I think you miss the point in what is said. The aspect that happens is that organisations are donated an item but they are charged a very token amount for it. This covers the paperwork and a lot of other things as well, its marked as sold, being surplus to use.
Absolutely agree, fantastic post Zordmaker.All government railways are now very strict on corrupt practices. Shutting up about corrupt practices can land you in a lot of hot water with losing your job being the most likely but disposing of a Hi Railer for a $1 probably landing you in gaol. Not a great idea not upsetting the apple cart.
It is the little things that people don't see, the used sleepers falling off the back of a truck instead of being sold to the local Garden Centre for a pittance, the Hi-Rail offloaded for $1 instead of being auctioned, the Big Railway safe worker who's job just happens to take them to the town where a Heritage service is running to so he can set the road instead of paying a crew thousands to drive out to Whoop Whoop to do the job that volunteers are not allowed to do.
That is why sometimes it is best to shut up and just let things take their course instead of upsetting the apple cart and losing everything.
You would be surprised at how much was donated in that manner with full approval from the powers to be. There is and has been a lot of these things go on for many years with approval from high officials.
There's nothing corrupt going on - there never is. These people aren't stupid. They just look for opportunity and use it where they can, just like some examples above. However when you're treading on lily leaves in a pond of political opinion, it's necessary to make as few waves as possible or the whole lot sinks. Eventually you get to shore and when that happens you can then tell everyone the good news, pat everyone on the back and let the top brass take the credit for things they never knew were happening.
Just about everything we have in the shed at Redfern, exists today because some middle manager somewhere was convinced to hide it from the top brass or a scrapper in the '90s. Today? Senior managers stand in front of media and take credit for supporting things like the F1 Project while we stand there watching and bite our tongues, knowing full well how hard these same people made our life years beforehand when they embarked on relentless attempts to eradicate us and our stupid idea of having heritage trains that actually go somewhere with passengers.
Meanwhile our friends continue to die one by one, such that there's now at least two pages in "Roundhouse" dedicated to obituaries every quarter. Tragically in 2016 HET's long standing Secretary died only two weeks before the F1 project came to fruition and the train carried its first passengers in 13 years.
Sydney Trains is the accredited operator of F1 - a fact that THNSW try and keep quiet lest other groups cry foul at how we're supposedly getting "preferential treatment". What the other groups don't understand however is the wildly difficult and unfavorable situation that creates, because ST crewing aren't allowed to allocate us crew all the while a public service stands without one that needs it.
There are only three accredited heritage operators left in NSW. NSWRM, LVR and RMS. They can plan trips months ahead using their own crews and volunteers, save any of them dying or being admitted to an aged care facility. Us? The THNSW team responsible for running F1 don't even find out if we have crew until a week beforehand and even then its open to change. One trip was run last December where we had no crew allocated until 10:30pm the night before.
The lily pond pictures that the publicity guys try and paint of THNSW look fantastic and every success is celebrated. However underneath the pond it's a dire state of affairs indeed with mud, sharks and piranhas at every turn. The expensive work done by Peter Lowry back in 2015 was panned by many RTM members as a waste of resources and yet now, we at least have a unified group willing to support all transport heritage in NSW and not just their own agenda, as can be seen by their support in handling the demise of ARHS ACT and also cross promoting trips run by LVR - things that would have been considered impossible beforehand.
3801 Ltd were masters of their own demise during this process, staunchly refusing to cooperate at every turn and instead choosing to fight through every court and minister they could get their hands on, fully expecting that life would just continue unchanged. It didn't, and now they've paid the price. And before you criticise, I am a full member of 3801 Ltd, I have been well across all of the issues involved and have also worked with them both paid and volunteer and have fond respect for many of the people.
It's easy to make armchair assessments of whats happened to 3801 over the past 30 years. Had Peter been the chair back in 2006, I have no doubt things would have turned out differently.
But in the end we're all faced with the same challenge. We're working to rebuild something in a world where the tools and skills no longer exist. We need to be prepared to admit that sometimes we will just make mistakes and fail. Sometimes several times and sometimes spectacularly.
The real challenge is what happens then. Do we give up? Or do we get back up, dust ourselves off and try again?