This is part 2 of an occasional series, which looks at The Ballarat Courier. Consider it a tongue in cheek alternative editorial…
Mr BG has labelled our bookmarked link to the Courier as The Paper, much to his mirth!
Real estate agents will no longer be able to spruik the 64-minute fast train link to Melbourne as a hook to entice Melbourne buyers to Ballarat, because it’s gotten 5 minutes slower. The State Government has decided Ballan residents need another service, and the sole express service from Ballarat to Sunshine-North Melbourne-Southern Cross will now have to stop at Ballan.
In order to ensure the service gets in at the same time (ie 5 minutes later than the expected time of arrival, owing to congestion at
Spencer Street Southern Cross) the service will leave Ballarat 5 minutes earlier. This is what pissed me off the most. Finely honed routines go out the door when train timetables are messed with adjusted, and the loss of this service not long after train fares have increased does not make the news any more palatable.
Though to be honest, I’d prefer a more frequent service, with more services during the peak and off-peak times. As it is a single track line for most of the distance, there would need to have more passing loops to allow trains to pass at the very least, or ideally to have the line duplicated.
The other bit of news which caught my attention is the work bans which have been declared by council staff as negotiations for wage increases stalled. Bans on collecting rubbish from high profile areas such as the CBD and the Lake environs have been in place for a couple of weeks. Executive staff have been undertaking some rubbish removal to alleviate the problem. Despite Ballarat being a safe Labor seat in the Federal and State Governments, a fair bit of vitriol has been directed against these staff, identified as lazy union members.*
The nub of the seeming lack of support for this endeavour is that rates will rise. Regardless of what the outcome is, rates, like taxes will always increase.
For all the talk of them being lazy, you really are aware of the unsung work they do when they stop doing it. I was panicking slightly when my very full rubbish bin wasn’t emptied until early afternoon on bin day (usually it’s done between 6am and 7.30). I hope an outcome is reached soon which benefits everyone.
And finally the Lake is going to get weeded, with paddle steamers to return to the Lake by December this year- woo hoo! It was amazing to see the crowds which enjoyed the Lake at Easter, and I can only imagine what it will be like when the steamers return to the lake. Should I get a parasol? Hmmm…
*Caveat: I am a union member. I have participated in work bans when I was employed in local government.