Archive for October 8th, 2005

The Great Australian Land Grab

I was somewhat surprised when I received one of my magazine subscriptions in the mail during the week, not because of the magazine, but because of the advertising bundled with it. Now, I could launch into a tirade about how I pay for the magazine and there is already enough advertising in it without more being sent to the subscribers, but I won’t do that now, instead I shall focus on the actual advertising.

The advertising leaflet was from the Australian Bush Heritage Fund, who are a non-profit organisation comitted to buying bits of the country to save the wildlife living in those areas. Whilst this is a somewhat worthwhile cause, it does have an odd way of doing things.

To start with, this is the first time I’ve ever heard of them, which makes me wonder about their marketing campaign, I just don’t understand why they chose to perform an assisted mass mailout to subscribers of an IT magazine…odd demographic if you ask me. Why not get the leaflet put in National Geographic and the other nature magazines? Surely that would provide a better response than IT readers who want to see technical specifications of new computer bits and pieces. Also, considering that their website is written rather poorly by somebody who obviously doesn’t understand ASP very well is not going to endear them to many IT people…although you might get a generous person offer to redo the site in something functional (and cheaper to run).

I also think there is something wrong with the way they run their schemes. They want donations so that they can buy out the land that contains the endangered species. I think they would go better if they bought the land and sold shares to people, with a contract allowing the bush heritage people to make executive decisions. Surely this would be more attractive to people. I know I would rather own a share of the land saving endangered animals, than to give money fo somebody else to buy the land.

Of course this is just my view, but I stick by it, and I think the bush heritage people would be well advised to take it on board.


1 comment October 8th, 2005 at 11:50pm

Samuel’s Cofee-Cup-O-Meter

3 x Standard Mug (1 Point Each) = 3 Points
1 x Large Shop Coffee (1.5 Points Each) = 1.5 Points
Total = 4.5 Points


October 8th, 2005 at 01:23pm

Celebrating 100 years of Canberra

Over at the Centenary Of Canberra website (which occurs in 2013), they are asking for ideas on what they can do to celebrate the 100 years of Canberra.

They want virtually any idea that celebrates Canberra in some way, and brings attention to Canberra, so I gave them my suggestion.

Seeing as all of our past and present chief ministers are so excited about this (and presumably being well paid to administer it), they should be the feature attraction. We could have them all stand on top of each other on top of the flagpole on City Hill, they could even stand there all day on the celebratory day, which would surely bring in the media attention. It would quickly become one of the odd stories that radio shows love.

Those crazy Canberrans have dispensed with the customary birthday cake and singing, in favour of standing on each other. The chief ministers have stood on top of each other on top of a flagpole for a whole day….I know it gets cold in Canberra, but if that’s how they plan on bringing the sun closer….


2 comments October 8th, 2005 at 01:34am

Trams, Trains & Buses

John B1_B5 had a rather interesting article about a Brisbane 400 Series Tram (circa 1958) on his blog recently. In it he mentions that the trams in Brisbane were very efficient “The beauty about the trams was that there was always one coming in the distance, and if it was too crowded, you just waited for the next one.”

Brisbane apparently had one of the best tram systems in the world and “a lot of Brisbane residents are STILL saying that it was a mistake to phase out the trams”.

Brisbane 400 Series Tram
Image courtesy John B1_B5

This got me thinking, with the rise in petrol prices recently, people are moving to public transport in droves, the only issue is that the people managing the local bus service (ACTION) know about as much about managing public transport as a tinned sardine does. They seem to be doing their utmost best to make travelling by bus a pain (Flexibus, Constantly making a mess of, and changing, timetables, seemingly at random, introducing uncomfortable and relatively useless green monstrosities, etc…) with the full blessing of the ACT government. (previously documented on this blog in numerous articles.)

The ACT government want to build an expensive busway which will cut two minutes from the trip between Belconnen and Civic, which will never get built because of groups like Save The Ridge and completely ignores the rest of the population. (At one stage, the minister responsible for the busway declared that it would cut 15 minutes from the trip, effectively getting you to Civic two minutes before you leave Belconnen, and vice versa)

Light Rail has been brought up as a possibility a number of times, but the seemingly useless local government have ignored it over and over and over.

This is what I would do with local public transport.

Light Rail going directly between town centres (IE. Gungahlin to Belconnen, Gungahlin to Civic, Gungahlin to Woden, Gungahlin to Tuggeranong, Belconnen to Civic, Belconnen to Woden, Belconnen to Tuggeranong, Civic to Woden, Civic to Tuggeranong, Woden to Tuggeranong and vice versa on each). This would be a high speed and quick service which would be expandable in the future and would be much quicker than current car transport and bus transport.

Trams travelling around town centres. Town Centres tend to be fairly large, they can be walked through, but it takes time, time which could be saved by having a low-medium speed tram service through the town centres, this would ease the problem of people getting off the bus/train at an interchange twenty minutes walk from their office on a rainy day.

Local Area Buses: Firstly, scrap Flexibus, buses are not taxis, taxis are, let it be. Then, buses going directly between a suburb and the town centre (so Braddon to Civic, Banks to Tuggeranong etc), these buses would go through most streets in the suburb, which would provide convenience to the commuter, and then go straight to the town centre…no more waiting through an archaic array of other suburbs.

I would also have area buses which would go from a town centre, through the main streets of a number of suburbs and then to a town centre (either the one it started at, or another one if the suburb is halfwayish between the two centres).

I would also release a mandate that the bus timetables be designed to get people to their destinations quickly, rather than sometime next week as tends to be the case at the moment. Why ACTION insist on timetables that get buses travelling at 30km/h is beyond me.

Naturally I would have combined areas for the bus/train/tram interchanges, this would make it much easier to use the services, I’m sure some planners would make sure these various centres are a long way apart, but that would defeat the purpose of useful and efficient public transport.

I would also ensure that all services use the same tickets.

I like this plan so much that I am now going to email it to various people who may be in a position to do something about it, or perhaps bring it to the attention of those who can do something about it.


4 comments October 8th, 2005 at 12:03am


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