High-speed rail plan all wet

Kylie Chan writes: Re. “How high-speed rail could destroy your suburb” (Monday). As a Brisbane resident close to the proposed high-speed train line, I sat dumbfounded looking at the government plan that Crikey linked.

They’ve chosen a corridor through an area that includes Oxley, Darra, Durack and Pallara that is sparsely populated and doesn’t contain many buildings, but I have to wonder if they just looked on the map and drew a line through that area because it lacks houses?

Because the entire corridor they’ve selected was under five to 10 metres of water during the 2011 floods, and some parts flood every year when the rain is heavy (which explains the scarcity of buildings). Are they going to put the train line on a 10-metre-high embankment?

Older people are working plenty — for free

Beryce Nelson writes: Re. “‘No one wants to know you’: unemployment catch-22 for older Aussies” (Friday). With all the fuss about the need to have older people stay in the workforce has no one actually noticed that they are already there. The vast majority of people working every day and many nights to provide essential community services to the vulnerable young and the frail aged are older citizens themselves who have retired from the paid workforce to work harder for nothing. And that is often quite apart from the many hours of free childcare many of them also provide to working offspring.

The economic and social impact of their withdrawal from those activities would be horrendous yet is not even taken into account by those clever researchers at the various “think tanks” currently spruking their stuff about the cost of caring for the aged. We don’t see many Italian suits or Prada shoes in the Meals on Wheels kitchens, etc. By and large, the aged are caring for the majority of the aged and for many of the very young as well.

A poem for the Education Minister

John Cranmer writes: Re. “Pyne blows himself, and the Gonski reforms, to pieces” (yesterday).


With his new set of “LPlate” canines
the reconstructed poodle
savaged a  strongly declared
bipartisan article of faith

“A vote for us is a vote for Gonski!”
“not a cigarette paper between us!”
he declared to a receptive
vote-pondering nation

With a classical political “truth”
that is more than a weaseling half lie
the poodle’s mind has turned and turned again

He on the trampoline of political time
executes somersaults and back flips
of uncertain acuity
hiding ineptitude
behind the excuses of all
ultra-partisan politicians
of questionable ability

“It’s THEIR fault”
“the pussy ate the cream before
THEY lost government
and now the cupboard is bare”

this mealy-mouthed name-caller
(without the flare of a Keating)
couldn’t care a Gonski!

Going going Gonski!
“we will cheat (oh I mean treat) them equally”

Black comedy indeed from the PorkyPYNE

And of the PYNEocchio?
o Christopher how your nose is growing!