Fw: Wed.5.12.18 daily digest
  Roderick Smith

----- Forwarded Message -----
  To: Tdu Transportdownunder transportdownunder@...>
Sent: Thursday, 6 December 2018, 15:24
Subject: Wed.5.12.18 daily digest


181205W Melbourne 'Herald Sun' - letters (rail, energy, road).

181205W Melbourne 'Age':- energy. with tdu.- letters (rail).
181205W Melbourne Express:- Southland (Daniel Bowen)- ducklings (Harry Hasapis).

181205W 'SMH' - wheat harvest.

181205W Melbourne 'Herald Sun':- Puffing Billy.- south-east stadium proposal.


Wed.5.12.18 Metro Twitter.
Today is International Volunteer Day; we’re celebrating the thousands of VICSES volunteers who give up their time and put their lives on the line to create safer and more resilient communities. Thank you for all the work that you do!
Pakenham/Cranbourne lines: Buses replace trains Westall -Pakenham/Cranbourne until last train on Sun 16 Dec while 'upgrades' take place.  Further changes to your service apply until last train on Sun 23 Dec.
- We need more buses. All are full, sometimes people have to wait nearly 20 min for a bus into which they may not fit.  Buses to Dandenong need to depart from the other side of the road at Westall. They are taking  over 30 minutes just to get back  onto Westall Red,  which is 500 m away!
- We will pass on your message to the team running the replacement buses.
- Did anyone think this was a horrible idea leading up to Christmas where traffic is already horrendous?  Surely it could have waited until January?
- I wish every day was like this with Pakky trains being forced to stop at Westall during peak ! It’s great for me.
- Some buses do not have proper airconditioning and no open windows...please remove these buses from service during this hot weather.
- You have been doing this a long time now; you should be able to get the replacement buses correct on both lines if you say express have them ready.
15.15 Mernda line: Buses to replace trains between Bell & Epping (a track fault between Keon Park and Epping).  Buses have been ordered, but may take over 1 hour to arrive; consider alternative transport.
- 15.19 How is this possible, given you just completed track maintenance work recently through that section?
- 15.26 Alternative transport: bus routes 552 and 553 Bell – Reservoir, bus route 555 Reservoir – Epping Plaza and bus route 556 Reservoir – Epping.
- 15.31 Not again, how can you have these issues so often?
- Every time the sun comes out.
- 15.56 Are trains still running to Bell from the city?
- 16.07 Just got told trains are now running through to Mernda.
- 16.10 Trains have resumed, with minor delays.
- 17.43 You guys suuuuuck!
- 18.11 Massive delays on right now on this line.  Where is the communication?
- 18.21 Correction: Delays still ongoing, trains crawling up to Clifton Hill.
- 18.21 This line is not moving at all.  Driver mumbled something inaudible.
- He was speaking to his uber driver.
- 19.03 Major delays (Hurstbridge too; an ill passenger requiring medical assistance at Clifton Hill).  Trains may depart from altered platforms.
- The sick passenger is the result of trains not moving and being jam packed. No doubt tomorrow will be chaos with hot weather.  I won’t be tapping on that’s for sure.
- I hope that you don’t need medical attention on a train one day. Disrespectful.
16.27 Cranbourne/Pakenham lines: Minor delays (an equipment fault near Malvern).  Trains may be held.
- 16.29 Trains may depart from altered platforms between South Yarra and Caulfield.
- 17.21 Only few trains are running and you can't even do that properly...keep up the good work.
18.09 Alamein/Belgrave/Lilydale lines: Major delays (an earlier ill passenger at Glenferrie), clearing.
- 18.17 How can one person be responsible for so much disruption?  Has the counter terrorist group been informed?
- 18.18 There was no announcement. A train which should have stopped at all stations between Camberwell & Box Hill just didn't stop.  I needed to get off to meet connection to Alamein line.  A full train back to Camberwell and not one announcement or apology. Just a heads up would be nice.
- 20.50 There should have been an announcement, and at least some services changed to cater for patrons who go to stops that may have been missed with all the cancelled and delayed trains.
18.17 Glen Waverley line: Minor delays (an earlier ill passenger at Tooronga).
Major delays - The 9.30 Sunbury to Flinders St has been terminated at Ginifer (a train fault). The following train (the 22.00 Sunbury to Flinders St) is scheduled at Ginifer at 22.19.  [leaving a 1 h gap because of Metro's horrible headways].

Melbourne Express, Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Before Southland station was built, there were people who claimed that nobody would use it. Some delays at present so this is a bigger crowd than usual, but it's still one of the busier suburban stations.
7.52 Minor upsets on the Frankston and Hurstbridge lines.  For those on the trams around Port Melbourne, there are delays.
7.47 Route 109 trams towards Port Melbourne are delayed [blocked?] due to a traffic incident on Cotham Rd.
- 8.10 trams have resumed, with delays.
Spooky shape in the Melbourne sky A morning mystery, via radio station 3AW.
7.21 Still clear on the trains, except for Pakenham and Cranbourne commuters, who are back on the buses to cap off an interruption-filled year.
Southland, the station that defeated the odds,  A true case of "if you build it, they will come" from the Public Transport Users Association's Daniel Bowen.

Food price warning as wheat crop plummets 5 December 2018.
Severe drought has smashed crop production in Australia's eastern states, with retail experts warning consumers could soon pay higher prices for food and fashion as a result.
NSW was worst hit, with crop production in 2018-19 forecast to fall 57 per cent to about 3.1 million tonnes, according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) December report. This is the biggest fall since 1994-95. Victoria was not far behind, with overall production forecast to fall 51 per cent to 3.7 million tonnes for the same period.
Wheat output has plunged in NSW. Credit:Bloomberg
Nationally, the fall in winter crop production was 23 per cent to 29.3 million tonnes, with Western Australia propping up the drought-ravaged eastern states.
"It's a pretty alarming for NSW, I must admit. NSW, Victoria and Queensland have had the biggest downgrades in production," ABARES senior economist Peter Collins said.
"Already by the start of spring there were crops in NSW that had failed. There were others that were sitting on the edge and needed early spring rainfall. Those crops failed as well."
Victoria didn't suffer as badly because they had a better winter, Mr Collins said. Northern regions were hit by frost in September and crops were cut to make way for hay, which was in high demand.
"Conditions were very much drier than average. But there have been years that have been much worse," Mr Collins said.
Western Australia had a good year and was expected to account for 56 per cent of national production in 2018–19, up from an average of 36 per cent in the 20 years to 2017–18.
Retail analyst Brian Walker said he had no doubt the effects of the drought would eventually drive up prices in "food and fashion" as cotton growers also took a hammering.
The ABARES outlook for the area given over to cotton in NSW in 2018-19 was forecast to fall by 42 per cent to 174,000  hectares. The area given over to rice production in the state was tipped to plunge by 75 per cent, reflecting low water allocation.
Mr Walker, the founder of the Retail Doctor Group, said consumers should brace themselves for higher prices.
"There's no doubt there's greater costs for suppliers, and this exacerbates pressure on retail," he said.
"The challenge is for the retailer to get volume offsets to absorb the higher prices."
He said drought historically meant price rises for shoppers.
"Retailers can expect higher prices for those items most directly affected [bread and clothing]. And then they have to make the decision on how much to pass on to consumers."
"Mr Walker said, because most clothes were imported, the major impact could be on niche areas that used Australian cotton.
James Mathews, a spokesman for the Australian Food and Grocery Council, said the drought was having a significant impact on suppliers, with the price of some crops such as wheat rising sharply.
"I had one person tell me the price of wheat had risen from $120 a tonne to $330 a tonne, a threefold increase in 12 months."
Extreme hardship. Although his crop fell by 30-40 per cent, Moree wheat farmer Matthew Madden said he considered himself one of the "lucky ones".
Matthew Madden on his property outside Moree, NSW.
The NSW Farmers Association grains committee chairman said he knew of people who had suffered complete crop failure in areas such as Walgett and Coonamble.
"Unfortunately this is quite common. Some people didn't plant and some just didn't get any yield. There are some people in extreme hardship. But overall, we are resilient folk so we will get through it," Mr Madden said.
He said after the very dry winter conditions had improved slightly with recent rainfall in November and October. "I was out harvesting chickpeas today," he said.
A spokeswoman for Woolworths said the company was focused on delivering good value for customers.
"We understand bread is an important family staple and work hard to offer consistently low prices for our customers," she said.
"While we're keeping a close eye on commodity markets, we continue to focus on delivering good value and competitive prices across our bakery range."

Australia's climate change impasse 'has surprised me': UK high commissioner 5 December 2018 14 comments.

Possibility of fast rail links now 'more real' than last 30 years 5 December 2018.  23 comments.

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