Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I started working at Parliament House back in 1982 and inside the corridors of power one tends to discover much contempt for the electorate be it from Wran, Fahey, Unsworth or Carr parliamentary wings. By the time I left, the only period that really mattered in my 20 years as the Crown employee was the moment of the Hung Parliament. See John Hatton and the Charter of 1992 ... While journalists break a scoop here and there they are just as guilty for the rail mess as Ministerial staffers as most of the aspirants just aspire to survive and become like the Indian chief Walter Secord, the chief spinner of newspeak ;-) To push the trolley of truth is a dream of many - sadly the dream does become reality for many ... So it is election time in Sydney and taxing time world-wide as Lord Conrad Black shows how he stripped companies of profits … socialise losses and privatise profits …
The "Xenon" program -- a reference to the super-bright auto headlights that light up dark places -- was started in The Netherlands in 2004 by the Dutch equivalent of the IRS, Belastingdienst. It has since been expanded and enhanced by international group of tax authorities in Austria, Denmark, Britain and Canada, with the assistance of Amsterdam-based data mining firm Sentient Machine Research. Tax Takers Send in the Spiders

Can we change the heart of politics? Rattled Carr Legacy: CityRail buried damning report
HOT, late, overcrowded and understaffed – they are just some of the unfavourable impressions tourists have of CityRail trains.

Australia's biggest city is served by the worst rail transport system in the world, news reports said Wednesday. Sydney's commuter trains are performing well below those that serve other world cities, according to an international survey leaked to the Daily Telegraph. The embarrassing finding comes less than a week after 40,000 peak-hour commuters were trapped on trains for three hours. The survey was commissioned by Sydney's CityRail and produced by Hong Kong rail experts. Not surprisingly, CityRail tried to suppress a report that was delivered to it nine months ago. It showed CityRail trains travel 32 kilometres before getting delayed more than five minutes. In Hong Kong the equivalent measurement of efficiency is 396 kilometres. The cost of running a Sydney train is four times the international average and CityRail drivers are behind the controls for less than three hours of any seven-hour shift, compared to nearly five hours of similar at-the-wheel work in Hong Kong.
The report, authored by Hong Kong's Mass Transit Railway (MTR) Corporation, was scathing it its criticism. 'CityRail shows high overall cost as well as high station staff cost compared to MTR and other railways, coupled with relatively low efficiency,' it said.

Trains fail tourist test