Fw: Thurs.14.3.19 daily digest.
  Roderick Smith


----- Forwarded Message -----
 To: Tdu Transportdownunder transportdownunder@...>
Sent: Friday, 15 March 2019, 13:37
Subject: Thurs.14.3.19 daily digest.

I headed to Diamond Creek in the afternoon, to eat in a bar/restaurant which was closing.
I didn't encounter police-demand delays, trespassers, passengers needing an ambulance, a faulty train, an equipment fault or an operational incident.
I should have bought a lottery ticket while my luck was in.
My 13.58 ex Surrey Hills was on time.
My ~15.47 Melbourne Central - Greensborough was comfortably full, and on time.The following Hurstbridge was half full when I boarded.I observed a cross Diamond Creek at ~18.07: on time.I boarded an up at 18.29, also with an on time-cross.Diamond Creek breaks the convention: the notional up platform is 2, no 1; the main platform retains 1.I didn't Eltham.  My train also crossed there, and there was another train in the platform at Greensborough.Mine arrived at Flinders St at 19.29, and formed a Glen Waverley about 2 min late.  That may have been the aftermath of earlier delays.
I made a cross-platform connection to the 19.35 Lilydale, comfortably full.


Roderick
Thurs.14.3.19 Melbourne ExpressTeen charged after alleged sexual assault at Flinders St
A Wallan teen has been charged with sexual assault after a woman was allegedly groped on a platform at Flinders Street train station.
The incident allegedly happened about 6.50pm on January 19.
After police released CCTV last week, a 19-year-old Wallan man was charged with two counts of sexual assault.
He has been bailed, and will appear at Melbourne Magistrates Court on May 30.
5.39 On the train network, buses are replacing trains on the Werribee line between Laverton and Werribee all day (planned works). There's a good service on all other lines.
<www.theage.com.au/melbourne-news/melbourne-express-thursday-march-14-2019-20190312-p513h6.html>

Thurs.14.3.19 Metro Twitter
Buses replace trains Laverton - Werribee until the last train tonight (level-crossing works). Buses extend Newport - Werribee from 20.30.
- 7.59 Laverton platform 1 is full. I have been waited for 20 minutes. Where is the train?
- 8.01 Your train should be arriving now.
- 17.42 Why always need to wait 20 minutes for the train? Is this peak hour?
13.40 Upfield line: Minor delays (police at Coburg).
- 13.53 Now major, but trains are on the move again; delays are clearing.
- 15.47 Have they returned to normal? Should I get a tram instead?
- 15.52 there are two cancellations on the line at the moment.
15.00 Sandringham line: Minor delays (an ill passenger requiring medical assistance at Elsternwick).
- 15.20 Now major, but clearing.
17.16 Alamein/Belgrave/Glen Waverley/Lilydale lines: Minor delays (a trespasser at East Richmond / Richmond).  Trains will be held.
- Found them?
- Police now walking beside train looking under the carriages.
- Found him yet?
- Police are on site now.
- Can we all line up & give them a good slap? I’m late now.
- Services are in the process of resuming.
- Trains should be on the move or about to move again.
- Dickhead.
- Once again, thanks for the notice. Are you going to pay the late fees for when I’m late picking up my daughter from childcare?
- We were under the direction of police. Trains are now resuming.
- 17.35 now major, but trains are moving again; delays are clearing.
- What a terrible service from both ends. I’ve just experienced a 40 minute delay.
- We had a trespasser, and were under the direction of police.
- You have major deficiencies in some stations. For instance, Hartwell doesn't have platform displays, and the announcements are almost impossible to hear. If I knew what was going on I could've taken the tram.
- How is one trespasser able to prevent thousands from getting home?
- Police had to access tracks to attend to the trespasser, therefore it was not safe to move trains [the universal excuse]. Trains are now resuming.
- Please don’t short run the 17.13 Mooroolbark when it gets to Ringwood, especially since the next Lilydale is cancelled.
- Where's the dog.
- What's the penalty for trespassing?
- Free drive to police station.
- or a mental health facility.
- 18.16 I would listen for announcements if there were any. Tell your drivers - not cool letting train sit for 10-15min between stations with zero announcements.
17.24 Cranbourne/Frankston/Pakenham/Sandringham lines: Major delays (police attending to a trespasser near Richmond). Trains will be held.
- How can one trespasser spread over 10 tracks?
- When trains are delayed and passengers are backed up is it possible to skip the loop or skip Southern Cross?  Stopping at all stations in rush hour doesn't let many more passengers board and further crams the train.
- Someone give that trespasser a kick up the butt please.
- Can we get a confirmation on what happens to these damn trespassers when they are caught?
- They’re shot...with a camera. And then given a stern talking to before being let go.
- Get the line cleared.
- The line is clear, move it.
- 17.34 Trains are now on the move, with major delays clearing.
- The 17.15 Flinders to Cranbourne is terminating at Dandenong, which will be a 40-45 delay for passengers going beyond.
17.50 Sunbury line: Minor delays (a faulty train near Sydenham Watergardens).
- 17.52  clearing.
Because of urgent works:
The 23.59 Glen Waverley will run direct to Richmond at 0.07.  The 0.05 Belgrave will run direct to Richmond at 0.14. Loop passengers board the 0.00 Pakenham, delayed to 0.05, and change at Richmond The 0.00 Mernda will run direct to Jolimont, at 0.10.  The 0.12 Hurstbridge will run direct to Jolimont at 0.21.  [no connection information was provided for loop passengers].
We have extra trams to get you to the grand prix 14-17.3.
Gates 1 and 2, catch the light rail express. Gate 3, catch Clarendon St express. Gates 5, 8, 9 and 10, you can catch any St Kilda Rd tram.
https://static.ptv.vic.gov.au/Images/Events/Event-images/1520220519/PTV_Grand-Prix-Map_2018.jpg
- I can almost guarantee nobody attending the GP will be following PTC or Metro on twitter.

'Brain explosion': Woodside, Canavan pile on WA government to dump EPA guidelines March 13, 2019.
<www.watoday.com.au/business/the-economy/brain-explosion-woodside-canavan-pile-on-wa-government-to-dump-epa-guidelines-20190313-p513r9.html>

Premier's plans for four extra metro lines in Sydney short on detail March 14, 2019. 36 comments
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has promised to start planning over the next four years on a major expansion of metro train lines in Sydney’s west but has not specified where the tens of billions of dollars needed to build them will come from.
Just over a week from the state election, Ms Berejiklian said her government, if returned to power, would start early planning for four extra metro lines for single-deck trains.
Play video NSW govt to extend metro to new airport
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced four new metro rail routes with early planning to start over the next four years.
The routes the government has said it will start planning on include:
•Extending a line from Westmead to Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek;
•Building a line from St Marys via Schofields to Rouse Hill;
•Constructing a line from Western Sydney Airport to Macarthur;
•Extending a metro line from Bankstown to Liverpool.
They are in addition to the Coalition's promises to start construction on an $18 billion-plus metro line from central city to Parramatta next year – known as Sydney Metro West – and another from St Marys to the new airport at Badgerys Creek in 2021.
"We will not stop until the full network is complete. The Labor Opposition wants to cancel these projects – we're all about building them," Ms Berejiklian said.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian vows to start planning on four new metro routes.Credit:Nick Moir
But Labor's transport spokeswoman, Jodi McKay, said the government was desperate and had pulled together plans at the last minute from a long-term transport strategy.
"This goes to the heart of why people are so frustrated with this government. There is no money behind it. I don't think they have any intention of building this in the next 15 to 20 years," she said.
Asked when the proposed lines might open, Transport Minister Andrew Constance said they were "mega projects" that could each take seven to eight years to plan and build.
"It's part of a longer term strategic plan under 'Future Transport 2056'. We would expect to have much of this in place over the next 20 years or so," he said. "Ultimately we do the necessary planning, go to market and then finalise the contract's costs on a project-by-project basis."
Earlier this week, the Grattan Institute put the cost of the state Coalition's transport promises at about $70 billion and NSW Labor's at about $50 billion. The five largest projects on each side together account for more than three-quarters of the total cost.
The institute's transport director, Marion Terrill, urged politicians to draw on evaluations on projects by Infrastructure Australia and its state equivalent rather than making announcements about plans to investigate rail lines.
"It would be good if they adhered to what Infrastructure NSW and Infrastructure Australia suggest to do. If you announce it like this, the public will likely read it as a promise to build [even if it did not stack up on its merits]," she said.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Transport Minister Andrew Constance in a metro rail tunnel on Thursday.Credit:Nick Moir
About a third of announcements made by politicians never came to fruition, she said.
Both Labor and the Coalition have made building the proposed metro line between central Sydney and Parramatta a priority of the next term of government.
Related Article NSW Labor leader Michael Daley Labor commits $8 billion to fast-track Sydney Metro West
<www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/premier-s-plans-for-four-extra-metro-lines-in-sydney-short-on-detail-20190311-p5138c.html>


Teens abuse Morcombe-inspired policy to evade bus fares March 14, 2019.
Young people are allegedly abusing the "no child left behind" policy implemented after the death of schoolboy Daniel Morcombe to avoid paying for bus tickets.
There has been a spike in fare evasion on public transport, particularly on school buses, costing the state about $25 million a year in lost revenue.
Daniel Morcombe was abducted after a bus left him behind at a Sunshine Coast stop.
Last financial year, Queensland's school bus drivers recorded more than 1.53 million fare evasions, compared with about 875,000 the previous year.
The trend was mirrored on urban bus services, where there were almost 600,000 more fare evasions in 2017-18, compared with 1.06 million the year before.
The figures were released following an LNP question on notice.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey said the majority of passengers did the right thing, but there was clearly a growing problem with fare evasion on public transport.
Mr Bailey said "older teenagers" were taking advantage of the state government's duty of care.
"Bus drivers have told us about groups of young people who demand free travel, telling the drivers they have to let them on or the drivers could lose their job," he said.
"This kind of behaviour can cause other passengers to feel unsafe and more free rides means less revenue for new and improved public transport services."
The claim previously surfaced in 2012, when then LNP transport minister Scott Emerson said children were exploiting the principle, put in place after Daniel, 13, was abducted from a bus stop on the Sunshine Coast in December 2003.
Figures released recently revealed almost 900 children were left behind at bus stops in 2017-18.
Mr Bailey said he told TransLink to hire up to 16 new senior network officers, adding to the current workforce of 55 officers, to patrol the network.
"Officers handed out more than 17,000 fines for public transport ticketing offences last financial year, but it's not possible to have SNOs on every bus, train, tram or ferry," he said.
"We're committed to ensuring young and vulnerable passengers can get home safely but we need to have the conversation with our community about fare evasion and the best way to deal with it."
Mr Bailey said a roundtable would be held in April, with experts across government, community services and education to share their views on how to discourage fare evasion and behavioural issues.
"We'll use it as an opportunity to discuss policy options, enforcement, penalties and whether we need more education or early intervention programs," he said.
"It will also look at how our frontline staff deal with fare evasion and discuss whether legislative changes would have an impact."
LNP transport spokesman Steve Minnikin said blaming school children for an inability to curb fare evasion was a "new low".
"Bus operators have been dealing with a surge in fare evasion and anti-social behaviour for the past two years," he said.
"Without appropriate enforcement action, the majority of honest, fare-paying passengers are forced to pay more to cover the losses from fare evaders."
Greens MP Michael Berkman said the issue was a "distraction".
"If we made public transport free for every kid in Queensland it would cost just $56 million per year and we could all focus on more important issues," he said.
Related Article More than 6300 people were fined for fare evasion in one year on the Gold Coast. Gold Coast fare evasion: Figures reveal 6300+ fines handed out
<www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/queensland/teens-abuse-morcombe-inspired-policy-to-evade-bus-fares-20190314-p514at.html>

Rail crossing report ignored for seven years ahead of SEQ City Deal March 14, 2019.
Talking points:
•Both major parties did not follow the priorities to replace open-level rail crossings in south-east Queensland set by Deloitte Access Economics in 2012.
•A proposed City Deal for south-east Queensland includes a list of SEQ rail crossings which should be replaced with shared funding if a City Deal can be signed.
South-east Queensland’s policy paralysis on replacing rail crossings has been shown up by a 2012 engineering report, which shows both major political parties have almost ignored its recommendations.
In the nearly seven years since the Deloitte Access Economics report was compiled for Queensland's Department of Transport and Main Roads, only one of the six high-priority rail crossings it identified has been replaced.
Shared funding to replace rail crossings in Queensland is on the agenda for SEQ City Deal talks.Credit:Peter Stoop
This comes as a “statement of intent” could be signed in Brisbane on Friday between the three levels of government for a future south-east Queensland City Deal, which ties the different levels of government to funding promises over 15 or 20 years.
In 2012, Deloitte Access Economics recommended six open level crossings in Greater Brisbane to be replaced as a “high priority” for the Department of Transport and Main Roads:
1.Beams Road, Aspley
2.Boundary Road, Coopers Plains
3.Telegraph Road, Bracken Ridge
4.Cavendish Road, Coorparoo
5.South Pine Road, Alderley
6.Wacol Station Road, Wacol
In 2017, Queensland Transport data showed seven people died, 19 were seriously injured and 35 received minor injuries at 1360 open level rail crossing incidents between 2009 and 2016.
Just last month, a 70-year-old woman died on a rail pedestrian crossing at Lindum station.
Labor MP Graham Perrett wants replacement rail crossings to be funded equally by federal, state and local governments.Credit:Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
That outcome has triggered a call from federal MP Graham Perrett for three levels of government to jointly fund the high priority projects.
“That's why I'm asking the local government — lord mayor Graham Quirk — the state government and the federal government, to fund a third (each),” Mr Perrett said.
“That's my suggested solution. What could be fairer in terms of getting things sorted? This is not arguing about the politics of it, just being fair.
“If there are more trains going down to the Gold Coast, the bottleneck at Coopers Plains, will be a lot worse.”
Federal Cities Minister Alan Tudge is in Brisbane again as a SEQ City Deal inches closer and a statement of intent may be signed. Credit:Andrew Meares
The SEQ City Deal is expected to recommend federal, state and local governments share funding to replace rail level crossings.
Seven years after 2012 Deloitte Access Economics report, only one of the high-priority crossings has been replaced (Bracken Ridge), along with one low-priority rail crossing at Geebung.
In 2018, the Queensland government committed $1.1 million to begin planning for rail crossings at Beams Road, Aspley, and Boundary Road at Coopers Plains, both of which were identified as being of high priority in the Deloitte report.
Aspley MP Bart Mellish said replacing the rail crossing was the number one infrastructure issue in his electorate.
Mr Mellish said he was aware of the 2012 Deloitte report, which recommended Beams Road be built before other rail crossings.
“I think it is very interesting that several overpasses with lower cost benefit ratios have gone ahead in 2012-13 rather than this project,” he said.
Mr Mellish said the issue that was continually raised with him by his Aspley electorate and was the top issue on his Facebook page.
“We received $400,000 to commence planning in the 2018-19 budget," he said.
“Whether it is an overpass or not, we will just have to wait and see what the feasibility study recommends.”
The Department of Transport and Main Roads did not answer questions about why it did not follow the 2012 rail crossing priorities set in the Deloitte report.
Cr Quirk said last week the reason Brisbane City Council offered 50 per cent to remove the rail level crossing projects in 2014 was because both rail crossings included council road projects.
The council and the then-LNP state government replaced the Telegraph Road, Bracken Ridge, rail crossing and the Robinson Road Road, Geebung, level crossing in 2014.
"Rail replacements have traditionally always been funded with a 15 per cent contribution from Brisbane City Council and there are no plans to increase this funding for state government infrastructure projects," Cr Quirk said.
"The only exceptions to this agreement were due to existing council road projects that linked in with existing crossing projects, such as the Telegraph Road corridor upgrade at Bald Hills (Bracken Ridge)."
<www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/rail-crossing-report-ignored-for-seven-years-ahead-of-seq-city-deal-20190314-p514by.html>

New bus network will start April 29, Transport Canberra says. March 14, 2019.
Transport Canberra may not have enough drivers to staff its expanded weekend bus timetable, six weeks out from the launch of the new integrated public transport network.
Extra weekend services has been one of the selling points of the controversial new network, the timetable for which was released on Thursday.
ACT Minister for Transport Meegan Fitzharris unveiling the new Rapid bus network for Canberra last April.Credit:Sherryn Groch
But Transport Workers Union secretary Klaus Pinkas said it would be a “little bit suck it and see” as to whether enough drivers would volunteer to work weekends.
“The weekend shifts are still a work in progress,” Mr Pinkas said.
“I can’t sit here and tell you we’re going to have enough drivers. I’m not saying we won’t have them. We'll just have to wait and see. We’ve indicated to ACTION it may be a problem but ACTION are proceeding like it won’t be."
While Transport Canberra tried to move drivers to seven-day rosters as part of its two-and-a-half year enterprise bargaining agreement negotiations with the union, the government backed away from compulsory weekend work in December, with weekend shifts to stay on a volunteer basis.
Mr Pinkas said Transport Canberra knocked back extra incentives for weekend drivers during the negotiations, and no acceptable counter offer was made.
He also said there were issues around driver breaks on the weekend shifts.
“It’s a safety issue. They need 10 minutes out of the bus between every second and third hour," Mr Pinkas said.
Executive group manager for Transport Canberra operations Judith Sturman said they had part-time and casual drivers to cover the weekend shifts and had a continual recruitment campaign going.
Transport Canberra has released its new public transport map with the new network expected to start on April 29.Credit:Transport Canberra
"We've done a lot of analysis that demonstrates we will have enough drivers to complete those services for us," she said.
But she acknowledged there was a risk services could be cancelled due to the driver shortage.
"I can't deny that, there's always a risk, but what we're doing is we're mitigating that risk by making sure that there will be enough and enough opportunities for drivers who want to do that additional shift to do that," Ms Sturman said.
The new seven-day network was completely redesigned using data from the MyWay ticketing system, and is made up of shorter, more direct routes, with services designed to connect at interchanges across the city.
There will be 4200 services a day under the new network, compared to 3600 currently, and 396 buses on the road compared to 384 at present.
However the true increase in number of buses on the road is more like 50, owing to light rail replacing buses on the Gungahlin to Civic corridor.
"It's a more efficient network," Ms Sturman said
Many bus routes on the new network will start earlier in the morning or run later at night than they do currently, with services to run from at least 6.30am until midnight Monday to Saturdays, and until 10pm Sundays and public holidays.
Most local services to run every 20-30 minutes at peak times, and every 30-60 minutes during the day, in the evening and on weekends.
The network also includes 10 rapid routes, along with light rail that will have services every 15 minutes or better along the rapid routes between 7am and 7pm on weekdays and weekend service times would be extended to 10pm.
Transport Canberra will also offer a free month of travel for all commuters travelling with MyWay cards to entice people to use the new network.
Ms Sturman said the new network was "vastly different" to the one that was released for public consultation last year.
Based on 13,000 pieces of feedback, the government made 37 changes to 58 routes, as well as adding 78 additional school services each school day.
"That [feedback] enabled us to reshape to some degree, so we stayed with the principles of obviously an integrated network … the model stayed the same but obviously where the routes eventually went was changed to reflect what most people wanted," Ms Sturman said.
"One of the key areas that came up with dissatisfaction was our weekend services so that's also played into our focus on delivering more frequent and more weekend services," Ms Sturman said.
However there remain concerns about how schools are serviced through the network.
While Transport Canberra designed the new network around the requirement of dropping school children off within half an hour before the bell - a marked improvement on the current arrangements - ACT Council of Parents and Citizens Association communications officer Janelle Kennard said parents were concerned about how far children would be dropped from school.
Several high schools, instead of the buses coming into the purpose-built bus bays at the front of the schools where they’re currently picking up and dropping students, they’re going to be picking up and dropping off students from bus stops distributed around the school," Ms Kennard said.
"We’re a bit concerned with that, because particularly in the afternoon being groups of teenagers moving out from the school grounds to those bus stops in some cases crossing busy roads.
"I guess we already know teenagers are poor at assessing risks and it’s worse when they’re in groups of their peers and we’re very concerned about road safety."
Transport Minister Fitzharris said there was a Schools Liaison Manager in Transport Canberra who would help school communities become familiar with the new network.
"We are also increasing safety across our network, with CCTV cameras on every bus and at all major interchanges, school crossing supervisors at 25 school crossings, improvements to infrastructure around schools and an additional 28 customer service assistants at interchanges," Ms Fitzharris said.
St Mary Mackillop College principal Michael Lee said he felt Transport Canberra and listened to and acted on feedback from his school community about cuts to school buses, but he was "very sympathetic" to the needs of students travelling to other schools.
"While there will be a level of adjustment ... we think were in a very good position in terms of meeting the needs of our students and their families," he said.
"We also understand that there are kids going to other schools who will be more significantly affected."
Related Article CMET customer service officers Nicola Snow and Tina Colling, pictured above, show off the new uniforms Canberra light rail ready to roll in April, minister says
Related Article Up to 50 Canberra schools will still lose dedicated bus services
<www.canberratimes.com.au/national/act/new-bus-network-will-start-april-29-transport-canberra-says-20190314-p5142m.html>

Letters to the editor March 14, 2019.
* Thanks Bill, light rail is still just a big waste of money. Despite Mr Shorten’s offer of $200 million to help fund the light rail stage 2 from Civic to Woden ("Shorten in $200m light rail pledge", March 12, p1 and p7), I remain unconvinced of the project’s practicability, effectiveness and viability.  The proposed route via Commonwealth Avenue and State Circle is a quick walk from residences only in a short section between Hobart Avenue and Adelaide Avenue.  Similarly, it is close to residences in the section along Adelaide Avenue and Yarra Glen only between Hopetoun Circuit and Kent Street-Novar Street in Deakin and Yarralumla.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten during an announcement on Canberra's light rail.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen
These facts indicate that there would probably be few, if any, people wanting to board the train except at either end of the route. For these people, the existing 300 series Action bus route provides a direct and quick link between Civic and Woden every three to eight minutes.
I suggest that there are much better ways to spend up to $1.6 billion of ACT taxpayers’ money.
* Rein in the spending. The article by Jon Stanhope and Khalid Ahmed ("Bad News then worse; ACT budget through lens of ex Treasury boffin", canberratimes.com.au, March 9) indicates that the ACT government is now borrowing for recurrent initiatives and changes in other operating costs and more.
This should be very disturbing to all Canberra residents and business owners.
The normal budgetary practice is for governments to borrow for items such as capital works, which by their nature can increase employment, generate multiplier benefits for industries, improve productivity, increase efficiencies and provide a benefit for future generations.
* These aspects compensate and offset for the additional interest from these borrowings which current and future Canberrans have to pay back through their rates, taxes and fees.
There are conceivably no benefits for Canberrans when the Barr government is now apparently borrowing for the actual day to day operating costs of government.
How parlous then is the real state of the ACT budget under the Barr government? The Stanhope/Ahmed article suggest that it has significantly deteriorated since the last budget update.
This is despite the massive year on year increases in residential rates (for houses and apartments), commercial property rates, and other taxes, fees and fines.
Given this worsening budget situation, one would have to seriously question why the Barr government is still progressing stage two (Civic to Woden) light rail with its estimated lowest cost estimate of $1.3 billion to $1.6 billion.
Whilst there are benefits to the community from capital works as outlined above, this project should surely now be deferred until the ACT government budget situation improves.
* Other priorities. Please, Mr Barr, give up the idea of a southbound stage of the light rail just at the moment.
Instead do the west-east route – Belconnen to airport.
A much better chance of viability, servicing universities, schools, shopping centres, War Memorial, government offices, markets, light industrial area of Fyshwick, Majura Park and business hub and the airport.
Let us stop squandering space for the provision of Wilson carparks to accommodate the rapidly-growing number of cars by providing a workable alternative means of travel.
No doubt, the taxi companies, Uber drivers, Sun Hung Kai Properties (aka Wilson Parking) et al will complain but they will adapt – there will always be some travellers preferring private transport to and from the airport.
* Tramway tragedy. Our semi-perpetual Labor-Greens administration seems consumed by the need to create some big, tangible, quasi-impressive "innovation" to make them feel "with-it" and contemporary, even forward-looking.
Sadly, the very opposite is the case as they wade ever deeper into folly with their outdated, inflexible and vastly expensive tram system. It is patently obvious that, for an efficient transit system, what this beautiful, developing city needs is a network of electric buses, battery-powered, and modest-sized which can be deployed where and when needed.
That, to me, would be a modern, technically and socially attractive public transport system of which we could all be proud, and thus would go a long way to encouraging us to leave our cars in the garage.
The thought of a tramway coming south over Commonwealth Avenue Bridge, pushing into Parkes and Barton and ripping up the beautiful, venerable trees on that fine avenue fills me with horror.
The extravagance of stage one of the tramway, in the face of repeated, well-founded technical and financial advice to the contrary, is now tragically a fait accompli. Let it proceed no further.
* Untenable burden. Mr Shorten is promising to contribute $200 million to Stage 2 of Canberra’s light rail.
This may sound a considerable sum but is not much in the context of the overall project cost, for construction and the 20 years to pay for and operate it.
The government has given estimates of $1.3 billion to $1.6 billion for construction.
Because these figures are taken not to include the interest cost of capital, independent estimates for the minimum contract cost are in the order of $2.6 to $3.2 billion.
Stage 2 would impose a huge and untenable burden on the ACT budget at $130 million to $160 million per annum for 20 years, on top of the minimum average $49 million per annum already committed for Stage 1 (all costs in today’s money).
Given a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) contract, as for Stage 1, the $200 million will just about cover the interest cost that the ACT government could have saved taxpayers by borrowing the money itself at bond rates to pay the capital cost of construction.
* National disgrace. Visiting Canberra several months back, I was shocked and disgusted that trams were being installed along the "main drag", Northbourne Avenue.
All very well but in doing so all of the beautiful trees have been removed along the centre of this road. As a former resident I consider this to be a national disgrace.
I say a pox on those who decided to go ahead with trams down this former wonderful tree-lined avenue. Where were the "Greens" when this idea was first mooted?
Buses, as previously used, can alter routing unlike fixed route trams.
* TRAMS NOT THE PROBLEM We do not need barriers to stop stupid people from getting hit by the tram. The person who was hit was wearing ear phones and crossed against a red signal. What happened to parent and school training of kids on road safety? I feel for the driver. The person who walked in front of the tram needs to get a licence in how to cross roads.
<www.canberratimes.com.au/national/act/thanks-bill-light-rail-is-still-just-a-big-waste-of-money-20190313-p51400.html>

State government reveals first five sites for Metronet medium-density hubs March 14, 2019. 5 comments
The state government has revealed the first site where a medium-density hub will be developed as part of its Metronet plan to boost housing near stations.
Situated in Cannington, the site is one of five locations selected by the Department of Communities for between 15 to 40 dwellings to be built.
The state government has chosen the first five sites for its Metronet hubs.Credit:Department of Communities
Other hubs will also be built at sites identified in Claremont, Innaloo, High Wycombe and Highgate.
Architects are being encouraged to consider innovative housing options for the hubs, including townhouses, apartments, ‘Fonzie flats’ (studio apartments above garages), intergenerational homes and dual-key properties.
The five sites will be available for immediate development, pending the establishment of a medium density development panel, which will include a pool of approved builders, designers and architects able to bid on each project..
The 7000 square metre plot of land on Hamilton Street in Cannington, within walking distance to Welshpool and Queens Park train stations, will be the site for hopefuls to pitch their expertise.
The Cannington site will be developed into a medium-density residential hub.. Credit:Department of Communities
Department documents show the proposed land development is within R30 and R60 residential zoning.
The state-issued design brief encourages developers to consider incorporating two or three-storey townhouses combined with apartments.
Dual key properties, which often feature one main entrance to a house with two separate dwellings inside, have been commonplace in countries like Japan and the UK for decades, but are relatively new to Australia.
Further medium-density sites are expected to be developed in the future, with no more than one in every nine dwellings to be considered for public housing.
Housing minister Peter Tinley said the new medium density development panel would help support the delivery of Metronet's social and affordable housing and jobs package.
“Medium-density developments like the ones that this panel will help facilitate will create diverse opportunities and choice for all parts of the community," he said.
Metronet aims to accommodate urban infill and better connect Perth through a circular rail network.
In collaboration with that project, the Metrohub plan intends to create "smart and sustainable" density around major public transport links and areas of high social and commercial activity such as hospitals and universities.
Murdoch and Midland have already been touted as future major Metrohub locations.
Urban planning experts generally agree increasing density around major public transport links is the best way to cater for Perth's growing population.
Committee for Perth chief executive Marion Faulkner welcomed the state government's medium-density plan, saying Perth had to move away from its tendency to build single-storey homes.
"The thing that we’re the best at, that we’re most prolific at, is single-dwelling housing," she said.
"We’ve got to find a way forward with all sorts of housing, at all sorts of pricing.
"The (four-bedroom, two-bathroom home) has got a place, but we know increasingly people are going to be living on their own, and so we need to have products for them."
Increasing density within Perth's existing suburbs to contain its urban sprawl has been an ambition for the state government for more than 15 years, and statistics show it is heading towards the target of 47 per cent of new homes as infill.
<www.watoday.com.au/national/western-australia/state-government-reveals-first-five-sites-for-metronet-medium-density-hubs-20190313-p513v3.html>
* And now I'll have to add Hamilton Street in Cannington to the same list as South Perth: buy only if you are out of your mind. It will go the same way, developers will get away with building higher and higher, and residents will get no recourse out of the rubber stamp organisation, aka WAPC.
* Hopefully this is following what Vancouver has done along it's rail lines..
* Baby boomer politicians who all could buy quarter acre free standing homes want young people to live in high density flats. What a selfish generation
* Welcome to the future of life in WA. Ghetto living.
* you mean a bit like some State Housing suburbs already ?

EPA buckles under pressure from WA government, oil and gas sector March 14, 2019.
<www.watoday.com.au/business/the-economy/epa-buckles-under-pressure-from-wa-government-oil-and-gas-sector-20190314-p5144l.html>

Major changes on Hoddle St as new P-turn road rules introduced at busy intersection [paywalled; with tdu]
Herald Sun March 14, 2019.
video: Victoria's Continuous Flow Intersections.
<www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/major-changes-on-hoddle-st-as-new-pturn-road-rules-introduced-at-busy-intersection/news-story/9942c5c82455dc0bdb9b474aca6df2fc>


Herald Sun March 14, 2019
FOR A LONG LUNCH
For the second weekend of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival the focus turns to the regions. On Friday, almost 20 Regional World’s Longest Lunches will be held across the state — from Acheron to Nagambie to Port Fairy (tickets to many still available) — and while the Village Feast in Jindivick has been postponed until March 30 because of bushfires in the region, there’s still a heap of delicious reasons to jump in the car.
Highlights include whisky making, tasting and lunch at the Timboon Railway Shed distillery, a long lunch held in Great Western’s historic underground wine cellars on Sat, and a one-off collaboration at Point Leo with chef Phil Wood joining with Daniel Puskas from Sydney’s Sixpenny for a six-courses of peninsula produce mixed with sin city style.
Usually transport sites feature.Mornington Railway and QTrain are participating, plus assorted riverbank and beachside venues.

<www.heraldsun.com.au/lifestyle/eating-out/best-places-to-eat-and-drink-this-weekend-in-melbourne-and-victoria/news-story/0fcaac8ddd655f1bdca690ff50327a8a>
For info and bookings to all events: MFWF.com.au
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