I have followed this for a long time now without commenting, but I feel it is time that I add a little of the knowledge I have to this discussion in the hope that the truth will eventually be told.
While the president of SRHC must shoulder the blame for the failures of the organisation, he is not clever enough to have run this rental program without the advice and assistance of others.
Questions must also be asked about the role played by a consultant who has provided advice to the SRHC president and been a background player between SRHC, El Zorro, and the governments Freight logistics & Marine (FLAM) organisation.
For those not familiar with FLAM, it is on the same floor as the transport minister (L16 101 Exhibition St) and the vic.gov.au website describes FLAM's role as:
"Freight, Logistics and Marine delivers the government's policies in the ports, maritime, freight and logistics sectors in partnership with agencies, industry and the community. The division encourages better use of Victoria's freight network, plans for freight growth and works to overcome critical freight bottlenecks through infrastructure investment."
As many of you know, the politics of the times decided to support the role of El Zorro in the Victorian rail freight scene when PN withdrew from many areas of Victorian rail freight.
I have come to learn and understand that when FLAM decided to prop up El Zorro's operations, the consultant saw a way of helping out his old mates in the government (and himself), and in doing so he manipulated others and helped create the chaos that has led to the destruction of SRHC's reputation through El Zorro's well documented failures.
Over the years, FLAM, in an effort to prolong the operation, has facilitated the payment of some outstanding bills by El Zorro to various organisations, including unpaid ARTC and VicTrack access fees that were in the press a while back. The change of government and the implementation of their fiscal policy hastened the inevitable demise of El Zorro as they could not stand unsupported.
SRHC has been used by others as a tool to prop up a commercial operation that was clearly managed incompetently and was totally unviable, but was seen politically as necessary, and has now been abandoned by the faceless men of the old boys network. This thread has been primarily focused on one man when there are many others who need to come under scrutiny for their roles in this shifty program.
With hinsight, building SRHC into the biggest heritage organisation through the rent a government asset program (which I believe is what was promised to the SRHC president), has now compromised the viability of SRHC moving forward, and led to the president imitating an Ostrich, believing if he does and says nothing, it will all go away.
The president, I believe, is being advised by the consultant that all will be well in time, so now I have to wonder if the consultant is trying to look after his mate and get the government to bail out SRHC as a reward for co-operating in the 'keep El Zorro alive' campaign?
Anything is possible, but the other creditors I have personally spoken to would have issues with that, so I doubt they will have any success.
Time is here for the truth to come from the cast of this debacle, featuring the president of SRHC, the consultant, the government through FLAM and El Zorro. This will only happen if you continue to ask the appropriate, sensible questions and hold the players accountable for their actions. The best thing the president can do for himself is to stand down until a proper inquiry can be convened where he can tell the truth, but until he does that he continues be a puppet of the faceless men and remains the sole focus in this mess.
I hope this post sheds some more light on this topic and stimulates people to continue the search for the true story.