Fw: Tues.13.4.21 daily digest
  Roderick Smith

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Tues.13.4.21 Metro Twitter
Buses replace trains on sections of the Craigieburn line until the last train of Thursday 15 April (level-crossing-removal works).
15.37 Upfield line: Major delays (police near Batman). Trains will be held at platforms.
- 15.59 Trains may terminate/originate at intermediate stations.
17.28 Frankston line: Major delays (police near Highett, ongoing). Trains will be held at platforms.
- 17.59 clearing.
Hurstbridge line: Buses replace trains Clifton Hill - Macleod from 21.05 until the last train (maintenance works).
23.34 Pakenham/Cranbourne lines: Major delays clearing after a police action near Sandown Park. 

New cases Reported Apr 13 (Updated 11.07am): 0 locally acquired; 7 in hotel quarantine

Big emitters’ green goals drive AGL to mull ‘hybrid’ power plans. Nick Toscano April 13, 2021

Supply problem stops Melbourne’s most-used trams in their track. Tess Ikonomou and Kieran Rooney April 13, 2021
Delays are expected to impact passengers on multiple tram routes with authorities discovering a major problem with the city’s most-used trams.
Tram route 58 will be affected due to supply delays from South Africa. Picture: David Crosling
A global supply shortage has hit some of Melbourne’s most-used trams and threatened to take them off the rails, with authorities scrambling to source new wheels from abroad for the fleet.
Timetables will be rerouted and as many as 23 trams could be taken out of service in coming months because vital wheel shipments, usually sourced from South Africa, were delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Wheels are progressively checked and replaced at depots as they age and wear down and the city’s wellused A-class, B-class and Z-class currently rely on parts from international suppliers, stock of which are currently low in Victoria.
Transport Department and Yarra Trams officials found parts from companies in Italy and Germany but were unable to prevent a delay in getting them into Melbourne.
From this week, trams in need of replacements will be gradually taken off the network and it is expected the problem could sideline up to 23 vehicles until shipments begin arriving at the end of the month.
Over this period timetables will be altered for passengers on tram routes 58, 59 and 109 and add extra waiting times of one minute on average.
The trams will all be progressively returned to the tracks by July but until then other tram routes could experience disruptions or have timetables altered.
There is no safety risk for passengers and no wheels will remain on trams past their expiry date.
Authorities are scrambling to source new wheels from abroad for their tram fleet. Picture: Nicole Garmston
A state government spokeswoman said the parts could be procured from Victorian businesses in the future.
“The coronavirus pandemic is impacting supply chains right around the world — and we’re using this opportunity to explore possible ways to source these wheels locally, reducing the risk of delays and boosting local jobs,” she said.
The shortage is the latest in a series of supply chain issues that have affected Victoria and the rest of Australia during the course of the coronavirus pandemic.
In January, it was revealed that delays in importing Chinese-made steel were putting more pressure on the troubled West Gate Tunnel project.
Steel for bridge pylons used for an elevated road were not expected to arrive until later in 2021.
But Yarra Trams chief operating officer Carla Purcell said the delay in supplying wheel parts would have a “minimal impact” on passengers using regular services.
More Coverage: Larger free tram zone a step closer to reality
“Yarra Trams has worked closely with the Department of Transport to implement minor changes to a small number of tram services while new wheels are sourced,” she said.
* It is a disgrace, we should be manufacturing & refurbishing these wheels in Australia, we used to be a little more self dependant, now we only rely on overseas supply, surely to have our own facilities is worth a little more to the costs
* Find a decent foundry, them some of the right material ingots and you could have wheels in a week. A piece of cake for a quality CNC workshop. If only the government purchase officers had experience and brains.
* Why in the name of all things holy and unholy are we importing STEEL from China, when we make good steel right here? Is it part of Comrade Dan's secret BRI deal with the Chinese Communist Party?
* If the wheel is wearing down, then get someone to hard face it and remachine. Surely someone local has an answer,
* Honestly what a storm in a tea cup - the changes to timetables will add 1 extra minute wait time on 3 tram routes. Not exactly breaking news.... yawn 
* why don’t we make them here. We have the steel and we have high unemployment. It could be the start of rejuvenating an industry.
* we should remove trams from our roads all together and replace with buses. at least they can pull to the side of the road and keep traffic flowing. the roads are too congested to persist with trams.
* Or, we could remove cars from inner city roads that have trams.
* cheap imports equals less wages at an Australian rate. blame the unions, they seem to want a penalty rate for everything possible, which in turn drives up the wages, prob get the wheels for $10 each OS and charge $1000 to fit them in Australia.
* We used to make tram and train wheels years ago. That' progress!
* No wheels, no manufacturing; thanks for nothing Labor and the Unions.
* Yep it had to happen sooner or later. Kill of all out manufacturing industries and make us reliant on overseas inferior products They the suppliers embargo us and we are then to pay premium prices to get what we once did ourselves Labour Party definitely NOT FOR THE PEOPLE they are supposedly supporting
* We'll never make anything in this country shutting down cheap coal power plants. Dan Andrews leads that way with his dodgy BRI.
* It's April Fools Day? I see the wheels are coming from South Africa What a joke - Is anything Made in Australia?
* Another Andrews Govt stuff up. What a joke this Govt is
* I’m sure O’Brien would do no better.
* Could not do any worse
* Yes why wouldn’t he they may have thought of this problem before it was clearly too late....incompetent as always this Labor govt
* Yes he would, at least he would know what a business looks like. There is a big Australian engineering company just off Warrigal road Moorabbin who would eat this job and another one just around the corner who could help.
* We don't even make our own tram wheels? What a joke. Do we manufacture anything in this country?
* Is anyone actually using them anyway. Why would you?
* Years of neglect. Another Andrews triumph. Who cares? Better to waste money on the white elephant uncosted suburban rail loop. More photo opportunities there.
* How long before we learn of the same problem with the trains?
* We have an army of graduate accountants, uber drivers, massage and nail bar people can they be retrained?
* if supplies were so low why on earth were the trams running full on during last years lockdowns and no people on the trams
* Way to meet their service obligations and collect a bonus, easy without those pesky passengers.
* It was comical to see them running a full timetable during lockdowns. Would have been a great time to catch up with maintenance and refurbishments like this. Unions no doubt wouldn’t accept reduced hours and take a haircut like the rest of us
* exactly right- that was an opportunity missed to get it sorted too.
* 1,500,000 on job seeker.
* Will we need to import some skilled labour to help us re-invent the wheel?
* we've already imported millions of immigrants over the last decade, surely some of those are skilled!?
* Australia can no longer make a wheel - just brilliant.  Before long we'll be importing fire because we'll lose that ability, too.
* So what you are telling me is that Victorians dont have the intelligence to manafacture these wheels?? I cant wait till we go to wat with China and have to buy all our missiles from them first!!
* Australia can’t even make safety pins... Our manufacturing has gone down the dunny hole.
* How about we use this as a turning point? Start making the wheels locally. Plenty of facilities in Australia more then capable. I can name a Perth based company with several factories throughout Australia who would be more than happy to take on the work!
* What does BHP do in Australia?
* Seems like nothing
* Surely at least South Australia with its ship building capacity could build the wheels.
* Unions have killed off local manufacturers and yet they’re the first to complain. You reap what you sew.
* or companies source cheap Chinese products which shut manufacturing down more like it.
* too many wage and extras demands from Unions is why.
* What happened to local suppliers? Oh I forgot we destroyed our manufacturing industry to help business make more money using cheap imports.
* Some, but not so much anymore as we export the raw material, iron ore and coal, to China to turn out an inferior product. 
* Yes while they keep building more coal power stations while Andrews shuts ours down ...laughable these climate advocates
* Thanks to ever increasing Union demands, Australia became one of the most expensive countries on Earth to manufacture anything. For most businesses, this country simply became unviable as a manufacturing base.
* We didn’t .. Hawke did with his ridiculous wage increases for the unions. Too expensive to make in Australia so have to import. But as the Victorian Government has limitless funds for union members does it really matter how much the wheels cost?
* Chinese made steel? Don't we make steel in Australia?
* Too damaging to the environment.
* Yes and didn’t Andrews say over 90% of steel was coming from Australia when he spruiked this West gate tunnel project ?
* Yes we do but we do precious little with it except all our rails, reinforcing rods and heavy duty beams. The list goes on, do some research and you will be surprised what you will find out.
* there is not a foundry in Australia that can not make wheels for our trams?
* most are being shut down cos it's now unviable to run them.
* We in Australia can’t even manufacture wheels for the world’s largest tram network? What has the government done to this nation?
* more like what have the unions done to this nation.
* Why can’t they make them here? I used to work at VR's Newport work shop, and they returned the wheels to get them rounded out.
* Is there a minister for transport?  If so, what in the hell is he or she doing?   This is not an unusual problem.  Tram wheels are regularly replaced, so why has the stock been allowed to run down?
* She is too busy digging holes and building aerial rail eyesores to be concerned with ops and maintenance.
* It’s a bit rich to be complaining now about spare parts availability when we used to make these things in Victoria. We then kidded ourselves we were still competitive, despite having some of the highest wages in the world and a belligerent union movement that priced us out. Give yourselves a clap.
* why route 59? It serves 4 hospitals and there are never enough trams come peak hours ! Have been taking this line for over 30 years and the wait times are far longer than the West Coburg#58 - where there are at least 3 trams to every 1 tram on the 59 route. This is crazy.
* Great opportunity for Yarra trams to refurbish and clean. I think I saw the rats walking on stilts. They haven’t been cleaned in many a year
* don't mention the idiocy of importing Chinese steel
* You cannot be serious, we can't make tram wheels! Absolutely absurd. Another Andrews failure.
* Even the newest trams are looking decrepit with dirt all over some, but more important the paint peeling off the doors and not being repaired. European, Sydney and Gold Coast trams sparkle! Why can't Melbourne's?
* Quite simple...we have totally incompetent Ministers in charge.
* Why is the whole of Melbourne covered in graffiti ?
* Why are they using Chinese steel?
* Because the head contractor is Chinese owned.
* Why are the wheels not made here? Just another example of our failure to be self sustaining. Come on Andrews stop wasting money on over priced tunnels and open a wheel foundry.
* That’s the price you pay for obtaining these resources from overseas in the first place. How about putting a bit more effort in supporting the LOCAL Manufacturers for a change which should have happened from the start.
* Energy prices to expensive to run the furnaces and forges.
* That’s the price you pay for obtaining these resources from overseas in the first place. How about putting a bit more effort in supporting the LOCAL Manufacturers for a change which should have happened from the start. LOCAL manufacturers for a change.
* I was late to school one time, & told the teacher my tram got a flat tyre. Finally my excuse might actually be true now..!

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