The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

A little airport ode

Monday 4 January 2010 at 10:20 pm

Twilight at Perth Airport, photo by vincentq
photo by vincentq

Dear Perth Airport,

I have oft ragged on you before, but I must say, my recent trip through the international terminal was surprisingly decent. Since the not-so-great renovation of early ’09, the food sucks less, and the couches (couches!) and showers (showers!) are a nice touch.

Don’t get me wrong, you’re still lame. Copying Sydney’s oh-look-now-I’m-in-duty-free thing is annoying, the lack of facilities for connecting flights saddens me, and public transport, *ahem*.

But my expectations were pretty low, and they were exceeded! (… a little bit)

a weary traveller.


Places like Armadale, Thornlie, Clarkson, Mandurah … and Clarkson

Monday 31 August 2009 at 10:26 pm
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Barnett’s government shows their brains, or lack thereof

Tuesday 9 June 2009 at 9:48 pm
  • The Western Australian government are apparently a bunch of small-minded stupid folk who wouldn’t be able to devise any kind of vision if their lives depended on it. Or at least, that’s what I conclude from the most recent Perth foreshore proposal. (Even Richard Court aimed higher: Claisebrook Cove ain’t perfect, but it’s still fun.) Kudos to Antzpantz.
  • And again: now that they’re taking delivery of new trains ordered a few years ago — a good thing! — why on earth are they dropping midday service on the Mandurah and Joondalup lines? Those every-7-minutes trains are busy, dang it. (Except for the occasional quiet carriage, but hey, no worse than BART at midday here.) Then again, I guess this government still can’t get over sniping about how the Mandurah Line that was built is better than what the previous Liberal government proposed.
  • Two lighter concluding notes! First, here’s a nice summary of why you should question anyone who parrots the phrase “eight glasses of water per day”.
  • And second, yes, California’s government is still screwed

You’re building a railway … where?

Monday 1 September 2008 at 12:52 am

So the Premier used his official campaign launch the other day to promise more upgrades for Transperth, and thus I shall launch into a public transport rant!

The media release makes tantalising promises of 10 new trains, more late-night services, and improved bus frequencies (yay!). But there are bigger announcements: apparently he’ll spend $850m (ouch!) on a railway from Midland to Ellenbrook, something that’s been on the cards for years now. And even better, he intends to fix the biggest remaining hole in Perth’s rail system, due north of the city towards Ballajura.

Except instead of actually fixing it, he’s offering up a bus lane, albeit one using new “auto-tram” vehicles out of Germany (incidentally: not a proven technology, although they really are just modified buses).

No offence to Ellenbrook, but it’s got a mere ten thousand people. Compared to the sixty-plus thousand living along Alexander Drive, with thought to how much fun it is to drive that road at peak hour, and assuming the state can only afford one train line … surely the correct place for a railway (or subway or tramway or something) is not out in the sticks?

(That said, two railways is obviously better; they needn’t be that expensive!)


Chinese protests, a maddening council, and the Pope

Tuesday 29 April 2008 at 6:25 pm

Ack! Here are some things I’d have posted about had I not been busy travelling and moving furniture and stuff.

  • It’s interesting how much the American news covered Pope Benedict’s visit to Washington and NYC. Admittedly, the former is pretty significant — most previous popes didn’t meet with the president — but then, the president does meet with a great many foreign leaders. (And no, there was no coverage here of the Ruddster’s visit.)
  • The situation in Zimbabwe is looking increasingly sad and leaves me scratching my head wondering what can be done … which puts it back to how it’s been for years now.
  • I read in a newspaper last week that the Chinese government is “concerned” about anti-Western protests in several cities. Of course, in a country where dissidents are usually cracked down upon long before they do anything public, it couldn’t possibly be the case that the Communist Party was complicit in said protests, or maybe even organised them to counter Western criticisms …
  • Speaking of protests about China and Tibet, this photo of the Sydney Harbour Bridge is quaint when thinking that the NSW government wants to ban laser pointers!
  • On the proposed waterfront project, oh City of Perth, what are you lot thinking? Wait, are you thinking? That must be it — increasingly it seems the biggest barrier to anything happening in the CBD is members of the council who are bereft of reason.
  • And finally I’m a little surprised that the State Government’s appeal against the native title ruling that covers Perth was successful — well, sort of. So much for using the previous court’s decisions as a base to move forward.
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If only we could be so lucky

Friday 15 February 2008 at 6:02 am

Artist's impression of the proposed Perth foreshore development; Creative Commons licence does not apply to this image.

Aside from the apology in Canberra, Wednesday’s big news (from the State government) was the announcement of the less-tentative plan for developing and cleaning up the waterfront near the convention centre. The Premier used a(nother) business lunch for the announcement, and his office even organised a flashy Web presentation to sell it!

If it goes ahead as proposed, it’ll be awesome. But that assumes it doesn’t get shouted down on grounds of price — the touted $300m sounds ripe for blowouts. For instance, the pictures suggest a cable car from the foreshore to Kings Park (a superb idea!) which I doubt has been included in the figure.

And then there’s the parts that depend on private investment; the pictures all feature a bunch of skyscrapers (including a whopping big centrepiece looking like 2 IFC in Hong Kong) that won’t get built if the market remains how it’s been the last few years.

All in all, though, this announcement is a nice complement to last week’s confirmation that a stadium will get built, and at Subiaco (which certainly isn’t a bad site). But the even more interesting part of that story was the half-billion dollar museum at East Perth, which (if done right) could do far more for the city than any stadium can. For both, though, I’ll reserve judgement until there are actual plans …

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