ISMAAR Spokesperson, Victor Taffa was born at St. Margaret’s Hospital Darlinghurst on 13 April 1965.
Victor is the second eldest to Ron and Margaret Taffa. Victor has an older sister Catherine, younger brother Anthony and a younger sister Julianne. From an early age, Victor has had a fascination for trains.
“Living on a railway line and catching the train to school was a great experience and holds many fond memories” victor said.”When I was twelve years old, a terrible event occurred it was the Granville Rail Disaster.”
The 6.09am train from Mount Victoria to Sydney jumped off the tracks and collided into the staunchions of the Bold Street road bridge at Granville at 8.10am.
“It was a hot summer morning in the school holidays on the morning of January 18, 1977. A ‘news flash’ was broadcast on Radio 2UE while listening to Gary O’Callaghan and I felt shocked and tremendously saddened and quite worried because no one at 8.15 am knew just how bad the tragedy would become.”
“How eighty-three people lost their lives by simply going to work left an indelible mark on me because I caught the train to school every day and was only twelve years old at the time.”
The Coroner cited that the cause of the Disaster was because of the poor condition of the Permanent Way (the tracks). The Bold Street Bridge also had more concrete in the deck than was necessary.
“While I didn’t live on the Western line, the disaster was so shocking that it left an impact on me, although no doubt many other regular rail commuters probably felt the same way.”
“For successive Governments to let the Railways run down to the point that had occurred have been a scandal and the lessons of the Granville Disaster should never be forgotten” victor recalled.
When Governments are so keen to build Metro Rail at the expense of the existing Railways it is obvious that the lessons of Granville have been forgotten. Governments cannot fund new Metro lines and maintain investment in our existing Railways. Failure to invest in new Railway lines on the existing network and no maintenance progamme on the existing network will lead to another catastrophe that occurred at Granville on the morning of January 18, 1977. LEST WE FORGET.
Should the lessons of the Glenbrook and Waterfall Rail Disasters and the derailment at Concord West be forgotten? Privatise Rail maintenance at whose peril? Haven’t we forgotten these lessons and if we pursue Metro Rail at the expense of Railway expansion and upgrade what will become of Rail safety on the existing network?
According to some people, Rail safety is a concern at Hurstville station with respect to the concrete piers supporting the overhead shopping centre. These piers need to be strengthened and Rail maintenance should always remain of the utmost priority in the minds of any State Government. The answer does not lie in stopping future overhead Railway development. The answer lies in an ongoing commitment to expanding and upgrading our existing Railways and not the development of Metro Rail.
Despite the sadness of Granville, Victor continues to catch trains. As a young boy, he also had a train set which contained roads and buildings and which he named ‘Taffatown’.
At St. Therese Denistone in 1974 Victor went to the Sydney County Council cooking classes and was good at creative writing. “In 1974, boys did not go to cooking classes” victor recalled.
From 1975 onwards Victor attended St. Patrick’s College Strathfield. After schooling he went on to complete further studies. Victor has included his Resume on this page.
Victor’s interest in politics was ignited in 1975 with the Whitlam Dismissal.
“My mother and my Aunts took me to the 1975 Liberal Party Election campaign rally that was held at Randwick Racecourse””The atmosphere was electric.” victor remembered.
Victor joined the Liberal Party in December 1982 at the ripe old age of seventeen. Months later, the Fraser Government was defeated by the Hawke Labor Opposition.
Living in New South Wales, at a State level, Labor is a part of the furniture on the Government Benches. From 1941 until 1995, Labor has governed for thirty-six of those fifty-four years.
“When Nick Greiner took office in 1988, it was the first time in my life that I had experienced a Liberal/National Government in New South Wales.” victor said.
“The joy of victory was overwhelming.”
As the years went on, Victor was very active assisting in election campaigns for the Liberal Party. Victor was an office bearer and stood for Pre-selection on two occasions as well as Liberal Party State Executive elections.
In September 1999, he contested the Ryde Local Government elections.
In March 2004 Victor again contested the Ryde Local Government elections.
When the sitting Member for Ryde and Deputy Premier and Transport Minister resigned from Parliament, Victor ran in the October 2008 Ryde State By-Election.
“I ran in the By-Election because I was and still am opposed to Metro Rail and the Privatisation of the Electricity Industry in New South Wales.” victor said.
In the Ryde By-Election Victor campaigned on the Eastwood line plan as contained in this website.Where to from here?
Victor has established this website as part of a continuing campaign to upgrade and expand the Sydney Metropolitan and Regional and Rural Rail Networks and that the Granville Rail Disaster should never be forgotten.
“From experience, if you want to see change for an issue as important as the Railways, these plans must be put before the public and in today’s modern means of communications, a website is vitally important to sell your message.”
IMSARR Spokesperson Victor Taffa is not a member of any political party and has written this website himself.
“It is obvious that IMSARR needs to become a political force and contest the 2011, 2015, 2019, 2023 and 2027 New South Wales State elections.” victor added.
People anywhere are welcome to Join the Campaign and get involved.
The issue is too important to be left standing on the Platform particularly at a railway station that does not yet exist.