persuasions including the bureaucrats"
Bill West has offered a full briefing to Dom, Dennis and myself when all the planets are in line.
We thank Bill for his coffee and his time but came away with a feeling of disappointment that so much has been done, so much time wasted and nothing achieved.