Showtime: Thank you for your comments. and to clarify in case you may have mistaken some of my comments in regard to the apathy and lack of serious engagement by a large portion of the general population of Newcastle in relation to the closure of the line, I would like to make it clear that this is not aimed at the individuals and groups such as " Save Our Rail " who have made a valiant effort at opposing the actions of the present Government, and the vested interest groups, and " others " that also promote this action and have also done so for a long time before this Government came to power when the same and other pressure and self interest groups were pushing for the closure of the rail. What prompted my posting was what I felt was the attack on "Save Our Rail" by a previous poster that was critical of their direction of wishing to return trains to Newcastle, and what I feel is the Importance of maintaining this position for the future and used the example of the return and re opening with great success the train service to The City of Fremantle .
The City of Fremantle is a picturesque historic Port City with a number of old style homes and heritage buildings along with a mixture of maritime and industrial buildings, and without a really large population base, it is situated between the very wide Swan River and the Indian Ocean and is on a branch rail line rail line that is serviced by fast electric suburban train services that run near the Swan River and connect it to the City of Perth ( and the rest of the West Australian suburban and country rail network.) Passenger Trains Terminate there at Freemantle before recommencing their journey back in the direction from where they came from along this double track line that services it, and as it was once closed amongst great opposition to it's closure and has now been not only reopened but also dramatically upgraded and electrified with Brass commemorative plates in place as a tribute to the public pressure that led to it's revival I feel that their can certainly be a number of similarities to and examples for Newcastle and it is a good example for the poster that criticised "Save Our Rail" for not Giving Up and maintaining their objective of a future return of rail services to Newcastle and protecting the Corridor for the future.
Getting back to the subject at the start of this post. I use the term " others " in this post as a broad term, as while it includes many with their own agendas and the self interest of themselves or others they may work for or represent, ( including members or sympathisers of political parties or groups,) it also includes many well meaning individuals that have good intentions and genuinely have the future of Newcastle at heart.
Unfortunately, for any balanced argument it is often very easy to capture the imagination of well meaning people such as many of those well meaning "others" previously mentioned above, as if they are continually fed, as they have been, a constant stream of promotions for a particular idea or concept, such as this concept that the Rail line into Newcastle is the reason for the gradual decline of the City, and then are also fed all sorts propaganda and arguments and concepts for how the removal of the rail and replacing it with a token section of light rail will be the greatest thing to ever happen to Newcastle, then it is not hard to see how they can become caught up in all this and become very enthusiastic to the cause, and be used and manipulated to that end. After all people have been constantly told that the rail line into Newcastle is the reason for people not coming into Newcastle and for all it's problems for so long now and well before this Government came to power that no wonder so many people believe this and take it as gospel and without question. As they say "Tell a Lie long enough and often enough and it becomes the truth to many".
But the greatest enemy and the one that allows bad acts and bad Government to prevail is Apathy, people not caring, not engaging, not acting and leaving it to others ( and of course they then become the first to whinge and complain when it's gone or does not work out the way they expected ) It is this Apathy over many issues of the past especially in sitting back and letting successive Governments progressively close and dismantle the once extensive suburban rail system of Greater Newcastle and the Hunter, that has helped in the decline of Newcastle.
If all these previous rail services from multiple destinations were still flowing into Newcastle as they once were there would be a much greater frequency of services compared to the frequency that has existed in recent times with this dramatically cut back suburban rail system that existed just prior to closure, and with the increased growth in population and it's spread from the inner City areas ( just as has been the case for years in Sydney ) This Urban spread ( with the road congestion it brings ) and the availability of frequent train services from various parts of the suburbs and regions that have previously had their services closed would result in many more people commuting into the CBD for work, for play and for shopping.
A bonus that would come with this increase in services coming from various parts of the Newcastle suburban network would be an even greater increase in frequency of trains travelling through the inner area of the network through Hamilton , Wickham and Civic to Newcastle as all these services from various areas ran through ( just as they did in the past along with the express Inter-City services and the Newcastle Flyers ) This would mean Newcastle also had a frequent service up and down this Inner City
corridor from Hamilton to Newcastle that would have a service at least every 10 minutes or less and enable people to just turn up and go to travel from place to place quickly within this inner city corridor and would provide a faster, more frequent and far superior service free of any road congestion that any tram of the type that is planned for Newcastle would ever be able to provide, and the Tracks and dedicated corridor already existed, unlike the Tram to Wickham that we are yet to see, and the future tram service to ................................ pick a destination, any convenient destination that comes into your head, but preferably a vote winning destination that we may be promised by the politicians for us to have in the future. ( And if such a promise ever came to fruition then most of the present workforce would be retired so it would not be much of not much of a carrot for them, still their is always the clever media and video promotions to make it look good, to make it look like it will be up and running by the end of the year, with of course the actual year not specified )
The Light Rail or Tram from Wickham is held out to the people (and others,) being some sort of " Saviour " of the City and the Region with lots of very expensive and very professional marketing tools, artists impressions , video presentations and public exhibitions and displays etc. etc. etc. , and of course any cost benefit studies, detailed plans, alternate options etc. etc. etc. as we all know ( and it has been gone over numerous times,) true public input, suggestions and consultation all only "allowed" when either it fits in with what is proposed and any views to the contrary are not welcome or even provided for and of course as a result not even considered.
Any attempt by the public to be fully informed as to the merits and reasons for the decision that have been made and for the detailed planning for this closure of the rail line and for this light rail / tram project are hidden from public scrutiny or labelled as " commercial in confidence " and treated as though it is like the secrets of the countries defence strategy being made public, almost as a bigger secret than the " secret herbs and spices of the colonel' being revealed.
History is littered with examples of well meaning average folk getting caught up with enthusiasm for ideas that are well promoted and presented especially by politicians, political parties and other influential organizations, and these groups are experts in the art of manipulation. Of course what they promise, the aspirations that they cultivate, the ethics, convictions , commitment and trust for future that they wish and often succeed in us placing in them and what they end up delivering are often two different things. We will be into a federal election again shortly and the media saturation advertising and propaganda will be promising all things to all people. We must learn to not ask "what can they do " but what have they done".
If we were applying for a job, ( as they are) an employer would want to see our "resume" of " what we have done and accomplished" before showing any interests in any "promise of what we may do". I feel that the present State Government may be very reluctant to hand over a true and accurate resume of their past accomplishments when the next state election is held, but that is when the power of the art of media manipulation by their pressure and vested interest groups along with big funds and donations for a media propaganda campaign once again can help get them over the line. This of course means some favours and some debts may need to be returned or repaid in some way, but we all know about that don't we.