Narrandera - Tocumwal Feasibility Study: The Plot Thickens

 
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Well, well, well. What's the chance this will end up in ICAC?


Has anyone actually seen the report?

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  9034 Chief Train Controller

Well, well, well. What's the chance this will end up in ICAC?


Has anyone actually seen the report?
Carnot
so what is the complaint here?   The  coalition  want to spend money on rail?  How dare they?
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
So was 500 k ever spent on a study on reopening the line ?

Or did 500 k find It's way to other unauthorised causes ?
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
I've seen the 'Friendly Jordies' story that he does on Narrandera some time ago. He interviews lots of locals about the problems of people who are well-connected to the National Party and how they've basically been allowed to do whatever they want without proper development approvals and to the detriment of their neighbours - also that the local council (Nats dominated of course) won't allow development approvals from 'out of town' big chain businesses for fear that it'll take away from their (presumably?) main street donors.

One of the other allegations levelled is that there was a rather expensive consultant's report generated about the feasibility of re-opening the line through Narrandera and it was never, ever released.

Nobody can even find out why the report wasn't released to the public - it's just been buried and there's no way of finding out what is even in it. Very strange considering half a million dollars of NSW taxpayer money was spent on it and it was kept totally confidential. You have to ask why the secrecy? Maybe they didn't even bother writing a report and just took the money down the pub, who knows!
  sthyer Deputy Commissioner

The report seems rather pointless now, given that the Victorian side has no intention of standardising. It probably provided some of the impetus for the project.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
I believe it should be made available online sometime next week for public consumption.
  hbedriver Deputy Commissioner

Can’t help but wonder about the proprieties of some of these consultancies.

They don’t seem to be selected by Tender, and little control of them otherwise.

Some mobs (not necessarily this one) don’t have any background in the industry, nor even use people who do.

Is it possible that a political party engages consultants for a government report who then make donations back to that party? At what point could it be deemed that it’s a way of getting more funds into party coffers using public money?

Not necessarily the case here, and the same questions might apply anywhere in Australia
  SinickleBird Assistant Commissioner

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
I suspect, based on recent cases involving big 4 names, that it’s more about choosing a firm that will provide the predetermined answer.

Remember that the purpose of hiring a consultant is to put distance between the decision and the people making it.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
I suspect, based on recent cases involving big 4 names, that it’s more about choosing a firm that will provide the predetermined answer.
SinickleBird
Yep, to quote Sir Humphrey

"Never set up an enquiry unless you know in advance what its findings will be."
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

9034, has been wheeled out the shed again.
An election is on the cards.
  james.au Minister for Railways
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Interesting - surprisingly little conversation with the report now available - compared to lots of conversation beforehand?
  62440 Chief Commissioner

As one who has been involved in many studies, it depends on the detail, $500k is not a lot for a detailed study but it a lot for a concept study.
I can sum up most of the studies, regardless of party affiliation thus "Here is the conclusion I want, reach it within this budget".
  ARodH Chief Train Controller

Location: East Oakleigh, Vic
Reading it now, so far all I'm getting from it is the rail is good, sleepers are stuffed along with the bridges and if the NSWgov spend the money on the project, they won't be the recipients of the benefits instead it'd be to the benefit of Victoria presuming that the Vic end is converted to standard gauge.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Reading it now, so far all I'm getting from it is the rail is good, sleepers are stuffed along with the bridges and if the NSWgov spend the money on the project, they won't be the recipients of the benefits instead it'd be to the benefit of Victoria presuming that the Vic end is converted to standard gauge.
ARodH
Thats my read too.

Victoria needs to step it up and see the benefits.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Reading it now, so far all I'm getting from it is the rail is good, sleepers are stuffed along with the bridges and if the NSWgov spend the money on the project, they won't be the recipients of the benefits instead it'd be to the benefit of Victoria presuming that the Vic end is converted to standard gauge.
Thats my read too.

Victoria needs to step it up and see the benefits.
james.au
Though It would seem that the Victorian Department of Transport just can't look past their beloved broad gauge (Upgrading the line for Shepparton passenger services)

Than again It would be nearly Impossible to thread all the proposed extra Shepparton passenger services through Footscray / Dynon area If they were on Standard Gauge, they would probably have to settle for SG shuttles between Seymour and Shepparton (for the off peak services) where passengers would change for a local BG Seymour service, an Albury SG service or an express road coach service.
  Galron Chief Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic
Reading it now, so far all I'm getting from it is the rail is good, sleepers are stuffed along with the bridges and if the NSWgov spend the money on the project, they won't be the recipients of the benefits instead it'd be to the benefit of Victoria presuming that the Vic end is converted to standard gauge.
Thats my read too.

Victoria needs to step it up and see the benefits.
Though It would seem that the Victorian Department of Transport just can't look past their beloved broad gauge (Upgrading the line for Shepparton passenger services)

Than again It would be nearly Impossible to thread all the proposed extra Shepparton passenger services through Footscray / Dynon area If they were on Standard Gauge, they would probably have to settle for SG shuttles between Seymour and Shepparton (for the off peak services) where passengers would change for a local BG Seymour service, an Albury SG service or an express road coach service.
Nightfire
3VL shep service joining a 6vl Albury service (or vice verca) to form a 9vl would solve the pathing issues. Logical i know. Scheduling in an optimal way for Shep services would be difficult probably.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Given that just about all the sleepers need to be replaced, Options 7, 8 & 9, at least, should have been costed as BG with gauge-convertible sleepers. SG south of Tocumwal is an over-simplification by the report. Apart from the problems already mentioned above, there’s also Deniliquin (Moulamein?) – Echuca – Toolamba to consider and the Murray Basin hasn’t been resolved yet.

Option 9 (25 tonne-axle-load) might be a bit excessive. $85 million to remove the Berrigan dog-leg would probably be worth it (if you’re going to waste money on the project).

Anyway, all the Benefit-Cost Ratios were below 1.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Given that just about all the sleepers need to be replaced, Options 7, 8 & 9, at least, should have been costed as BG with gauge-convertible sleepers. SG south of Tocumwal is an over-simplification by the report. Apart from the problems already mentioned above, there’s also Deniliquin (Moulamein?) – Echuca – Toolamba to consider and the Murray Basin hasn’t been resolved yet.

Option 9 (25 tonne-axle-load) might be a bit excessive. $85 million to remove the Berrigan dog-leg would probably be worth it (if you’re going to waste money on the project).

Anyway, all the Benefit-Cost Ratios were below 1.
kitchgp
What sensitivity is missing from the report that should have been completed?
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

What sensitivity is missing from the report that should have been completed?
james.au
I've been wondering the same.
The report only gives data, it doesn't discuss options nor make conclusions, let alone recommendations (quite possibly the instigators didn't want that).
The only reason I can see for wanting to keep it from the public gaze is that if the railway was revived (and the Victorian end standardised), it would direct trade to Victoria, (and that would never do Smile), irrespective of the fact that the road transport industry has, and is doing just that.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
What sensitivity is missing from the report that should have been completed?
I've been wondering the same.
The report only gives data, it doesn't discuss options nor make conclusions, let alone recommendations (quite possibly the instigators didn't want that).
The only reason I can see for wanting to keep it from the public gaze is that if the railway was revived (and the Victorian end standardised), it would direct trade to Victoria, (and that would never do Smile), irrespective of the fact that the road transport industry has, and is doing just that.
Lockspike
Trade is already by and large going to Victoria so redirection might not be such an issue (except maybe bulk grain for export).  Road transport would miss out though...
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

Trade is already by and large going to Victoria so redirection might not be such an issue (except maybe bulk grain for export).  Road transport would miss out though...
james.au
Our state governments are very parochial.

As for road transport already doing the job; that's the reason this proposed work will not happen.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

The Oaklands line was converted to SG, funded by Victoria.
  ARodH Chief Train Controller

Location: East Oakleigh, Vic
And?
Well I suppose restoring a ~70km link to NSW track from Oaklands to Boree Creek would provide a second Standard gauge crossing and backup for any issues at Albury, presuming that the line from Oaklands to the Rock isn't in the same state as Narrandera to Tocumwal - stuffed!
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Hardly parochial though. Not to mention Deniliquin, and the former Balranald, etc

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