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Subject: Thurs.23.5.19 daily digest
190523Th 'Canberra Times' - tram etiquette.
190523Th Melbourne 'Age' - graffiti vandalism.
190523Th Melbourne Express - La Trobe St.
190523Th Melbourne 'Herald Sun' - graffiti.
190523Th Metro Twitter:- 23.5 South Yarra (Michael Bell)- Parliament muffins.
Thurs.23.5.19 Metro Twitter.
Buses replace trains Sandringham - city until 7am, Sun 9 Jun (tunnel works)..
- Organisational skill at its ‘finest’! All-station buses four in a row; and no limited express buses and no one knows when the next one is coming along. You got to be joking?
- Can you tell us your station and we will check it out.
- Parliament, which is supposed to be the main departure point.
- Are you on a bus yet? Some inbound replacement buses have been delayed in heavy road traffic.
- Yes, on a bus which is an ALTERED limited express. The staff who changed the routing made 12 people go through Balaclava (and Ripponlea) just to drop ONE person off. When that person could have been directed onto an all-stations bus.
- Why don’t you put the trains on the Frankston line rather than keeping the service as is when you know everyone is gonna jump on the nearby lines?This happened with Sandrigham when Franskston lines were not fully operational!
- 15.00 I'm a little bored at this bus stop at Parliament; I've been waiting 15 mins for an express.
- 17.00 What a farce.
- Also, during the 17.00 peak hour, there are not enough limited-express buses running back into the city. Most commuters need to go through the city, to transit at one of the main hubs like FSS or Parliament. Frankston lines are already maxed out in normal days!
- No additional services will operate on the Frankston line: trains already operating at full schedule capacity. [A blatant lie. 6.00-7.00: five trains ex Moorabbin. 7.00-8.00, 12 trains; 800-9.00, 11 trains].
- Then can you please tell me why do I have to pay full fares when I keep standing two hour in the train with having a person stuck to me on each side?
- Fares are determined by PTV. You can contact them on 1800 800 007.
- 8.44 Free mini muffins at Parliament station, thanks to Waverley Industry..
9.15 Frankston/Cranbourne/Pakenham lines: Minor delays clearing after an earlier ill passenger at Parliament.
17.35 Werribee line: Delays up to 15 minutes (an ill passenger requiring medical assistance). Trains will be held.
- Inbound or outbound?
- 17.57 clearing.
- Why are you cancelling trains at Newport? This means that I won’t fit on the next Laverton or Werribee which comes, and will be much more than 15 min delay.
- If they say 15 min delay, that means 1 h delay. If they say 20 min delay, that means 2 h delay. 1 day repair means 4 days. Very optimistic announcements misleading the public.
Melbourne Express, Thursday, May 23, 2019
If you looked skywards this morning, you might have spotted a Dutch painter.. Vincent Van Gogh's head is en route to the King Valley Balloon Festival in north-east Victoria, which starts next month.
How to cycle around the city - virtually. If you're always wanted to try cycling in Melbourne but you're too scared of the traffic, or you're not sure of the rules, here's a thing. Melbourne Knowledge Week is offering up free virtual reality cycling around the city. Users can test out a variety of scenarios and report back on which feels safest. Try it at "Prototype Street" (also known as Blackwood Street) in North Melbourne until Sunday. More info here.
Melbourne City Council defies state government on closing parts of Elizabeth St.
Melbourne City Council has unanimously adopted a plan to close parts of Elizabeth Street to traffic despite the state government urging it be delayed until 2025 when the Metro Tunnel is completed.
Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan had called for the council to push back the changes due to rolling road closures caused by the construction of two new underground train stations in the CBD as part of the Metro Tunnel project. But transport chair councillor Frances Gilley said the council would manage the disruption and "manage it well".
"One of the things that happened is that we have not had the kind of investment in public transport that we have needed," he said.
An artist's impression of some of the planned changes on Elizabeth St.
City streets closed for tunnel work. If you're out and about in the city, don't forget works for the tunnel are ongoing. Until June 14, La Trobe St is closed eastbound between Elizabeth and Swanston streets.
One of Victoria's worst planning bungles has returned to haunt Melbourne City Council with the developer behind an apartment tower which threatened to block emergency helicopter access to Royal Melbourne Hospital suing for $7..5 million in damages.
The federal government has swiftly renewed its hardline approach to the energy sector, threatening tough action against power retailers who fail to ensure they have adequate supply for households they are serving.
5.43 Metro is reporting good services on all lines, bar the Sandringham line. Buses are replacing trains between the city and Sandringham until Sunday, June 9 (tunnel works).
Campaign against Kooyong elevated gaining momentum for Toorak Rd
Stonnington Leader May 21, 2019
Marnie Rowe outside her property on Talbot Cres in Kooyong. Picture: Andy Brownbill
Kooyong residents are ramping up their campaign against sky rail, which they fear will leave a “scar on the face of Melbourne”.
Kooyong Underground, a group set up to fight the state government’s plan for a sky rail 9m above Toorak Rd, has attracted almost 200 supporters on Facebook.
A change.org petition set up by the group has gained more than 180 signatures since being set up on Monday, May 13.
Group co-founder Marnie Rowe said residents felt “ambushed” by Premier Dan Andrews’ announcement in February.
“We had no idea this was coming,” Ms Rowe said.
“We had zero consultation.”
Ms Rowe said she would have a prime view of the 9m-tall, 550m-long section of elevated track from her backyard.
She said it made no sense to have sky rail on Toorak Rd when nearby level crossing removals at Burke Rd and Glenferrie Rd had a rail under road solution.
Anti-sky rail campaigner Marnie Rowe outside her property on Talbot Crescent Kooyong. Picture: Andy Brownbill
Level Crossing Removal Authority plans reveal sky rail was chosen for Toorak Rd because it had the “shortest construction time, meaning less disruption for residents and commuters”.
But Ms Rowe said residents would be willing to put up with longer disruptions to avoid the “lifetime mistake” of sky rail.
An artist’s impression of Talbot Crescent before and after the project.
“I don’t want to walk the streets of Toorak with my grandchildren one day and they ask how did I let this monolithic piece of architecture happen?” she said.
“It will be a scar on the face of Melbourne for the next 100 years.
“Why should anyone suffer when there is an underground solution?
“There’s nothing wrong with taking pride to protect the environment and our amenity.”
Government spokeswoman Hayley Bester, on behalf of the authority, said the community had provided more than 1200 individual pieces of feedback on the project but did not specify of what nature.
About 37,000 vehicles travel through the Toorak Rd level crossing every day..
Construction is set to begin in late 2019 and be completed by 2021.
* Almost 200 signatures in a week! That sounds like a ground swell that will influence government. I don't think so.
How many commuters in cars & trains will be better off? I think much more than 200,000 per day.
* I used the same word when I posted this to Facebook.
* Not so: the car drivers would be just as happy with trenching. The train users gain nothing. We have the appalling example of Caulfield - Oakleigh already.
LXRA is interested only in cars, and goes for the cheapest and nastiest solution. It has no interest at all in aesthetics.
Councils vote on tree penalties, copper theft, ‘urban clutter’ at MAV State Council meeting.
Leader May 22, 2019
Councils want a statewide police crackdown on copper thieves amid concerns a western suburbs municipality has resorted to antitheft measures, including CCTV cameras and security patrols, to no avail. And it’s not the only issue on their agenda.
Councils want a Victoria Police taskforce to tackle copper theft.
Victorian councils have banded together to demand action on key concerns including tougher penalties for tree vandals, a police taskforce to tackle copper theft and better protections for new homebuyers.
....The group also backed a Brimbank Council push for a Victoria Police taskforce to combat copper cabling theft, which it said had amounted to $1 million in insurance claims over the past 18 months.
“Brimbank Council, like many other LGAs, has implemented a number of antitheft measures, including security patrols, CCTV surveillance, modifications to electrical pits, etc. and have continued to liaise with Victorian Police in an attempt to prevent further thefts,” the council said, but the thefts continued “unabated”.
....Support was also won for... Port Phillip’s bid for the Office to the Victorian Government Architect to review the impact of “urban clutter” such as NBN boxes and roadside cabinets on public space and whether some of them could be moved underground.
How the rise of car sharing could change the property market May 23, 2019
Dead Central: Final resting place for 30,000 under a Sydney station May 23 2019
"Beneath every Sydney landmark lies a story"Credit:State Library of NSW
"Do not touch my resting place," urged the inscription on a tomb in the Devonshire Street Cemetery, Sydney's Evening News reported in October 1900.
The plea was ignored. Six years later, more than 30,000 dead had been exhumed – skeletons crammed 10 to a coffin – and relocated to other cemeteries across Sydney to make way for the new Central Station.
Beneath every Sydney landmark lies a story, said Elise Edmonds, a senior curator at the State Library of NSW.
Dead Central, a new exhibition that opens on Saturday, pays tribute to the lives of those buried at the cemetery between its opening in 1820 and closure in 1867.
Elise Edmonds, State Library of NSW senior curator, standing in one of the installations included in the new exhibition, Dead Central. Credit:Louise Kennerley
The first to be buried was quartermaster Hugh McDonald, whose headstone said that a "brother of the mystic here gives this tribute to his memory".
He was followed by first fleeter James Squire, who started Sydney's first hop plant and brewery. He was recognised for his "vital service to the community" because his beer was considered harmless compared with "injurious spirits".
Others included Mary Reiby, a businesswoman who died in 1855, cricketer Richard Murray, who died in 1861, and William Lewin, coroner, artist and naturalist, who died 1819.
The size of about five football fields, the cemetery stretched under the current station and railway lines from Elizabeth Street in the east to Pitt Street in the west, ending under the feet of those who today use the Devonshire Street pedestrian tunnel.
The Fosters take photographs at the former Devonshire Street Cemetery. Credit:State Library of NSW
It had become so crowded that The Daily Telegraph reported in 1901 that at least 5000 bodies couldn't be located. Bodies were discovered beneath paths.. Remains were found buried close to the surface. Noxious and fetid smells were reported by those living near, Ms Edmonds said.
To find every grave, the government directed that the soil in "every portion of the cemetery" was to be turned over.
Despite that, nobody knows how many remains are there today. Record keeping was sloppy, and some remains were uncovered during recent construction works, Ms Edmonds said.
After the government announced its decision in January 1901 to exhume the bodies, descendants were given two months to decide where remains should be reinterred.
As families scurried to make arrangements, Surry Hills couple Josephine Foster and her husband Arthur George Foster – inaugural members of the Royal Australian Historical Society – undertook to photograph and record hundreds of headstones before they were lost to time.
"We all realise how rapidly the old is giving place to the new, and only by means of pictures will those who come after us know what Sydney was like once upon a time," Mrs Foster explained some years later.
Labourers prepare the ground for the train station.Credit:State library of NSW
Her photos, which are included in the exhibition, provide "a window into old Sydney", Ms Edmonds said.
The exhibition is accompanied by a spooky audio guide, in which actors read the headstones as a "ghost train" rushes in and out of the unused platform under Central.
Ms Edmonds said she wanted visitors to hear the "evocative and beautiful language".
"There is a lot of poetry, a lot of biblical quotes, also these stark details, such as 'after a lingering illness, which she bore with Christian fortitude'."
The records include Harriet Mary Sheba, "the only daughter of Joseph Hyde Potts, who ceased to breath, on the 5th day of December 1838", and William Oliver, "who was accidentally killed by a bullock cart", April 2nd, 1821, aged 34 years. John Charles Tremayne, the only son of Joseph Hyde Potts of the Bank of New South Wales, resigned his spirit on November 9, 1838.
As workmen started moving the bodies, newspapers reported "strange finds".
The Fosters' photos provide "a window into old Sydney", said Ms Edmonds.Credit:State Library of NSW
"In one grave three bodies had been buried one on top of the other ... In another grave were a beautiful pair of Chinese slippers with bones of a woman's feet inside them. The grave was opened on Saturday and on Monday morning when the men went back to work they found small candles tied in bamboo burning over the open grave.’
By the time exhumations began, the cemetery was abandoned and overgrown, more like a rubbish tip than a graveyard, one commentator wrote.
"I walk along the row of graves I see here a clump of old boots, some rags ... cracked jugs, old skins, stale meat .... dead rats, broken traps, yards of wire-netting, evil smelling things."
In the Catholic section, there were "yawing holes beside dismantled stones suggest dark, dampness, and mouldering bones, and grim death".
Dead Central at the State Library opens Saturday May 25 until November
May 23 2019 Light rail etiquette: don't talk on the tram. Please .
Something terrible happened on a tram the other night. Terrible.
It was a northbound train, leaving Alinga Street at about 6.30pm - the rush hour - and the front carriage was packed.
It's an old problem. Did these Sydney-siders understand the etiquette of the tram in 1950?
A rather grand lady decided that this was a communal experience and she would talk to people!
She opined about the cost of private schooling. She told us all what a marvellous thing the tram was but how the bus services for her children had been affected.
At one stage, she said to a professional gentleman next to her, "Let me tell you what happens." He muttered, "If you must", and shuffled in embarrassment.
The rest of us looked deeper into our phones. If we could have drilled into them and hidden, we would have.
Talking to strangers on the tram!
It couldn't have been worse if she'd stripped off and done a belly dance with tassels and a gemstone in her navel.
Not that this would have been easy in the packed carriage.
There is an etiquette to tram travel. Probably each city develops its own but already a code of behaviour is developing in Canberra - loud mobile phone conversations already seem to be frowned upon.
“Do not attempt to have a conversation with a familiar stranger. Maybe a weak smile to show an absence of hostility but that's it.”
But the voluble lady hadn't learnt another rule: a tram journey is not some sort of high-society cocktail party where polite conversation with strangers is expected.
On the tube in London, the government was so concerned about tourists not understanding the etiquette that it published the rules.
Rule Number 1: "It's OK to be quiet".
The grand lady hadn't realised this on the Canberra tram. Her one way "conversation" started because she mistook polite but limited chatter, as people adjusted to the packed conditions, as a green light for conversation.
Some interaction is allowed. Maybe a restrained smile as you shuffle in to create space for late-comers who rush and squeeze in as the doors close.
After the minimal talking rule, Rule 2 is that you don't crowd the doors and do make space. This rule of politeness is already well developed in Canberra.
But a packed tram is a competitive environment.
Seats are limited. All the same, Rule 3 is that you don't rush madly for one if you are first on. That is undignified. You may have sharp elbows but you hide them.
The best operators know how to get a seat without demeaning themselves by sprinting.
It is not a race for the lifeboats so wait strategically on the platform - but with a false calmness. Be cunning. Hide your zeal to sit. Know where the doors of the incoming train will be.
In this, small women have an advantage. People don't assume they are aggressive so they get away with more. They can play the gallantry card: few macho Australian males are going to actually push a woman to the floor in order to reach the seat. Few.
Rule 4 is: backpacks off. On the tram on Friday, one studentish girl hadn't realised that. In more brutal cities, she would have been jostled. Other passengers would have nudged her backpack, discombobulating her until she got the silent but forceful message.
It's early days on the Canberra light rail system so her rather sad ignorance of etiquette was tolerated. It won't be in six months. Just a friendly warning.
This etiquette matters. Sociologists have studied how "the seating layout of public transport forces people into an intimate distance with strangers, causing social discomfort."
These pioneering passengers on the Canberra tram's first day got it right.
In plain English: we get anxious when we are pushed together intimately with those we don't know.
One American sociologist said that passengers were "familiar strangers". Commuters saw other commuters as scenery rather than as people to engage with in pleasantries.
The talkative lady may be what sociologists call a "latent conversationalist", someone who is keen to chat but feels inhibited.
A breakdown or a delay can remove this inhibition.
"Travelling for non-work situations, such as going to the same sports event wearing your team's colours, also provides the grounds for a perception of commonality between passengers that can foster greater interpersonal communication", according to Dr Jared Thomas who researched the matter at Victoria University in Wellington for his PhD.
He observed 1703 passengers and concluded that there were ways to "facilitate conversation". "Asking simple questions such as 'do you have the time?' or offering comments about the weather may engage someone.
"Observe the other passengers' response, including their body language, and if it is positive, attempt to continue the conversation.
"Positive body language and smiling helps, but it is important to remember that people are very good at discerning whether your smile and intentions are genuine."
Or adhere to Rule 1 of Tram Etiquette: do not attempt to have a conversation with a familiar stranger. Maybe a weak smile to show an absence of hostility but that's it.
The grand lady on the northbound tram will learn. She had better. It's a brutal world on a crowded light rail vehicle.
May 23 2019 Barr government should tread carefully on Woden link
One immediate result of the Morrison government's unexpected election victory is the second stage of the light rail, the already problematic Civic to Woden leg, just got at least $200 million harder.
That is because the federal funding, pledged by Bill Shorten on March 13, conditional of course on his forming government and becoming prime minister, has evaporated along with the late autumn mist. We are yet to see what, if any, similar commitment the Coalition might make.
A Canberra light rail driver prepares to depart Gungahlin on the first day of operations. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong
The money, to have come from a suite of policies designed to create jobs through infrastructure projects, had been welcomed by the ACT government, which saw it as a positive development at a time when the light rail project was already encountering serious headwinds.
It came soon after the decision to abandon the original Parkes and Barton Route in favour of running the tracks around the eastern side of State Circle, a decision Transport Minister Meegan Fitzharris described at the time as shorter but "not necessarily" cheaper.
That call had been made after a bipartisan federal parliamentary report found the proposed Barton route would "unavoidably add further complexity, time and cost to the project".
Andrew Barr, speaking earlier this week, made it clear the loss of the federal funding promised by Labor, which is extremely unlikely to be replicated by the returned Morrison government, was a grievous blow.
"I was expecting, or hoping, this week to be able to sit down with a Labor infrastructure minister and a Labor territories minister and focus on the parliamentary approval process and on delivering their $200 million commitment to the project," he said.
While Canberra's voters did their bit by delivering three federal seats, including the new seat of Bean, to Labor, Mr Shorten is no longer around to honour his side of the bargain. As a result Mr Barr claims the completion date may have to be pushed back.
“A bipartisan federal parliamentary report found the proposed Barton route would "unavoidably add further complexity, time and cost to the project".”
It now turns out Canberra's iconic Commonwealth Avenue bridge may need to be replaced with an entirely new structure to accommodate trams, road traffic and pedestrians as part of a project already being tipped to cost between $1.3 billion to $1.6 billion.
National Capital Authority chief executive Sally Barnes told a Property Council breakfast on Tuesday "it would be silly not to look at" the option of a new bridge given both the federal and territory governments were already planning for separate and significant upgrades to the existing 56-year-old structure.
While the structure had been well maintained, it has now reached an age where between $70 million and $100 million needs to be spent to keep it going for another 60 years.
While it would be foolish to spend this amount of money at the same time the Barr government is considering a third bridge to carry the light rail, the cost of an entirely new bridge capable of carrying all existing and future traffic is the great unknown. It certainly won't be cheap.
Given early hopes synergies could be gained from starting construction on stage two immediately after the completion of stage one were dashed long ago, what was always going to be a difficult, costly and complex project has just become much harder still.
Stage one was delivered in a timely and apparently cost effective manner, and, so far, is proving popular. Let's hope stage two follows a similar trajectory.
Bayside train graffiti warriors call to scrap blight ‘once and for all’
Bayside Leader May 23, 2019
The pain of Metro Tunnel works could have an unexpected silver lining for commuters, but the state government has to act quickly as locals call on them to “stop passing the buck”.
Sandringham Liberal MP Brad Rowswell with Bayside graffiti-busters Terry Reynolds, Chris Grigsby and Edward Smith. Picture: Stuart Milligan
The state government is being urged to clean up atrocious graffiti along Bayside’s rail corridor “once and for all” while the line is closed for three weeks.
The Sandringham line closure between May 21 and June 9 for major Metro Tunnel works is the perfect time to take action against the “graffiti blight” plaguing the line, authorities and residents say.
Sandringham Liberal MP Brad Rowswell said he had been inundated with complaints from dozens of people about the “prolific” vandalism, up to five years old.
Mr Roswell has now written to Premier Daniel Andrews seeking immediate attention.
“(The line closure) is an unprecedented opportunity to allow workers to safely access assets and fences adjacent to the Sandringham line,” he said.
Graffiti hot spots include intersections at Abbott and Beaumont streets, Queens Square and Kings St, Queens Square and Bath St, Bridge and Moor streets and the Bridge St overpass.
Beaumaris graffiti warrior Chris Grigsby — who spends much of his time painting over graffiti that pops up across his suburb — said a major clean-up would be good but wouldn’t last.
Sandringham, Brighton and Hampton are all littered with graffiti along the rail corridor.
Mr Grigsby said a multifaceted approach was vital for a long-term solution.
“I’m appalled at the lack of action (by the council and government) … because I have proved that if you constantly take it off, kids give up and you don’t see it again,” Mr Grigsby said..
“We need the state government to run a multi-departmental initiative and stop passing the buck.”
Hampton resident Terry Reynolds, who has cleaned up and transformed a section of land near the line into parkland, agreed the graffiti problem could be defeated with the right approach.
“Railway corridors should not be a continuous dump,” he said.
Public Transport Minister Melissa Horne said Metro Trains was working closely with contractors to ensure cleaning crews removed as much graffiti as possible during upcoming works and beyond.
“Graffiti has no place on our rail network, and thanks to a new corridor blitz program, we’re removing more than ever before,” she said.
Metro spends more than $10 million on graffiti removal every year, across its 1000km of track, more than 219 stations and 222 trains.
It aims to remove graffiti within 24 hours of it being reported.
MORE: BAYSIDE TRADERS USE NEW METHODS TO TACKLE GRAFFITI
NEW PROGRAM TO HELP WAR ON VANDALISM
Pair ordered to clean up act after 'ugly' train tagging spree May 23, 2019.
Two Melbourne men have been ordered to do hundreds of hours of community work to make up for "ugly" graffiti attacks on dozens of train carriage across the city.
Leo Hocking, 35, and Brayden Constantini, 20, filmed and took stills of their tagging, which was what eventually got them caught.
Their damage cost Metro Trains $31,435 and Bombardier $2112 to clean and repair.
Both men pleaded guilty to intentionally causing criminal damage and trespass – Hocking to 157 charges and Constantini to 79 charges.
County Court Judge Michael O'Connell ordered the pair to complete hundreds of hours of community work for the graffiti, which included the slogans GURL, ROKS and TIMR.
Metro paid $30,000-plus to clean-up tagging on its trains. Credit: Paul Rovere
"This has nothing to do with artistic talent," the judge said.
"Rather, the contrary. You repeatedly rendered important public assets ugly.."
Hocking, who has been jailed for tagging trains since the offending, had received a "wake-up call", the court heard.
Judge O'Connell said had he not received that sentence he would have had no problem handing down another for the offending between July 2017 and July 2018.
Instead he ordered Hocking to complete 440 hours of community work as part of a three-and-a-half year community corrections order.
He suggested it would be fitting that he restore graffiti-affected public assets as part of that.
Hocking will also have a 9pm to 6am curfew for the next six months.
Constantini's offending was over a shorter period from September 2017 to July 2018.
He was ordered to complete 200 hours of community work.
The men were caught when an off-duty police officer found a camera with footage of them tagging trains.
A protective services officer also found a camera with footage.
Search warrants on their homes uncovered more photos, videos and texts planning their attacks.
Hocking was ordered to pay $23,207 for his share of the clean-up bill.
Constantini must pay $10,340 for his share.