Fw: Thurs.4.7.19 daily digest
  Roderick Smith

----- Forwarded message ----- To: Tdu Transportdownunder transportdownunder@...>
Sent: Sunday, 7 July 2019, 08:12:13 pm AESTSubject: Thrus.4.7.19 daily digest
RoderickAs at the most-recent post, yahell has still not fixed the fault. 
190704Th Melbourne 'Age' - home solar storage. with tdu.
190704Th Melbourne Express - bus flasher.
190704Th Metro Twitter - July works: the plan, a tunnel portal, South Yarra, Carrum.

Thurs.4.7.19 Metro Twitter:
17.00 Craigieburn line: Minor delays clearing after an earlier faulty train at Pascoe Vale.17.33 Glen Waverley line: Minor delays (an animal struck by a train near Jordanville).- 17.40 clearing.- What nonsense is this.  You folks don’t know where the 18.17 will go from... platform 9, sorry 8, sorry we don’t know, sorry 9...state of art scheduling.- Platform changes can occur at short notice at Flinders Street to minimise delays.- Can change four times, even when the train departure is scheduled in 5 min.- Now the 18.17 has been cancelled without any mention.- This train departed from platform 12 tonight. Our announcers are advised as soon as the change happens.- If the train departed from platform 12, why wasn’t there accurate announcements or display information?  Please don’t take it easy when people are trying to get home using earliest trains.- You have the cctv footage for platform 8 & 9, review it between 18.12 & 18.30; you will see the evidence.- There should have been announcements made regarding the platform alterations.- Both of us know what should be done...announcements and visual displays should be clear, specific timely and accurate.  The question is 'was it done here?. If not, what will be done to fix it? Don’t apologise, as that does not solve root cause of the problem.19.42 Werribee/Williamstown lines: Minor delays (an equipment fault at Newport).20.46 Frankston line: Major delays (a train fault near Carrum).- 20.52 Buses replace trains Mordialloc - Frankston. Six buses have been ordered, eta 60 min.  Consider local transport.- 21.06 Trains are resuming, with delays up to 30 minutes clearing.- Was this because of level-crossing replacement at Carrum?22.47 Werribee line: Major delays (a train fault at Aircraft).- 23.03 Trains will depart from altered platforms between Werribee and Laverton until further notice.  [ie single-line working is in force using the bidirectional signalling]- 23.14 delays now minor.
Melbourne Express, Thursday, July 4, 20199.13 There are major delays on the Lilydale line.  The Sandringham, Sunbury and Upfield lines are experiencing minor delays.A Las Vegas hearse driver has attempted to use a deceased passenger to qualify for the carpool lane."He won't count?" the highway patrol trooper's bodycam footage shows the driver asking while pointing to the back of the car after he was pulled over.Nevada Highway Patrol later tweeted: "I guess we should clarify this: living, breathing people count." The hearse driver was let off with a warning.It will leave Woolworths as a core grocery business - one that it hopes can focus its attention on evolving its online and store product offer to cater to changing customer needs and tastes.Victoria’s economic growth has ground to a five-year-low as stagnant wages and plunging property prices force consumers to put away their credit cards. Only energy companies had reason to smile in the March quarter, with soaring bills for electricity, gas and other fuels the only things keeping the Victoria’s "household consumption" index in positive territory.6.16 Hunt for man who sexually assaulted another man at bus stop. Police would like to speak to this man.Credit:Victoria PolicePolice are also hunting for a man who sexually assaulted another man at a bus stop in Melbourne's south-east.A 19-year-old was standing at a bus stop near Dandenong station about 9pm on Saturday, June 15, when he was approached by another man.The offender struck up a conversation, took hold of the victim's hand and sexually assaulted him before walking off along Foster Street towards Cheltenham Road.Police have described the man as of Indian sub-continental appearance, about 165cm tall, aged in his late 40s and wearing a blue hooded jumper with the text BRKLYN on the front.Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via the website.6.08 'These are the times when we shake our heads in disbelief'. An unlicenced teen has been clocked driving his car at 167km/h in a 100km/h zone.The 16-year-old boy, who owns the car but is obviously not old enough to hold a full licence, was seen driving an older model Ford on the Western Ring Road in Tullamarine about 10.20pm last night.Police pulled the car over and found the 16-year-old in the driver's seat and a 17-year-old in the passenger seat.Police impounded the car and the teen will face court on serious driving charges at a later date.Sergeant Dean Pickering, from Fawkner Highway Patrol said: “We were all young and keen to get our licence and car, however this person is 16-years-old with zero driving experience doing 167km/h in a car with very few safety features, and I am glad we have removed this car from the road before anyone could come to harm.”Police would like to speak to this woman. Credit: Victoria Police.  Police have released an image of a tattooed flasher who allegedly made lewd comments to a bus driver two days in a row.Image released: Tattooed flasher makes lewd comments to bus driverPolice say the woman boarded a route 246 bus in St Kilda, at the corner of Barkly and Acland streets, on Friday May 31 just after 9pm.The woman allegedly made several crude comments, and then exposed her genitals to the 32-year-old male bus driver.Flasher makes lewd comments, exposes herself to bus driver on inner-city bus. A tattooed flasher made lewd comments to a bus driver two days in a row, and exposed herself during an evening bus ride in Melbourne's inner city.The woman jumped off the bus at Hoddle Street, Abbotsford.<www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/melbourne-express-thursday-july-4-2019-20190703-p523wo.html>
Lord mayor calls Premier directly to urge Brisbane Metro approvals July 4, 2019. 1 comment
Brisbane lord mayor Adrian Schrinner and state Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington have appealed directly to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to intervene and issue early approvals for the council's $944 million Brisbane Metro project.The push followed Transport Minister Mark Bailey's Wednesday announcement of a $1 million, two-year trial expanding bus services to and from the University of Queensland, some of Brisbane's busiest bus routes.Some Brisbane buses are frequently overcrowded and missing stops, data shows.Credit:Harrison Saragossi"Each day there are full buses on the busway that are leaving commuters behind. There are commuters impacted by delays, by congestion, by full buses," Cr Schrinner said.Brisbane City Council data shows more than 300 route 66 buses, travelling between Herston and UQ in St Lucia, were overcrowded in May alone.More than 3000 services across routes 66, 111 and 160 were overcrowded and forced to skip stops over the past 12 months.A dispute between the council and the state government blew up last week when the state said the planned Cultural Centre underground Brisbane Metro stop would have to be moved to under the Convention Centre.Cr Schrinner said he had called the Premier twice since last week to urge her to take action above Mr Bailey's head, and was waiting for a return call."Ultimately it's clear that the minister is not really interested in working with us. I'd like to deal with the Premier to make sure we can get this project on-track," he said."I believe the Premier is supportive of the project. I'm not sure she knows what her minister is doing or not doing, I'd like to deal with the Premier to make this project happen."It can be a win-win at that level, so I'm looking forward to talking to the Premier as soon as she returns that call."A state government spokesman said the state supported the Brisbane Metro "but council needs to get it right"."Adrian Schrinner has known about the proposals around the underground station at South Bank since it was discussed with him in a meeting with the state architect in late 2018," he said."The Queensland government will pay council to run and maintain the Metro system in the coming decades."That means Queensland taxpayers will pay for it for years to come, so it needs to be done properly."Cr Schrinner said the news was given to the council far too late considering bids for the tenders had closed and the design problems would delay the project again.But Mr Bailey said BCC had gone to tender at its own risk, and his department had warned the council about its concerns with the planned Cultural Centre station last year."We have the LNP state team, we have the federal coalition, and we have the lord mayor Adrian Schrinner and his team in Brisbane City Council all gunning to give relief to public transport commuters right here in Brisbane," Ms Frecklington said."Now we have a stopgap which is Annastacia Palaszczuk and her Labor government."Cr Schrinner said the council was not informed of the $1 million trial of additional bus routes to UQ when it was announced."We won't knock back extra services but in the end it's only a temporary solution, and those extra buses that are put on will very quickly, I believe, fill up and we'll have the same problem again," he said.Queensland Major Contractors Association chief executive Jon Davies said the three companies who had put in bids for the Brisbane Metro contract with the council - and who were blindsided by the announcement of delays - had now made their final presentations to council.Mr Davies said the QMCA had met with the council and was urging them to shortlist one of the three contractors."We have recommended council shortlist to one contractor, rather than stringing all three, or two, along because there will be costs, significant costs," he said."All these bidders have already spent probably in the region of $10 million of which they’re only likely to get $3 million back."So for council then to say 'oh, let's keep going on the journey' ... that's going to involve spending even more money."I think there’s an appreciation by council that they will have to reimburse the bidders for any additional costs going forward."Cr Schrinner said the contractors were aware the state had not issued approvals when they put in bids."Let me clear about this, we have not awarded any tenders, and we will not do that unless we have state government approval," he said."We're doing our due diligence, we're working with the industry ... we've got three different consortia who have put bids in. They are really raring to go on this project."Cr Schrinner said the council would recommence releasing 'bus full' data on a monthly basis, revealing how many buses skipped stops due to overcrowding.The council had done so previously, he said, until TransLink "raised concerns" about the data being released and the council stopped."We'll now do this on a regular basis because we think it's important that the community knows the extent of the problem with full buses, delays on the busways, people missing out on trips that they want to take," he said."I think there's a level of interest in this data now and it's increasing, and in the interests of making sure that information is out to the community we will proactively release it."... I think it will help focus attention on the problems we're trying to solve with Brisbane Metro."Related Article Brisbane's bus routes are under scrutiny for the number of times they have been forced to skip stops due to overcrowding. Crowd around: Hundreds of Brisbane buses pack to capacity each monthRelated Article Brisbane buses are often overcrowded particularly on key routes through southern suburbs to the University of Queensland. More buses for UQ routes amid reports of students stranded at stopsRelated Article The state LNP would donate two parcels of land to council to progress the Brisbane Metro. Brisbane Metro project pushed back again<www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/lord-mayor-calls-premier-directly-to-urge-brisbane-metro-approvals-20190704-p5243t.html>
Industry relief as Saffioti drops Metronet property tax plan July 4, 2019The property industry is praising a decision by Planning and Transport Minister Rita Saffioti to drop a tax on developments in Metronet precincts.The tax, which was foreshadowed in 2017, will be taken off the government’s agenda in the face of a weak property market.Rita Saffioti.Credit:Emma YoungAt a Property Council of WA event this morning, Ms Saffioti revealed plans to cap local government charges levied on developers for providing community infrastructure, in a move expected to ease cost pressures on home buyers and developers.The decision not to proceed with the "value capture" tax plan on housing developments coincides with the Reserve Bank lowering official cash rates to 1 per cent and Perth rental vacancy rates hitting a low of 2.6 per cent in the June quarter.Property Council WA executive director Sandra Brewer said the confluence of these developments were expected to improve confidence in WA's property and construction sector, generate more economic activity and create more jobs."We are thrilled that the state government and Transport and Planning Minister Rita Saffioti have demonstrated that they are listening. Minister Saffioti has taken decisive steps to put in place a regime that will make housing more affordable, encourage development in Metronet precincts and create more jobs in WA's property sector," she said."This is a positive move, making it more affordable for the industry to deliver housing in Metronet precincts, by reducing red tape, which adds to the cost of building, and making it more affordable for West Australians to buy their own homes."Ms Brewer said the industry wanted to partner with the state government to realise its Metronet vision by generating well-designed projects and making a substantial contribution to the State Government's 150,000 new job target.At the Property Council event, Ms Saffioti said the government had dropped the Metronet development tax to protect the “already challenged” property market and because the Commonwealth had provided more infrastructure funding to the state that budgeted.She said the government was proceeding with land sales to help fund Metronet projects.The planning minister released new proposals to collect contributions for infrastructure from developers.“Our current approach lacks consistency and transparency. We’re looking to put an end to that”Minister SaffiotiShe said the policy was designed to bring greater fairness, accountability, transparency and consistency to the system, including providing the community with improved access to infrastructure delivery information.A levy limit of between $2500 and $3500 was part of the proposal, to diminish the impact on housing affordability.“The careful planning and co-ordination of infrastructure is fundamental to the economic and social wellbeing of any community,” Ms Saffioti said.“So along with the houses and jobs, we need to provide roads and water; schools and hospitals; parks and footy ovals; libraries and public transport - all the essential elements that transform a development into a community.“This is a shared responsibility, but our current approach lacks consistency and transparency.“We’re looking to put an end to that.”Developer contributions schemes are run by local governments.Currently, developers can be charged amounts of $5000 a block in some cases, for a community contribution to pay for libraries, playgrounds and sporting spaces.Ms Brewer said schemes had been criticised because of inconsistencies in the amount levied, the timing of the spending, lack of accountability for delivering infrastructure and delays in refunds to developers.Some local governments did not spend this money for years after homebuyers moved into their homes, effectively depriving residents of services and infrastructure that they had already paid for, the Property Council boss said.The proposal released by Ms Saffioti was also expected to spell out what local governments would include in charges.Ms Brewer said the WA industry was happy to pay its fair share.“We are proud of our 42 per cent contribution to the state’s tax take, which funds our roads, schools and hospitals, and of our role in creating great places, creating economic activity and being the State’s largest employer,” she said.Ms Brewer said it was vital growth in the sector was encouraged with a streamlined and effective planning system, better communication about the benefits of density for the community and fairer taxes and charges.<www.watoday.com.au/national/western-australia/industry-relief-as-saffioti-drops-metronet-property-tax-plan-20190704-p523z3.html>


Calls for rail probe amid fears of more rorts July 4, 2019Victoria's financial watchdog has been asked to investigate alleged theft and corruption on the state government's Caulfield-to-Dandenong sky rail project, in the wake of claims of wage fraud and copper theft on Labor's signature program.The state opposition has written to the Auditor-General requesting a probe into allegations revealed in The Age that contractors working on the $1.6 billion sky rail program secretly renovated a manager's home, stole many tonnes of lucrative copper and falsified timesheets in a series of rackets potentially costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.Kory Oxley, who worked for Lendlease, faced court on Wednesday over 11 criminal charges.Credit:Joe ArmaoThe Coalition's move has the backing of an unlikely bedfellow in the Victorian Greens, who are also calling for expanded powers for the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission to investigate whether rorting is happening on other huge transport projects. It comes as the Level Crossing Removal Project's chief executive, Kevin Devlin, sent a strong message to anyone working on the government's multibillion-dollar program, warning that any illegal activity would be immediately detected and punished.Seven people linked to the sky rail project have been charged or found guilty of criminal conduct, which includes filling out timesheets for work that was never done in a practice known in the construction industry as "ghosting".Former Lendlease building supervisor Kory Oxley has been charged with instructing taxpayer-funded sky rail labourers to renovate a manager's private home and buying a motor boat and a caravan with money believed to have been siphoned from the project.Two labourers have pled guilty to stealing copper from the rail project, with one man, Hayden Tarawa, admitting to stealing rolls of copper valued at $150,000 and selling it to scrap metal dealers.Opposition transport infrastructure spokesman David Davis has asked Auditor-General Andrew Greaves to investigate the "cost to Victorian taxpayers of theft and corrupt management practices, including 'ghosting' rosters, associated with the level crossing removal program".In a letter sent on Thursday, Mr Davis called for the probe to consider the "projected and final cost of each completed level crossing removal".Greens transport spokesman Sam Hibbins wants the government to grant IBAC "follow-the-dollar" powers, which would enable the watchdog to investigate how public money is spent by private contractors.Hayden Tarawa pleaded guilty on Tuesday to stealing copper from the rail project.Credit:Luis Enrique Ascui Mr Hibbins said that if given these powers (which IBAC has previously called for), the watchdog could investigate whether other contractors in the booming infrastructure industry were vulnerable to rorts."The government needs to urgently give Victoria’s anti-corruption agency the follow-the-dollar powers," he said. “This case highlights the real risk of systemic corruption within the government's infrastructure program."The Andrews government strenuously denies that the alleged misconduct will put taxpayers out of pocket.A spokeswoman said the alleged crimes were initially picked up by the project and reported to police."Across all of our projects, we have strong protocols in place to successfully detect fraud and corruption – these protocols detected this incident," she said.The consortium building sky rail between Caulfield and Dandenong is still completing the project, with works due to wind up in December.It includes CPB Contractors and Lendlease, which had hired staff members who now face charges over the alleged home renovation.CPB Contractors has refused to confirm whether its building manager Steven John Winter has been stood down after police charged him over the alleged renovation of his own home.The companies in question have refused to comment on the case or say whether their systems of checks and balances have been reviewed.David Donnelly,  a partner at Allens law firm who specialises in infrastructure projects, said that if the alleged rorting was occurring on a wider scale, it could push up the cost and timelines of big builds."If this practice is widespread, does it mean there is an inherent cost that's built into all projects, whether public or private, to cover theft in addition to waste?," Mr Donnelly said. "Is it driving up insurance premiums which again forms part of the project costs?"Mr Devlin, the Level Crossing Removal Project chief, said criminal behaviour had no place on government work sites."My message to anyone considering in engaging in this type of activity is – detection methods are in place, and you will be caught."It is disappointing that a small number of individuals have allegedly done the wrong thing.”The sky rail consortium includes WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, Aurecon and Metro Trains Melbourne.Related Article The house that was allegedly renovated by sky rail workers. Supervisor allegedly siphoned sky rail money for home improvements, caravan and a boatRelated Article Hayden Tarawa. Sky rail copper thief pleads guilty as manager charged over home renovationsRelated Article Tradesmen being paid by taxpayers to work on a sky rail project instead allegedly spent weeks renovating the private home of a manager using trucks and excavators from the government job. Sky rail racket: Tradies allegedly renovate boss' house on taxpayer dollar<www.theage.com..au/national/victoria/calls-for-sky-rail-probe-amid-fears-of-more-rorts-20190704-p5247e.html>


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