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What’s changed?

With my sister and her husband having returned to Australia after about 3 years of being away (and for my sister, about 5 years away from Melbourne), I find myself explaining the little things that have changed while they’ve been away. Things that are new. They’ve been reading the news from overseas, they know the big stuff. It’s the little stuff.

Supermarket discount petrol vouchers.

Kath & Kim.

The Age Melbourne Magazine.

Water restrictions.

Eddie everywhere.

The inner-western suburbs aren’t cheap any more. Urban gentrification in general.

Fixed-line phones — Telstra’s multiple plans vs Optus vs everyone else.

Broadband (almost) everywhere.

Re-usable supermarket bags, and Bunnings’ bag surcharge.


Default speed limit 50kmh. And 40kmh school zones.

SMS train timetables and daily tickets on trams.

“Yeah, no.”

I haven’t explained all of these yet, but I’ll probably get to most of them eventually. What else has changed?

Update Wednesday 9pm. Some other things I thought of:

The price of petrol.

Half the bank branches vanished.

Chadstone got bigger. Southland got bigger and crossed the highway.

Westpac became Bank of Melbourne, now Westpac again.

State government led by “Hymie” (Mary Delahunty is now in politics, not TV).

David Jones Food Hall.

Daimaru gone, Melbourne Central completely different.

State Library expanded, Museum moved.

Gangland toll.

Hello The Greens, Byebye the Democrats.

Commercial TV station watermarks.


Stamps went up to 50 cents.

Mobile phone number portability.

Fed Square. Batman Ave wiped off the map, in favour of Birrarung Marr.

VHS almost vanished.

Charity collectors with clipboards on every CBD street corner.


(Docklands continued) Wurundjeri Way and those other new roads. Telstra Dome.

MCG, Vodafone Arena. AFL Park.

The Lions have moved to Brisbane.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

14 replies on “What’s changed?”

1. The branding on public transport (changed about 3 or 4 times)
2. Monkey bike things (having replaced scooters)
3. That Jeff Kennett ain’t premier anymore
4. GST!
5. Various Federal Labor leaders
6. Nova 100, the death of 3AK and micro AM stations at top of the dial
7. Super stops, daily tickets on trams, SmartBus, new trains, Combino trams with (almost) nowhere to sit, TrainLink buses, usable PT info websites
8. Digital cameras, camera phones, blogging & DVDs (though they’d be everywhere)
9. The local rag becoming a glossy, and thence less useful for wrapping presents in
10. The death of Jack Paccholi (but according to the website, the continuation of Toorak Metro News)

But if it’s any solace, melb.general is still the same!

QV square & Fed square. better take a valium before viewing the latter. Ackland Street now even more hideous with lots of “trendy” shops. The nice kiosk at the StKilda pier gone. Cheap groceries at Aldi stores. Peter Garrett now in politics…
I can relate well to this because whenever I go back
to Germany I ask my rellos for these sort of updates

I live in Melb and wouldn’t recognise Eddie Mc, so he’s not that pervasive. Is he a footy commentator or something?

Charles, I find 50kmh is perfectly reasonable for side streets. It’s 100 on freeways (110 on some rural freeways). 60 or 80 on most main roads.

Kathryn, I can explain what Eddie Everywhere is, without having to try and understand WHY!

P, yet nobody had to tell you which Eddie we were talking about.

Yamila, Eddie McGuire is Collingwood Football Club president, and host of about half the shows on channel 9.

Kathy. If you think Melbourne’s traffic is anywhere near LA proportions you obviously haven’t driven the Santa Anna Freeway at 8am.

Vaughan, Actually, I have. To be more accurate, I’ve driven it from 8am to 10:30am, which was the length of time it took me to get where I was going, and I was ready to kill myself by the time I arrived. I don’t really think Melbourne traffic is that bad yet, but I was looking for a suitably horrific analogy.

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