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Foggy opinions at Canberra Airport

IrishPete 29 May 2013 22

It is SO sweet of Canberra Airport to be so magnanimously and altruistically concerned about Commonwealth Public Servants’ travel in the Canberra Times.

Maybe if they allowed some proper public transport to the airport, it would reduce the overall cost of the travel (the parking/taxis at each end, there and back, can easily add up to more than the airfare) and more people would use the airport. But that would upset airports’ business models, which is no longer to get their income from airlines, but to get it direct  from the travelers.

IP


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neanderthalsis neanderthalsis 10:12 am 31 May 13

I am a regular business traveler (non-APS) and I must admit that the Business Lounge/Q Club has been a little less full of the lesser migratory eastern pube of late. That said, however, early flights to Syd and Melb still seem to be well patronised by the black suit brigade.

miz miz 12:32 am 31 May 13

It is shortsighted to assume that everything can be done by teleconference or video link. While such technologies are a boon, they are no substitute for the benefits our PS area gains by having a representative personally attend stakeholder conferences. As our area constantly deals with certain specialised agencies in every State/Terr throughout the year, we value the twice-yearly Administrators conference as a golden opportunity. That conference gives us the chance to address ongoing issues quickly and efficiently by raising it (and hopefully resolving it) with all the jurisdictions at once. This has saved us a lot of resources in the past by enabling us to streamline our processes. These conferences also enable us to update relevant contacts. Contacts are vital for our area, as the States and Territories restructure their agencies and change personnel from time to time, especially after elections.
Further, if the Cth did not attend such stakeholder events, not only would that be embarrassing for the Cth (whose absence would be noted), but we would miss out on valuable information about jurisdictional issues and State priorities that are likely to have an impact on our own work. Knowledge is a valuable thing and we have to work hard to maintain our relationship with the States/Terrs to keep these channels open, as that makes us more efficient.
I agree with Mr Byron to the extent that cuts to the PS are now at a ‘tipping point’ – certainly in our area, any further staff cuts would mean we are beyond ‘lean and mean’, but are simply ‘starved’. And an anorexic PS is no use to anyone.

IrishPete IrishPete 11:29 pm 30 May 13

watto23 said :

I thought the reason for substandard buses to the airport was because the airport didn’t want to pay for action to go there anyway. It was cheaper to get Deanes, which IMO makes business sense. The only reason the buses run to the offices is because that was part of the deal to allow those offices to be built. Again a business decision that obviously makes sense.

People get upset with the snow family, yet I dare say most Canberrans are no better than what the snows are, they make decisions solely for their own benefit and there is a lot of nimbyism in canberra.

Whereas I thought the reason was that the airport wouldn’t let Action run a service, because they would prefer to sell the bus franchise to a company, first Deanes now someone else. Evenif it was cheaper for the airport, it certainly isn’t for passengers, which is the origina point.

And I think Brindabella Busines Park was built against the wishes of the ACT government, so I can’t see how providing a bus service wold have been part of any agreement. Rather it is the ACT government providing public transport where it’s needed, even if they didn’t want those offices in the first place.

IP

gungsuperstar gungsuperstar 10:34 pm 30 May 13

drfelonious said :

Roundhead89 said :

No more public servants abusing taxpayers’ money travelling to exotic locations and suing for compo when they have sex? I say bring it on. The rest of Australia will be cheering that this outrageous rort by pampered fat cats is being cut back.

Roundhead – have you perchance confused this site with the Daily Telegraph? Any person who regularly travels for business will tell you that it very quickly becomes an extremely unpleasant and draining experience and public service travel takes the biscuit. Every dollar you spend needs to be accounted for in triplicate.

Outrageous rort my arse. You embarrass yourself with your ignorance but I guess if you were born in 89 you don’t know any better.

Your post wins the riot act this week – awesome response 😀

The original post/article is a pretty dumb premise. There isn’t really an alternative to air travel, unless you’re only going to Sydney. So this notion that parking fees/lack of buses/taxi fares hurts the number of people travelling is ridiculous.

The cheapest non-Sydney flight I can find is 100 bucks each way, to Melbourne. When I get to Melbourne I’m paying at least $120 a night for accommodation. When I get to Melbourne, the footy costs me 20 bucks, 50 bucks to go to a gig, $30 bucks return for the Skybus when I get to Melbourne, at least 100 bucks on food and beer for a weekend.

Yep. The 25 bucks a day that it costs me to park at the airport is what stops people from using it.

The whinging of Canberra Airport management is right. This is another example that cuts hurt everyone, because airport management, contractors and employees are another unintended consequence of budget cuts.

I suspect that, in the case of an airport, we don’t care and we don’t feel sorry for them. But don’t think these budget cuts won’t affect you. When there are less people using services and facilities when 20,000 people lose their jobs, the cost of maintaining those services and facilities don’t diminish – they’re simply passed onto those of us who still have jobs.

Even the most extreme conservative has to see that public sector budget cuts will hurt your hip pocket… unless you’re a gen x pain in the arse who buys up property when prices drop 5% and further lock the rest of us of the market by preventing a true market correction.

dungfungus dungfungus 9:53 pm 30 May 13

watto23 said :

I thought the reason for substandard buses to the airport was because the airport didn’t want to pay for action to go there anyway. It was cheaper to get Deanes, which IMO makes business sense. The only reason the buses run to the offices is because that was part of the deal to allow those offices to be built. Again a business decision that obviously makes sense.

People get upset with the snow family, yet I dare say most Canberrans are no better than what the snows are, they make decisions solely for their own benefit and there is a lot of nimbyism in canberra.

The Snows understand that most Canberrans like to drive to work and so they have provided more than adequate parking at the BBP at reasonable rates. The modern working mum needs private transport to drop the bubs off to childcare on the way to work, get to work, get to the gym, shops etc. and then pick up the bubs and get them home. This can’t be done in an Action bus.
Meanwhile, the ACT Government, who believes everything should be done in an Action bus, closes down as many car parks as it can find except the ones that the MLA’s use exclusively.

thatsnotme thatsnotme 9:10 pm 30 May 13

drfelonious said :

Roundhead89 said :

No more public servants abusing taxpayers’ money travelling to exotic locations and suing for compo when they have sex? I say bring it on. The rest of Australia will be cheering that this outrageous rort by pampered fat cats is being cut back.

Roundhead – have you perchance confused this site with the Daily Telegraph? Any person who regularly travels for business will tell you that it very quickly becomes an extremely unpleasant and draining experience and public service travel takes the biscuit. Every dollar you spend needs to be accounted for in triplicate.

Outrageous rort my arse. You embarrass yourself with your ignorance but I guess if you were born in 89 you don’t know any better.

Accounted for in triplicate?? Which department are you with? I’m pretty sure that’s not the experience of most public servants. I agree with the point that work travel isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, but on the whole, if you need to travel you’ve given an accommodation allowance, a meal allowance, plus incidentals. That’s assuming you’re staying somewhere overnight – if it’s a day trip, there are no allowances.

My agency for a time decided not to use the ATO rates system, and issued us all with Diners Club cards, that were supposed to be used for everything, with expenses reconciled afterwards. What a nightmare that system was – ever tried to find a sandwich bar that will accept diners for your lunch? That system was pretty quickly dropped when the powers that be realised that any savings gained by only giving people what they spent, were quickly lost when some poor sucker had to reconcile 50 receipts from someone’s last work trip.

In my job, I can go for 2 or 3 years without needing to do any travel, before having a 3 or 4 month period when I’m travelling every second weekend. I promise, it soon looses its lustre.

For every public servant swinging off the bed posts and having a great time at the commonwealth’s expense, there are another 50 exhausted after travelling and working all day, sad because they can only say goodnight to their families over skype, feeling guilty because while they’re away, their husbands or wives have to take up the slack at home.

Anyone who wants to tell me that not being able to give my young son or daughter a hug before bed time is some type of rort, can kindly go and f*** themselves. If I could do the job that travel requires me to do over video conference, it’d be a no brainer.

watto23 watto23 7:59 pm 30 May 13

I thought the reason for substandard buses to the airport was because the airport didn’t want to pay for action to go there anyway. It was cheaper to get Deanes, which IMO makes business sense. The only reason the buses run to the offices is because that was part of the deal to allow those offices to be built. Again a business decision that obviously makes sense.

People get upset with the snow family, yet I dare say most Canberrans are no better than what the snows are, they make decisions solely for their own benefit and there is a lot of nimbyism in canberra.

drfelonious drfelonious 6:43 pm 30 May 13

Roundhead89 said :

No more public servants abusing taxpayers’ money travelling to exotic locations and suing for compo when they have sex? I say bring it on. The rest of Australia will be cheering that this outrageous rort by pampered fat cats is being cut back.

Roundhead – have you perchance confused this site with the Daily Telegraph? Any person who regularly travels for business will tell you that it very quickly becomes an extremely unpleasant and draining experience and public service travel takes the biscuit. Every dollar you spend needs to be accounted for in triplicate.

Outrageous rort my arse. You embarrass yourself with your ignorance but I guess if you were born in 89 you don’t know any better.

IrishPete IrishPete 6:09 pm 30 May 13

EvanJames said :

Action route 10 goes to Majura Park, Brindabella Business Park, and Fairbairn. They’re just not allowed to do the actual airport or Deane’s Boys will get them. It’s $4.20 to/from Civic, the schedule is slightly eccentric and I’ll be on it tomorrow morning.

So locals in the know can walk over to BBP and get it, but people from out of town or with bags won’t. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Deane’s bus at the airport actually, so out of towners might not know about that, either.

It’s not Deane’s any more. http://www.canberraairport.com.au/travellers/parking-transport/buses-and-coaches-2/ But what about that timetable? Why not just on the hour or something simple like that?

I always wondered about the BBP buses, but as you say they are not known about by many folk. And as far as I can see, there aren’t any heading south (so no hope of getting to the Parliamentary Triangle without a change in Civic). Nor is there anything to/from Queanbeyan.

IP

OpenYourMind OpenYourMind 5:07 pm 30 May 13

Sandman said :

My wife’s in the public service and some of the travel she’s previously done has seemed completely useless considering the tele/video conferencing available to them. The airport is just concerned that its loosing it’s little “cost doesn’t matter,I’m not paying for it” cash cow.

Yep, agree totally. A while back tel/video conferencing was pretty crap, but it’s got to the point now where lots of work/meetings can easily be done using this tech.

Travel budgets are often the first thing to go when the belt tightens a little.

Suck it up SnowEmpire.

EvanJames EvanJames 4:41 pm 30 May 13

Action route 10 goes to Majura Park, Brindabella Business Park, and Fairbairn. They’re just not allowed to do the actual airport or Deane’s Boys will get them. It’s $4.20 to/from Civic, the schedule is slightly eccentric and I’ll be on it tomorrow morning.

So locals in the know can walk over to BBP and get it, but people from out of town or with bags won’t. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Deane’s bus at the airport actually, so out of towners might not know about that, either.

tim_c tim_c 3:33 pm 30 May 13

They probably canned the bus service because the roads were never designed to take vehicles that size, and because of the prohibitive fees involved in picking up passengers at the airport (as well as the costs of repairing damage to vehicles due to poor road design).

BTW: Does anyone know when the airport will actually be finished? It has been a perpetual construction site since at least 2003 (when I started going near/through it semi-regularly for work). Is it the inspiration for ACT roadworks?

IrishPete IrishPete 3:24 pm 30 May 13

bd84 said :

There has been public buses running to the airport a number of times, each time it’s been canned due to lack of patronage.

Can you provide details? The current service at $12 one way doesn’t really count. Its predecessor was roughly the same price. They only go to Civic, when any fule kno that much of the traffic goes to the Parliamentary Triangle. And at that price two or three in a taxi is competitive. The first bus arrives at the airport at 0846 and the last leaves it at 1850. With a frequency of about 40-50 minutes in between those times, it’s hardly designed to be convenient.

If it was an Action service, which I suggest should loop through Civic, the Triangle and the Airport, it would be a completely different scenario, linking in with existing bus services to other areas if needed.

IP

dungfungus dungfungus 12:04 pm 30 May 13

Roundhead89 said :

No more public servants abusing taxpayers’ money travelling to exotic locations and suing for compo when they have sex? I say bring it on. The rest of Australia will be cheering that this outrageous rort by pampered fat cats is being cut back.

With the sudden but expected fall of the Aussie Dollar, increased costs for holiday travel to exotic locations for the masses will impact adversely on airport activity as well.

Roundhead89 Roundhead89 11:48 am 30 May 13

No more public servants abusing taxpayers’ money travelling to exotic locations and suing for compo when they have sex? I say bring it on. The rest of Australia will be cheering that this outrageous rort by pampered fat cats is being cut back.

dungfungus dungfungus 11:45 am 30 May 13

dpm said :

If he’s complaining about the Canberra economy now, just wait till next year!

I think I’ve commented in the last on the point made about the potential loss of a business (ie car manufacturer, clothes manufacturer) getting some sort of urgent public bail out when people are happy to let 20k PS jobs go! Though, that’s going to be by ‘natural attrition’. Haha!
I suppose it all depends on if it recovers in a few years. Though, that doesn’t help people worrying and stressing until then – both public servants and local businesses etc..

Soup kitchens for the unemployed will be the new sunrise industry.

bikhet bikhet 11:05 am 30 May 13

EvanJames said :

I had a wry chuckle at Byron’s Lament yesterday. Pretty brazen considering most of Canberra has woken up to what sharp operators the CAG is. Apparently they’re currently suggesting in their unique way that a better-positioned exit off the upcoming Majura Parkway would be of tremendous benefit and would also cure cancer… and allow customers to easily access the Majura Park area. Give up, boys.

They can have a new entry/exit – if they pay for it.

EvanJames EvanJames 9:38 am 30 May 13

I had a wry chuckle at Byron’s Lament yesterday. Pretty brazen considering most of Canberra has woken up to what sharp operators the CAG is. Apparently they’re currently suggesting in their unique way that a better-positioned exit off the upcoming Majura Parkway would be of tremendous benefit and would also cure cancer… and allow customers to easily access the Majura Park area. Give up, boys.

davo101 davo101 9:32 am 30 May 13

Favourite quote from the article “I think you’ve got to say, in no way, shape or form, no matter your wildest opinions on government waste, was there 22 per cent of unnecessary public servant travel.” From personal experience I’d put it somewhere above 50%.

dpm dpm 7:51 am 30 May 13

If he’s complaining about the Canberra economy now, just wait till next year!

I think I’ve commented in the last on the point made about the potential loss of a business (ie car manufacturer, clothes manufacturer) getting some sort of urgent public bail out when people are happy to let 20k PS jobs go! Though, that’s going to be by ‘natural attrition’. Haha!
I suppose it all depends on if it recovers in a few years. Though, that doesn’t help people worrying and stressing until then – both public servants and local businesses etc..

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