Fw: Wed.13.3.19 daily digest
  Roderick Smith

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Subject: Wed.13.3.19 daily digest

Melbourne Express, Wednesday, March 13, 2019
8.52 Pretty clear on the roads except for a few minor prangs. Rail network is operating smoothly.
Buses will replace trains on the Werribee line between Laverton-Werribee until the last train tomorrow night due to level crossing works.
Buses will be extended between North Melbourne-Werribee tonight from 8:30pm..
The season-opening Melbourne Grand Prix begins this week, 23 years after Liberal Premier Jeff Kennett stole the event from Adelaide.
Extra tram services will run along the St Kilda Road route all weekend, and there's a heap of events taking place surrounding the event.
Doubt cast on $50 billion suburban rail loop with workers to be linked to low-job areas.
Australia grounds Boeing's 737 MAX in wake of fatal crashes.
5.49 All clear on the roads and PT network.

Wed.13.3.19 Metro Twitter
Werribee line: Buses replace trains Laverton - Werribee until the last train of Thurs. 14 Mar (level-crossing works).  Buses extend to run North Melbourne - Werribee from 20.30 (maintenance works).
- Bus from Werribee was well set up. Getting up early has benefits.
- Well organised.
7.27 Frankston line: Minor delays (an equipment fault near Moorabbin).  Trains may depart from altered platforms between Moorabbin and Caulfield.
- Will the Frankston line be going down every Wednesday?
- 7.48 currently we have delays to 10 minutes.
- No, not just 10 min delay, trains cancelled and major delays from Moorabbin to Caulfield - be honest for once.
- 8.08 Or express trains stopping at all stations until Malvern because of cancellations. Having been fortunate to travel across the world for business and travel, I commend you for running the worst service I have encountered globally, and than includes developing nations.
- 8.09 Having your faced packed against a window and unable to move your arms makes typing challenging. Thanks again you absolute gaggle of incompetence.
- 8.19 Train cancelled and the next was delayed and was packed to the brim at Southland.
- 8.48 Been waiting almost 40 minutes and still no train at Toorak. Your stupid system.
- Nothing minor about it.  Every time with these Metro delays you can't figure out a plan to pick people up on non-express stations like Armadale, Toorak, Hawksburn.
- 8.50 Minor? I’ve been at Armadale for 35 minutes and counting.
- Can you please advise how do we plan our journeys & subsequent office meetings? Do you guys value time? I am sure you all don’t, kindly visit Japan & do a train journey. Pathetic.
- They just brought Japan to you, as in those packed train videos.  [certainly not Japanese punctuality].
- 9.04: 45 min so far without a train at Hawksburn. Is that what you are classing as minor these days? Gotta keep your stats up?
- 9.10 First train that has stopped at Hawksburn for at least 50 minutes. It's packed. Cannot fit a single person on. Great service Metro.
- 9.13 And now an empty train has just passed without stopping. The hits keep coming.
- IKR? Was just watching the train pass. So infuriating!
- 9.14 20 min wait for a train, now an extra 10 min to change at Richmond. How is this minor?
- 9.21 Very sad,disappointed /trouble waiting for train at Caulfield for Armadale. Train delayed for 10 min when in train, sudden surprise announcement at Malvern that train runs direct to South Yarra. I'm late; my son was late. Started early yet all in vain n pain.
- 11.00 & 13.13: Trains still departing from altered platforms.
10.52 Hurstbridge line: Delays clearing after an earlier train fault at Fairfield.
11.54 Belgrave/Lilydale lines: Citybound delays (an equipment fault near Mont Albert).
- 12.00 clearing.
13.15 Belgrave/Lilydale lines: Trains will depart from altered platforms Richmond - Camberwell (an equipment fault near Burnley).
- 19.15 still happening (or resumed).
20.08 Sandringham line: Minor delays (police near Elsternwick).
- 20.16 clearing.
Buses replace trains North Melbourne - Williamstown from 20.30 (maintenance works).
Buses replace trains Camberwell - Alamein tonight from 23.30 (urgent works): 23.44 ex Alamein, 23.59 ex Camberwell, 0.29 ex Camberwell [making connections with buses from Burnley?]
Buses replace trains Burnley - Belgrave/Lilydale from 23.45 (urgent works). Take a Glen Waverley train to Burnley and change for buses.  Change at Camberwell for Alamein.  [disaster as ever: front for a Lilydale/Belgrave train and wait 25 min for the next Glen Waverley, then lose lots more time on a bus.  Were the GW trains delayed to run out at a Lilydale/Belgrave time?].Everyone wants a piece of Dan's plan for infrastructure March 13, 2019.
Who says prices in Melbourne are coming down? They’ll still slug you five billion bucks for a selfie with Dan Andrews.
But Prime Minister Scott Morrison is kind of a captive market. Like everybody else in Australian politics right now, Morrison needs infrastructure-cred and Andrews has it.
Scott Morrison and Daniel Andrews at Sunshine on Wednesday.Credit:AAP
Voters across the country want stuff built but governments are having a tough time convincing electorates that they are on the infrastructure ball.
It’s tricky. Just ask NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. She’s building a bunch of stuff; light rail, heavy rail, roads, but doesn’t seem to be getting much credit for it.
But Andrews has mastered the trick. His election campaign last year, based on his record of building things, gave him a landslide victory. Other politicians notice things like that.
So Morrison, not exactly political soul-mates with Andrews, was happy to pose on Wednesday with the nation’s leftiest premier and just you wait until Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese get started. It’s gonna get cringey.
Everybody wants a piece of Andrews because what he and his colleagues have done in Victoria is not easy, especially after they started out paying a billion bucks to not build a road.
It’s not enough to announce projects, Andrews might advise, although announcements are important. Not enough to fund them or even to start them.
No, some things have to be finished, built, opened, running before you go and face the infrastructure-hungry voters. Not everything, not even most things. But some things need to be done and dusted. Think level crossing removals, the Mernda railway line, or the Tulla Freeway widening.
Then you can promise a $90 billion rail loop around the city without being laughed out of town.
And you don’t put up so much as a porta-dunny on a building site without a big press conference. Victorian Labor’s ability to get Andrews and his ministers on the news every night in hard hats and hi-vis is uncanny.
Morrison, and Malcolm Turnbull before him, have splashed infrastructure money but the emphasis on building things with the states took off a little late in the political cycle, in last year’s budget.
Even so, the Coalition was making progress being seen as infrastructure builders until August’s leadership change halted momentum.
Nor were Andrews and his colleagues exactly keen to share the limelight as they pitched for re-election.
But Wednesday’s joint announcement is a lot more like it from Morrison and his team.
Makes you wonder whose playbook they’ve been studying.
Related Article Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews speak at Sunshine Station, Airport rail to be done by 2031, could go through Metro Tunnel

Airport rail to be done by 2031, could go through Metro Tunnel March 13, 2019. 26 comments
Airport trains could be directed through the new $11 billion Metro Tunnel, Premier Daniel Andrews has said.
The Premier also revealed the airport rail project was unlikely to be completed until 2031, in contrast with previous claims that the project could be finished by 2027.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Mr Andrews stood side by side at Sunshine train station on Wednesday morning to announce the signing of a heads of agreement, which locks in a $5 billion commitment from both state and federal governments towards the rail project.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews speak at Sunshine train station.Credit:AAP
Mr Morrison confirmed the $5 billion for airport rail was a "grant" that would not rely on funding models such as value capture, which leverages money from private development. The whole project is tipped to cost $8 billion to $13 billion.
"Our $5 billion for the airport rail project is already in the baselines for the federal budget. That money is already committed," Mr Morrison said.
Exactly how the airport trains would reach the city is not yet known. The government has so far indicated the trains would stop at Sunshine station, which would become a "super hub".
But on Wednesday the Premier said it was possible airport trains would run through the new nine-kilometre Metro Tunnel, set to open by late 2025.
"That'll be something that will have to be worked through in terms of the detailed engineering treatments," Mr Andrews said.
Before last year's election, the state government signalled that a new tunnel could be built between the city and Sunshine to create a direct link for airport trains.
This means the trains would not have to mix with regular suburban services, making the airport trains faster and more efficient.
But if it runs through the Metro Tunnel, it would share the route with two of the busiest suburban lines – Cranbourne/Pakenham and Sunbury.
The airport rail project could take nine years to build, with the Prime Minister and the Premier confirming construction would start in 2022 and be finished by up to 2031.
Mr Andrews acknowledged that the long-awaited project would "take some time" to complete.
"If we can deliver this more quickly than the nine years, then of course we would be only too happy to do that," he said.
"Ultimately, this should have been done a long long time ago; it would have been cheaper and might have even been quicker then."
A private consortium wanting to build the airport rail line, which includes Melbourne Airport, Southern Cross Station, Metro Trains and IFM Investors, plans to start building it by next year and finish seven years later.
Mr Morrison made the visit to Sunshine station ahead of the federal budget in early April, in which he promised Victoria’s infrastructure needs would be "well addressed".
However, when asked whether he would unlock the $3 billion previously committed to the East West Link, Mr Morrison stood by the long-standing position that the money was for the road dumped in 2015.
"In terms of our commitment to the East West Link, this is obviously a project that we have different views on with the state government. That's OK, we don't have to agree on absolutely everything, our commitment to that project remains as it is.”
Labor leader Bill Shorten promised to invest $300 million towards a business case for the $50 billion suburban rail loop, but the Prime Minister refused to say whether he would help fund the project.
"The budget is in a couple weeks’ time and we will be making our announcements about further projects over the course of the period leading up to the budget and the budget," he said.
* That is what the incompetent government has stated from the useless PTV already.  That is the worst possible airport link, for all of the wrong reasons.  Total spin and propaganda, and don't fall for it.
The correct move would be to use the existing misnamed RRL to Sunshine, then greenfields: under 30 min travel time, and under 2 years necessary.
* This project should be engineered backwards. That is, if we want it completed by 2025, what has to be achieved each year before then. The present timelines are absurd.
* that pic though - drivers, start your memes!
* What an absolute joke! Completed in 2021 (before taking into account the "unavoidable" time extensions that inevitably happen with all projects undertaken in Australia ). By then we'll have 15 lanes each way on the freeway to the airport and the airport car park will have extended to North Melbourne.
In China they would have completed this airport link within 2 years (they'd just build a monorail down the freeway) and in London, 5 years.
* The monorail down the middle of the freeway idea has legs.
* The issue i have is is that whilst committing $Bs now, construction will not start for 3 years. What the?? Construction should be starting now so its completion can dove tail in to the opening of the metro link.
* So... we sell Melbourne airport for ~$1.3 billion, then give the now private airport a free kick $5 billion in infrastructure? Something ain't right..
* The Airport rail link is hugely overrated. A train from Airport to the City (which is only a slight upgrade to SkyBus anyway) would primarily serve tourists, which are currently getting by just fine using the SkyBus. Families with multiple suit cases are unlikely to use this service. How will they get from their homes to the City?
* I'm with you it will be a white elephant and not that practical for local travellers. Better to let the private consortium build it if they can do it faster and cheaper.
* Absolute nonsense. How will they get from their homes to the city? Perhaps horse and cart?
* What sort of idiotic joke is this!! 12 years to build this thing. Clear that someone does NOT want this built....so come clean Dan ... what or who is opposed to this railway,
* If Dan didn't want to build it, he wouldn't have announced building it.
* Observe the removal of Level Crossings and progress on the Metro Rail Tunnel and you can see the evidence that this Government actually builds things on time.
* Why are we the slowest construction country in the world with the highest per kilometre construction cost of anywhere? Once again i say that the Chinese can build a 55km bridge in 5 years and 27,000 km rail network in 10 years, and the British 117km underground in 9 years, but we take till 2031 for 35km of railway that is already too slow and out of date before it's even built!
* $300m for a business case?
* That figure does seem absurd.
* I'll do it for $1m.
* Why does it take SO long? Sydney has to build a whole new airport and a train to it and that will be done by 2026!
* 2031 - ridiculous!
* 2031? Are they digging the tunnels by hand? The US put a man on the moon in 8 years.
* Weren't we told that the Metro tunnel would be pretty-well full within a year of opening due to increased patronage?

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Small businesses 'doing the heavy lifting' on energy March 13, 2019

Light rail near-miss [no: real miss, near hit] under investigation March 13, 2019.  45 comments
Canberra Metro has suspended a light rail driver after dashcam footage showed the tram almost colliding with a car after running a red light on the weekend.
Uber driver Khawar Jadoon said he was lucky to be uninjured after the light rail vehicle ran through a T-intersection at Randwick Road in Mitchell about 8.30am on Saturday.
Mr Jadoon had a green light to turn onto Flemington Road but had to slam on the brakes as the light rail vehicle belted through the intersection.
The dashcam footage, posted to the Canberra Drivers Facebook page on Sunday, has since been viewed more than 46,000 times.
A Canberra Metro spokesperson said based on CCTV footage, the near-miss was caused by driver error.
"In accordance with Canberra Metro Operations policies, the light rail vehicle driver has been suspended from driving duties while a full investigation takes place. As the investigation is still underway, we are unable to provide further information at this stage," the spokesperson said.
"Safety of the public and our staff is Canberra Metro’s highest priority and we regret that on this occasion this founding principle of the Canberra light rail project has not been upheld. Following the rules of the road is the key to staying safe around light rail and this applies as much to ourselves as it does other road users."
The incident occurred 40 minutes after a man was struck by a tram at the intersection of Northbourne Avenue and Barry Drive on Saturday.
The man, who suffered injuries to his upper body and legs, was said to have stepped in front of the light rail vehicle against a red signal while wearing headphones.
Uber driver Khawar Jadoon reacted quickly when he saw a light rail vehicle driving through an intersection against the lights.
The light rail is undergoing testing ahead of its official start later next month.
Mr Jadoon said he was fortunate to have reacted so quickly, and urged others to drive cautiously near intersections along the light rail route.
"I just freaked out. It was very scary for me. I would have been wiped out for the rest of my life, I'm lucky to be safe and happy I was paying full attention," Mr Jadoon said.
Mr Jadoon also addressed criticism that he ran a red light at the end of the video, saying he had no choice as he was already in the intersection and the tram was crossing during his green light.
"I have a clean driving history, I always try to be safe," he said.
Separately, another woman has told The Canberra Times she had a similar experience while turning right from Mouat Street in Lyneham on to Northbourne Avenue last Monday around 8am.
"We got the green arrow and straight through light and then all had to come to a stop because a tram went sailing through. Fortunately our light had only just changed and we stopped just a car length over the line and not in any kind of hurry. But he definitely didn't have a green light," she said.
ACT Policing said the incident captured on dashcam had not been reported to police, nor were their traffic operations officers aware of any similar incidents.
The ACT Opposition's transport spokeswoman Candice Burch said the government "owes it" to the Canberra community to audit and report on all incidents that have occurred during construction and testing.
“It is unclear if the light rail vehicle ran a red light, or if this is a signalling failure. Either way, the public safety concerns are significant and Canberrans deserve a full explanation for the minister as a matter of urgency,” Ms Burch said.
Werribee station a ghost town as rail blitz turns commuters to cars Herald Sun March 13, 2019.
Where is everyone? Werribee station car park this morning. Picture: Jordy Atkinson
One of Melbourne’s busiest train stations became a ghost town this morning as commuters rejected bus replacements amid major rail works.
Peak hour motorists along the Princes Fwy faced a worse commute than usual as the planned train outages between Werribee and Laverton forced passengers into their cars.
Looking for a car park at Werribee station after 7.15am on a weekday is often like searching for a needle in a haystack — but plenty of spots remained after 8am this morning.
Laverton station was chaos from about 6.15am as people scrambled to avoid taking the bus.
Commuters on nine train lines have been urged to prepare for rolling disruptions over the next three weeks amid a major rail construction blitz.
Buses are replacing trains between Werribee and Laverton stations today and tomorrow, and between Newport and Werribee tomorrow from 8.30pm until the last train.
On Saturday and Sunday, buses will replace trains on the Werribee and Williamstown lines between North Melbourne and Newport/Williamstown.
The rolling disruptions will also hit the Hurstbridge line between Parliament and Heidelberg from Friday to March 20.
The Werribee, Mernda, Hurstbridge, Pakenham, Cranbourne, Frankston, Sandringham, Ballarat and Gippsland will all be affected over coming weeks.

Andrew Bolt Green duds will continue to sink  [paywalled, with tdu]
Herald Sun March 13, 2019