Fw: Fri.29.1.21 daily digest
  Roderick Smith

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Sent: Wednesday, 5 May 2021, 08:10:01 pm AEST
Subject: Fri.29.1.21 daily digest

Two items posted yesterday as Thurs.28.1 were Fri.29.1 misdated.
Thurs.28.1.21 Melbourne 'Herald Sun' New scare on Bourke St Mall JOSH FAGAN & MILES PROUST
Thurs.28.1.21 Melbourne 'Herald Sun' Steam at shop bid LAURA ARMITAGE
Should be with today's post as:
Fri.29.1.21 Melbourne 'Herald Sun' New scare on Bourke St Mall JOSH FAGAN & MILES PROUST
Fri.29.1.21 Melbourne 'Herald Sun' Steam at shop bid LAURA ARMITAGE


"210128Th-Melbourne'HeraldSun'-StArnaud-silos-RobertHallett-ss.jpg"  with v-n



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Fri.29.1.21 Metro Twitter
5.34 Delays over 20 (an ongoing trespasser incident in the Cranbourne – Merinda Park area). Police are on-site.
- 5.44 Trespasser clear; delays up to 20 minutes.
Train passing through floodwaters South Yarra 25 January 1907, VPRS 12800/ P1 item H 2718. [That pub is still there, and recognisable.  Imperial Hotel, Chapel St].
14.34 Craigieburn line: Major delays (debris on tracks between Glenbervie and Essendon). Consider alternatives via the PTV journey planner.
- 14.42 clearing.
Buses replace trains Westall - Pakenham/Cranbourne from 20.30 until the last train of Sun 31 Jan (level-crossing works).

Isle of Wight land sold to Melbourne-based development company
Brooke Grebert-Craig January 28, 2021 Bass Coast News
* Would be great to see. To be really successful there needs to be a better rail service to Stony Point and more parking at the ferry.

Police right to let Bourke Street driver flee, say experts. Erin Pearson January 29, 2021
A veteran road safety expert says police made the right call not to pursue a wayward driver as he careered through the Bourke Street Mall on Thursday.
Officers were on Friday still hunting the missing man and his runaway passenger.
The four-minute incident, which police say was an attempt to evade officers and not to threaten the public, reignited community fear several years after two murderous attacks claimed the lives of seven people on the same shopping strip in the heart of Melbourne.
But John Lambert, who has previously been involved in reviewing police pursuit policies across the country, said chasing a driver for minor traffic matters would never be worth the risk it could cause to public safety.
A driver speeds through Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall on Thursday.CREDIT:NINE NEWS
“The level of death and serious injury to innocent members of the public is already far too high for police pursuits,” he said. “People would’ve been put at serious risk [on Thursday] simply because a person was found to be driving a car with stolen plates fixed.
“The fact police decided not to pursue the driver was a great decision. Let them go and use other methods to track them down.”
Police Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius said an initial review of Thursday’s incident found that patrolling police tried to pull over the driver of a green Mitsubishi Lancer on Swanston Street just before 5pm, believing the vehicle had incorrect number plates.
Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius at a press conference on Friday. CREDIT:EDDIE JIM
Blocked by two trams, the officers from the public order response team activated their blue and red lights when the driver suddenly turned left into the Bourke Street Mall, he said.
Officers briefly left their car and drew their firearms before a risk assessment determined the wanted driver was attempting to evade police and not harm pedestrians.
As the driver performed a U-turn and struck a bollard outside Myer, his passenger escaped on foot towards Elizabeth Street before the car headed back down Swanston Street.
Mr Cornelius said the officers lost sight of the car before it was seen on Little Lonsdale Street and then in Southbank. It was later dumped at Albert Park.
Police said the abandoned car was found in Albert Park on Thursday night, minus the number plates.CREDIT:NINE NEWS
In acknowledging public concern over the incident, Mr Cornelius said Victoria Police had learnt a lot since Bourke Street attacks by James Gargasoulas on January 20, 2017, and Khalif Hassan Shire Ali on November 9, 2018.
He said officers quickly realised on Thursday that the driver was trying to escape police and not seeking to harm pedestrians.
“We’re more than satisfied that this was an evade as opposed to a hostile vehicle attack,” Mr Cornelius said.
“We’re confident these were two fleeing felons ... trying to escape police detection.
“We do though have a significant concern about crooks who make deliberate choices to get away from police and in doing so expose our members and members of the community to significant harm and risk.
“We won’t let you get away with that. We will come after you.”
On the back of Gargasoulas’ murderous 2017 Bourke Street attack, Victoria Police in 2019 introduced a hostile vehicle policy to give rank-and-file officers the clearance to shoot at or ram a wayward driver if it was deemed they posed a serious danger to the public.
James Gargasoulas did “doughnuts” outside Flinders Street Station minutes before he murdered six people in Bourke Street.
There have also been changes to the force’s pursuit policy, with senior police now required to give clearance to front-line officers wanting to pursue a driver.
But police union boss Wayne Gatt said no amount of police policy change could stop some people from doing dangerous and reckless things.
“We don’t get the opportunity to control everything and when you review incidents like Thursday’s you have to look at it through that prism,” he said.
“Some people will do stupid things, bad things and commit horrific acts at times.
“When a police officer makes a decision to turn on the blue or red lights, which they do 20 to 30 times a shift, there’s always a risk somebody won’t stop, always a risk somebody will panic.”
He said stopping runaway drivers was an emotive debate. But he backed the actions of police on Thursday in making decisions based on risk and not solely on the location of the driver.
Hassan Khalif Shire Ali set a ute on fire in Bourke Street before going on a stabbing rampage in November 2018.
“There’s not ever going to be a solution that’s water tight. It’s about that risk assessment made ... in a split second of time,” Mr Gatt said.
“It speaks volumes to their professionalism and their training.”
Police Minister Lisa Neville said the police had put in place many changes around policy, training and oversight since the Gargasoulas attack and a subsequent coronial inquest to improve future responses to similar situations.
These included the opening of a new police station in Bourke Street,she said.
“We know this incident must have been incredibly distressing for anyone in the vicinity of Bourke Street Mall yesterday and I want to thank the police officers who responded to what was a very challenging incident.”

Bourke Street Mall security to be reviewed in aftermath of terrifying incident. Aneeka Simonis, Josh Fagan, Miles Proust and John Masanauskas January 29, 2021. 346 comments
Retractable bollards could be introduced along Bourke Street as the Mall’s security is reviewed in the wake of a terrifying car chase down the popular shopping strip.
video: Terrifying moment car hurtles down Bourke St. New vision of a car hurtling down Bourke St Mall towards terrified shoppers has emerged.
Bourke Street Mall security will be reviewed and bollard upgrades considered after a manic driver sped down the shopping strip, forcing pedestrians to run for their lives.
As the driver and his passenger remained on the run last night, calls were made to install tram-controlled retractable bollards at the mall entrances to stop any cars from entering.
The idea was first probed but not taken up following the January 2017 Bourke St car rampage in which six people were killed and 27 seriously injured.
Instead concrete bollards were installed along the walkways to protect pedestrians but still allow trams to travel freely through.
On Thursday, police were initially concerned the driver of the green Mitsubishi Lancer was planning a “hostile vehicle attack”.
However the car did not drive at pedestrians and responding police quickly formed the view it was instead trying to evade capture.
Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius urged the “fleeing felons” to hand themselves in and that it was only a matter of time before they were caught.
“We are confident the bollards provided effective mitigation and prevented further harm to pedestrians being exposed to outrageous driver behaviour,” he said.
However a police review will be conducted into the incident and will closely examine whether further measures are needed to improve the bollards or other security measures around the Bourke Street Mall and CBD areas.
But pressure is growing on police and council authorities to act soon to better protect the public.
Bourke Street is closed to traffic between Swanston and Elizabeth streets.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the installed bollards worked well during Thursday’s drama.
However, Ms Capp said the council and Victoria Police would review the incident and consider any security upgrades if warranted.
“Everything is on the table in relation to city safety,” she said.
RMIT urban planning expert Michael Buxton said he was surprised that retractable bollards had not been installed after the last review.
“They should be put in, it’s an easily available technology and it would solve the problem,” he said.
“We need to give more thought to making susceptible locations more safe because clearly they’re not safe enough at the moment.”
Professor Buxton said the bollards could be controlled by tram drivers, but the logistics had to be carefully worked out to ensure safety and efficiency.
Monash University Accident Research Centre senior research fellow Dr David Logan said retractable bollards would work, but other measures to control vehicles in the mall should also be considered.
“You could (have bollards everywhere) but the place starts looking like a war zone, these things sort of take away that nice open feel that I think we probably value in the city,” he said.
A government spokesman said the Andrew Government had invested more than $52 million on security measures in Melbourne CBD, saying these had “played a crucial role keeping pedestrians safe” during Thursday's incident.
Bollards are set up along Bourke Street. Picture: David Crosling/NCA NewsWire.
New footage has emerged of a car hurtling along Bourke Street Mall, as terrified shoppers flee its path.
The footage, filmed by onlookers, shows nearby shoppers flee the scene as the green Mitsubishi Lancer with a busted bonnet tears down the tram tracks on Thursday afternoon.
The video emerged after it was revealed a tram had blocked police from pursuing the speeding car.
Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius urged the “fleeing felons” to hand themselves in and that it was only a matter of time before they were caught.
“If you’re hearing this, do the right thing and give yourself up,” he said.
The driver and his passenger, who fled down Elizabeth St, are both caucasian males aged in their late teens to early 20s.
The driver has dark hair and was wearing a baseball cap and white “golfing-style” gloves.
Do you know more? Contactaneeka.simonis@...
The events that led to the terrifying incident began when the Public Order Response Team started following a green Mitsubishi Lancer down Swanston St after discovering it had fake plates.
As the offending vehicle continued down Swanton Street, police activated their emergency lights to signal it to pull over before 5pm.
The Mitsubishi was blocked by two trams and turned left into Bourke Street Mall, causing pedestrian panic.
The car was captured running into a bollard.
Mr Cornelius said another tram blocked the car from driving down Elizabeth Street so it did a U-turn and smashed into a bollard outside Myer.
About this time, an officer leapt from his car with his gun drawn in an attempt to stop the vehicle.
However it got away, speeding up Bourke Street, turning left on Swanston Street and down Little Lonsdale Street.
Mr Cornelius said the entire ordeal lasted about four minutes.
“Members had to get back into their vehicle to follow it back up the mall and because of the interactions with trams, it made it difficult to maintain contact with the fleeing vehicle.”
Police were initially concerned the driver was planning a “hostile vehicle attack”.
The car did not drive at pedestrians and responding police quickly formed the view it was instead trying to evade capture.
video: Car drives erratically through Melbourne’s Bourke Street. Footage has captured the moment a car sped erratically through Bourke Street, as terrified pedestrians run out of the way.
After leaving the CBD, the car was seen driving erratically in Southbank before being dumped in a secure underground car park linked to a DHHS housing block in Albert Park.
The driver either had a security pass to the carpark or followed another car in.
Mr Cornelius said the Mitsubishi, since seized by police, was not reported as stolen.
Police know the identity of the owner and this is a strong lead in the investigation.
Police are also pursuing the registered owner of the false plates that were attached and later removed from the vehicle.
The car then sped west along the tram tracks.
Shoppers and commuters scrambled to get out of the way.
Mr Cornelius said police were well resourced to respond to the incident, despite hundreds of officers currently redeployed to quarantine hotels and border checkpoints.
“We have never lost sight how important it is to keep the city safe,” he said.
“We have always maintained the city van presence and patrolling capacity.”
No one was hurt in the terrifying incident— a week after Melbourne marked the fourth anniversary of the 2017 attack in which James Gargasoulas mowed down pedestrians, killing six and injuring 27.
Police flooded the area. Picture: Rob Leeson
Mr Cornelius said he was confident the bollards “did their job” during the terrifying ordeal.
“We are confident the bollards provided effective mitigation and prevented further harm to pedestrians being exposed to outrageous driver behaviour,” he said.
However a police review will be conducted into the incident and will closely examine whether further measures are needed to improve the bollards or other security measures around the Bourke Street Mall and CBD areas.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the security bollards had done their job but Melbourne City Council would review the incident with police.
“If we do this review, seek further advice and it’s decided we need to do more, then that’s certainly something we would be considering,” she said.
Asked by Herald Sun if retractable bollards controlled by tram movements would be an option for the mall, Ms Capp said “everything is on the table in relation to city safety”.
“We do have to balance that with one of the busiest tram routes in the city and one of the busiest pedestrian zones in the city,” she said.
“We want to balance having a welcoming and open city that operates well together with safety - of course, safety is a priority.”
“We can see from yesterday that the bollards worked really well and provided those safety zones for pedestrians, and really limited the travelling of the vehicle and the damage that the vehicle could do.”
“We never want to test these systems, but it was tested yesterday and we think it worked well.”
Bourke st remains busy after the incident. Picture: Rob Leeson.
Security guard Addy Shah said he rushed out of the Cotton On clothing store when he heard the “huge bang” of the car ploughing into the bollard.
“The guy was driving so fast and just hit the pole at speed,” he said.
He said a police car was directly behind the vehicle and one officer drew his gun.
“He (the policeman) was pointing the gun at the car but it was such a busy street and there were so many people around it would have blocked his view of the car. The car was speeding off so he was aiming the gun at the car but didn’t pull the trigger.”
He said a man in the passenger seat of the car jumped out and bolted around the corner down Elizabeth Street.
“As soon as the car hit the pole he just opened he door and ran away. He galloped, like I’ve never seen someone galloping that quick.”
Mr Shah, 25, said two police cars followed the speeding car but it appeared no officers were trailing the man who ran from the scene.
He said the action was all over in about one minute.
Seeing it up close had left him “shaken up”, he said.
“It kind of gives you a shiver I guess. Everyone was surprised to see it happen. When you see it unfold in front of your own eyes, there would be a bit of trauma for people walking along the footpath. But I think everyone is glad no one was hit.”
Police interview witnesses. Picture: Rob Leeson
Aun Hua Lim was walking past the Myer entrance when the car smashed into the bollard right next to him.
“I was listening to Rhianna and texting my friend and then I looked up and it was just like ‘oh shit’,’” he said.
He said he people remained relatively calm.
“Everyone was probably more surprised than anything. Luckily it wasn’t that busy in the mall at that time so I think if it was his intention to hit people he chose the wrong time”.
Shane Lowe said the driver was “really flooring it” with terrified pedestrians “running up against the walls and into shops”.
He said by that stage the driver appeared to be alone. He was wearing a face mask, had scruffy blonde hair and looked to be aged 25-35.
The front of the car was severely damaged, he said.
Witnesses were shocked by the events. Vision: Channel 7
* This was wild, I was waiting at the tram stop at Bourke st Mall when I saw this car spin out and run into some bollards. someone ran out of the car then it pulled a u-ey and went tearing round the corner on to Swanston https://t.co/3JbmgQI7q8 — Em C (@DungareeDarling) January 28, 2021
Police are still searching for the driver. Picture: Rob Leeson.
Lauren Tubog of South Melbourne was watching a busker perform in the mall when the car tore up the street.
She said as soon as the car crashed the passenger opened the door and fled. “The dude just ran for it,” she said.
The police air wing initially tracked the car to St Kilda, and it was found in Ashworth Street, Albert Park, about 6.40pm, without any plates. The identity of its driver was unknown.
Police on Thursday night said: “At this stage police do not believe the ­vehicle was intending to harm pedestrians, instead it was taking evasive action to avoid police intercept.”
Police have appealed for any video footage.
Herald Sun revealed last year there had been a sharp rise in the use of counterfeit plates, with criminals using numbers displayed in car sales on matching models to give the impression the vehicle was not stolen.
Rates of plate theft also remain high.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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