Friday, November 14, 2008

Doyle campaign blog suffers from technical difficulty

The planned Herald-Sun Live blog with Melbourne City Council Lord Mayor candidate Robert Doyle was hampered by technical difficulty. the blog was supposed to commence at 2PM today. The link proved by the Herald Sun failed to work.

It is unknown if the fault was due to Robert not showing up or if the Herald Sun just stuffed up. It happens.

Roberts live blog was arrange at short notice Robert had originally refused to participate.

Maybe it was cancelled as a result of a policy free zone... No sign or advertisment


Running commentary:

Negative campaign comments

2:16 [Comment From Debbie]
I have received a lot of negative stuff on Cr Ng. I don't like grubby politics in local government. Was that from you? What will you do to make sure all councillors get along in the best interests of this city? Given you have a background in partisan politics (ie as opposition leader), how can you deal with all councillors in a non-partisan way. The Greens will surely go bananas if you get elected?
Robert's response:

Thanks Debbie. It certainly wasn't from me and I make the public pledge that I will only campaign positively. I won't comment on other candidates' campaigns nor will I stoop to negative smear campaigns. I deplore them and I always have. One of the reasons I'm putting my hand up for this job is that I want leave partisan politics behind. Although I belong to a political party of course, I am standing as Robert Doyle with my Activate Melbourne team and I am receiving no support in any way from the Liberal Party. Partisan politics has no place at our Town Hall. I hope I do have the skills to get councillors to work together. We are, after all, there for all of you, not for us. Will I be successful? I'll give it my best shot. As for the Greens, I'm happy to work with them and I hope they would want to work with whoever was the lord mayor.
Robert must have a very short memory (Maybe he has been drinking again over lunch) I recall a very angry Nick Columb commenting on Robert Doyle's negative smear campaign against Nick Columb.

Eddington's Cross City Tunnel

2:21 [Comment From Julianne Bell]
Robert The previous Council voted unanimously to oppose the road tunnel through inner Melbourne, as proposed under the Eddington Review. The community is overwhelmingly opposed to the tunnel which will - if constructed - destroy Royal and Holland Parks plus result in compulsory alienation of homes. Will you attempt to overturn the decision by the previous Council given you are pro tunnel?

I am pro East-West links, Julianne. The model on the table now is the Eddington proposal which I understand the council originally supported, then opposed. I think government would understand that while an east-west solution was required - whether that is at-grade tunnel or rail link it needs to be successful in reducing traffic congestion but also of minimal disruption to existing parkland. So, for instance, is the brickworks and alternative to Holland Park? These would be complex and lengthy negotiations with representations to state government. One final note: given the state of the economy and the withdrawal of a number of private enterprise firms from ppp infrastructure projects, I would seriously enter discussions with the state government about whether this was still on the agenda at all.

Where is the cost benefit analysis? Little wonder Robert did not become premier of Victoria

Scrape the Direct Election of Lord Mayor:

2:26 [Comment From Side show ally]
The same question asked to McMullin before.. The direct election model for Lord Mayor has failed to deliver good governance and has become a side show where only well healed multi-millionaires or celebrities can afford to run for office. What is your policy and what steps will you take to get rid of the direct election system and return Melbourne to a system where the Lord Mayor is elected and held accountable by the City Council?

I think there are strengths in the system of direct election of the lord mayor, although I concede that a weakness that it could become a plaything of the wealthy. However, in council-elected mayoral contests, I have seen more grubby, backroom, non-transparent back-scratching than you can spoke a stick at. It is rarely a meritocracy and, by the way, you don't get a clear vision and understanding of what the city's leader stands for.
What is his policy? For or against or is he also in a policy vacuum? Looks like he is trying to have it both ways. Non committal and lost for ideas.

Junkets are us

2:30 [Comment From Melbcity]
Susan Riley and Carl Jetter, both on your team, were the City of Melbourne's highest spending and most travelled Councillors. Susan Riley, as John So's Deputy Lord Mayor, spent over $20,000 on a junket visit St Petersburg. Will you reign in the costs and number of overseas trips spent on junkets and will you scape the LM limo or can we expect more or less the same as under John So.


No junkets.

Again non commital and avoidance. he failed to address the question on scraping the Limo aand other questions aksed about Free Booze at counil functions.

Columb bun fightcome to the focus.

2:31 [Comment From Preferences]
There seems to be a bun fight between you and Nick Columb over preferences. Wht happened that caused such this fight?
Doyle's reply:
No good crying over spilt milk. I have made the commitment that I will campaign positively and I won't campaign on other candidates or their campaigns. I hate the negative stuff. With me, my word is my bond. When I say will do something, then I will do it.

See above comment and link

Policing Melbourne
2:35 [Comment From Brian Constable]
Dear Mr Doyle, I was at the Police/Safety Seminar on Monday night and listened to everyone's comments and I think it was Mr McMullin who said that he was going to use Council funds to pay for extra police in the city - Is this possible?
I do not believe it is. No lord mayor can promise you more police in the city. Not even the police minister can do that. Police Command decides. However, I believe we can make convincing arguments to police: we can provide infrastructure to support police; can police return the academy graduates, probationary constables who used to spend their first month in the city back to these duties rather than scattering them throughout Victoria? This would give us 50 to 60 more police every month. Finally, senior police tell me that police now do 25 per cent less foot patrols thatn they did in 2000-01. Can we return to those levels of visible proactive policing through more administrative support for those officers, or conceding that security and safety in our streets and homes is such a critical issue, can we make visible policing our No. 1 priority until we get the problems under control. To me, those uniforms are a deterrent to crime. But they have to be seen on our streets

Open Street Policy
2:40 [Comment From Marco]
Why on earth do you want to open Swanston St up to traffic? That is one of the nuttiest ideas I've heard during this campaign. A good city is one that is pedestrian, cyclist and public transport friendly. Why this regressive policy?
Swanston St is a failed experiment, Marco. It still has cars, trucks and of course trams as well as frequent taxi and courier traffic. Melbourne is not laid out like a European city around a central square. Our forefathers were not nutty when the city grid design shaped our CBD. The corollary of what you suggest would lead to even greater traffic congestion in Melbourne and begs the question of how we are going to cope when there are 1 million people a day coming into the city. The answer has to lie in a range of solutions - public transport, bicycle, pedestrian, car and motorcycle. Why would we choke one of the major arteries of our city?

Meeting Attendance
2:51 [Comment From jane]
What will you do to ensure councillors attend council meetings. Catherine Ng said here that she'd only attended 50% of them. Is that good enough?
2:52 Jane, my expectation is that councillors attend unless there is an urgent or legitimate reason like an emergency.

Cost of campaign
2:52 [Comment From campaign]
Who is paying for your campaign? How much are you spending?
2:54 My campaign is being paid for by donation and fund-raisers. That will be transparently and completely declared at the end of the campaign, whether I am successful or not.
What part of the question did Robert not understand. Like Peter McMullin he failed to outline how much he was spending and who was picking up the tab. As they say there is no such thing as a free lunch

Missing Campaign
2:54 [Comment From Gianni]
I live in Carlton and have seen none of your material, do you not care about the residents?
2:55 Hello Gianni. I'm afraid I do not have the budget to deluge you with materials, but you will certainly be receiving a letter from me in the next couple of days. One of my Activate Melbourne team is Luciano Bini, a long-time Carlton resident and identity who was instrumental in beginnign Spoleto and the Lygon St Festa, and he brings a wealth of Carlton experience to our team
Ballots are out there and his promises are still in the mail...

Business as usual
2:57 [Comment From Charles Oscar]
Hi Robert, what role do you see the City of Melbourne playing in promoting Melbourne as a place to invest and do business? cheers Charles
2:59 Hello Charles. This is one of the most critical questions facing us, particularly as we head for what may be a recession. There are models around the world - New York, London, Singapore - which fulfill this function for cities in a way far superior to what we are doing. It can be done within the existing resources of the City of Melbourne. This will be my major policy release for this weekend, and we will announce our plan on Sunday. It will be called the Melbourne Economic Development Agency
Mosquing Melbourne
3:03 [Comment From Jonathan]
Do you support plans to construct a mosque in Melbourne?
3:03 I don't know of any such plans, Jonathan.
Not well informed of the issues. A mosque shoudl be sujevcted to the normal planning process as would apply to another development. No more and no less.

Monumental Advances
3:04 [Comment From Jeff]
Do you support the erection of a statue commemorating Jeff Kennett's service to Victoria?
3:06 Hello Jeff! (only kidding) Premiers who serve a nominated period of time have a statue erected outside 1 Treasury Place. Unfortunately Jeff did not quite make it but I'm still very proud of the acheivements of his government, particularly during the first term, 1992-96, and getting the state back on its feet, restoring our pride.

Anna fan
3:09 [Comment From Anna]
I hope you win! I am a huge fan...we desperately need a change :)
3:10 Thanks Anna. I think this is a great place to end my first blog experience. Thank you to everybody who wrote in, and sorry that we had more questions than we could answer, even going a few minutes overtime. Robert.

He started late.

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