|posted : 13 January 2004|
A Hundred Year Old Dream - Celebrating the first Adelaide - Darwin freight train13 January 2004
“This Thursday’s historic departure of the first Adelaide – Darwin freight train deserves the nation-wide celebration now building up,” said Rail Tram & Bus Union National Secretary Roger Jowett today, “but the political speeches should also provoke a fresh look at the poor condition of most of Australia’s mainline track”.
The RTBU held a song and poem competition for new verse to commemorate this event, and A Hundred Year Old Dream, by the winner, Doug Fudge, will be part of the ambience of this week's celebration. The union published a souvenir issue of its national magazine to commemorate the event.
"We welcome the new rail link and congratulate all participants, especially the workers who built it, and call for a similar effort for each of the next 10 years, to bring Australia's interstate mainline network into the 21st century," said Roger Jowett. "This should be a high priority for using the projected $7 billion federal surplus to meet Australia's infrastructure backlog.
"The Howard government has been a notable failure as an investor in Australia's ailing rail system since 1996, and even now, there is $140 million unspent out of the inadequate $250 million allocated to the network back in 1996," said Roger Jowett.
"We are concerned that the major private investor in the new line is Halliburton Corporation, closely associated with US Vice-President Dick Cheney, and reported to be profiteering from the US-led invasion of Iraq," said Roger Jowett.
http://www.rtbu.asn.au/293.html - printed 23/5/2013