Thursday, March 29, 2012

NBN: No Broadband Network for inner city corridor South of the Yarra

The long awaited National Broadband Network Infrastructure will skip inner city residents South of the Yarra.

Planning and roll out of the NBN continues to be under question as city residents who are the most likely to take up high speed broadband have been sidelined in the proposed roll-out.

Residents and businesses in Port Melbourne, Albert Park, Middle Park, South Melbourne, South Yarra, Prahran, Toorak, Armadale and St Kilda East are not scheduled to to be connected to the NBN in the near future

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

2008 Under the 2012 model

We decided out of interest to apply the 2008 vote under the new proposed model of nine Councillors.

It should be noted that this is indicative only. For the sake of the exercise we excluded Peter Clark from the count. He was replaced by Jackie Watts. (This time she was elected in her own right)

Elected Candidate Group
6 KANIS, Jennifer FOWLES
7 BINI, Luciano JETTER

* Results indicative only

Commission recommends increase in City Representation

The Victorian Electoral Commission has recommended in its final report that the level of representation of the City of Melbourne be increased from 9 to 11 Councillors - 2 City wide Councillors plus the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor team)

The Commission failed to address concerns related to the method of election of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor and the City's external boundaries and voter franchise.The Commissions report also failed to address concerns in relation to the above the line voting, calculation of the surplus transfer value and count-back process used in fulfilling casual vacancies. The terms of reference of the Commission review prevented it from addressing the real issues effecting the City Council.

Putting the limitations of the review aside the recommendation to increase the level of representation and maintain a city wide electorate is a positive for Melbourne. A ward system based on geographical boundaries would have divided the city and communities of interest.

The Council votes as a whole and should be elected as a whole.

The geographical size of the Council is not too large (Similar in size to a State or Federal electorate).

Under the system of proportional representation, in spite concerns about the serious flaws in the way votes are counted and issues pertaining to the voter franchise - the City wide multi-member electorate is the most democratic.

An increase from seven to nine members elected city wide would ensure on average that 95% of the electorate would be represented by a representative of their choosing, where in a single member electorate up to 49% of the electorate would be disenfranchised.

Whilst there is ongoing urgent need for review of the City's electoral system, its external boundaries and the election of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor - the recommendations proposed in the final report should be supported.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Review Disclosure - Due March 21

The Victorian Electoral Commission is due to publish the final report for the City of Melbourne Electoral review on Wednesday (March 21, 2012).

The preliminary report had recommended that the City Council representation be increased by 2, excluding the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor the number of Councilors would increase from 7 to 9. The initial recommendation proposed that the City continue to be elected as a whole.

Melbourne City Councilor, Jackie Watts, in a misguided direction opposed the increase in representation and proposed a reduction in democratic representation in order to establish Local Wards that she mistakenly thinks will increase her chances of election .

The criticism of the City Council is an indictment against the current Councillors and Council administration and the system of franchise and the direct election of the Lord Mayor and its external boundaries.

The problems highlighted by Cr Watts and some residents groups would not be addressed by the solutions advocated by Cr Watts. Cr Watts herself was elected not on merit but as a result of the flaw in the way the State Government counts the votes. Over 6000 votes were ignored in the count-back that followed Councillor Clarke's resignation . 6,000 votes that should have been counted but were not.

The Kensington Association submission is worthy of consideration. They have rightly supported the "City as a Whole" proposal with the fall back of a 3 x 3 ward option as being the most democratic. They also highlight the divisons within the Residential community. Residnets represent 40% of the City electorate and the City Wide model, like it or not relfects that breakdown although it is distorted by the system of direct election of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor.

Sadly the real issues effecting the City Council will not be looked at as the terms of reference of the Commission was restrictive. It prevented the consideration of alternative solutions that would help address the many perceived problems surrounding the City Council. Those problems will still remain.

Hopefully the Commission will not compound the problems by supporting Cr Watts ill-conceived proposal.

Tomorrow we will know what the final recommendation is. We will not be holding our breath. The Commission has made many inconsistent recommendations in the past and we see no reason why they would break that model.

RACV refuses to provide statistical information

We had received the following reply to our request for detailed statistical information on the Melbourne Bike Share program. Information that in our view should be readily available.

It does raise the question why is the RACV managing this project and are we getting value for our money? Clearly not.

From: []
Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 10:05 AM
Subject: RE: Bikes in south yarra botanical gardens precinct

Hi Anthony,

I am sorry, but this information is not available for Melbourne Bike Share to give out.


Kathy Ilott

Melbourne Bike Share Coordinator

Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) Limited
Level 2, 550 Princes Highway
Noble Park Victoria, Australia 3174

+613 9790 2674 / 0433 150 021
+613 9790 3065

Melbourne's blue two-wheel elephant

Melbourne's blue bike share program cloaked in a veil of secrecy costing taxpayers $9,000 per bike over 4-years.

We see them taking up the streets and footpaths of the city but have users taken up their use?

The RACV refuses to provide detailed statistics on the take up rate thus preventing independent review of the blue bikes benefits.

Many of the locations where they are stationed are in out of the way locations, more of a focus to passing traffic then of use to Melbourne's bicycling community.

Notably there is no bike share station near the Botanical Garden's Gate D or near the eastern end of Fawkner Park near Toorak road or the Alfred Hospital. You can hire a blue helmet at the corner of Park Street and Domain Road but there are no bikes nearby. To borrow a bike you have to catch a tram 1km to St Kilda Road or walk across the Park and the Yarra River to Rod Laver Arena. If you want to borrow a bike for a three hour bike ride along Melbourne's Yarra River bike paths it will cost you over $35.00.

With the cost of a new bike from Big W priced at $99.00 the Government could give away over 55,000 bikes for the $5.5 Million forked out by tax payers for the blue mobile advertisements

There is little wonder why RACV will not publish the stations daily usage take up.

With the use of the Internet this data could be streamed on line and in real time. But then users would soon realize that this blue elephant is not what it claims to be. It certainly does not service Melbourne's bicycling community.