Paedophile scandal prompts Puffing Billy land grab by state

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 04 May 2020 11:44
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
It is clear to me why the government has taken a caveat over the land and buildings being concerned about pending litigation against the railway and the need to pay compensation if the litigation is successful.

it is a sad state of affairs this has happened and was not jumped on at the time.

Paedophile scandal prompts Puffing Billy land grab by state

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  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Why is the source of this article not credited as is the normal practice?
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
the http for the link  was missing the first h.  fixed.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

It is clear to me why the government has taken a caveat over the land and buildings being concerned about pending litigation against the railway and the need to pay compensation if the litigation is successful.

it is a sad state of affairs this has happened and was not jumped on at the time.

Paedophile scandal prompts Puffing Billy land grab by state
bevans
I don't see it as a land grab, but more of an appropriate protective measure.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The other way to look at this is to say the government has a caveat over the fixed assets of the railway and any litigation from affected people against the railway cannot include the fixed assets.  I think  you will find it is this.
  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
The other way to look at this is to say the government has a caveat over the fixed assets of the railway and any litigation from affected people against the railway cannot include the fixed assets.  I think  you will find it is this.
bevans
So PB may have to sell a loco or two instead?
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
So PB may have to sell a loco or two instead?
"apw5910"
Who do you think would have (a) use for them and (b) enough cash to buy them?  There's an obvious (a) but I'd reckon (b) is dubious.
  NSWGR8022 Deputy Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
The other way to look at this is to say the government has a caveat over the fixed assets of the railway and any litigation from affected people against the railway cannot include the fixed assets.  I think  you will find it is this.
bevans

Clever bevans very clear maybe you should have been a lawyer?
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

It is clear to me why the government has taken a caveat over the land and buildings being concerned about pending litigation against the railway and the need to pay compensation if the litigation is successful.

it is a sad state of affairs this has happened and was not jumped on at the time.

Paedophile scandal prompts Puffing Billy land grab by state
I don't see it as a land grab, but more of an appropriate protective measure.
nswtrains
Yes. It protects Puffing Billy, but not the Society.

That's a fair call, the Society shouldn't be permitted to squirm out of making right their wrongs.
  NSWGR8022 Deputy Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
I scratch my head attempting to understand how the ERTB would not have addressed this at the time when they knew there were issues with some members.  Truly terrible and those affected should expect to be compensated.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

I scratch my head attempting to understand how the ERTB would not have addressed this at the time when they knew there were issues with some members.  Truly terrible and those affected should expect to be compensated.
NSWGR8022
The Ombudsman's report says the core problem is one of governance.

The Puffing Billy Preservation Society (PBPS) membership allowed a small cabal of volunteers to take control of the organisation, and the Emerald Tourist Railway Board (ETRB) directors were not able to exercise effective oversight of the PBPS because they were mostly appointed by PBPS (i.e. by the same PBPS 'inner circle' who needed to be supervised).

In 2018 the government fired all the ETRB directors and CEO, and revoked the right of the PBPS to appoint the majority of the directors. There is currently an interim board which is working on restructuring the whole Puffing Billy operation so the ETRB takes over responsibility for management and operations and the PBPS becomes more of a "friends of..." group instead of running things.

In time once the restructuring is complete and if the PBPS is able to pay off all damages awarded against it, then it might become appropriate again for PBPS to nominate an observer to the ETRB for a couple of years and then possibly a real board member after that.
  NSWGR8022 Deputy Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
From your post (I am bored at home) it seems the government has prevented the PBR from appointing its own directors or just the majority of the directors?  Scandalous really this has been allowed to happen and it does make you wonder if there are other organisations who have allowed the same.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

There are now no PBPS nominated directors on the ETRB at all.

The Act has not been amended to remove the term stating the PBPS gets to nominate directors, so it looks like the government used the casual vacancy procedure (where the Governor-in-Council, i.e. the Minister, makes the appointment) to fill all the seats on the board for 2018-20.

The terms of all the interim directors expire next month. My guess is that the government will tell the PBPS who they would like the PBPS to nominate for the board, under threat of refusing to approve any other nominees or even amending the Act to remove the part about the PBPS nominating directors.
  Spinner5711 Train Controller

My understanding has always been that the Victorian Government, through the ETRB, own all of the assets associated with the Puffing Billy Railway that were previously owned by VR.  This includes the land and the NA Class Locomotives and all of the former VR rolling stock.  The ETRB also owns the Climax via assets transfer/internal Government purchase from the Victorian Forestry Commission.

The PBPS owns the locomotives and other objects in the Menzies Creek Museum that they obtained via purchase or donation.

i may be wrong on this...
  gunzel42 Locomotive Driver

I scratch my head attempting to understand how the ERTB would not have addressed this at the time when they knew there were issues with some members.  Truly terrible and those affected should expect to be compensated.
The Ombudsman's report says the core problem is one of governance.

The Puffing Billy Preservation Society (PBPS) membership allowed a small cabal of volunteers to take control of the organisation, and the Emerald Tourist Railway Board (ETRB) directors were not able to exercise effective oversight of the PBPS because they were mostly appointed by PBPS (i.e. by the same PBPS 'inner circle' who needed to be supervised).

In 2018 the government fired all the ETRB directors and CEO, and revoked the right of the PBPS to appoint the majority of the directors. There is currently an interim board which is working on restructuring the whole Puffing Billy operation so the ETRB takes over responsibility for management and operations and the PBPS becomes more of a "friends of..." group instead of running things.

In time once the restructuring is complete and if the PBPS is able to pay off all damages awarded against it, then it might become appropriate again for PBPS to nominate an observer to the ETRB for a couple of years and then possibly a real board member after that.
justapassenger
One of the removed directors was a former Tourist & Heritage Rail Registrar who, in good faith to his credit, ensured that child protection became an integral part of groups wanting to register under the T&H rail legislation.  Go figure why he was removed?  This person did what he thought was in the best interest of the T&H rail sector to ensure that the things that had happened were not able to happen again.

As is usually the case though the pendulum has swung to the extreme opposite.  The overtly restrictive requirements now being required to prove innocence rather than the hard yards to go after the guilty will result in less younger people being able to experience heritage rail, which will be to the detriment of heritage rail.  

Yes there has to be a balance, but there is not that currently.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

One of the removed directors was a former Tourist & Heritage Rail Registrar who, in good faith to his credit, ensured that child protection became an integral part of groups wanting to register under the T&H rail legislation.  Go figure why he was removed?  This person did what he thought was in the best interest of the T&H rail sector to ensure that the things that had happened were not able to happen again.
gunzel42
My guess is that he went along with the request to resign for at least one of the following reasons:
1. he understood the importance of the whole board resigning en masse to send a strong message.
2. he knew that there had to be some level of accountability for the period where the board had collaborated in 'doing the right thing' about future processes while simultaneously not doing anything about Whitehead.
3. he believed that if he didn't resign then the government might have opted for the nuclear option of amending the Emerald Tourist Railway Act to allow him to be removed without his resignation.

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