Rob Gell presented first and gave some pretty compelling arguments as to why we should have a decent and reliable public transport system. He came across as a little too rabidly anti-car for my taste, and if he had publicly renounced the use of cars altogether he might've been more convincing. I just couldn't help thinking of Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear challenging various celebrities about their ownership of a Toyota Prius!
What Rob Gell lacked in sincerity was amply made up for by Fiona Taylor from OurPublicTransport.org. If that is not the most sincere, intelligent and motivational speech I've ever heard, bar none, I don't know what is. Fiona is one of us, an average Melbourne commuter who has simply had enough and is not going to take it any more! I sit here and whinge with the luxury of a train, tram or bus all within a ten minute walk, while those in outer suburbs have literally nothing for large parts of each and every day - if you can't afford a car, that's it, you simply stay at home. Yet this is 2007 and we have had a Labor government for years.
OurPublicTransport.org is not prepared to let Connex keep its franchise and has a number of ideas on how to tackle this. Head over to their website and give them some support.
Lastly we had Dr Paul Mees. As always, a very clear presentation of what's wrong with our public transport system and how it can be done much, much better. It was along the lines of his article in The Age a day or two ago. Clearly if other government bodies can operate an efficient, integrated, cost-effective public transport system, so can we. As Paul pointed out, their solutions are there to examine and copy, we don't even have to work it out for ourselves.
So what are we going to do about it? It's more than two years since I started blogging. Initially I wanted people to get off their backsides in joining me to tackle the apathy of Connex staff and management. Over time, as is clear from my evolving blogs, my focus has shifted more towards Batchelor and Bracks, followed by Kosky the cloth-eared nuff-nuff. Kosky is obviously just a waste of space, so the answer must lie with Bracks. Just like Howard, Bracks is a pollie who doesn't like too much negative publicity. We need to find ways to keep this issue under his nose leading up to the November decision on whether to renew Connex' contract. Personally I think OurPublicTransport.org is the organisation to do that with.