It might sound petty of me to mention
Premier Dilemma’s jaunt to Italy
before Easter, but the junket was a jolly successful bit of spinning.

Aside from doing a bit of Catholic youth
tourism business in Rome, Morrie made the fishwrappers and the Channel Seven and Ten news by having a
ride on a train and signing a deal with an Italian company, Ansaldo, to
“establish a rail signalling and technology centre at Newcastle”.

Yes, it all sounds positive. Of course
Ansaldo actually signed the alliance agreement with Australian Rail Track
Corporation last year for work on fixing NSW’s 19th century
signalling system, but let’s not let that get in the way of a good photo op.

The real story involving signals, rail and
NSW is that after 11 years of Carr Crash and Iemma Spin Cycle (as the SMH is
calling it), NSW still has manual signal boxes manned all week for just the one
or maybe two trains that pass by every seven days, never mind the safety
aspects. The story isn’t the nice photo op – it’s the mess of what’s been
allowed to develop and is only belatedly being fixed in Australia’s
highest taxing state.