Politics and activism, Toxic Custard newsletter

Election day!

Some photos from election day... The seat of Bentleigh is marginal, so we've been getting a lot of attention. The booth I usually vote at leans towards the Liberals (or at least did in 2010), so we had Labor politicians galore: local candidate Nick Staikos, along with Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten, and Labor luminary Simon Crean. Independent candidate Chandra was also present.

transport

Yes, train punctuality has increased – thanks to timetable padding

One day until the state election. They do great work, and it's rather good to see the ABC's Fact Check unit looking at Victorian issues just before the election. A couple of days ago they did a segment on train punctuality: The claim: Denis Napthine says his Government has "improved train punctuality". The verdict: With punctuality running at over 92 per cent across the Metro network,

Bentleigh, Politics and activism, Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Where’s the community’s focal point? It’s the railway station.

Two sleeps until the election. Apart from trying to get citizens out to a public meeting, where in the neighbourhood is the best place to meet as many people you can, face-to-face? Judging from what the politicians and lobby groups have been up to, it's the railway station -- on weekdays, at least. I've lost count of the number of flyers I've been handed at Bentleigh station over the past

Politics and activism, transport

Online state election advertising

Only a few days until the state election, and the campaign is heating up. Here's something interesting I've noticed: apart from posting and advertising on Facebook, the Liberals have paid for Google Adwords advertising -- that is, links to appear above search results on Google. They've covered the names of a number of Labor candidates in marginal seats, plus their state leader's name (li

Photos, Toxic Custard newsletter

Photos from the past week

A few photos from the past week or so... Sunday afternoon in Bentleigh. Has either major party pledged to fix the 703 Smartbus? No, neither of them has. The sign closest the camera is telling you to check the timetable... this is because part of the route doesn't run at all on Sundays. On the other side, if you zoom in, you will see that automated sign by the station still doesn't work properly

transport

Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt on the 822

Incumbent Elizabeth Miller has gone strong on "saving the 822", promoting via Facebook and an ad the front page of the local Leader newspaper last week, apparently trying to imply that Labor is proposing to scrap the route completely. Having put the claim out there on Facebook, the Liberals have done nothing to quell people's fears that the route might be scrapped. Comments on the Faceb

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Tram extensions: Not as expensive as some claim #VicVotes

The Greens have policy going into the State Election for 17 smallish tram extensions. Mostly they make a lot of sense -- extending many tram routes from their current outer termini in the middle of nowhere (a hangover from when trams and railways competed) to a more logical point such as a nearby railway station or shopping centre. This helps ensure both ends of those routes go to somewhere use

General, Sydney 2014, Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Sydney day 4, and wrap-up

Backdated. Posted 17/11/2014. Day 4 -- Sunday Not much to report. Breakfast at Darlinghurst's Jekyll & Hyde -- which was a bit meh. M's order came with unwanted eggs, which I adopted. Afterwards I realised it was one of the breakfast places I'd ruled out because some of its Urbanspoon reviews didn't sound that great (though it had a respectable score of 89). I'd happily go back to The Bu

Sydney 2014, Toxic Custard newsletter

Sydney trip day 3: Saturday

Backdated. Posted on 16/11/2014. Saturday! The weather was warming up -- have I mentioned how I'd jetted in on Thursday, a day after a huge storm passed through the city? Good timing (well, luck) is essential to any holiday, even a short one. After breakfasting at The Bunker in Darlinghurst, we caught the train across the Harbour Bridge to Milson's Point -- and walked back. Fr

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Sydney’s Opal card

(Backdated. Posted 14/11/2014.) During the Sydney trip I tried out Opal card, and M got one as well to try. It's worth remembering that although the system is provided by Cubic, who built London's Oyster system, its cost is not insubstantial -- $1.2 billion over 15 years. It's not quite as expensive, but is in the ballpark as Myki ($1.5 billion over ten years). Obtaining and topping u