Patrick Durkin, Australian Financial Review, 16/09/2015:
Our public-transport loving Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has taken a swipe at Victoria’s much-maligned Myki card, telling his first press conference as PM that he prefers Sydney’s Opal card.
While Tony Abbott always polled badly in Victoria, Mr Turnbull will endear himself to the southern state by joining Melburnians’ pastime of bemoaning the frustrating public transport ticketing system.
“I’m as passionate about water as I am about technology or indeed the NSW Opal card … or the Myki card, I think Opal is better actually, more functionality,” Turnbull quipped while flanked by NSW Premier Mike Baird and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.
Mr Turnbull is is well known for using public transport and tweeting about it on social media. He even made headlines after taking the train to Geelong following Bronwyn Bishop’s infamous $5000 chopper ride to a Liberal Party fundraiser in Geelong.
And here comes today's tram – the number 70 to take us to Hawthorn and a morning with @JoshFrydenberg pic.twitter.com/zeGCmct6nj
— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) September 10, 2015
Mr Andrews planned to use his visit to Canberra to lean on Mr Turnbull’s love of public-transport to prize open the $3 billion “locked box” for the dumped East West Link road and argue it should be applied to Labor’s vaunted $11 billion Melbourne Metro Rail project. “He’s an undoubted fan [of public transport],” Mr Andrews told reporters on Tuesday.
The Sydney-Melbourne rivalry was renewed last month following the Big V’s $20 million rebrand and new slogan “the best of everything“. “*offer excludes harbour, infrastructure and sunshine,” Mr Baird tweeted. Mr Andrews tweeted back, “You’re just grumpy because you haven’t had a decent coffee since you were last in Melbourne!”
Despite his public transport credentials, Turnbull has some way to go to convince the everyday punters he also gets the game of AFL, much-loved in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.
“I have to confess I vote for, I support, in Australian Rules the Roosters, who of course aren’t in the grand final – sorry the Swans,” Turnbull told Radio National when asked back in 2008.