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Melbourne News and events transport

Bathed in blue

Last week’s horrific Eastern Freeway crash, which killed four police officers, shocked all of us – even before we knew about the alleged execrable deeds of the Porsche driver. In tribute, flags have been flown at half-mast, and around Melbourne, many people placed blue ribbons on their front gates and fences. And a number of […]

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Health News and events transport

Cutting capacity has side effects

With all the talk of falling public transport patronage (some estimates have suggested it’s down 90%) and persistent (but unconfirmed) rumours of reduction of services to weekend levels, it’s worth remembering that capacity is only one aspect of service levels. Normally, trains trams and buses are often packed, but with patronage currently so low, passengers […]

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Health News and events

Stage 3? Bring it on.

I said it last week, but this whole situation is surreal. At this point, there are 3,048 confirmed cases of COVID-19 around Australia. In the past week or two, the number has roughly doubled every 3-4 days. There’s a slight bit of relief for those of us in Victoria – the growth here is a […]

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News and events Politics and activism

Enough delay. Time for climate action

Fires have ravaged south eastern Australia this summer. As I write this, cooler weather and even a little rain provided a few days of relief, but warmer weather is on the way. There’s much of the fire season still to come. 26 people are dead. 8.4 million hectares are believed to have burnt – figures […]

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News and events Toxic Custard newsletter transport

Can we do more to keep cars out of pedestrian spaces?

Part of what makes Friday’s tragic events in Bourke Street so horrible is that it could have been any of us who got hit. One can only have the deepest sympathy for all those affected. I work on Bourke Street, and often go walking along it at lunchtime. On Friday I was on Spencer Street […]

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News and events Toxic Custard newsletter

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year. Congratulations for surviving 2016! This blog post attempts to wrap up a few loose ends for the new year. Here’s a short video of the Footscray New Years Eve 9:30pm (official!) fireworks. Footscray fireworks (official)Happy New Year everyone! 🎉🎆 pic.twitter.com/L0WkAqArhT — Daniel Bowen (@danielbowen) December 31, 2016 2016 was a bit of […]

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News and events Toxic Custard newsletter

Hope at Christmas

My native garden attracts native birds. These are our latest residents, visiting for Christmas: rainbow lorikeets. Very colourful; they seem to be enjoying the food available at the moment. Christmas is almost over at our house. Due to travel commitments, the various arms of the family had their gatherings over the last two Sundays. As […]

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News and events

What can council elections teach us about aspect ratio?

One of the things you start noticing a lot more when you have two tertiary-level film and television students in the house is aspect ratio. Local council elections are in October, and posters have started going up for candidates. In some wards you see full-sized billboards, but in ours — so far — the most […]

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News and events Toxic Custard newsletter

Census – vital, but confidence has been eroded

It’s Census night. Normally it’s relatively uncontroversial, but this time it’s different — a number of concerns have been raised by people, especially those interested in privacy and data security. Some of the issues raised include: Names and addresses to be kept for four years. This obviously creates a risk of privacy breaches if the […]

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Culture News and events Toxic Custard newsletter

A bit of pedantry

I can be a bit of a pedant, so this photo caption in Saturday’s Age caught my eye: “Former NGV director Patrick McCaughey” pictured in 1986 — so was he the former NGV director back then? No — the article text makes it clear he was the director in 1986. There’s a simple way of […]