Tony Windsor and Everald Compton have formed a team to get Rural Independents elected and invite you to join them.

We have worked together for many years on economic and social projects that will enhance the lives of Australians, particularly those who live in Inland Australia.

Shortly after Everald announced in 1996 his intention to build an Inland Railway from Melbourne to Darwin, we worked as a team in long term negotiations with five governments to ensure that it happened.
It took many years to get results, but we rejoiced in 2017 when the Federal Government announced that it would build the first section of it from Melbourne to Brisbane.

We cooperated in every way that we could, but it became clear that the Government had decided to proceed without involving Everald despite his two decades of work in bringing the project to reality.
Then, we were appalled at the callous manner in which ARTC treated landholders and local communities in wilfully destroying their livelihood.

It is also clear that the Government has irresponsibly wasted huge sums of public funds by allowing the project to blow out from an initial budget of $9 Billion to a current estimate of $20 Billion and a probability of it expanding to more than $25 Billion.

Therefore, we are left with no option but to use Election 2022 as the only means available to convert this tragedy into a significant national asset by supporting the election of independent candidates of top quality who are potential winners of rural seats along the path of Inland Rail from Melbourne to Brisbane.

We are backing excellent people have nominated in 5 Inland Rail electorates, plus a fine rural candidate for the Senate in Victoria who has supported Everald all the way since 1996.

They are-
Suzie Holt (Groom), Kate Hook (Calare), Pennie Scott (Riverina), Helen Haines
(Indi), Rob Priestly (Nicolls), Susan Benedyka (Senate Victoria).

Our support of these independent candidates is not contingent on their support of our criticism of Inland Rail. We intend to help them with issues they believe are important to their electorates.

We welcome your involvement with us in ensuring that those fine Independents become productive and progressive members of Parliament.

Attached below is a document written by Everald that outlines the tragedy that has occurred with Inland Rail.

Feel free to contact us directly or through our campaign coordinator, Graham Nuttall, who has also been an active partner of ours for many years in advocating the building of an Inland Railway and has written a great document (attached) on how Hung Parliaments can work well.

TONY WINDSOR (0427 668 868) EVERALD COMPTON (0407 721 710)

Graham Nuttall contact details are Mobile 0412 916 040 – Email nutts@optusnet.com.au 

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THE DESTRUCTION OF THE INLAND RAILWAY

EVERALD COMPTON PROVIDES A SUMMARY OF THE TRAGEDY

*In 1996, I met at Parliament in Canberra with John Howard to outline my plans to build an Inland Railway from Melbourne to Darwin, primarily using private capital. He asked his ministers to cooperate with me in preliminary planning.

*To test public support, I organised, attended, spoke at 53 public meetings along the pathway of the railway which was planned to go from Melbourne to Albury, Parkes, Moree, Goondiwindi, Toowoomba, Gladstone, Emerald, Longreach, Hughenden, Mount Isa, Tennant Creek and Darwin.

*Those meetings had huge attendances, packed to the rafters, filled with enthusiasm about the vision of the social & economic regeneration of the Inland. Never otherwise in my 90 years have I ever experienced such goodwill. This splendid dream has now been destroyed by the Australian Railtrack Corporation.

*The vision that I outlined was that of a railway that would transport rural products to the nearest Port with speed, efficiency and at low cost, causing regional communities to grow into inland cities.

*After 20 long years of negotiations, overcoming fear of politicians that the railway would be a dud and they would get the blame, the Australian Government announced in the 2017 Budget that it would commission its own rail company, The Australian Rail Track Corporation, to build the first section of the Inland Railway from Melbourne to Brisbane via Goondiwindi and Toowoomba.

*They contributed no budget funding for it, but authorised ARTC to obtain a government guaranteed, low interest, bank loan for 9 billion dollars to do the job. This has been subsequently expanded to 14 billion, then 19 billion and is anticipated to reach 25 billion. ARTC has no capacity ever to repay it.

*At the time of this announcement, I was dispensed with, receiving no letter of thanks for 2 decades of hard work and no hint whatsoever of any financial recompense for time or expenses incurred. I did not ask for or expect any, but it was callous treatment nevertheless.

*The project has been a dud from day one as it does not start from the Port of Melbourne nor finish at the Port of Brisbane so it is totally useless to rural communities. All that it is planned to do is carry freight at the highest possible speed between two capital cities and put the trucking industry out of business. It is a huge betrayal by the National Party which was founded to create prosperity for Rural Australia.

*In addition, the staff of Inland Rail have acted like thugs and destroyed the livelihood of farmers and rural communities by unnecessarily resuming land to build the track when there were alternate routes along road corridors & current and disused rail tracks and power corridors that would have harmed no one. They are even destroying housing.

*Added to this is huge administrative waste of funds that is scandalous. Billions of dollars are involved.

*It is now quite clear that Inland Rail will not ever get beyond Toowoomba. There will be blood on the streets if ARTC tries to build a railway through the outer suburbs of Brisbane.

*Members of Parliament representing electorates on the path of Inland Rail from outer Melbourne to outer Brisbane must be challenged for their seats for allowing this tragedy to unfurl totally unnecessarily. The only exception is Helen Haines, Independent Member for Indi, who is fighting a memorable battle to stop ARTC from destroying communities in her electorate. The others have turned a blind eye.

*And the Board of Directors of ARTC must be dismissed by the incoming government for gross negligence in allowing this fiasco to occur.

EVERALD COMPTON – 0407 721710 – everald.compton@live.com.au

PS. I AM NOW LEADING A CONSORTIUM (minus ARTC) THAT WILL BUILD A DUAL GAUGE RAILWAY DIRECT FROM GLADSTONE TO GOONDIWINDI  (not via Toowoomba). IT WILL MAKE GLADSTONE THE ‘ROTTERDAM OF AUSTRALIA’. 

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Independents – Creators of Better Government

The prospect of a “Hung” Parliament frightens the major parties bringing about scare campaigns and the old chestnut that Independents can’t do anything.
We are seeing this played out particularly in seats where the “Voices for” groups have mobilised and grown their supporter numbers early enough in the lead up to the next election in May to be a real threat.

The community consultation and development of grassroots support for these groups and subsequently the candidates they support is showing the major parties that the “silent majority” who they have taken for granted are waking up to their antics.

These people are seeing a way to break free from the clutches of the major parties who they have stuck with for many years.

They are unchaining their hearts to make a change in the way they are represented in the Parliament and are now supporting their own independent candidates.

It has been the “Norm” after each general election in a Westminster system like Australia that one major party or the other wins the majority of seats in the Parliament after which that Party can form a majority Government until the next general election.

On the rare occasion that neither major party has won a majority in its own right, one or the other party has to either form a “Coalition” with minor parties or negotiate support for it to form a government with the Members of the “Cross Bench”.

This was the case after the 2010 General Election.

The major Parties really don’t like this outcome after a general election as it takes away the “power” of an Executive Government that can dictate what happens in the Parliament.

Their mantra is that we have more seats than the other team and therefore we have a “mandate” to implement ALL of their policies even if they are detrimental to the people.

They believe that ALL their policies were endorsed by the majority of the voters – not perhaps that they were the lesser of two evils or as Russell Crowe said in his movie Master & Commander, “the lesser of two weevils.”

A “Hung Parliament” or minority Government however means that the Executive are no longer in total control of the agenda of the Parliament and in fact they have to take into account the views of others and adjust their thinking in recognition of others to get things through the Parliament.

This has been the case for a long time in the Senate, however not so in the House of Representatives.
The Executive therefore is stymied and resents having to deal with pesky Cross Bench MPs who came into the place to represent the people of their electorate in the Parliament not represent the Party back in the electorate even if their personal view differs from their Party – Toe the line and shut up if you know what’s good for you!!

Executive Government is also an easy ride for the mainstream media as it provides the media with some certainty about where the Government of the day is heading.

Individual journalists can cosy up to the Executive and receive inside stories that boost their own profiles and therefore readership among the masses.

A “Hung Parliament” makes it harder for the media to get a handle on where the Cross Bench MPs will actually vote often until it hits that stage in the Bill’s passage.

In 2010 when Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott were trying to decide who to support to form Government, they were looking for the side that they could trust to run the full term of the Parliament i.e., 3 years.

They believed that if the Parliament was to make significant changes and impact on Australia’s future that 3 years would be needed to develop and implement the necessary legislation and programs to at least make a start on changes for the better.

Julia Gillard was certainly better equipped to deal with a Hung Parliament and take it to the full term and she did this, passing a record 561 Bills over the term.

Tony Abbott was only waiting for the NSW State election to be run and won by the Coalition in 2011 before he would have declared that he could no longer work within a hung parliament and taken the country to another election.

A good example of the “Hung Parliament” working includes The Multi Party Climate Change Committee (MPCCC). It provided a vehicle that brought together the Greens, Independents and Labor to focus on developing a way forward to address the major global issue of Climate Change. 

The only thing missing was the Liberal/National Party (LNP) Coalition who were more intent on pushing the “great big new TAX” propaganda and trying to bring the Government down.

Executive Government would not have gone down this path of bringing others into the process but in doing so other points of view were recognised such as leaving transport fuel out of the price on carbon and recognising the value of the agriculture sector in addressing Climate Change issues.

Executive Government would not have supported the Royal Commission into Child Abuse but with the support of the Crossbench Julia Gillard showed the courage needed to bring it on.

The commitment to the original NBN rollout fibre to the premise (FTTP) was also pushed by the Cross Bench MPs (later dismantled by the LNP) as well as support for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The Parliamentary Committee process operated more fully without Executive Government interference and Private Members were encouraged to submit “Private Members Bills”

Tony Windsor’s amendment to the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act to include a “Water Trigger” still exists despite best efforts of the Coalition to give the power back to the States thanks to the “Hung Senate”.

Executive Government power hence diminishes as a result of a “Hung Parliament” with decisions made after consultation, compromise and consensus.

Remember – A good idea doesn’t care who has it and no-one has a mortgage on good ideas.
A Hung Parliament and Independents should not be feared by the community.

Independents have the ability to rein in the hard right which has had too much say in Government policy direction and lasso the left so as to recognise social and environmental issues whilst keeping them within the bounds of achievability.  

Independents may never be in Government but they are never in Opposition either.

Hence Independents are truly “Creators of Better Government”.

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