Yesterday there were demonstrators outside the SX building in Exhibition Street, with brochures, a big banner calling for a Royal Commission. Into what? I’m not sure to be honest; it wasn’t obvious. I didn’t look too closely and I didn’t take a brochure as I had other things on my mind.
The Premier John Brumby and his staff walked out of the building, followed a couple of minutes later by all the journalists I’d been waiting for. Brumby had been making an announcement about train timetables.
Not one of the protestors moved. They didn’t budge. They didn’t call out. They didn’t try and have a word with Brumby or the journos, or even thrust a brochure in their direction.
Did they even notice the Premier was there?
I still don’t know what their cause was. Bay dredging? The desalination plant? The water pipeline? Werribee loop trains?
Don’t know. But I do know that if they’d been a tad quicker on their feet, they might have got a word with someone who in all probability may be able to influence whatever it was they were campaigning for — or got some media attention.
You have to pay attention. They missed an opportunity.
And the train announcement? Thumbs up. It’s exactly what we need. The trains are crowded, so we need more, but under the current timetables, almost everything’s squashed into the loop, and conflicting movements slow everything down. So changing the operating plan so some trains bypass the loop, or run through it in a different direction, allows more trains onto the tracks, and means when the 18 extras start arriving next year, they’ll be able to be deployed in peak hours, where they’re needed most.
So some people will have to change trains, or have a slightly longer trip. But others will have shorter trips, and more train services will mean less crowding, and shorter waiting times. Everybody wins.
Update Saturday morning: Why the PTUA is supporting the changes to metropolitan train timetables