Agreed on all points though im thinking that a separate entity with a separate budgetary allocation will be far more transparent (and maybe therefore accountable - we can hope) than the current arranagment where cash can splash wherever the ministers get angry at VLine about.And that is probably precisely why they haven't done it already and have zero intention of doing so unless they are made to.
It seems to me that there is pretty much zero accountability in V/Line for their performance. Yes a head or 2 rolled after the wheel wear crisis but that was a massive stuff up which was too big to ignore.
The government likes it's nice cosy situation where it can blame V/Line but then there are pretty much zero consequences after that. I can picture the meetings Yes Minister style, the Minister and the V/Line Chair sitting at Parliament house sipping on a nice bottle of Shiraz at the taxpayer's expense having a chat.
'Just wanted to let you know that I am heading out to Murtoa or some such dreary place this week, something to do with Wheat or some such thing. My advisers tell me that Channel 9 has found some problem or another that needs to be fixed out there so I am going to have to drop you in it. It's the voters you know, they need to see that I am doing something. Anyhow, how's Margerie? Are you coming to the Midwinter Ball this year? Last one was a corker wasn't it! Oh and that pay rise for you and the rest of the board might have to wait a week or two until this blows over.'