The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

Tyrants, teachers, potatoes, Pelican … and ferries

  • I am impressed by the progress that was made by North and South Korea this week. There’s a very long way to go before the peninsula is reunited, but at least some level of agreement is emerging. I’m concerned, though, at the absence of a commitment to future meetings; there will almost certainly be another summit, but if they’re all seven years apart then “snail’s pace” will be an understatement.
  • I envy teachers; few other professions get front-page coverage of the amount of money they earn. But I also pity them, given that they’re ruled by a confused bureaucracy that seems completely out of touch with reality on matters like how to be an attractive employer.
  • Controlling the supply of potatoes made sense in the Second World War, but now that even the CEO of the marketing corporation is expressing dismay at WA being alone in having a regulated potato industry, I wonder if the State Government will ever bite the bullet and liberalise?
  • This apology is the most amusing story of the Federal campaign so far, and had me thankful that I’d randomly picked up that copy of Pelican earlier this year. The thing is, Dom Rose‘s article was actually not far off the money, and was quoted somewhat out of context by the Oz. Ergo, hilarious.
  • Amidst next week’s train cancellations — for which announcements seem to have been left rather late — the PTA have scored the use of a Rottnest ferry to run between Fremantle and Perth. My local newspaper says there’ll be free coffee (and quotes local government types saying it should be permanent, forgetting that Sydney’s ferries are basically a transport subsidy for people in harbourside homes). Given that it’s free, quite unlike the tourist service, anyone commuting on Monday care to join me at C Shed at 7.15?
  1. Hmm, how about a starting point for WACOT?

    How to be an attractive employer:

    Step 1: Learn how to read a CV. People do not like being paid as though they are unqualified for the job they are doing. They also do not appreciate having to come in in person to point out the line on their CV that says “Diploma in Education.” Or the one somewhere nearby that says “Bachelor of *insert degree name here*”

    Step 2: Realise that “no experience teaching in Western Australia” is a far cry from “no experience teaching.” Adjust pay accordingly.

    Step 3: Sometimes people are qualified to teach more than one subject. These people may not be common, but they are very useful. Furthermore, given the current trend towards double degrees, you may start coming across them more often. Having a system that cannot deal with this is a bad move.

    And yeah, they wonder why there’s a teacher shortage…

  2. ETA – if they do introduce a ferry from Freo to the cbd – which would be incredibly awesome and a trip I’d do just for the heck of it – they should definitely not adopt the pricing system of Sydney Ferries.

    Which is $5.20 for one stop – regardless of whether that’s from Circular Quay to Manly, or the five minutes from CQ to Garden Island. Furthermore, let’s say your stop is on one-way a circuit route – suppose there are stops A, B and C, in that order, and you want to get from B to A. You pay $10.40, because it’s two stops. For A to B, of course, it’s back down to $5.20, because it’s only one stop.
    Displacement, people. Vectors are wonderful things. Also, your commuters shouldn’t have to pay twice as much for your idiotic route planning.

    We may not have the frequency Sydney’s public transport, and our zoning may be less refined and therefore a little pricier, but at least we recognise that public transport is public transport, whether it’s bus, ferry or train.

    (To add to the general wtf-ness of Sydney transport: if you buy a ticket on the bus, it doesn’t work on the train, or not as far as I could figure, and definitely not on the ferry. And the Travel10 also appears to be bus only. But their weekly pass, oh that works on everything. (Which was good from the point of view of borrowing a friend’s pass for the ferries – he was at work and didn’t need it during the day.) But people, where is the consistency?!? Also, you need to take notes on the convenience of a 40-rider and not running out of rides after a week. We won’t confuse you by mentioning the smartcard system, we promise. Oh, and a very low tech suggestion – relevant timetables at the front of the bus. Very handy for the lost tourist or commuter who’s not going to the usual schedule.)

  3. oi! me wants my soapbox back :-P

    I’m at a loss to understand the management of the WA education department; there are plenty of sensible suggestions like yours that seem to just go wanting.

    Meanwhile, as much as I’d love to see more ferries in Perth, I fear the money is better spent elsewhere. Two zones from Freo to Perth is reasonable cost recovery for a bus or train but perhaps not for a ferry, where the cost per passenger per kilometre is much higher (particularly on a bendy river).

    And Sydney was supposed to get its own smartcards from ERG, but that project’s seen so many bureaucratic delays I doubt it’ll actually happen.

  4. But it’s such a very nice soapbox =)

    Most of the stuff on WACOT I mentioned above is simply what my mother has had to deal with at one point or another. Including going in to point out that she was actually qualified.

    Hmm. I think on the ferries, it would be awesome if they did expand the system. I suppose a significant problem is that Perth doesn’t really have that many river-edge people centres. Barrack St is (sort of, by proximity to the city), South Perth is, but other places where a ferry might make sense? Getting to UWA, the ferry is too far away from the busport (although getting to uni by ferry? I’d so be up for that) and you’ve got many people going to one place, yes, but from so many places that you really do need that link. Applecross… much as I do love the area, a people centre it isn’t. (Actually, that is very probably why I love it… I could so live there.) Hmm. Burswood – maybe if they made it a weekend thing? And a ferry would admittedly avoid the school-traffic horror of the Stirling Hwy.

    Actually, I think that’s possibly one of the weirdest thing about the convention centre. It’s right next to the river and yet for so much of the shed there are no windows to take advantage of that view.

  5. That ferry looks awesome, its tempting to get on it just for fun! Although ferries smell pretty funny, and hopefully people dont get seasick. However, thats probly not too different from a late train home from Northbridge on the weekends. But Freo is sooo far from Vic Park when I have to get to work in Balcatta, otherwise I’d see ya there for sure!

    My mums a teacher, and shes contemplating not teaching next year, just cos shes had enough with the government. For example, even though she has been teaching for over 10 years, because she doesnt have permancy, she has to reapply for the job each year, and if someone with permancy applies, they get the job even if they have less experience.

    Cos I know this website is a full endorsor of crap puns, heres on for all of you connoisseurs. At the start of The Bill (that cop show on ABC) they always say ‘prevoisly on The Bill…’
    Well, here goes. Previously on The Bill, a Pelican!!!!!
    Its going in our book of puns, titled Once Apun a Time…

  6. The rail-replacement ferry is indeed awesome! There aren’t as many people on it as I’d expected but most folks this afternoon were kicking back with a beer and taking in the view.

    And Thia, quite so on there not being many destinations next to the river, though Vic Park and Mount Pleasant might be candidates. The management of both Burswood and UWA have been begging for ferry services for ages, and only ever managed to get “we’ll look into it” in response.

    Re: teaching, after hearing very similar stories from those I know just starting in the job, I keep thinking “surely there must be a reason why things are done this way” … and I keep pulling up a blank.

  7. Dominic Rose also supports The Worst of Perth.

    Labor swings behind Worst of Perth

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