Fw: Thurs.29.11.18 daily digest.
  Roderick Smith

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Subject: Thurs.29.11.18 daily digest.

Thurs.29.11.18 Metro Twitter.
7.59 Buses are replacing trains Stony Point - Frankston due to a faulty train.  Extended journey time of approx. 25 minutes.  Anticipate line suspension until at least 13.00.
- 9.34 Extended journey time of approx. 25 minutes.
- 12.33 Trains will resume.  [when?]

Melbourne Express, Thursday, November 29, 2018
The 7.26 Glen Waverley to Flinders Street has been cancelled (a faulty train).
The 7.55 Stony Point to Frankston has been cancelled. A replacement bus will run.

First-time MP given high stakes public transport portfolio 29 November 2018..
A first-time MP has been handed the highly challenging public transport ministry as Premier Daniel Andrews unveils his new cabinet.
Newly elected Williamstown MP Melissa Horne was given the high stakes portfolio while former health minister Jill Hennessy was promoted to attorney-general.
Premier Daniel Andrews (centre) with new members of his ministry - Jaclyn Symes, Gabrielle Williams, Melissa Horne and Adem Somyurek.Credit:Eddie Jim
Ms Horne, a former executive with Victoria's Level Crossing Removal Authority, told reporters said she was surprised to be called up to the ministry and it would be a steep learning curve.
“It is incredibly exciting and I look forward to every single day,” she said.
Ms Hennessy is Labor's first female attorney-general, and the first woman to do the job since the Kennett government's Jan Wade had the portfolio in the 1990s.
She will also be able to draw on skills developed in a previous career.
“I’m a former lawyer,” she said. “While I’ve had a fantastic time doing health and ambulance services I’m looking forward to new challenges.”
Earlier this week, Mr Andrews announced his new frontbench would be made up of 50 per cent women for the first time.
The government’s massive infrastructure agenda will continue to be overseen by Jacinta Allan, who unlike many of her recent predecessors on both sides of the house emerged largely unscathed from the public transport portfolio. She will now be the minister for transport infrastructure.
She also remains leader of the lower house.
However, the promotion of former upper house whip Jaclyn Symes to regional development, agriculture and resources portfolios hinges upon her being elected to the upper house.
She said her re-election was looking “reasonably positive but I’m not going to get ahead of myself”.
Ms Symes said she had expected a close contest. “It’s always challenging for us to make sure we’re appealing to everyone up there,” she said.
There will be an all-female transport team, with Jaala Pulford becoming roads minister.
Former attorney-general Martin Pakula takes on the jobs, innovation, trade, tourism, sport, major events portfolios and retains racing.
Lisa Neville remains police minister, as well as keeping her portfolio of water.
And Lily D'Ambrosio remains energy, environment and climate change minister, but will also take on the newly created ministry for solar homes.
The new cabinet also sees the return of Adem Somyurek, who controversially quit in 2015 after a former Office of Police Integrity chief found he had bullied his chief of staff, Dimity Paul.
Mr Somyurek will become minister for local government and return to the portfolio he lost in 2015, small business.
Planning Minister Richard Wynne will retain his planning portfolio, but adds to it housing and multicultural affairs.
Health will now be taken by Jenny Mikakos, who previously had responsibility for youth affairs and families.
Martin Foley who had housing as well as the large workload of four other portfolios in the previous government will now have three ministries: mental health, equality and creative industries (the arts).
Mr Foley's other portfolio, disability and ageing, will now belong to former roads minister Luke Donnellan. He will also be minister for child protection.
Tim Pallas remains treasurer, while former finance minister Robin Scott becomes his assistant treasurer, while also taking on the veterans affairs portfolio held by ex-minister John Eren.
James Merlino keeps education, while Gayle Tierney remains training and skills minister, and also takes on higher education and responsibility for Victoria's TAFE system.
And Gavin Jennings, the government's upper house leader, stays special minister of state but also adds the new portfolio of priority precincts to his responsibilities, whilst also taking on Aboriginal affairs.
While Marlene Kairouz loses local government, she retains consumer affairs, gaming and liquor regulation.
•Jaclyn Symes (dependent on vote count)
•Melissa Horne
•Adem Somyurek
•Gabrielle Williams
•Priority precincts (Gavin Jennings)
•Economic development (Tim Pallas)
•Transport infrastructure (Jacinta Allan)
•Crime prevention (Ben Carroll)
•Victim support (Ben Carroll)
•Solar homes (Lily D'Ambrosio)
•Carers (Luke Donnellan)
•Workplace safety (Jill Hennessy)
•Freight (Jaala Pulford)
•Fishing and boating (Jaala Pulford)
•Higher education (Gayle Tierney)
•John Eren
•Natalie Hutchins
•Philip Dalidakis
•International education
•Major projects
•Families and children
Related Article Labor makes history with first cabinet that is 50 per cent women.
* Will Minister Horne extend ANY tram routes like 58 that Hadfield Glenroy & Pascoe Vale residents have been waiting for since 1915 ?
Internal warning two years ago that Sydney light rail at serious risk 29 November 2018.
The state government was warned two years ago by an independent report that Sydney’s light rail line was likely to open late and was at risk of running over budget unless immediate fixes were made.
The damning report – marked "sensitive NSW Cabinet" – slapped a “weak” rating on the project’s value for money, service delivery, risk management and governance.
Video Light rail could be delayed beyond May 2020.
Acciona Australia admits there is a risk of further delays to the CBD and East Light Rail project due to work that has to be done by Ausgrid.
The independent report by Infrastructure NSW in November 2016 for the state’s transport agency was finally released on Thursday, after almost two years of Opposition attempts for it to be made public.
“The project is faced with significant material delay,” the report said.
“In the absence of immediate remediation measures, the completion of project is highly unlikely to be achieved to either time or budget.”
It was not until April this year that the government conceded publicly that the project was likely to be opening later than its original date of March 2019.
The light rail project has been marred by repeated delays, cost blowouts and legal disputes.
The report's release came as Spanish contractor Acciona warned on Thursday of a risk the completion could be even later than the most recent opening date of May 2020, and estimated it stands to lose $1 billion on the project, placing the blame squarely with the state's transport agency.
Acciona also told a parliamentary inquiry on Thursday that it would have not signed the construction contract for the 12-kilometre line if it had received guidelines from power company Ausgrid about underground cables beforehand which were described as a "crap the pants" document.
Acciona Infrastructure Australia managing director Bede Noonan said there was a risk the project could be later than its latest formal date for completion of May 2020 – which is 14 months later than originally planned – due to work by Ausgrid that it had no control over.
"There is a risk that it could be later than May 2020. There are a range of operations that need to occur to get completion of the project," he told the inquiry. "It is absolutely not possible for any contractor to achieve first quarter [of next year]."
Overhead power lines on Anzac Parade at Kingsford and Kensington need to be taken down to allow Acciona to complete civil construction of the line.
Mr Noonan cited as an example of the challenges a "significant failure" on Tuesday night when Ausgrid was due to carry out work on Anzac Parade but the power company's staff could not do so because they turned up without planning permits.
"We are unable to force them to do anything. This failure of which was Tuesday of this week was planned three months ago," he said. "We have no idea when Ausgrid are going to be able to come back. It is very disappointing. I am sure it's not deliberate."
Acciona is suing the state's transport agency for $1.1 billion for allegedly failing to reveal that it had not secured the agreement of Ausgrid on how crucial cables under the route should be handled.
The prospect of Acciona seeking to recoup the additional expense could push the final cost to the state beyond $3 billion. It emerged from a report by the Auditor-General this week that Transport for NSW is in the process of preparing a revised final cost for the project.
Mr Noonan told the inquiry it was a fact that Transport for NSW had in its possession an "extremely important document" known as the Ausgrid guidelines in early February 2015.
But the agency did not provide them to the consortium – of which Acciona is a partner – until February 27, 2015, after the final contract had been signed, which Mr Noonan described as a "very significant mistake" by Transport for NSW.
"Receiving these Ausgrid guidelines after contract signing was like Transport for NSW dropping a bomb on us," he said. "Our head of utilities who attended all of the pre-contract workshops ... wrote in an email in March 2015 that the guidelines are a 'crap the pants' document."
Mr Noonan said Acciona would not have signed the contract to build the line if its consortium had received the Ausgrid guidelines beforehand.
The effect of withholding the guidelines was to render everything agreed and discussed during tender process "completely null and void", he said.
But Transport for NSW secretary Rodd Staples disputed the Acciona chief's comments to the inquiry, saying the contractor had signed an amended deed about a month after receiving the Ausgrid guidelines in February 2015, and had always been aware of the risks from the utilities.
"Ultimately it is going to have to be the court that will have to determine the differences," he said. "It is an extremely unusual circumstance that we have here."
While the state's budget for the project remained $2.1 billion, Mr Staples said the agency had "indicated that it is likely to change". However, the final cost would not be known until both the court case and claims over modifications were concluded.
Mr Staples also said the agency's latest estimate was for the line to be completed in March 2020, and there was a change parts of it could be opened before then.
Earlier, Mr Noonan said the company stood to lose in the order of $1 billion from the project because of the major challenges posed by the underground cables it claimed it had not been made aware of, as well as Transport for NSW's many later modifications to the scope of the project.
"We had very little success in reaching agreement with Transport for NSW as to the value of all of the modifications," he said.
As a result of that lack of progress, Mr Noonan said Acciona had successfully claimed $100 million in costs under the Security of Payments Act for the modifications from the ALTRAC consortium, which is charged with the overall delivery of the project.
"We had three Security of Payments claims in January, February and March of this year," he said. "As a contractor, we can only claim against our client, ALTRAC [under the Security of Payments Act]."
ALTRAC has decided against pursuing the government for the costs from the modifications to the project, such as changes to stops and five changes to a substation at Moore Park, he said.
Related Article Footage shows Sydney light rail project worker joking, tossing human bones.
Related Article Auditor-General expects Sydney's light rail to blow budget - again.
Related Article Clear out of senior bureaucrats overseeing Sydney light rail project.
Related Article 'On brink of ruin': Light rail inquiry hears financial, personal toll.
* Disasters wherever COALition is in govt. The best economic managers on the planet! ROFL.

Crafty commuters exploiting Opal loophole cost government $8m.  29 November 2018. 151 comments.
The state government has vowed to crack down on an Opal card loophole that cuts the cost of travel to the airport train stations by allowing savvy passengers to tap off with a negative balance.
Figures released on Wednesday show the cumulative amount of revenue lost has hit $7.8 million since Opal was introduced, with the total almost doubling in the past year alone.
As long as a passenger has the minimum balance on an unregistered Opal card to tap on, they can complete the journey and tap off with a negative balance.Credit:Janie Barrett
Since 2015, the NSW Audit Office has been reporting the total amount owed on unregistered Opal cards with a negative balance.
In 2017-18, the number of Opal cards with negative balances spiked from more than 776,000 to 1.1 million, with $3.8 million in lost revenue, for a total of $7.8 million since Opal was introduced.
But despite repeated recommendations, the government has ignored the advice and failed to close the loophole.
Transport for NSW secretary Rodd Staples said the department was aware of the loophole and promised a crackdown "in the coming months".
"It’s not fair for the vast majority of customers who do the right thing which is why the government is taking action," Mr Staples said in a statement.
"We are currently working with Airport Link on a solution that will change the operation of the Opal gates so they remain closed if a customer does not have enough money to cover the correct cost of their fare."
Alarmingly for the government, the average amount owing on each card ballooned to $11.76, indicating an increasing proportion of commuters exploiting the loophole at the airport train stations.
One commuter, who asked not to be named, told the Herald the loophole required "a bit of planning".
"I've gone into negative before. More than a few cents, definitely," the commuter said.
"I've known that it exists for a while. When Opal came in it was a rhetoric from the transport minister at the time that there's loopholes and we encourage people to take advantage of them when they find them."
Related Article Credit card payments extended to Sydney's trains, but users miss out on Opal benefits.
The maximum amount that an Opal card could go into negative balance is almost $20.
A passenger starting their journey at Gosford, for example, would need the minimum balance of $3.54 for a peak fare. If that passenger travelled to Domestic Airport station, a fare that costs $22.99, they would tap off at -$19.45.
Under the current system, a passenger only requires the minimum fare to successfully tap on and off, no matter how far they travel.
In September, Transport Minister Andrew Constance ruled out introducing a $10 fee for new Opal cards after the Herald obtained leaked documents revealing the strategy.
In 2014, then transport minister Gladys Berejiklian encouraged people to "find the savings" and "beat the system".
Labor has announced it would cut the airport station access fees to $5 (instead of $14.30) if it is elected in March.
Related Article 'Transport mess': Passengers at one Sydney station nearly double in three years.

Brisbane has Australia's worst capital city public transport 29 November 2018.
Only 12 per cent of Brisbane homes have access to a bus or train stop with services running at least every half hour - the worst of all Australian capital cities.
Compounding the problem, only 61 per cent of Brisbane homes have a public transport stop within 400 metres - far below the 90 per cent state target.
The CBD is clogged with buses but most Brisbane residents aren't so lucky.Credit:Fairfax Media.
By contrast, more than 30 per cent of Sydney and Melbourne homes are close to a stop with half-hourly services.
Brisbane is also falling behind in developing walkable communities, particularly in outer suburban areas.
The city's public transport challenges are detailed in a new report from RMIT’s Centre for Urban Research, Creating Liveable Cities in Australia.
Report lead author Dr Lucy Gunn said Brisbane’s transport infrastructure was lagging behind.
“Public transport is a facilitator to opportunity. It opens up people’s lives to employment, education and recreational activities like going to the rugby or the arts centre,” Dr Gunn said.
“Brisbane’s public transport infrastructure is not connected well to people’s everyday needs and activities.
“This means most people don't have a ‘turn up and go’ service, where you don’t need a timetable to plan your journey.”
Only 5 per cent of Brisbane’s working population walked or cycled to work - and only 14 per cent used public transport.
A liveable city was defined as a safe, attractive, socially cohesive place with affordable housing linked to cultural centres, shops and work by public transport, walking and cycling infrastructure.
The report measured the state government’s policies for making Brisbane a liveable city, finding some measures were improving but others were falling.
Almost the entire Brisbane population lives within 2.5 kilometres of a public open space larger than five hectares - but only 65 per cent of homes are within 400 metres of a park larger than half a hectare, below the 90 per cent target.
The report recommended Brisbane be future-proofed through “integrated, evidence-informed” transport, land use and infrastructure planning.
The report also recommended creating walkable neighbourhoods “as the foundation of a liveable city”.
Housing affordability has also worsened over five years as 37 per cent of Brisbane households are now considered to be in housing stress.
The authors recommended the state government set “ambitious” targets in liveability sectors, paying particular attention to minimum housing densities in urban and suburban neighbourhoods.
In suburbs, housing density should be 25 dwellings per hectare, increasing that target around public transport centres and community centres, and a minimum of at least 30 dwellings per hectare in urban neighbourhoods.
Larger open public spaces and infrastructure encouraging more walking and cycling were both recommended.
“If Australia’s population is going to potentially spill into cities like Brisbane, now is the time to start future-proofing to support population growth and avoid problems such as heavy transport and traffic congestion that bigger cities like Melbourne and Sydney are currently facing,” Dr Gunn said.
* The inner suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne are far more densely packed than in Brisbane. During the second half of the 19th Century large areas of terraced and close-detached houses were built within walking distance of the CBDs of these Southern capitals, and later serviced by trams.
This style of housing was basically outlawed in Brisbane by the Undue Subdivision of Land Prevention Act of 1885 to prevent the formation of slums and the risk of epidemics such as Typhoid and even Bubonic Plague in our subtropical  climate.  The Act set minimum street frontages of 10.05 metres, which effectively stopped close development and terraces in particular. Although the Act was eventually repealed in the 1920s it left Brisbane as the least dense and most spread-out city in Australia. There are some historic areas such as Spring Hill and Petrie Terrace where you can still see the previous dense layout and even the odd terrace, but these are few and far between.
We still suffer from this low density with the extra expenses of providing road and footpath infrastructure, electricity distribution, water and sewerage (much of Brisbane didn't get sewered until the 1970s). And of course the difficulty of providing public transport.
* Time to play Pass the Blame.  Brisbane Transport runs the services/routes/frequencies that it wants to. Some of these routes use the busways - good stuff. Some connect with rail - again, good stuff. But many meander through suburbs with only a few people on each service. The State government pays Brisbane City Council to do this.
If you live within an inner ring, you'll have access to a range of services - bus, train, ferry and soon a Metro (coincidentally[!] the majority of bicycle infrastructure is in this magic perimeter). Outside of that ring and you've problems my friend. A half hourly service? In your dreams. A mere 400 metres to a stop? A likely story.
The inner ring seems relatively well-, or perhaps over-, serviced.
* As the "Metro" is just buses with the word metro on the side replacing the current services that hardly counts. But it does make a nice artists impression.
* Since moving to Brisbane, its nothing but disappointment. Not enough libraries, not enough parks.
Roads are much smaller and foot paths are scarce. Specially newly establishing housing states have tiny noodle like roads with out foot paths and councils are uninterested in fixing minor issues that are reported by residents..
* One thing I will say about Brisbane is that it is a great city to use alternative (non-standard - think outside the square) transport (Cycle, Uber, Scooter, electric skateboard, rollerblades and rollerskates, etc) especially along the Brisbane River. We have sunny warm weather for so much of the year compared to Australia's southern cities! Why wouldn't you want to walk, rollerblade, rollerskate or cycle?! Addresses the obesity issue too. I'm looking forward to the Kingsford Smith Dive cycleway being finished around Christmas! It will be perfect for inline skating from Portside all the way to Newstead.
* Alarming news from an interesting report. As a Brisbane resident I had suspected this but had no evidence. There has been little investment in extension of the public transport here except too duplicate existing links in an overused narrow train and bus corridor. Most of the City budget has seemed to have gone to reducing road congestion with road widening, tunnels and bridges that would probably have been unnecessary with adequate public transport. The aversion to public transport seems predicated on the assumption that it is wanted only by a minority of proles and they have been without a political voice. We need an underground railway system as planned for Melbourne and an inner circle underground railway as an adequate hub for growth of the City beyond the next election.
* Broken record. 2013 Translink GoBus network was canned by current council.. Would have SIGNIFICANTLY increased the number of high frequency services in Brisbane and reduced duplication. BCC just did nothing effectively. On top of that the review also ratified super stops in city. Still much needed today. Mish mash right now. Think how hard it would be for a tourist?
* In the 1960's 80% of Brisbane's population lived within walking distance of a tram or train line. Trams ran at 6min intervals at peak time. A successful transit system relies on access and frequency. You ought to be able to walk to a stop, without a timetable and not have to wait too long. We had this in Brisbane. Then we turned to cars.
The car is the least space efficient form of transport, and as we are finding the comon thing that defines cities around the world is lack of land area. As one planner put it using cars in a city is like asking how many elephants can you fit into a wine glass! In order to ensure transit works you need to place users and destinations close to it. This is vital, it makes corridors where those who don't wish to own a car can live (each car costs the average family $8-10,000 per year in Brisbane!) and leaves traditional housing and parts in those areas away from transit.
Frequent transit on the world stage is a service every 15 mins or less (not 30 mins as stated in the article). Vancouver set a target of 50% of residents living within walking distance to a frequent 15 min service by 2020, they have already passed that benchmark. In my area in the inner suburbs a recent development of 40+ townhouses on a former park and sporting ground is 1km from bus stops. Frankly it should NEVER have been approved. Meanwhile on the main bus route houses are unkept and low density. There is no chance of a vibrant walkable community while planning allows this.
The article notes that 40% or residents are under housing affordability stress. The cost of keeping 2 cars is no small part of this. A $500,000 mortgage may cost $30,000 per year to service, the average 2 car household spend a further $18,000 on car use! Removing the need for one of those cars and moving to transit ($4000 is generous per year cost) would put $5,000 into the pockets of those households!
We have spent over $15B on road upgrades in the SE over the 10 year period. Urban dead spots have been created (look around as you drive you will see them next to bust roads), valuable land used up, and there has been no change to congestion. A similar expenditure on Transit and better planning controls would have created a vastly better, more vibrant and livable city for all! To maintain current levels of road congestion I would guess $60B will need to be spent over the next 20 years, are roads for cars really what we want to spend our money on?
* When the first train line was built in the late 1800's from Toowoomba to Brisbane, a narrow gauge was selected because of cost. In contrast, both Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales adopted standard gauge railways.. This decision still curses Queensland today. Today, if you want to travel from Brisbane to Sydney by train, there is one service, the 6AM from Roma Street. It departs before suburban trains arrive!
Queensland has one single track narrow gauge railway line servicing the entire Eastern Seaboard from Brisbane to Cairns, and are still battling to fund a duplication of railway line from Beerburrum to Gympie. In the meantime, the Bruce Highway has billions thrown at it, and all it does is create more congestion.
In recent years the Newman Government crowed that they had stitched up a really cheap deal to provide new suburban trains. Subsequently, it was found they did not fit the platforms or the tunnels because they were too big. Why? The carriages and trains sets were designed from the Victorian and South Australian train designs.
The Cross River Rail project is the correct way to go, but it is only a start. The whole Queensland rail system needs to be brought up to world standards if Queensland is ever to be on a par with New South Wales and Victoria.
* 1: Melbourne suburban rail is not standard gauge.
2: Tokyo, Osaka, Sapporo and Taipei suburban railways are all the same gauge as Brisbane as is Perth.
3: NSW has one single track standard gauge railway line servicing the entire Eastern Seaboard from north of Newcastle to Brisbane.
* I'm not a major fan of Brisbane public transport, but I have to call these stats out for what they are - wrong. I find it very hard to believe that only one in eight homes inside the BCC boundary have access to public transport. All of the Brisbane suburbs that I can think of would have decent access.
* My nearest, and only walkable bus stops at Grange are operated hourly, or once daily (yes that is correct!). Other stops in the area are not walkable in 5 mins (10-15 min walk). To get to my office at Albion, 4.5km away, on Public Transport I would need to catch a bus to the city and out again. If I happened to time my arrival at the bus stop perfectly for the hourly departure (allowing 6 min for early departure or 20min for late departure, and this happens frequently) it would take around 45 minutes, assuming the connection is not early or late also. I can walk that far in that time! An hourly service to the city is also too infrequent for confident use. So while a bus stop is close to my house, is it useful? NO!
Secondly there are a myriad of buses that go close-ish to my house (10min walk away). Each follows a slightly different route, and each stops at slightly different stops. If I happen to jump on the wrong one my walk time is vastly increased. Do all these buses provide efficient service to the area? No! Have you ever seen "bus-trains" on the major roads, up to 5-7 buses (usually half full and sometime the same route number) all following along after one another on the same trunk route? The myriad of routes that go from slightly different end points to the city cause this. It is a horrendously inefficient system. A feeder line with larger buses ever 5-10 mins with "crosstown" feeder routes would be far better and more frequent for little to no cost. The cross town routes would provide services that do not go to the city, for example from Ferny Hills to Eagle Farm along Stafford Rd. If you want to get to the city, swap at city bound trunks on South Pine Rd, Webster Rd, Gympie Rd or Sandgate Rd. This is how other modern systems world wide work. Combined with a plan to house 50% of the residents along these sorts of trunk routes Vancouver buses carry 4 times the number of passengers per year as BCC buses! The economics of this surely don't need explanation.
* Unless you live near the river basically you are at a disadvantage. I never use the train in Brisbane as its unreliable and a bus on weekdays not weekends as my service is halted then...why? It seems public transport in Qld must always  pay its way regardless so services like weekends are non existant...pretty pathetic really.
* It's sad that it's such a car centered city. If the true cost of automobile transport was passed on, it would show that public transport and active transport are much better options but all tax payers continue to subsidise motorists. Until that changes, we will continue to see low usage of other forms of transport, increased congestion and higher pollution.
* You mean 30 years of near one party rule hasn't delivered?  Say it isn't so!
* Looks like the vast majority of Brisbane homes are over valued then. My regional city has no trains but great buses ( incl one to nationally recognised great beach town) with house prices half of Brisbane.
* You forgot to mention... public transport is generally only an option if you're heading in a direct line towards or away from the city.
It doesn't matter how close or frequent the public transpot is... if you want to go across one or two suburbs, it'd be quicker to walk!
* stop spending money on roads going into the city unless it's actually maintenance and start spending the money on an undergound rail system.
Even the money spent on ridiculous road tunnels that are now owned by foreign companies would have been better served making an underground rail system.
Rapid unregulated growth with poor planning outcomes. Corridors should be set aside for future growth now and the land bought when it's available rather than paying through the nose and a lengthy and costly resumption process..
Quirk would rather spend a kings ransom on Kingsford Smith Drive as an ego building process rather than fixing a whole lot of other issues that a cheaper option could have done
* In greater Brisbane, some outer areas such as parts of the Caboolture/Morayfield area don't even have buses that start until after 7:30am. This makes commuting difficult.
* Makes you wonder why people pay high prices for real estate there then.
* The current State Govt can rip out version 7,835,764,379 of the "Cross Rover Rail is going to fix everything Press Statement".....not wanting people to ask....where is the underground Metro system long overdue throughout the inner CBD and suburbs of Brisbane? Not to mention, that in almost now 2019, you still cannot catch a highER-speed train to Toowoomba, the Sunshine Coast proper or the Gold Coast quickly, but half that trip is on 100yr old suburban lines to  Beenleigh. We're a laughing stock.
* Brissie is flat city. Any attempt to densify neighborhoods is met with fierce opposition that you echo in this news outlet. I mean residents cannot have it both ways: preserved backyards inner city and sprawling burbs served by buses. Burbs are spread too thin to warrant mass transit systems. It's urban 101. So stop dreaming and hop in your car.
* But, but, without confected outrage; what would media have to report on? Actual news?
* Agree, there is a conflict here. The average density of a suburb is 15 dwellings per ha and they are proposing 25 to 30 dwellings per ha here. So you can see the usual conflict points here already.
However in defence of the low density proponents. Increased density doesn't automatically result in a PT service, or even an increase in the frequency of existing PT service. They should, but one does not automatically follow the other. This is often a squeaky wheel exercise that is brought about through political and cost pressure, rather than a rational roll out of services.
Also, historically, Brisbane is unusual in that BCC has provided the bus service. This doesn't happen in any other capital cities, where the State Government is responsible for all PT services.
The one good point about Brisbane PT services is the busways. The original proposal was for more of them, extending out even further, but that has quietly slipped off the (political) radar.
* Good targets to hit if tired LNP council up for it?
* The quality of public transport is a direct outcome of the quality of urban planning. Urban planning is a long term process. Queensland suffered from many years of national party government that had no concept of any sort of planning apart from the plan to retain power and bleed as much personal wealth from it as possible. The contrast is Perth where they established a regional plan in the 1950s and stuck to it. Even though that plan was based on transport by private cars it still worked. Transport reserves were established in areas around the city that were still bush. It was easy to include train lines with Freeways in these areas as they were needed. Brisbane is doing very well in overcoming this handicap but the results will take many years to be obvious.
* The 200km City from Noosa to the Tweed is still on the cards.
* It's 15-20 yrs behind Sydney. What did you expect?
* You set standards by what you grew up with. Services every 30 minutes do not constitute public transport, even when you live within walkable distance. Brisbane was transformed with electrification, but not sufficiently. It is still very expensive for inadequate service, and the airport line is a shocker: premium fares for ordinary service.
Brisbane would be better served by single-crewing its trains, halving the length, and doubling the frequency.