Consumerism driving Melbourne Politics and activism transport


It’s time for a cleanout of links and half-written/baked posts.

Fascinating for MSM watchers

A former Fairfax staffer is starting his own free magazine in collaboration with real estate agents and is expected to win millions in advertising revenue away from Fairfax.

Webber’s nanny state

During the recent furore over Mark Webber’s claims Victoria was a nanny state, I remember being puzzled at Webber’s stance: that he wanted people to be responsible for their actions, but he didn’t want them to suffer any consequences when they did something against the law. Eh??

Anyway, I read this excellent opinion piece by Tony Wright. The arguments of evolving laws, enforcement and standards bringing the road toll down over the years seem logical, but it was the punchline that took my breath away.

Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC)

I don’t understand the fuss about the GAIC. Maybe it needs to be tweaked, but the fundamentals… what exactly is wrong with a charge to make landholders contribute to infrastructure in new suburbs, provided (as is proposed) that it only applies when you sell the land?

One argument (pushed by the opposition): Independent studies have shown that Labor’s GAIC would add up to $15,000 to the cost of a new home, further undermining housing affordability in Melbourne. I disagree — homes on the new urban fringe will be some of the most remote, and cheapest available. If the money is used right (and I accept it’s not been shown that the government is capable of doing that), it pays for the infrastructure and services to those new homes that helps make them more competitive with established suburbs, which should help to spread the demand more equally.


Grade 5 student stops abduction of Prep girl. THIS is why the School Buddy system is a good idea. (I thought I’d blogged about it, but can’t find it: I remember overhearing a kid on the train describing it to his nasty cranky grandmother, who couldn’t understand.)

Why you shouldn’t leave your motor running

It bugs me when I see people needlessly leaving their car engines running for minutes at a time while waiting for someone, etc. It’s not like most modern vehicles need to warm up.

This video is possibly NSFW:

(via Treehugger)

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.

8 replies on “Clearout”

$15000 = 3.33% of a mcmansion AT THE MOMENT – but purchasers will demand lower prices to compensate or even better will not purchase their dream/nightmare home

We get the Melbourne Weekly, the Fairfax publication which is basically a big real estate ad that the Real Estate Agents are “rebelling” against. This week it was absolutely MASSIVE. The most annoying part is that nearly all the letter boxes in front of our apartments say “no junk male” but The Melbourne Weekly seems to think this doesn’t apply to them.

Nathan, I noticed the huge size of Melbourne Weekly, but I didn’t bother picking it up to find out why. My sister just sold her house within in a week with only online advertising. It is surely the last real estate gasp from newspapers.

When people at my work complain about the nanny state, I say: Yeah, I should be allowed to come into your office and smoke cigarettes all day. Until “nanny-laws” were introduced in the late 1980s, I could!

“possibly NSFW”???? Jesus Daniel – you must work in some pretty relaxed offices if that is just “possibly” NSFW!

But I did enjoy the ad nonetheless!

Ok, here’s another nanny state comment:

I agree with laws that say “No hooning” because it’s dangerous, it’s a nuisance, and (statistically speaking) costs lives.

I don’t agree with nanny state laws that say that I can’t run a +- 2.5v cable in my home. I’d be hard-pressed to hold ethernet cables responsible for one death per year, or any property damage. I’d say insulation is far more dangerous (with or without government subsidy). I think most people understand the responsibility to ensure that the ethernet cable doesn’t become 250v live.

I don’t agree with nanny state laws that prohibit me from borrowing another person’s Myki if mine goes karkers. You’re still getting your money, Mr Transport Dept.

I can identify with Mark Webber’s nanny state comment, but he chose the wrong moment for it.


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