Letters to the editor

December 08, 2017

Flagpoles atop the Shepparton RSL (seen from Wyndham St) are not used on a daily basis because of OH&S issues, however the Australian and RSL flags fly daily at the building's main entrance on the corner of Welsford and Knight Sts.

The Australian flag flies at Shepparton RSL's main entrance on the corner of Welsford and Knight Sts.

Comments disrespectful

- Peter W Martin RFD ED, Shepparton RSL sub-branch honorary secretary

In reference to Shepparton News viewpoint, December 7, we found John Gray’s remarks in relation to the RSL and the flying of flags to be incorrect in substance and quite disrespectful.

The flagpoles shown in your story are on the top of the building and due to OH&S issues are only used to fly banners leading up to and promoting Anzac Day.

The sub-branch flies the Australian and RSL flags every day, including weekends, on poles at the main entrance.

They are flown in accordance with the protocols issued by the Federal Government.

We endeavour at all times to honour the fallen and be respectful to the Federation.

More thought needed

Chris Schacht

Former Senator for South Australia

Recently, the state and federal governments announced a major project to standardise the rail track in western Victoria. This was a welcome decision.

However, this means the major regional centres of Ballarat, Bendigo, Shepparton and Swan Hill will not be connected to the national standard gauge system.

When will the federal and state governments announce these major regional cities are connected to the standard gauge system?

On a recent visit to Victoria, I observed new concrete sleepers had been laid on some of the broad gauge train lines connecting these cities, but none of the new sleepers were made gauge convertible.

So when these cities are connected to the standard gauge system, these broad gauge-only concrete sleepers will have to be replaced at considerable extra cost.

At the least the Victorian Government should not replace broad gauge sleepers with concrete sleepers unless they are made gauge convertible.

Gauge convertible sleepers mean a further clip is inserted on the sleeper so a rail from the broad gauge clip can be moved to the standard gauge clip at minimal cost without the need for a complete new concrete sleeper.

The people of Ballarat, Bendigo, Shepparton and Swan Hill should demand a date from the state and federal governments of when the broad gauge to these regional cities and surrounding areas will be converted to standard gauge.

In the meantime, as a matter of urgency, they should insist all new concrete sleepers on the existing broad gauge tracks be made gauge convertible.

The people of these cities should demand all political parties make this commitment as part of the next state election campaign in Victoria.

Chris Schacht served on the Senate Transport and Infrastructure Committee.

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