SUE JACKSON Therapist/Writer/Photographer/Activist

Last year, as the unofficial blogger/photographer to the anti-East-West Link campaign, our battles were my blog's entire focus. But by Christmas, with the electoral win for people power and the dumping of the dud Tunnel, I was suddenly at a loss. What to write about now? Not sure yet. But there will be ongoing musings and images from this Australian life. So please leave a message. (No need to sign into an account. Simply comment as ‘anonymous’; then leave your name within the comment itself.)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Heat is On at the Tunnel Picket

One of the great things about a 5.30. picket start is that we get to experience the best, the coolest part of the day. And with this week predicted to be a scorcher, it will be lovely to spend the beginning of the day at least feeling reasonably comfortable.
We are becoming seasoned at looking after ourselves in hot conditions, and today hats, sunscreen, copious water and even umbrellas were everywhere. Also as it was obvious it was not necessary to link arms, as soon as the sun rose many protestors moved into the shade of the trees. The police had no such luxury. In their hot fatigues, they had to maintain their position in the full sun. No wonder their bosses decided to call it quits by the early afternoon.

'Stop Wasting Our Money' indeed

Even though the picketers' behaviour was placid and calm, the police presence remained large. While most of them were in casual mode, there were a couple of plain clothes' officers, with guns on hips, patrolling and taking pictures and one of the police along the fence line seemed to be wearing a bullet proof vest - too much 'Breaking Bad' was my conclusion.
Undoubtedly this police presence is costing tax payers heaps of money, a responsibility that the media regularly puts down to us. But how many of these police are actually necessary? Surely some of them could be better deployed at a more edgy gig, like ... the tennis.

Drilling: take 2?

We started today imagining we would only be at the corner of Alexandra Parade and Brunswick Street briefly, as we understood that work was nearly completed there. It soon became apparent that that wasn't the case. It was likely that the work done on Friday was a flop and needed to be done all over again. That is good news for us; the more delays the better.
Interestingly, the word is now out from Linking Melbourne that the drilling is more likely to be finished in February. The idea of a January completion is fast disappearing into the ether. That's what we like to hear.

More taxpayers' money

This shiny new drill is one of two presently gracing our streets. It looks sleek and state-of-the-art. And 'lock-on' proof. But I am assured by someone who knows that that is not the case, and the very top of the drill will provide comfortable seating, with a bird's eye view, before too long.


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