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Local News - Victoria

Teen fighting for life after Healesville car park brawl


“The details of what has occurred are not yet fully clear and that’s part of our investigation,” he said.

“There was a male who was assaulted and is currently at the Royal Melbourne Hospital receiving treatment.”

He said police were investigating whether anyone else was hurt in the brawl. They are unsure what started the fight and how those involved are connected.

“Where the victim was located was where it all occurred,” he said.

“There is CCTV of the incident, we will be reviewing that CCTV so we are urging anyone with information in relation to this offence and what’s occurred there to please come forward and tell us what you know.

“We are reviewing all CCTV and will identify all people involved.”

Leading Senior Constable Austin said this kind of violence was devastating for victims and their loved ones.

“I think we live in a very good community however sometimes these things occur and it’s up to individuals to take responsibility.”

Anyone who witnessed the incident or who recognises the man is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or file a confidential report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au



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Australian News

Bloody Sunday massacre at Croke Park still resonates in Irish sport 100 years later


A century ago, on November 21, 1920, fans came in their thousands from all across Dublin and beyond to stand on the terraces of Croke Park.

They were there to see Dublin’s Senior Gaelic Football team take on Tipperary in a “Great Challenge Match”, the playing of which had already created quite a stir.

After all, the Irish public had been relatively starved of major sporting occasions that year.

The progress of the 1920 All Ireland Senior Football Championship — the blue riband event of the Irish sporting summer — had been stymied by the pressures of Ireland’s War of Independence, so much so that the 1920 Championship would not end up being completed until 1922.

It was supposed to be a day where the troubles of a nation could be momentarily forgotten.

Instead, November 21 would become indelibly marked as one of the darkest in Irish history.

Shortly after the ball was thrown in to start the game, ranks of police and soldiers marched on the ground and opened fire on the crowd.

Fourteen civilians died in the massacre, either directly from the gunfire or in the panic of the ensuing crush to escape — including Tipperary corner back Michael Hogan.

The youngest victim, Jerome O’Leary, was 10 years old.

Now, 100 years on, the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) is pushing to remember those that went to the football and never came home.

A black and white photo of a group of men posing in front of a wall
Tipperary issued the challenge to Dublin.(Supplied: GAA Museum)

Bloody Sunday

In the 1920s, Ireland was in the midst of a torrid war for independence from Britain.

The war had been typified by a brutal guerilla conflict of increasingly rabid tit-for-tat exchanges across the Irish countryside between the ruling British police force — supplemented by auxiliary forces fresh from World War I — and the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

Atrocities and reprisals stacked up, but November 21’s bloodshed marked a dramatic turn in the war.

At around 9:00am, an IRA cell launched a coordinated set of attacks on alleged British agents in Dublin, killing 14 men across the city — some in front of their wives and families — causing enormous panic to ripple through the British establishment.

It was accepted by the IRA that striking at the heart of the British intelligence operation in such a dramatic way would surely invite a response.

The large-scale gathering of GAA supporters at Croke Park that afternoon proved simply too large an event to ignore for the authorities.

Although the GAA was ostensibly an apolitical association, British authorities felt there was enough about its activities that showed it was partisan.

The GAA remains to this day a preserve of Irish culture by promoting Ireland’s domestic indigenous sports — most notably Gaelic football and hurling.

The association also existed to “actively support” the Irish language, Irish dancing, music and other elements of Irish culture.

The IRA asked the Luke O’Toole, general secretary of the GAA, to cancel the game, but he did not want to compromise the body’s status as a sporting organisation by reacting to what was seen as a political issue.

A sepia-tinted black and white photo of a group of men posing in front of some goal posts
Dublin had already qualified for that year’s All Ireland final by winning the Leinster Championship.(Supplied: GAA Museum)

So the game went ahead in front of a then-massive crowd of around 15,000 people.

British soldiers — lead by the infamous Black and Tans — and Royal Irish Constabulary policemen were sent to Croke Park, where they were told to search the crowd for any members of the IRA cell that had perpetrated that morning’s attacks and to confiscate any weapons.

However, instead of simply pausing the game as they were ordered, the soldiers opened fire.

Over the next 90 seconds, 14 people died, with many more suffering injuries.

The official account said police were fired upon first, however modern research has found little evidence this was the case.

When Irish MP Joe Devlin raised a question about the massacre in Westminster, the argument that followed descended into a fist fight.

After the shock of Bloody Sunday, the War of Independence in Ireland raged on for another year.

Subsequent to the end of British rule, the country lurched into a full-blown Civil War between 1922-23, the effects of which are still apparent today.

Croke Park: ‘More than a pitch’

Croke Park Dublin vs Mayo
Croke Park is now one of Europe’s most impressive, modern stadiums.(ABC News: Simon Smale)

Cian Murphy, the secretary of the GAA history committee, has helped plan the commemoration events for the centenary of Bloody Sunday.

He said the events changed the GAA and its status in Irish culture.

“The attack on Croke Park and, by extension the GAA, put the Association on a different footing in the Irish consciousness,” Mr Murphy said.

“The GAA was and still is a sports-first body with a non-political stance.

It also changed the GAA’s relationship with its opulent home in the heart of Dublin, Croke Park.

A stadium is seen looming over a row of red-brick terraced houses
Croke Park looms large over the streets of Dublin’s inner north.(ABC News: Simon Smale)

With a capacity of 82,300, Croke Park is one of Europe’s largest sporting venues.

It has been the home of Gaelic games in Ireland since shortly after the GAA was formed in 1884, with the first All Ireland final taking place there in 1896 — and almost every year since.

Bloody Sunday ensured that it would never again be just be a sporting venue.

“In sporting terms [Croke Park is] the national symbol of Ireland,” Mr Murphy said.

“For all our pride in the great sporting cathedral that is Croke Park, there is the realisation that it isn’t ‘just a pitch’.

“It has a history and a heritage and is for many people sacred ground, because of the sporting gods who walked there, but also because of November 21, 1920.

“The GAA will never leave Croke Park and nor would we want to. We need to keep it and honour it for all its history.”

Bloody Sunday’s historical reach

The events of Bloody Sunday helped make Croke Park a revered venue in Ireland’s sporting consciousness.

However, there were concerns the venue’s sanctity could become befouled when one of the GAA’s most fundamental rules was relaxed in 2007.

Rule 42 prohibits the use of GAA property for games with interests in conflict with the interests of the GAA — colloquially, this is known as a ban on “garrison games” such as rugby or football.

With Irish Rugby homeless due to the redevelopment of its Lansdowne Road HQ, the GAA was approached to lease its grounds for its upcoming Six Nations matches.

Players wearing red and green tracksuits line up in front of fans on a terrace with rugby posts in the background
The singing of God Save the Queen in front of the iconic Hill 16 stand was an emotive moment in Croke Park’s history.(Reuters: Kieran Doherty)

One of the first matches Croke Park was set to host was Ireland against England — the most sensitive of fixtures, burdened with the weight of so much violent history.

“To have an English team play and have ‘God Save the Queen’ played on the site where people were murdered by Crown Forces was hugely emotive and divisive for some,” Mr Murphy said.

Former GAA player JJ Barrett found it too much of an affront and asked for the Croke Park-based GAA museum to return his family’s 23 All Ireland medals that were on display.

Mr Murphy argues that the vote to open up Croke Park, which he said was driven by grassroots clubs within the organisation, was an important part of the healing process.

“Opening Croke Park to those games was, for many, a sign of the times, an important part in the new emerging Ireland where the Good Friday Agreement was upheld and there was peace in the North,” he said.

The first prospective pinch point, the emotive singing of God Save the Queen, went off without a hitch, while the extraordinarily passionate reply of Amhrán na bhFiann that followed was so powerfully intense that it moved some of the players to tears.

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The actual game went even better, as the Irish steam-rolled the English by a record score of 43-13.

Michael Hogan honoured, but other victims forgotten

The tragic events of Bloody Sunday have been chronicled superbly by Irish Times journalist Michael Foley in his excellent book, The Bloodied Field.

He reveals the myriad of storylines that emerged from a complex and horrific day, be it the British soldier who was saved by Patrick O’Dowd before he was shot, through to Dublin goalkeeper Johnny McDonnell, who had been involved in the IRA attacks earlier that day.

The story that everyone knows is that of Michael Hogan, with one of the main grandstands named in his memory in 1926.

A sepia-tinted portrait of Michael Hogan
Michael Hogan was shot on the field, the only player to die on Bloody Sunday.(Supplied: GAA Museum)

However, in time, the other victims largely became nameless casualties.

Mr Murphy said he hoped that the research completed by Foley and the GAA in recent years had helped heal old wounds.

“It’s always hard to put today’s norms into yesterday’s reality,” Mr Murphy said.

“In 1920, the GAA was trying to exist with the country at war and navigate a path through that while trying to keep politics from dictating its direction.

“This manifests itself in how little we knew of our 13 civilians killed there for a long time.

“Michael Foley’s research enabled the GAA in recent times to trace those roots and reconnect with families of the victims of all 14 and I hope it has helped bring some closure to them.”

The Bloodied Field

It was the publication of Mr Foley’s book in 2013 that promoted action from the GAA in terms of recognising the other victims of the tragedy.

The relatives of one of the victims, Jane Boyle — who was due to be married the week after Bloody Sunday and was, instead, buried in her wedding dress — got in contact with the GAA to seek assistance in putting a headstone on her unmarked grave, something that was realised on November 21, 2015, 95 years after she died.

A black and white portrait of Jane Boyle
Jane Boyle attended the match with her fiance and was due to be married the following weekend.(Supplied: GAA Museum)

Eight of the victims were buried in unmarked graves, something the GAA has made a point of addressing in recent years.

“Knowing that there were seven more of our dead in unmarked graves, the GAA Management Committee sanctioned the Bloody Sunday Graves Project, which contacted families and assisted in erecting headstones where needed,” Mr Murphy said.

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COVID-19 has put paid to many of the GAA’s plans for the centenary commemorations, but there will still be events taking place on the day.

“We had planned a Dublin vs Tipperary football game but that is not possible as the GAA season is still on,” Mr Murphy said. The GAA season would normally conclude in September.

“However, November 21 is a match day with the Leinster football final [featuring heavy-favourites Dublin against Meath] — and even though we cannot have spectators there we will gather and have a torch lighting and wreath laying ceremony and remember our dead.”

In lieu of that commemorative match against Dublin, Tipperary will wear a replica green and white kit in its Munster Senior Football Final against Cork on Saturday.

An image of two, white jerseys with a green hoop around the middle and TIPPERARY written in gold
The replica green and white kit Tipperary will wear on Sunday.(Supplied: O’Neills)

The GAA also has dedicated a website to the victims, as well as commissioning podcasts, radio programmes and a television documentary.

A new memorial is also planned for Croke Park, post-COVID.

“What matters now is that we ensure that Bloody Sunday isn’t a faceless line in history,” Mr Murphy said.

“The 14 dead are not a statistic, and we remember them by actions not words. Eli Weisel said, in 1968 when winning the Nobel Prize, ‘to forget your dead is akin to killing them a second time’.

“These were our people, who went to one of our games and never came home.



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Australian News

State of Origin III: Queensland Maroons vs NSW Blues at Lang Park


HALF-TIME: Queensland leads 12-6!

(AAP)

          

I’ll get you a clip of that Munster magic ASAP. Promise.

           

That was a remarkable half of football from Queensland. They should probably be up by more based on the field position and possession they had, but they’ll settle for 12-6.

         

What we’re seeing here is the value of Cameron Munster and the value of having a player like Ryan Papenhuyzen on the bench. Isaah Yeo is a massive target as a replacement centre, and bringing Paps on for Tedesco would have been such a luxury.

           

They flagged that Yeo was their prospective option as a replacement back, but he is struggling in defence right now. Still, there’s always time for him to flip it and become NSW’s Kurt Capewell.



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NSW Police charge man for urinating on Hyde Park war memorial


New South Wales Police have arrested a man for allegedly urinating on the ANZAC War Memorial in Sydney’s Hyde Park.

At 12.50am on Sunday, security guards observed a 25-year-old man allegedly desecrating the important site with his urine.

Police arrested the man in a nearby apartment complex before taking him to the Day Street Police Station where he was charged with committing an offensive act to a war memorial.

He was granted conditional bail and will appear at the Downing Centre Local Court on December 9.



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Queensland rings the changes for State of Origin Game III at unrestricted Lang Park, Blues name unchanged 17


Harry Grant’s breakout 2020 season will end in a State of Origin debut as Queensland take a much-changed team into next week’s series decider against NSW.

Grant, the Dally M and RLPA rookie of the year, is one of three changes to the Maroons’ line-up in the wake of their heavy 34-10 defeat to the Blues in Game II on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old, who starred on loan at Wests Tigers from Melbourne in the NRL season, is one of three changes to Queensland’s team as they aim to win their first series in three years.

Grant will start on the bench in the number 14 jersey, replacing Ben Hunt in the utility role with the St George Illawarra star dropping out of the 17.

South Sydney’s 22-year-old flier Corey Allan will also debut for the Maroons, replacing Phillip Sami on the left wing.

The other change made by Bennett is the return of Christian Welch at prop after he missed Game II to allow him to recover from a head knock.

Dunamis Lui drops to the bench to make way for Welch with Game II debutant Moeaki Fotuaika joining Hunt on the four-man reserves list along with Edrick Lee and Brenko Lee.

Melbourne premiership-winner Lee, who missed out on a debut in Game I after being a late scratching due a calf injury, could yet come into the 17 in place of Allan if he can prove his fitness at the Maroons’ training session on Sunday.

Cameron Munster is hugged by two players
Cameron Munster is still being monitored after his concussion injury picked up in Game II.(AAP: Dave Hunt)

Cameron Munster has been named at five-eighth but can only play if he passes NRL concussion protocols after being taken out of Game II in just the third minute due to a head knock.

Fullback Valentine Holmes said Munster had been his normal “lippy” self since Wednesday’s loss and deserved to be given every chance to prove his fitness for game three.

“He has played in grand finals, Origins, big games. He is someone we definitely need to have,” Holmes said.

“He is an experienced player in our team and in the leadership team.

“We need him on the field.”

The Maroons earlier received a huge boost from the Queensland Government who announced it would allow Lang Park to operate at its full capacity of 52,500 in the decider.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palasczcuk revealed on Friday her Government was easing several COVID-19 restrictions from 4:00pm Tuesday, including the limit on open-air stadiums to operate at 75 per cent capacity.

With the borders closed between NSW and Queensland, Blues’ fans will be in the minority at the venue, where NSW have won just twice since 2010.

“I think Queenslanders are going to be very, very happy with this outcome,” Palaszczuk told reporters.

Queensland has won 37 out of 58 games at Lang Park.

Nathan Cleary and Josh Addo-Carr hug as Tyson Frizell and Clint Gutherson look on after a NSW Blues try in State of Origin II.
The Blues are unchanged 1-17 after their resounding victory in Game II.(AAP: Dan Himbrechts)

Meanwhile, New South Wales coach Brad Fittler has named an unchanged squad through 1-17 from the Blues’ resounding 34-10 victory in Sydney.

Ryan Papenhuyzen, Jarome Luai and Nic Cotric have been named on the extended bench.

Queensland Maroons squad: 1. Valentine Holmes, 2. Xavier Coates, 3. Kurt Capewell, 4. Dane Gagai, 5. Corey Allan, 6. Cameron Munster,7. Daly Cherry-Evans (c), 8. Christian Welch, 9. Jake Friend, 10. Josh Papalii, 11. Felise Kaufusi, 12. Jaydn Su’A, 13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, 14. Harry Grant, 15. Lindsay Collins, 16. Jai Arrow, 17. Dunamis Lui, 18. Ben Hunt, 19. Edrick Lee, 20. Moeaki Fotuaika, 21. Brenko Lee.

NSW Blues squad: 1. James Tedesco (c), 2. Daniel Tupou, 3. Clint Gutherson, 4. Jack Wighton, 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cody Walker, 7. Nathan Cleary, 8. Daniel Saifiti, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Payne Haas, 11. Angus Crichton, 12. Tyson Frizell, 13. Jake Trbojevic, 14. Dale Finucane, 15. Junior Paulo, 16. Nathan Brown, 17. Isaah Yeo, 18. Ryan Papenhuyzen, 19. Jarome Luai, 20. Cameron McInnes, 21. Nic Cotric.

AAP/ABC



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Australian News

Human Nature return to Australia to play Christmas show at Kings Park


Mark McGowan get out your pen and paper. Human Nature’s Andrew Tierney has a few special requests for when he quarantines for two weeks in a Perth hotel before the ARIA Hall of Famers play a Christmas concert to around 5000 fans at Kings Park on December 12.

“Just a window that you can open,” he said yesterday from Las Vegas, where the vocal quartet has lived and worked for the past 11 years.

“A personal trainer and a chef. And a keyboard,” Tierney added. “And a time machine so I can fast forward (the 14 days).”

Human Nature will permanently move home to Sydney after the Perth performance. While Phil Burton is already in NSW, the other three members — Tierney, his younger brother Michael and Toby Allen — will fly back to WA via Singapore in mid-November before starting quarantine.

Tierney said the “Naitch” jumped at the chance to play their first show since March 14, when they wrapped a seven-year residency at The Venetian.

But, of course, it wasn’t that simple. The 46-year-old singer revealed that flights out of the US were only confirmed on Monday and any more delays would have meant they had to pass on the concert, which is billed as Christmas in the Park.

The show will feature Human Nature’s hit Motown covers and songs from The Christmas Album, which has climbed back into the ARIA Top 10 every year since being released in 2013, plus latest pop single Nobody Just Like You.

“To come back to Perth, and Kings Park is just this beautiful venue, we’re thrilled that we could do that and make a start to the return of live entertainment in Australia,” Tierney said.

“Christmas is a joyful time but I think this year, more than ever, people are going to want to enjoy it and forget what’s been a fairly dark year. I heard a bit of Sinatra the other day, I can’t wait (for Christmas) this year. We can focus on something else, rather than what’s been such a struggle this year.”

The family-friendly singing sensations are now family men with six kids between them. Tierney said that spending every day for the past seven months with his wife Heather and daughter Violette, who turns four next month, had been the silver lining for a performer used to working five nights a week.

Tierney says this has been their longest break from the stage since they formed as the 4 Trax in Sydney more than 30 years ago.

“It’s been really bizarre, just crazy,” he said of Sin City’s shutdown. “The entertainment capital of the world just came to a complete standstill. The show we’ve been performing for 11 years ended. We’ve been holding our breath, really, trying to survive with our families and plan for what’s been an uncertain time and will be for a long time.

“Coming back to Australia to live permanently was not something we were thinking of as a group.”

Tierney doesn’t think they’re leaving Las Vegas forever. In Australia, acts have to travel long distances between capital city shows, while in the Nevada gambling and entertainment mecca, crowds come to you.

“Vegas has given us this amazing ability to perform as much as we did, and we still had the opportunity to come back and tour in Australia,” he said.

“As performers, it’s allowed us to become better at our craft every night. It’s almost like we’re trained athletes that could keep at our peak because we were doing it so often. There was no down season.”

Tierney points out that Human Nature arrived in Neon Capital during another societal rupture — the Global Financial Crisis.

“We got an opportunity because a lot of the shows moved out and there was an empty theatre in one of the casinos in the middle of the strip,” he explained, “and someone said ‘We’ll take a chance on these Aussies’.”

As Human Nature carved a career in the US, landing their residency at the Venetian in 2013, Las Vegas also became a destination for big-name residencies starring everyone from Britney Spears, Celine Dion and Elton John to Drake, Cardi B and Calvin Harris.

“Vegas has grown so much over the past 10 years,” Tierney reflected. “It’s changed from somewhere entertainers go to die to a place where you’d see J. Lo one week, then Sting and Backstreet Boys the next.

“It’s become this huge mecca of headliners. It’s been fun to be part of that.”

Currently, indoor venues in Nevada can host a maximum audiences of 250 people, socially distanced and 25m from the stage. With those restrictions, the show won’t go on and coming home to Oz seems the logical decision.

Even so, getting Human Nature to Kings Park has been a logistical nightmare for promoter Brad Mellen, who said organising the gig had taken him six months.

“In 30 years in the business, I’ve never experienced a process like it,” he said this week.

Mellen had to gain approvals from the Department of Home Affairs, WA Police and WA’s Chief Health Officer, plus a final sign-off from WA Health on the show and venue. Finding flights to Perth was even more tricky.

“The lengths that everyone has gone to, including and most importantly the act, who are prepared to fly here, quarantine for 14 days to play a show in Kings Park for their fans is enormous,” the promoter said.

“It’s a positive step for everyone here in WA,” Mellen added. “Let’s hope we can do many more.”

Nature is healing, it seems, and Tierney is happy to do “cold turkey” away from his family in a Perth hotel room — even if he does have a few special requests for the Premier.

“Maybe in this article you can say ‘Andrew is hoping the WA Government will really take care of the boys in quarantine’,” he laughed.

“That can be the headline maybe: Human Nature’s Christmas wishes are for a wonderful quarantine and concert at Kings Park.”

Human Nature play Kings Park on December 12, supported by 1927. Tickets go on sale on Monday October 26 from Ticketmaster.



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Local News - Victoria

Don’t make the CBD the World’s Most Liveable Car Park


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In Victoria’s local government elections, from the CBD to Darebin, Geelong to Warrnambool, candidates are promising COVID-recovery through free on-street car parking. This is also true of City of Melbourne election campaigns – with candidates proposing various forms of free parking to lure shoppers back to the CBD.

These proposals are in some ways a return to the Melbourne of the 1950s – the hollowed-out “doughnut city” of 6pm closing, when planners reshaped the city in attempts to attract cars through more parking – directly inspired by Los Angeles and the principle that “no matter how attractive a shop or a shopping centre may be, it will not attract the customer … unless adequate parking facilities are provided”.

While all politicians like to promise free parking – and a revitalised city – what is also at stake is public street space. With street space finite and parking taking up a surprising large proportion of it, the capacity to accommodate more cars (for workers or visitors, let alone both) is usually illusionary.

So is “free” parking – car spaces cost around $60,000 in construction and land costs alone, spread across nearly everyone but the driver. There are also indirect costs – subsidies to car use, traffic, congestion, noise and air pollution, health impacts, emissions and constraints on liveability, including children’s mobility.

In the City of Melbourne, there are 24,754 on-street spaces – space which would struggle to accommodate those 90,000 additional cars, let alone also-promised expansions of on-street retailing, green space and hospitality.

In Warrnambool, free parking was bought in to stimulate business. Shortly afterwards, the ABC reported the plan had backfired with traders and employees reportedly hogging spaces all day. Parking research sees this pattern repeatedly – public debate quickly forgets.

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The City of Melbourne does have nearly 200,000 off-street spaces – so any increased car travel would need to be targeted at commercial and off-street spaces.

These are often less popular than imagined spaces “out the front” and require motorists or employers to pay – which many Melburnians are loathe to do. State and federal governments have signalled measures to address that by reducing the congestion levy; and fringe benefits tax on employee parking.

Even with a reimagined approach to managing car parking, anticipated increases in traffic will do little to revitalise retailing or other city metrics.

Melbourne’s planners have worked for decades on reinventing the CBD: adding residents and green space and creating the pre-COVID Melbourne we knew, for better and worse. Throwing this out as knee-jerk reaction to the sense COVID makes more cars safer and inevitable seems, at the least, a bit rash.

It promises a return to the car-crazed 1950s or to the traffic-laden, hollowed-out doughnut of the 1980s: fewer residents, businesses and visitors; and more cars vying for space. There are long-term costs and it is hard to reconcile with the need, particularly of inner Melburnians, for open public green space. Look at the way Darebin residents have reclaimed the golf course. Given the chance, people value open space and parks as much as – sometimes more – than car parks.

Worldwide, Paris is removing cars from city streets in favour of pedestrian and bike space. Vienna, Melbourne’s rival for “Most Liveable City” and recently crowned the “World’s Greenest City”, is increasing pedestrian zones and safeguarding public transport. The more pressure there is to store cars, the less space there is for other envisioned ideas for Melbourne – outdoor dining, increased green space.

Melbourne should not just be asking – what might happen to transport after COVID-19? But also, is that a good thing, and what should be done about it? In 2020 all levels of government envision are chasing growth and hope to return people to a Melbourne whose blank streets resemble the “ghost town” used as the set for post-apocalyptic 1959 film On the Beach.

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Decision makers are desperate for something to work – but free parking usually backfires and more parking rarely creates liveable cities.

Outdoor dining and green space and walkable communities are not easily reconciled with cars zipping (or idling and parking) past every second. Using cities for car storage is not the inevitable result of the virus but is something to be traded off against other versions of Melbourne and its transport. Post-COVID Melbourne has a choice: liveable spaces, or World’s Most Liveable Car Park.

Dr Elizabeth Taylor is a Senior Lecturer in Urban Planning and Design at Monash University.

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Local News - Victoria

Premier Daniel Andrews’ Noble Park office vandalised


A spokeswoman for Victoria Police said authorities were investigating the “criminal damage incident”.

It was the second time the office was vandalised in less than a month.

It was the second time the office was vandalised in less than a month.Credit:Jason South

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“Investigators were told an office building on Princes Highway was graffitied and damaged by an unidentified person,” she said in a statement.

It is the second time the office has been vandalised in recent weeks – graffiti was removed from the front windows of the office on September 25.

On Wednesday, Mr Andrews acknowledged the deep frustration felt by some at the length of the strict lockdown and said he was aware the social and economic costs may outweigh the benefit of the measures if they lasted too long.

“These measures come with a cost. There is a public health benefit, but there is also a cost,” he said.

“This is not an indefinite arrangement … At some point, the cost of the restrictions will be greater than the increased risk and the increased challenge for our public health team to keep the virus suppressed if we open earlier than we had planned.

An investigation is underway and police urge any witnesses or anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



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Australian News

Crews battle Royal National Park blaze


Firefighting crews will work overnight to contain a massive bushfire in Sydney’s south, with the blaze burning out of control on Saturday afternoon.

The fire is burning in the Royal National Park on the eastern side of the Princes Highway, south of Heathcote.

It is understood the blaze started after a spot fire broke containment lines of a controlled hazard reduction burn at about 1pm.

The spot fire quickly got out of control and turned into a 200 hectare blaze, with firefighters calling in a waterbombing aircraft on Saturday afternoon to help contain the blaze.

Conditions have now eased and crews have managed to get the fire back under control.

The fire caused major delays on the Princes Highway, with traffic backed up in both directions for hours.

Parts of the highway and surrounding roads were closed intermittently throughout the afternoon, with motorists urged to delay their trip or use an alternate route.

Train services in the area were also temporarily suspended, with buses replacing trains on the T4 Eastern Suburbs line and Illawarra and south coast line between Sutherland and Waterfall.

The blaze is now burning in a north easterly direction, with crews continuing to work overnight.

There is currently no threat to properties in the area and the Princes Highway is open in both directions.



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Local News - Victoria

Food trucks ready to burn rubber to your nearest park


“The second lockdown was such a shock to everybody’s system, especially around the trucks and people moving around – closing seemed like the right thing to do for us,” he said.

“But then as spring hit, about a week ago, it just felt like it was time to reopen.”

From Monday, groups of up to five people from two households will be allowed to gather outdoors – the perfect setting for take-away street food.

“It’s not pretentious, it’s immediate,” Mr Rashid said.

“We’re basically the smallest kitchen with the biggest dining room.”

Linda Huynh, owner of the Vietnamese food truck Nuoc Mama, said she also had to close her truck during lockdown, because she couldn’t afford to keep it running.

She said having to shut her windows was “heartbreaking”, because selling her food is so personal.

“It’s like you’re selling them your mum’s or your dad’s home-cooked family meal, your way,” she said.

Before coronavirus, Nuoc Mama sat alongside Taco Truck, Beatbox Kitchen and Trailer Made at Clifton Park, Brunswick, and Ms Huynh said the relationships she’s built over the years with various truck owners are part of her strategy for getting back to business.

“We’ve been talking about taking the truck out once restrictions ease, because a group of us look more attractive as opposed to one truck,” she said.

“A whole gang of us, tacos, Vietnamese, ice cream, maybe Mexican, down at Victoria Street will draw a crowd.”

Ms Huynh said Moreland City Council’s flexibility around permits and food trucks during coronavirus would make getting back to business smoother and she hopes other councils make it easier for her to pull up outside the city’s busiest parks.

“Moreland is the best, they are so supportive of these sort of businesses, they’re great – I wish all the councils could be more like that.”

With his taco and burger trucks parked across the city in St Kilda, Port Melbourne, East Brunswick and West Brunswick, Mr Rashid said he hopes the easing of restrictions will mean people will feel more comfortable approaching his trucks again.

“Melburnians have shown they are resilient, they can wait, and we’ve definitely learnt a lot of things in the last few months.”

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