So, what should the six light rail stops be called?
Transport for NSW has come up with six proposed names.
The suggestions are: Newcastle Interchange, Honeysuckle, Civic, Crown Street, Queens Wharf and Newcastle Beach.
Hmmm. Some might say they’re a tad predictable. Maybe, though, they need to be predictable.
Guess it’s a lot better than calling them one, two, three, four, five and six. That’d be navigation by mathematics. Very old school. Streets in US cities were named that way to stop people getting lost. Nowadays you just pull out your phone and voila! But what happens if your phone battery runs out. Then you’re stuffed.
A numbered system is probably no good for tram stops. Let’s face it, it’d be pretty hard to get lost on Newcastle’s light rail system. For a start, there’s only six stops.
If you think the proposed names aren’t right, don’t fear, the transport bureaucracy has come up with some alternatives.
Instead of Honeysuckle, they suggested Kuwumi [because the stop is near Kuwumi Place].
Instead of Crown Street, they proposed Coal Bridge [the stop is near the site of an old railway bridge that transported coal].
Another suggestion for this site is Fish Belly Rail. That’s a strange name by anyone’s standards, but there’s a method behind the madness. You see, the stop is near the site where the oldest known rail artefact in Australia was found. It dates back to 1831. And, apparently, the artefact looks a bit like a fish belly.
Instead of Queens Wharf, the name Market Lawn was proposed because the stop is near a community space which, no doubt, has or will have some grass.
The alternative for Newcastle Beach is Pacific Park because, you guessed it, it’s near the park.
Novocastrians may have some ideas about alternative names for the tram stops.
Let’s put Raily McRailface and Trammy McTramface aside for now.
Ideas to email@example.com. If you’re really keen, you can make a submission to the Geographical Names Board at the website, gnb.nsw.gov.au. Of course, there’s no guarantee that they’ll listen to your suggestion. But we will.
It's a bird! It's a plane! No! It's the mild-mannered member for Bradfield, Paul Fletcher, zooming up to Warners Bay from Gotham City, Sydney, to launch the Lake Macquarie Internet of Things.
Why are we comparing Fletcher with Superman and Batman? We'll let Fletcher, the Turnbull government's Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities, explain.
"What I learned when I entered parliament 8 1/2 years ago is that when you're a politician, you have magic powers. It's nowhere described in the constitution but you do have this magic power and it's a power that can only be used for good, not evil and it must be used in a very responsible fashion. That is the power to launch things, to declare things open.”
Cue audience laughter.
"And I intend today to use, in a responsible, appropriate and measured fashion, that particular power. So, my task is to officially declare the rollout commenced and to do that, what I believe I am now required to do, and am honoured to do, is to remove the wrapping that conceals the very first gateway, and this is what is going into the field very, very soon."
And with that, Fletcher deftly removed a wrapping of blue silk to reveal a small white box fixed to a metal pole.
Floptus and the Feds
As far as we can tell, the Internet of Things is about connecting anything and everything to the web. To grasp this concept, you’ve got to think beyond ordinary devices like phones, laptops and tablets. Think smart homes and businesses, medicine, transport, energy, coffee machines, ovens, fridges etc. Basically, anything with an on/off switch.
Recent Aussie efforts at techie stuff have included the Optus-World Cup debacle and the monumental stuff-up of the National Broadband Network.
The Herald reported that Newcastle and Lake Macquarie councils were getting on board with infrastructure for the Internet of Things. Geez Louise, we hope they do better than Floptus and the feds.