City Council Mystery Tour

Public denied access to Council meeting as Melbourne’s Business community express no confidence in proposal

Melbourne City Council screws up again! With allegations that the Council Administration have no idea of the Melbourne Tourist Market.

Herald Sun: Crown tourism snub [01feb06]

Melbourne City Council’s controversial Mystery Bus Tour, costing ratepayers $750,000.00 plus pr year, will exclude Melbourne’s Crown Casino raising questions as to the tour bus’s viability and management.

The Council’s management are out-of-control and out of touch with reality. The City Council proposed empire building undermines private operators who have invested millions of dollars and already service this market.

The cost of running the Mystery Tour will certainly blow out with ratepayers left footing the bill.

The City of Melbourne should have negotiated with Crown Casino to help subsidise this extravagant expensive exercise.

There was only one item on the agenda of last nights meeting and that was the Tour Bus.

The meeting was poorly managed and the public were shut out and denied access . Council’s deliberation and determination was made behind closed doors. (Shame)

Don Parsons, Melbourne Business community representative, was furious to learn what happened.

Councillor Peter Clark spoke out at the meeting saying “They should have shut the meeting down.”

The proposed Tourist Bus should be abandoned pending further discussion with all stakeholders and a proper review. The City Council should, instead, concentrate on providing a mini-bus service linking the East Melbourne, Carlton, Parkville and North Melbourne communities.

The Lord Mayor continues to demonstrate that he has no idea how to run the City.

The City Council failed again to express confidence in the Deputy Lord Mayor following revelations of Gary Singer’s professional mismanagement.

City Council Mystery Tour

Public denied access to Council meeting as Melbourne’s Business community express no confidence in proposal

Melbourne City Council screws up again! With allegations that the Council Administration have no idea of the Melbourne Tourist Market.

Herald Sun: Crown tourism snub [01feb06]

Melbourne City Council’s controversial Mystery Bus Tour, costing ratepayers $750,000.00 plus pr year, will exclude Melbourne’s Crown Casino raising questions as to the tour bus’s viability and management.

The Council’s management are out-of-control and out of touch with reality. The City Council proposed empire building undermines private operators who have invested millions of dollars and already service this market.

The cost of running the Mystery Tour will certainly blow out with ratepayers left footing the bill.

The City of Melbourne should have negotiated with Crown Casino to help subsidise this extravagant expensive exercise.

There was only one item on the agenda of last nights meeting and that was the Tour Bus.

The meeting was poorly managed and the public were shut out and denied access . Council’s deliberation and determination was made behind closed doors. (Shame)

Don Parsons, Melbourne Business community representative, was furious to learn what happened.

Councillor Peter Clark spoke out at the meeting saying “They should have shut the meeting down.”

The proposed Tourist Bus should be abandoned pending further discussion with all stakeholders and a proper review. The City Council should, instead, concentrate on providing a mini-bus service linking the East Melbourne, Carlton, Parkville and North Melbourne communities.

The Lord Mayor continues to demonstrate that he has no idea how to run the City.

The City Council failed again to express confidence in the Deputy Lord Mayor following revelations of Gary Singer’s professional mismanagement.

City Council Mystery Tour

Public denied access to Council meeting as Melbourne’s Business community express no confidence in proposal

Melbourne City Council screws up again! With allegations that the Council Administration have no idea of the Melbourne Tourist Market.

Herald Sun: Crown tourism snub [01feb06]

Melbourne City Council’s controversial Mystery Bus Tour, costing ratepayers $750,000.00 plus pr year, will exclude Melbourne’s Crown Casino raising questions as to the tour bus’s viability and management.

The Council’s management are out-of-control and out of touch with reality. The City Council proposed empire building undermines private operators who have invested millions of dollars and already service this market.

The cost of running the Mystery Tour will certainly blow out with ratepayers left footing the bill.

The City of Melbourne should have negotiated with Crown Casino to help subsidise this extravagant expensive exercise.

There was only one item on the agenda of last nights meeting and that was the Tour Bus.

The meeting was poorly managed and the public were shut out and denied access . Council’s deliberation and determination was made behind closed doors. (Shame)

Don Parsons, Melbourne Business community representative, was furious to learn what happened.

Councillor Peter Clark spoke out at the meeting saying “They should have shut the meeting down.”

The proposed Tourist Bus should be abandoned pending further discussion with all stakeholders and a proper review. The City Council should, instead, concentrate on providing a mini-bus service linking the East Melbourne, Carlton, Parkville and North Melbourne communities.

The Lord Mayor continues to demonstrate that he has no idea how to run the City.

The City Council failed again to express confidence in the Deputy Lord Mayor following revelations of Gary Singer’s professional mismanagement.

Empire Building City Council propose free tourist bus service to support fleeting Museum attendance. Residents’ needs left wanting

City of Melbourne will today decide what appears to be a given with the proposed establishment of a free Tourist bus service. The Council is being asked to fund a 40 seat bus shuttle service between Southbank/Crown Casino and Carlton.

The City of Melbourne have already spent/allocated $500,000.00 and plans to provide a further $750,000.00 ratepayer subsidy at the average cost of $85.00 per trip. (four trips per hour 6 hours a day 365 days a year)


Problems exist in that the free-shuttle service has a limited route and directly undercuts private tour operators who already service this sector and have invested a considerable amount of money in their business. Other cities around the world provide similar services but most are subsidised by the commercial sector. Establishments such as Crown Casino stand to benefit from such a service. The Museum, which was poorly located on the outskirts of the City (An issue that was identified when Jeff Kennett ignored community and professional advice and shifted the location of the Museum from Southbank to Carlton), are hopeful the free tourist service will revive its patronage – which is well below expectations. The proposed route is already serviced by the tram network although it is not direct and not free.

Insufficient information has been provided by the City Council as to the assessment of alternative proposals and we wonder if they were given due weight and consideration.

The City administration report recommending the establishment of the free bus service lists dubious statistical information based on the number of responses they received for and against the proposed project. On what basis the Council can give weight to the numeric analysis of the number of submission and respondents is beyond me, other then it gives an impression that the service has wide support and is worthwhile and viable, but is it?. Reliance on the statistical information of submissions would be foolish and adds little to the merits of the project. Issues of economics, viability and assessment of alternatives outweigh the self interests statistics of those who made a submission.

The City Council is not a good or efficient provider of services. In most cases they are empire building, expanding the management job market within the Council.

Let’s not forget the proposal, supported by former Councillor Kate Redwood, to establish mobility support/hire services for the disabled. The Redwood proposal was 3-4 times the cost of providing a similar service utilising infrastructure and services provided by existing community organisations such as Travellers Aid. Council should have considered more the submission made by former Lord Mayor Trevor Huggard. The council could have approached the Car Hire companies based in the City to asked for their support and assistance in providing this service to the public. Chances are hire companies would have offered their services free of charge as good corporate citizens, after all the provision electric wheel chairs is complementary the service they already provide. where they consulted?

The City Council should think twice before establishing a free tourist bus service.

Prediction: We expect that Council will soon find it need to put in significantly more funds and additional managerial services to oversee the provision of this service. The size of the buses will need to be reviewed with consideration given to the use of smaller buses that are better suited to manoeuvring though city traffic less city congestion. Operators will soon ask for more money. The proposed service in two to three years time will be closed down as it will be found to be economically unviable. The true cost of the project will not be disclosed as hidden costs will be allocated to other budgets and areas of expenditure. More money and limited resources wasted on ill-considered ideas designed to keep management busy.

Further consideration needs to be given, in preference to the proposed tourist shuttle, to the establishment of a mini-bus service linking East Melbourne, Carlton, Parkville and North Melbourne complementing and adding to the existing public transport connections currently available. This service could be run by private operators with a nominal fee per trip. It would significantly benefit residents of the East Melbourne, Carlton, Parkville and North Melbourne who currently have no access to cheap efficient public transport linking these areas, other then having to travel into the city centre and out again. Parkville in particular has limited public transport options available providing access to Carlton and North Melbourne shopping precincts.

Empire Building City Council propose free tourist bus service to support fleeting Museum attendance. Residents’ needs left wanting

City of Melbourne will today decide what appears to be a given with the proposed establishment of a free Tourist bus service. The Council is being asked to fund a 40 seat bus shuttle service between Southbank/Crown Casino and Carlton.

The City of Melbourne have already spent/allocated $500,000.00 and plans to provide a further $750,000.00 ratepayer subsidy at the average cost of $85.00 per trip. (four trips per hour 6 hours a day 365 days a year)


Problems exist in that the free-shuttle service has a limited route and directly undercuts private tour operators who already service this sector and have invested a considerable amount of money in their business. Other cities around the world provide similar services but most are subsidised by the commercial sector. Establishments such as Crown Casino stand to benefit from such a service. The Museum, which was poorly located on the outskirts of the City (An issue that was identified when Jeff Kennett ignored community and professional advice and shifted the location of the Museum from Southbank to Carlton), are hopeful the free tourist service will revive its patronage – which is well below expectations. The proposed route is already serviced by the tram network although it is not direct and not free.

Insufficient information has been provided by the City Council as to the assessment of alternative proposals and we wonder if they were given due weight and consideration.

The City administration report recommending the establishment of the free bus service lists dubious statistical information based on the number of responses they received for and against the proposed project. On what basis the Council can give weight to the numeric analysis of the number of submission and respondents is beyond me, other then it gives an impression that the service has wide support and is worthwhile and viable, but is it?. Reliance on the statistical information of submissions would be foolish and adds little to the merits of the project. Issues of economics, viability and assessment of alternatives outweigh the self interests statistics of those who made a submission.

The City Council is not a good or efficient provider of services. In most cases they are empire building, expanding the management job market within the Council.

Let’s not forget the proposal, supported by former Councillor Kate Redwood, to establish mobility support/hire services for the disabled. The Redwood proposal was 3-4 times the cost of providing a similar service utilising infrastructure and services provided by existing community organisations such as Travellers Aid. Council should have considered more the submission made by former Lord Mayor Trevor Huggard. The council could have approached the Car Hire companies based in the City to asked for their support and assistance in providing this service to the public. Chances are hire companies would have offered their services free of charge as good corporate citizens, after all the provision electric wheel chairs is complementary the service they already provide. where they consulted?

The City Council should think twice before establishing a free tourist bus service.

Prediction: We expect that Council will soon find it need to put in significantly more funds and additional managerial services to oversee the provision of this service. The size of the buses will need to be reviewed with consideration given to the use of smaller buses that are better suited to manoeuvring though city traffic less city congestion. Operators will soon ask for more money. The proposed service in two to three years time will be closed down as it will be found to be economically unviable. The true cost of the project will not be disclosed as hidden costs will be allocated to other budgets and areas of expenditure. More money and limited resources wasted on ill-considered ideas designed to keep management busy.

Further consideration needs to be given, in preference to the proposed tourist shuttle, to the establishment of a mini-bus service linking East Melbourne, Carlton, Parkville and North Melbourne complementing and adding to the existing public transport connections currently available. This service could be run by private operators with a nominal fee per trip. It would significantly benefit residents of the East Melbourne, Carlton, Parkville and North Melbourne who currently have no access to cheap efficient public transport linking these areas, other then having to travel into the city centre and out again. Parkville in particular has limited public transport options available providing access to Carlton and North Melbourne shopping precincts.

Empire Building City Council propose free tourist bus service to support fleeting Museum attendance. Residents’ needs left wanting

City of Melbourne will today decide what appears to be a given with the proposed establishment of a free Tourist bus service. The Council is being asked to fund a 40 seat bus shuttle service between Southbank/Crown Casino and Carlton.

The City of Melbourne have already spent/allocated $500,000.00 and plans to provide a further $750,000.00 ratepayer subsidy at the average cost of $85.00 per trip. (four trips per hour 6 hours a day 365 days a year)


Problems exist in that the free-shuttle service has a limited route and directly undercuts private tour operators who already service this sector and have invested a considerable amount of money in their business. Other cities around the world provide similar services but most are subsidised by the commercial sector. Establishments such as Crown Casino stand to benefit from such a service. The Museum, which was poorly located on the outskirts of the City (An issue that was identified when Jeff Kennett ignored community and professional advice and shifted the location of the Museum from Southbank to Carlton), are hopeful the free tourist service will revive its patronage – which is well below expectations. The proposed route is already serviced by the tram network although it is not direct and not free.

Insufficient information has been provided by the City Council as to the assessment of alternative proposals and we wonder if they were given due weight and consideration.

The City administration report recommending the establishment of the free bus service lists dubious statistical information based on the number of responses they received for and against the proposed project. On what basis the Council can give weight to the numeric analysis of the number of submission and respondents is beyond me, other then it gives an impression that the service has wide support and is worthwhile and viable, but is it?. Reliance on the statistical information of submissions would be foolish and adds little to the merits of the project. Issues of economics, viability and assessment of alternatives outweigh the self interests statistics of those who made a submission.

The City Council is not a good or efficient provider of services. In most cases they are empire building, expanding the management job market within the Council.

Let’s not forget the proposal, supported by former Councillor Kate Redwood, to establish mobility support/hire services for the disabled. The Redwood proposal was 3-4 times the cost of providing a similar service utilising infrastructure and services provided by existing community organisations such as Travellers Aid. Council should have considered more the submission made by former Lord Mayor Trevor Huggard. The council could have approached the Car Hire companies based in the City to asked for their support and assistance in providing this service to the public. Chances are hire companies would have offered their services free of charge as good corporate citizens, after all the provision electric wheel chairs is complementary the service they already provide. where they consulted?

The City Council should think twice before establishing a free tourist bus service.

Prediction: We expect that Council will soon find it need to put in significantly more funds and additional managerial services to oversee the provision of this service. The size of the buses will need to be reviewed with consideration given to the use of smaller buses that are better suited to manoeuvring though city traffic less city congestion. Operators will soon ask for more money. The proposed service in two to three years time will be closed down as it will be found to be economically unviable. The true cost of the project will not be disclosed as hidden costs will be allocated to other budgets and areas of expenditure. More money and limited resources wasted on ill-considered ideas designed to keep management busy.

Further consideration needs to be given, in preference to the proposed tourist shuttle, to the establishment of a mini-bus service linking East Melbourne, Carlton, Parkville and North Melbourne complementing and adding to the existing public transport connections currently available. This service could be run by private operators with a nominal fee per trip. It would significantly benefit residents of the East Melbourne, Carlton, Parkville and North Melbourne who currently have no access to cheap efficient public transport linking these areas, other then having to travel into the city centre and out again. Parkville in particular has limited public transport options available providing access to Carlton and North Melbourne shopping precincts.

Motorcyclists hit the roadThe Motorcyclist Riders’ Association call on the State Government to review proposals to help reduce congestion

Motorcycle Riders’ Association take to the road in protest of proposed changes to bans on lane splitting at intersections which seriously add to the congestion of road traffic and further compromising motorcyclists safety .

Herald Sun: Biker protest [24jan06]

The Government should be listening to the Motorcycle Riders’ Association and find a workable solution to perceived problems.

The proposed ban on lane splitting must be reviewed.

The government should consider alternative proposals such as the sharing of designated bike lanes during peak hour traffic. (See link to previous post)

The government spend more money, resources and time addressing issues of cyclists then they do considering the needs of motorcycle riders. Vehicle registration fees are for motorcycles are excessive and should be reduced and more done to encourage and facilitate motorcycle riders needs. The road is there to be shared and motorcyclist are often forgotten or ignored in the process. The Government should reassess this issue.

Motorcycle and motor scooter riders deserve support and encouragement not persecution.

Motorcyclists hit the roadThe Motorcyclist Riders’ Association call on the State Government to review proposals to help reduce congestion

Motorcycle Riders’ Association take to the road in protest of proposed changes to bans on lane splitting at intersections which seriously add to the congestion of road traffic and further compromising motorcyclists safety .

Herald Sun: Biker protest [24jan06]

The Government should be listening to the Motorcycle Riders’ Association and find a workable solution to perceived problems.

The proposed ban on lane splitting must be reviewed.

The government should consider alternative proposals such as the sharing of designated bike lanes during peak hour traffic. (See link to previous post)

The government spend more money, resources and time addressing issues of cyclists then they do considering the needs of motorcycle riders. Vehicle registration fees are for motorcycles are excessive and should be reduced and more done to encourage and facilitate motorcycle riders needs. The road is there to be shared and motorcyclist are often forgotten or ignored in the process. The Government should reassess this issue.

Motorcycle and motor scooter riders deserve support and encouragement not persecution.

Motorcyclists hit the roadThe Motorcyclist Riders’ Association call on the State Government to review proposals to help reduce congestion

Motorcycle Riders’ Association take to the road in protest of proposed changes to bans on lane splitting at intersections which seriously add to the congestion of road traffic and further compromising motorcyclists safety .

Herald Sun: Biker protest [24jan06]

The Government should be listening to the Motorcycle Riders’ Association and find a workable solution to perceived problems.

The proposed ban on lane splitting must be reviewed.

The government should consider alternative proposals such as the sharing of designated bike lanes during peak hour traffic. (See link to previous post)

The government spend more money, resources and time addressing issues of cyclists then they do considering the needs of motorcycle riders. Vehicle registration fees are for motorcycles are excessive and should be reduced and more done to encourage and facilitate motorcycle riders needs. The road is there to be shared and motorcyclist are often forgotten or ignored in the process. The Government should reassess this issue.

Motorcycle and motor scooter riders deserve support and encouragement not persecution.

Congestion a taxing solution – bureaucratic stupidity at its best

Stupidity still trails the media who starved from real news touts-up the proposed City Limits congestion tax as front page news.

Gridlock: new push on city car tax – National – theage.com.au

The proposed congestion tax would deliver a serious economic blow to the City of Melbourne and in particular the City’s retail sector and create significant problems of logistics for city residents and business men/women wishing to travel outside the confines of the city. Melbourne is not London – its just a small City with poor planning and design. The only winners of such a tax are the suburban shopping malls, such as Chadstone – which has just received the go-ahead to expand. Money talks and planning follows design.

Vicroads solution, as always, is to build more and bigger roads. But this is not the answer. Clearly better and cheaper option is to have more frequent and diverse types of public transport servicing the city’s requirements.

Melbourne’s congestion problems are as a result of poor planning, government policy and design adding to Melbourne’s woes is the CityLink toll-way with many drivers seeking alternative routes through the city to avoid the toll. –
Who ever came up with the idea and agreed to restricting city traffic flow to pump traffic onto the tollway should be held to account and their job should be on the line.

Trim tort and traffic – Logic by design – Narrow not widen is sometimes the solution.

Another problem is the design of the road network itself. As Trevor Huggard, former Lord Mayor and Civil engineer, once said “most of the problem with the flow of traffic in and around Melbourne is due to different road widths and the number of lanes that end up bottle-necking slowing down traffic flow and causing congestion.” Traffic flows like water you have a bigger pipe feeding directly into a narrow outlet the back pressure builds up and the overflow finds an alternative route.

A clear example of this can be found at the end of the Eastern Freeway. Here Vicroads, in its piece-meal incremental approach, has increased the number of lanes by stealth saying that the road needs widening. They widened the road back in 1994/5 and all that it achieved was more traffic congregating at a different bottleneck where the road can not be widened.

Huggard, who is a logical thinker, addressed this issue when looking at the design of Elgin Street. Instead of widening the street he narrowed it so that the width of the street remained constant and there was rush or sudden need to change lanes or stop in order to enter the narrow sections between Nicholson Street and the Yarra river. Sure traffic capacity was not expanded but the flow of traffic was better and precious seconds saved and frustration eased.

Alternative solutions need support

Other alternative suggestions that need to be considered is a multiple prong attack Ideas such as encouraging use of alternative means of private transport other then the car. Motorcycles, motor scooters and bicycles are more road congestion friendly then the four seater car – which most of the time only seats one driver burns up fuel and adds to the population count.

Our ever increasing number of bicycle lanes go under-utilised. Whist they add to the statistics of the length of Melbourne’s bike lanes the fact is that cyclists prefer alternative routes that do not follow the main roads.

One suggestion is to allow sharing of the designated bike lanes with small (under 350cc) motor bikes and motor scooters during peak hour traffic. This would significantly improve the safety and up take of motorbikes/scooters as an alternative cheaper means of private transport. As any one who rides a bike will tell you its not the bikes that are a safety risk it is the car drivers that don’t look out for bike riders.

Riding in peak hour traffic is one of the most dangerous times to be on the road. The sharing of nominated bike lanes in peak hour would be a plus and better utilisation of public infrastructure. Its implementation is minimal cost and could reduce the extent of congestion by up to 10% as more people adopt and utilise alternative means of transport

Editor’s choice http://melbourneintransit.blogspot.com

Congestion a taxing solution – bureaucratic stupidity at its best

Stupidity still trails the media who starved from real news touts-up the proposed City Limits congestion tax as front page news.

Gridlock: new push on city car tax – National – theage.com.au

The proposed congestion tax would deliver a serious economic blow to the City of Melbourne and in particular the City’s retail sector and create significant problems of logistics for city residents and business men/women wishing to travel outside the confines of the city. Melbourne is not London – its just a small City with poor planning and design. The only winners of such a tax are the suburban shopping malls, such as Chadstone – which has just received the go-ahead to expand. Money talks and planning follows design.

Vicroads solution, as always, is to build more and bigger roads. But this is not the answer. Clearly better and cheaper option is to have more frequent and diverse types of public transport servicing the city’s requirements.

Melbourne’s congestion problems are as a result of poor planning, government policy and design adding to Melbourne’s woes is the CityLink toll-way with many drivers seeking alternative routes through the city to avoid the toll. –
Who ever came up with the idea and agreed to restricting city traffic flow to pump traffic onto the tollway should be held to account and their job should be on the line.

Trim tort and traffic – Logic by design – Narrow not widen is sometimes the solution.

Another problem is the design of the road network itself. As Trevor Huggard, former Lord Mayor and Civil engineer, once said “most of the problem with the flow of traffic in and around Melbourne is due to different road widths and the number of lanes that end up bottle-necking slowing down traffic flow and causing congestion.” Traffic flows like water you have a bigger pipe feeding directly into a narrow outlet the back pressure builds up and the overflow finds an alternative route.

A clear example of this can be found at the end of the Eastern Freeway. Here Vicroads, in its piece-meal incremental approach, has increased the number of lanes by stealth saying that the road needs widening. They widened the road back in 1994/5 and all that it achieved was more traffic congregating at a different bottleneck where the road can not be widened.

Huggard, who is a logical thinker, addressed this issue when looking at the design of Elgin Street. Instead of widening the street he narrowed it so that the width of the street remained constant and there was rush or sudden need to change lanes or stop in order to enter the narrow sections between Nicholson Street and the Yarra river. Sure traffic capacity was not expanded but the flow of traffic was better and precious seconds saved and frustration eased.

Alternative solutions need support

Other alternative suggestions that need to be considered is a multiple prong attack Ideas such as encouraging use of alternative means of private transport other then the car. Motorcycles, motor scooters and bicycles are more road congestion friendly then the four seater car – which most of the time only seats one driver burns up fuel and adds to the population count.

Our ever increasing number of bicycle lanes go under-utilised. Whist they add to the statistics of the length of Melbourne’s bike lanes the fact is that cyclists prefer alternative routes that do not follow the main roads.

One suggestion is to allow sharing of the designated bike lanes with small (under 350cc) motor bikes and motor scooters during peak hour traffic. This would significantly improve the safety and up take of motorbikes/scooters as an alternative cheaper means of private transport. As any one who rides a bike will tell you its not the bikes that are a safety risk it is the car drivers that don’t look out for bike riders.

Riding in peak hour traffic is one of the most dangerous times to be on the road. The sharing of nominated bike lanes in peak hour would be a plus and better utilisation of public infrastructure. Its implementation is minimal cost and could reduce the extent of congestion by up to 10% as more people adopt and utilise alternative means of transport

Editor’s choice http://melbourneintransit.blogspot.com

Congestion a taxing solution – bureaucratic stupidity at its best

Stupidity still trails the media who starved from real news touts-up the proposed City Limits congestion tax as front page news.

Gridlock: new push on city car tax – National – theage.com.au

The proposed congestion tax would deliver a serious economic blow to the City of Melbourne and in particular the City’s retail sector and create significant problems of logistics for city residents and business men/women wishing to travel outside the confines of the city. Melbourne is not London – its just a small City with poor planning and design. The only winners of such a tax are the suburban shopping malls, such as Chadstone – which has just received the go-ahead to expand. Money talks and planning follows design.

Vicroads solution, as always, is to build more and bigger roads. But this is not the answer. Clearly better and cheaper option is to have more frequent and diverse types of public transport servicing the city’s requirements.

Melbourne’s congestion problems are as a result of poor planning, government policy and design adding to Melbourne’s woes is the CityLink toll-way with many drivers seeking alternative routes through the city to avoid the toll. –
Who ever came up with the idea and agreed to restricting city traffic flow to pump traffic onto the tollway should be held to account and their job should be on the line.

Trim tort and traffic – Logic by design – Narrow not widen is sometimes the solution.

Another problem is the design of the road network itself. As Trevor Huggard, former Lord Mayor and Civil engineer, once said “most of the problem with the flow of traffic in and around Melbourne is due to different road widths and the number of lanes that end up bottle-necking slowing down traffic flow and causing congestion.” Traffic flows like water you have a bigger pipe feeding directly into a narrow outlet the back pressure builds up and the overflow finds an alternative route.

A clear example of this can be found at the end of the Eastern Freeway. Here Vicroads, in its piece-meal incremental approach, has increased the number of lanes by stealth saying that the road needs widening. They widened the road back in 1994/5 and all that it achieved was more traffic congregating at a different bottleneck where the road can not be widened.

Huggard, who is a logical thinker, addressed this issue when looking at the design of Elgin Street. Instead of widening the street he narrowed it so that the width of the street remained constant and there was rush or sudden need to change lanes or stop in order to enter the narrow sections between Nicholson Street and the Yarra river. Sure traffic capacity was not expanded but the flow of traffic was better and precious seconds saved and frustration eased.

Alternative solutions need support

Other alternative suggestions that need to be considered is a multiple prong attack Ideas such as encouraging use of alternative means of private transport other then the car. Motorcycles, motor scooters and bicycles are more road congestion friendly then the four seater car – which most of the time only seats one driver burns up fuel and adds to the population count.

Our ever increasing number of bicycle lanes go under-utilised. Whist they add to the statistics of the length of Melbourne’s bike lanes the fact is that cyclists prefer alternative routes that do not follow the main roads.

One suggestion is to allow sharing of the designated bike lanes with small (under 350cc) motor bikes and motor scooters during peak hour traffic. This would significantly improve the safety and up take of motorbikes/scooters as an alternative cheaper means of private transport. As any one who rides a bike will tell you its not the bikes that are a safety risk it is the car drivers that don’t look out for bike riders.

Riding in peak hour traffic is one of the most dangerous times to be on the road. The sharing of nominated bike lanes in peak hour would be a plus and better utilisation of public infrastructure. Its implementation is minimal cost and could reduce the extent of congestion by up to 10% as more people adopt and utilise alternative means of transport

Editor’s choice http://melbourneintransit.blogspot.com

Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor siphoning petrol from the Council bowsers

As petrol prices increase there is ongoing concern related to the cost to ratepayers in providing the Lord Mayor and the Deputy Lord Mayor vehicular access. Costs that go unreported on the published Councillor expense statements


Under Council’s benefits guidelines the Lord Mayor, John So, is entitled to a chauffeur driven limo and the Deputy Lord Mayor, Garry Singer, is provided with a self-drive limo – both are six cylinder petrol guzzlers.

The Council foots the fuel bills and maintenance costs on both vehicles.

Last year it was reported that the Lord Mayor’s limo driver received payment in excess of $100,000 a year including overtime – This years cost go unreported.

It is unclear if the Council is paying the fringe-benefits tax associated with the Lord Mayor’s and Deputy Lord Mayor’s vehicles.

Under taxation law the Council is required to maintain a travel log to demonstrate the extent of travel that is related to the business of the Council as opposed to private use and taxes are payable on the proportion that is deemed for private use.


Both the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor have free access to the Council petrol bowsers located in Little Collins Street allowing them to siphon out petrol for their personal use.

Unlike other Councillors the costs associated with local travel for the Lord Mayor and the Deputy Lord Mayor are not disclosed or published in the Councillor expense statements along with the other Councillors local travel costs. Why?

Under the provisions of the Local Government (General) Regulations 2004 the Council is required to maintain a list, which is required to be made available to the public, which includes:

  • details of senior officers’ total salary packages for the current financial year and the previous year including the gross salary, the amount of the Council or employer contribution to superannuation, the value of any motor vehicle provided by the Council and the total value of any other benefits and allowances provided by the Council;

    and

  • details of all property, finance and operating leases involving land, buildings, plant, computer equipment or vehicles entered into by the Council as lessor or lessee, including the name of the other party to the lease and the terms and the value of the lease;

Whilst it regulations do not yet include incidental costs such as free fuel, and it is unclear if also includes costs of benefits provided to Councillors is included, this information should be published in the interest of maintaining open and transparent governance.

We understand that senior staff members have access to the Council bowser and are also provided with Fuel Charge cards allowing them top fill up at Councils expense.

The cost of the Council’s overall fuel bill including any credit card purchases would be of interest to ratepayers. The Council administration can and should provide a breakdown of costs by department and if need be by individual users.

Fringe-benefits Tax

In spite numerous requests no information as been provided by the Council as to the extent of its liability and amount paid in fringe benefits tax to both staff and Councillors.

We have written to the Council audit committee before seeking this information but again no response. Are they avoiding payment of taxes due?

We previously have asked similar questions in relation to the allocation of Frequent Flyer Awards allocated to staff and Councillors undertaking Council overseas and interstate travel. All are subject to a fringe-benefits tax.

Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor siphoning petrol from the Council bowsers

As petrol prices increase there is ongoing concern related to the cost to ratepayers in providing the Lord Mayor and the Deputy Lord Mayor vehicular access. Costs that go unreported on the published Councillor expense statements


Under Council’s benefits guidelines the Lord Mayor, John So, is entitled to a chauffeur driven limo and the Deputy Lord Mayor, Garry Singer, is provided with a self-drive limo – both are six cylinder petrol guzzlers.

The Council foots the fuel bills and maintenance costs on both vehicles.

Last year it was reported that the Lord Mayor’s limo driver received payment in excess of $100,000 a year including overtime – This years cost go unreported.

It is unclear if the Council is paying the fringe-benefits tax associated with the Lord Mayor’s and Deputy Lord Mayor’s vehicles.

Under taxation law the Council is required to maintain a travel log to demonstrate the extent of travel that is related to the business of the Council as opposed to private use and taxes are payable on the proportion that is deemed for private use.


Both the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor have free access to the Council petrol bowsers located in Little Collins Street allowing them to siphon out petrol for their personal use.

Unlike other Councillors the costs associated with local travel for the Lord Mayor and the Deputy Lord Mayor are not disclosed or published in the Councillor expense statements along with the other Councillors local travel costs. Why?

Under the provisions of the Local Government (General) Regulations 2004 the Council is required to maintain a list, which is required to be made available to the public, which includes:

  • details of senior officers’ total salary packages for the current financial year and the previous year including the gross salary, the amount of the Council or employer contribution to superannuation, the value of any motor vehicle provided by the Council and the total value of any other benefits and allowances provided by the Council;

    and

  • details of all property, finance and operating leases involving land, buildings, plant, computer equipment or vehicles entered into by the Council as lessor or lessee, including the name of the other party to the lease and the terms and the value of the lease;

Whilst it regulations do not yet include incidental costs such as free fuel, and it is unclear if also includes costs of benefits provided to Councillors is included, this information should be published in the interest of maintaining open and transparent governance.

We understand that senior staff members have access to the Council bowser and are also provided with Fuel Charge cards allowing them top fill up at Councils expense.

The cost of the Council’s overall fuel bill including any credit card purchases would be of interest to ratepayers. The Council administration can and should provide a breakdown of costs by department and if need be by individual users.

Fringe-benefits Tax

In spite numerous requests no information as been provided by the Council as to the extent of its liability and amount paid in fringe benefits tax to both staff and Councillors.

We have written to the Council audit committee before seeking this information but again no response. Are they avoiding payment of taxes due?

We previously have asked similar questions in relation to the allocation of Frequent Flyer Awards allocated to staff and Councillors undertaking Council overseas and interstate travel. All are subject to a fringe-benefits tax.

Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor siphoning petrol from the Council bowsers

As petrol prices increase there is ongoing concern related to the cost to ratepayers in providing the Lord Mayor and the Deputy Lord Mayor vehicular access. Costs that go unreported on the published Councillor expense statements


Under Council’s benefits guidelines the Lord Mayor, John So, is entitled to a chauffeur driven limo and the Deputy Lord Mayor, Garry Singer, is provided with a self-drive limo – both are six cylinder petrol guzzlers.

The Council foots the fuel bills and maintenance costs on both vehicles.

Last year it was reported that the Lord Mayor’s limo driver received payment in excess of $100,000 a year including overtime – This years cost go unreported.

It is unclear if the Council is paying the fringe-benefits tax associated with the Lord Mayor’s and Deputy Lord Mayor’s vehicles.

Under taxation law the Council is required to maintain a travel log to demonstrate the extent of travel that is related to the business of the Council as opposed to private use and taxes are payable on the proportion that is deemed for private use.


Both the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor have free access to the Council petrol bowsers located in Little Collins Street allowing them to siphon out petrol for their personal use.

Unlike other Councillors the costs associated with local travel for the Lord Mayor and the Deputy Lord Mayor are not disclosed or published in the Councillor expense statements along with the other Councillors local travel costs. Why?

Under the provisions of the Local Government (General) Regulations 2004 the Council is required to maintain a list, which is required to be made available to the public, which includes:

  • details of senior officers’ total salary packages for the current financial year and the previous year including the gross salary, the amount of the Council or employer contribution to superannuation, the value of any motor vehicle provided by the Council and the total value of any other benefits and allowances provided by the Council;

    and

  • details of all property, finance and operating leases involving land, buildings, plant, computer equipment or vehicles entered into by the Council as lessor or lessee, including the name of the other party to the lease and the terms and the value of the lease;

Whilst it regulations do not yet include incidental costs such as free fuel, and it is unclear if also includes costs of benefits provided to Councillors is included, this information should be published in the interest of maintaining open and transparent governance.

We understand that senior staff members have access to the Council bowser and are also provided with Fuel Charge cards allowing them top fill up at Councils expense.

The cost of the Council’s overall fuel bill including any credit card purchases would be of interest to ratepayers. The Council administration can and should provide a breakdown of costs by department and if need be by individual users.

Fringe-benefits Tax

In spite numerous requests no information as been provided by the Council as to the extent of its liability and amount paid in fringe benefits tax to both staff and Councillors.

We have written to the Council audit committee before seeking this information but again no response. Are they avoiding payment of taxes due?

We previously have asked similar questions in relation to the allocation of Frequent Flyer Awards allocated to staff and Councillors undertaking Council overseas and interstate travel. All are subject to a fringe-benefits tax.