It is hard to believe that in an age where we have mobile phones in our pockets that can pin point our location to within a few metres, and fitness apps that can track the distance we run, walk, ride or swim. Not to mention:
- How many steps we take
- How many calories we burn
- The elevation of the terrain
- The maximum speeds
- The average pace
- Split times
- And much more
That we in Victoria have been burdened with a $1.5 billion dollar (conservative estimate) smart card system – Myki (one of the most expensive in the world). That is incapable of charging you a short trip fare. For example , if you hop on at one tram stop (touch on ) and touch off two stops later.
Instead the minimum amount you will pay is a standard adult fare of $6:00, and let’s not get started with the inconvenience of the MyKi cards and topping up.
Just stand behind any new tourist to our great city and feel their pain as they have the complexities and injustices of the system explained to them.
Yes we have free tram zone in the city, but let’s not kid ourselves! This zone was created largely in response to the large amount of people getting on and off in 2 – 3 stops (short trips) and the inability of revenue inspectors to properly enforce fines. Not to mention the bad PR it was causing with news and current affairs often featuring images of passengers being body slammed to the pavement by overzealous ticketing inspectors.
Not that we can blame them mind you – one must have sympathy for individuals asked to police a system that they themselves must know is flawed and at its heart unfair. Where fines are dished out regardless of excuse (“machine was working? – why didn’t you go to the 7-11, 1 km down the road?”)
The fact remains most of the major cities tourist attractions lay outside this token gesture known as the “Free Tram Zone” (what a coincidence!). Attractions that fall within the short trip distance of 2 – 4 stops of the city centre – which mysteriously our $1.5 billion dollar ticketing system can’t seem to track.
If in this age of digital transformation a short trip ticket mysteriously can’t be offered – then we deserve to have the free tram zone extended to include more of the cities landmarks.
Our political system is increasingly being being dominated by career politicians. Individuals who enter Government with very little or no real world experience. Who have never had a real job or significant career. They have never started a business or experienced first hand how hard it can be to make ends meet. Despite this they go onto political careers in which they are responsible for significant government portfolios, and large budgets making decisions that impact us all.
More often than not, we end up with incompetence. Politicians who see Politics simply as end in itself, and whose only concern is on scoring political points against the other side rather than developing and delivering good public policy and good Government.
Its time to change all that!
Come November 24 it’s time to show these career politicians the door by voting for strong independent and local candidates in the Victorian State Election. Candidates who will truly serve the people they represent and not just the party they owe their allegiance to.
Where’s the money going and is it working?
-Australia 2nd wealthiest country by individual
-Victoria spends $15-16 Bn on education, training and development; another 90,000 potential enrolments over the next 5 years, versus the following outcomes:
- Ranked 39 out of 41 by the OECD for quality of education – only Romania and Turkey lower
- Early childhood education funded by the public, not government, up to 1/3, way more than overseas
- School education funded internationally on average 91% by government v 82% here; lower secondary education funded 24% by us, highest in the world.
- For universities and tertiary education, only 39% is funded by government here v 70% internationally, with only Chile and Japan below
- 66% of students with language backgrounds other than English in Victoria 125,000 in all, do not speak English at home
- Schools in Victoria have enrolments of students who speak more than 50 native languages
Radical action is required now!
- No more Gonskis, nor tinkering, no more underfunding education via a rort- plagued, back door immigration conduit
- Embed base learning early, deploy creative tech tools, reward and listen to passionate teachers, overthrow stale dated curriculums, promote the use of English, get vocational training working, spend money smartly, not wastefully
- Back public schools to give students the opportunity to flourish in an innovative, digital, highly skilled workplace.
Victoria spends under $1bn specifically on aged care services, with the following outcomes:
- The minimum daily allowance for food and preparation approaches $4-6 per day in some homes, with an average of $6 +, v convicted felons of $8.25 , a community spend of $18-22
- Well over 50 % of aged care residents have some symptoms of malnutrition
- Aged care homes in Victoria have been likened to Guantanamo Bay.
- 18 residential aged care home and 5 home care service providers failed to meet the required standards.
Private aged care homes are profit driven, confinement v care homes, offer super returns to investors, provide a minimum level of service and operate behind a complex, opaque, indecipherable series of contractual terms for residents with nowhere else to go.
The current tax regime is unsupportable – seniors with houses worth $ms , with no assessable income, can claim state pensions and social security through their aged care lifetime , while struggling, working families renting, with taxable income in excess of $20,000, pay for it.
With 1.25m seniors now, which will double in 25 years .
Radical action is required now!
- Recognise the scale of future demographic challenges, plan and finance the required build and support.
- Pursue a public partnership v wholly private solution, identifying “poster child” providers whose model is to be replicated elsewhere.
- Elevate minimum nutrition, clinical and care resourcing and standards.
- Reform the fiscal regime to ensure a fair share of financing v the future burden falling on our children.
Spring Street splashes out over $65 Bn of taxpayers hard earned cash each year; more than the amount Australians are able to afford to contribute to their super each year.
This hard earned cash is being misspent on roads to nowhere, level crossings in the sky, giveaways to well-heeled sporting bodies and make work projects. It should be invested in:
- supporting the homeless and destitute for shelter and regaining their lives
- assisting the disadvantaged and troubled with centres for treatment and remediation
- getting off the train of outsourcing aged care and elderly retirement services to the private sector
- and invigorating communities – making them more secure by deploying surveillance, prevention and detection technology solutions.
- and harnessing the energy of Victorian, across the generations .
The Premier and his team hold the Andrews Book of Records for the most expensive road in the world – which was never built !
The cost to cancel was $1.1Bn – more than spent on new schools, aged care services for the elderly, hospital improvements and 40 times what the 2017-18 state budget reported to be spent over 3 years on improving rooming houses.
The Premier received over $11bn for selling the Melbourne ports and wasn’t going to leave it to his successors at any cost, opting to spend it on make work construction projects .
With an $8.3Bn tag and rising every day, and up to 50 level crossings, the price tag is ballooning out, with it shaving off 1-2minutes or less off journeys, but offering an “open wallet” for all the construction stakeholders.
Providing a $225m funding facility to the AFL , the ultimate well heeled sporting body , to revamp the Etihad stadium and associated sporting facilities.
It’s all wrong – The Mad as Hell party will sort it
The East-West Link needs to be built within five years, says Infrastructure Australia. But the Premier says he finds it hard to take the report seriously. In yet another call for the road to be built, the nation’s infrastructure advisory authority said it was a matter of urgency for Melbourne. The Andrews government famously tore up the contract for the toll road at a cost of about $1 billion to taxpayers.
The global economy is in crisis. The exponential exhaustion of natural resources, declining productivity, slow growth, rising unemployment, and steep inequality, forces us to rethink our economic models. Where do we go from here? In this feature-length documentary, social and economic theorist Jeremy Rifkin lays out a road map to usher in a new economic system.