It is understandable that residents of "inner" Wagga may have serious concerns regarding the impacts of the Inland Rail development.
The information available suggests that the city will be impacted by a large number of very long trains, not to mention the possible impacts on buildings that will be affected by extensive changes to the railway infrastructure.
Apparently there is no intention to eliminate the rail crossings in the city, given that one in particular is on what is basically an arterial road.
Surely the example of Victoria to eliminate rail crossings would make sense in a large regional city.
I visited a promotional display about this rail proposal and asked what are the benefits to small centres and whether there would be a possibility for small country businesses to use rail freight.
I was told that only shipping container loads would be allowed, not, I would have thought, relevant to small businesses in rural and regional centres.
In fact, the advantage of this rail project seems rather limited and possibly harmful to small centres. Consultation seems to have been more about publicity and not a lot about listening.
With Labor now in power federally, Queen Elizabeth II nearing the end of her reign and an unpopular Prince slated to become King, it seems inevitable that Australia will seize the opportunity to move towards a republic.
And while I have absolutely no understanding why Australia keeps a foreign Head of State, I have always liked the ability to have a tyrant leader removed from office by a greater power.
So I have been left wondering, as we all should, what constitutional options can a republic utilise to ensure civilians can rise to defend their rights against an elected oppressor if we become a republic?
And this is where I get stuck. I can't find a better system and I believe we as a nation should be looking for answers right now.
Personally, the last thing I want is the American principle where gun laws are legislated so that if a federal government stops working for the people, and instructs an army to attack the people, an armed militia may rise.
I'm hoping someone out there can draft a better solution, and soon.
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Mandating vehicle emission standards will be a sensible move for the Labor government to take.
From the climate perspective, this will help accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles to enable the Labor government to meet its 2030 climate change goals.
The health benefits are significant too; higher levels of air pollution have been linked to increased heart and lung problems, and increased mortality.
Fewer petrol cars on our roads will reduce air pollution and improve health outcomes for the general population.
Any policy that will not only help us achieve our climate goals, but also reduce the burden on our overloaded public health system is simply a win-win policy.
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