Fw: Sun.1.9.19 daily digest
  Roderick Smith

Reposted, because this one failed to reach the archive.  That was a once-only, as Mon.2.9 onwards are there.

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Sun.1.9.19 Metro Twitter
City loop: Burnley and Clifton Hill groups will run direct to/from Flinders St (tunnel works).  Change at Flinders St for city circle buses or trams.
- At 10pm on a Sunday night train and tram services are so neanderthaly infrequent and random that I don't know why you are bothering with this tweet.
Werribee/Williamstown lines: Buses replace trains Flagstaff - Newport/Williamstown until the last train (works).
Sunbury line: Buses replace trains Flagstaff - Sunshine until the last train (works).
Craigieburn line: Buses replace trains Flagstaff - Essendon until the last train (works).
Buses replace trains Flinders St - Upfield until the last train(works).
Pakenham/Cranbourne/Frankston lines: Buses replace trains Parliament - Caulfield until the last train (works).
Sandringham line: Buses replace trains Parliament - Elsternwick until the last train of (works).
0.03 Greensborough - Hurstbridge suspended (an equipment fault between Eltham and Diamond Creek).
- 1.06 Trains have resumed; no delays are expected.
It's Fathers Day.  Team members Tony & Nicole Chiera are father and daughter, and have been working together side by side at Metro for the past year.
- 16.46 I hope that your Fathers Day is better than mine. No trains past Caulfield on the Pakenham line, so my daughter had to use the Belgrave line, and journey home was delayed by 30 mins because of trespassers, so a total journey time of 2 hours.
- There were planned works between Caulfield and the cbd (tunnel works). How is it Metro’s fault re trespassers?
Look at what is happening in Hong Kong.It can also happen in your city. THINK TWICE, RECONSIDER your service contract with MTR. Let your transport department hear your voice, you are employing a provider facilitating terrorism.
12.05 Glen Waverley line: Minor delays (police attending to a trespasser near Mount Waverley).
- 12.15 Clearing quickly.
- 15.04 Minor delays (an unruly passenger at East Malvern). Trains may be altered. [how?]
- 15.05 clearing.
12.10 No route 19 trams are running between stop 28 Moreland Rd and North Coburg (an ill passenger in Sydney Road).
- Consider Upfield train-replacement buses, running at 30 minutes headway, in line with the [inadequate] train service.
- 12.35 Trams have resumed, with delays.
15.43 Lilydale/Belgrave lines: Minor delays (police attending to trespassers in the Mont Albert - Box Hill area. Trains may be altered.  [how?]
- 15.47 Now the Ringwood area too.
- 15.56 Mont Albert clear.
- 16.02 Ringwood now major.
- 16.15 clearing.

No charges for 61-year-old victim of light rail accident in Canberra 
Canberra Times September 1 2019
A 61-year-old man struck by a light rail vehicle in Canberra on August 12 will not be fined and criminal charges will not be laid.
An ACT Policing spokeswoman said the investigation had been finalised.
A man was taken to hospital in a serious condition after being hit by a light rail vehicle in Canberra on Monday, August 12, 2019. Picture: John Mikita
It is understood the man crossed against the lights at the intersection of Barry Drive and Northbourne Avenue. He was taken to hospital in a serious condition with head and chest injuries. The light rail driver underwent counselling.
The Sunday Canberra Times understands the man has since been released from hospital, but Canberra Health Services would not provide a formal update.
The incident happened on the first day of Rail Safety Week, which ran from August 12 to 18 in an effort to increase light rail safety awareness in Canberra.
The week's message was "Pay attention - it's everyone's responsibility", and one of the key points of education was to stop and look both ways before you cross.
In the days following the incident, police undertook a blitz on jaywalkers at the same intersection. On Tuesday August 13 and Wednesday August 14, about 30 people were fined $151 each for crossing the road against the lights.
At the time, police said the blitz was planned to coincide with Rail Safety Week and was not brought on by the tram collision.
The 61-year-old man is the second to be hit by a light rail vehicle in Canberra. The first incident in March occurred during testing of the light rail before it had begun operation. That man stepped out in front of the tram against a red signal while wearing headphones.

Riot police and protesters face off at Hong Kong airport September 1, 2019. 137 comments

Victoria won't cop 'half-baked' airport rail link, says state opposition September 1, 2019. 35 comments
Opposition transport spokesman David Davis has warned that Victorians will not accept a "half-baked" rail link from the city to Tullamarine, as he implored the state government to work with the Commonwealth to build a dedicated fast-train service.
Mr Davis seized on revelations the state government is considering a budget airport rail link that would scrap a tunnel to the city and stymie fast rail to Geelong, saying it would not be what Victorians were promised.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Premier Daniel Andrews have vowed to co-operate on Melbourne's airport rail project.Credit:AAP
The Age reported on Saturday that the mayor of Geelong and a leading rail expert were calling on the state government to ditch the cheaper option, warning it would make airport services slow and unreliable.
Mr Davis said the state government appeared to have "gone cold" on a market-led proposal from a private consortium – including Melbourne Airport, Southern Cross Station and super fund giant IFM Investors – which has offered $5 billion on top of the $10 billion state and federal governments have pledged.
"What is required for the state government to do is take the money and work with the federal government to produce a proper airport rail link," Mr Davis said.
"We need a fast service from Southern Cross to the airport. It can't be scrambled in with a slow suburban service, it can't be scrambled in with a crowded suburban service."
State opposition transport spokesman David Davis.Credit:Chris Hopkins 
A poll of 1500 Victorians by JWS Research, commissioned by the AirRail Melbourne consortium, found seven out of 10 people want the airport rail link to be an express service that gets from the city to Tullamarine in under 20 minutes.
The project remains hugely popular across the state, with 55 per cent saying they plan to switch to it when it is up and running in a decade.
Mr Davis said it was clear Victorians wanted the link to be a "dedicated fast service" and not result in travellers switching on and off suburban trains.
"It needs to be frequent, it needs to be not more than 20 minutes to the airport, otherwise it simply won't be used," he said.
Related Article Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Premier Daniel Andrews outline options for an airport rail link earlier this year. Victorian government urged to ignore cut-price airport rail option
A cheaper proposal believed to be under consideration would involve airport trains using existing rail lines between Southern Cross and Sunshine, and add a new line between Sunshine and the airport, sources close to the project have said.
But a government spokeswoman said a decision had not been made on a particular airport rail option or service frequency.
"The options for Melbourne Airport Rail to access the CBD are being assessed as part of the standard planning and development and business case preparation,” she said.
"Rail Projects Victoria and its expert advisers are currently undertaking the detailed planning and development works for Melbourne Airport Rail and faster services to Geelong."
Federal Urban Infrastructure Minister Alan Tudge said a dedicated airport line from the CBD to Sunshine would probably be needed to deliver fast airport services.
Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull pledged $5 billion towards the project in April last year on the condition the state matched the cash, while Prime Minister Scott Morrison promised $2 billion for fast rail to Geelong ahead of the election campaign.
"Our ambition is to have a train journey to the airport from the city that is fast, affordable and meets the needs of travellers," Mr Tudge said.
"In order to achieve these objectives, the federal government considers it likely that new dedicated tracks will be required between Sunshine and the city. This would also provide additional capacity to support Geelong fast rail and improved regional services."
Mr Tudge said the federal government was working "constructively with the Victorian government" on the project.
* Whilst the rest of the world runs around with high speed rail we pfaff around. Give me the train to the airport, it doesn’t have to be express as long as it is reliable and runs regularly, the standard train into
London is not quick but it gets you there at a cheaper price. I also want my fast train from Sydney to Melbourne. Having travelled TGV in Europe I can’t believe we are still stuffing around for such a busy corridor.
* I'm sick and tired of those comments blaming the LNP for all our issues. Labor has made bad decisions in the past and have been in charge for 16 of the past 20 years. It is only the last few years that major infrastructure has started. Labor (like the LNP) have also been selling off state assets, been caught doing dodgy deals, happily taking pay rises while the average worker struggles. Rarely do we get bi-partisan support from our politicians (except their remunerations) and true representation to their electorates.
* Do we want a railway version of the NBN? Please, do it properly and do it right the first time.
* The State Liberal Party should know all about half baked projects - the privatization of gas and electricity is a good start Mr Davis.
* Market-led proposals by private consortia are invariably a fantastic idea...for the successful consortium. They are invariably a really bad idea for government. They price in interest at high rates, which is a nice mechanism for profit shifting. If government pays, the interest cost is around 3%. On a $5 billion project funded from borrowings over 30 years, the interest paid will be around $3B at 3%. At 10%, it's $10.8B you read that right. If the consortium funds the loan, that extra cost, which is more than the capital cost, is the most profitable part of the deal.
* Libs and Nats may have a poor track record with infrastructure, but that is no excuse ignore the calls to do the rail link properly.
* The Sydney link has great potential - except you get on outer-suburbian trains, no room for luggage, often full as a goog, every 20 minutes (if lucky). Yeh, let the fools from there dictate how Melbourne should set up.
* No one from Sydney is dictating how the Melbourne Airport link should be designed. It's all up to Victoria and what can be delivered with the money they have. $10 billion was never going to be enough for an airport link plus dedicated tunnel between the CBD and Sunshine given tunneling in Melbourne is harder because it's largely sediment.
* The trains in Sydney run every 15 minutes from Macarhur, that outer suburb you talk about, during the off-peak. This is supplemented by another service from Revesby that runs every 15 minutes bringing the total frequency of trains to the airport to every 7-8 minutes during the day.
* Complete hypocrisy coming from the Liberals. When the Libs were in government, they proposed a "half-baked" airport rail link with no tunnel via the western suburbs. So, what is David Davis even talking about?
This is the same David Davis who wastes all of his time opposing Skyrail - which turned out to be a highly successful project.
* Here we go: creating a PPP that means for the next 30 years instead of paying exorbitant taxi or parking fees we wind up paying exorbitant train fares to the airport. No thanks. I want an train line to the airport that is integrated with the metro network.
* Please note NOTHING has been decided!This is typical LNP BS!For starters the Federal LNP Govt are involved to the tune of $5 Billion so they will have a say on what gets built!
* I've had a gutfull of Labor & the LNP! Both of them are bloody useless. Tullamarine is 50 years old & both parties have been blathering about a train track for that long.
Neither party can think past the next election, so they are not going to do anything that is going to cost a lot of money with no fast kudo's in the short term.
Long term infrastructure may appear to serve whomever the government is at the time rather than the initial builders so the parties arn't going to risk that.
It seems the only thing that matters to Labor & the Libs are themselves.
The shambles in Britain shows the lengths these self interested self serving pollies will go pushing their own carts
Basically the people can go to blazes unless there is an election in the air.
* The fed Libs/Nats obviously want everything better than our state government does. But when they were in charge they had no plans whatsoever to build the rail link. So why don't they just shut up and let Andrews do his job. And he's been doing it great.
* “He’s been doing it great” - funniest thing I’ve heard all weekend.
* No, the funniest ones thing was when Bad “Guy” lost the election because he ran on law and order rather than providing Victorians with infrastructure.
* Good old do nothing Dave saying they should do something. The Libs in Vic have 0 cred when it comes to building anything let alone infrastructure. Let the government who actually do something get on with doing it. As for the Feds they have withheld funds and played politics with Victorians constantly so I give them no slack anything they say or do is pure politics.
* You do realise that the Libs built the City Loop and since then, the ALP have been in power for over 70% of the time? Hard for the Libs to build anything when they are repairing budgets bled dry by Labor. Andrews is admittedly getting on with things, but a half-hearted effort on the airport link would be a disaster. He needs to build a dedicated line.
* Everything else is half baked in this country so why not. If a project fails the government will always know they can rely on the tax payer to fix the crappola. NBN classic example
* Mr Davis a member of the do nothing Liberal Party in Parliament from 1996, time you moved on to your handsome pension.
* If Melbourne wants a super fast Airport rail service (20 mins?), the capital cost is going to be horrendously high ($5 to $10 billion) and the fare will need to be so high only corporate travellers on the company dollar will be able to afford the charge (maybe $50 one way).
The budget option with a 7km branch line from Broadmeadows west to the Airport would cost around $1 billion, based on the cost of the suburban extension to Mernda. This service would take around 35 mins. with some useful interchange stops on the way. This option could be built as part of the ordinary Metro system and charge normal Met fares. Up market travellers could still use a hire car for a 20 minute off peak trip, though the train would be more predictable in the peaks. Suddenly our state government realises it has to spend its public transport capital carefully and an extravagant Airport link is simply not needed. The Broady-Airport line would in 25 years time become part of the metropolitan orbital suburban rail line too.
* Where are these numbers coming from? Yes it may be more expensive option but where is the business case for these options cost and benefits.... why would we believe the spin of a politician in gov or opposition... let’s look at the facts and why this change is a better option... I.e. politicians to justify their change
* The Broadmeadows option is viable, but it risks getting caught up in rail traffic with the existing Metro Craigieburn and V/Line Shepparton services.
* Give us a dedicated high speed link like the Heathrow Express. We do not need or want some cut price, half baked, third rate, poor excuse of a service.
* High speed service so they can fly in a bit more third world labor. Fill the shortages we never had. How good is australia. How good is low wages and no job opportunities
* Heathrow Express follows a route built 150 years ago, then tunnels under the airport. The trains are nice and the fares very high. A tube route also serves the airport but is glacially slow. An airport route here via Broadmeadows would strike a balance, especially with 10 minute frequency and normal Met fares. Hire cars would still be provide the fastest trips however.
* Actually the majority of Melbourne are sick of hearing past politics. Who cares. Dans in the seat now and instead of thinking election term he needs to think long term. Just build a good, reliable train line direct to the airport. That will be able to grow under the weight of growth in Melbourne. Its that simple.
* Like we had to cop the half baked East West contract whilst the last Liberal Government was in caretaker mode. Like Jeff Kennett selling all of our schools so now we have overcrowding. Like we had to cop privatized electricity, gas and water that was supposed to give us cheaper power. Oops, it would seem the half baked Myki was also "implemented" by the Liberals. Your right Mr Davis it was made clear at the last election Victorians wont tolerate half baked ideas or politicians that don't deliver.
* And cop a billion dollars to not build a road when honest dan said it would cost nothing. And the billion dollars LABOR wasted on myki. Kennett had to sell the assets because of the billions and billions and billions Cain/ kirner lost.
* Add the half baked regional rail link that the liberals 'efficiently managed by cutting the budget so it's already overcrowded. The hypocrisy is astounding
* Re Myki, have a look at this: https://www.smh.com.au/technology/labor-underestimated-myki-cost-and-complexity-inquiry-told-20120821-24jvm.html
* you seem to forget that Labor has been in charge, except for one term, since 1999!!. What has Labor done on the airport issue since then .... still don't know. Obviously you support Labor ... how about some positive thinking which is good for all Victorians without simply blaming one party for all the ills. Has Labor made mistakes and lied to Victorians .... yes, so you can't honestly blame the LNP for all our ills.

Harrowing video that shocked Hong Kong shows cycle of escalating violence  September 1, 2019. 578 comments

Man whipped by belt in Melbourne CBD after bus altercation paywalled, with tdu
Herald Sun September 1, 2019
MORE Top prison boss charged with child porn offences

Heritage and politics are not an easy mix
Herald Sun September 1, 2019
The heritage debate in Victoria has become a bit of a joke recently. But too many of those listed landmarks are driven by politics, not aesthetic or historical qualities, writes Matt Johnston.
video: Melbourne’s Federation Square heritage listed 
Melbourne's Federation Square has officially been heritage listed, enshrined as a cultural icon of the CBD and protected...
I wasn’t particularly surprised that Federation Square was heritage-listed. I don’t really mind, either. Perhaps I’m out there on my own, but I think the site is a significant part of the city and, while not to everyone’s taste, will remain a focal point for decades to come. 
What I do mind is the way people used the heritage process as a stalking horse to kill changes to the area, as though the listing should set every piece of the square in odd-shaped stone.
Fed Square should evolve with Melbourne rather than stagnate as a memory of what was once a bold and bizarre design.
It’s a modern set of buildings and was a drawcard for being a bit cutting edge (debatable, I know) so why wouldn’t it ever change?
The argument about Fed Square’s heritage status began when a number of people got very angry about plans by tech-giant Apple to set up a commercial venture.
Melbourne's Federation Square has officially been heritage listed, enshrined as a cultural icon of the CBD and protected from large-scale changes. Picture: AAP Image
To do so, it would have had to demolish a building that most opponents wouldn’t have been able to identify on a map. Since the hullabaloo that killed off Apple’s store, the Andrews Government has opened a review of Fed Square to find out how much change people might stomach, because the site is a financial drain.
Apparently a lot of early feedback has been how good it would be to open up Fed Square to the Yarra River — something the Apple project would have done.
That would require the demolition of a building or two and will prompt outrage.
I say start the bulldozers.
The heritage debate in this state has become a bit of a joke recently, helped along by the Andrews Government nominating the Eastern Freeway for assessment.
The nomination was made as part of the process to build a $15.8 billion mega-toll-road between the Eastern Freeway in Bulleen to the M80 in Greensborough.
Given the way Labor treated the East West Link, which Daniel Andrews killed off after contracts were signed in the death throes of the Napthine government, it led to questions about whether the heritage play was really a way to reduce a cross-city tunnel resurrection.
Ministers say testing the status of the notorious Eastern Freeway bottleneck is necessary, however, to stop protesters doing it themselves later on as a means of delaying the North East Link.
The Andrews and Morrison governments insist — for very different reasons — that the heritage status of a freeway doesn’t mean it can’t be altered.
A permit can be sought for works and where there’s a will, there’s a way.
If anyone at Heritage Victoria has any sense, they will not recognise the Eastern Freeway as special to Melbourne anyway.
Perversely, this is what the government actually wants — for its own nomination to be knocked back. Ministers say testing the status of the notorious bottleneck is necessary, however, to stop protesters doing it themselves later on as a means of delaying the NE Link.
In other words, someone might try to use heritage in a politically motivated stunt, so we’ll do it first.
Talk about two wrongs not making a right.
Not only is this gaming a system in a way the government decries but, in this case, it also seems completely contradictory to what heritage campaigners would strive to protect.
Some members of the Andrews Government seem genuinely shocked by the criticism of its approach to Eastern Freeway heritage. Picture: Nicole Garmston
What this all points towards is the creeping politicisation of a process, something that has infected pretty much everything.
Heritage is up for grabs these days, as well as most other things.
Look at the way Premier Andrews tries to spin a ban on unconventional gas drilling.
Just last week, on social media, he (via a staff member) declared that Labor had told the Liberals to “frack off” by banning unconventional drilling.
Andrews failed to mention the Coalition ban that was put in place earlier in the decade.
Opposition leader Michael O’Brien bit back, saying the only fracking licences ever granted were under Labor.
But Andrews is also promising to enshrine a fracking ban in the state Constitution.
That shows how little he must think of that document, given the practice of fracking is already banned by state law.
Talk about a waste of time and money, as public servants faff about trying to set up a process for changing the Constitution while Labor spruiks its plans.
I don’t have time to go into detail about how “debates” about education, science and health are similarly distorted.
Some members of the Andrews Government seem genuinely shocked by the criticism of its approach to Eastern Freeway heritage. But not all members, it must be said.
The truth is, there is a far bigger issue that will be in focus as this road plan gathers pace.
That is, how people will be treated who live and work in the path of the road, particularly near the Greensborough and Bulleen interchanges.
In Bulleen, dozens of businesses will have to shift, affecting almost 1000 workers.
Forget about the importance of the Eastern Freeway — common sense will hopefully prevail there.
Watch instead for how the government treats those whose livelihoods are at stake.
Hundreds of submissions have already exposed the human impact of this project.
Stories of migrants building up businesses from a couple of tin sheds, or spilling blood, sweat and tears over generations as they struggled to eke out a decent income for half a century.
They argue, pretty convincingly and without much politics, that this is heritage that’s worth something.
Matt Johnston is state politics editor

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