The first Tuesday of May is Victorian State Budget day.
On Budget day, journalists and some interest groups (well, those that have the resources) attend the Budget Lockup, where from about midday to the 3pm public release, they get to peruse the budget papers, but can’t communicate what they find with the outside world.
They are let loose at around 3pm, and often gather in the grounds of Parliament House, where representatives from the interest groups will form a (reasonably orderly) queue up to give their comments to the waiting media.
On a rainy day, they might all huddle under the small shelter at the back door to Parliament. Otherwise, they might head for the garden.
This year there was an added bonus in the garden: Trades Hall had come along with a multitude of jellybabies, representing the 43,000 jobs lost in Victoria in the past 12 months.
- Video: Budget blues strike public sector (7pm TV News VIC)
- Bonus pic of yours truly taken by Adrian Lowe from The Age
And the budget in summary? Well for PT, apart from extra V/Line carriages, confirmation that the very successful 601 Huntingdale to Monash Uni shuttle has got recurrent funding, and three grade separations, not much else. Certainly it was a tight budget, but roads seem to have got more new money yet again.
After lunch I took a walk up to state Parliament House. A blanket of flowers covers the steps, left there by people in memory of the Bali bombing. Judging from the notes, most had been left there by strangers, rather than relatives of victims. Above, blowing in the wind, the flags are still at half mast. People were lining up to sign a condolence book.
Then I walked up a block and found a bunch of blocked-off streets and abicycle lap race in progress. Cool stuff.