Fw: Mon.5.10.20 daily digest
  Roderick Smith

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 "201005M-Melbourne'Age'-Newport-new.train-premier-ss.jpg" [Is he wearing a helmet as a lynching precaution?  The real workers aren't wearing one].


Mon.5.10.20 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).
[only Saturday? Traffic changes are in place on Princes Hwy, Dandenong, near South Gippsland Highway (level-crossing works). Traffic is reduced to two lanes in both directions, with speed set at 60 km/h. Please merge with care]. 
14.29 Frankston line: Major delays clearing after a police action near McKinnon.
Buses replace trains Newport - Werribee from 19.25 until the last train (works).
Mernda/Hurstbridge lines: Buses replace trains Parliament - Bell/Heidelberg from 19.45 until the last train tonight (works).
Buses replace trains Dandenong - Pakenham from 20.30 until the last train (works).

'Don't agree with everything done in every country': Andrews fends off human rights concerns over Chinese train builder Paul Sakkal October 5, 2020. 9 comments
Premier Daniel Andrews has fended off concerns about human rights abuses linked to a Chinese company building a fleet of trains for Victoria, stressing the importance of local jobs from the $2.3 billion contract.
Mr Andrews said that, although he did not "agree with everything that is done in every country", the government accepted assurances from train builder CRRC that it was not benefiting from exploited workers from the country's Uighur minority.
Daniel Andrews unveiled the new CRRC trains at Downer's Newport facility in 2018.CREDIT:JUSTIN MCMANUS
The state-owned rolling stock manufacturer was recently blacklisted by the US government due to the security risks posed by its ties to the Chinese government. It was also identified by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in March as a beneficiary of potentially exploited Uighur labour through one of its Chinese suppliers.
Mr Andrews said on Monday the government had sought assurances from a subsidiary of CRRC, CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles, that Uighurs were not part of its supply chain. The project to build Victoria's train fleet is 18 months behind schedule.
Mr Andrews said he had not sought national security advice on the firm from the federal government and was confident the project was not benefiting from the work of China's Muslim minority, more than a million of whom have been sent to "re-education" camps that have been likened to concentration camps by human rights groups.
"We don't agree with everything that is done in every country around the world but ultimately we are about getting things done," Mr Andrews said.
"We have sought assurances that it is not an accurate statement in relation to the work we have contracted them to do and have received those assurances.
"We have made our views and preferences and what we want to see happen well-known and have received assurances to that end."
Mr Andrews said he was aware the government had asked for assurances from the company but was not aware of the details of what was asked for. Earlier on Monday, Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan said she had asked her department to question the company about the allegations several months ago, which the company denied.
In June, the US Defence Department placed CRRC on a list of Chinese companies, including Huawei, with close ties to the Chinese government or military that can be subject to emergency economic powers and sanctions by the US President.
Mr Andrews said it was not the job of the state government to determine whether CRRC posed a national security threat and questioned the basis of the US targeting CRRC.
"If those judgments are to be made, they should be made by security agencies, not by the US government … They have made some choice, I don't know what the basis of that decision is," he said.
"I don't do national security reviews. They are done by national security agencies. No one's raised any questions about this company with us. If that were to change then we would take the appropriate action but [that is a hypothetical situation]."
Mr Andrews and Ms Allan emphasised the local jobs, particularly in regional areas, created by the consortium delivering the trains which includes CRRC, Downer EDI and Plenary Group. The consortium is required to use 60 per cent local content but unions are sceptical this target will be met after work originally slated to be completed in Melbourne was offshored to CRRC's factory in China.
Mr Andrews also pointed to the NSW government's relationship with CRRC as evidence of the firm's Australian bona fides.
In 2006, NSW awarded a $3.6 billion contract to a consortium including a company that merged into CRRC. The Waratah trains were delivered years late and $550 million over budget. In 2016, the Baird government exercised an option in the initial contract to purchase 24 additional Waratah double-deckers at a cost of $1.7 billion.
Mr Andrews said the delay on the Victorian project was not similar to those faced in NSW.
"I wouldn't accept the conclusion that any issues with this project are the same as the issues that were experienced in New South Wales. I wouldn't accept that at all," he said.
"What I can say to you is we are making sure this is done properly and making sure it is not just to the highest standards but exceeds the highest standards given the sheer volume of people that will be moved getting from home to where they need to be and back again."
RELATED ARTICLE Daniel Andrews defended his dealings with China on Friday. 'China's gateway': Daniel Andrews' Belt and Road pitch to Beijing
RELATED ARTICLE Daniel Andrews unveiled the new CRRC trains at Downer's Newport facility in 2018. Melbourne's new trains being built in China by blacklisted Belt and Road firm

As it happened: Victoria records nine COVID-19 cases as Donald Trump receives powerful steroid treatment in hospital; Australian death toll stands at 894. Rachael Dexter, Marissa Calligeros and Simone Fox Koob October 5, 2020
* 16.43 Number of Australians applying for passports plummets Michael Gebicki
* 14.01 Man travelling to 'buy rice' among 125 Victorians fined Erin Pearson. A Melbourne man caught travelling on a train to buy rice more than five kilometres from his home was among 125 Victorians fined for breaching lockdown restrictions over the past 24 hours.
Of the 125 people fined, 13 were found without a face mask and 17 were caught flouting travel restrictions at vehicle checkpoints.
Another man was stopped on an inbound train at Southern Cross Station. When police asked why he was travelling, he told officers he was heading into the city to buy rice.
* 10.38 Andrews refuses to comment on federal infrastructure spending Rachael Dexter. Premier Daniel Andrews would not be drawn on whether he believes it's unfair that NSW has so far been tipped to receive much more infrastructure funding than Victoria in the upcoming federal budget.
Today the federal government announced it would invest more than $1 billion in Victorian infrastructure, mainly for regional rail lines.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is not commenting on the federal budget today.CREDIT:SIMON SCHLUTER
Mr Andrews said he was happy to receive the federal cash, but wouldn't comment on the perceived disparity between the states.
"I'm indicating to you that I'm not interested in getting into those sorts of games. If you want to have a chat to the Commonwealth government about where they have made different decisions that's fine. I don't think I need to be getting into that sort of stuff," he said.
Mr Andrews hit back at the suggestion that federal funding could be used to reprise the controversial East West Link.
"I don't know it is ['shovel-ready'] actually. I think it would have to be restarted from pretty much a standing start. You wouldn't be employing too many people on that for quite a long time," he said.
"My views and the views of the Victorian electorate are very well understood on that issue. I will not waste your time or mine on having arguments about that."
* 7.16 After a burst of warm, spring weather on the weekend, Melbourne woke to rain this morning. Our photographer Chris Hopkins has captured these beautiful images:
After a warm spring weekend, Melbourne woke to a wet Monday morning. CREDIT:CHRIS HOPKINS

Major Queensland road projects get funding in Tuesday's federal budget. Tony Moore October 5, 2020
...$50 million for the Beams Road Level Crossing at Carseldine
...Beams Road open level crossing: $50m from a total $248m
* Plenty of money for roads but no dollars for public transportation, particularly important railway projects. LNP have never provided one single dollar towards the Cross River Rail project. More road expansion generates more traffic congestion.

Proposed 30kmh speed limit could transform Melbourne CBD post-lockdown
John Masanauskas October 5, 2020 Herald Sun 115 comments
Transport in Melbourne’s CBD could be completely revamped — with cars slowed down to 30kmh and pedestrian areas extended — under a proposed policy put forward by the Greens party ahead of the City of Melbourne election.
video: Number of vacant shops experiencing ‘big’ increase. REA Group Chief Economist Nerida Conisbee says COVID-19 has triggered a large increase in the number of vacant shops – particularly in…
Cars would be slowed down to 30kmh in the CBD and pedestrian areas extended under Greens party policies for the City of Melbourne election.
The party wants car travel to become a “specialised mode of transport” in the inner city, while public transport, walking and cycling would be further encouraged as the “dominant and most efficient” modes.
RMIT academic and unionist Apsara Sabaratnam is the Greens lord mayoral candidate for the October poll and her deputy is midwife Roxane Ingleton.
Sitting councillor Rohan Greens is the number one councillor candidate, followed by Dr Olivia Ball, Emily Corcoran, David Jeffrey, Nakita Thomson and Charlotte George.
Ms Sabaratnam is not expected to be a leading contender in the lord mayor race, but the Greens are counting on electing Mr Leppert and Dr Ball as councillors.
The Hoddle Grid has a speed limit of 40kmh, although Flinders Lane, Lt Collins, Lt Bourke and Lt Lonsdale streets have had 20kmh limits from September.
Under the Greens, the general speed limit in the Hoddle Grid and “high activity areas” in inner suburbs would be reduced to 30kmh.
The number of car trips to, from and within the municipality would be further cut, and traffic light sequences changed to prioritise public transport, cyclists and pedestrians, including more default green lights for pedestrians.
Much of Melbourne’s CBD has been near-deserted during the city’s lockdown. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ David Crosling
The Greens want to make Elizabeth St a high quality civic space, and create better pedestrian amenity on key little streets in the CBD such as Lt Bourke St between Spring St and Hardware Lane, with arrangements made for delivery access to businesses and any critical parking needs.
The party wants the state government to ban horse-drawn vehicles in the municipality, and to discourage congestion through car use by reviewing and possibly expanding the existing parking levy.
“(The Greens would) expand and prioritise a connected, safe and accessible pedestrian network, through the development of good quality walking links between the city’s public spaces, the public transport system and within urban renewal areas,” said the policy platform.
The party would support Aboriginal groups in their quest for a treaty with the City of Melbourne, and ensure a high proportion of new public spaces created by council were given local Aboriginal names.
The Greens want the current double vote for businesses in city council elections to be scrapped, and all residents, including foreigners on temporary visas, to be able to vote.

Federal budget: Victoria to receive another infrastructure injection to recover after coronavirus
Tom Minear and Shannon Deery October 5, 2020 Herald Sun 34 comments
The federal government has flagged a “use it or lose it” approach for this year’s budget to prevent project delays as the nation recovers from the pandemic, with more cash earmarked to boost construction in Victoria.
Road works at the corner of Punt Rd and Olympic Bvld. Picture Jay Town
Victoria is set to receive another infrastructure injection in Tuesday’s budget as the federal government flags a “use it or lose it” approach to funding to prevent project delays and create jobs as soon as possible.
Herald Sun revealed on Monday that $1.1bn had been allocated for a series of road and rail projects in Victoria, but New South Wales received $2.7bn and $1.3bn was directed to Queensland.
Federal Urban Infrastructure Minister Alan Tudge defended the discrepancy, saying the commonwealth was “absolutely funding the things which the state government has requested that can be done immediately”.
Daniel Andrews welcomed the investment but said he was keen “to have more funding so that we can add it to the massive infrastructure agenda that we’ve got going here”.
The Herald Sun understands further federal money will be provided for Victorian road and rail projects in Tuesday’s budget.
It comes after Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the government wanted the states to “get on with it” when cash was provided for “important productivity-enhancing, economy-growing infrastructure”.
“If the states are not able or are not willing to get on with it, then we will seek to work with states that are. If some states are not prepared to get cracking then we will be working with those states that are,” Senator Cormann said on Sunday.
Traffic chaos at the corner of Punt Rd and Olympic Bvld due to the road works. Picture Jay Town
After a war of words between Josh Frydenberg and the Premier, sparked by the Herald Sun revealing the Treasurer was still pushing for Victoria to agree to build the East West Link, Mr Tudge said it would create 4000 jobs if Mr Andrews changed his mind.
“We haven’t had this discussion since (before the pandemic), and when you have unemployment which is going to be above 10 per cent, possibly higher here in Victoria, which is not seen since the early 1990s, then we need to re-examine some of these things,” he said.
Mr Tudge said the government also wanted progress on the Rowville rail project after $475m was promised to Victoria more than two years ago.
Mr Andrews said his government was already working on a range of big projects with the commonwealth, and would “always keep pushing for more and more support”.
He added that infrastructure funding in the state budget, expected to be delivered next month, would eclipse federal investment.
“I can assure you that our total capital investment will be well more than $1 billion,” Mr Andrews said.
“It will be well more than that, and it will be in metro Melbourne, it will be in regional Victoria, it will be small projects that are really about employment.”

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