Letters to the editor | July 14, 2017

GOOD MORNING: Mark Radford snapped this great image of a rainbow over Quantong on Thursday morning.
GOOD MORNING: Mark Radford snapped this great image of a rainbow over Quantong on Thursday morning.

Just another long track to the other side

BEFORE forming a view about the Horsham bypass, our elected representatives on the Horsham Rural City Council should show less self-interest and more consideration for the facts.

Bypass alignment supporting documentation by AECOM and Water Technology provide for interesting reading.

Bypass option D and option 5A have a projected capital construction cost of $276.9 million and $126.7 million respectively. The route through Riverside adds $150.2 million to the bottom line.

Maintenance of option D is 77 per cent more expensive due to the extra 4.1 kilometres of Wimmera River floodplain that must be crossed.

Compare this to the Kempsey bypass on the mid-north coast of New South Wales, which was completed in 2013.

The NSW Government reports that this road was completed costing some $618 million to build.

Despite cutting through less floodplains and shorter in length, this project cost more than double that projected for Horsham bypass option D, which suggests option D is grossly under costed. Yet, it is still reported to be $150.2 million more expensive to build and 77 per cent more expensive to maintain than other options.

The Macleay Valley bridge, constructed as a part of the Kempsey bypass, has been given an Aboriginal name: Yapang gurraarrbang gayandugayigu, meaning “a very long track to the other side”.

If Horsham bypass option D gets to design stage, then the real costs of construction will come to the fore. That is when local self-interested politics will evaporate.

No government will spend more than twice the money to build a bypass around Horsham that offers little other than being known as just another very long track to the other side.

Mark Sudholz, Horsham

Questioning the reasons behind power price pain

WHILE broadly agreeing with Simon Ramsay’s letter (Electricity price pain, Wimmera Mail-Times, July 12) I cannot allow his opening statement to go unchallenged.

“Daniel Andrews’ reckless policy to shut down the Hazelwood power station has made energy prices unaffordable for more Victorians,” Mr Ramsay wrote. 

The decision to close Hazelwood was made by the French owners of the facility and only indirectly by constant niggling from the Andrews’ government about dirty coal and carbon emissions.

Niggling on carbon emissions from Labor and the Greens which garnishes all reporting on climate change is based on nebulous “evidence” that global warming is caused by carbon dioxide emissions.

Nobody has yet dared to prove the case empirically.

What caused the rapid rise in temperatures from 1650 to 1700 when anthropogenic influences were negligible?

The demise of Hazelwood is tied into an action of an earlier Coalition government led by the Liberal Jeff Kennett.

That government, like many of its ilk, was virtually broke and couldn’t afford to run the railways, the electricity supply and water supply.

So the Premier, Mr Kennett, went overseas on a begging mission for finance.

He came back empty-handed except for the message from the possible financiers: “Privatise everything not bolted down.”

Thus the necessity to privatise was the beginning of the end for Hazelwood. Actions by subsequent governments merely hastened the closure.

Simon closes his remarks with the question: “What does Billion Dollar Dan do? He ups taxes.” 

What would he and his Coalition parties do if in government now?

Ron Fischer, Horsham