Fw: Thurs.8.4.21 daily digest
  Roderick Smith

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Thurs.8.4.21 Metro Twitter
Buses replace trains on sections of the Craigieburn line until the last train of Thursday 15 April (level-crossing-removal works).
6.21 Glen Waverley line: Buses to replace trains Burnley - Darling (a track fault at Burnley). Buses have been ordered, but may take over 60 minutes to arrive.  Consider alternatives at our websites.
- 6.38 trains to Camberwell & beyond serve Burnley.
- 6.48 Anticipate buses to replace trains until at least 7.30.
- 6.50 Buses may take over 30 minutes to arrive.
- 6.59 Six buses are in operation, adding 40 min to journey time.
- 7.08 Replacement buses are departing Darling every 15 min.
- 7.18 Ten buses are in operation.
- 7.28 Replacement buses are departing every 10 min.
- 7.35 Trains have resumed.
Our Victorian Railways collection includes fascinating photos of Fayrefield hat production. Presumably these were taken in the Abbotsford factory in the 20s/30s but what is their connection to the railways? See all 24 images here: http://ow.ly/9EWH50DykI8
- Fayrefield made hats for the military — perhaps they made hats for VR staff? Or else, they supplied City Hatters in the basement at Flinders St Station?
16.48 Major delays (an equipment fault near Westona). Laverton via Altona trains may run direct between Newport and Laverton.
- 16.59 All outbound trains direct Newport - Laverton.  Passengers for Seaholme, Altona or Westona take a train to Laverton and return on an up train.
- 17.42 Outbound trains are resuming via Westona.  First train 17.27 ex Flinders St.
17.05  Dandenong: Trains will depart from altered platforms (police attending to unruly passengers, and vandalism on platform 3).
- 18.36 Trains are resuming normal platforming.
18.31 Frankston line: Major delays (an equipment fault near Bonbeach). Trains may terminate/originate at intermediate stations.
- Again! Amazing how this happens in peak hour.
- Great to be back to pre COVID normal trains.  Some things never change, unfortunately.
- “Major equipment fault”? What’s wrong with Andrews and his government’s maintenance? Not good enough. Commuters want to get home from work.
- Andrews and his government don't do the maintenance.  Your government privatised the public rail sector, taking it out of government hands.  Stop the lies.
Craigieburn line: All trains direct to/from Flinders St from 19.25 (track works near Kensington). From loop stations, take any train from pfm 3 to North Melbourne.
- 20.49 Outbound trains are resuming via the loop.

New cases Reported Apr 8 (Updated 12.36pm): 0 locally acquired; 5 in hotel quarantine

Cleaning firm calls for new rail tests after sabotage evidence at IBAC Timna Jacks April 8, 2021
Melbourne’s rail operator is facing calls to rerun tests of a new cleaning agent in the wake of evidence that trials of the product carried out last year may have been deliberately sabotaged by a cleaning company and a now-sacked Metro manager.
Dominic Storey, the business manager of ASX-listed cleaning company Zoono, is asking Metro Trains to launch a fresh trial into the antimicrobial product that has been rolled out on railways in the UK and Adelaide since the outbreak of COVID-19.
Transclean staff cleaning a Metro train carriage at the height of the COVID-19 outbreak.CREDIT:METRO TRAINS
The company says Zoono provides 30 days of protection from pathogens and bacteria, which means the deep clean of trains that is currently required on a nightly basis in Melbourne would only need to occur once every three weeks. This has slashed 70 per cent of cleaning costs overseas.
But tapped phone calls played to an Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission hearing last week revealed then Metro manager Peter Bollas, the boss of Metro’s cleaning contractor Transclean, George Haritos, and his nephew, Steve Kyritsis, colluded to “contaminate” trials of Zoono, because they feared it would cut Transclean’s revenue.
Mr Haritos was heard instructing Mr Kyritsis to use serviettes and rags from a rubbish bin to wipe on the surfaces that would be tested under the Zoono trial.
Mr Bollas, who admitted to IBAC last year that he accepted up to $150,000 in cash bribes, told the pair where the tests were being carried out.
Former Metro manager Peter Bollas gives evidence to IBAC last year.
Mr Storey, who was intimately involved in the trial that was overseen by Mr Bollas, said he did not know about the plot at the time; he found out about it while following the IBAC inquiry.
He said it was clear that Mr Bollas was actively trying to discredit the product by introducing a series of “curve balls” into the trials.
Mr Storey said Mr Bollas tried to test the product under different conditions than what Zoono had proposed, asked irrelevant questions about the product during Zoom meetings in a bid to discredit the company and said outright that he did not like product.
“It was plain obvious he didn’t want anything to do with it,” Mr Storey said.
Transclean boss George Haritos appears at an IBAC hearing in October last year.CREDIT:IBAC
“Senior management were really happy to be looking at this, but left it up to Bollas and he did everything he could to stop it from happening.
“We would ideally like a retrial ... based on what’s happened with Bollas, we think it’s fair that we have a fair trial.”
Despite Transclean’s efforts, Zoono performed well in the tests and Metro agreed to roll out the product from August, but this stalled when IBAC announced its inquiry and ultimately did not go ahead, Mr Storey said.
In response to questions about Zoono’s request for a retrial, Metro chief executive Raymond O’Flaherty said: “We won’t tolerate any actions that compromise integrity — and we took decisive action at the time of last year’s hearings.”
Mr O’Flaherty did not say whether he would consider running new tests.
Transclean was paid $1.3 million a month by the state government to significantly ramp up cleaning of the city’s trains last year.
The government spent nearly $34 million on ongoing enhanced COVID-19 cleaning on public transport between July and December.
RELATED ARTICLE Transclean staff cleaning a Metro train carriage during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dirty rags, homeless jokes: cleaning bosses in COVID sabotage plot caught on tape

‘More people are going to be riding the network’: Public transport restrictions to be eased. Tom Rabe April 8, 2021
Sydney’s public transport social distancing restrictions will likely be eased in the coming weeks as the government anticipates patronage to surge past the existing coronavirus limitations.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance said social distancing would not be completely scrapped on the network, but he foreshadowed impending changes to restrictions.
NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance some social distancing restrictions will remain in place.CREDIT:RHETT WYMAN
“We will be indicating to the community whilst we might ease some of those capacity restraints, we’re still going to have some in place,” Mr Constance said.
“We’re not able to return to the advice of 100 per cent. That’s because we’re still in the woods.”
Train patronage is limited to about 55 per cent of their usual capacity, while buses sit at 45 per cent with green dots marking where commuters are encouraged to sit or stand.
Trains were running at more than 60 per cent of pre-COVID levels before the Easter long weekend, while buses were 58 per cent capacity.
Social distancing requirements on public transport are expected to be eased in the coming weeks. CREDIT:JAMES BRICKWOOD.
Between 3 and 4 per cent of services across the city are currently breaching capacity restrictions, according to the government.
Mr Constance said there had been a steady growth in the number of people using public transport this year as Sydneysiders returned to work.
There has also been a recent surge in the number of people travelling to the CBD between 6pm and 10pm on Friday evenings as restrictions continue to ease for restaurants and bars.
“We are continuing to see growth return. In due course, obviously, we’re going to see greater capacity on the network,” Mr Constance said.
“With the easing of restrictions across the community, naturally more people are going to be riding the network. We’re catering for that.”
Transport for NSW acting deputy secretary Howard Collins said the agency was in talks with major employers, including CommBank and Westpac, to stagger employee start and finish times to help alleviate peak hour pressure.
“They employ hundreds of thousands of people. If we can get them to do things like spread out their start times and avoid the peak on the transport network, returning to work will be a more customer-friendly experience,” Mr Collins said.
The government last month rescinded restrictions on mandatory mask-wearing while on public transport, but Mr Constance urged commuters to continue to use them.
Opposition transport spokesman Chris Minns said further easing restrictions on trains, buses and ferries was common sense.
“Most commuters are ignoring the limits anyway and there’s next to no enforcement on the transport network,” he said.
“We have to be flexible with restrictions and base changes on the potential risk. The public will support the government’s decisions if the reasons for the decision are explained to them.”
The government last increased capacity on the state’s public transport network in November last year. Patronage caps were set at 44 per cent for trains and 38 per cent for buses before that.
RELATED ARTICLE The NSW government is anticipating a surge in public transport patornage. Social distancing about to get harder on Sydney public transport
* Once again the Government is 'masking the hypocrisy' of its response to Covid 19
* Its nice to know that people in government who have had the vaccine in the name of "public service" now want to increase the risk for rest of us who don't have that luxury of having the vaccine. Just because we have no cases in the community does not mean that the risk is eliminated.
* Employers need to work with the state government to stagger start and finish times until the federal government can pull their finger out and rollout the vaccine. Until this happens, not every employee can come to city 9-5 on Thursdays for their office day.
* What restrictions? 6.00 this morning, airport line trains running with standing room only, shoulder to shoulder! Perhaps they could reverse their stupid (cash grab) changes to peak and off peak times
* The limits (and related requirements for masks) were never enforced, a joke from day one. But when are the off-peak fare discounts returning? No comment, and how much are we willing to wager they will be casualty of covid?
* How good is permanent WFH. Our team have never been happier over the past year. Many having not been on public transport for 12 months. Surely there are others like us who are taking up less space?
* I would rather take my chances on a motorcycle to beat Sydney traffic to avoid the sardine can like and unreliable public transport system.
* Or we could wait until vaccines are actually available? I have to be physically at work.
* Restrictions to ease? The minister has obviously not travelled on a bus at peak hour or school times - no restrictions then.
* It would have been so much more logical and effective to keep mask wearing on public transport & increase to 100% capacity
* Totally agree! People are avoiding sitting next to others on trains but congregating en masse in the doorways. Let more sit down and maintain mask wearing, for the time being
* Unfortunately, commonsense doesn't apply here.
* The SE light rail was pretty busy going towards the city late yesterday afternoon. Most seats taken and many standing passengers. Realistically it is not possible to maintain physical distancing on public transport. Which is why I wish that masks were still compulsory.
* Chris Minns is the only Labor politician that makes sense. No negativity, common-sense. Watch out Jodi!

Government eyes cheaper power from Sunshine Coast hydro plant Tony Moore April 8, 2021 

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