Thank you for reading's Opinion articles.


2009-10-05 16:07:23

This article belongs to And That's the Way It Is column.

As an example as to how far Governments will go in terms of their anti-terrorism paranoia we may take a recent Western Australian case as a perfect example as to how stupid and idiotic some Governments really are.

A colleague who writes for railway magazines recently decided to do some stories for his various publications about new urban railway developments in and around Perth, these new developments being somewhat of a trendsetter in Australia in terms of public transport systems.

He contacts the various transport authorities in Perth including the transport Minister by email and phone and hears nothing from them in return.

So much for open Government-media relationships which, in my view, do not exist in Western Australia in any case.

The man goes to Perth and when he presents himself at the various locations he gets told and lectured upon that he is not allowed to photograph any railway facilities in Perth or anywhere else in Western Australia, this despite the fact that he had an official duty to perform as a journalist and advising accordingly well in advance and despite the fact that these new facilities are public assets, owned by the public, not the WA Government.

In other words, Western Australian Government officialdom turned the exercise into a hide and seek farce.

As an aside, the man did get his pictures in full glorious colour as well as the information that he was seeking so the whole Government emphasis on people not being allowed to take pictures of trains and railway facilities turned out to be a farce in any case.

What is the upshot of all this?

It proves that Government, the WA Government in this instance, have no idea as to how to develop and maintain beneficial relationships with journalists doing a legitimate job.

Governments have no idea as to how to prevent terrorism attacks on public facilities as a potential terrorist would never go onto a railway platform in full daylight taking pictures of trains, he or she would not be that stupid.

Government regulations of this type only highlight the fact that they wish to have control of media and other such processes, rather than preventing terrorism at its roots through clever and creative intelligence. In short, given the way Governments do things, only highlighted by the stupidity of the Western Australian Government in this case, proves as to how badly focused and badly managed places like Western Australia really are.

My message to the Western Australian Government would be this.
"Your railway system is not a terrorist target as terrorists are simply not interested in your trains as a target. Your railway system is a public asset, not a Government one. Allow people to carry out their legitimate profession in the appropriate manner without interference".

In my view, while Western Australia may well be a great place to visit, its Government needs to 'get real' as to from whom, from what and when threats exist in terms of anti-terrorism laws and regulations being acceptable and appropriate.

My name is Henk Luf.
And That's The Way It Is

have your say

more in Opinion
Russia facing civil war?

The situation in Russia might be going in a bloody direction in the near future. As the time to the next presidential elections comes closer and closer, the strife between the two masterminds of Russia might rise dangerously high.

Celebrity deaths - aren't they pretty?

The tasteless MJ Jokes started the very day after he died. "The autopsy determined the cause of Michael Jackson's death - he died from food poisoning. He ate some 12 year old nuts."


If there were any justice in this world one would certainly not look at Australia's airline, Qantas, to find it. Details of what former Qantas CEO Geoff Dixon was paid in his final year in the boss' seat, or part thereof, has shown that he took home many millions of dollars in pay, bonuses and other fees.

Who needs healthcare in a Christian nation?

Who needs healthcare in a "Christian nation"? This is a "Christian nation" -- so they say. This saviour Jesus Christ has the power to heal. Not only that, he has the power to grant immortality. That's their hook, that's their sales pitch. John 3:16, and all that!

Welcome to TheCheers! We've been around for a long time now, since 2004, publishing articles by people from all over the world. Roughly 300 people from 30 different countries have written for us over the years. Should you want to become a volunteer contributor, be sure to contact us!

Educational resources
Entertainment Blogs
get in touch

You can contact us via The Cheers Facebook page or The Cheers NEW Twitter account.