The Bullroarer - Monday 8th December 2008

The Age: $38b transport bonanza for Victoria

A $6-billion road project linking freeways in Melbourne's north and east, 72 new trains and 52 new trams, are at the centre of the Victorian government's transport plan, to be announced on Monday.

The 9km North East Link road will join the Metropolitan Ring Road at Greensborough with the Eastern Freeway at Bulleen and will include a 4.5-km tunnel under houses and the Yarra River, the Herald Sun reports.

The Age: We can't afford an ill-fitting carbon cap

THE Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator Penny Wong, must have been very persuasive at the 2020 Summit in April. Her proposal that "before 2020, all Australians could have the tools to manage their personal carbon footprint — access to smart meters for energy and water consumption" was one of the summit's top 10 ideas.

Herald Sun: Tunnel vision on track

THE $38 billion transport package will revolutionise the way you move around this city. It will also change the way goods are moved.

Train travel will become quicker and less prone to disruptions with construction of a $9.5 billion tunnel from Footscray to Caulfield. Stations are expected in the university and hospital precinct in Parkville, at the Domain interchange and possibly in the CBD. The project is designed to carry about 40,000 passengers an hour.

SMH: Oil falls to lowest in almost four years

THE price of crude oil fell to the lowest in almost four years after a report showed the US economy lost the most jobs in November in 34 years, signalling the recession is getting worse.

Oil fell to $US42 a barrel, the lowest since January 2005, after the Labor Department said the US lost 533,000 jobs last month. Prices fell 22 per cent last week after the US, the world's biggest fuel consumer, was declared to be in a recession.

SMH: Axed rail link had glowing report card

THE shelved North West Metro would carry 50 million passengers a year and was the "optimal solution" to the problem of Sydney's congestion, according to a report by a panel of experts set up to examine the proposal.

The ambitious $12 billion underground line was announced in March by the former premier, Morris Iemma, and dumped by his successor, Nathan Rees, at the end of October.

North-west Star: Energy addressed

THE Mount Isa to Townsville Economic Zone members have thrown their support behind a project to help solve the North West’s crippling energy supply problems.

At its meeting in Charters Towers last week MITEZ members were united in their support for a new AC power-line from the national electricity grid to the North-West, provided the energy was delivered at acceptable prices for consumers.

SMH: Libs fume at Tripodi bid to overturn ethanol deal

JOE TRIPODI led a desperate rearguard action in state cabinet to defeat the Government's plans to mandate the use of ethanol in petrol, declaring it would drive up the price of wheat, after discussions with a close friend, the chief executive of Allied Mills Australia, Joe Di Leo.

SMH: No guarantees on return of gas supply

APACHE, the US oil and natural-gas producer that operates on five continents, said it could not guarantee its gas plant at Varanus Island off Western Australia would return to full capacity this month.

"Apache will not be drawn on the date when repairs are concluded and gas supplies are returned to pre-incident levels," said a spokesman, David Parker, in a telephone interview in Perth.

Courier Mail: No free-for-all

WHILE pressure on public transport networks has increased, political leadership so far has been unable to step up to the challenge.

Transport economists around the nation were developing nervous twitches this week after the failed experiment in "free" public transport in Melbourne was followed by a threat from the Queensland Opposition to do the same in Brisbane.

Its amazing that Varanus Island still isn't back to full capacity. I wonder if the full economic toll of that event will ever be tallied...

Glad to see there is still some hope for the Sydney rail projects though - one benefit of Labor being in power both federally and locally - I'm sure Johnny wouldn't have bailed out NSW Labor.

I suspect I'm going to struggle doing a full Bullroarer this week, so I'll just post links here in the comments:

The Age - Is this our future?

THE irony in the Brumby transport plan is that an impatient Premier is asking the people of Melbourne to be patient as he tries to fix the city's congestion woes.

The stark truth that emerges from this 164-page, 12-year, $38-billion plan is that not even the Action Man Premier can fix everything all at once. Indeed, Brumby is not even going to pretend his arsenal includes a transport silver bullet. As his Roads Minister, Tim Pallas, said yesterday: "The work will never be completed."

Today's SMH contains a delicious mistake...

THE Ports Minister, Joe Tripodi, said he might step in and enforce a new queue arrangement involving ships bringing coal to Newcastle...

It works on so many levels.


Good to see a journalist with a sense of humour !

Oz in the 1970s was ranked about 4th among the OECD countries in terms
of Sc/Eng graduates. Where is it now? Secondly, are there any members of
parliament with these qualifications, or are they all lawyers and
economists? I ask this because of the relative lack of critical debate/
analysis in the Oz media re: energy-related topics. I may be wrong with
this from an Asian perspective (geographically rather than culturally)

I saw something about this in one of the papers today (either the SMH or the Oz) - Australia has fallen behind the UK, US and Kazahkstan in science education...