Fw: Sat.25.5.19 daily digest
  Roderick Smith

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Subject: Sat.25.5.19 daily digest

Roderickno photos.

Sat.25.5.19 Metro Twitter.
Werribee line: All trains will run direct to/from Flinders St all day (tunnel works).
Sunbury line: Buses replace trains North Melbourne - Sunshine until the last train of Sun 26 May (tunnel works).
- VLine is still operating as scheduled.
- Just what many of us working over the weekend love doing before and after our shifts; being piss farted around between trains and buses.
Sandringham line: Buses replace trains until the last service of Sun 26 May (tunnel works).  For South Yarra - Elsternwick, take any train to South Yarra, then a replacement bus. For Elsternwick - Sandringham, take any train to Caulfield, then a replacement bus.
14.45 Pakenham & Cranbourne lines: Major delays (police).
- 14.57 clearing.
19.00 Glen Waverley line: Minor delays (an equipment fault near Jordanville).
Buses replace trains Mordialloc - Frankston from 21.40 until the last train of Sun 26 May (level-crossing removal work).
- Your staff at Frankston were excellent, and at each station along the way.. Everyone hates being stuck on buses, but you’re handling it as well as it can be.
21.45 We have extra trains for traffic returning from MCG football.
- Pakenham, Cranbourne, Frankston (connecting to Sandringham): Enter Richmond via Olympic Boulevard for trains departing from pfm 4 or 6.
- Lilydale, Belgrave (connecting to Alamein), Glen Waverley: Enter Richmond via Brunton Ave for trains departing from pfm 9 & 10.
- Werribee, Sunbury, Craigieburn, Upfield: Enter Richmond via Olympic Bvd and take any train from pfm 3 or 5 (or7?) to Flinders St and change.
- Mernda, Hurstbridge: Enter Jolimont via Yarra Park.
- 22.10 Current wait times leading into Richmond from Brunton Ave are 1-2 min.
- 22.11 Jolimont: Crowds are flowing well through Yarra Park and the station.
- 22.20 Current wait times leading into Richmond from Brunton Ave are 2-3 min.
- 22.29 Current wait times are 6 - 7 min. Please also use the Olympic Bvd, Swan St and Stewart St entrances.
- 22.38 Crowds are clearing well and waiting times are minimal via the Brunton Ave entrance.

Motel nostalgia  May 25, 2019.

Retailer anger as NSW defends light rail disruptions as reasonable May 25, 2019. 20 comments
The NSW government will defend a $400 million class action from retailers disrupted by the Sydney Light Rail project by arguing it acted "reasonably" and the disruptions were unavoidable.
Some of the 150 business owners mounting the case who were forced into liquidation or left on the brink of financial ruin have been left fuming at the defence, filed by Transport for NSW in the Supreme Court.
Amelia Birch outside her former business, The Book Kitchen, which closed down because of the light rail construction on Devonshire Street, Surry Hills.. Credit:Janie Barrett
It shows the government will rely on the NSW Civil Liability Act 2002, which protects government agencies from being sued for damages when developing major projects, as long as the court does not deem their actions to be unreasonable.
Amelia Birch, whose Surry Hills business The Book Kitchen was forced to close in 2017, described the government's argument as "appalling".
She said it was clear the project had been "poorly handled" and carried out "without any sense of care and efficiency towards businesses".
"I lost everything," Ms Birch said.
"It's not just a loss of business, a loss of revenue. It's a loss of identity, a loss of dignity, I lost my marriage because of all of this. There have been huge consequences."
Two years after Ms Birch's business on Devonshire Street went under, the premises remain vacant.
Nearly a dozen shopfronts have been boarded up along Anzac Parade in Kensington, which another business owner, who wished to remain anonymous, described as a "ghost town".
Construction of the 12-kilometre line, linking Circular Quay with Randwick and Kensington in the city’s south-east, has been dogged by delays and cost blow-outs.
A section of the light rail construction works on Devonshire Street in Surry Hills. Credit:Louise Kennerley
A completion date of May 2020 was recently forecast, about 14 months behind schedule, while costs have soared $500 million to $2.1 billion.
Spanish builder Acciona blames Transport for NSW, alleging it failed to disclose in the early stages it did not have Ausgrid's agreement over how critical underground cables should be handled.
The members of the class action are seeking compensation for mental anguish and millions in lost turnover allegedly caused by road closures, barricades and excessive dust, noise and vibrations.
They span family-owned small businesses in the suburbs to large corporations – such as hotels – based in the CBD, with individual claims worth up to about $5 million.
The business owners have rejected Transport for NSW’s claim the disruptions were inevitable, arguing it failed to effectively plan the project and made dozens of changes when work was already under way.
"The way they've gone about it, in terms of closing the whole route off for the whole time has been really inefficient," Ms Birch said. "It's unfair to expect a business to survive for two to four years without financial support."
But Transport for NSW said in court documents that the steps it might have taken to avoid disruptions were constrained by the “financial and other resources available to it”, which were "not open to challenge" by the plaintiffs.
Transport for NSW's defence has recently been taken over by its insurer's solicitors. It scored a win in court this month, when Justice Peter Garling ruled it could drag the construction companies into the dispute.
Transport for NSW will argue that ALTRAC, the consortium overseeing the project, and Acciona, the building subcontractor, should be liable for any harm suffered by the retailers.
In its cross-claim against the companies, Transport for NSW argued it did not have direct supervision or control over construction work and was not responsible if ALTRAC and Acciona failed to meet their contract terms.
The light rail being constructed in Randwick last year.Credit:Janie Barrett
Under those terms, it argued, the contractors had to ensure there were not “unreasonable” levels of dust, noise or vibrations and that the work did not “unduly interfere” with the activities of residents and businesses.
Acciona was required to “diligently progress" construction and “avoid or minimise" delays.
Acciona and ALTRAC will fight the allegations in the cross-claim. The retailers argued involving the contractors would add to the “size, scope, complexity and cost” of the proceedings.
But Justice Garling disagreed, finding the addition of the two defendants would not “make the case any more complex than it already is”.
The lawyer for the retailers, Rick Mitry of Mitry Lawyers, said his clients had a "very strong" case.
"Certainly Transport for NSW has a lot to answer for and they know that – that's why they're joining other parties and the insurance company to the case," he said. "We've got them on the run."
The matter was adjourned to July 26.
Related Article Upmarket retailer sues state over Sydney's bungled light rail project. Upmarket retailer sues state over Sydney's bungled light rail project
* Kensington high street (ANZAC Pde) from Peters to Kingsford has been destroyed...local business after local business sent broke by the incompetence of the state government.
* This is supposedly a pro-business NSW Govt? Absolutely appalling decision to defend the Govt actions. In any case the whole tram saga is a waste of taxpayers funds and there is still the liability to the Spanish construction contractor. How in hell could this dreadful Govt be re-elected.
* The way these businesses were treated is an absolute disgrace.
Poor planning and the rush to let these contracts shows how inept this Government is.
These people lost everything and this lot hide behind the law.
Pay them the compensation they deserve, and let them get their lives back together, instead of looking for scapegoats
* It's been a few months since this story was trotted out. I was wondering where it got to. I guess there's nothing much happening now that the elections are over. On the basis of typical churn, I suspect many of these businesses would have gone under through natural attrition and poor management anyway. Cafes come and go. So do hairdressers. Let's see what happens when they have to bring out their books in court. Could be interesting but still a waste of taxpayers money to defend these cases. As always, the lawyers will be the only winners.
* How about a trackless tram next time - https://www.createdigital.org.au/trackless-trams-solve-light-rail-problems/
* Damn, I should have become a lawyer.
* This really appalling. My hairdresser has lost half his business because of this, hardly managing to survive, and everyone knows about the delays and blowout. The government should just pay up and shutup.
* It is interesting how the people of Sydney DEMAND that the government DO SOMETHING about CRUMBLING INFRASTRUCTURE, but then as soon as the government does something, the narrative switches instantly to how old people are being kicked out of their homes, the construction company is incompetent, whatever it is the government did was done WRONG and so forth.
Maybe this is why governments don't jump at the chance to build new railways and public transit systems. Because they always cost more than expected, and EVERYONE complains.
* Many people have lost businesses and income streams to put food on tables because of this situation. The problem is not that infrastructure is stopped but infrastructure work is done professionally so it lowers the amount of time taken. The tram project has been an absolute disgrace in terms of professional management from day one, everything about it has been mis-managed, EVERYONE knows that. The amount of press coverage on that mis-management is in abundance, complete incompetence is fully apparent.
* Why should getting something done be at the expense of local businesses and homemakers? Why shouldn't these people be compensated for their loss?
* Given the disparate claims and counter claims of the organisations involved in building the light rail it would appear the instigator (our government) have failed from the outset to adequately set the parameters and legally set them in a reasonable contract.
Good luck to the business owners. I predict the only winners will be the lawyers who will feed off this for years to come.
* They have bugger all chance here - ask the people whose home have been acquired by the State Gov how they have been treated. And how did this happen?
"while costs have soared $500 million to $2.1 billion"
What a complete white elephant of a project for something that cannot even carry the same number of passenger as bus services....
* Light rail is dangerous to motor vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians; it holds up traffic and is slow. It's OK when already installed, such as Melbourne, but adding it to an existing city is asking for trouble. What we need is an elevated automated transit network, not this 19th century rubbish.
* Are you thinking a monorail?
* I thought the Liberal Party were the party who supported small businesses.. Or so we are told.
* This project has been appalling from start to...? Good luck to the class action is all I can say, someone needs to be held accountable.
* Usual treatment of small business by the NSW Department of Transport.
* Clearly a class act ... Transport.... no care or concern.... guess the business owners did not "have a go".
Lord Mayor Sally Capp warns pedestrians distracted by their phones
Herald Sun May 25, 2019
video: Drivers are being warned not to use their phones while behind the wheel or face serious penalti...
Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Sally Capp has put on notice anti-social pedestrians distracted by their smartphones, saying they must take responsibility for their ­behaviour.
But she has backed away from copying Honolulu in ­Hawaii, where people who cross a road while viewing a device can now be fined $99.
Cr Capp said last week that the Honolulu law was worth investigating, telling ABC Radio: “I’m looking into whether that’s had any impact because they’re very aware that people need to stop looking at those phones while they’re crossing the street, you’ve always got to be aware of hazards around you.”
But the Lord Mayor ­appeared to soften her stance when questioned by the ­Sunday Herald Sun.
Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Sally Capp has put on notice anti-social pedestrians distracted by their smartphones, saying they must take responsibility for their ­behaviour. Picture: Tony Gough
“While we should be looking around the world to learn what other cities are doing, when it comes to punitive measures we need to think about whether these are the best long-term solution,” she said. “I’d rather see us focused on changes that make our city a more enjoyable place to walk around.”
Meet Billo the barking bunyip.
Breathing fire he'll lead the Moomba show.
(Wed.19.2.1958 Women's Weekly, https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/51598595)Billo the Bunyip, Melbourne's grinning, green Moomba monster, came trundling after the Moomba Queen, champing his jaws and occasionally (when the mechanism got...
Tues.10.3.1959 Melbourne 'Age' p3.
[I'm still hunting reference.  IIRC in 1958 mechanical failure prevented launching; in 1959 it did launch; it didn't reappear in 1960].