IT seems nobody in Orange has bothered to take up the fight to save our XPT service and it’s now on the cards it could get the chop.
Infrastructure NSW’s so-called strategy for the state recommended buses could be an XPT alternative for us poor distant cousins in the bush while coming up with an $18 billion plan to fix transport problems in Sydney.
The report says the XPT fleet is approaching the end of its economic life and a decision needs to be taken whether the substantial investment required for new rolling stock is justified given very low regional rail patronage, or whether alternative approaches should be a priority.
The alternatives could include greater use of coach services or service sharing on some routes with Great Southern Railway, a private operator of interstate passenger trains including the Indian Pacific, which goes through Orange on its return trip from Perth to Sydney at 4.26am.
These options may be more economically viable and could provide faster journey times, the report says.
Persistence by Bathurst people won them their own daily train service while Orange people doing nothing could result in the loss of ours.
We must take up the fight to retain our XPT.
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THE Better Half.
With politicians’ wives in the news lately, does this have a familiar ring?
Former Prime Minister Bob Menzies told a sugar growers’ meeting back in 1953: “When people meet my wife they think rather better of me. They say, ‘With a wife like that, he can’t be as bad as we thought...’”
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WE’RE working for nothing.
First petrol stations ditched providing a service to customers and now the supermarkets and discount stores are turning us into their willing workers.
They’re trying everything they can to push us into serving ourselves rather than using the checkouts, which at times in the discount stores are as bare as winter trees.
Pretty soon the company bean counters will come up with more ways to cut staff and save money by asking customers to pitch in a bit more by stacking the shelves and doing a bit of cleaning while doing the shopping.
Then you collect what you want, pay for it with plastic at the self-service checkout robots and head off home, knowing you have done your part in helping get an employee or two sacked and changing forever the way we shop. That will enable these places to become huge brilliantly-lit warehouses without the need for any staff and operated by self-serve customers while the owners sit back and watch the money roll in.
It’s making us forget that not that long ago real people served us our bread, milk, eggs, corn flakes, vegetables and washing powder and took real money off us and put it in a real till.
The bottom line to all this is that a trip to the supermarket or discount store will eventually involve no interaction at all with helpful assistants while the checkout robots telling you what to do will become the rage-inducing watchword of 21st-century shopping.
What better opportunity is there for corner stores to make a comeback so we can get some good old-fashioned service.
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ONE of our highway patrol cops pulls up a priest for speeding but spots a bottle on the passenger seat.
“Sir, have you been drinking?” he asks the priest.
“No, it’s only water in the bottle,” he says.
“Then how come I can smell wine on your breath?” asks the cop.
The priest in a feigned voice says: “Oh no, don’t tell me the Lord has gone and done it again!”
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CABONNE Shire’s criticism of Orange City Council was so out of order it’s probably time to put up toll gates on Forbes, Cargo, Molong and Mullion Creek roads and impose a charge on shire residents who come into Orange to use our facilities, which they get for free. Zilch, nowt, nil.
Shire deputy mayor Lachie MacSmith was particularly cheeky with his comments: Northern distributor a mess, Wade Park a mess, the pool a mess. And then adding to his brash remarks, “most Orange councillors have not got a clue about the pipeline ...”
Well, OK matey. If that’s what you think.
But, as they say, people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Your Cabonne roads aren’t exactly five-star highways, your sporting grounds certainly won’t rival ANZ Stadium and your pools are about the right size for ducks.
So if you think our facilities are a mess, to which you can add the library and civic theatre, not to mention our hospital and medical and professional people, sporting fields and shopping centre, you needn’t bother using them.
Cabonne Council should count itself lucky to be based next to the best country city in the state and really should be helping contribute to our development, rather than knocking our first-class facilities.
So, up with the toll gates!