Posted by: jkirkby8712 | May 26, 2011

Tuesday, 24 May 2011 – as June approaches, donations are sought, and more funding for – everything!!

When you subscribe to, or take an interest in a number of organisations, I always notice that from around April onwards, the annual requests and pleas for donations and/or other forms of support start to come in. I have no real objection to that – for many organisations, monetary assistance from members and others supporting their particular cause, is their only real form of regular income, and such requests are a necessary ‘evil’ of the whole process.  But obviously, in many cases, there are limits to what one can contribute, even though interested in a number of different areas.

For example, the following request received a few days ago, is certainly worthwhile, and to make such a venture possible, there must be a number of ‘wealthy’ donors out there. As an individual who may have to decide between three or four organisations each June to possibly provide support for – all no doubt worthy of such support –  I will give preference, where I have to make a choice,  to the organisation which depends totally on donations for the bulk of it’s income.  So while the Melbourne University fund raising campaigns have significant worth, I feel that an organisation such as that should in reality have various other avenues of fund sources.

“Melbourne University Fund Raising   –   Dear Mr Kirk,       Earlier this year, we launched The Melbourne Foundation for Business and Economics to help us fulfil our vision of providing a stimulating, challenging and distinctive learning experience for the brightest minds, regardless of their circumstances.   The stories of our remarkable students and graduates show clearly the impact that philanthropy can provide. In the coming week, a copy of this year’s Annual Appeal will land in your letterbox..   The Melbourne Foundation for Business and Economics has been created to provide the support necessary for the Faculty of Business and Economics to innovate and excel in an increasingly competitive marketplace.  Philanthropic support increases our capacity to attract talented staff and students, and conduct programs that make vital contributions to education, knowledge and society.    Alumni, friends and strong community and industry partnerships will play essential roles in helping us shape tomorrow’s leaders and contribute to the social and economic fabric of Australia and the region.  The Foundation watches over and stewards any and all gifts which are pledged to the Faculty of Business and Economics. The Foundation ensures any gift you make will be applied for greatest impact in the Faculty at any given time.  You can be safe in the knowledge that your support will play a critical role in maintaining the Faculty’s stature as a global leader in undergraduate and graduate business and economics education”.

So, all very impressive, and if the Foundation does really provide the opportunity for a disadvantaged potential student to undertake studies, I’m certainly in support of it. But often, I think many of these extra gifted students are people whose families don’t need financial assistance [in comparison to many] and the degrees of inequity in our society tend to be widened even further!!  Anyway, I think in my limited capacity to support these kind of things, I will allow someone with considerably more resources help out, while I  look after [in a very small way of course] organisations such as Frontier Services [of which I have referred to on numerous occasions over the years through these pages.

The other area of funding that always seems to be lacking is for our roads, and on this aspect, I hinted yesterday [but forgot to follow it up in the blog] about problems on the major road from Sunbury, through the small township of Bulla, to Melbourne Airport, and the northern suburbs of Melbourne [my daily route to work].  I guess knowing full well, the difficulties that our municipal council faces in getting action on the major ‘government’ controlled roads [such as this one], I still went ahead and posed the following ‘query’ to our local councillor[Ann], more out of a sense at the time of frustration and anger at the time being wasted – a query, which by it’s nature, probably deserved a more defensive & angry retort than I actually received, which was appreciated!!  J.  Admittedly, the names and locations won’t mean anything to some readers, but they are just part of putting the scenario into context.

So my serious question –    When is something going to be done about the insane situation through Bulla in the evenings at present – 25 minutes tonight from the airport turnoff to the Sunbury side of Bulla!!  The through traffic from the city is being sacrificed because of two roundabouts that should not be permitting vehicles to turn right onto the main road – harsh for Bulla residents, yes, but I guarantee 97% of cars coming through those two roundabouts are not Bulla people. Sense reigned two years ago, now insanity seems to have taken over with whoever is responsible.  Can something be done Ann, or do things just stay the shambles they currently are?

Pleasant response from our councillor – ‘Bill, as I understand it today there was an accident on Bulla Rd according to the radio so it may have made it worse today. There are smart lights at the Wildwood Rd Roundabout which should stage the right hand turns, and turning right from Greene St isn’t allowed between 4 and 8, however that doesn’t mean that people don’t use it [you are so right there???], can’t have police there every day to police it.  We can’t totally ban right hand turns from the Wildwood Road roundabout as most people use this legitimately, as a lot of our residents do work in the Somerton/Campberfield/Epping areas and this is a legit way for them to return home. We have a committee on Council that is called the Bulla Bypass Committee, however it is now becoming clear that no one is willing to fund a bypass of Bulla [ the small township between Sunbury and the Airport], so we are basically a committee that is pushing Vic Roads to ease congestion and make the road safer. Ultimately Sunbury Road is the responsibility of Vic Roads, and as a Council we can advocate on behalf of our residents, which we do very often, believe me’.

I replied to that explanation with ‘Thanks Ann, I concede that today was worse than normal, but the daily delays are still unacceptable in my view, and are a downgrade of the change that was affected a couple of years ago. I guess, like other things, we just live with it!! Fair enough, I understand the situation re Council/VicRoads, just doesn’t make it any less frustrating, and of course, being on the roads 2+hours a day, there are a lot of other frustrating places, just a pity, being so close to home, and in a ‘rural’ environment to face such delays. Thanks for explanation, however. I’ve had my gripe :-)’   Ann responded with ‘I agree it’s frustrating, we are doing all we can to improve the situation, and will keep doing so, what is the worrying thing is that the government have approved a massive expansion of the Urban Growth Boundary east and south of Goonawarra [on the Bulla side outskirts of Sunbury] and they haven’t  outlined any improvement in Sunbury Rd [to cater for such expansion –  not the only location this type of planning has missing elements of that nature!!].

So there you go, even at government levels, funding or lack of is the usual given reason for non-action, and I guess with the road network throughout the country constantly requiring major investment and capital infrastructure together with the basic maintenance and upkeep,  this should not come as too much of a surprise. That doesn’t help with driver frustration however!

Certainly this Tuesday evening, it was a relief to get off the roads, and into our little radio studio – two hours of relaxation with music!!  Featured some beautiful covers of love songs tonight, performed by Elton John!! Hopefully there were some listeners. Meanwhile, at home, I was disappointed [in one sense] to find Susie back from Bendigo already [though of course, glad to see her, but currently we are certainly not getting value for the monthly rent being paid for accommodation up there!!].  Mind you, I saw little of her – just briefly, after I returned home, as she was off again for an overnight stay with friends!!  Deserted again, such is life!

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