I had to google to find out the concept behind “oBikes”.  I saw that they had attracted adverse publicity   (and here) which didn’t surprise me when I found out that the arrangement is that when you’ve finished using a bike, you just leave it in a public parking area where it’s locked and unlocked remotely via a mobile phone app.   The idea is that users can pick up and drop off a bike “anywhere” they like, as opposed to returning it to a designated docking station.

Seemingly, the system works satisfactorily in Singapore, but in what might be considered less law-abiding Melbourne, it appears that at least some users are less conscientious about parking the bikes properly when they’ve finished using them!   There’s a system of “credits” designed to reward good behaviour and penalise poor behaviour, but it seems we live in an imperfect world.

In a local street

We’re beginning to see them in our area.  I’m not sure if our area is a neighbourhood in which they’re supposed to be used (it wasn’t listed here), but as the website didn’t appear to address this issue, perhaps there are no strict limits (another “challenge”,  I would have thought!).

How it’s meant to be

The street trees

There was an impressive avenue of mature melaleucas lining  a street not far from us. I’ve previously commented on how good they were.

As it was

But no longer – they’ve all been cut down!    I just don’t “get it”.   There’s nothing that I can find on the Council’s website to explain this drastic action.   Yet normally, the Council is quite conscientious about street trees, so what the story is behind this action has me baffled.

Trees all gone!
Work in progress


NBN – “Coming soon” (2)

Well, there is some activity in the local streets suggesting that the NBN is in fact on its way.  There have been workmen looking into the Telstra pits in the streets – many of which probably haven’t been opened for years. 

I spoke to one of them, and he confirmed that, yes, they were checking the existing infrastructure in readiness for the NBN to be rolled out, utilising the existing Telstra HFC cable.

That dumped car…..

Something a little different in our usually peaceful neighbourhood – a car with considerable damage was apparently dumped in a nearby street.    Within a few hours, the police were there, seemingly looking for fingerprints.    Good to see such attention to detail.

Not long afterwards, the tow truck was on the scene.  Why the car ended up where it did in a quiet backstreet isn’t clear to me.

Heritage Building (2)

I’ve previously expressed my concern about the heritage “convenience store” at our local station, and noted that works were being undertaken to stabilise the building and to save it from demolition.

These works appear to have been completed – but they appear to have been strictly limited to stabilising the building.    There are no signs that the building will be restored so as to be able to be used for its intended purpose, or even, in fact, to look attractive!

At street level, there’s an unattractive metal “collar” around the structure, and below on the platform, there are a series of massive braces.

Local rumour has it that there have been many fingers in this pie:  VicTrack, Metro Trains, the Council and possibly more.   The Council is said to have refused the application to demolish the building because of its heritage status, but the railway authorities obviously wanted it stabilised for safety reasons,   The ideal outcome would have been to stabilise the building in a manner consistent with its heritage nature, but presumably this would have been even more costly than the ugly works which have occurrred.   One version I heard was that it had been suggested that the building could have been demolished but re-built “brick by brick”.  I don’t know if this was in fact proposed as an option, or who would have footed the considerable costs involved.

So, for now, all we can hope is  that someone, somewhere is considering how the building can be restored!   In the meantime, it seem unlikely that it will be used as a shop.






I suspect the “temporary move” isn’t going to end anytime soon!