From: Roderick Smith [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, 6 July 2018 10:50 AM
Subject: Mon.2.7.18 daily digest
180702M Metro Twitter:
- Mernda test (inc. one from Vicsig).
- Flinders St fruit stall.
- Kororoit Creek Rd.
180702M Melbourne 'Herald Sun':
- Mernda test.
- cbd cableway proposal.
180702M 'SMH' - Sydney Central [architects should never be allowed near,
always wanting a self-indulgent mismatched 'statement'.
Mon.2.7 Metro Twitter.
5.10 Buses are replacing trains Mordialloc - Frankston (an overhead power
fault near Carrum). Trains continue to operate Flinders Street -
Mordialloc. [still not revealing that the overhead had been pulled down by
a train on Sunday afternoon].
- 5.19 Oh no still not fixed. I hope that it's fixed soon before AM peak!
Good luck team.
- 5.29 When's the next bus from Chelsea? Good luck to the repair team.
- 5.47 Do you have an ETA for a bus at Chelsea? Only one speaker at far end
of platform is working.
- 5.50 A bus is anticipated within next 10 minutes.
- 6.12 An issue since 15.30 yesterday, and no buses for over 30 min at
Aspendale - poor planning.
- 6.13 When are the buses coming? 25 min at Kananook, no bus.
- 6.15 Still bustitution.
- 6.30 We anticipate that buses will remain in operation until 8.00.
- 6.34 You've had a day to fix it.
- 6.36 12 buses are replacing trains; a further 14 are enroute and are
expected to be in operation before 7.00.
- 6.51 The damage was major and our team worked overnight to fix the issue.
We are expecting the line to reopen in next 1-2 hours.
- 6.59 New job today and I am stuck at Frankston station as the only bus
filled in no time. Thanks, just thanks. Get the PA system fixed at the
station as the announcements are unintelligible.
- 7.09 18 buses are replacing trains; a further eight are enroute and are
expected to be in operation by 7.30.
- 7.32 Better call some buses from Sydney out again.
- 7.39 I sure do love paying for a service that leaves me standing outside
on a literally freezing morning.
- 7.45 Perhaps you should tell your staff that; they're standing out the
front of Frankston station lying, saying that trains will be back in a few
- 7.45 22 buses are replacing trains; a further four are enroute and are
expected to be in operation by 8.00.
- 7.47 Not running express services from Mordialloc when the platform to the
city is literally full, what a great idea to run all station services
- 7.48 Sounds like hopes of an 8am resumption are fading fast.
- 7.52 The tweet was from last night; we are expecting services to resume in
next hour, subject to full repairs.
- 7.56 Everyone please look at the thameslink twitter.
- 8.00 If you don't start running express trains as well as all stations I
reckon you might need some buses to the city as well. There's already easily
over 100 people at Parkdale (normally a pretty quiet station).
- 8.00 This was happening yesterday for a big weekend of footy. Poor
commuters after the footy yesterday had to catch buses home from Mordialloc
to Frankston. Same issue to start the working week. Not happy Metro. The
Frankston line has been very patchy this year. And at times it's just
frustrating for those wanting to get to work early or on time.
- 8.02 There's nothing at Cheltenham either; the platform is full of people
who should try to make their way to Sandringham (joke). You have had almost
a day to fix this.
- 8.06 The damage was major and our maintenance team worked overnight to fix
- 8.07 Good luck getting more people on the now stopping-all-stations train
- 8.08 Where are these trains you speak of? I have been standing at
Moorabbin station now for almost 1/2 hour waiting for a train to stop.
- 8.10 Why is the train that just left Mordialloc a stopping all stations?
It was an express, and it's full like sardines. No one will get off, and no
one can get on? What's the point? Stats?
- 8.10 When is the next train for the Flinders St leaving from Mordialloc?
- 8.17 Why are there 20 minute delays into city on Frankston line?
- 8.18 Another Monday and yet another nightmare service.
- 8.28 Please update notify app to indicate there is a 20 minute delay on
all city-bound trains with lots of cancellations.
- 8.32 We are showing on the app that trains may be "delayed or altered"
between Mordialloc & Flinders Street. We currently have two trains over 15
min late and two 10 min late, with other services near to timetable.
- 8.35 I made my way to Sandringham. Thank you for your apologies but it's
not going to stop people from being sacked or put on review for being late.
- 8.49 26 buses are replacing trains.
- 9.03 Trains have resumed, with delays up to 10 min.
- 9.05 Who damages this every week? Maybe you need better signs or bigger
fines? It's a weekly occurrence on this line.
- 10.13 Was the fault caused by level-crossing Patterson River Bridge works?
- 10.45 Trains are back running from Frankston. Driver of 10.44 sounds very
chirpy and wished us a happy morning and to enjoy the sunshine.
- 11.35 It was caused by chronic underinvestment in infrastructure, started
by your Liberal mates.
- 17.42 What's the refund policy? I haven't had an event free week of travel
on metro trains for months! It's an absolute joke...surely commuters
shouldn't have to pay for services not delivered.
The level crossing at Skye/Overton Rd, Frankston, is gone. Timelapse video.
The cure for Mondayitis? Fruit says Mr Clapp.
Watch part one of our Protective Services Officers series to learn what
powers our PSOs have to ensure your safety and the safety of others while
travelling across the transport network. As of April 2018, new legislation
<www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=35051> [with multiple
repetitions of buzzwords 'safety' and 'highest priority'].
The first test train pulled into the new Mernda station today, about 60
years after the last train ran along the former Whittlesea line.
17.20 Craigieburn line: Minor delays (an operational incident near
- 17.25 clearing.
18.07 South Morang & Hurstbridge lines: Delays clearing after an earlier
[unannounced] train fault at West Richmond.
- 18.18 Hurstbridge express train sitting at Clifton hill for nearly 10 min
with no announcements. And it just let the Greensborough train behind it go
in front? We are already 20 min late. WTF?
- 18.27 Doesn't explain why the 17.55 from Flagstaff to Greensborough just
departed Clifton Hill before the 17.51. The express now has to crawl along
behind the stopping all stations. Whose bright idea was that! Can't make my
appointment now. Thanks for nothing Metro.
Melbourne Express, Monday, July 2, 2018
9.06 Minor delays on the Craigieburn, Frankston, Glen Waverley, Sunbury and
Upfield lines. Delays also at multiple spots on the roads. See complete list
from Jimmy Traffic below.
Metro runner Daryl Bussell at Ivanhoe station. Photo: Simon Schluter.
Like most crazy ideas, it started with friends over a couple of drinks.
Before he knew it, Daryl Bussell had agreed to run from every Metro train
station in the network to his home in Elwood.
All 210 of them. It sounded unachievable to start but Mr Bussell is well on
his way to completing the 4000-kilometre challenge.
Seaholme was station number 158 on Saturday. Mr Bussell, 55, has now vowed
to finished his challenge by his daughter's wedding in April next year.
Blind and vision-impaired drivers had a rare chance to get behind the wheel
at Sandown Park International Raceway yesterday. Event coordinator Bill
Gerretsen says the event is in its 23rd year and is frequently an emotional
experience for all involved.
Melbourne councillor Nick Reece on Literature Lane, where he says services
have ruined what might have otherwise been a more interesting place. Photo:
We have let too much crap be built. That's not news to many of us but
Melbourne City Council's planning chair Nick Reece now plans to do something
An exciting moment for Mernda. We're told the first trains since 1959 are on
their way to the station today. These are test drives only, leaving South
Morang at 10am, 11.30am, 1.30pm and 2.30pm. Passenger services will begin in
Campaigner Darren Peters says this historic moment signals victory for the
South Morang and Mernda Rail Alliance. Now they just need to do something
about that name. The new station shall be known as the rather
Tolkein-sounding Middle Gorge.
Melbourne's new sky rail. Photo: Supplied.
The $1.6 billion sky rail in Melbourne's south-east may be set for further
expansion, costing millions more dollars and reviving residents' fears of
large-scale home acquisitions.
Just two weeks after its official opening, a transport expert says the
government didn't consider long-term planning for larger trains in its haste
to remove level crossings. Timna Jacks explains in her exclusive article.
5.53 The Frankston line is currently suspended due to an overhead power
fault near Carrum. They're back on the buses between Mordialloc and
2.7.18 Test train runs to Mernda today.
The first test train has pulled into the new Mernda Station today, around 60
years since the last train ran along the former Whittlesea line.
One Xtrapolis train ran up and down the new Mernda line today between South
Morang and Mernda - testing the track, overhead wiring and rail
The train was fitted with a GPS device to measure the distance between each
of the three new stations on the line: Middle Gorge, Hawkstowe and Mernda.
This will help to determine the new train timetable before passenger trains
can run later this year.
Over the next few days, the test trains will finish running to make way for
construction teams to return to the track and continue work on the station
buildings, platforms and fit-outs, car parks, shared user path and fencing.
After works in the rail corridor are complete, driver training can begin
along the new rail line.
When the Mernda Rail Extension opens later this year, passengers will have
access to 982 services every week, with details of dates and timetables to
be finalised soon.
Test train on track to Mernda in July.
A train will arrive in Mernda for the first time in nearly 60 years next
month, as the first test train makes its way up .
Mernda Rail launches artefact exhibition .
The Mernda Rail project was proud to support the launch of National
Archaeology Week in Victoria, with the unveiling of Unearthed: A Shared
Heritage artefact exhibition.
Commuters shiver as Melbourne records coldest morning of year 2 July 2018.
It was a particularly chilly winter commute for Melburnians on Monday as the
city recorded the coldest morning since this time last year, with several
suburbs dropping below zero overnight.
VIDEO: BOM reveals weather outlook for July - September.
For some key agricultural areas, it's been dry and warmer than average in
June, with low rain expected in the July and September period.
A low of 2.4 degrees was recorded at 7.40am in Melbourne, and by 8.30am it
had crept up to 2.7 degrees - though the Bureau of Meteorology said it felt
more like minus 1.4 degrees in the city.
It dropped below zero overnight in many suburbs, including Avalon, Viewbank
and Essendon Airport.
But it wasn't quite as cold as this time last year, when the mercury in
Melbourne dropped to 0.8 degrees.
Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Christie Johnson said clear skies,
light winds and dry air combined to make it the coldest day this year.
In Macedon it dropped to minus 1.8 degrees, it was minus 3 in the Yarra
Valley and the coldest spot in the state was Mount Hotham, which recorded a
low of minus 6.5 degrees.
Ms Johnson said Monday morning's recorded temperature was not unusual for
this time of year.
The second coldest day this year was on June 19 when the temperature dipped
to three degrees.
A mostly sunny day is forecast for Melbourne on Monday, with an expected top
of 14 degrees.
Removal of barricades for Sydney's light rail line still months away 2 July
Sydneysiders will have to wait as long as eight months before construction
barricades are removed along the entire route of the city's troubled $2.1
billion light rail project.
After pressure from the state government, the consortium charged with
delivering the project released an update showing that barriers are likely
to remain outside the premises of some retailers on George Street for
video: Timelapse: Walking around George St's light rail construction
Sydney's CBD has been the centre of a light rail project since late 2015.
Vision: Christopher Pearce.
While the ALTRAC consortium plans to remove barricades on the premier
shopping strip between Circular Quay and Liverpool Street by November, those
in front of shops along the rest of the route on George Street near
Chinatown are likely to stay until January.
Barriers along Devonshire Street in Surry Hills, and those at Moore Park,
will be removed by November, but residents and retailers at Randwick,
Kingsford and Kensington are likely to have to wait until February before
those in their
suburbs are taken away.
ALTRAC chief executive Glenn Bentley said project zones along the
12-kilometre route of the line might be opened sooner than the scheduled
But he said there would still be "localised barriers" around stops, and
where paving and cabling work was undertaken.
Track has been laid in 29 of the 31 construction zones along the route of
the line from Circular Quay to the city's south east.
Barricades on George Street between Circular Quay and Liverpool Street are
now due to be removed by November. Photo: Jessica Hromas
Earlier on Monday, Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the consortium
needed to explain when it was planning to remove the barriers "so the city
can breathe again".
Under the government's original plans, major civil construction along the
entire route of the line was expected to be finished by April this year, and
testing was supposed to start last month.
Related Article How did Gladys make such heavy work of light rail?
ALTRAC now expects civil construction to be "substantially completed" by the
end of the year. Once the major construction work is finished in each zone,
signalling, cabling and the fit out of stops will begin.
The latest plans come as the legal tussle over the project between the
government and Spanish contractor Acciona is due to return to the NSW
Supreme Court on Tuesday.
The ALTRAC consortium, which includes Acciona and French rail supplier
Alstom, is sticking with its forecast for completion of the project by March
2020, a year later than originally planned.
Construction began in late 2015 and was originally due to be finished in
March next year, the time of the next state election.
Labor transport spokeswoman Jodi McKay said the prospect of barriers
remaining on parts of George Street for another Christmas would be
distressing for retailers.
"Most of these businesses would never have expected that there would be this
level of intense disruption," she said.
Retailers along the route have complained that their businesses have
experienced major falls in revenue due to disruption from construction of
An upmarket Swiss watch retailer is suing the state government for $4
million for losses it claims to have suffered from construction of the light
Watches of Switzerland claims in court documents that barricades had
significantly restricted pedestrian access to the Four Seasons hotel in
which it has a store near the Rocks.
Residents could face more sky rail pain as expert says work needed. 2 July
2018. 63 comments
Melbourne's new sky rail. Photo: Supplied
The $1.6 billion sky rail in Melbourne's south-east may be set for further
expansion, costing millions more dollars and reviving residents' fears of
large-scale home acquisitions.
Just two weeks after its official opening, a transport expert says the
government didn't consider long-term planning for larger trains in its haste
to remove level crossings.
As a result, new stations will need to be rebuilt or "quite extensive"
property acquisition will be necessary to meet future demands, the expert
A 2017 Public Transport Victoria document obtained by residents under
Freedom of Information laws shows the new station platforms will need to be
extended by 65 metres to allow for 10-car, high-capacity trains.
It has also confirmed plans to build a third and fourth track between
Caulfield and Dandenong.
The government celebrated the opening of the elevated rail on June 18 with
live music and commuter giveaways. The 3.2-kilometre sky rail stretches
between Caulfield and Hughesdale, and creates capacity for an extra 11,000
during the two-hour morning peak.
But locals, who endured several months of noisy, 24-hour construction work
to remove the last four of nine level crossings between Caulfield and
Dandenong, are now bracing for more pain.
An internal planning document confirms stations have been "future proofed",
or designed to allow for them to be extended by 65 metres to fit the
extended high-capacity trains.
Mary Hogan's home is 60 metres from the elevated Hughesville station now
under construction. Photo: Justin McManus
A government spokeswoman refused to say when the station platforms would be
expanded, but Oakleigh MP Steve Dimopoulos has told a local news outlet that
he believed the 10-carriage trains would be on the network within three to
Infrastructure Victoria recommended that the longer trains run on the
network by 2026 - after the Metro Tunnel opens - or by 2031 at the latest.
The government spokeswoman said the government did not have any current
plans to run 10-carriage trains.
"The removal of 14 level crossings, 65 new high-capacity trains, the Metro
Tunnel and a massive power and signalling upgrade will provide for a 42 per
cent increase in peak-hour passenger numbers on the Cranbourne and Pakenham
lines," the spokeswoman said.
"These projects, worth nearly $20 billion, are the government's current
video: First trains run on Melbourne's new 'sky rail'
Passengers will be able to ride test trains from Thursday as the government
begins replacing nine level crossings on the Cranbourne-Pakenham corridor.
But opposition public transport spokesman David Davis said the government
should have lengthened the platforms during recent construction to avoid
further disruption to residents.
Ten-carriage trains should be running by the time the Metro Tunnel opens in
2025, he said.
"It's bizarre that they are going to bring all the workmen back again and
cause more inconvenience to the community," Mr Davis said.
"This is a serious mismanagement of the project and could well see costs
blow out even further ... this would easily cost hundreds of millions of
The PTV document also confirms plans to build a third and fourth track
between Caulfield and Dandenong, which would enable express V/Line trains to
run to and from the city.
Building the two tracks would be expensive and complex, particularly along
the rail corridor, which is just 20 metres wide at its narrowest point
between Murrumbeena and Carnegie.
The new tracks would likely require homes to be acquired in suburbs where
property prices are more than $1 million.
Level Crossing Removal Authority chief executive Kevin Devlin said the
authority had "no plans to build a third or fourth track on the
However, the authority's website states sky rail has been built to allow for
the extra tracks - needed in just 20 years time.
Bill Russell, secretary for the Rail Futures Institute think tank, said the
extra tracks would be needed even sooner.
He questioned the decision to build a platform between the two elevated
tracks at some of the south-eastern stations, instead of leaving space for
Now, he said the new stations would have to be rebuilt, or "quite extensive
property acquisition would be necessary".
"In the haste to get the level crossings finished, the longer-term planning
wasn't done and proper provision wasn't made for future needs of the line,"
Mr Russell said. "There is no easy way to install those extra tracks."
The think tank will soon unveil a plan for an entirely new rail corridor
between Caulfield and Dandenong that includes stops at Chadstone and Monash
University in Clayton.
This would also allow for express trains from Gippsland and Pakenham, where
passengers face a 73-minute journey to the city.
Mary Hogan, who lives about 60 metres away from the elevated Hughesdale
station (which is still being built) said she was disappointed that
residents were not properly consulted about the future plans for sky rail.
Residents claimed in an unsuccessful Supreme Court bid to stop the project
in 2016 that the government's consultation process was inadequate.
Ms Hogan said she felt that residents were again being kept in the dark.
"We've had no information about this," she said. "I'm very disillusioned
with this government, they haven't told us anything about this, and anything
that we are told is usually some form of spin."
Ms Hogan said she would sell her property if the government went ahead with
building another two tracks.
* Middle Brighton has had sky rail all my 75 years....hasn't hurt my kharma
or my property value.
* I don't get why this vocal minority keep getting a disproportionate airing
on the rail crossing removal. Most people are rapt to see the back of these
annoying, pollution causing and dangerous level crossings.
As a long resident of the area and living in Carnegie, Hughesdale and
Murrumbeena, I think the Skyrail development is ths best thing since sliced
bread. I have spent countless hours waiting for the boom gates at all three
stations. Until now I used to go to Chadstone via Oakleigh rather than being
stuck at Koornang, Murrumbeena and Poath roads. Those opposing already had a
rail line backing onto their properties. The gov offered to buy their
properties but still they complain. They are definitely a minority and have
been duped by the Liberal Party into being a small but vocal minority.
The new stations look sensational!
* I don't know. There's a Hughesdale train station between Murumbeena and
Oakleigh on the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines.
* Jon Faine broadcast his 774 ABC Melbourne radio program at the Carnegie
skyrail a few weeks ago.
There was a mixed response.
Residents whose properties are directly overlooked by skyrail hate it, while
motorists and residents who live in suburbs close by, but not close enough
to be directly affected are loving it.
The problem of loss of privacy because skyrail overlooks residents'
is the same problem that inner city suburbs close to train stations
designated as "growth areas" is experiencing
as the Liberals, Labor and local councils approve high rise, high density,
multi-unit apartments on streets with single storey dwellings,
so that high rise apartments from blocks away can see into neighbours'
backyards from streets away.
Now that all these suburbs are getting new trains and station upgrades, they
most likely will suffer the same fate and be deemed "activity centres" and
"growth areas" too,
ripe for developers to move in with their high rise, high density,
multi-unit developments too.
* "Ms Hogan said she would sell her property if the government went ahead
with building another two tracks."
Cheap housing near sky rail train stations.
On the other hand, there's speculation that the value of properties in
suburbs near sky rail, but not close enough to be affected, will increase in
value given that traffic is much smoother with the removal of level
* Well, at least they didn't mention bicycles for the faux outrage of the
* I'm looking forward to proposed bike trails running adjacent to the train
lines, but not looking forward to the onslaught of graffiti with the
proposed extended train lines and new open space created by skyrail.
* "the government didn't consider long-term planning" Please show me an
example in the last 30 years when they did!
* Yeah, like how then Liberal Planning Minister Matthew Guy approved the
developers' Evo apartments, which is swamped on every side by the Liberals'
aborted East West Link toll road,
and how Matthew Guy approved so many developers' high rise, high density,
multi-unit apartments in South Yarra,
even though Matthew Guy is now insisting that South Yarra be a major hub of
the Labor's Metro Rail project.
It will cost an extra $1 billion to bulldoze dozens of South Yarra
businesses and hundreds of apartments that Matthew Guy approved as Planning
Minister, and to pay business owners and apartment owners compensation.
"State government leases Evo flats without mentioning east-west link"
(The Age 27 Jan 2014)
"The Napthine government has begun leasing out a luxury apartment complex
that will be ringed by east-west link flyovers, spruiking the properties as
the "ultimate lifestyle experience" with views of native wetlands and
"In September, the state government paid $90 million for 175 apartments in
the Evo complex in Parkville from off-the-plan investors."
"State government plans for the east-west link show that the seven-storey
building will be surrounded by two tollway flyovers, which will meet
CityLink, with apartments overlooking a steady stream of passing traffic."
"In an unusual move, and in what Treasurer Michael O'Brien described as
"unique circumstances", the state government offered to buy out the
purchasers' contracts before settlement."
"The apartments are being advertised online with Noble Knight real estate
agents - but there is no mention of the east-west link or the project's
six-year construction phase."
"One two-bedroom property in the complex, which the state government wants
to lease for $570 a week, is being marketed as the "ultimate lifestyle
experience" with immediate CityLink access."
"Noble Knight has been contacted for comment."
(Typical real estate agents!)
* Skyrail is an ugly, noisy, expensive piece of "engineering" and may yet be
shown to provide a linear hangout for anti social elements.
It should have been done in trenches like Bayswater, Boronia, Blackburn and
Mitcham. Then the Government could have sold the air space over head for
apartments or used it for car parks.
* I think the state government needs to be prepared for a serious barrage of
graffiti - everywhere there's a train station, there's an increase in the
amount of graffiti.
* Different soil structure: those suburbs are all on clay. Also, you can
only build over a tunnel, not over a trench. Last time I looked (last week)
there was nothing over Nunawading station.
Have the "anti-social elements" started hanging out under Skyrail yet?
* I think the graffiti vandals will.
* Honestly, put some thought into your response before hitting the enter
button. You can engineer a solution over a trench without any issue, what
they did re sky rail was engineered in third world countries 20 years ago.
It's only been a few weeks and it will be closed underneath for at least 6
months, give it time, it will happen.
* I suppose the other alternative would be to run six car trains at ten
minute intervals like they do on the Frankston line? Then all you need is
If the trains ran odds and they we would get there quicker which would save
a little on time and rolling stock.
Sorry I forgot this is a Victorian paper.
* Extra frequency: excellent, but we need to extra tracks to do that. The
two tracks were already over-congested.
Gippsland trains (on the same tracks) are normally about an hour apart.
Increased frequency would be greatly appreciated.
* What a complete non-story. If the Level Crossing Removal Authority hadn't
designed the new upgrades with future expansion in mind, the Andrews govt
would be labelled 'short-sighted'.
* It's why every time the Ring Road is widened, a few months later most of
it is torn up again and more lanes added.
That's how the government keeps people employed - by maximising projects and
using taxpayer money inefficiently.
Yes there will be an expansion past Caulfield - but let's see if they do it
the longest most expensive way (extra tracks built separately years apart)
or the most efficient way (two more tracks at the same time(.
* Skyrail was a lame pup from the start. I told everyone that. A rail line,
that was already overcrowded and at capacity, had how many billions spent on
it for two lines when the corridor required at best three lines to
not four (like the Frankston line has). Skyrail will prevent any upgrade to
that line for at least twenty years. Another Labor short term solution that
will be regretted for decades.
* A beat up, an issue, a story about nothing. The Facts mixed with a
sprinkle of opinion:
Melbourne's original rail network dating back perhaps over 100 years
includes large sections of elevated track (i.e. Skysail) including on the
Dandenong, Frankston, Hurstbridge, Reservoir, Lilydale and Broadmeadows
Successive governments from both sides essentially ignored public transport
Successive governments from both sides have "invested" in roads and freeways
in the promise "easing congestion" but studies here and overseas
conclusively show new roads and freeways only encourage drivers thereby
causing any short-term advantage to be lost.
The last Victorian LNP is noted for doing nothing for 4 years apart from
some poor planning decisions around the CBD and Fishermans Bend and on the
eve on an election signed secret contracts to commit Victoria to a multi
billion dollar freeway Infrastructure Australia and the electorate did not
The Andrews Labor government has committed itself to an infrastructure
program of roads and public transport of the likes the state and perhaps the
country hasn't seen and is prepared to put its record to the electorate.
probably be some mistakes but overall the state is humming and no-one can
criticise them for having a good go.
People living along these rail lines critical of the project have been
offered buy outs and where construction has been too close relocation. To
buy into a house backing onto a rail line in a city the size of Melbourne
and never to
expect things to change is, frankly, mind-blowingly unrealistic. Sorry, for
the greater good some people will need to be inconvenienced and if necessary
The Guy opposition here has been playing short-term, narrow and
opportunistic politics. As the former planning minister in the last LNP
government (see above) he must love the fact that he has a government that
doesn't mind being a big target and is getting on with things. Some-one
should however point out he hasn't landed a blow in 31/2 years.
* Andrews is doing what needs to be done, the real point is he is doing it,
not just talking about it. We personally went through more than a year of
pain when Ormond, Mckinnon and Bentleigh crossings were by passed. I assure
you it was worth it.
* Another white elephant Andrews project. Labor have stuffed up
infrastructure across the State.
* Yes he should have done what the last Liberal Government did - nothing
* Dan Andrews is the best Premier for building infrastructure this state has
had since Henry Bolte! Ask the millions of people now not effected by
stoppages at Level Crossings if the want them back?
* I as well as thousands of others was one of those affected and yes I want
them back. I can now make the 900M trip to the supermarket without it being
extended by up to 15 minutes because of a rail crossing.
* I was in Chicago recently. Got the train from the airport, straight into
downtown. Didn't take too long and much of the route was elevated. Can't
recall any level crossings. Life in the big city, I guess.
* "the government didn't consider long-term planning"
Yep, stating what we already knew. Who takes on a major infrastructure
project and doesn't consider the future. The major parties need to stop
trying to score points and put the public first, that is what they are
elected to do. This
should have been a below quad track with sections of tunnel. They have
recently acquired a large swath of land 15m below Yarraville for free to
build a tunnel. No acquisitions required.
* Yes but the rest of the state was not prepared to kick in a billions more
for the benefit of a few. Be thankful that a government has finally removed
two of the worst crossings in the State.
* You are aware that more than a million live in this corridor. hardly a
'few'. Those that use the level crossing are much fewer than those that use
the rail corridor that has now been locked into two tracks when three were
needed from the outset.
* Governments are forever being faced with the problem of how to best spend
tax payers money. Whichever way they go they are critisised. Million or not
the cost of what you are suggesting was prohibitive and would have effected
governments ability to undertake other projects. The crossings were
effecting thousands of motorists every day. They had to go and now they are
gone. My reference to a few was effected residents.
* Quite so. And commenters often forget (or don't know) about the role of
Commonwealth co-funding for State-level large infrastructure projects. And
guess who's been in power at the Federal level lately? NOT a
* Level removal crossings have improved traffic flow, but it came at the
massive cost of the Victorian Labor government selling the revenue
generating, publicly owned asset - Port of Melbourne for about $9.7 billion.
And now that $9.7 billion is all gone - all spent on level crossings
There are other important priorities in Victoria, and I can't believe the
entire $9.7 billion has already been spent, and all on level crossing
* I wouldn't be surprised if there's not a future line item or three in the
transport parts of the State Budget for these future projects. Forward
estimates don't always get publicized, you have to dig deep into the fine
* Or, instead of larger trains, more frequent, smaller trains (or trains of
their current size). More than one way approach any problem, which this
purported transport expert should have considered.
* Yes, but Frequency is a problem that hasn't been solved. The crossing
removal is a benefit for drivers, but you can't get more trains on a
two-track line that is already congested: Pakenham metro trains (which have
Gippsland trains (mostly only one per hour) ; plus the goods trains. On two
tracks. It's the extra tracks that are already badly needed. Station length
could be addressed during those works, or just advise passengers to not exit
from the last carriage.
* Frequency has been addressed. If your schedule doesn't need to allow dead
time for boom gates to open and close, you have more time available to run
* That will work eventually, but first you have to remove all the crossings
on the line. In the meantime, frequency is limited by the crossings that
* Crush-loading is already out of control, so smaller or same size trains
would be a nightmare, even with higher frequency. Having grown up on the
trains in Sydney in the 60s-mid 70s, I've often wondered why Melbourne has
not at least considered double-deckers.
* We did have one on the Ringwood line, maybe twenty years ago. Didn't last
long, might have been in service for a year(?). I wonder what happened to
it, and why that project was not expanded.
* Typical government shenangigans - putting political expediency above
public interest (and public dollars). Libs are no better, eg their last-gasp
East-West link side letter nonsense before being kicked out of office. We
need to stop voting for these idiots - vote Lib/Lab LAST and give the minor
parties a go. They will not be worse than the current mobs.
And of course, the reason we needed Skyrail in the first place is the
political expediency at the federal level to allow ridiculously high
immigration levels fo the last decade or so, at huge cost to our
liveability. Kick out the majors at the next federal election too.
* No the reason we needed Skyrail was because for some unknown reason
Victorian's were prepared to let government after government leave rail
crossings in place rather than tackle the issue decades ago when the cost
would have been a
fraction and the inconvenience much smaller. At least now it's done.
* So how do you account for the blowout in cost which is now documented to
be into the billions??? Again your comments demonstrate that you have
accepted the government's spin uncritically. Those opposed to the Skyrail
opposed to the removal of level crossings!
* The total cost is well under 2 billion, it would have been many multiples
of that if it were sent underground.
* "The total cost is well under 2 billion, it would have been many multiples
of that if it were sent underground."
No, unfortunately, I think Labor blew the entire $9.7 billion from selling
revenue generating, publicly owned Port of Melbourne on level crossing
* I'm seeing this 'kick out the major parties' constantly, which has its
merits in a few senses. However: be careful what you wish for, in that the
minor parties, including the Greens who've been in play longer continuously
than PHON et al, have no experience in the machinery of actually governing!
If you (generic) care to cope with an Italian style system, regardless of
ideological bent, then it'd be even more chaos.
* The other thing, that we already see, is ALP/Liberals govern only to buy
votes in the next election cycle, due to the risk of being thrown out next
time. This forces them into short-term planning. Is there a way of breaking
* "But locals, who endured several months of noisy, 24-hour construction
work to remove the last four of nine level crossings between Caulfield and
Dandenong, are now bracing for more pain."...So What? It's called PROGRESS,
the city is getting bigger, if they don't like it now, move to another
location. People in the inner burbs have had to put up with change for years
* Melbourne is only gettign bigger becaus eof excessive immigration .
Excessive because no one has planed for the numbers of people pouring into
the country. They gravitate to a few large cities causing infrastructure
sprawling nature of Melbourne means that public transport will never solve
the transport issues .It is not process to foul your own home. And that is
what we are doing. Welcome to the Kakistocracy of Australia where the least
* Melbourne is getting bigger because, well, that's what cities do. The
problem is NOT immigration, it is lack of planning, including the utter
neglect of our rail network.
Melbourne has a population of about 27 million, Greater Tokyo has a
population of 34 million, and is one of the most livable cities on the
planet - Mind you they continually expand their infrastructure as their
cities grow, and you can get literally ANYWHERE by an efficient, well run
The notion that we somehow can't accommodate a much larger population is
utterly ludicrous - and also ignores the huge economic power a larger
population base gives, including less reliance on foreign investment to
maintain our standard of living.
* 27 million? I knew we were growing quickly! 22 million must have arrived
over the weekend!
* Fascinating to read that the entire population of Australia resides in
Melbourne. Do you have any other "facts" you'd like to share?
* "They gravitate to a few large cities causing infrastructure problems."
They gravitate to the cities because most of the employment agencies, their
clients and employers
approved to mass import overseas workers under Immigration Minister Peter
Dutton's employment agency and employer labour agreements,
are located in the metropolitan areas of Melbourne and Sydney (especially
retail, cleaning and hospitality) and claim there are local skills shortages
in Melbourne and Sydney, requiring them to import workers from overseas.
List of current labour agreements (Home Affairs website undated):
- Dairy Industry.
- Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA).
- Fast Food Industry.
- Fishing Industry.
- Meat Industry.
- Minister of Religion.
- On-Hire Industry (recruitment / labour hire industry).
- Pork Industry.
- Restaurant (Fine Dining) Industry.
- Snow Sports Industry.
Melbourne's train vandals cop a spray over graffiti
Herald Sun July 2, 2018.
video: 'Rail Hoons' tag Melbourne trains.
GRAFFITI and vandalism -incidents cause an average of 49 delays a month
across -Melbourne's rail network.
But authorities are cracking down - the Herald Sun can reveal that 113
people have been charged with graffiti -offences in the past three years.
Vandals still leave an annual clean-up bill of more than $10 million across
A total of 135 people have been fined and another 139 people cautioned as
part of Operation Deep Clean, launched in 2015.
CRACKDOWN ON OUR MOST WANTED TRAIN VANDALS
ARRESTS OVER MELBOURNE TRAIN GRAFFITI ATTACKS
GRAFFITIED GATEWAY TO MELBOURNE'S SPORTING PRECINCT
Vandals have been tagging trains around Melbourne. Picture: YouTube
Each month, Metro staff have to remove 1500 graffiti tags from stations,
1400 from inside trains and 75 from train exteriors.
Footage of prolific graffiti gangs marking trains across Melbourne has
emerged online. But police and Metro officers are monitoring known offenders
and hot spots.
Extra resources have been added to "break the back" of the graffiti gangs.
Authorities are focusing on the organised gangs rather than youngsters
performing random acts of vandalism.
Metro and Victoria Police have worked to reduce the number of graffiti and
vandalism incidents causing delay.
The average number of -incidents causing delays to services has fallen from
66 a month in 2017 to 49 a month so far this year.
People from overseas who travel to Australia on "spray-cations" are also on
In 2015, German backpacker Peter Lorenzen -appeared in court in Melbourne
accused of vandalising 10 Metro trains.
Vandals uploaded footage of the graffiti incidents to YouTube.
Metro is cataloguing every tag and providing intelligence and CCTV to
He allegedly sprayed graffiti - often "QMS" or "QMS crew" - on moving and
stationary trains around the city.
Superintendent Alison Boyes said police worked with Metro to use the
network's -extensive CCTV system, which boasts thousands of cameras, to
track all offenders.
The stations most commonly targeted are on the Werribee, Frankston,
Craigieburn and Upfield lines, and in the City Loop.
Anthony Fewster, Metro's general manager for safety and security, said more
than 60 graffiti removal specialists were now employed.
Supt Boyes said: "Victoria Police works alongside interstate and
international police and our public transport partners to detect,
investigate and prosecute vandals.
"The Transit Safety Division has officers based in different areas of the
state, who police local train lines, bus and tram routes and transport hubs
in uniform and plain clothes at all times of the day and night."
Police and Metro staff are using the images to find and prosecute the
All these acts of wilful vandalism were filmed and put on YouTube.
Metro's clean-up teams work to have any train sprayed with graffiti back in
service within one day. Up to 12,000m sq of graffiti is removed from train
stations and structures each month.
Metro's security and surveillance team tracks vandals on the network,
cataloguing every tag and providing intelligence and CCTV to police.
When vandals are prosecuted, Metro seeks costs from them in court, to cover
the clean-up bill.
Mr Fewster said: "We spend more than $10 million cleaning graffiti every
year - money better spent improving the network and delivering a -better
service for passengers.
"These criminals aren't just gambling with their lives - they're putting our
staff and passengers in danger and causing disruptions.
"Every train they deface is one less train available to passengers. We work
closely with police to bring vandals to justice and we have a dedicated team
that investigates every incident. Anyone who witnesses this behaviour should
call police or alert our staff -immediately," he said.
MAKE VANDALS CLEAN UP THEIR OWN VILE MESS
NEW DATA SHOWS MELBOURNE'S WORST TRAIN LINES
* Make them pay for the cleanup bill ( go bankrupt see if that helps
)(bankruptcy is like a criminal record ) , never own a car , never be able
to buy a house , live at home with mum and dad for the rest of your adult
life , all
because you are too stupid to achieve anything other than to vandalize a
train , some of these idiots are in their 20s , 30s even , put them in the
can until they can get their parents to pay for the damage .
* sounds like you weren't doing a real good job !
* Singapore has some effective ideas about this sort of thing.
* Why not get these graffiti artists to pay for their clean ups? Hit it
where it hurts.
* Fines and cautions? Wouldn't gaol and community service cleaning up
graffiti be more appropriate?
* I worked as a Security Guard on the trains 13 years ago at Dandenong
Station you will never stop it. Just let them paint them .
* Rattan Cane = No Grafitti. Proven effective.
Ambitious plan to build cable car over Melbourne CBD to reduce congestion
Herald Sun July 2, 2018.
video: Our traffic nightmare
AN AMBITIOUS plan to build an aerial cable car designed to reduce traffic
congestion and boost tourism in Melbourne's CBD has been put to the state
Architect Robert Caulfield has put forward a plan to construct a privately
funded cable car which would travel between Flinders St Station and AAMI
MELBOURNE STILL CAR-DEPENDENT
PUSH FOR ONE LANE EACH WAY IN MELBOURNE CBD
CAR-FREE 'SUPER BLOCKS' PROPOSED
An ambitious plan for a cable car in Melbourne's CBD has been pitched to the
state government. Digitally altered image
He anticipates the plan could take up to 3000 cars off CBD roads each day,
and boost Melbourne's annual tourist spend by $2 million.
The cable car would leave from Flinders St station, travel along Birrarung
Marr and overlook the Yarra River before getting "spectacular" views of the
MCG, AAMI Stadium and sports precinct and finish at a proposed nearby car
Mr Caulfield said he has had positive feedback about the plan, which is
currently before the state government.
* And we couldn't get the Ferris wheel to work for a while.
* MONO = ONE; RAIL = RAIL
* No would end up being an eyesore as was the Monorail to Darling Harbour.
* Just like Sydney's mono-rail...what a good idea that was.. until it
* I Just choked on my own tongue - how to hell does he figure 3000 cars
travel between these 2 landmarks each day!?
What a joke - seriously - slow news day HeraldSun?
* Don't forget to build a cable car in the other direction also. When the
new wave pool, artificial beach is completed at Docklands we need a way to
reach it. Make sure the cabins are large enough to fit surfboards in.
* Is it the first of April?
* A cable car to get you where trains and trams already take you. This is
such a stupid idea and would be a total waste of tax payer / rate payers
* All of our train lines radiate out from the CBD and we need an underground
system that interconnects. For example, reinstate the outer circle (which is
really an inner circle these days). That one's a no brainer. The land is
there and it could go underground via Chadstone to Oakleigh.That would link
Preston to Oakleigh and every line in between. It could even link in to an
airport line eventually.
* Last time I looked there was a perfectly good train from Flinders street
to Richmond which services AAMI and MCG. Maybe it would be a good idea to
restructure Richmond to better save The National Tennis Centre AAMi and MCG
precincts? hoops that would be far too sensible
* One from the burbs to the mcg for the Melbourne supporters.
* A great idea for one reason. Herd all the politicians into the cable car,
send it up, and leave it there!
* Cable cars fail to move the volume of people needed to reduce city
congestion cabins too small, Barcelona's is fine as a tourist viewing tool
but fails to move many quickly, anything in New Zealand is about views up
hills, in Italy, well they rarely are working. Cannot imagine how it would
help other than tourists
* One of the most idiotic things I've heard.
* We already have cable cars and there is not enough of them. Trams
* Actually there are plenty. It's just that the "planners" at Transport for
Victoria are too stupid to see that they are far too small and we need
* Silly idea really! Emergency services would find it extremely difficult to
rescue those trapped when it breaks down as we don't have anything tall
enough to reach.
If you want to move people around - maybe and only say maybe suggest a
* Does the cable car go above the tram and train lines?
* Surely a subway system is what we should be thinking about. Even if it is
20-30 years away.
* Great idea La Paz has 3 or 4 lines going over the city, very easy way to
to travel from one side to the other- views magnificent over this old
* How about moving footpaths as found in most good airports?
* Not for outdoors; lethal when wet. And pedestrians don't all travel in
straight lines A to B.
* Wow! What a great idea which would boost Melbourne's annual tourist spend
by nearly $5500 per day. That's approximately a whopping 55 parking fines.
This sounds that stupid that Dan surely thought it up and he will have it
start in 2040.
* We need a (sing it with me) Monorail!!
* I've seen the monorails of Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook,
and, by gum, it put them on the map!
* Love how they come up with their figures. Why isn't it 3001?
* Struggling to see how it would take 3000 cars per day off the roads.
* People driving around who are scared the contraption might fall upon them.
* How stupid is this idea
* Nah, not going to work, the Uber flights around Melbourne will crash into
this sure as God made little green apples!
* Ugly sky cables and towers surely those inner city greens won't stand for
this visual pollution.
Australians suffering from a 'loneliness crisis' as screen time is blamed
for social disconnection
News Corp Australia Network 2.7.18
video: How to curb your social media addiction.
AUSTRALIANS are suffering from a "loneliness crisis" as we have fewer
friends and less contact with our neighbours than a decade ago.
News Corp Australia can reveal exclusive data that shows just how
disconnected we are from one another and the price we are paying for it.
An OmniPoll survey of 1200 Australians conducted by Martin O'Shannessey has
shown 17 per cent of Australians had no friends they could visit without
invitation when surveyed last month. This is up from just 7 per cent in
MORE: Kids turn violent as parents battle screen addiction
Designer Rachelle Sinclair is grateful for the welcome she receieved when
she moved to Sydney's Marrickville. Picture. Phil Hillyard
The average number of close friends people have has also close to halved in
just 13 years, with those surveyed saying they only have 3.9 close friends
in 2018, compared to the 6.4 close friend average in 2005.
Neighbourly help has also plummeted with 18 per cent of Australians saying
they couldn't reach out to any of their neighbours for assistance in times
of crisis, this has risen from 11 per cent of Australians who said the same
thing in 2005.
Experts say the infiltration of technology into many facets of our lives is
partly to blame for fewer personal connections and deep friendships.
The new findings come as News Corp Australia can also reveal data from
Relationships Australia that shows more men (15 per cent) than women (8 per
cent) reported that they had no close friends outside of their long-term
Women (30 per cent) were more likely than men (19 per cent) to report they
had five or more close friends outside of their relationship.
Alison Brook, national executive officer for Relationships Australia said
Australia was suffering from a "loneliness crisis" .
"As a population Australians are more time poor, now with many households
having all adults in employment with less time for community engagement and
neighbourhood connections," Ms Brook said.
"We are suffering from a loneliness crisis in our community."
Kristy Goodwin, digital expert, said the infiltration of technology into
many facets of our lives was partly to blame for fewer personal connections
and deep friendships.
An increase in screen time is being blamed for the decline in social
So too was a more mobile society, high-density housing and less remaining in
one spot for 50-years, she said.
"We're spending more time on our screens which means there is less time for
social interaction," she said.
"This data is quite striking. We seem to be highly connected digitally but
less connected in real life and people are not prioritising real
relationships. Your online friends are not always your real friends."
Mark McCrindle, CEO of McCrindle Research, said the decrease in meaningful
relationships would have huge implications for mental wellbeing
"At the same time that we've seen the decline in social connection we've
also seen a rise in mental health issues," he said.
"Now we medicalise mental health issues but it used to be that we would
catch up with friends to talk about how we were feeling and we are really
missing out on that."
The decrease in meaningful relationships has huge implications for mental
Mr McCrindle said if we did not do something to change the tide increased
social isolation would be the result.
"We will batten down more and more into our silos and this will worsen."
Shadow Minister for Charities Andrew Leigh, who reported on the earlier
surveys in his book Disconnected, said that the findings were disturbing.
"Since the 1960s, Australia has seen a decline in membership of
organisations such as churches, unions, Scouts, Guides and service clubs.
But these new findings reveal that the same trends are hollowing out our
communities," Dr Leigh
David Chalke, CEO of Australia Scan, said the findings were not cause for
"I don't know that necessarily the past was always that glorious and I think
we are looking back with rose coloured glasses about neighbourly connections
of past," he said.
"Some people prefer to stick to themselves and technology has facilitated
that but I'm not sure it's necessarily a bad thing. People no longer have to
fake it if they don't want to."
Rachelle Sinclair has recently moved to Sydney's Marrickville. Picture. Phil
Jennifer Wilkinson sociologist of friendship at Sydney University said women
were often making more friends at work than men which supported the
Relationships Australia data.
She said the nature of friendships were changing and people were defining
close relationships in different ways these days.
We might not be making friends with our neighbours but we are making friends
in other public situations like at work. The boundaries between the public
and private worlds are changing," Dr Wilkinson said.
New mum Rachelle Sinclair, who runs her design business from her home in
Sydney's Marrickville, says she was grateful her neighbours reached out.
"We're so lucky because we moved in here when I was heavily pregnant and our
neighbours introduced themselves pretty quickly," she said. "I feel like my
neighbourhood is rare, but I know a lot of people in the area
Mernda Rail Extension opening nears as first test train rolls into Mernda
station ahead of completion date
Whittlesea Leader July 2, 2018.
The first test train makes its way to Mernda station. Picture: Darren
THE first train since 1959 has rolled into Mernda Railway Station this
morning as testing of the track begins.
The train arrived in secret at 10.47am after departing from South Morang at
10.35am - making it a 1- minute trip.
The train was part of a number of tests expected to be carried out on the
line today ahead of passenger trains which will roll out next month.
The Leader understands that commuter services will begin on August 26, ahead
of the previously publicised September date.
AUSTRALIAN FIRST FOR RAIL LINE WORKS
ANGER AT MIDDLE GORGE STATION NAME
BEST AND WORST: MELBOURNE'S TRAIN STATIONS RANKED
Workers await the first Mernda test train at South Morang Station. Picture:
The Government has remained tight-lipped about the date the line would open,
but the tip-offs come after Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan
announced buses would replace trains between Clifton Hill and South Morang
from the evening of June 29 to the last service on July 1 so the tracks
could be checked.
A press release from public transport minister Jacinta Allen on June 21
confirmed that the first test train would run to Mernda in July.
The first Mernda test train gets ready to leave South Morang station.
Picture: Darren Peters
Ms Allan said the early trial was made possible because the project was six
months ahead of schedule.
South Morang and Mernda Rail Alliance spokesman Darren Peters said the
opening of the extension would mark 14 years of persistent campaigning by
"This historic moment signals victory for the South Morang and Mernda Rail
Alliance and everyone in the community who supported us in our fight to
bring rail to Mernda, which began in 2009," he said.
The first Mernda test train on its way to Mernda station. Picture: Darren
Yan Yean state Labor MP Danielle Green said Mernda and Doreen residents
would be "delighted" the project was so far ahead of schedule.
"Reaching this landmark moment is a testament to the hard work of our
engineers and construction workers," she said.
The extension would allow an additional 115 services each day to run from
South Morang to Mernda, making room for 115,000 new passengers.
Victorians more worried about crime than commute times, survey finds 2 July
Violence in homes and communities and tougher treatment for criminals are
among the top issues for Victorians according to a new poll of the nation's
The Council for the Economic Development of Australia survey explored issues
that matter to Australians in an effort to understand whether people feel
they are reaping the benefits of decades of prosperity.
Related Article Scared state: Crime looms large but we don't know who's best
to fix it.
Despite Melbourne's growing congestion problems "reduced commuting times"
was found to be one of the least important areas to Victorians even though
they reported taking longer on average to get to work.
But in a finding that will encourage the state Coalition in its law and
order pitch for November's election, the council found crime and punishment
among the top "personal issues" among Victorians polled.
"In the top personal issues, reduced violence in homes and communities rated
higher in Victoria than other states, along with a higher minimum wage,
which suggests that Victorians are more concerned about law and order issues
than other states," the council's chief executive Melinda Cilento said on
But Ms Cilento said Victorians were broadly in line with residents of other
states in their attitudes to other issues.
"The other top personal issues again aligned nationally with reliable, low
cost basic health services, reliable, low cost essential services, access to
stable and affordable housing [and] affordable high quality chronic disease
services rating as of high importance," she said.
According to the council's report, Community pulse 2018: the Economic
Disconnect, the majority of Victorians polled either said they had not
gained personally from the decades of growth or were unsure if they had.
"On the work front, Victorians place greater importance on job training and
development and flexible conditions," Ms Cilento said.
"Victorians are spending slightly longer commuting when compared with the
national results but interestingly rated commuting times as unimportant.
"Perhaps major infrastructure works under way are helping reduce concern.
"In the workplace, Victorians are more optimistic about new technology in
their job and less concerned technology will replace them when compared to
the national results."
* The people of Melbourne are sick of the graffiti, litter, overcrowding,
crime, bickering comatose politicians, multitribalism and violent home
invasions---Melbourne was once so pleasant.
Andrew Constance's $3 billion train backflip 2 July 2018
Bill Shorten's pledge to spend $3 billion on a Metro West line between
Parramatta and central Sydney has triggered an about-face from Transport
Minister Andrew Constance, who has stopped calling on the federal government
to help fund
Mr Constance has consistently appealed for federal funds to pay for the rail
line, which is badly needed to alleviate pressure on Sydney's over-crowded
western rail line.
NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance. Photo: Janie Barrett
"Canberra need to seriously start to look at this project to make this work"
Mr Constance told the Herald on Thursday. "If I can get Canberra also
interested in this it has the potential to be even more fantastic," he said
of a rail
project he has championed.
But after Labor leader Mr Shorten promised $3 billion for the project on
Sunday, Mr Constance, while alongside his federal Coalition counterpart Paul
Fletcher on Monday, repeatedly declined to advocate for funds.
"I'm very happy with the way in which the national government is investing
in infrastructure in this state," Mr Constance said.
Mr Constance and Mr Fletcher instead criticised Mr Shorten, and NSW Labor's
"You're untrustworthy when it comes to these dollars because your state
counterparts when they were last in office promised all of these projects
and didn't deliver a thing," Mr Constance said.
Bill Shorten put the internal chatter over his leadership behind him to
deliver a rousing battle cry for the next election.
video: Shorten pitches to voters at NSW Labor Conference.
Under Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the federal government has pledged no
funds for Metro West.
It has committed an unspecified amount of money to a rail line connecting to
an airport at Badgerys Creek. Mr Fletcher said the federal government had
committed to 50/50 funding with the NSW government a rail line to the
airport, to be running when the airport opened.
As well as promising $3 billion for the Metro West project, Mr Shorten also
promised $3 billion for rail links around the airport, and $300 million for
commuter car parks near rail stations.
Related Article: Bill Shorten's $6 billion election promise to western
Mr Fletcher and Mr Constance said Mr Shorten's $3 billion promise was not
enough to build the volume of rail lines he promised around western Sydney
airport. Federal Labor's transport spokesman, Anthony Albanese, said "of
funding promise was meant as a contribution, not to cover entire project
"What we have is $6.3 billion more on the table than the federal government
and if the NSW government were serious about the interests of western Sydney
they'd be welcoming the funding announcement and arguing that the
should match it," Mr Albanese said.
The Turnbull government could yet commit funds to a West Metro line before a
federal election. If it did, it would please Mr Constance, who has in the
past argued Metro West was the city's highest transport priority.
"If you feed into the Western Line airport commuters and any growth along
that corridor, you're going to end up in strife," Mr Constance told the
Herald last year, citing the the risk that building a rail line to a
airport ahead of a Metro West line would overwhelm the existing rail
And in an interview with the Herald on Thursday, Mr Constance said federal
government funding could help add "passing loops" to enable faster journeys
between the city and Parramatta. "I want Canberra to come to the table so we
consider it," he said.
But on Monday, he said the federal government's $10 billion spending on
infrastructure in western Sydney - which includes the airport, as well as
more than $3 billion in roads around the airport - allowed the state
government to plan
and build Metro West. The project is scheduled to be finished late next
"Paul's right," Mr Constance said of Mr Fletcher. "Look at what they are
investing across the board, in the knowledge that we have the capacity as a
result of that to get on and build Metro."
The West Metro line would run from Westmead through Parramatta, Sydney
Olympic Park and the Bays precinct around Rozelle. It will also include some
interim stops, potentially connecting to the existing Northern Line, at
Rydalmere, and at Kings Bay or Five Dock.
Mr Shorten campaigned on the Central Coast on Monday, touting his promised
funding for commuter car parking.
Related Article: West Metro deserves bipartisan support
Parents, stop driving your kids to school. Mon.2.7.18.
video: Carrie Bickmore is no helicopter parent.
MY fellow commuters, join with me in celebrating the school holidays.
In fact, let joy be unconfined.
This is because without our roads at peak hour being further clogged by
vehicles containing one adult with apparently nothing better to do than
drive their 1.8 bubble-wrapped, almost entirely sedentary children to
school, our travel
times are, for the time being at least, slashed.
For example, instead of my 15km commute to work by public transport taking
up to 1.5 hours, yesterday via combination of walking 2.5km and catching a
bus that takes the Legacy Way toll tunnel (never busy, by the way, thanks to
extortionate fees now being levied), I strode through the portal here,
throwing up a cheerful arm in greeting, exactly 49 minutes after having left
The bus, which arrived precisely on time, took exactly five minutes to
traverse the first 3km which usually takes 20-30 minutes during school
It's been the same driving in. Instead of the excruciating bumper to bumper
hour or more that results in me slouching into work with a thunderous
demeanour, it takes about 30 minutes and I skip over the threshold
emotionally fresh as a daisy.
Friday afternoon traffic pictured entering the M3. How many of these cars
contain one adult and a handful of lazy, overindulged kids? (Pic: Josh
There's something confounding about this school term road chaos versus
school holiday traffic tranquillity phenomenon.
Either a great many child-driving parents can afford not to work, so they're
only to be seen on the morning peak hour road during school term. (Maybe
they're married to QCs or immunologists, which also explains the Humvees
causing extra traffic chaos near some of the more expensive private
schools.) Or one or both parent/s have somehow negotiated with their
employer 12+ weeks annual leave.
The latter is, of course, the stuff of fairy tales though I'm not sure if
the stats shed much more light on any of this.
The ABS in December said, as at June 2017, both parents work in 64 per cent
of couple families with children (up from 59 per cent a decade ago, just so
Couple families with one parent working full-time and the other part-time
are the most common at 35 per cent. In 25 per cent of couple families both
parents work full-time.
Single parents, of course, have few choices and their children, as my three
sons would no doubt sourly concur, have even fewer.
Working full-time and only just staying financially afloat, there was no
question I could take off anything remotely approaching the quantity of
school holiday weeks and so, to save on the cost of vacation care, the boys
found themselves packed off to my mother's where they could be regularly
admonished for any remotely rough play inside, or even talking or laughing
above the level of a murmur . and if they attempted any of the same on the
inviting lawn out the front in case it "annoyed the neighbours". (Luckily a
nearby park provided the perfect venue to run and wrestle off all the energy
and resentment at the top of their lungs.)
Students, parents and a couple of happy dogs ride the "walking bus" to
Brighton Beach Primary School in Victoria. (Pic: Penny Stephens)
But, in any event, in term time, as soon as the oldest approached being big
enough to wrangle the youngest, I cut 'em loose and it was public transport
and/or walking all the way for them, something I factored in when choosing
schools and where to live.
Hard data on how many of us drive our kids to school seems scant but for a
Heart Foundation LiveLighter campaign survey last year, more than
three-quarters of the more than 2000 grown up participants admitted guilt.
Yes, yes, they knew their kids should probably walk, cycle or catch public
transport but it was just more convenient and less of a worry to drive their
little darlings . though that should read plump little darlings because we
all know the health stats show one quarter of children are overweight or
Of course, back in the day, very few kids were driven to school. In my neck
of the woods we got there via a combination of buses and walking - from
about Grade 3 I did this on my own, rain hail or shine.
Mum and Dad both worked full-time but neither used the Kingswood to get to
and from work. For a start Mum never had a licence and Dad certainly wasn't
going to use it to drive me to school or anywhere really, even if he'd had
the time and inclination, which he didn't.
If I ever complained I'd merely be told how Mum and her brother had to cycle
500 miles to school through blizzards so "blah, blah, blah you should
consider yourself lucky".
But at least someone is trying to do something here about winkling parents
out from behind their peak hour steering wheels. I'm talking about the
Brisbane City Council who should get some credit. Not for contributing to
the congestion in the first place by allowing rampant high density
development without appropriate transport infrastructure in place, which
I've whinged about before. No, for its Active School Transport program that
this year has 46 primary schools signed up to encourage parents to "ditch
the car" and get their kids on public transport, or walking or riding a bike
"One in every two students at participating schools are now actively
travelling to schools, which is double the Queensland average," a spokesman
I figure the key to my and my fellow workers' ongoing heightened commuting
pleasure lies in getting not just all primaries everywhere signing up to
this or similar programs, but all high schools whose indolent adolescents
could do, not just with a bit of exercise, but also a good dose of
self-reliance and responsibility.
And my message to parents devoted to driving? Please, just park it.
Margaret Wenham is a Courier-Mail columnist.