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Your views: on selling trams and trains, road toll, Sky News, youth drug bill and Shed 26

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Today, readers comment on a possible sale of Adelaide trains, how to reduce road deaths, Murdoch media, protecting at-risk children and Port Adelaide heritage.

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Privatised services must profit

Commenting on the story: Unions rail against privatisation as Libs leave door open

The only reason anyone would purchase train services is if they can run it profitably. 

The problem is that public transport is a public good – busy routes and peak times effectively subsidise those routes and times where there is limited patronage. 

A private operator is not a philanthropist and unlike the government does not have a responsibility to the community as a whole.  A private operator is responsible to shareholders to return a profit. 

If the government sells off those parts of the system that will generate a profit then over time that will mean that the parts of the system that are run as a public good will either cost the tax payer more (for they will no longer be subsidised by the profitable sections as these have been sold)  or they will be closed. 

We only have to look at what privatisation has meant in the UK – a decline in standards and service and an increase in prices. 

Of course Steven Knoll may turn out to be a boy genius after all and will be able to sell off the rail network without compromising on service quality, efficiency and costs. 

It would mean he will have succeeded where others around the globe have failed.John Töns

If public transport were made private, share dividends would be an additional cost burden to the enterprise, and I don’t see how the directors would be free to put the interests of passengers or the government ahead of shareholder interests.

Shareholder dividends would have to come from some mixture of passenger fares and government subsidies.

Privatised energy has seen higher energy bills, and conflicted interests crippling the transition to renewable energy.

Privatised telecommunications led to no savings or improved service to customers, and saddled us with a ludicrous joke of a fibre network that will take a generation and a fortune to fix.

Stephan Knoll must specify who would really benefit from a similar adventure with public transport, and in precisely what ways. Cui bono, Minister? Nick Cooper

Reducing road toll

Commenting on the story: Tougher laws on table as pedestrian, motorcyclist deaths rise

The true reason for our road toll will always be evaded by our politicians.

 The true reason is the parlous state of our roads, and most serving police officers will agree with this opinion, if they can be sure of not being quoted.

On country roads, boredom and tiredness simply add to the road toll.  If drivers had roads such as the German Autobahns, speeds would increase and the toll would fall.

 Of course, precautions would need to be taken to ensure that vehicles were well maintained. – John Murphy

SAPOL have been recommending that parliament change legislation to allow them to issue an instant TIN to the registered owner of a motor vehicle when credible photographic/video evidence of road rule violations is submitted by a citizen report.

This would be a simple extension of the existing legislation for red-light and speed camera infringements.

However, the parliament won’t approve it and have rejected SAPOL’s request and recommendation.

If everyone knew their driving was potentially being videoed via dash cam and any reckless driving or obvious breaking of road rules could result in an instant TIN issued, then driver behaviour would definitely improve and we’d have safer roads.

Currently it’s just too hard and inefficient for SAPOL officers to visit the home of the vehicle owner, hope the owner is home, get them to admit they were driving at the time, etc before they can issue a TIN.

We need to start using today’s technology to assist the police in helping make roads safer. Garrin Ross

Two sides to the story

Commenting on the story: Dark side of Sky at night

I suggest that you should watch Sky on a regular basis. You will find that the likes of Credlin, Kenny, Bolt and Murray all invite Labor politicians onto the channel for interviews and comments, and none take up the challenge.

They, the Labor pollies, are weak and don’t want to be cross-examined.

If they went on Sky they could refute the so-called bias – but they have decided to ban Sky. Absolutely pathetic. Peter Goodchild

Murdoch is the publisher and has a perfect right to have an opinion if he has bothered to get involved.

I think many of the well-written articles labeled anti-Labor in The Australian, for instance, simply point out the consequences of policies designed more to get votes than advance the country.

The point is you don’t have to read Murdoch’s papers or follow any of his outlets.

The ABC on the other hand has been clearly pro-Labor for as long as I have been around – so long that it is just regarded as part of the Australian fabric. Ian McIntosh

Human rights matter

Commenting on the story: Wade relents to pressure over contentious youth drug bill

The tsunami of criticism leveled at the government over this flawed legislation was fair and reasonable.

The governments backdown on this bill demonstrates human rights do matter.

Concerns have been raised in many instances as to whether human rights are adequately protected in the wake of reports ranging from the mistreatment of juvenile detainees in the Northern Territory, to elder abuse in South Australia. 

All South Australians would remember the shocking disclosures from the ICAC’s Oakden enquiry, to the prevalence of modern slavery in Australia and homelessnes.

Our human rights need to protected by law. 

The starting point is not a constitutionally entrenched bill of rights like the US Bill of Rights, but a charter of rights should be enacted by the parliament as a piece of ordinary legislation.

This model would not have the effect of transferring sovereignty from the parliament to the courts and would not give the power to strike down legislation.

Two states and the ACT have enacted such Charters of Rights, sadly South Australia is not one of them.

A charter of rights would give people and communities the power to hold hold governments to account, it’s main contribution would be to bring hope to people who feel powerless. Gilbert Aitken

Link to Port’s past

Commenting on the story: Police arrest union boss amid Shed 26 protest

It is still standing as I write,  that saw-toothed roof on a huge, almost derelict structure screaming out for a reno.

It represents so many things, a time when work for men was often seriously hard physical labour, just think of all the sweat that would have been lost there.

It’s maritime history, the stories that belong. It also stands on a site where Aboriginal women would have gathered, their babies on hips, where different stories would have been told.

It is iconic and it could so easily be incorporated as a community centre for story telling into the proposed development.

Cedar Woods, knock it down and you too will achieve iconic status – a symbol  of everything that is wrong with our society. – Sue Gilbey

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