Daddy not so cool: City of Melbourne moves on Australia’s Rock Legend

The City of Melbourne continues to bring itself into disrepute and highlights the stupidity of its administration.

Melbourne and international visitors to our city were given a rare and magnificent impromptu concert from Australia’s Rock legend and arguably the best guitarist in Australia, Ross Hannaford of Daddy Cool and Mondo Rock fame.

Hannaford accompanied by a percussion drummer had set up on the corner of Flinder’s Lane an Swanston Street and soon  attracted a sizable and appreciative audience. It was one of the best street performances I had seen in a long time. Ross had a busking permit.

The site he had chosen was perfect, in front of a flower bed and inconvenienced no one. Just two legendary musicians playing music in the sun to everyone’s enjoyment

Within a a few minutes of his performance Melbourne City Council Officer, Michael Kuma, oblivious as to the quality of the music on offer, moved him on. It turns out he was on the wrong side of Flinders Lane.

For those who know the work of Ross Hannaford this was akin to asking Sting or Jimmy Hendricks busking on the main street of London or New York, to move on .

If ever there was an example why Street Trading and Busking should be removed from Engineering Services this is it. Stupidity at its best.

Top honcho lycra wearing Geoff Robinson, head of Engineering Services, has no idea of what makes a great city. Clearly there are problems with Street Trading being under Engineering Services.  It seams all the problems facing the City of Melbourne of late arise from Robinson’s department, be it his autocratic style of management or his constant harassment of Street Traders to the detriment of the city.

 

The sooner the City of Melbourne transfers Street Trading to the Small Business Tourism portfolio the better off we will all be.

Daddy not so cool: City of Melbourne moves on Australia’s Rock Legend

The City of Melbourne continues to bring itself into disrepute and highlights the stupidity of its administration.

Melbourne and international visitors to our city were given a magnificent impromptu concert from Australia’s Rock legend and arguably one of Australia’s best guitarist Ross Hannaford of Daddy Cool and Mondo Rock fame.

Hannaford accompanied by a percussion drummer had set up on the corner of Flinder’s Lane an Swanston Street as soon  attracted a sizable and appreciative audience. It was one of the best street performances I had seen in a long time. Ross had a busking permit.

The site he had chosen was perfect, in front of a flower bed on the corner and inconvenienced no one. Just two legendary musicians playing music in the sun to everyone’s enjoyment

Within a a few minutes of his performance Melbourne City Council Officer, Michael Kuma, oblivious as to the quality of the music on offer moved him on. It turns out he was on the wrong side of Flinders Lane.

For those who know the work of Ross Hannaford this was akin to asking Sting or Jimmy Hendrick, busking on the main street, to move on . 

If ever there was an example why Street Trading and Busking should be removed from Engineering Services this is it. Stupidity at its best.  Engineering services is not the appropriate department to advocate or develop policies to encourage and manage Street Trading. The sooner the City of Melbourne Transfers Street Trading to the Small Business Tourism portfolio the better off we will all be.

In the night before Christmas City Council kicks-out Horse and Carriages from City Centre

The Melbourne City Council, just days before Christmas, under the clock of delegation has kicked-out the Horse and Carriages from Swanston Street opposite Town Hall

Signs that allowed Horse and Carriages to trade opposite the Town Hall were removed and  changed overnight.   Melbourne Street Traders who were effected by the decision had not been informed of the change.

No consultation, no documentation, a complete lack of open or transparent decision making.  The decision was made behind closed doors. and not listed for discussion on the Council’s Future Melbourne Committee.  The decision made at a time when the Council is not under scrutiny, Media are on holiday, Councillors are absent attending Christmas events and the public’s attention is on the festive season.

Outraged Street Traders stood for Council  in the October election and joined forces with Community candidates Kevin Chamberlin and Lord Mayor Candidate Brian Shanahan.  The Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle, and Councillors’ Mayne, Watts and Foster were elected on the back of preferences allocated by the Shanahan-Chamberlin Team.

Stakeholders and community representatives met with Councillor Richard Forster soon after the October Council elections to raise concerns.  Councillor Foster gave an undertaking to look into the matter but did not reply. Councillors appear to have been kept in the dark of the decisions with Councillor Ong, Chairman of the Council’s Planning Committee and Kevin Louey, unaware of the decisions made.

Efforts to contact  newly elected Councillors failed with Stephen Mayne and Richard Foster not returning Street Traders phone calls.

Melbourne’s Street Traders have expressed no confidence in the Council’s Engineering Department and  have called for Street Trading to be removed from Engineering and  placed under the auspice of Tourism and Small business were it belongs – a move supported by many of the City Councillors and State Tourism.

The Horse and Carriages provided a much needed attraction to the City with tourists, lovers and visitors keen to photograph the horses ad carriages opposite the Town Hall.  They add vitality and  interest to the city which is fast becoming more and more family unfriendly.

Melbourne’s War Horse: The battle to remove Horse and Carriages from the City

The City of Melbourne – Engineering Services has embarked on a campaign of harassment and intimidation of Melbourne’s Horse and Carriages.

Instead of supporting the Horse and Carriages the Administration is trying to run them out of town.  

Previous elected City Councils have rejected the move,  recognizing the contribution and value the Horse and Carriage Street Traders provide to Melbourne Tourism and the vitality of the city. 

Having spent 100’s of millions of dollars on Swanston Street the Street still is lacking appeal or vitality. The Administration blame the Horse and Carriages for Swanston Streets ongoing failure.  The problem is not the Horse and Carriages.  Sitting down at the corner of Finders Street and Swanston Street outside St Paul’s Cathedral on a weekend and you soon realize the interest and enjoyment that the horses and carriages bring to the City. 

Reflection on an era past, our history and heritage on a family day out or a romantic evening

Melbourne stands alongside Paris, Prague and New York and is the only Australian Capital City that has Horse and Carriages in the City Centre.

The Horse and Carriages represent our heritage they remind us of the early days of the city’s past when horse and carriages were the main stream of transport, a chance to experience a bit of history that made Melbourne.

Those that can afford to take a ride in a carriage enjoy the atmosphere that only a carriage ride can give as they ride down Swanston Street to the Shine of remembrance past the flower clock the Art Gallery and Concert hall.  A half hour Carriage tour of the City can accommodate a family of six to eight people or provide a slow paced ride for that special romantic moment for two to remember.

Children and Family Tourists in particular enjoy seeing the horses in the city centre. The smiles and expression of excitement that comes over the children’s faces is hard to miss. As one person we spoke to said  “seeing the horses in Swanston street is like seeing a a bit of the Melbourne show every day of the year”.

Since the departure of the State Museum from the City Centre there is very little that attracts families with children to visit the City  Apart from the Myers Christmas windows and New Years Fireworks there is not much that excites children visiting Melbourne. The City has become a sterile non-family friendly environment thanks in a large part to our City designers, planners and ill-considered decisions of State Governments past.

The reason why Swantson Street is not working not the horse and Carriages but the administration

The administration Engineering Services has killed off Swanston Street and the town planners have forced families out of the City.  If you bring back families by providing  a reason for children to visit the city then this would have a balance and positive effect on the atmosphere of the Street.

The administrations war against the Horse and Carriage

The administration in their war against the horses have consistently sought to harass the street traders on a daily basis by issuing fines (Some providers have over $10,000 in fines). The council by-laws officers have even harassed members of the public demanding their names and personal details when they are not employed by the Street Traders.

The parking space allocated to the horse and Carriages is restricted to two locations: the site outside St Paul’s between Flinders Lane and Flinders Street and the site opposite the Town hall on the weekend.  The administration want the Street traders to move to the Queen Ann Garden precinct. A site that is removed from the city centre and  lacks commercial viability. 

Half of the parking space allocated for the Horse and Carriages in Swanston Street is taken up by Police vehicles that use Swantson Street as a department car park.  This has placed pressure on the Traders who have nowhere to park so they stop on the other side of the road outside Young and Jackson’s whilst they wait for a spot to become vacant on the other side of the road.  The City Council is quick to have bylaw officers drop in and issue a fine $100 for parking in a non-authorised location and a further $1000 for breach of their permit.  Police vehicles and taxis illegally parked in the horse and carriage parking area are never fined.

The problem is the administration not the elected Council

It is important to note that the harassment and opposition to the Street Traders is not coming from the elected Council, the problem is the administration.

The administration hold meetings behind closed doors. Policy discussion is not open to the public and there is no open transparent consultation with the Street Traders or the general public.

Christmas can be and is a danger zone for public policy.

The administration seek to drive the horse and carriages from the City Centre by pushing through their policy to outlaw them, taking advantage of the lead-up to Christmas and the honey moon period of newly elected Councillors.

Councillors Kevin Louey, Ken Ong, Richard Foster, Beverely Pinder-Mortimer and Jackie Watts all support the continuance of Horse and Carriages in the City .  It is unclear where the Lord Mayor -Robert Doyle, Deputy Lord Mayor – Susan Riley, or Councillors Arron Wood and Stephen Mayne stand on the issue, but we believe they are also supportive of the Street Traders.

The Green “Christmas Grinchs”, Councillors Cathy Oak and Rohan Leppert, are opposed to horses and any other form of transport except bicycles and trams in the City.

Our Street Traders, the horse and carriage operators are an asset not a blight.   

What the Council needs to do is support our Street Traders, not harass them, The Street Traders want the City Council to relocate responsibility for Street Trading from the Engineering Services Department and place them under the auspice of the department responsible for Tourism and business where they rightly belong.

Melbourne’s War Horse: The battle to remove Horse and Carriages from the City

The City of Melbourne – Engineering Services has embarked on a campaign of harassment and intimidation of Melbourne’s Horse and Carriages.

Instead of supporting the Horse and Carriages the Administration is trying to run them out of town.  

Previous elected City Councils have rejected the move,  recognizing the contribution and value the Horse and Carriage Street Traders provide to Melbourne Tourism and the vitality of the city. 

Having spent 100’s of millions of dollars on Swanston Street the Street still is lacking appeal or vitality. The Administration blame the Horse and Carriages for Swanston Streets ongoing failure.  The problem is not the Horse and Carriages.  Sitting down at the corner of Finders Street and Swanston Street outside St Paul’s Cathedral on a weekend and you soon realize the interest and enjoyment that the horses and carriages bring to the City. 

Reflection on an era past, our history and heritage on a family day out or a romantic evening

Melbourne stands alongside Paris, Prague and New York and is the only Australian Capital City that has Horse and Carriages in the City Centre.

The Horse and Carriages represent our heritage they remind us of the early days of the city’s past when horse and carriages were the main stream of transport, a chance to experience a bit of history that made Melbourne.

Those that can afford to take a ride in a carriage enjoy the atmosphere that only a carriage ride can give as they ride down Swanston Street to the Shine of remembrance past the flower clock the Art Gallery and Concert hall.  A half hour Carriage tour of the City can accommodate a family of six to eight people or provide a slow paced ride for that special romantic moment for two to remember.

Children and Family Tourists in particular enjoy seeing the horses in the city centre. The smiles and expression of excitement that comes over the children’s faces is hard to miss. As one person we spoke to said  “seeing the horses in Swanston street is like seeing a a bit of the Melbourne show every day of the year”.

Since the departure of the State Museum from the City Centre there is very little that attracts families with children to visit the City  Apart from the Myers Christmas windows and New Years Fireworks there is not much that excites children visiting Melbourne. The City has become a sterile non-family friendly environment thanks in a large part to our City designers, planners and ill-considered decisions of State Governments past.

The reason why Swantson Street is not working not the horse and Carriages but the administration

The administration Engineering Services has killed off Swanston Street and the town planners have forced families out of the City.  If you bring back families by providing  a reason for children to visit the city then this would have a balance and positive effect on the atmosphere of the Street.

The administrations war against the Horse and Carriage

The administration in their war against the horses have consistently sought to harass the street traders on a daily basis by issuing fines (Some providers have over $10,000 in fines). The council by-laws officers have even harassed members of the public demanding their names and personal details when they are not employed by the Street Traders.

The parking space allocated to the horse and Carriages is restricted to two locations: the site outside St Paul’s between Flinders Lane and Flinders Street and the site opposite the Town hall on the weekend.  The administration want the Street traders to move to the Queen Ann Garden precinct. A site that is removed from the city centre and  lacks commercial viability. 

Half of the parking space allocated for the Horse and Carriages in Swanston Street is taken up by Police vehicles that use Swantson Street as a department car park.  This has placed pressure on the Traders who have nowhere to park so they stop on the other side of the road outside Young and Jackson’s whilst they wait for a spot to become vacant on the other side of the road.  The City Council is quick to have bylaw officers drop in and issue a fine $100 for parking in a non-authorised location and a further $1000 for breach of their permit.  Police vehicles and taxis illegally parked in the horse and carriage parking area are never fined.

The problem is the administration not the elected Council

It is important to note that the harassment and opposition to the Street Traders is not coming from the elected Council, the problem is the administration.

The administration hold meetings behind closed doors. Policy discussion is not open to the public and there is no open transparent consultation with the Street Traders or the general public.

Christmas can be and is a danger zone for public policy.

The administration seek to drive the horse and carriages from the City Centre by pushing through their policy to outlaw them, taking advantage of the lead-up to Christmas and the honey moon period of newly elected Councillors.

Councillors Kevin Louey, Ken Ong, Richard Foster, Beverely Pinder-Mortimer and Jackie Watts all support the continuance of Horse and Carriages in the City .  It is unclear where the Lord Mayor -Robert Doyle, Deputy Lord Mayor – Susan Riley, or Councillors Arron Wood and Stephen Mayne stand on the issue, but we believe they are also supportive of the Street Traders.

The Green “Christmas Grinchs”, Councillors Cathy Oak and Rohan Leppert, are opposed to horses and any other form of transport except bicycles and trams in the City.

Our Street Traders, the horse and carriage operators are an asset not a blight.   

What the Council needs to do is support our Street Traders, not harass them, The Street Traders want the City Council to relocate responsibility for Street Trading from the Engineering Services Department and place them under the auspice of the department responsible for Tourism and business where they rightly belong.

Tourist Bus Trap John So and City Council pump more money in to tourist trap

John So and his spend drift team are planing on pumping yet again more money into the dubious Melbourne Tourist Bus promotion scheme whilst ignoring inner city transport needs.

Flush with cash for the long term “we hate cars” parking tax the City of Melbourne has resolved to spend millions more on expanding the free tourist bus.

The Tourist bus does not serve Melbourne’s residents and business community and certainly is not benefiting or reducing traffic congestion. The City of Melbourne has already put a private tour company out of business by providing a free bus tourist service. The free bus also undermines Melbourne free tourist tram. Why not sure who is benefiting from this Tour Bus deal but pouring more and more money into the ill considered venture is not the way forward.

The money could have been spent in setting up a private drive-owner mini bus taxi service that links Melbourne inner-city suburbs of East Melbourne, Carlton, Parkville and North Melbourne.

Mini buses are the way to go. The bus would ply a fixed rout and would be able to be flagged down and stop on rout in the same way as you would flag down a taxi. Each bus would be operated by the driver-owner and council would in the first instant subsidise the setting up of a trail service. The idea of mini=buses has not taken off in Melbourne for some reason as the main public transport operators prefer to run large buses. Problem is with large buses is that they require large bus stops and the frequency of service is far and far between. Mini Busses could run every 15 minutes of so depending on the route or demand. They would not require large bus stops and can travel routes that large buses could not travel.

John So should stop wasting limited Council resources and pumping more money into a failed service. John So continues to demonstrate that he does not have the answers or right policies to see Melbourne develop into the future. Meanwhile the Greens continue to sit back and remain silent grateful that the City of Melbourne is prepared to pick up the tab for Eco-non-friendly world tours.

Tourist Bus Trap John So and City Council pump more money in to tourist trap

John So and his spend drift team are planing on pumping yet again more money into the dubious Melbourne Tourist Bus promotion scheme whilst ignoring inner city transport needs.

Flush with cash for the long term “we hate cars” parking tax the City of Melbourne has resolved to spend millions more on expanding the free tourist bus.

The Tourist bus does not serve Melbourne’s residents and business community and certainly is not benefiting or reducing traffic congestion. The City of Melbourne has already put a private tour company out of business by providing a free bus tourist service. The free bus also undermines Melbourne free tourist tram. Why not sure who is benefiting from this Tour Bus deal but pouring more and more money into the ill considered venture is not the way forward.

The money could have been spent in setting up a private drive-owner mini bus taxi service that links Melbourne inner-city suburbs of East Melbourne, Carlton, Parkville and North Melbourne.

Mini buses are the way to go. The bus would ply a fixed rout and would be able to be flagged down and stop on rout in the same way as you would flag down a taxi. Each bus would be operated by the driver-owner and council would in the first instant subsidise the setting up of a trail service. The idea of mini=buses has not taken off in Melbourne for some reason as the main public transport operators prefer to run large buses. Problem is with large buses is that they require large bus stops and the frequency of service is far and far between. Mini Busses could run every 15 minutes of so depending on the route or demand. They would not require large bus stops and can travel routes that large buses could not travel.

John So should stop wasting limited Council resources and pumping more money into a failed service. John So continues to demonstrate that he does not have the answers or right policies to see Melbourne develop into the future. Meanwhile the Greens continue to sit back and remain silent grateful that the City of Melbourne is prepared to pick up the tab for Eco-non-friendly world tours.

Tourist Bus Trap John So and City Council pump more money in to tourist trap

John So and his spend drift team are planing on pumping yet again more money into the dubious Melbourne Tourist Bus promotion scheme whilst ignoring inner city transport needs.

Flush with cash for the long term “we hate cars” parking tax the City of Melbourne has resolved to spend millions more on expanding the free tourist bus.

The Tourist bus does not serve Melbourne’s residents and business community and certainly is not benefiting or reducing traffic congestion. The City of Melbourne has already put a private tour company out of business by providing a free bus tourist service. The free bus also undermines Melbourne free tourist tram. Why not sure who is benefiting from this Tour Bus deal but pouring more and more money into the ill considered venture is not the way forward.

The money could have been spent in setting up a private drive-owner mini bus taxi service that links Melbourne inner-city suburbs of East Melbourne, Carlton, Parkville and North Melbourne.

Mini buses are the way to go. The bus would ply a fixed rout and would be able to be flagged down and stop on rout in the same way as you would flag down a taxi. Each bus would be operated by the driver-owner and council would in the first instant subsidise the setting up of a trail service. The idea of mini=buses has not taken off in Melbourne for some reason as the main public transport operators prefer to run large buses. Problem is with large buses is that they require large bus stops and the frequency of service is far and far between. Mini Busses could run every 15 minutes of so depending on the route or demand. They would not require large bus stops and can travel routes that large buses could not travel.

John So should stop wasting limited Council resources and pumping more money into a failed service. John So continues to demonstrate that he does not have the answers or right policies to see Melbourne develop into the future. Meanwhile the Greens continue to sit back and remain silent grateful that the City of Melbourne is prepared to pick up the tab for Eco-non-friendly world tours.

City under siege John So loses support as State Government considers its position and begins to distance itself from the City Council

Melbourne City Council continues to come under attack as Melbourne’s business community begin to loose confidence in the Lord Mayor and the administration of the City Council. John So extraordinary long honeymoon has come to an end as he faces the reality of running a city.

Herald-Sun 9Feb2006

More and more City business leaders are beginning to question the Lord Mayor’s policy and directions. John So’s hypocritical and ill considered ‘war on cars‘ is seriously undermining public confidence in his ability to manage Melbourne’s future development amidst concern that the City Council unjust tax on inner-city car-parks and increases in the cost of on-street car-parking is beginning to bite as city consumers begin to give the city the miss.

How long can they keep milking the cash cow before it stops giving milk

The selective taxation on Melbourne businesses and city commuters and associated increased cost to the consumers seriously undermine the viability of Melbourne’s retail sector with suburban shopping complexes being the main beneficiary.

The Herald-Sun reports that business are already planning to shut up and move shop to another location.

John So is quick to reclaim the title of Lord Clown as the City Council is fast becoming beyond a joke.

Lord Clown and his Deputy hold on to their cars as the Council refuse to disclose cost to ratepayers – Claims of hypocrisy as the Lord Mayor advocates other to abandon their cars.

Whilst John So advocates a tax on City commuters to ease congestion the
Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor continue to zealously hold on to their Council funded Limousines, with the City Council last Tuesday refusing to disclose or make public the full cost for the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor’s cars which include free petrol, free inner city car-park and the Lord Mayor’s Diver (estimated to be worth over $250,000 per year)

What are the benefits from the Council’s unjust double-taxation

Although Melbourne is still yet to finalise its transport policy the City Council has already allocated the spoils of the new tax which is a bit like pulling the horse before the car.

The car-parking tax, supposedly designed to ween Melbourne off cars and help ease inner City congestion is being used to establish a free tourist bus in direct competition to the free tourist-tram and existing ‘private’ service providers. The Tourist bus along with other proposed transport solutions are ill-considered. As the Herald-Sun editorial correctly points out Melbourne needs to first improve its public transport before providing a free ride for 1/2 day tourists. Tourists also use public transport.

Melbourne’s transport policy was developed in isolation with the needs of Motorcycle Riders and other transport users not consulted. The fact that the Council’s policy ignores the needs of Motorcycle riders altogether is an indictment against the Council administration along with the our City Councillors who are ultimately responsible for the management of the City.

The longer the City Council continue down this road the more the State Government will distance themselves from the Lord Mayor and Town Hall and Melbourne begin to face the problems associated with having a directly elected Lord Mayor and a City Council that is unaccountable and oblivious to reality and living in fools paradise.

City under siege John So loses support as State Government considers its position and begins to distance itself from the City Council

Melbourne City Council continues to come under attack as Melbourne’s business community begin to loose confidence in the Lord Mayor and the administration of the City Council. John So extraordinary long honeymoon has come to an end as he faces the reality of running a city.

Herald-Sun 9Feb2006

More and more City business leaders are beginning to question the Lord Mayor’s policy and directions. John So’s hypocritical and ill considered ‘war on cars‘ is seriously undermining public confidence in his ability to manage Melbourne’s future development amidst concern that the City Council unjust tax on inner-city car-parks and increases in the cost of on-street car-parking is beginning to bite as city consumers begin to give the city the miss.

How long can they keep milking the cash cow before it stops giving milk

The selective taxation on Melbourne businesses and city commuters and associated increased cost to the consumers seriously undermine the viability of Melbourne’s retail sector with suburban shopping complexes being the main beneficiary.

The Herald-Sun reports that business are already planning to shut up and move shop to another location.

John So is quick to reclaim the title of Lord Clown as the City Council is fast becoming beyond a joke.

Lord Clown and his Deputy hold on to their cars as the Council refuse to disclose cost to ratepayers – Claims of hypocrisy as the Lord Mayor advocates other to abandon their cars.

Whilst John So advocates a tax on City commuters to ease congestion the
Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor continue to zealously hold on to their Council funded Limousines, with the City Council last Tuesday refusing to disclose or make public the full cost for the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor’s cars which include free petrol, free inner city car-park and the Lord Mayor’s Diver (estimated to be worth over $250,000 per year)

What are the benefits from the Council’s unjust double-taxation

Although Melbourne is still yet to finalise its transport policy the City Council has already allocated the spoils of the new tax which is a bit like pulling the horse before the car.

The car-parking tax, supposedly designed to ween Melbourne off cars and help ease inner City congestion is being used to establish a free tourist bus in direct competition to the free tourist-tram and existing ‘private’ service providers. The Tourist bus along with other proposed transport solutions are ill-considered. As the Herald-Sun editorial correctly points out Melbourne needs to first improve its public transport before providing a free ride for 1/2 day tourists. Tourists also use public transport.

Melbourne’s transport policy was developed in isolation with the needs of Motorcycle Riders and other transport users not consulted. The fact that the Council’s policy ignores the needs of Motorcycle riders altogether is an indictment against the Council administration along with the our City Councillors who are ultimately responsible for the management of the City.

The longer the City Council continue down this road the more the State Government will distance themselves from the Lord Mayor and Town Hall and Melbourne begin to face the problems associated with having a directly elected Lord Mayor and a City Council that is unaccountable and oblivious to reality and living in fools paradise.