May 23, 2008
Big Issue vendors have become a common sight on Melbourne streets, wearing yellow safety vests and calling out to passers by.
The Big Issue has its Australian base in Melbourne, and was launched on the steps of Flinders Street Station. Since then it has helped many homeless, or those at risk of homelessness, to earn money, by selling them the magazine, which they then sell for double the price.
Aaron Wade, 27, has a story typical of many people who experienced homelessness in their youth.
“My family was going through some problems and I decided to leave.”
He did what he could to get by, admitting to doing things that were socially ‘frowned upon.’ He eventually found the Big Issue, is now studying and has found a rental property.
His goals are now “to finish youth work, finish my placement at Front Yard and hopefully be the best youth worker Melbourne’s got”
Jim Stafford, 67, is also a Big Issue vendor and remembers life before the Big Issue as being tough.
“I was just bumming around, looking through bins for cigarette butts, a bit of food, and god knows what.”
As well as searching for any food, Jim had personal safety as another worry to contend with.
“If you looked sideways at someone, they would smack you in the mouth.”
If it wasn’t for places like the Big Issue and Melbourne City Mission, Jim and Aaron could still may well still be on the streets.
Roll your mouse over the timeline below to look at a history of homeless services in Melbourne.
October 8, 2008
May 22, 2008
The Study Team has also released a list of “Fast Facts”, which compare today’s transport statistics with an estimation of 2031 figures.
|Approx. 13.5 million trips a day through Melbourne (10 million by car)||19 million trips daily, 14 million by car (a 34% on 2006)|
|Two million trips in the morning peak||2.6 million, a 30% increase|
|78% of Melburnians use a vehicle to get to work||75%, but despite an increase, there will be a 30% increase in the demand for car travel|
|11.3% of Melburnians use public transport in the morning peak||13.4%, a 19% increase|
|10,000 metro/regional passengers along the Sydenham line in the morning peak, and 11,000 on the Geelong/Werribee line||22,000 on the Sydenham line, and 24,000 on the Geelong/Werribee|
|165,000 vehicles use the West Gate daily||235,000 vehicles daily, 42% increase|
|320,000 people cross the Maribyrnong by road, another 84,000 by train||440,000 by road (up 38%) and 165,000 by rail (up 100%)|
|Annual road freight task: 11 billion tonne-kilometres||At least 17 billion tonne-kilometres by 2020|
|Two million containers handled by Port of Melbourne annually||At least eight million yearly – a four-fold increase|
|9000 truck movements in and out of the port, with 16% of port-related traffic on rail||18,000 movements to and from the port if there is no increase of freight on rail|
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May 23, 2008
New Incentives for Teachers in Disadvantaged Schools
A new education initiative is to be introduced to bring more teachers to early learning in indigenous communities.
The proposed scheme will reduce the HECS debt of early education teachers by per cent if they work in an indigenous community.
The decision is part of the government’s widespread education revolution across the country.
This initiative will be underpinned by the development of the Early Years Learning Framework, which will raise the quality of early childhood education delivered, regardless of setting, and improve access for disadvantaged children to early learning opportunities. This universal access is hoped to be achieved by 2013.
This year’s budget will pay half the HECS fees of 10,000 early childhood teachers who work in rural and regional areas, indigenous communities or areas of socioeconomic disadvantage for up to five years.
May 23, 2008
Bronwyn Pike is the Minister for Education in Victoria. Before her appointment to State Parliament, Ms Pike was a secondary and tertiary teacher and director of the Unit of Social Justice and Responsibility for the Uniting Church.
May 27, 2008
Brett Herskope, 20, is a former grade-level Aussie Rules player who played the sport throughout his childhood is one of many who have, since the World Cup, switched codes and joined a soccer club.
We ask him what attracts him to the world game, what the 2006 World Cup performance by Australia did for the game in this country, and what a successful bid for the 2018 World Cup would mean for football in Australia.
How long did you play AFL for?
I played pretty much from when I was born until about 19. I was bred into AFL.
Did you play soccer before Australia played in the World Cup? Was the World Cup something that inspired you to take up the game?
The World Cup definitely inspired me to start playing. I’ve been interested in world football for a long time though. I’ve followed the English Premier League since 2000. I just started to really appreciate the game and really wanted to get involved in it after the World Cup. The skill level of the players is just amazing, and with it being a world game, and being able to go all around the world to experience the different leagues makes it so appealing to me. I recently travelled around South America and got to experience matches at some of the biggest stadiums with the greatest atmosphere in the world. AFL simple cannot compete with that in my eyes.
|Brett (right) and brothers Dean (left) and Todd|
What did Australia making the World Cup mean for football in Australia?
It gave everyone more exposure to the game and showed how much of a world game it is. Even people who have never really liked soccer said how much the penalty in the dying stages of the game against Italy hurt. I think it was a real eye opener to the game, got people more interested and that has paved the way for the increase in A-League crowds. It also definitely helped to make kids aspire to play the game, which is obviously a massive boost for the sport. Getting more and more juniors to play the sport is massively important.
Can football become a dominant sport in this country, with such strong other codes?
I think definitely. I mean, Melbourne Storm think it’s a good crowd when they get something like 12,000, when a bad crowd for the Melbourne Victory these days is about 25,000. It is definitely not the dominant sport yet, but in time, I think more and more people will move away from footy like me. Especially for girls, which apparently in soccer their participation levels are up about 50 per cent. Football is much more inviting to them than Aussie Rules.
Can Australia become dominant in the sport?
Yes – The World Cup in 06 was a prime example. We were so close to getting to the round of four which would obviously have been amazing for Australia – having not been to the World Cup in so long. Obviously, we can’t compete with the massive footballing countries like Brazil yet, but Australia is such strong sporting country. With the growth in juniors and just the much stronger interest in the game, we have such a great opportunity to develop the game with the next generation of kids leading towards maybe the 2018 World Cup.
What would holding a World Cup in Australia mean for football in Australia?
I couldn’t put it in words. I definitely think that would be the turning point for football in this country. People who haven’t really before would have a real opportunity to experience it. The football World Cup is the biggest and most passionate sporting event in the world. Football would become the dominate sport in Australia, maybe aside from AFL, which obviously after 150 years would be tough to top – it has such a huge supporter base. I think having a World Cup here would really change people’s minds, even if it just meant they would be able to embrace both games. In Australia, the A-League is deliberately played predominantly over summer to avoid a clash with the NRL and AFL, so there is no reason people can’t embrace both games fully.
May 23, 2008
|Download Jason Snell tells his story|
Former Geelong player Jason Snell’s career ended in 2001 at just 23 years of age after he suffered a horrific ankle injury at the MCG. To this day it is considered one of the worst injuries suffered by an AFL player.
He is still hampered by the ankle that was crushed in a marking contest against Melbourne and, after several surgical procedures, he had the joint fused and was told he could never run or play football again.
“For a year and a half I tried to come back and play again but it got to the stage where I couldn’t walk from my couch to the bedroom to sleep. I had to hop or get crutches to get there so it was never going to be right,” Snell said.
“In that period of time I had seven different operations trying to get back and play and it never quite got there.”
Being told he could never play the game he loved again was the most difficult part of the journey.
“It was incredibly difficult and it probably didn’t hit me for about another six months after I retired when I figured I’m not going to play AFL football again, I’m not going to be around the club environment and all the rest of it,” he said.
He later took out a legal claim against the AFLPA but his case was rejected by their former administrators.
He now manages a recruiting firm called Final5 and says he is grateful he thought seriously about life after football before it all ended.
“I was always big – and I suppose my parents were always big – on making sure that I had something in case my football career did come to an end, which it obviously did.”
Despite his misfortune Snell believes the AFLPA has markedly improved the state of player welfare.
“The difference now with the off-field support is players are being looked after a lot more. At every club now there would be someone that is there to support players going through the system whether it be university or housing…but even the player network behind the AFLPA is a lot better than what it was.”
“The players association now has got a bit of a stronger voice, I think Brendan Gale who is there now has done a pretty good job being an ex-player, they’re moving in the right direction, and I think they’ve got the players’ best interests at heart, which is what the association’s all about. Overall they’re doing a fantastic job.”
But Snell still laments the handling of his own case and feels there are improvements to be made.
“I believe that there needs to be something set up that does look after players that finish their career and can’t play again. At the moment they’ve got a clause which is a permanent disability clause but there does need to be something looked at for players down the track who injure themselves and can’t play football.”
“My earning potential as an AFL player was substantial and I didn’t get the ability to get through and earn that amount of money that I could’ve if I had have played. If someone does get injured and can’t play again, and they could’ve made X amount they should be rewarded some sort of compensation for the injury sustained.”
- John Law’s story.
- Lance Whitnall’s story.
- Liam Pickering’s view.
- An interactive history of the AFLPA.
May 22, 2008
By Nathan Tanti
Sir Rod Eddington’s East West Link Needs Assessment goes far beyond the Yarraville Truck Action Plan. The plan seeks to totally overhaul Melbourne’s public transport system, encompassing rail networks, road and rail tunnels, increased bus services and bicycle networks.
The Eddington team and Melburnians alike now await the Government’s judgement on the decision. Upon the release of the 2008-2009 Victorian State Budget, Premier John Brumby said no money was allocated to any Eddington proposals as the Government had not yet made its final decisions.
City Journal Online takes a look at the various implementations the East West Link Needs Assessment (EWLNA) report recommends, including its projected cost and proposals.
Melbourne Metro – rail tunnel
What is it?
In order to increase the capacity of the city’s rail network, a 17-kilometre Melbourne Metro rail tunnel should be built linking Footscray and Caulfield.
Furthermore, the report recommends the construction of ‘the Tarneit link’, a rail connection between Sunshine and Werribee, to lay the foundations for the extension of the western rail network.
By breaking the inner core of the suburban rail network, it is estimated the rail links will accommodate 40,000 extra passengers each hour.
The Tarneit link would service the growing areas of Werribee and Wyndham, relieving stress on the Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo V/Line routes.
What will it cost?
An estimated $7.5 to $8.5 billion. Stage one (Footscray to the Domain) would cost $4.5 billion, while Stage Two (Domain to Caulfield) would cost around $3.5 billion. This total includes the cost of the Tarneit connection.
Extension of suburban network to Sunbury
What is it?
As well as the boosting of services on the Sydenham line to tackle increasing patronage, the report suggests electrification to Sunbury, in Melbourne’s north-west fringe.
An additional 2,800 passengers will be carried in the morning peak period, and the reliability of services will increase. According to the report, this could be done in the short term, with only minor modifications to infrastructure (15 kilometres of electrification) and expanded park-and-ride facilities.
What will it cost?
The Study Team estimates $220 million, thus increasing the possibility of the project in the short term.
East-West Road Connection
What is it?
An 18-kilometre cross city road connection between the west and the Eastern Freeway. This will alleviate traffic on the West Gate Bridge, already carrying more than its capacity.
The link will connect the inner-west, port, CityLink and the CBD’s north (i.e. Alexandra Parade) with the Eastern Freeway, and allows increased amenity in the inner-northern suburbs.
The Study Team has suggested two routes, both ending at the beginning of the Eastern Freeway (Hoddle Street). Regardless of which route the government selects, the EWLNA prioritises an alternative to the West Gate Bridge.
Stage One, the inner-west to the port, should involve tunnels from Geelong and Sunshine Roads to the port or an elevated road over the Maribyrnong linking the West Gate Freeway with Footscray and Dynon Roads.
Stage Two would link West Melbourne with the Eastern Freeway, via North Melbourne and Kensington, Royal Park, Cemetery Road, Princes Street and Alexandra Parade. Stage Three would also entail a link to the Western Ring Road from the West Gate Freeway.
What will it cost?
In total $9 billion, making this link the centrepiece of the EWLNA recommendations. Stage One would cost $2 billion, Stage Two approximately $5.5 billion and the final stage would be about $1.5 billion.
DART – The Doncaster Area Rapid Transport Upgrade
What is it?
Developed in the State Government’s 2006 Meeting Our Transport Challenges report, the EWLNA Study Team suggests its immediate implementation. The report states Doncaster is best linked via rapid, high-quality bus services and a major interchange at Victoria Park.
A 50 per cent minimum boost in peak services (with a 5-minute frequency) is suggested, thus decreasing overcrowding, and a 100 per cent increase in off-peak and weekend services is also recommended. This would lead to an estimated increase of 5,000 trips a day, and enable Doncaster/Manningham residents the ability to travel to the city’s north and west without changing through the city.
To increase the efficiency of these services, the report recommends a bus-only lanes through the entire Eastern Freeway, a major interchange at Victoria Park Station, work on Hoddle Street to increase bus priority, increase park-and-ride facilities along the route and hybrid buses.
What will it cost?
Including the $80 million already allocated, the estimated cost of DART would be between $250 and $300 million.
Cross city cycle links
What is it?
This plan would accommodate the increasing number of Melburnians cycling into the city, and connect existing cycle paths. Numerous small-scale projects would improve connectivity and safety, and decrease congestion.
This recommendation places significance on the Melbourne cycling boom, and suggests bicycles are considered an accepted alternative to other vehicles. Every other project recommended in the report should accommodate cyclists and paths. New stations, road and rail networks should have cycle facilities from their construction.
What will it cost?
An estimated $60 million, with the cost to be shared between local councils with Melbourne City Council allocating a majority through the implementation of a London-style congestion charge.
The EWLNA also recommends:
- Re-evaluation of the 30/2010 plan to move 30 per cent of freight onto rail by 2010, and the re-development of the rail freight network, to be controlled by the Port of Melbourne Corporation.
- Continue developing Melbourne 2030, accelerating the creation of hubs in Footscray, Sydenham, Sunshine and Werribee.
- With COAG, bring Australia into line with European carbon dioxide emission levels for vehicles.
- The introduction of a single body to deliver these projects.
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May 26, 2008
By Alexandra Hooper and Emily Bentley-Singh
Watch the animation to find out the environmental and monetary cost of bottled water.
May 23, 2008
To see a video of the Victorian Education Minister Bronwyn Pike talking about the difficulties that Koorie students face in the Victorian education system and the new individual learning plans, click here. To see a video of the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association (VAEAI) general manager Mark Rose talking about his support for the Wannik strategy and the need for Koorie culture lessons in schools, click here.
An $11.5 million indigenous education strategy promises to revolutionise learning for Koorie students throughout Victoria.
The initiative ‘Wannik’ will use individual learning plans to help guide students through school, an attempt to improve attendance rates. Currently four in 10 Koorie students do not finish their VCE.
But indigenous education organisations have said Victorian teachers need to be better educated about the needs of their students as they have no professional learning around teaching aboriginal pupils.
Education Minister, Bronwyn Pike, has confidence the strategy will change the outcomes for young indigenous students and says closing the education gap is the first step.
“There has been a lack of recognition of unique cultural needs of Aboriginal young people,” she said.
For 8,000 indigenous students in Victoria the multimillion-dollar project will be one of the largest investments for Koorie pupils in the state’s history, and has the full support of Aboriginal teachers.
Indigenous educator at Thornbury Primary School, Phil Murray, said there needs to be more support for Koorie young people.
“Definitely needs to be more support like I said, there are more schools than educators and these kids that are going to the other schools probably aren’t succeeding that well because they don’t have the support,” he said.
Along with support in the classrooms, Mr Murray also acknowledged the need for better understanding of Koorie students. He said knowing sensitivities around indigenous students should be across all schools, but currently are not.
The Victorian Aboriginal Education Association general manager Mark Rose, said VAEAI would stand behind the initiative, as the first time the Department of Education looked at itself when considering how to approach the new strategy.
“We’ve got a lot of faith in Wannik. If you don’t see each kid as an individual, as an educator, well you’re just in some sort of mass production facility. And education is an individual thing; we’ve all got different abilities,” he said.
Minister Pike said the success of this initiative would be vital, to not just the students, but the Victorian community in general.
“If we can’t do better for these 8,000 kids by really making it our responsibility for their performances, then I think that’s a pretty sorry state of affairs,” she said.