Politics and activism, transport

Labor pledges to grade-separate Bentleigh level crossing

As I walked to the station this morning there seemed to be an unusually long tailback of cars approaching the level crossing. I found a gaggle of reporters at the station, and shortly afterwards state opposition leader Dan(iel) Andrews showed up, with public transport spokesperson Jill Hennessy and local Bentleigh candidate Nick Staikos, to announce Labor will grade separate the Centre Road cro

Politics and activism

Election wrap-up

So, to summarise... Abbott govt in. But not the Labor bloodbath some expected, which is good -- whoever's in power, a good Opposition is needed to keep them in check. Somewhat to my surprise, the only Greens lower-house member Adam Bandt is back in, as are some other independents, but the Coalition will have a lower house majority. Senate still up in the air, but Coalition won't control it.

Politics and activism

More party political propaganda disguised as “voting information” #AusVotes

Look, if you're going to send around party political propaganda, you should at least have the guts to not disguise it as something else. This arrived in the mail yesterday: ...and inside was this: I note that in their brochure, they're still using the rail icon, despite repeatedly proclaiming that they will not fund urban rail. This sort of thing is not quite as bad as their data ga

driving, Politics and activism

If east-west traffic is so critical, why does the M1 only provide 2 through lanes each way?

The government argues that cross-city traffic is so critical that the they want to (without a mandate) spend $8 billion building just the first phase of the East-West tunnel. If that's the case, then why does the newly remodelled (2008-2010) M1 corridor only provide two lanes in each direction for those cross-city trips? Eastbound (coming off the Westgate bridge, towards the Burnley tunnel):

Politics and activism

Politicians and their fake Postal Vote forms: don’t be fooled #AusVotes

One thing I really really hate about spammers is how they often insist on the bottom of their email that you're receiving their crap because you subscribed to it. They know it's not true. I know it's not true. Along the same lines are these types of letters, one of which I received yesterday. The envelope makes it look official, non-party: Inside it's clear that the letter is party-po

Politics and activism, transport

If Abbott’s Coalition won’t build rail, why does their policy document include a rail icon?

If Tony Abbott's Coalition won't build rail, why do they include a rail icon on their infrastructure policy? At least, I'm assuming it's an icon for rail -- not giant white picket fences to keep out asylum seekers, or something like that. (The above is from the summarised version. The slightly more detailed policy document is here). True, they've specified they won't build urban rail,

Politics and activism

Some thoughts on the Labor leadership spill

A few thoughts on Federal politics from the last few days. I think Gillard did some great stuff. Carbon tax (some don't like it, but it works), National Disability Insurance Scheme, the Royal Commission into child abuse, and (along with her predecessors on both sides) keeping the economy afloat in dire economic times -- and all while dealing with the challenges of a minority government, making

Politics and activism, transport

Thatcher and her privatisation legacy

It's inevitable that the passing of Margaret Thatcher would provoke mixed responses. Such polarising figures often do. She may have been a trailblazer for women in power in the western world, but I don't remember her time as Prime Minister fondly. I was young and perhaps it was a naive viewpoint, but I remember the early-80s under her and Reagan as a time of real fear from nuclear war. The r