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.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Waiting for Ellen!

On the morning of Thursday 12th February, community groups across Melbourne will be joined by their local Member of Parliament and take public transport to Parliament.
The morning will see MPs catching trains, trams and buses to Parliament with their constituents. Public Transport Not Traffic supporters know progressive cities around the world recognise public transport as the most effective transportation solution. Investing in public transport increases competitiveness, quality of life and supports environmental sustainability.  This will be an upbeat, positive, engaging and professional community event. Picture a handful of our volunteers and community group members riding the train into the city with their state MP, chatting about their transport agenda and when everyone arrives at Parliament station, there will be supporters with balloons and placards waiting to welcome your group!

By taking public transport to Parliament, your state MP would be signalling their support for public transport infrastructure as well as for their constituents who regularly use the public transport system.



Ellen (our designated MP) with Kerry and Berish

As you can no doubt hear from the eloquent outline (above) by PTUA's Cait Jones, this morning's event should have been straight forward. And as the photo above (courtesy of Alison Clarke) attests, Ellen Sandell, the history-making, first Greens MP to the Lower House, arrived on schedule at her destination. Unfortunately, her intended travelling companions were not so lucky. 
It wasn't from want of trying. Like Malcolm Turnbull and Julie Bishop, who had to prove last week in advance of the spill that they were not in cahoots by having themselves photographed in front of separate train station signage, I can prove that I actually arrived at our meeting point:


Wheeled commuter enjoying bushland view behind Macaulay station

In fact you can no doubt tell from the angle of the light in the photo (above) that I was even there well before the scheduled meeting time of 8.23. I had plenty of time to listen to the freeway sounds crashing overhead, whose impact would have been so much worse had the dreaded East-West Link not been dumped:



But despite the fact that my fellow PT advocates and I kept an eagle eye on both the bus, from which  Ellen was expected to alight, and the train platform nearby, we missed her.

Waiting, waiting at the bus stop

Disconsolate, we finally made our way, MP-less, to Parliament Station. Sadly, by the time we arrived at the Parliament steps, the balloons were no longer in evidence, most of the MPs including Ellen had dispersed, and the party was wrapping up:



Still it was good to be there: We learned that fifteen plus MPs, Greens and Labor, had accepted the invitation. Arriving with their constituents, they were greeted by the welcoming committee and reporters from Channel 9 and the ABC. And I was happy to meet Samantha Dunn, the new Greens MLC for Eastern Metropolitan, who had lingered:

Samantha with Cate

I was delighted to hear from party goers that the event went so well. I was just sorry I missed the cake.   

2 Comments:

Blogger Luke C Jackson said...

What a great initiative. Hopefully, by this time next year, the minor organisational kinks will have been ironed out.

10:53 PM  
Blogger Sue Jackson said...

Yes, and maybe by next year there might also even be a cycling contingent escorting MPs. That could be fun!

11:07 PM  

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