Fw: Fri.24.5.19 daily digest
  Roderick Smith

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To: Tdu Transportdownunder transportdownunder@...>
Sent: Sunday, 9 June 2019, 21:28
Subject: Fri.24.5.19 daily digest



190523Th Melbourne 'Age' - airport line.

190524F Melbourne 'Herald Sun':- letters (road, energy). with tdu- energy (gas). with tdu- graffiti vandal.- Hampton pedestrian crossing.- Melbourne 'Herald Sun' - Toorak elevated, now & future.
190524F Melbourne 'Age':- energy (electricity prices). with tdu

190524F 'Brisbane Times' - Roma St now & future.

Fri.24.5.19 Metro Twitter.
Buses replace trains Sandringham - City until 7.00, Sun 9 Jun (tunnel work)..
- Because of a protest in Spring Street, replacement bus services will originate/terminate at South Yarra 11.00-15.00 today, connecting from/to Pakenham/Cranbourne/Frankston trains.
- 14.00 Normal replacement bus operations have resumed.
- From 21.00 until the last train of Sun 26 May, buses replace trains South Yarra/Caulfield - Sandringham.
10.13 Werribee/Williamstown lines: Minor delays (a VLine issue at Melbourne Southern Cross).
- 10.20 clearing.
Sunbury line: Buses replace trains between North Melbourne and Sunshine from 20.30 until the last train of Sunday 26 May.
Buses replace trains Mordialloc - Frankston from 21.40 until the last train of Sun 26 May (level-crossing removal work).

Melbourne Express, Friday, May 24, 2019
8.38 Keep in mind the closure of La Trobe St between Elizabeth and Swanston streets.
There will be thousands of "climate warriors" protesting in the city today.  The group called Extinction Rebellion will meet at Parliament House at noon, before marching through city streets. Police will be monitoring the march from Bourke, Swanston, Collins and Flinders streets from about noon until 3pm.
8.13 Chapel Street has been re-opened, but it might take a little while for the backlog of traffic to clear.
7.56 The accident happened near Palermo Street, just north of Jam Factory.
Chapel Street remains closed and traffic diversions are in place.
7.41 Chapel Street is completely closed this morning after a serious accident involving several cars.
The accident happened near Palermo Street, and southbound diversions have been set up at Toorak Road.
Authorities are warning drivers to use Punt Road or Williams Road instead.
Police promise 'strong police presence' in CBD at lunchtime
However, police had this to say to the climate warriors:
Victoria Police is aware of protest activity planned in Melbourne on Friday 24 May.
Those in the CBD may notice a larger than normal police presence due to a scheduled protest activity.
Community safety is Victoria Police’s number one priority [oh no, revenue raising from speed limits is] and there will be a strong police presence throughout the day to ensure people are safe.
Thousands of climate warriors are expected to take over the streets of Melbourne to pressure the federal government to take strong environmental action.
A group called Extinction Rebellion will host a climate rally at Victoria's Parliament House on Friday at noon before leading a march through the streets.
"The climate emergency is not a political issue, it is a scientific fact," a statement from the rally organisers states.
Organisers say 5000 demonstrators may take part in the rally which includes people lying "dead" on the ground to show the Earth's sixth mass extinction.
Experiencing May Misery? Let us know.  Heading into the city this weekend? Use this nifty infographic to help plan your journey today and throughout May.
If you've ever found it painful getting through Melbourne Airport, imagine if you were travelling alongside almost twice as many passengers as today. That will be the reality in the not-too-distant future.
5.42 Trains are looking good this morning, bar the Sandringham line which continues to have buses replacing trains between Parliament and Sandringham.
Swan St has been reopened to traffic between Punt Road and Cremorne Street, with a new tram stop and upgraded tram overhead.

After election, energy war reignites between government and industry May 24, 2019

24.5.19 'We're worried that the planet is dying': Thousands of climate protesters bring CBD to standstill. 330 comments
Brisbane's 'ugliest building' to go as bus and rail moves underground May 24, 2019. 4 comments
Brisbane buses will follow trains underground at Roma Street Station as the government forges ahead with Cross River Rail plans, without the federal help it hoped to get from a Shorten Labor government.
A new underground train station had already been promised for the inner-Brisbane transit hub, but deputy Premier Jackie Trad announced on Friday that the bus interchange would also be moved below.
The new Roma Street station will be built where the existing Transit Centre stands.
Ms Trad, who is also Infrastructure Minister, said it would provide a "seamless connection" between rail and bus.
“That means public transport becomes very, very reliable but also very accessible," she said.
Described by Transport Minister Mark Bailey as "one of the ugliest buildings in Brisbane",  the run-down Brisbane Transit Centre on Roma Street will be demolished in 2020, to make way for the interchange.
He said the 650-metre busway would be located directly under the Roma Street station plaza.
The Roma Street Transit Centre has been called Brisbane's 'ugliest building'.Credit:Glenn Hunt
"Queenslanders are backing public transport, with a record 182 million trips taken across the south east last financial year, including an average of 19,000 people using the current Roma Street bus station each day,” Mr Bailey said.
“Once Cross River Rail is operational, 36,000 passengers are expected to use Roma Street every day to transfer between buses and trains, which is why we’re upgrading this important hub, taking hundreds of cars off the road and easing congestion."
The 650-metre long busway would be located directly under the Roma Street station plaza.
Ms Trad said the bus/train interchange would support crowds as large as 20,000 travel to and from events at the proposed Brisbane Live arena.
The entertainment centre would sit on an elevated structure above existing railways, road and property at Roma Street.
Queensland will be "going it alone" with funding the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project after the Coalition failed to provide any help in the federal budget.
Federal Labor promised to give $2.24 billion if they won government, but that went up in smoke with Saturday’s electoral defeat.
Roma Street Transit Centre will be demolished to make way for the new Brisbane Live development.
But Ms Trad said Queensland had not included the $2.24 billion promised by federal Labor in the 2019-20 Queensland budget for the Cross River Rail project.
* My old dad used to say that you know you are getting old when they start demolishing buildings that you actually saw being built. In this case the Roma Street ugly black boxes are no big loss.
* certainly a much better look than the concrete bunkers at the City Centre
* Is this bus interchange somehow different from the Brisbane Metro underground station also in the same area? Or is this just reannouncing the underground bus station which has already been in the plans for years?
* Different, this is for interstate coaches and the like.

Woman tries to claim $350,000 after hitting head inside Transperth bus May 24, 2019. 1 comments
A Perth passenger injured when a Transperth bus braked suddenly has failed in her bid to sue the driver for an estimated $350,000 over the accident.
Jennifer Avsar suffered facial injuries in 2012 while travelling on a red CAT bus in Fremantle after the driver braked heavily to avoid a motorcyclist, causing her to fall forward in her seat and hit her head on a ticketing machine.
The woman has failed to claim hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages, after suffering a minor injury on a bus. Credit:File image
Hospital admission documents from the day of the incident showed Ms Avsar had remained conscious, but was complaining of numbness to the right side of her face and a headache.
She was discharged the next day with records showing she still had 'slight pain in neck and head', with no record of any marks or bruising.
She was advised to take regular paracetamol every six hours and ibuprofen for any breakthrough pain.
During a civil trial in the Perth District Court in March 2019, Ms Avsar's health conditions caused by the incident had expanded to include a concussion, heavy bruising, loose and missing teeth, blurred vision, a torn shoulder muscle, sore back and a broken ankle, which she claimed had rendered her disabled.
She attempted to claim hundreds of thousands of dollars for medical treatment and to have her family members care for her at a rate of $27 an hour.
She also lodged paperwork claiming a loss of earning capacity totalling $40,000 a month, despite medical records listing the then-61-year-old as retired, and her family business, where she suggested she worked, having been closed for 15 years.
Judge Patrick O'Neal, in his judgment handed down earlier this month, found Ms Avsar's injuries from the incident had "expanded and varied" over time.
"The plaintiff was prone to exaggerate matters that seemingly assisted her case and minimise those that might detract from it," he said.
"Contrary to answers given by the plaintiff, she has a long history of losing teeth on the left and right sides of her jaw, both upper and lower.
"That might be thought to be related at least in part to the fact that she has not been to a dentist in decades.
"To the extent that the plaintiff's claim of some problem with the blurriness or vision in her right eye might be truthful, the fact is that the plaintiff has a reported history of blurriness in her eyes dating from 14 July 2008."
Judge O'Neal also concluded Ms Avsar likely injured her shoulder after the bus incident, given she did not mention any discomfort to a doctor until more than six months afterwards.
"The absence of any muscle wastage on examination in January and February 2013, contrary to what was likely to have been seen if the problem had begun six months or more prior, suggests that any significant shoulder pain or impingement was relatively recent," he said.
He also decided her broken ankle, which occurred in Turkey two years after the bus incident, and subsequent surgeries, were not related.
Ms Avsar had tried to claim a fall she suffered in 2014 while hanging up washing was caused by her apparent back injury from the bus incident, which had caused her to have bad balance.
"While it was never made clear how falling over in this way caused the plaintiff to break her ankle, she nonetheless blamed this break, her two subsequent surgeries and all the problems that arose as a consequence, on the bus accident," Judge O'Neal said.
The bus driver involved in the incident, Paul Richwood, admitted he was negligent in his sudden breaking of the bus, but disputed the amount being claimed by Ms Avsar, leading to the civil trial.
Judge O'Neal dismissed the majority of Ms Avsar's claim, ruling she was only entitled to $3000 in general damages for pain and suffering and a "generous" estimate of $1000 for the expenses she would have incurred travelling to the pharmacy and purchasing over the counter pain killers in the month after the accident.
He also ordered she be compensated for any immediate medical expenses as a result of the accident, including the ambulance and overnight stay at Fremantle Hospital, if it had not already been done.
Under the Motor Vehicle (Third Party Insurance) Act, an award for general damages under $10,000 falls beneath the threshold to warrant a pay-out to the complainant.
The parties will be heard on orders to be made at a later date.
* What a joke, she should be made to pay all legal costs of both parties and a massive fine for lying to and wasting the courts time.
Montague st bridge bus crash victims beg for driver’s freedom
Herald Sun May 24, 2019
video: A warning gantry has been installed on Montague Street in the lead up to the infamous bridge. C...
Victims of the Montague Street bridge bus crash that saw the driver jailed for more than five years have criticised the harshness of the sentence, calling it “frustrating and disappointing”.
Ballarat bus driver Jack Aston was given a non-parole period of two years and six months in December last year for the 2016 collision with the notorious South Melbourne bridge.
But passengers Kathy Apostolidis and Harry Whelan told the Herald Sun they believe the punishment was extreme and they had never wanted Aston jailed.
And both have offered to help with his appeal.
“This is not the result I wanted,” Mr Whelan said. “I just can’t get my head around it.”
“What does it achieve, putting him in prison?” asked Ms Apostolidis.
Both victims suffered serious and permanent injuries from the crash, as well as ongoing financial and psychological difficulties.
Four other passengers were also injured.
In December last year, Country Court Judge Bill Stuart sentenced Aston after a jury found him guilty on six counts of negligently causing serious injury.
The crash occurred in February 2016. Picture: Hamish Blair
Six people were injured in the crash. Picture: Hamish Blair
The low bridge is a notorious for causing crashes. Picture: Hamish Blair
Aston — who had no criminal history and was not impaired by drugs or alcohol — was driving a Gold Bus Ballarat vehicle along Montague Street on the morning of February 22, 2016 when his 11-tonne bus collided with the low bridge.
Judge Stuart said Aston had ignored warning signs and was “grossly inattentive to your obligations”, but also admitted the bridge was “inherently dangerous”.
Jack Aston’s wife Wendy — who visits him every weekend at the Loddon-Middleton Prison in Castlemaine — told the Herald Sun she was grateful to know the victims’ feelings.
“They have every right to be angry, but I’m so relieved to know that they also think Jack was treated badly by the court,” she said.
“It sounds like we’re all just normal people struggling with this. We’re all just trying to get through it — us and the passengers”
The low Montague Street bridge is an infamous hazard and was hit 17 other times in 2016.
A staggering 26 warning gantries were installed by VicRoads after the crash, but the bridge continues to hit regularly.
Ballarat bus driver Jack Aston (right) was jailed for five years for the crash. Picture: Hamish Blair
This month there have been six bridge strikes alone, including one over-height vehicle trapped in the Burnley Tunnel.
Last year, the rail bridge on Racecourse Rd, near Boundary Rd in Flemington, was hit eight times, according to Yarra Trams.
Just last week, two trucks struck different bridges.
A truck was left on two wheels in South Melbourne on Tuesday morning, wedged under the Ferrars St light rail bridge.
And in a separate incident on the same day, a truck hit the Napier St underpass.
The sentencing of Jack Aston has become a prominent case and is used as an example against recent lenient sentences, including the low jail time giving to wife killer Borce Ristevski.
Ristevski lied to Victoria Police for years before finally pleading guilty to her manslaughter last month.
Karen Ristevski was killed and her body dumped in bushland in the same year as the Montague Street bus crash, yet her killer could be free by 2023 — just two years after Jack Aston’s release in 2021.
“Where are the calculations for these sentences?” asked Ms Apostolidis. “One person gets a really light sentence for killing someone and another gets a heavy sentence for injuring people. It was an accident.”
“He’s a human being who made a mistake,” said Mr Whelan. “It’s frustrating and disappointing.”
Both victims say the brutality of Jack Aston’s punishment is preventing them from getting on with their lives.
Victims Kathy Apostolidis and Harry Wellhan, say they are opposed to the 5 year prison sentence. Picture: David Swift
“Until justice is done, there won’t be closure for us.” said Harry. “This is not the result I wanted”
“I thought I would feel closure when the sentence came down, but on the contrary.” said Ms Apostolidis “I thought about him and his family all day on Christmas Day. I thought, my God these poor people.”
And they continue to question the community benefit in locking up Jack Aston.
“If we’re supposed to believe in rehabilitation as a society, how does jail help him become a better person?” and Harry.
None of the six injured passenger submitted a Victim Impact Statement to the court before sentencing, even though they were requested to by the Office of Public Prosecution.
“I didn’t want to add more misery to the situation,” said Kathy.
Wendy said she welcomed their help with the coming appeal.
“It means the world knowing they want to help. And I know it’s going to make a big difference to Jack”
Meg Aston, Jack’s daughter, said: “It’s still very hard for all of us. Some days it’s hard to believe because we are just normal people and its just the reality of our lives for now.
“(He’s) always talking on the phone about seeing us next. It’s very hard when visiting time is up and we have to leave.
She added: “Hearing from the passengers on the bus and that they think the sentence he got was extreme just really shows how extreme it was.
“I often think about the passengers on the bus, I know dad does also, and that they are well.
“I just hope when dads comes home we can all move on in life and I just hope his home soon.”
No sitting date has been scheduled at the Court of Appeal and the Office of Public Prosecutions has yet to file their response.
* His penalty seemed so out of whack especially vs repeat criminal behaviour —- ban him from driving for the rest of his life is how I see what his punishment should be and if he is found to not comply with this —send him to jail.
* If the bridge was built properly this accident would never had occurred let him out
* Let’s hope common sense prevails.
* Yes that's justice in Victoria for you ,we've got deadset murderers wondering around with ankle bracelets on an this bloke is doing time ,Dan Dan Dan where are you Dan.
* Maybe it’s time to remove all bridges, whilst we have the tunnel boring machines here perhaps we could put all road and train underground

Safety works no closer at deadly Hampton level crossing
Bayside Leader May 24, 2019
Julie Smerdon is among residents and authorities calling for an urgent solution at the gateless Grenville St level crossing. Picture: Wayne Taylor
Hundreds of residents are urging authorities to install gates at a deadly Bayside rail pedestrian crossing used by dozens of walkers and cyclists each day.
But their calls are falling on deaf ears.
Public Transport Victoria has refused to comment on what is being done — if anything — to prevent more people getting killed at the Grenville St crossing in Hampton after an innocent lady was struck and killed there last month.
Promised safety works at the notorious crossing were cancelled by the government authority last year, just months before Gloria Holmes was fatally hit by a train on April 15.
A bend in the track near Grenville St pedestrian rail crossing makes trains even harder to see. Picture: Shaun Campbell
Residents have called for safety upgrades at the site — the only sole pedestrian crossing without automated gates or an underpass between Sandringham Railway Station and South Rd — for more than five years but nothing has been done.
When Leader visited all four pedestrian crossings at least seven people crossed the tracks at Grenville St in five minutes compared to only one person using the others combined.
Terry Walsh, secretary of the owners corporation committee at Edgecliff on the Beach apartment complex — where Ms Holmes lived — said he had written to authorities calling for action on behalf of the complex’s 200 residents.
Mr Walsh said a bend in the track near the crossing often coincided with trains travelling in both directions, leading to many near-misses and people not noticing oncoming trains.
“Gated access would be a small price to pay for improved safety for many pedestrians,” Mr Walsh said.
The Holyrood St crossing has a bend similar to Grenville St, but has gates and sound warnings. Picture: Shaun Campbell
PTV identified the crossing as “one of nine high-risk pedestrian crossings planned to be upgraded in 2017/18” before backtracking in November, saying “a sudden change in the risk profile … required other crossings be prioritised”.
Grenville St’s Julie Smerdon was furious when safety works were cancelled without explanation, and said she had personally witnessed three other deaths at the crossing since moving to the area in 1982.
“There’s lots of talk about it now and I see people discussing it at the crossing,” she said.
“I’m sure other residents will be on board (calling for safety works) now, if not in the past.”
Authorities have also joined the fight in light of last month’s death, with Bayside Council and Brighton Liberal MP James Newbury writing to Transport Minister Jacinta Allan urging her to commit to warning gates and signals.
A train at Crisp St pedestrian crossing, which is protected by an automatic gate and warning bells.
Bayside mayor Michael Heffernan said an urgent solution must be found, while Mr Newbury agreed the government needed to “get its act together before someone else is killed”.
“(They) have known this crossing is dangerous for years and now a local grandmother has tragically died there,” Mr Newbury said.
But when questioned, PTV refused to comment on whether the site’s safety risk was being re-evaluated, why the crossing did not have gates, why safety works were cancelled, or whether anything at all would be done.
PTV chief executive Jeroen Weimar sent the same response to previous Leader inquiries about the issue — that many others were being removed and PTV “also undertook ongoing work to remind people of the risks around crossings”.
A spokesman for Ms Allen did not answer the same questions, choosing instead to use the opportunity to spruik the government’s level crossing removal program. He said the government would “consider future upgrades” to the crossing “as part of our ongoing work”..

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