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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18



The Melbourne Bushies - Fifty years along the track (1940-90)

Unexpected van maintenance costs of $8000 in the first half of 1991 prompted the Committee to consider alternatives, and a Walk Transport Subcommittee was set up. Among the issues to he considered were:

  • the van's increasing age, and thus the probability of having to perform major mechanical work
  • the poor economics of using a vehicle only one day a week, and this infrequent use causing mechanical problems
  • the problem of finding somewhere safe and accessible to garage the van for a reasonable cost, given that the owner of the presently used site had recently asked us to find somewhere else
  • the knowledge that to replace the van in the future would mean a very large financial commitment for the Club, even though a reserve fund was being accumulated
  • the possibility that at some time in the future the van's lengthways bench seating would no longer be permitted for safety reasons
  • the possibility that the greater speed of a bus would allow walks to be held in areas further from Melbourne, or that walks in existing areas could finish later
  • the improved seating comfort of a bus, even though the van seating provided a more sociable atmosphere

The Subcommittee requested quotes from nine bus operators for regular Sunday trips averaging 250 kilometres, and after examining the quotes, looked at three in detail, including visiting the operator's premises. The eventual recommendation was that a one-month's trial be carried out, using a Peninsula Bus Lines bus for all day walks, to determine members' and visitors' reactions. If the results were favourable, then a 12-month fixed-price contract would be entered into, and the van sold. The trials with a hired bus came to a head when after much heated discussion, a motion was put to members at the Annual General Meeting of 26 February 1992: 'That the Club retains and operates the van until a serious breakdown occurs which is uneconomic to repair and then alternative arrangements be made by the committee'. This motion was carried. An Extraordinary General Meeting was called and held on 29 April. The motion 'That the Club sell the Bedford van and that a chartered bus be used for Sunday walks' was narrowly carried. This wasn't quite the end of the story however, as sufficient members gathered together for a last stand and called for yet another Extraordinary General Meeting. This was held on 10 June when the motion 'That the Club retain and use the Bedford van for Sunday walks' was soundly