Gridlocked ideology Herald Sun Editorial

Gridlocked ideology

02feb06

MELBOURNE’S road and rail transport remains in chaos while the State Government and the Melbourne City Council bow to pressure from special interest groups.

At the root of the trouble is increasing disapproval of the motor car as a politically incorrect form of locomotion.

The green band offer the following gratuitous advice: catch public transport, ride a bike, or walk to work.

But people are entitled to choose whichever suits them without being heavied by governments – state or municipal.

In pursuit of its agenda the Government has hit long-term inner-city parkers with a tax of about $40 a month on top of the normal fees. This will double to about $80 a month next year.

The latest in the war on motorists is that Melbourne City Council is reportedly urging abandonment of road infrastructure in favour of keeping the city car-free to make way for bicycles and public transport.

But more than 90 per cent of respondents to a Herald Sun Voteline said Melbourne’s transport system needs improvement.

While the Government spends a fortune on not very fast trains to the bush, Melbourne’s decrepit public transport is not a viable alternative to the car.

This city needs a transport vision based on reality, not on ideology.

Gridlocked ideology Herald Sun Editorial

Gridlocked ideology

02feb06

MELBOURNE’S road and rail transport remains in chaos while the State Government and the Melbourne City Council bow to pressure from special interest groups.

At the root of the trouble is increasing disapproval of the motor car as a politically incorrect form of locomotion.

The green band offer the following gratuitous advice: catch public transport, ride a bike, or walk to work.

But people are entitled to choose whichever suits them without being heavied by governments – state or municipal.

In pursuit of its agenda the Government has hit long-term inner-city parkers with a tax of about $40 a month on top of the normal fees. This will double to about $80 a month next year.

The latest in the war on motorists is that Melbourne City Council is reportedly urging abandonment of road infrastructure in favour of keeping the city car-free to make way for bicycles and public transport.

But more than 90 per cent of respondents to a Herald Sun Voteline said Melbourne’s transport system needs improvement.

While the Government spends a fortune on not very fast trains to the bush, Melbourne’s decrepit public transport is not a viable alternative to the car.

This city needs a transport vision based on reality, not on ideology.

City without cars (except LM000)Melbourne City Council should lead by example and scrape the LM’s Limo and close down its Car Parks

John So, Melbourne’s funniest Lord Mayor, today announced a plan to rid Melbourne of cars (TheAge) It may be idealistic but it also far from reality if not deceitful.

We would all like to have a cleaner environment and better public transport but the Lord Mayor and the City Council should practice what it preaches before giving the sermon.

If the Lord Mayor is serious and not just grandstanding and attention seeking as a means of covering up for his for lack of policies and direction for Melbourne, he should consider first getting rid of the Lord Mayor (LM0001) and deputy Lord Mayor’s Limousines which according to information obtained under FOI in 2004 was costing City ratepayer well over $180,000.00 per year ($100,000 for the Lord Mayors driver alone).

The City of Melbourne maintains a fleet a few hundred cars and continues to offer staff remuneration benefits packages that include car lease agreements – they should go also.

Seriously what is the City going to do? Close down all the car parks it has so diligently encouraged to be constructed over the last 15 years? Maybe the Council should set an example and close its car-park in Little Collins Street first?

City without cars (except LM000)Melbourne City Council should lead by example and scrape the LM’s Limo and close down its Car Parks

John So, Melbourne’s funniest Lord Mayor, today announced a plan to rid Melbourne of cars (TheAge) It may be idealistic but it also far from reality if not deceitful.

We would all like to have a cleaner environment and better public transport but the Lord Mayor and the City Council should practice what it preaches before giving the sermon.

If the Lord Mayor is serious and not just grandstanding and attention seeking as a means of covering up for his for lack of policies and direction for Melbourne, he should consider first getting rid of the Lord Mayor (LM0001) and deputy Lord Mayor’s Limousines which according to information obtained under FOI in 2004 was costing City ratepayer well over $180,000.00 per year ($100,000 for the Lord Mayors driver alone).

The City of Melbourne maintains a fleet a few hundred cars and continues to offer staff remuneration benefits packages that include car lease agreements – they should go also.

Seriously what is the City going to do? Close down all the car parks it has so diligently encouraged to be constructed over the last 15 years? Maybe the Council should set an example and close its car-park in Little Collins Street first?

City without cars (except LM000)Melbourne City Council should lead by example and scrape the LM’s Limo and close down its Car Parks

John So, Melbourne’s funniest Lord Mayor, today announced a plan to rid Melbourne of cars (TheAge) It may be idealistic but it also far from reality if not deceitful.

We would all like to have a cleaner environment and better public transport but the Lord Mayor and the City Council should practice what it preaches before giving the sermon.

If the Lord Mayor is serious and not just grandstanding and attention seeking as a means of covering up for his for lack of policies and direction for Melbourne, he should consider first getting rid of the Lord Mayor (LM0001) and deputy Lord Mayor’s Limousines which according to information obtained under FOI in 2004 was costing City ratepayer well over $180,000.00 per year ($100,000 for the Lord Mayors driver alone).

The City of Melbourne maintains a fleet a few hundred cars and continues to offer staff remuneration benefits packages that include car lease agreements – they should go also.

Seriously what is the City going to do? Close down all the car parks it has so diligently encouraged to be constructed over the last 15 years? Maybe the Council should set an example and close its car-park in Little Collins Street first?

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.