Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Letter to the Minister for Transport

Here, a copy of my e-mail to Mr. Pat Conlon, minister for Transport, dated 10.3.8:

Dear Mr. Conlon,
I would like to show my unreserved support for your position on the building of an ULTra rail on Port Rd. Please be aware of this when making further policy decisions on this issue in the future. However, having said that, your Liberal counterpart, Mr. McFetridge has an identical position, and articulates a genuine policy alternative: more mass transport.
While the ULTra rail functions essentially as a car (if you built one rail, you'd build four more before the decade was out, just like you do with South Road- a project for which you do not have my unreserved support), mass transport is an efficient way of moving lots of people from where they are to where they want to be.
While cars may eventually be battery powered, and buses solar, there remains the physical presence of so many vehicles. Observe America: even if the cars were carbon-neutral, they would still need multi-lane highways criss-crossing the nation.
Multi-lane highways are expensive to build and maintain, and rely similarly on products derived from oil, of which there is a finite amount. Rail, on the other hand, represents a far more efficient mode of transport, capable of moving large loads of people and goods long distances at low cost and relatively high speed. To show you how seriously I consider this, I would like you to be the first officially to be informed of my intended career:

In the future, your office will table from my yet-to-be-founded company a range of public transport solutions which will solve many of these issues. Without giving too much away, or allowing you to steal my thunder, they include a tram link to all the UniSA campuses (simply as a starting point, rather than a desire to unite them all), down various arterial and commercial roads from the city, and a rail link from Outer Harbour to Sellicks Beach, stopping at all the main suburban beaches on the way. At a national level, all mainland capital cities will be connected by high-speed rail links, reducing air traffic significantly, and helping Australia to meet its post-Kyoto commitments.

This is to say nothing of the freight and tourism arms of the company, which will manage the present-day Southern Cross Rail routes as well as other, purpose-built scenic railways, and reduce the amount of Diesel burnt between Adelaide and Melbourne specifically, and around Australia generally, by at least half. The company will be headquartered in Adelaide, hopefully in a new (yet-to-be-designed) building in Victoria Square, and be entirely carbon-neutral from its first year of operation.

I appreciate your time in reading this. Be aware that I am at heart a Labor voter, and I look forward in five to ten years time to discuss this matter with you or your Labor follower.



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