CESSNOCK SHOULD BE REWARDED WITH 'SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENT'
My reply to Cr Darrin Gray, (New train service is an expensive pipe dream, The Advertiser 8/9/21).
Cr Gray found my letter amusing. He said that whenever there's an election, candidates put up the old "reintroduce the passenger trains to Cessnock" argument. I wouldn't know - I've only lived here for six years - but I can see others support the rail concept too. For example, Labor MP Clayton Barr supports the possibility of the NSW government's acquisition of the rail line and reinstatement of passenger services to the Cessnock area (NH, 21/8/21).
Cr Gray expressed reservation about the "significant investment". For more than 100 years Cessnock has contributed greatly to Australia's GDP with its coal exports - why shouldn't our community be rewarded with a significant investment?
He asked if you'd take the train to go shopping in Maitland or Cessnock, when you need to first drive to the station and "...for an extra ten minutes (in a car) you and the kids are in the shopping complex car park". Maybe not, but I'd take one to Newcastle or Maitland for a business meeting, doctor's appointment, attend Newcastle Uni, or the new Maitland Hospital.
Cr Gray agreed that active transport be considered for the rail corridors but described my proposal which includes a passenger train service as "... an expensive populist pipe dream...at great rate payer expense". A councillor should know that a passenger rail service in Cessnock would be funded by the State Government, not by Cessnock City Council rate payers.
Llynda Nairn, Greens candidate for Cessnock City Council
KURRI PEAKER PLAN DOESN'T STACK UP
Even with an election in the wind, it's hard to see how $600 million for "10 full-time jobs" is a vote winner ("Kurri peaker 'critical': Taylor", The Advertiser, 8/9).
The plant will sit idle 98 per cent of the time.
When gas is not available or is constrained, the backup fuel will be diesel, leading to 15 million tonnes of CO2 emissions over the plant's lifetime.
Why can't the government accept that gas and diesel are fossil fuels contributing to climate change?
As the Energy Security Board's Kerry Schott said, "there are a whole lot of other things around that are cheaper."
Ray Peck, Hawthorn VIC
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