Fw: Sat.13.3.21 daily digest
  Roderick Smith

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Subject: Sat.13.3.21 daily digest



Sat.13.3.21 Metro Twitter
Pakenham/Cranbourne lines: Buses replace trains city - Oakleigh until the last train of Sun 14 Mar. Buses replace trains Dandenong-Cranbourne until the last train of Wed 17 Mar (works).
Frankston line: Buses replace trains City - Moorabbin until the to last train of Sun 14 Mar (works).
Buses replace trains Macleod - Hurstbridge until the last train of Sun 14 Mar (duplication works).
Mernda/Hurstbridge lines: All trains run direct to/from Flinders St all day (maintenance works).  From loop stations, take a train from pfm 3 to Flinders St.

Footscray 'Independent Sat 14 Oct 1905 
* The question of erecting a railway platform between Footscray and Yarraville for the convenience of residents in that direction, has been brought under notice of the Railways Commissioners by Messrs Lemmon and Warde, MLA.
The Commissioners have undertaken to name a day when they will visit both the Hobbs-street and Victoria-street sites, and hear what can be said in support of establishing stations there from residents who may choose to meet on the spot.
This will obviate the necessity of proposed deputations and give the supporters of the Victoria-street site an improved change of succeeding, as the decision to inquire into the matter on the ground overrides that conveyed in a letter sent by the Commissioners to the Victoria-street committee, saying they considered that Footscray and West Footscray stations should sufficiently meet their requirements. It is understood that the Commissioners are coming here on Tuesday next.
* In regard to the vexed question of the Footscray and Williamstown train service, which is to be considered by the Footscray council on Monday night and which we have dealt with at length elsewhere,
Mr Lemmon MLA favors the idea of appealing to the Minister for Railways rather than to Parliament, if the Footscray and Williamstown councils "go over the heads of the Commissioners.
Mr Lemmon thinks the state of Parliamentary business would preclude the Premier from placing any early date at hon. members' disposal to debate the matter.
Mr Warde MLA has had a conversation with Mr Bent, however, in the course of which the Premier, who is also Minister for Railways...Commissioners must be prevented from sacrificing the claims of the people of Footscray to an adequate train service, just because Footscray has no alternative means of transit.
Messrs Warde and Lemmon derive the opinion from this that Mr Bent is sympathetic and will see justice done if the case is properly put before him.
[Success: Seddon was opened in Dec.1906]
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/73255004: fresh search will bring up the whole railway article

13.3.21 Victrack: Tourist and heritage railway blueprint
We are supporting Victoria’s tourist and heritage (T&H) railways by implementing a strategy, Preserving our rail history – a blueprint for the future to help secure the future of the sector.
The blueprint sets out a way forward for the T&H railway sector, so they can flourish into the future while continuing to preserve the state’s railway history. 
Victoria has the largest tourist and heritage tram and railway sector in Australia, ranging from small operators who open once a month, to the iconic Puffing Billy Railway. 
As well as the 17 operating tourist attractions there are also a number of static tram and train museums who preserve Victoria’s rich rail history.
The blueprint responds to the challenges T&H operators face in light of significant investments by the Victorian Government to modernise Victoria’s passenger and freight rail networks.  
It includes actions the government, in partnership with the sector, will take to support organisations with expanding their volunteer bases, increasing visitors, improving coordination between groups, and gaining access to equipment, resources and rolling stock.
A new voice for the sector, the T&H Sector Coordinating Board, will help organisations share information and support each other through the changes occurring in the system.
$2.2 million of funding and grants is being provided to the sector to support the implementation of the blueprint and to help the sector recover following COVID-19 restrictions.  
The blueprint was put together by VicTrack in partnership with transport, tourism and heritage stakeholders. 

‘Right intentions, wrong rollout’: Nationals push for more options in $1.2b travel scheme. David Crowe March 13, 2021. 91 comments

Heatherton train stabling yard: Protest planned against Suburban Rail Loop’s proposed southern maintenance site. Brittany Goldsmith March 12, 2021 Moorabbin Kingston Leader
Plans to build a giant Suburban Rail Loop train yard on Kingston’s Green Wedge are facing strong opposition from locals.
Liberal MPs David Davis (right) and Gordon Rich-Phillips (back) join outraged residents who are protesting against the Suburban Rail Loop Authority’s southern train yard at Heatherton. Picture: Facebook
Heatherton residents have been left in “despair” over plans to build a 35-hectare train stabling yard on green land just “metres” from homes.
Angry members of the Move the Train Yard movement are preparing to pack the corner of Warrigal and Kingston roads on Saturday in solidarity over the Suburban Rail Loop’s proposed southern train stabling yard.
The land, which sits opposite the Kingston Heath Golf Club, is part of the Sandbelt Chain of Parks and City of Kingston’s Green Wedge.
In 2018 the Andrews Government pledged $25 million toward the land to form a series of new parks.
But according to Suburban Rail Loop Authority plans, the Heatherton land would be taken over, serving as a boring point during the loop’s construction before becoming a maintenance and cleaning site for up to 34 trains.
The 26-kilometre underground loop will include stops at Clayton, Monash University, Glen Waverley, Burwood and Box Hill, and link all existing major lines to Tullamarine.
The project is set to create 20,000 jobs during construction including 2000 apprentices, trainees and cadets.
Works are set to commence next year, with the stabling facility expected to recruit 200 locals.
Heatherton residents have been vocal in their mission to move the yard to another location. Picture: Facebook
The Move the Train Yard group suggests the authority should shift the site to land bound by the Dingley Bypass, Mordialloc Fwy, Boundary Rd and Old Dandenong Rd — closer to the future Hawthorn Football Club training base and proposed water park at Dingley Village.
The group claims the land is farther from homes, with the area also not included in the Chain of Parks.
But the State Government confirmed the facility needed to be near the start of the new line, with limited suitable land available along the route between Cheltenham and Clayton.
“This is the best location for the train stabling to minimise compulsory acquisition of homes and businesses,” a spokeswoman told the Leader.
“You can’t build a turn-up-and-go rail network through Melbourne’s middle suburbs without a facility nearby to maintain its dedicated fleet of trains.
“We’re preserving and upgrading the two neighbouring reserves and will work with local council to ensure the Chain of Parks is delivered in this community.”
Nearby resident Michelle Hornstein said she was left “devastated” over the plans.
“I despair at the thought of the drilling, tunnelling and compaction that will all happen just metres from my home, on land long promised as Green Wedge parkland,” she said.
“I moved to Heatherton for the quiet semirural feel of the area but am now facing the prospect of living beside a noisy and dusty construction site for years, with vibrations from site preparation works potentially damaging my home … then, an industrial site once the train facility is built.
“There will be permanent noise, light, and rumbling from trains in the tunnels right underneath our home … constant tooting of trains as they pass through the site at ground level.”
Resident of 25 years Andrew Dawson said the yard would “forever break” the link in the Chain of Parks.
“I’m fighting to protect this area from inappropriate and intrusive proposals that would ruin the enjoyment of our peaceful amenity,” he said.
Doggy Play Park owners Miranda and Shannon Bailey, whose expansive off-leash dog play area attracts hundreds of members to the intersection of Old Dandenong and Kingston roads, said the proposal was “beyond devastating.”
A petition to protect the dog park and Kingston’s Green Wedge has soared past 2600 signatures.
“We see ourselves as a like-minded community of more than 600 members … a place where owners have developed friendships, formed regular group outings and dogs have made new friends,” the Bailey sisters said on Facebook.
“This small idea that has grown to what it is today, is in jeopardy … we are so incredibly sad at the thought of losing this community and all our amazing members alike.”
More Coverage
Moorabbin, Mordialloc Chelsea’s best pizza shop revealed
* "We need more transport" oh, "but not in my backyard" 
* 'In 2018 the Andrews Government pledged $25 million toward the land to form a series of new parks.' I cannot understand why Victorians continue to find this sort of untruth acceptable. Dan Andrews bought your vote, and now you complain because you realise he either had no intention of giving you what he said, or he had so little idea about what he was doing that he overstated what was possible.  You have one option. Change your vote.
* Normally Labor is incompetent because it believes what its permanent departments tell it. This project is Labor's own. Whatever the inspiration, Labor is always dictatorial, brooks no opposition, and smothers everything with saturation spin and propaganda. Manila has stabling yards elevated, something which Labor loves.  Try that for this ill-conceived project, and boast about having more public space underneath than x swimming pools, or y MCGs or z Sydney Harbours. Labor will do anything except fix the current system, for a fraction of the cost of the photo-opportunity projects.
* Typical hypocritical arrogance of Labor, they cozy up to green groups in the hope of scavanging a vote or two, then trash parks and green wedges with zero consultation or care.     
* We have put up with stinking tips since the 70s on the promise that the chain of parks would be built in the lungs of so called green wedge 
* So in whose backyard can it go?
* This location for the SRL Train Stabling Yard shows what little planning has been done for what is supposedly Australia’s biggest ever rail project. Major Projects Victoria  and other expert organisations knew nothing about the project on the day it was announced. We desperately need better public transport in Heatherton, Dingley and Clarinda but we’re not even getting a train station! So why they are running the rail loop through suburbs built on unpredictable sand dunes. Was a station in the original plan before they realised it would break the budget? It will cost billions of dollars more to dogleg through Heatherton and north Dingley instead of running direct from Southland to Clayton. The ‘as the crow flies’ route would run through the light industrial precinct west of Warrigal Rd, a perfect location for an industrial facility like a Stabling Yard. But Vic Labor is all ‘rush, rush, rush’. Over-promise and under-deliver. Or is it ‘over promise, over budget and over due’? The Train Stabling Yard needs to be put somewhere they can tunnel under so that trains only come up from the loop at the end of the day. That alone will minimise the impact on nearby homes and businesses. It is ludicrous to locate the Stabling Yard somewhere like the Heatherton site, where they cannot tunnel underneath because it is fresh, unstable landfill that extends all the way across and 20 metres deep. The chosen site is within spitting distance of 500+ homes who now also have to deal with a full time express railway running across the surface. And 36 hectares of desperately needed sports fields in advanced planning are being replaced unnecessarily because it’s all rush, rush, rush. What has happened to the $25 million promised to City of Kingston Residents to help establish the Chain of Parks, of which the Heatherton Green Wedge site is the most critical link. ‘Only Labor will complete the Chain of Parks for the residents of the sandbelt’ they cried out before the last State election.  

Bike trails near me: Maroondah, Knox, Yarra Ranges best bike trails. March 13, 2021. Knox Leader 3 comments
One of the most beautiful tracks in the state, the 40km trail is hugely popular with cyclists.
According to Yarra Ranges Council, the trail follows the path of the historical railway line, with lots of landmarks, wildlife and spectacular scenery to enjoy along with way.
The trail is also home to the Cog Bike Cafe...

Sat.13.3.21 Melbourne 'Herald Sun' Home, suite home.Two worlds ‘merge’. OLIVIA JENKINS
AUSSIES are working more hours and struggling to switch off as they split their time between working at home and the office, research shows.
Behavioural researcher Adam Fraser and Deakin University senior business school lecturer John Molineux surveyed hundreds of workers with multiple desk spaces and found the average employee was working between five and 10 extra hours a week.
Dr Fraser said people were working longer days because they felt like their home and work worlds had “merged and bled together”.
“There’s just no distinction anymore,” he said.
“Since working from home, they’re thinking more about work in their personal time.”
The study found that people who ordinarily would have woken up at a particular time to begin their commute to work had begun logging on from home at the same time, dragging out their typical work day by several hours.
“People have estimated it’s between five to 10 hours more a week that they’re doing, because that commute time just got swallowed up,” Dr Fraser said. “Rather than have that commute, that time has been filled out with more work.”
Although 65 per cent of Aussie workers found it difficult to separate their work and home lives because they reported thinking about work more often while off the clock, fewer than half said they had developed strategies to combat the blurred lines between their to-do list and family time.
Dr Fraser spent months researching the effects of the hybrid working environment on employees for his book, The Third Space, and said the act of putting away work equipment or creating a separate space between work areas and home lives could help people log off when they needed to.
Creating boundaries between the two was crucial, he said, because the “hybrid roster” would become the norm in many workplaces.
“It’s really about how you shift from work to home mode because we often take the stress of the day home with us,” he said.
“Getting dressed for work then getting undressed at the end of the day into casual clothes is a way to signal that you are no longer in that work mode.
“The hybrid model seems like the most likely model moving forward. And because of that, we’ve got to get better at transitioning and shifting modes.”

Sat.13.3.21 Melbourne 'Herald Sun' CAREER BALANCE IS A COMMUTE POINT
MUM Laura Frazer looks forward to the change of pace her office commute brings each morning.
Ms Frazer, 35, gave birth to her now 18-month-old son while launching her recruitment business Frazer Tremble Executive at an open-plan office space in the CBD and said she now hoped to keep her work and home lives separate. “Because I have to leave at a certain time, there is a healthy time pressure to get things done,” Ms Frazer said. “I quite like the disconnect between my home and work. “As a working parent, I need to keep things separate.” Ms Frazer said she had missed the hustle and bustle of office life during lockdown. She said the simple act of wearing corporate clothing had helped her organise her day more effectively.
“I’m much more productive in an office environment,” she said.
“I’m very used to face-to-face conversations and walking down Collins Street. Wearing corporate wear puts me in a different, more focused mindset.”

Work-from-homers vs office returners
MELBOURNE office towers remain largely empty with only about a third of workers returning to their pre-pandemic desks.
More workers are expected to come back into the city in coming weeks, but the trickle that have returned recently means buildings are well below pandemic occupancy caps.
Major corporate employers and public sector bosses are encouraging rather than mandating a return to offices, meaning most are well below the chief health officer’s cap of 75 per cent building occupancy.
The Saturday Herald Sun can reveal just 34 per cent of public servants are back to their pre-COVID work stations — and not all of them are working there five days a week.
Docklands Chamber of Commerce president Johanna Maxwell said there was a similar trend in private operations, and city traders did not expect a massive uplift anytime soon.
“We are seeing some increase in numbers but we are looking at no more than 25 to 30 per cent of people coming back in and those that are coming in are not coming in every day, they are coming in one or two days a week,” she said.
Ms Maxwell runs her own business, Docklands Chauffeurs, and also works in a corporate role.
She is experiencing firsthand the resistance by staff to return to the office full time amid concerns around public transport and parking, as well as the pleasure of forgoing a daily commute.
A government spokesman said while “some people will want to get back to the office as soon as possible” others may want to stay at home for longer and arrangements were being worked through by departments based on operational requirements and building density restrictions.
The head of the Victorian branch of the Community and Public Sector Union, Karen Batt, said she was encouraging “all our state workers to plan their returns”.
“There’s such great benefits from face-to-face collaboration with colleagues and seeing the city buzz return,” she said.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp echoed the call, saying the council had 75 per cent of employees back on site to lead by example.
“I’m encouraging all major employers and landlords to work proactively to get their teams back to the city,” she said.
“Pre-COVID city workers made up almost half of the daily population in the CBD. They are critical to the economic recovery and to revive thousands of city businesses that rely on local foot traffic.”
City of Melbourne pedestrian data showed 573 people passed its sensor at the north end of Bourke Street mall from 8am to 9am on Friday.
That was up 25 per cent on the four-week average, and 73 per cent for the same time a year earlier.
But it remains well down on the 1002 people who filed past on the same day in 2019 before the pandemic struck.
Among major Melbourne corporations, the return to office remains mixed.
ANZ’s Docklands headquarters, which housed 6500 before the pandemic, is running at about 20 per cent capacity. In contrast, the local corporate offices of Commonwealth Bank, which houses 1300, are at 45 per cent capacity while BHP and Transurban hit 50 per cent this week.
“Our people in our Melbourne CBD offices are able to return to the workplace in a hybrid capacity that balances being at work with working remotely,” a CBA spokesman said.
Property Council of Australia data shows Melbourne’s CBD occupancy rate hit 31 per cent in January before slumping to 24 per cent in February after the snap lockdown.
Victorian executive director Danni Hunter said progress had been slowed but building owners and managers were expecting to see a material increase over the next two months.
“While we’re all expecting to see more people working from home as part of the new post-COVID normal, thriving CBDs will be critical to Australia’s economic recovery,” she said.
Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Paul Guerra said it was clear the snap lockdown had hurt return-to-office plans.

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