Fw: Fri.21.8.20 daily digest
  Roderick Smith

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Fri.21.8.20 Metro Twitter
Buses replace trains on sections of the Upfield line until the last train of Sun 15 Nov (level-crossing works at Coburg and Moreland).
Westall: No lift access between the concourse and pfm 2/3 until Mon 14 Sep ('upgrade' works).
4.20 Major delays Cranbourne - Dandenong due to an equipment fault near Cranbourne.
- 5.17 clearing
Lane closures are in place on the Nepean Highway outbound between Lochiel Avenue, Edithvale and Wellwood Road, Bonbeach until late-September. Please allow extra time for your journey, be patient and merge with care. Follow levelcrossings for project updates.
Buses replace trains North Melbourne - Werribee/Williamstown from 9pm Fri 21 Aug to last train Sun 23 Aug, while maintenance works take place.
Buses replace trains Dandenong - Pakenham from 8:30pm Fri 21 Aug to 6:45am Sat 22 Aug, while project works take place.

During renewal works in Victoria Street, from 20.00 until last tram Sat 29 Aug, buses replace Route 12 and 109 trams between Stop 16 Wellington St and Stop 29 Barkers Rd. Route 109 trams divert via Bridge Road.
Visit our Victoria Street tram track renewal project page for more information about local area impacts.
Service Changes
No Route 12 trams run between Stop 18 Hoddle Street and Victoria Gardens.
Route 109 trams divert via Bridge Road between Stop 8 Spring Street and Stop 29 Barkers Road.
Buses replace Route 12 and Route 109 trams between Stop 16 Wellington Street and Stop 29 Barkers Road, diverting around the work zone.
COVID-19 Changes
Route 12 trams are also diverting via La Trobe Street as part of a COVID-19 response plan to increase overall capacity in the city. Collins Street passengers can take Route 11 trams to connect.
From 8pm each night, tram services run to a reduced frequency due to Stage 4 restrictions. All Night Network services, which run after midnight on Friday and Saturday nights, are also suspended.
Tram stop changes
The following tram stops will be closed. Replacement buses will stop at the footpath near platform stops where possible.
Stop 18 Hoddle Street (to St Kilda/Port Melbourne)
Stop 21 Church Street
Stop 22 McKay Street
Stop 23 Flockhart Street/Leslie Street (from 5am Wednesday 12 August due to pre works, city bound only)
Stop 24 Victoria Gardens
Stop 25 River Boulevard
Tram replacement buses are low-floor depending on availability. If you need assistance, please speak to our customer service team or alert your driver.
Alternative travel
Passengers may use Route 78 trams on Church Street or Bus 246 on Hoddle Street to connect with diverting services.

Sun.2.12.18 New research shows Melbourne’s traffic flow ranks below New York and Rome.
Traffic in Melbourne is now worse than in New York and Rome, with a new report finding motorists on our network are delayed by more than half an hour for every 100km they travel.
New research from GPS company Here Technologies has revealed the Victorian capital has some of the worst congestion issues in the world, ranking 25th for traffic flow in a list compiled of 38 major cities.
The first annual Urban Mobility Index shows that nearly a fifth of our roads are clogged at 4pm on a Thursday and the weekend peak now stretches through four to five hours
Hoddle St stands out as Australia’s equivalent to the New Jersey Turnpike, with average weekday speeds slowing to 38km/h despite a posted speed limit of 70km/h.
Ross Caldow, Here Technologies’ industry specialist for the public sector, said the findings came from an unprecedented level of data collected about the way Melbourne moved.
“It was built monitoring a number of different traffic inputs and the existing public transport network to create a real time sense of what’s happening,” he said.
“What we can see from a Melbourne perspective is that the city performs quite poorly around traffic congestion.
“The rankings also come from a comparison of the posted speed to the congested speed … We can see there is a lot going on around the network.”
Soaring population growth is believed to be a main factor behind the strain on the network with short-term delays created by a swath of road upgrades and maintenance projects.
Hoddle St and the West Gate Freeway have become pressure points for thousands of daily car movements while suburban roads, targeted by billions in upcoming road upgrades, are slowing to a crawl around school pick up and drop off times.
RACV general manager of public policy Bryce Prosser said it was up to authorities to take a multifaceted approach to Melbourne’s traffic woes.
“Congestion is becoming a fact of life for many commuters as the transport system struggles to cope with Victoria’s population boom,” he said.
“There is not one single solution to this complex problem but it is vital that all forms of transport — both public and private — are more integrated.
“Building the major projects that relieve the congestion will cause more disruption, so it’s vital that the State Government rapidly implement its plans for a new control centre so that better information can be provided to commuters.
“Opportunities to get more out of existing roads should also be pursued, for example by removing carparking to create bicycle lanes, bus lanes and traffic lanes where needed.”
A spokesman said the Andrews Government was investing an unprecedented amount in road and rail upgrades.
“Whether it’s the massive, $4 billion Suburban Roads Upgrade, the West Gate Tunnel, North East Link or our upgrades to the Monash, the Ring Road and the Tulla — we’re doing the work that has to be done to get people home safer and sooner,” he said.
“But we know we can’t simply build our way out of congestion — that’s why we’re investing in the Metro Tunnel, the Suburban Rail Loop and removing 75 dangerous and congested level crossings.”
Sprawling suburbs across Melbourne have been left behind by poor public transport coverage and infrequent services, new data reveals.
Analysis by Here Technologies shows the city’s public transport network is more efficient than many other systems around the world, but ranks poorly at getting trains, trams and buses to as many people as possible.
Figures show more than a quarter of the population does not live within 1km of a stop and that Melbourne ranks 29th in a list of 38 major cities for service frequency.
The Eastern Freeway exit to Hoddle Street and Alexandra Parade. Picture: Mark Stewart
Public Transport Users Association spokesman Daniel Bowen said the number of trips running every hour was a key source of frustration for passengers.
“Even if there is a stop nearby, few people will use it if it’s the typical Melbourne bus timetable of a service only every 30-60 minutes,” he said. “This study makes it clear that Melbourne is falling behind in this area.
“To get more people out of their cars and on to public transport, it is critical that the state government funds extra services: trams, buses and especially trains running frequently all day, every day, so people can get around easily
without long waits and without studying timetables.”
Melbourne was ninth globally for public transport efficiency and 12th for journey times compared with cars, according to the first Urban Mobility Index.
But the study also found just 71 per cent of the city area was within walking distance of a stop, which was well behind many other developed cities.
Mr Bowen said many cities were pushing ahead with more frequent timetables.
“By comparison, Sydney is moving ahead — recent upgrades mean 71 per cent of stations now have a train every 15 minutes all day until at least 11pm every night,” he said.
“Travel demand is spreading across the day, and traffic jams are now a regular problem seven days a week — it’s time our public transport system caught up.”
When Melbourne’s Metro Tunnel is completed by 2025, commuters on the Sunbury, Cranbourne and Pakenham lines will have a turn-up-and-go service, and new technology will allow trains to run every two to three minutes if needed.

There will soon be thousands more seats available on Brisbane's trains 2 December 2018. [reposted to go with the photo]
Thousands more seats for commuters will be available on trains from Monday when six-car units replace three-car trains on 193 Queensland Rail services.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey said the new services would increase carrying capacity by more than 46,000 seats a week across the south-east Queensland network.
Thousands of more seats will be available for passengers from Monday due to the New Generation Rollingstock.
The change has been made possible by the roll-out of 35 of the state government's 75 six-carriage New Generation Rollingstock trains onto the network.
Mr Bailey said passengers would immediately notice the difference on the Beenleigh, Shorncliffe, Ferny Grove, Cleveland, Northgate and Doomben lines from Monday.
"Queensland Rail has focused on upgrading Monday-to-Friday services rather than at weekends, when fewer people travel," he said.
"Of the 193 services where capacity will be doubled, 40 are classified as high patronage, where average seated capacity occupancy rates are more than 80 per cent."
On the current timetable, about 6 per cent of the 6248 Monday-to-Friday services are provided by three-car units.
After these upgrades, just 3.21 per cent of services will be three-car trains.
Mr Bailey said the popular 6.54am Shorncliffe-to-Central, 6.55am Ferny Grove-to-Park Road and 4.18pm Bowen Hills-to-Cleveland services were among those to be upgraded, doubling the number of seats on those services.
"We know how important on-board comfort is for our customers, particularly after a long day, which is why we're pleased to be delivering more seats on services," he said.
"A small number of three-carriage trains will still be required to run during morning and afternoon peaks due to current operational restrictions; however, each of these will be preceded and followed by a six-carriage train to assist
with customer loading."
Mr Bailey said that after the latest upgrade there would be just 171 three-car services remaining on the Monday-to-Friday timetable.
"One hundred of these are on the Rosewood shuttle and they will not be upgraded,  due to infrastructure limitations on the Rosewood line and low demand," he said.
"Current patronage numbers also show the three-carriage trains meet demand on that line at weekends when patronage is lower.
"Queensland Rail will consider further upgades as more NGR units enter service."
The Beenleigh line will have 38 services per week upgraded from three- to six-car trains from Monday to Friday, Shorncliffe 24, Ferny Grove 38, Cleveland 36, Northgate 12, Doomben 44, and Ipswich/ Rosewood one.
Ordered under the previous LNP government, the first NGR trains were due to be operational in mid-2016, but after the discovery of significant issues, including problems with braking, airconditioning, sight lines for drivers and
disability access, delivery was halted in March 2017.
Seventy-five NGR trains in total have been ordered as part of a $4.4 billion project over 32 years.
Queensland Rail rolled out the first of the trains in December 2017, despite the pending application for a temporary human rights exemption, which was rejected this year.
Related Article Retired judge to have access to cabinet documents in train probe.
* When will Queensland Rail look at moving to solar power for the trains? 32 year contract is a long time in technology.
* One step forward after 5 steps backwards. Better than nothing, but still a long way to go.
* Just in time for the school holidays! Bravo.
* QR should relinquish the timetable aim for 15mins or better Mon-Fri and design a timetable of 20mins or better 7 days a week. This will result in faster cross town trips due to reduced waiting times. Potential uptake of public
transport off peak due to improved services. Covers special events held the whole week through with out the need of adding special services. Some lines would have a metro style turn up and Go every 10 mins as a result eg Darra via
Toowong to the City, where it needed.
* Rail Fail continues. Not that media seem care save the occassional republishing of a press release.
* Just in time for school holidays where the peak trains are less than half full.
* Qld Rail is again discriminating against the lower socio economic lines. Note how the Gold Coast got the brand new trains first, followed by the richer areas like Shorncliffe, Dooomben, Northgate, Cleveland. I think I've seen one ngr service running on the Ipswich - Caboolture corridor. That was probably a mistake because I haven't seen it since. This blatant elitism should stop.

Banks help firms reach sustainability goals. Alexandra Cain Aug 18, 2020

August 21, 2020 As the day unfolded: Victoria records 179 new COVID-19 cases as hotel quarantine inquiry continues; border talks intensify between states as Australian death toll jumps to 472 Matt Bungard and Mary Ward
* 20.01 summary
- Victoria has recorded 179 new cases and nine deaths, its lowest case figure since July 13. The Victorian inquiry into hotel quarantine heard stories of confusion and neglect from returned travellers and nurses on Thursday, and is running hearings again today.
- NSW has recorded just one new coronavirus case today, from more than 32,000 tests. The case is a close contact of an existing case and had been in isolation.
- Amid calls for states and territories to relax border closures, the Prime Minister said after today's national cabinet meeting that the next meeting would consider medical advice on what constitutes a hotspot.
- Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck has conceded the federal government was responsible for infection control in aged care and acknowledged weaknesses after the virus killed hundreds of elderly residents in Victoria's second wave in an appearance before the COVID-19 Senate committee.
- There have been 22.5 million cases of coronavirus worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally. The global death toll has passed 789,000.
- Australia had 180 new cases today, 179 of which were in Victoria.
- Guards working in Melbourne's hotel quarantine have alleged that the Department of Health and Human Services failed to investigate claims that a baby was being hit by parents locked in a room.
- The global death toll passed 794,000, and cases have passed the 22.7 million mark.
- The man tasked with Australia's economic recovery post-pandemic wants states to reconsider their hard border policies, saying they're an excessive response being used in the absence of measured policies to contain COVID-19 outbreaks.
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison has flagged there will be more money for aged care in the October budget and is standing by his Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck.
- Australia's two biggest states appear ready to lift their spending on infrastructure after Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe asked premiers to commit another $40 billion to major projects in a two-year spending surge.
- The Australian death toll rose to 470.
* 16.14 Sydney bus commuters advised to make other plans mid-Monday. Sydney’s bus commuters have been warned to avoid services in the northern suburbs, eastern suburbs, lower north shore and northern beaches on Monday due to a planned lunchtime employee briefing. Transport for NSW chief operations officer Howard Collins said that between 11am and 1pm, there would be a significant impact in these areas.
Mr Collins said that, with reduced bus services on the road at this time, customers needed to avoid bus travel for the two-hour period to allow room for essential workers to get to and from work.
"It is critical that public transport capacity is reserved for frontline workers such as nurses, paramedics and police officers, who are continuing to provide essential health and safety services for our community," he said.
"Our message to the community is that, if you need to travel, start planning alternative transport arrangements such as other public transport options, driving, walking, cycling or using point-to-point services such as taxis or rideshare during this period."
Mr Collins used the announcement to urge people travelling on public transport to observe green dots for social distancing, and to wear face masks when travelling on the public transport network.
"It’s critically important that we maintain physical distancing on public transport to slow the spread of COVID-19," he said.
A bus driver in Sydney this week. CREDIT:RENEE NOWYTARGER
* 14.10 There will be no changes to Australia's international flight caps, despite thousands of expats being unable to come home unless they pay for business class.
"I want to stress that 4000 Australians are still returning every week, every single week," Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters on Friday.
He said the caps would continue to be reviewed fortnightly, and he hoped that, with declining infection numbers in Victoria, the state would soon be able to take people into its hotel quarantine system again, relieving pressure on other states and possibly allowing for an increase.
He added that he had asked the Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs and Defence ministers to present measures to him and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg with possible measures to help Australians stuck overseas.
"We acknowledge that some of them are in some difficult circumstances," he said.
"Our consular teams are doing a great job to help them in those circumstances, and we'll be doing more to help them in those circumstances and to assist them to get home."
RELATED ARTICLE Travellers stranded by lack of flights and skyrocketing costs to return to Australia. 'Checkmate': Stranded Australians tackle Bali's murky visa system since they can't afford to come home
* 9.55 Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has spoken in favour of reduced restrictions, particularly border restrictions, on regional areas, calling for premiers to seek medical advice specifically on their regional areas and take a "commonsense approach".
"[Regional areas] don't have the cases they do in metro and that is what we are saying to premiers: talk to your chief medical officers, you are making decisions predicated on clusters that are severe in capital cities, they are not in regional areas," he told reporters at Toowoomba this morning.
"We can create bubbles, we can create avenues of commerce for regional and rural Australians."
The Agriculture Minister said "regional and rural Australia has evolved past these lines on a map" and, although he acknowledged there would be challenges, he believed the interconnectedness of most regional communities on either side of state lines meant it was worth putting in the effort to find better solutions.
Although the Prime Minister has been having discussions with individual premiers about regional borders, Mr Littleproud did not think "anything would be resolved firmly" on the matter of borders at today's national cabinet meeting.
* 7.29 In light of today's national cabinet agenda, we are expecting a lot of commentary on borders this morning.
Fresh from his tour of NSW's border communities, Deputy Premier John Barilaro told Sky News this morning he believed these communities had become a "human shield to protest the rest".
“Border communities can’t sustain much more of this closure," he told hold Peter Stefanovic, stressing that some of the restrictions on the NSW-Victoria border – which is policed by NSW – need to be lifted "immediately".
* 7.23 Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has promised to ask South Australian Premier Steven Marshall for permits for border communities after Mr Marshall effectively shut his state's border today.
The NSW and Victorian agriculture ministers have said they want reduced interstate border restrictions across the country, after the National Farmers Federation criticised policies yesterday.
Yesterday, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce criticised national cabinet for letting states determine their own border closures, saying many don't "seem to make any medical sense".
International borders will also be discussed, after Australia's biggest business lobby groups said they say hamper economic recovery and could see more jobs lost and global corporate deals languish. National cabinet are due to be briefed 
on seasonal workers and the Pacific labour scheme in light of border restrictions.
* 7.05 Speaking of the Victoria-NSW border, NSW Agriculture minister Adam Marshall has told Nine’s Today show that he is “bloody frustrated” by the issues agricultural workers are encountering at state borders.
“If there’s one industry in a COVID-19 environment that has to be able to operate without restriction without limitation it’s got to be agriculture,” he said.
video Coronavirus: Farmers frustrated over border lockdown
NSW Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall speaks on Today about the how border closures are impacting farmers and the agriculture industry.
“If it’s not that, then what? We’re supposed to import everything?”
* 6.37 South Australia has introduced its strictest set of restrictions on its Victorian border today, with residents not allowed to travel for healthcare or other essential services.
Under the hard border closure, which came into force this morning, only year 11 and 12 students travelling for school and people with property on both sides of the border are allowed to cross into South Australia.
On Wednesday, an exemption was granted for all residents of the border community of Lindsay Point due to its isolated location and the comparable travel time for residents to get to their nearest Victorian regional centre.
At his press conference yesterday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said he would be pushing for a permit system with additional categories of travel at today's national cabinet.
"We're doing everything we can to try and make the fact that others have closed their borders to us as workable as possible," he said.

After abandoning coal, Suncorp will phase out oil and gas financing. Nick O'Malley August 21, 2020

Cleveland trains resume after truck crashes down embankment onto tracks. Lydia Lynch and Toby Crockford August 21, 2020
It took almost seven hours, but Cleveland line trains are running once again in both directions, after a delivery truck crashed down an embankment and onto tracks on Brisbane's bayside on Friday.
Emergency services were called to the scene about 6.45am after the truck careered off Ernest Street in Manly, down the embankment and onto tracks below, near Manly station.
video Heavy delays in Brisbane after delivery truck crash
A delivery truck has crashed in Brisbane causing heavy delays as it blocks a major train line.
Cleveland trains were suspended in both directions between Lota and Lindum stations and commuters faced hour-long delays throughout Friday morning and into the afternoon.
Paramedics assessed the truck driver, a man aged in his 20s, for abrasions and he declined transport to hospital.
A TransLink spokesman said replacement buses were called in and started ferrying delayed passengers between stations from about 7.30am.
A truck has crashed onto railway tracks near Manly Station.CREDIT:REDLANDS ZONE
Trains on the Shorncliffe, Doomben and Airport lines were also delayed by about 10 minutes throughout the morning as a result of the truck crash.
A Queensland Rail spokeswoman said the truck was removed from the tracks by heavy haulage about 12.20pm.
QR crews inspected the tracks for any damage before Cleveland services resumed about 1.30pm.
There were no residual delays, but rail replacement buses would continue to operate in the area to help move passengers quickly.

Probe as rail boss sidelined KIERAN ROONEY SHANNON DEERY
Fri.21.8.20 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'
VICTORIA’S anti-corruption agency has launched a major probe into Department of Transport which has prompted the suspension of V/Line boss James Pinder.
The details of the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission investigation are yet to be revealed but government procurement processes, and the awarding of contracts for work are issues expected to be examined.
VLine in anti-corruption probe
VICTORIA’S anti-corruption agency has launched a major probe into the Department of Transport under an investigation which has prompted the suspension of V/Line boss James Pinder.
Mr Pinder was on Thursday stood down by the regional rail operator’s board after it was discovered he was being investigated by the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission.
But it’s understood the commission is not just examining conduct within V/Line staff and that it will canvass other sections of the Department of Transport.
The full details of the investigation are yet to be revealed but government procurement processes, and the awarding of contracts for work and construction are among issues expected to be examined.
“No Department of Transport staff have been suspended or stood down and, to our knowledge, no department staff are subject to this investigation,” a spokeswoman said.
It comes just a day after IBAC warned fraud and corruption risks in the public sector had soared during the COVID-19 pandemic, and issued new guides to government employees.
It’s understood a significant amount of evidence has been compiled on Mr Pinder, with senior V/Line figures believed to be blindsided by the news.
Transport Minister Ben Carroll announced the suspension of the V/Line boss on Thursday after being informed of the IBAC investigation by his department.
Nick Foa, currently head of transport services at the Department of Transport, will stand in while a longer-term arrangement is devised.
A V/Line spokeswoman said Mr Pinder had been suspended pending the investigation outcome and that services would be not be affected.
Opposition transport spokesman David Davis said IBAC must be allowed to do its job.
“I hope it roots out every bit of corruption at the Department of Transport and its proliferating stable of incompetent agencies,” he said.
In March, Victoria’s Auditor-General delivered a scathing assessment of V/Line while reviewing the Murray Basin Rail Project. The report found V/Line’s “inadequate contract and project management” had helped to create delays and cost blowouts.

Fri.21.8.20 Melbourne 'Herald Sun' letters:
* LABOR has the gall to berate the government over our non-existent domestic gas supply. It was not that long ago Bill Shorten was holding press conferences gloating Labor had locked in more than $100bn in gas export deals, thereby ensuring more than 85 per cent of what is produced here goes overseas. COVID-19 has again shown us we need to look after Australia first.
* AND ride PT to get there? No thanks.
* BACK to the office but with COVID still enough of a concern to have to wear a mask all day? Surely not. And never mind the public transport crowding issues.
* I HAVE no interest in commuting nor going back into the office. More than happy WFH.
* Exercising restraint I want to thank our local police who must have ignored those of us who drove to a regular parking spot before taking our daily exercise.
I, for one, never knew there was such a restriction in place and fines may have applied until it became topical this week.
The place where I park is normally busy with parents taking their kids on the local track and those of a much later vintage who may have the same problem as I where walking some of the hills in our area can be arduous.
I live at the top of a big hill. In my younger days I sprinted up the incline; if I had to even walk up that hill nowadays I would need an oxygen tank on my back, so driving to the local level walking track is a no-brainer.
I genuinely didn’t know I couldn’t drive to begin my exercise and I presume our local police turned a blind eye and gave us all the benefit of the doubt, so thank you.

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