Brisbane


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Last night U2 played at Suncorp Stadium in Milton. By 530pm traffic had slowed to a crawl all the way back to the city.

Normally football is played there and that causes local traffic chaos, typically on the William Jolly Brudge, and Upper Roma/Petrie Tce is closed after the game but I’ve never seen anything like this.

Translink has released draft new rail timetables for comment. They have been developed in response to the opening next year if the Richlands branch which will require recasting is the Ipswich and Caboolture line timetables.

Much was made in the media of how there would be trains every 15 minutes all day. While this is true – and a good thing – for stations Darra to the city, there are a lot of things that are not so great.

Firstly, in order to get the 15 minutes headway, what they have done is alternate all-stops Richlands and Ipswich trains, meaning passengers from stations beyond Darra still have to stop all stations on the long trip to the city.

Secondly, such express services there are in the peak have been pruned with no real benefit to the passenger.

Thirdly, Translink has pretty much thumbed its nose at Caboolture line passengers. Not only have their peak hour express services been cut back, there is no compensating off peak service upgrade: still only a 30 minute all stop service off peak.

While I understand and applaud the desire for service pattern rationalization I’m very disappointed that the don’t seem to be able to break out of the old “half hour all stops to everywhere” paradigm. It’s all the worse because the new draft Integrated Regional Transport Plan for SEQ (“Connecting SEQ 2031″) does.

Translink should be using this opportunity to try the new not just repeat the old.

It’s 2:30 in the morning and i’m on the nominally 2:15 route N390 bus from Fortitude Valley. The crowds on the street were crazy and the queue for taxis looked like at least 40 minutes wait.

No sign of chaplain or security at the bus stop this morning. The stop is on the street out the front of a couple of crowded night clubs.  It’s clear a fight could break out here easily. I’m just pleased to be on the move even tho it’s 25 mins walk from the bus stop home. I only hope the bus doesn’t hit a drunken pedestrian. There are lots of those. 

This is the time of year it makes you think gardening in Brisbane is possible. On Saturday I put in the vege patch. Tomatoes, basil, capsicum, cucumbers and parsley. I know basil loves the climate here, tomatoes do okay as long as it doesn’t get too stormy for and they get waterlogged. The others are more experimental.

This year, I have covered the whole lot in a 5 foot high tent arrangement of netting right down to the ground. Hopefully this will keep the possums from eating everything in sight. Today is Wednesday and so far so good.

Fingers crossed!

Back from a couple of days in Sydney last week. I reckon this must be the first time I’ve been there and not visited the harbour. As my work and hotel were I’m the same complex I didn’t get out much. I had some time in the evening but I didn’t fancy the Quay at night. I did get to the state library for a bit for some more family history research.

I’m not sure if I like Sydney or not. It seems a lot more down-beat and definitely grottier than Brisbane. Then again, not many cities are pretty at 9 o’clock at night!

Sydney Airtrain was very much appreciated though. City to airport in 15 mins every 10. Why can’t Brisbane’s do that?

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Had a lovely day at the Ekka on Saturday. I hadn’t been to the Brisbane show before so I was looking forwards to seeing how it compared with the shows of my youth.

I’m a bit old for showbags and wasn’t really in the mood for rides, but there was still plenty to see. Highlight was probably feeding baby sheep and cows, although I did get head-butted by a cranky donkey!

The grounds themselves were a bit crumbly at the edges, and we always seemed to be at the back of something. There was no programme of events for the day, so I missed anything that we didn’t just stumble upon.

Still, i’m pleased we went.


Enoggera on the Ferny Grove line is a designated bus-train interchange in Brisbane. It is one of the few purpose built facilities in the city (in fact, in the country). It was built with commonwealth funds back in the 80s.

Unfortunately, it has never worked well. It is so close to the city that passengers have always preferred staying on their bus rather than transferring to the train. I am told that when it opened (before multimodal fares) they even tried making it cheaper to transfer and people still didn’t.

As a result, not a lot of people use the interchange and it’s a bit of a white elephant.

The interchange is also a bit tricky to get to from the main road and requires lots of turns for buses. Most of the routes have since been diverted away from the interchange and just stop on the main road.

If, like I do sometimes, you want to transfer from the train to the southbound bus at the Wardell Street bridge bus stop there is a bit of a problem.

There is no footpath.

That’s right. There is no path connecting the station to the bus stop. You have to walk along a side street for a bit, cross the road near a slip lane and then clamber through a gap between trees.

It’s not very convenient nor very safe. The environment at the bus stop isn’t all that pleasant either. It’s hard to see buses coming and I’m always nervous that one is going to go right through without stopping (it happens).

We’ve had some pretty heavy weather here in Brisbane lately. Over two days this past week my part of town had something like 400mm of rain. It’s a bit odd to get rain in Brisbane this time of the year. Mostly summer is wet and winter is dry. The May average rainfall for Brisbane (at the airport) is something like 100mm and the annual average only 1200!

Some suburbs were really badly hit. In my part of town Ithaca Creek broke its banks in a few places and a whole suburb (St Johns Wood) was isolated.

My place wasn’t much affected. The downstairs rooms got water running through them (they’re below ground level on one side), the gravel from the driveway got washed across the back yard and there is a large hole in the back ground next to the far side fence where the ground has subsided.

My main grump is that my bike route to work is along a linear park alongside Enoggera Creek. Half of it is covered in mud and the floodway creek crossings won’t be passable for weeks. Some of the timber bridges that were damaged in last November’s storms might be washed away totally. I don’t know yet.

The rain did have a good side. The drought is now officially over, and the dam levels went from a respectable 60% to a good 73% over this week.

My new rainwater tank, installed just before Christmas, is now full and overflowing. I’ve connected the pump and it seems to have enough pressure to fill the upstairs loo. Hurrah!

I think I now need to go and sprinkle some fertilizer on the lawn. How decandent.

The worst storm in decades *was* pretty fierce. Driving through it with 10m visibility and debris over the road was, um, interesting. If we’d known at the time how bad it was we probably wouldn’t have set out.

The worst hit areas are only a few km from where we live and we didn’t even lose power. Lucky.

It’s hardly stopped raining since. Pity the order for a rainwater tank is still sitting on the kitchen table :-(

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