As we hurtle headlong into another Christmas let us pause and reflect on our City Council's free parking trial in the CBD over the months of December and January.
Anecdotal evidence suggests the free parking is being very well received by shoppers.
I personally find not having to worry about getting a hefty fine because your appointment ran late or the queue at the bank was much larger than expected, is a positive thing.
I know there are arguments around ratepayers subsidising CBD businesses but that is an argument for another time (sound familiar?), so, at the moment if you feel strongly about the success or otherwise of the trial, please fill out this short survey for the council to help them assess the success or otherwise of this trial.
You can access the survey by following this link.
I was also heartened by the Shepparton Councils apparent change of heart regarding a hard rubbish collection. They appear to have embraced a variation of my suggestion of free tip vouchers by allowing a couple of free tip days in January. Whilst not ideal and not helping people without access to a ute or trailer, it is a step in the right direction. Let us encourage them for this small concession at least.
Finally, while you are sitting down to your Christmas turkey this year, spare a thought for the refugees on Manus Island and Naru who are spending yet another Christmas locked up so our callous government can use their misfortune to prove a political point.
Have a thought for all our brave firefighters fighting the unprecedented fires in four states. They might be lucky enough to see their families briefly at Christmas.
Have a thought for our poor PM who had to cut his holiday in Hawaii short by one day after sleazing out the back door and trying to get away with covering up his departure while our country is in the midst of a crisis.
And finally spare a thought for all those less fortunate than ourselves who are suffering loneliness, hardship and homelessness while we chow down on all that lovely food.
Remember the Christmas spirit is not what you drink!
Merry Christmas and happy New year to all of my loyal readers. Ernesto will be back next year with more thought provoking and Tory bashing articles to brighten your day.