Fw: Mon.27.5.19 daily digest
  Roderick Smith

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Subject: Mon.27.5.19 daily digest

190527M Traveller - Air NZ.
190527M Melbourne 'Herald Sun':- letters (road, ail, air). - level-crossing removal.
190527M Melbourne 'Age':- letters (road & rail).- energy costs. with tdu.

190527M Metro Twitter:- Carnegie wait.- Brighton Beach fruit.- 190527M South Yarra progress (Michael Bell).

Mon.27.5.19 Metro Twitter
Buses replace trains Sandringham - City until 7am, Sun 9 Jun.
- 8.12 Start your day on the right track with fresh fruit at Brighton Beach station, thanks to social enterprise Fruit 2 Work.
- We get to start it on the Pakenham/Cranbourne line with great delays. So worth it.
- Start your day for a nice cold swim at Brighton Beach station more like it.
- 8.30 Any thought of more services on the other lines to cater for this? I've just seen two trains going by with no room.
- 9.05 Frankston Line out as well, what is plan C. Left Hampton at 8.04, it has taken an hour to get to Elsternwick station.  What compensation is available?
- 17.00 Frankston line in the morning is the absolute drizzling pits thanks to this. I understand that it’s got to happen, but how about you don’t cancel a service in the peak period?
- Where is the 17.26 Carrum?
5.37 Buses will replace trains between Upper Ferntree Gully & Belgrave (a track-equipment fault). Buses have been ordered but may take 45min to arrive, consider alternatives.
- 6.19 Buses may take 10 more minutes to arrive.
- 6.39 Trains are resuming.
9.03 Cranbourne/Frankston/Pakenham lines: Major delays (a track fault between Malvern and Caulfield).
- are these major delays supposed to last much longer?
- Our crews are still working on the fault while we're experiencing delays of up to 30 minutes on the affected lines.
- I’m currently stuck at Armadale station and have an exam at 9.30 in Caulfield, should I wait it or catch Uber?
- Please use alternative transport if you need to be on time for your exam.
- Love your work. Consistency in Peak hours delay. Great.
- If you are curious whether your anger-management therapy is working or not, try taking Metro during peak hours.
- 1 h delay...it would've been great to know this 1h ago...Three trains in a row so late and full, it was impossible to get in, followed by a train that stopped for minutes after Malvern station. It's not the first time that this happens on the Frankston line. Disgraceful service!
- When are we going to be compensated? We have the worst public transport system in the world!
- There seems to be an awful lot of signal faults between Caulfield and South Yarra. Is there an underlying problem in that section of the track? [and they will still be there for new trains running through the new tunnel]
- I have class at 9. Every time when I travel I get the worst experience.
- Are you still going through the loop or are you inconveniencing us even more by making us change at Richmond? I've been stuck on the elevated section for 20 min, very late for work.
- What a joke. You have a train load of people now stranded at Westall waiting for whenever the next one is which I'm sure won't be arriving soon.
- When it rains it pours.
- Is this still going on? I've been stuck at Southern Cross for an hour and watched the Pakenham train get pushed back twice.
- Very poor service. The update should have been out very early in the morning. I am stuck here for the last 30 minutes. Does Metro take responsibility of its consequences at commuters’ work?
- Same signalling issues for the last 15 or so years and nothing is done. No carparks, but employ officers to fine cars, parked on the sides. And plenty of taxpayer money is used. Did Metro do anything about this?  Who keeps Metro accountable?
- What a way to start the week. Pathetic service Metro.  Didn't you spend the last few years spending billions of dollars fixing the tracks? Money well spent.
- More like syphoning money back to Hong Kong/China.
- MythBusters polished a turd! This mob couldn't polish anything!! Third World rubbish with third world management!  Get out of our country and get some real thinkers in here to get public transport reliable!
- 10.23 Now minor and clearing.
9.19 Minor delays Mernda - Clifton Hill (an equipment fault near Thomastown).
- 9.37 Now major.
19.00 Mernda line: Minor delays due (police attending to a trespasser near South Morang).
- 19.14 clearing.
Sunbury/Craigieburn/Upfield lines: All trains will run direct Flinders St - North Melb from 21.00 (works), also Tues.28 & Wed.29.5. From loop stations, take a Flinders St train from pfm 1 [a specially-provided city circle service?] and change at Flinders St [and lose 30 min].
Pakenham/Cranbourne lines: All trains will run direct Flinders St-Richmond, not via the City Loop tonight from 21.00 (maintenance works).
21.08 Belgrave/Lilydale lines:  Minor delays (police attending to a trespasser near Mitcham).
- 21.21 clearing.
22.36 Frankston line: Major delays (police near Kananook).
- 23.22 clearing.
23.06 Sunbury line: Outbound delays (an ill passenger requiring medical assistance at Melbourne Southern Cross).
- 23.11 clearing.

Melbourne Express, Monday, May 27, 2019
8.59 A reader is also stuck in commuting limbo: "Door faults on the Frankston line too. Packed train stuck at Caulfield then again at Malvern. Long journey in ... "
8.47 In Prahran, Malvern Road is shut both ways after an accident near Essex Street.  Bus routes 605 and 624 are experiencing delays because of traffic congestion.
8.41 In Brighton where they're getting free fruit this morning.
8.39 A reader tells as the Cranbourne/Pakenham lines are "really stuffed". This is the view at Carnegie at the moment, where a door fault at Springvale is being blamed for long delays. A man near our correspondent reckons he has been waiting since 7.30.
It's budget day. Treasurer Tim Pallas puts the finishing touches on his state budget yesterday afternoon.
Victoria's finances will defy a dramatic $5.2 billion collapse in stamp duty revenue with a projected $1 billion surplus in the coming financial year, Monday’s state budget will show.
It was revealed on Saturday that stamp duty figures were due to fall by $5.2 billion over four years, with average monthly real estate sales volumes slumping by 15 per cent this financial year.
Victorians should expect to see tax increases on owners of empty properties, foreign real estate investors, buyers of luxury cars and for the first time, a royalty to be paid by big gold miners.
Dodgy energy companies will also face a regulator with teeth, with the budget to fund a crackdown on firms which rip off customers.
7.56 It's starting to collapse on the trains. There are major delays now on the Cranbourne line thanks to a faulty train. Major delays also on the Pakenham line thanks to earlier faulty trains and congestion.
Faults also affecting the Frankston and Glen Waverley lines.
7.29 Route 11, 12, 48 and 109 trams towards West Preston, Victoria Gardens, North Balwyn and Box Hill are delayed by a tram fault in Spring Street.
Buses will replace trains between Belgrave and Upper Ferntree Gully. They're also on the buses on the Sandringham line.
Both the Sandringham line and La Trobe Street are out this morning, thanks to various road and train projects throughout the city. There will be various works over the next few weeks.
6.40 Buses will replace trains between Belgrave and Upper Ferntree Gully (a track-equipment fault).  Buses have been ordered but may take 10 minutes to arrive. Passengers have been asked to consider alternative travel options.
They're still on the buses on the Sandringham line, thanks to works for the tunnel. Here's how work is progressing over there.
5.47 Clear run on the trains for now unless you're on the Sandringham line, then you're still on the buses.

City Loop safety upgrade in disarray as $109m budget blowout revealed May 27, 2019.
A safety upgrade of Melbourne’s City Loop that was meant to cost $43 million has blown out to cost more than three times its original estimate, Monday’s state budget revealed.
And no work has been done on the Melbourne Underground Rail Loop upgrade project for months, after the company the government and Metro Trains appointed to do the work went broke.
One of the City Loop safety upgrade sites, next to Parliament House, sits dormant on Monday.Credit:Jason South
Work sites adjacent to Parliament station and in the Flagstaff Gardens have sat dormant since late last year while Metro Trains and the government re-tenders the contract to complete the works.
In 2014, the Napthine state government announced it would spend $43 million to upgrade fire and emergency equipment within the City Loop.
It came after a 2011 Age investigation revealed that repeated warnings about problems within the loop from transport and safety experts had been ignored for a decade.
The government initially denied there were serious problems in the City Loop.
It only admitted that safety issues existed after a 2012 Ombudsman investigation harshly criticised the Department of Transport for failing to act.
Repair works were not funded until the 2014 budget, when $43 million was set aside to complete the works that year.
In 2016, two years after Labor first took office, then public transport minister Jacinta Allan announced that the project would cost $134 million. This was despite the scope of works not changing. The government has said this was due to the "market response" from builders bidding to do the works.
Now, with large parts of Parliament station and the Flagstaff gardens cordoned off since last year so construction could be carried out, repair work has ground to a halt.
A large chunk of the Flagstaff Gardens has been cordoned off for the City Loop safety upgrade. But no works have been done on the project for months.Credit:Jason South
And Monday's budget revealed the cost of making the City Loop safe was now more than triple its original estimate.
The budget papers showed the project would cost $152 million, with $41 million already spent. Despite this, there was no finish date nominated for the remaining $111 million of works.
A Public Transport Victoria spokesman said a range of fire and safety systems in the City Loop had been upgraded before work stopped.
These included fire detection systems, hydrants, CCTV and an intruder detection system.
“We are currently working with Metro to appoint a contractor to finish the remainder of works," the spokesman said.
There were measures in place to ensure the safety of passengers and station staff while works continued, he said.
Related Article Commuters will be better off. Eventually. Victoria to write its own ticket for ambitious transport agenda
State budget:
• Sunbury train line: $2 billion for upgrade.
• Cranbourne and Hurstbridge line upgrades: $750 million and $547 respectively.
• 25 new level crossing removals: $6.6 billion.
• Airport rail: No state money this year for the project.
• Ballarat and Geelong lines: Eighteen new V/Locity trains ($340 million), but for Shepparton and Albury lines rather than oversubscribed Ballarat and Geelong lines.
• Pedestrians and cyclists: A $100 million safer pedestrian and cycling fund over the past four years has not been replaced.
Victoria to write its own ticket for ambitious transport agenda May 27, 2019. 1 comment.
No state government money has been assigned to the airport rail link over the next four years, the Victorian budget reveals.
Instead, it appears that the Andrews government will rely on the federal government’s contribution to fund the project until the 2022/23 financial year.
Tim Pallas delivers the stste budget on Monday. Credit: Jason South
Before last year’s election, the Andrews government promised to build a rail link to the airport and agreed to match the federal government’s $5 billion contribution.
But the budget reveals that $50 million from the Morrison government will be used for the project’s business case this financial year. No state money has been set aside for the project, expected to cost between $8 billion and $13 billion, over the forward estimates.
However, the budget has factored in $5 billion for airport rail into the state's net debt, meaning the government plans to borrow the funds.
Last year, $50 million of state money was allocated to planning both airport rail and fast rail to Geelong.
A massive increase in state borrowing will help the government fulfil its ambitious transport construction agenda. Net debt will rise to fund the $15.8 billion North East Link and the $6.6 billion removal of 25 level crossings by 2025.
The Andrews government most forge ahead without generous funding top-ups promised by the federal Labor Party.
Former Labor leader Bill Shorten had promised $2 billion for the Metro Tunnel if the ALP won the election.
Mr Shorten had also pledged $10 billion for the suburban rail loop and $300 million for the project's business case.
But the Andrews government will now fund the suburban rail loop's business case alone, throwing in $250 million to plan the project (it originally promised $300 million).
Before this year's federal election, the Morrison government promised $2 billion to build fast rail to Geelong and asked the state to match it.
But the Andrews government is pushing ahead with its alternative western rail plan, spending $100 million on the Melton and Wyndham Vale lines.
If Canberra's $2 billion is not matched by Victoria, Scott Morrison's Geelong rail money could be withheld, in a stand-off identical to the $4 billion on offer from the federal government for the dumped East West Link.
The budget further reveals that Sunbury commuters will benefit from a $2.1 billion upgrade to get the track ready for high-capacity trains set to run through the Metro Tunnel by late 2025.
Commuters will be better off. Eventually.Credit:Justin McManus
And the government will spend $750 million to duplicate eight kilometres of the Cranbourne line and $547 million to double 4.5 kilometres of track on the Hurstbridge line, in line with previous promises.
Mr Pallas has also pledged that $15.8 billion would flow to the North East Link. However, the precise details of when this money would be spent was kept confidential while tendering for this big-spending project is still underway.
The government's other major road project, West Gate Tunnel, promised at $5..5 billion in December 2015 and now budgeted at $6.7 billion, is now under construction.
This year's budget notes that $2.5 billion has already been spent by the state on the project, which is more than a third of the project’s budget spent even though tunnelling has not started.
The government has also assigned $340 million for 18 new VLocity trains and $150 million for commuter car parks.
Related Article: Premier Daniel Andrews and Treasurer Tim Pallas. The bill is in, the brakes are on as Victorian budget handed down

More commuters than expected ride Sydney's new metro line in first test of peak-hour services May 27, 2019 112 comments
The integration of a $7.3 billion new metro line into Sydney's broader rail network passed its first test on Monday despite a greater number of commuters than expected riding on the driverless trains.
A day after about 140,000 people hopped on board for the first time, attention turned to how the system would handle high commuter volumes during the morning peak, especially at pinch points such as Chatswood and Epping stations.
A crowded platform for metro services at Epping station at about 8am on Monday. Credit:Peter Rae
About 21,000 people travelled on the Metro Northwest line between 4.45am and 10am on Monday, which was higher than government expectations of up to 17,000 passengers.
Half of the commuters using the 36-kilometre line from Rouse Hill to Chatswood on Monday morning travelled to destinations along the north-west corridor, instead of switching to other services to get into central Sydney.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the 21,000 people who had travelled on the metro trains on Monday morning had exceeded her expectations.
"People have confidence in the system and are using it," she said.
Commuter Julia Hood gave the Sydney Metro Northwest the thumbs up.Credit:Peter Rae
Figures show Chatswood had the highest number of people (9425) using their Opal cards to tap off between 4.45am and 10am, followed by Macquarie University (5875) and Epping (2368).
Platform crowding was greatest at Epping during the morning peak, partly because an escalator funnels passengers to the centre of a platform.
Some commuters have been startled by metro trains slightly overshooting station platforms, and then reversing to line up carriage doors with the and glass-screen platform doors.
But Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the trains were "doing exactly" what they should. "The train is designed to make sure the doors align," he said. "It's a matter of seconds [to line up the doors]. That is the same with every system around the world."
With an initial frequency of a train every five minutes during peak periods, the metro line can carry about 17,000 passengers an hour. The frequency during the morning and evening peaks will rise to four-minute intervals in about six weeks.
Commuters on a driverless metro train on Monday morning.Credit:Peter Rae
While each driverless metro train will initially have at least one staff member on board, Rail, Tram and Bus Union state secretary Alex Claassens said he was concerned that the workers would be removed in the "very near future".
"We’ve long held real concerns about the Sydney Metro system," he said.
But Transport for NSW secretary Rodd Staples said the automated trains were built to operate successfully without a customer service attendant on board each train.
"While we bed the system down, we will have a customer attendant on board until we are comfortable," he said.
Asked when that was likely to be, he said: "We will wait and see."
Mr Staples said one of the lessons from the opening of the line on Sunday was that it took too long to remove a train from service after it suffered a door fault at Macquarie Park.
"But once [the line] started moving, the power of the system became obvious because we added more trains quickly. When we had that fault with the doors at Macquarie Park, we had 12 trains on the system. We inserted another three to four trains to clear the waiting customers," he said.
Epping resident Julia Hood gave the thumbs up to the new metro services on her first ride on Monday morning, saying the driverless train she rode on to get to Chatswood was smooth, quick and easy. "Once it goes all the way to the city it will be better," she said.
Other commuters were equally impressed. Paul Nijjar caught a metro train for the first time from Bella Vista on Monday morning. "It was awesome. It’s up there with Japan now," he said.
Mr Nijjar said it used to take about an hour and 20 minutes to get to work at Rhodes, but the new line meant it should be less than an hour. "It’s a huge difference," he said.
Sydney Trains chief executive Howard Collins said Chatswood and Epping stations were busy during the morning peak but passengers switched between metro and Sydney Trains services relatively smoothly.
"We are really pleased with the service and the loadings on the trains," he said.
Related Article Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Transport Minister Andrew Constance cut the ribbon on Sydney's Metro Northwest line with the help of children. It's been promised at every election for generations, but now it's a reality
Trams to start running as far as Central Station along new line
Sydney Metro Northwest LIVE: Driverless train passes first peak-hour test May 27, 2019
13.38 The numbers are in on this morning's Metro commute
Figures are in on the number of passengers using Sydney Metro Northwest this morning.
About 21,000 people hopped on or off a single-deck metro trains between the start of services at 4.45am and 10am.
The greatest number of people to use their Opal cards to tap on from the early morning to midday were at Epping station where 8080 did so, followed by Chatswood (4695), Macquarie University (2072) and Tallawong at the end of the line at Rouse Hill (1823).
However, Chatswood had the highest number of people using their cards to tap off at 9425, followed by Macquarie University (5875) and Epping (2368).
Interestingly, about half the passengers who rode on the driverless metro trains this morning did so to get to destinations along the north-west rail corridor, rather than hopping on double-deck Sydney Trains services to get to destinations further afield.
11.55 No Mondayitis for Sydney Trains chief. Sydney Trains chief executive Howard Collins was a happy chief controller this morning.
"We are really pleased with the service and the loadings on the trains," he said at Chatswood station where he checked on how easily passengers switched from the driverless metro trains to double-deck Sydney Trains services during the morning peak.
Sydney Trains CEO Howard Collins at Chatswood station on Monday. Credit:Peter Rae
"What was great to see was ordinary commuters use Sydney Metro," he said.
"[Chatswood] and Epping have been quite busy but the interchanging has been excellent. People are spreading along the platforms."
10.21 The verdict: New metro passes its first real test. The new Sydney Metro Northwest has passed its first real peak-hour test.
Trains along the new line were well-utilised on Monday morning (we'll get the numbers for you later) and ran pretty smoothly, including at the crucial interchange points between the Metro and the double-decker train networks at Epping and Chatswood where there had been concerns about possible overcrowding if timetables didn't line up.
Trains running every three minutes from Chatswood kept the platform clear between 8.30 and 9am on Monday. Credit:Peter Rae
Were you on a new peakhour train this morning? Let us know how your journey went in the comments.
10.00 Overshooting 'normal', says Sydney Metro. A Sydney Metro spokesman has responded to concerns from commuters about trains overshooting the correct positon on the platform and having to adjust their position before opening doors, saying it is a "normal" part of how the driverless trains operate.
"The metro trains are designed to adjust their position if required, moving forward and backwards to line up with the doors. This is normal and only takes a few moments. It’s due to the train's rate of slowing varying, depending on passenger numbers and speed."
9.17 Commuters already looking forward to Stage 2
Epping resident Julia Hood gave the thumbs up to the new metro services on her first ride, saying the driverless train she rode to Chatswood was "smooth, quick and easy".
"Once it goes all the way to the city it will be better," she said. "It will be the option of going the whole way on the train or changing here [at Chatswood]."
Commuter Julia Hood gives the Sydney Metro Northwest the thumbs up.Credit:Peter Rae
The second stage of the metro line from Chatswood, under Sydney Harbour to the CBD, and into Sydenham and Bankstown is due to be opened by 2024.
9.01 Train forced to reverse after overshooting platform. A train at Epping has been forced to reverse after overshooting the platform, resulting in a bit of an awkward wait for passengers – though it wasn't as disruptive as the misalignment on Sunday that caused a 20 minute hold-up and flow-on delays.
On another positive note, check out the orderly commuter behaviour as people line up to the each side of the door! Full marks.
One Cherrybrook commuter, Martin, said he was looking forward to the convenience and said the train was "so far so good", but he was a bit frustrated at having to wait while the train reversed after it slightly overshot the platform.
"I think it must be a software issue. They should have noticed well before this - maybe it’s the load of so many people," Martin said.
Other than that, he's expecting the new train to save him 20-30 minutes each way as he commutes to and from the city.
8.51 'Huge difference': Metro getting positive response. Paul Nijjar caught the train for the first time from Bella Vista this morning about 8.10. His reaction?
"It was awesome. It’s up there with Japan now," he said.
Commuter Paul Nijjar caught his first Sydney Metro Northwest train on Monday.Credit:Josh Dye
Mr Nijjar said it used to take about an hour and 20 minutes to get to work in Rhodes, but with the new metro it should be under an hour.
8.42 And we've got the final count for day 1.
About 140,000 people took a trip on Sydney’s first driverless metro line on the opening day.
We bumped into the state’s secretary for Transport, Rodd Staples, at Chatswood station who told us yesterday was "an exceptional day" in terms of the sheer volume of train spotters who turned up for a ride.
Mr Staples, who was the architect of Sydney’s plans for metro lines, said the rail system was coping well on the first weekday in operation.
"There’s a healthy number of people using the system on the first day," he said.
8.35 Premier sorry for first-day 'glitch'. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian apologised for the "small glitch" on opening day where a train got stuck when its doors didn't line up with the platform; but she said on the whole, things went really well.
"I hope today will be glitch free," she told Nine's Today Show on Monday.
"But you'd expect in the first few weeks and even months that it won't be perfect. We are asking people to be patient and I want to thank everybody for their patience."
When the newly-opened line reaches full operation, trains will run every four minutes each way during peak hour between Rouse Hill and Chatswood.
8.27 Epping and Chatswood feeling the squeeze
We're seeing some crowded platforms as trains pull in at two key stations, Epping and Chatswood.
Crowded platform at Epping around 8am. Credit:Peter Rae
But while the platforms are filling up with patrons, they are clearing out again once the trains stop and pick them up.

Victorian budget hikes debt to build big in rail, road spree
Herald Sun May 27, 2019
Treasurer Tim Pallas has handed down his fifth state budget. Picture: Mark Stewart
The Andrews Government will borrow an extra $32 billion over the next four years to supercharge Victoria’s road and rail building spree and create jobs.
Treasurer Tim Pallas has handed down his fifth state budget, following through on his pledge — unveiled days before the state election in November — to hike debt to build big.
Forecasting total debt would hit $55 billion within four years, Mr Pallas said the $15.8 billion North East Link to connect the Eastern Freeway to the M80 in Greensborough would be “fully funded” under the changes.
With population predicted to continue to grow strongly, the state’s credit card will also be used to pay for the removal of an extra 25 level crossings, and the $8-13 billion Airport Rail Link.
“Rather than sitting idle, we believe in using our balance sheet to build, grow and leave a positive legacy,” he said.
In total, the government says there are now $107 billion of infrastructure projects on the go or set to commence by 2022.
The government will remove an extra 25 level crossings. Picture: Wayne Taylor
Other big ticket items detailed in the Budget include:
UPGRADES to the Sunbury line in Melbourne’s west worth $2.1 billion;
$209 million for new public housing in Geelong, Ballarat and Melbourne.
Solid economic growth of 2.75 per cent a year is forecast by Treasury, helped by an average infrastructure spend of $13.4 billion a year and stronger consumption fuelled by rising wages.
Coffers are brimming with $104 billion in state taxes, while after years of rampant public sector growth a harsher efficiency dividend will be introduced to claw back $1.8 billion.
As payroll tax grows strongly to $6.5 billion next year, some relief is being offered for regional businesses.
There will also be new stamp duty discounts of 50 per cent introduced for regional businesses.
Mr Pallas said Victoria was “punching above its weight, setting the national pace and laying the foundations for sustained, long-term growth”.
“In a people-powered economy, there’s no better economic barometer than jobs,” he said.
This includes 115,000 Victorians now working, or set to work, on infrastructure projects in this state.
He said that this success story was in spite of continual roadblocks from the Commonwealth, which meant the proportion of infrastructure money given to Victoria was 17.7 per cent compared to the 26 per cent it should be getting.
Spending will grow at a slower rate than revenue despite a recent slowdown in the property sector, Mr Pallas said.
“We are not spending more than we earn,” Mr Pallas said.
He said the writedown of stamp duty revenue of $5.2 billion was the biggest on record, but that there were “green shoots” emerging in the property sector.
Mr Pallas defended the suite of new taxes introduced in this budget, saying it was only right and fair that those who could “afford to pay” were hit by changes.
Victoria’s “robust” jobs market has paved the way for another payroll tax cut for ­regional businesses.
The state will pocket more than $28 billion in payroll tax over four years, including $6.5 billion next financial year — up 4.1 per cent.
But it will sacrifice $260 million to cut the regional payroll tax rate to 1.21 per cent — a quarter of that of metro businesses — by 2022-23.
About 1400 regional and metro businesses will no longer pay payroll tax with the threshold to rise to $675,000 in July 2021 and to $700,000 the following year.
And commercial and industrial properties sold in regional Victoria will receive a 50 per cent discount by 2023-24.
Treasurer Tim Pallas said the tax cuts had eased the burden on country businesses, helping them to “expand and hire”.
“For the fourth Budget in a row, we are providing payroll tax relief for regional Victorian business,” he said.
As promised ahead of the November election, payroll tax exemptions for maternity and adoption leave will be ­extended to cover about 9000 dads and “second parents” from July 1.
The payroll tax changes come amid a blitz foreshadowed by the Andrews Government at the weekend.
Confirmed in yesterday’s Budget, it included a new duty on gold, an increased tax on foreign property buyers and a hit on luxury cars powered by petrol or diesel.
Mars Stadium in Ballarat will receive further upgrades to the tune of $11.8 million. Picture: Michael Klein
Sunbury and Cranbourne lines win big in State Budget’s transport splurge
Herald Sun May 27, 2019
Commuters on the Sunbury and Cranbourne lines have won big in the state budget.
A $2.1 billion upgrade of the Sunbury line to prepare for high-capacity Metro Tunnel trains is part of a $27.4 billion program of works to reshape the suburban transport system.
Station platforms on the Sunbury line will be widened and the line’s capacity increased to create room for an extra 113,000 peak passengers weekly.
It is expected to cut travel times by up to 40 minutes to Parkville and St Kilda Rd on the completed Metro Tunnel.
A further $750 million will duplicate the Cranbourne line, doubling the number of peak trains.
North East Link, the missing link between the Eastern Freeway and the M80 Ring Rd, will have its $15.8 billion cost fully funded.
Expected to create more than 10,000 construction jobs and to open in 2026-27, the tolled project will include new Eastern Freeway lanes and 25km of new and improved walking and cycling paths.
An extra $608 million will be spent upgrading local roads, including $22.6 million to fix some of the busiest and most congested intersections.
The suburban transport investment also includes $6.6 billion to remove another 25 level crossings.
A $300 million investment for the ambitious Suburban Rail Loop project has been confirmed to enable planning and technical investigations.
Treasurer Tim Pallas said the 90km loop, from the Frankston line to the Werribee line via Melbourne Airport, will have a dozen new underground stations.
“This project will change the way we travel, the way we work and the way we connect … it will revolutionise the way we plan and deliver intergenerational projects in the state,” he said.
Station platforms on the Sunbury line will be widened.
Among other projects, $547 million will deliver the next stage of the Hurstbridge line upgrade, duplicating 4.5km of track and building bigger stations at Greensborough and Montmorency.
The tram network will get an extra 10 locally-built E-class trams costing $162.8 million, while 18 three-car VLocity trains built at Dandenong for $340 million will be used for the regional rail network.
More car parks costing $150 million will be built at the busiest stations in Melbourne and regional areas, and $83 million will be spent upgrading train communications systems, such as drivers reporting accidents or illnesses on board.
Preparation for Melbourne Airport Rail is underway, with detailed development work expected in 2020.
The state and federal governments have pledged up to $5 billion each for the project that will run from the CBD via Sunshine.
Regional rail network improvements include stabling and maintenance facility works at Wyndham Vale, Ballarat East, Bendigo and South Dynon.
No money has been set aside for a mooted tram link between Docklands and the emerging Fishermans Bend urban renewal precinct.
* A loop is a circle. Exactly HOW MANY of these 12 new railway stations will be on the Frankston Line?
Now THAT's a LOOP! Zero!
* It starts at Cheltenham.. so starts on the Frankston line..
* If $750 million will duplicate the track from Dandenong to Cranbourne, why does the extension of the Sunbury? line to the airport cost a projected $8-13 BILLION ?
* Don't understand why it's big news that the Government is funding upgrade for Sunbury line trains ... this promise was made two elections ago. I don't understand why they are not following NSW's  lead and going for driverless trains. Services every four minutes with no risk of cancellations because of driver unavailability.
* RTBU will crucify them.
* It's called infrastructure, or more to the point, lack of it.

Wyndham Council raking in up to $1 million a year from train station parking fines
Station carparks are proving to be a cash cow in Melbourne’s western suburbs with one council raking in up to $98,000 a month as commuters struggle to find spaces.
Wyndham Leader May 17, 2019
Commuters from Tarneit station were the worst hit. Picture: Mark Wilson
Wyndham Council is raking in up to $98,000 a month in parking fines at train stations as commuters struggle to find spaces.
Figures obtained by the Wyndham Leader show 1578 motorists were stung for flouting parking rules at stations and in surrounding streets between January and March this year.
And frustrated commuters have taken to Facebook to vent about illegal parking, calling for more to be done to ease the daily grind.
Susan McBean wrote: “Tarneit train station (is) extremely congested, particularly in peak times. In the late afternoon/early evening it can take you at least 15 minutes to get out of the carpark”.
Ocea Smith said she had been fined multiple times after she couldn’t find anywhere to park at Wyndham Vale, Werribee and Tarneit stations.
“I have no idea where to leave my car as all surrounding streets are full too,” she said.
“Now I just drive to work in the city, which isn’t ideal.”
The data showed commuters from Tarneit were the worst hit during that period, with 444 fines issued, followed by Werribee (381), Manor Lakes (172), Williams Landing (103) and Hoppers Crossing (28).
The data shows the council made up to $1 million from fines in the same areas last financial year.
The council’s city operations director Stephen Thorpe said parking at stations was “at capacity”.
“We are constantly advocating for more parking at our local train stations,” he said.
“We’re also calling for the fast-tracking of a new train station at Sayers Rd and funding for two new train stations at Black Forest Rd and Davis Rd … to alleviate the pressures experienced across the network.”
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Mr Thorpe said slapping people with fines was not about making money but was done to “keep streets safe and allow equitable access to parking in our busier areas”.
It comes as Labor pledged to tip $7.5 million into a $15 million expansion of the Tarneit railway station carpark, creating 400 more spaces for the rapidly growing area.
Lalor federal Labor MP Joanne Ryan said the extra spots would make a “real and practical difference” for commuters.
“I know how important the issue of carparking is to locals in my community,’’ she said.
“People want to catch the train to work. Governments need to work together to make that easier.’’
The Leader earlier this year revealed tight-fisted motorists owed Wyndham Council nearly $1 million in unpaid parking fines.
And dodgy parking was top of the list of residents’ gripes, according to data obtained from Snap Send Solve.

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