Sunday, June 8, 2008

Unseen cost of petrol price rises

My neighbours are pensioners in their 70s. I visited my neighbours on Saturday and I spoke with the man of the house. I hadn't seen either of them since he'd had a turn a few weeks ago (carted off in the ambulance at night), and I asked how he went with the tests. Apparently he'd had, I think, some plaque in his carotid artery which had broken free and caused a minor stroke. (From his explanation I’ve guessed that's what it was.) He's now on medication.
He told me that he didn't know how I managed my commute to work every day (about 85ks each way which takes me one hour and 20 minutes on a good run, with NO traffic, leaving home at 5:20am, and leaving work at 4pm to return home at about 5:20pm), he told me that he'd given away his pigeons, he used to race them. He said that it was just getting too expensive. He couldn't lift over 4kg due to a back injury, but he'd been able to cope with that, but since petrol was so expensive he was unable to take the pigeons out to toss them, or even take them down to the clubhouse for someone else to take them out and toss them.

Bolta has a piece today on the most recent high petrol prices “Welcome to the petrol prices warmenists demanded”.

I heard an interview on Macca’s Australia All Over show thismorning, Macca was talking with a bloke about whether he’d abandoned any plans to travel away over the long weekend. The caller said he’d abandoned a job up at Charters Towers. This bloke was a driver. He said that the last time he did this job it cost him about $600 to travel up to Charters and back. If he did it this time it would cost him over $2,000, which he couldn’t recoup.

It sort of goes with the hugely inflated land prices because of the way that infrastructure is provided these days on new land developments, mentioned in comments here.

Up here in Queensland rail transport of goods has been massively cut because many small branch lines to towns were shut down years ago under the false understanding that they were underutilised. For example, in Injune graziers would send their cattle by rail to Roma where the markets were. After the animals were sold they would be transported again by rail to where they had to go (usually the abattoir). Unfortunately, the statistics for the rail transport of goods and cattle, etc, were always taken from Roma, as it was the main terminus for all the trains carrying goods from the branch lines.

I’ve spent a few hours looking for information on the shut down of the branch lines from Roma, and I found a report from the minister stating it was a mistake, however my computer locked up and I didn’t have the address saved…. ARRGH!


Minicapt said...

If you found the report at a website, then you should be able to find it in your browser history collection. Depending on your settings, it should remain there for a week.


kae said...

I tried looking using the old browser settings, but I've got no idea and I looked at so much stuff - I don't even remember who the report was for, but it was a PDF by a Minister (a Ministerial Report), but I don't remember the title or even the start of URL, I just know that the PDF froze up the system. I'd clicked on it straight from the search... I'd been looking on and off all day!

Dave wane said...

A smart government would allow total private sector ownership of all rail lines, whether deemed necessary by the bureaucrats or not.

Only then could the marketplace determine the viability of any particular branch line.

Government (taxpayer) ownership and subsidisation of rail in most states ant territories must cease if REAL productivity gains are ever to be made in this country.

kae said...

Hi Dave
I know a grazier from Injune.
He said that when the branch lines closed the profits went down because once a farmer had to use a truck to transport his cattle or timber or whatever, to Roma to the rail head there was no point unloading the truck onto a train. So the rail lost the business.
When the boffins worked out the profitability of the branch lines from Roma to the outlying towns they somehow missed that this stuff wasn't entering the system only at Roma, it was coming from up the branch lines.
Because of the way the bookkeeping was on the rail the little branch lines weren't mentioned, it came from Roma in the accounting... that was the mistake!