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Subject: Thurs.6.12.18 daily digest.
"181205W Melbourne Express - 181204Tu Glen Waverley line ducklings. (Harry Hasapis)
181206Th 'SMH' - proposed arch (female symbolism, not phallic).
181206Th Melbourne Express - Richmond attack.
181206Th Melbourne 'Herald Sun' - letters (rail, road, energy).
181206Th Metro Twitter - Eltham (Luke Hildred).
181206Th Canberra Times - tram training.
181206Th 'Brisbane Times' - Yeerongpilly station. [a classic modern disaster: up, over, down].
Wed.5.12.18 Metro Twitter, quoting a Tues.4.12 tweet from Harry.9.26 Tues.4.12.18 Our train driver from Glen Waverley stopped so as to not hurt a group of ducklings this morning. (Harry Hasapis)
- How long were you guys delayed for?
- About 4 minutes, nothing major.
Thurs.6.12.18 Metro Twitter.
Pakenham/Cranbourne lines: Buses replace trains Westall -Pakenham/Cranbourne until last train on Sun 16 Dec while train network upgrades take place. Further changes to your service apply until last train on Sun 23 Dec.
- 6.27 We need more express buses from Narre Warren; there have been three stopping all stations buses in a row. The bus stop is filling with people who just want to go straight to Westall.
- 7.40 These drivers keep on going via Monash when they definitely know it takes a long time...but I guess they wont get late to work.
It’s a beautiful day in Eltham. (Luke Hildred).
15.23 Mernda & Hurstbridge lines: Minor delays citybound Clifton Hill - Flinders Street (an equipment fault near West Richmond).
- 17.05 First day above 30 degrees and the network can’t handle it. I’m glad that I’m driving to work tomorrow.
- 17.10 Back to back days. Any plans for free transportation?
- 7.18 (7.12) WtF! This was posted 16 hours ago and the trains are still delayed? What’s the latest update?
15.48 Belgrave/Lilydale lines: All Blackburn local services will be terminating/originating at Box Hill (an equipment fault at Blackburn). Outbound passengers for Laburnum should travel through to Blackburn & change to citybound services which will be stopping at Laburnum. [At time like these, the expresses should stop at Laburnum.].
- 16.04 are Belgrave bound trains going through Blackburn or not?
- 16.07 Ringwood Belgrave and Lilydale services are running normally through Blackburn as scheduled to their destinations.
- 17.47 Can you get the driver to put the airconditioning on; its so hot on the city to Mooroolbark train?
19.23 Normal train services are resuming Eltham - Hurstbridge after an earlier [unannounced] track fault near Diamond Creek.
Melbourne Express, Thursday, December 6, 2018
The 8.24 Hurstbridge to Flinders Street has been cancelled.
7.46. Route 19 trams to North Coburg are delayed by a tram fault in Sydney Road. Consider Upfield trains.
- 8.14 Running has resumed, with delays.
7.45 There's minor delays on the Frankston line due to an equipment fault at Bonbeach.
6.25 Apart from works on the Cranbourne and Pakenham line every other route in Melbourne is green and running to schedule. Fingers crossed it stays that way.
Rare car missing. Police need help looking for a car allegedly stolen from a showroom in Hayward Road Ferntree Gully early on November 25.
Three cars were stolen, but a Dodge Challenger - worth $320,000 and one of only six in Australia - is still missing.
It is believed the alleged offenders cut through wire fencing to access the showroom. If you've seen the car, let police know.
This car, one of six in Australia, is missing.
Manhunt over Richmond station coward punch
Manhunt over Richmond station coward punch 6 December 2018.
Disturbing CCTV footage has been released of a violent, unprovoked attack at the weekend on a man at Richmond train station.
A 30-year-old man was talking on his mobile phone on platform six at 20.45 on Sat.1.12 night when an unknown man walked past him.
Police have released CCTV of the disgusting assault at Richmond train station.
Video Manhunt over Richmond station coward punch.
In the footage captured of the incident, the man can be seen stumbling away from the platform moments before he turns around and punches the victim to the left side of his head without warning.
The victim is punched before falling to the ground. Credit:Victoria Police
The man police want to speak to over the violent assault. Credit:Victoria Police
The victim is knocked unconscious with footage showing him collapsing and hitting his head and back on the floor of the platform.
The thug then flees down the stairs at the east end of the station.
The victim was taken to hospital with facial, back and head injuries and has since been released.
Police have described the offender as Caucasian with a medium build and shaved head aged in his 30s to 40s.
The attacker fled down the stairs at the station. Credit: Victoria Police.
The victim was left unconscious. Credit: Victoria Police.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report at crimestoppersvic.com.au
Dec 6 2018 Graceland, Memphis: Inside Elvis's private plane in the expanded Graceland .
Elvis's Convair 880 Jet, built in 1958 and flown by Delta Air Lines on routes across the US before being retired in the '70s. Elvis bought it in 1975 for $US250,000. He renamed it the...
There are gold-plated belt buckles, suede seats, leather-topped tables - even the sinks in the two bathrooms are flecked with 24-karat gold. Photo: Alamy
The plane features a lounge, a conference room, sitting room and a master bedroom. It's the type of aircraft that, these days, might only only exist as a parody of rock-star opulence...
Lisa Marie is one of two of his private jets on the property, the other a smaller Lockheed Jet Star. Photo: Alamy .
Elvis bought the Graceland mansion for $US102,000 in 1957. Photo: Supplied ..
The mansion's famous 'Jungle Room'.
The mansion's famous 'Jungle Room'. Photo: Supplied .
The living room at Graceland. Photo: Supplied .
Inside the Graceland mansion. Photo: Supplied .
Graceland Mansion and Elvis Presley's Memphis experience in Memphis. Elvis Presley. Images supplied by Graceland. traxx-online-presley Photo: Supplied .
The Graceland experience has now expanded greatly beyond just the mansion itself to include a large exhibition complex. Photo: Supplied.
Elvis Presley's Memphis features a large collection of his vehicles, including some used in his movies. Photo: Supplied .
The museum also features his costumes and artifacts from his time in the military. Photo: Supplied .
There's also a collection of outfits and other memorabilia provided by artists influenced by Elvis. Photo: Supplied .
This truly feels like I've stepped back in time to another era – a time when rock stars ruled the world.
It's not just the gaudy, '70s decor, it's the history and the decadence – the very existence of this place.
I'm standing on board a Convair 880 Jet, built in 1958 and flown by Delta Air Lines on routes across the US before being retired in the '70s. In 1975, it was purchased by the king of rock'n'roll, Elvis Presley, for $US250,000.. He renamed it the Lisa Marie after his daughter and reportedly spent another $US800,000 refurbishing it.
Now it's one of the highlights of the greatly expanded Elvis experience in Memphis. Though the plane has been on display since 1984, along with access to Presley's home – the Graceland mansion – the attraction now features a huge exhibition space featuring the star's many cars, costumes and other memorabilia.
Lisa Marie is one of two of his private jets on the property, the other a smaller Lockheed Jet Star. But Lisa Marie is the flagship – visitors can climb on board to get a glimpse of the extravagant fit-out Presley created for his plane.
Presley was big on keeping up with the trends in interior decorating, so it's unfortunate he died during the ugliest period in history – the late 1970s. This is apparent in the Graceland mansion, with shag carpets, velour upholstery and endless shades of brown.
It's also there in the plane, with its opulent, gaudy fit-out that even Donald Trump might consider over the top. There are gold-plated belt buckles, suede seats, leather-topped tables – even the sinks in the two bathrooms are flecked with 24-carat gold.
The plane feature a lounge, a conference room, sitting room and a master bedroom. It's the type of aircraft that, these days, might only only exist as a parody of rock-star opulence.
Visitors can walk through for a close-up view of the plane's features, though most of the furnishings are covered in plastic and touching them is, of course, a no-no.
Take a look inside the plane and at the rest of Graceland in the gallery above.
But it wasn't just the interior design of the plane that screamed decadence, it was the way Elvis used the aircraft. He reportedly flew to Colorado for the day just so young Lisa Marie could see snow for the first time.
On another occasion he flew some friends, in the middle of the night, from Memphis to Denver just so he could satiate a hankering for a local restaurant's Fool's Gold Loaf – a giant sandwich made from an entire loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter, jam and bacon. Elvis' trip made the sandwich so famous it now has its own Wikipedia page.
The two planes are just a small part of the Elvis experience since the site was expanded. Named Elvis Presley's Memphis, the new exhibition is split into three linked museums covering his cars, outfits and influences.
Presley loved vehicles, particularly unusual ones, and the museum features a large selection of cars not just from his personal collection (including his famous pink Cadillac) but also those used in some of his movies. Meanwhile, it's gold sequins galore in the costume museum, with outfits from his films and famous live performances, but also items from his time in the army (a period he did not look back on with fondness).
For most visitors though, it's the mansion itself that is the highlight. Preserved from the time of Presley's death, Graceland offers a glimpse into the lifestyle of the entertainer. Given his decadent lifestyle, Graceland is surprisingly small. Sure, it's a still a mansion, but it's not the sprawling property one might expect from the world's biggest rock star.
Presley lived there until his death after buying the house for $US102,000 in 1957. Visitors make their way through a designated path inside the house. The upstairs remains closed to the public, but the living rooms, his parents' bedroom, the TV room, pool room and famously gaudy "Jungle Room" are all on the tour, along with his racquetball building and his father's office.
The tour ends in the pretty Meditation Garden is where the man himself is buried, along with his parents and a memorial to his twin brother Jessie, who died at birth. Although it's crowded with visitors, each vying to read the inscription on his grave and pay quiet respect, its simplicity is a nice contrast to the rest of the site. The king is dead, but Graceland lives on.
VISIT There are variety of packages available for visitors to Graceland, starting with the mansion-only tour, while others include the exhibitions and planes. See graceland.com
STAY The Guest House at Graceland opened in late 2016 and is next door to the mansion. Rooms at start from about $US200 but can vary during peak periods. See guesthousegraceland.com.
Read Traveller's full review of the hotel here.
The writer visited as a guest of Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Four more Memphis musical highlights:
* Sun Studio. A tour of the tiny Sun Studio is a must for any music fan visiting Memphis. The unassuming building launched the careers of not only Elvis Presley, but Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and many more. The excellent guides bring infectious enthusiasm to this historic rock'n'roll mecca. See sunstudio.com/
* Beale Street. Still the living, breathing heart of music in Memphis, Beale St is filled with neon-lit bars, each promising live music and cheap drinks. It's touristy, sure, but popping into at least one of the venues for a cold beer and some bluesy rock'n'roll should be on your list. See bealestreet.com/
* Stax Museum. Sun Studio may be the home of rock'n'roll, but Memphis is also the home of soul. Stax Records launched the careers of Otis Redding, Booker T and MGs, and Mavis Staples among dozens of others. The Stax Museum explores the history of the famous label with exhibits from the original studio and artist memorabilia. See staxmuseum.com/
* Gibson Guitars. One of the two biggest names in guitar manufacturing, Gibson is still based in Memphis and offers tours of the facility to see how the iconic instruments are made. Even if you're not doing a tour, the building's windows let you take a peek at the guitars being crafted. See gibson.com/Gibson/Gibson-Tours.aspx
See also: Almost 40 years old: Kim Jong-un's Soviet-era private jet,
See also: Flight attendant reveals life on board 747 jumbos in their '70s heyday,
Sydney's $22m Cloud Arch sculpture another victim of light rail delays 6 December 2018. 122 comments.
The Cloud Arch, the wisp of inspiration to have framed Sydney’s George Street pedestrian and light rail boulevard, is for the chop: a victim of cost over-runs and the bogged-down process of building the tram line.
City of Sydney councillors will next week vote to cancel the proposed tender for the Junya Ishigami-designed steel swirl in the sky and to defer consideration of the project until after the light rail is finished, sometime in 2020 perhaps.
Not going ahead: The Cloud Arch is a victim of the troubled light rail project.
The price tag for building the arch, which at one stage was to have cost about $3.5 million, had blown out to $22 million. As it is, the City of Sydney has already spent $2.25 million on the Cloud Arch project over the past three years, including on redesigns, artist fees and project management and approval fees.
“The cost to deliver Cloud Arch has increased due to a number of factors and challenges outside the City of Sydney’s control,” a spokeswoman said on Thursday.
The spokeswoman said the council had an agreement with Transport for NSW that it be allowed access to the Cloud Arch site during light rail construction. But Acciona, the construction firm building the tram project, had not agreed to provide that access.
“Regrettably due to the many factors that are out of the City’s control, the City does not believe the cost of Cloud Arch represents the best return for public funds at this time,” the spokeswoman said..
“We are also concerned that if the project were to go ahead there is a risk it could continue to be hampered, given the complexity and current progress of the light rail project and costs might increase again.”
The estimated cost of the project had already risen to $11.3 million. But papers prepared for next week’s council meeting, said the cost had increased again because of design changes necessitated by the light rail construction, delays to work caused by the tram project and other associated costs caused by those delays.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore only last year described the cloud arch design as “bold and heroic” and that it would be the “most significant artwork built in Australia in decades”.
"It will become an icon synonymous with Sydney and help raise our city's profile on the world stage,” Cr Moore said last year.
The project, which was to have risen to 58 metres above George Street, was first unveiled in 2014.
The recommendation prepared for next week’s council meeting, expected to be adopted by City of Sydney councillors, proposes reconsidering the Cloud Arch as part of a future Town Hall Square initiative. But this project could not be considered until after the light rail was finished.
Acciona has warned the light rail line is unlikely to be open before May 2020.
An artist's impression of the Cloud Arch sculpture, which will be built by March 2019.
Gladys Berejiklian labels City of Sydney's new Cloud Arch sculpture unappealing.
Telegraph Road upgrade completed with four-lane widening 6 December 2018.
The four-lane upgrade of the Telegraph Road corridor in Brisbane's north has been completed under-budget, Brisbane lord mayor Graham Quirk says.
The suburban arterial road running through Bracken Ridge, linking Carseldine and Deagon and surrounding suburbs, was originally budgeted for a $260 million upgrade.
However, Cr Quirk said the project had been delivered with savings of $100 million from the original budget.
Cr Quirk said the second stage of the road upgrade, which began in mid-2017, had been completed with $67 million to spare.
“Savings were captured through procurement, with the contract costing $24.5 million less than anticipated, as well as a $3 million reduction due to remediation not being required for the former landfill," he said.
“These savings will be reinvested into citywide projects, including the Green Camp Road, Waterworks Road and Wolston Creek Bridge upgrades, as well as other projects to ensure Brisbane continues to be a great place to live, work and relax."
Andrew Methorst, from the Brisbane North Bicycle User Group, with lord mayor Graham Quirk and councillor Amanda Cooper at the Telegraph Road opening.
The road's upgrades began in 2013 and included the removal of a level crossing on the key road.
The council's infrastructure chairman Amanda Cooper said Telegraph road had been carrying more than 25,000 vehicles daily.
“More than 60,000 cubic metres of fill and a new 70 metre bridge were shipped in, laying the foundations for the 41,500 vehicles that are expected to use this corridor once the Gateway North upgrade is completed,” Cr Cooper said.
Cr Cooper said the council was also trialling a 'smart crossing' at the intersection of Telegraph and Lemke Roads to monitor pedestrian movements as part of the council's pedestrian safety review.
Fewer than 200 submissions on controversial Mount Coot-tha ziplines 5 December 2018.
Fewer than 200 submissions have been submitted to the Brisbane City Council about the controversial six new ziplines proposed for Mount Coot-tha.
The council-funded project, spearheaded by urban planners Ethos Urban, opened to submissions on November 26, sparking criticism from some over the pre-Christmas launch and its 14-day submissions limit.
The Mt Coot-tha zip line will also include a 'skywalk'.Credit:Brisbane City Council
With a little more than a week left to have a say on whether the project should go ahead, council had logged just 179 submissions as of Tuesday.
The main objections to the ziplines include potential damage to native flora and fauna, commercialisation of natural bushland and an influx of bus traffic.
Toowong resident Margaret Deeth told council a “stream of buses” travelling around Mount Coo-tha would affect local wildlife.
“The number of ziplines proposed will cause a great deal of clearing of native vegetation, and the number of people who will then use the lines on a daily basis will also have a deleterious effect on the natural area, and on the Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens,” Ms Deeth wrote in her submission.
While council is pitching the project as an “ecotourism” experience, many submissions believe it would cause “ecological degradation”.
Fortitude Valley resident John Mainwaring told council they should be funding more walking tracks rather than a “superficial form of tourism”.
Concerns about the habitat of powerful owls, particularly a nesting pair in the area of the proposed zipline, forced the council to request further assessments on the potential impacts, particularly around the use of helicopters during construction.
A new report concluded helicopters should be limited during the owls' May-September breeding season, although most construction work would be more than 100 metres away from the owls' nesting tree.
While many of the submissions oppose the project some like Indooroopilly resident Donald Stuart have given “wholehearted support” to what they think will boost tourism and opportunity in Brisbane.
Lord mayor Graham Quirk said he would not extend the December 14 submission deadline.
“Often we see only those that oppose things lodge submissions but it is open to anyone,” Cr Quirk said.
"There is a fair bit of misinformation being put out there by opponents. It is mischievous, it is not accurate. We will have, I believe, a good facility at the end of the day if approved, and it is one that will also be environmentally responsible."
Maiwar MP Michael Berkman has been co-ordinating a “grassroots” protest movement to garner support to quash the proposal.
Mr Berkman has rallied a group of local residents to go door-knocking around neighbouring suburbs on Saturday.
“We'll be sharing information and action points with local residents who will be directly impacted by the project if it were to go ahead,” the Facebook event reads.
The council will hold three pop-up consultation sessions for community members over the first two weeks of December at JC Slaughter Falls, at South Bank and the Queen Street Mall.
* I think it is sad that people cannot just sit and enjoy the beauty. Why do they have to enjoy it, zipping at 100 mph ?
* The ziplines and skywalk in Canada seem to be doing well. There seemed to be only a narrow line cleared under the lines. Visitors do not always have time to walk the area. Hopefully the city council and rate payers will be the final receiver of profits, and not the developer.
* The fun police always come up with ideas to put the dampers on anything that will allow people to have some enjoyment. The politically motivated and driven opposition to this project has been inudating my inbox for months now and I have considered their message and on face value they do have a case but when I have looked into the facts I find that most of the rhetoric has crossed the line of reason
Anything that will help keep our Council Rates down is well worth considering and just in case people that are wondering if this project will indeed be sending the D9 bulldozers to clear Mt Cootha of all remnant rainforest, which is not correct. need to remember that to the north of Mt Cootha you can't see the trees for the trees for hundreds of thousands of acres.
May I suggest that the BCC place hundreds of bird and micro-bat nesting boxes in the proximity of the Mt Cootha zip line as it is being built to further enhance the enjoyment of the project for both residents and tourists
Brisbane station reopens after police incident. 6 December 2018.
A station on Brisbane's southside has reopened after a police incident.
Emergency services were called to Yeerongpilly station just after 5.30am on Thursday.
Yeerongpilly station has reopened on Thursday morning.Credit:Google Maps
The station was closed for hours but police said the platforms reopened just after 7am and train services returned to normal.
Beenleigh and Gold Coast line trains in both directions had been running express through Yeerongpilly station, but still stopping at Yeronga and Moorooka stations, according to TransLink.
Police investigations were ongoing.
Defence doesn't know cost of maintaining new F35 fighter jetsl 6 December 2018. 40 comments.
The Defence Department doesn't know how much it will cost to maintain its new multibillion dollar fleet of warplanes as officials wait for United States-based support to become ready.
Days before the first two of Australia's F35 Joint Strike Fighters are due to land in Williamtown, NSW, the national auditor has found the price tag for keeping them in the air won't be known before 2020.
Defence also failed in three years to provide annual updates to the government on the purchase, despite directions, and had committed $266.3 million in spending without first telling the prime minister and finance minister as required.
Australia is purchasing the new fleet from the US to replace its ageing F-18 Hornets, and the federal government is directing more than $20 billion towards buying the planes and maintaining them until 2025. The federal government doesn't yet know the final cost of the purchase as the complex project, involving multiple partner nations, takes shape.
This year the Defence Department estimated Australia will pay an average of $115.7 million for each of its aircraft.
The federal audit office, in a report tabled in parliament on Wednesday, said the government decided to purchase the planes using rough estimates of the cost to maintain them, ignoring Defence Department guidelines for approving major spending, and against the findings of previous reviews and audits..
Australia's newest warplane, the F35 Joint Strike Fighter. Credit:Joe Armao
Defence is waiting for a maintenance program centred in the United States, and relying on US government contracts with weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin and aerospace firm Pratt and Whitney, to progress before it can better calculate the costs.
In December 2020, after which the department may be able to advise the government of the planes' maintenance costs, Australia expects to have 30 Joint Strike Fighters and one operational squadron of at least 12. It plans to purchase 72 in total.
A review board convened by Defence in October 2018 raised problems with the maintenance program intended to support the F35s, saying it was "immature" and faced a number of challenges.
It raised fears about the level of funding for operating and supporting the Joint Strike Fighters.
"The funds required for sustainment, even for the next few years, have yet to be quantified or allocated," it said.
Sourcing funds for the fleet by 2023 and beyond could be a major challenge, particularly if those costs were not contained through savings expected from having a global network of maintenance.
Australia will rely on the global maintenance network for parts and upkeep for the new warplanes, and will be a regional hub for maintaining and warehousing F-35s - a role with costs unknown when the purchase was approved in 2014, and that have added to financial pressures.
As it relied on a USA-centred, multi-nation maintenance program, the Defence Department was constrained in managing risks, including access to spare parts, the audit report said.
Defence was managing the risks coming with this arrangement, as well as the cost pressures of establishing Australia as a regional maintenance and warehousing hub for the Joint Strike Fighters.
In response to the audit report, Defence secretary Greg Moriarty and Defence Force chief Angus Campbell said the department would return after 2020 to the government knowing the fleet's costs through to its planned withdrawal date.
They admitted the department had not updated cabinet in 2015 and 2016 but said it had made improvements that would prevent a repeat of the failures.
F35s will perform air combat, bombing and surveillance for Australia's military, and of more than 3000 aircraft to be built for nine participating partner nations, the US will keep about 75 per cent. Defence has described the build as one of the most technologically advanced and complex ever undertaken in defence aviation.
The Defence Department is building infrastructure for Australia's share of the aircraft and has prioritised construction at their main operating base at Williamtown before the first two new planes arrive. Budget pressures have forced it to delay work at other bases, and work at Williamtown and another air force base at Tindal in the Northern Territory is $44 million over the approved budget.
<www.canberratimes.com.au/politics/federal/defence-doesn-t-know-cost-of-maintaining-new-f-35-fighter-jets-20181205-p50keq.html>Light rail 'crash' part of safety testing 6 December 2018.
If you saw fire trucks rushing to the scene of a crash involving a light rail carriage on Thursday - rest assured, disaster did not strike.
Canberra Metro and the Emergency Services Agency ran a drill testing the responses of paramedic and fire crews to a fake crash involving a light rail vehicle and a car.
Canberra Metro and the ACT Emergency Services Agency staged a car versus light rail vehicle crash to test the responses of firefighters and paramedics.. Credit:ACT government
The tests - which ran for 2.5 hours - included a series of staged accidents at the intersection of Flemington Road and Mapleton Avenue in Harrison.
Police, fire and ambulance crews attended the scene as they would a normal accident.
It's part of series of simulated accidents involved in safety testing and emergency planning ahead of the light rail's launch in 2019, although Thursday's was the only test that will take place this year.
However emergency services have been preparing for some time for light rail..
More tests will be held next year. Credit:ACT government.
Emergency Services Minister Mick Gentleman told the ACT Legislative Assembly in August extra equipment was being purchased to prepare for light rail crashes.
"I can advise the Assembly that our emergency services Fire and Rescue officers are fully prepared for all circumstances across the ACT," Mr Gentleman said.
"They are going through a great deal of training during these preparations. In fact we even send them overseas for particular training for these sorts of situations.
"I have personally been involved, at the Hume training base, in training for extractions of personnel and vehicles out of large multistorey car parks, for example. It is a really good example of how they can work with modern machinery to support the safety of all Canberrans."
Transport Canberra deputy director-general Duncan Edghill told annual report hearings in November he had just signed off on funding for equipment required for derailments or major collisions.
"I fairly recently signed off for JACS - I am not the technical person, so I do not know exactly what the equipment is - a piece of equipment they asked us for to deal with that particular issue. We have said, 'Yes, we’ll help you fund that.' I do not know when it gets delivered," Mr Edghill said.
Mr Gentleman said ACT Fire and Rescue could source equipment quickly from NSW if required.
"We have large storage containers of equipment for this sort of use, both in the ACT and in New South Wales as well. And of course we have operational procedures in plan ready to take action on such occasions," Mr Gentleman said in August.
WA's biggest new gold mine gets even bigger 6 December 2018.
Australia's biggest new gold mine will be even bigger after the company behind it announced on Thursday it would produce 30,000 ounce per annum more than originally forecast.
Gold Road Resources and Gold Fields Limited said the average annual production for the 12 year life of their joint venture Gruyere gold mine had increased to 300,000 ounces per annum thanks to the purchase of more processing capacity.
Construction of the Gruyere gold mine is 85 per cent complete.Credit:Gold Road Resources
A 2016 feasibility study predicted the mine, located 200 kilometres east of Laverton in WA, would produce 270,000 ounces per annum.
The updated forecast confirms Gruyere as a tier one gold mine, which means a mine with a life greater than 10 years, low cost and greater than 300,000 ounces per annum production.
Gold Road managing director and CEO, Duncan Gibbs, said it had been an incredible journey for Gold Road since discovering Gruyere in 2013.
"The cash flow Gruyere will produce from 2019 will be substantial and allow us to deliver tremendous value for shareholders, many of whom have backed us since before we made the discovery," he said.
"Gold Road continue to work closely with Gold Fields, to safely and successfully conclude construction and commissioning of this world‐class gold operation.”
Gold Fields executive vice president Australasia Stuart Mathews, said first gold remained on target for the June 2019 quarter.
The update included changes to the pit design and the addition of two new ore deposits.
Argonaut metals and mining analyst James Wilson said it was a positive announcement and he predicted the mine would start testing its facilities in the new year.
Gruyere is the most significant gold mine since AngloGold Ashanti Australia and Independence Group's Tropicana mine 330 kilometres east-northeast of Kalgoorlie that started production in 2013.
"There’s nothing else out there being built of this magnitude he said.
Gold Road Resources said overall construction is at 85 per cent and their shares closed at $0.62, 0.01c up from the previous close.
Property industry veteran calls for megacity to be created at Seymour
Herald Sun December 6, 2018.
video: Should Australia cut immigration levels?
Victoria needs a megacity built at Seymour to take the pressure off congested Melbourne as the state hurtles towards a population of 11 million by 2050, says a top property industry veteran.
And the respected businessman has called on Australians to accept “total Asianisation” of the country to fulfil its destiny in the region.
Scott Keck, chairman of big hitting property advisory firm Charter Keck Cramer, said Victoria’s projected massive population growth posed huge settlement problems.
Property industry veteran Scott Keck, chairman of Charter Keck CramerMr Keck said Melbourne was tipped to have at least eight million people by mid-century, and major cities like Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat would significantly grow.
But with the state’s population likely to reach 11 million, his firm’s number crunchers have concluded that about 1.3 million of that could not be easily absorbed into Melbourne and regional areas.
“My personal thought is that there is an emerging case for a new big city in Victoria, one that if we started thinking about it seriously now, could actually be up and running and very viable in 20 to 25 years’ time,” he told the Herald Sun.
Melbourne’s population is tipped to hit eight million by 2050.
Mr Keck, who has been in the property business for 50 years, said Seymour, 117km from Melbourne, was ideally located for a megacity because it was in the centre of Victoria and would be on the route of a future fast train service to Sydney.
“It would allow Victoria to grow as much as it wanted to without putting pressure on the areas that are already sensitive, and are going to become more sensitive due to population growth.
“The sky’s the limit, it could be 2 to 3 million people 60 to 70 years down the track.”
Mr Keck’s “Big Australia” vision included support for even higher immigration intakes, sourced mainly from Asia.
“I think over the balance of this century Australia is going to go through a process of total Asianisation, which I embrace because they’re hard working people,” he said.
“I support that as Australia takes up its real destiny in this part of the world, and its bridges into the Asian region”
Suburbs like Box Hill have been transformed by Asian immigration.
Asked about existing concerns by some people over Asian concentrations in certain Melbourne suburbs, Mr Keck said: “I think they just have to get over it. I think they’ve just got to accept the inevitability.”
“They (Asian migrants) are going to come here whether we embrace it or not. And when they come to Australia they’re going to come to Victoria.”
Dr Bob Birrell, from the Australian Population Research Institute, said calls for new megacities were not surprising given the population projections for cities like Melbourne and Sydney.
“This is a good reason why we need to have a serious rethink about assuming endless growth,” he said.
Dr Bob Birrell from the Australian Population Research Institute.
Dr Birrell said that Australia’s Asian-born population was about 10 per cent, and to become a majority Asian nation “would require an enormous number of Asian migrants to bring it about”.
The nation’s permanent migration program is dominated by Asian arrivals, with 33,310 from India, 25,145 from China, 10,610 from the Philippines and 6235 from Pakistan processed in 2017-18.
A 2017 survey by Dr Birrell’s institute revealed that more than 50 per cent of Australian voters agreed that the country had changed beyond recognition and “sometimes feels like a foreign country”.
POLL SHOWS GROWTH GRIEF
More than two-thirds of Melburnians believe the city is growing too fast, says a new survey.
The Property Council of Australia poll also found that a majority agreed that politicians were guilty of blaming migration for their own lack of planning that had caused urban congestion.
The council’s Victorian executive director Cressida Wall was heartened by the finding that 72 per cent of Melburnians believed population growth could be good if managed properly.
“Australians like their cities, with most saying they are good to great places to live,” she said.
“But we haven’t done a very good job in the past of planning for growth, and our cities are feeling the pressure now which is giving rise to concern about the rate of growth.
The survey found that 72 per cent of Melburnians thought the city was growing too fast.
The national online poll had 2936 respondents and was done last month.
RECORD MIGRATION CHANGING FACE OF CITY
VOTERS SUPPORT PARTIAL MUSLIM MIGRANT BAN
PM SCOTT MORRISON PLANS TO CUT MIGRANT INTAKE
ABF launches new patrol boat in Melbourne to crackdown on drug smugglers.
Herald Sun December 6, 2018.
Border Force Officers Rob and Andy with the Australian Border Force’s new patrol boat. Picture: Jason Edwards.
Drug smugglers will be the target of a new Australian Border Force boat to be based in Melbourne.
The 12.4m Phillip Island will detect, disrupt and prevent the illegal importation of drugs.
It is able to manoeuvre at high speeds in order to get on top of drug smugglers and can operate both day and night.
Border Force Officer Rob on the new boat. Picture: Jason Edwards
Border Force officers on the new boat. Picture: Jason Edwards
MV Phillip Island. Picture: Jason Edwards.
The boats help detect, disrupt and prevent the illegal movement of people and goods. Picture: Jason Edwards.
Greg Dowse, acting ABF commander for Victoria and Tasmania, said the Phillip Island — one of 13 new ABF vessels to be deployed nationwide — would provide a strong presence along the state’s coast.
Officers will use the boat for a number of operations, including surveillance.
They will use it to make sure packages are not passed between larger ships and smaller vessels as they make their way towards the docks.
“Victorians should expect to see an increased ABF presence in and around Port Phillip Bay as well as along more remote areas of the Victorian coastline,” Mr Dowse said.