Fw: Thurs.29.4.21 daily digest
  Roderick Smith

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Thurs.29.4.21 Metro Twitter
Trains will not stop at Hallam until the last train of Tue 4 May (level-crossing works). Shuttle buses will operate Dandenong - Hallam - Narre Warren.  No access to station facilities or platforms during this time.
8.20 Sunbury Line: Major delays (an 'operational incident'). Trains may be held/altered.
- 8.38 clearing.
Buses replace trains Newport - Werribee from 20.30 until the last train (level-crossing works).
Buses replace trains Epping - Mernda from 20.50 until the last train (works).
Near State Library station, excavation of the southern adit between Little La Trobe and La Trobe street sites is underway. It'll form part of the underground connection between the station entrance in La Trobe St and the platform.
Lilydale between 1901 and 1913.  The nearby level crossing level crossing is used by 29 000 vehicles each day, and will be gone by 2022.

Melbourne City Council considers $300m green trail along Yarra. Chloe Booker April 29, 2021

Fewer cars, more trees: Sydney’s traffic-choked roads are set to go green. Megan Gorrey April 29, 2021. 146 comments

Planning Minister approves Powerhouse storage centre in Castle Hill. Linda Morris April 29, 2021
A huge storage house for the priceless collection of the Powerhouse Museum has been approved for Sydney’s north-west.
The Powerhouse’s Museums Discovery Centre at Castle Hill is to double in size with the construction of the 8135sqm centre. It will be capable of housing aircraft, historic trains, and helicopters.
Powerhouse Museum artist impressions for the expansion of the Museums Discovery Centre in Castle Hill.
Building J, as it is known, is to be built on TAFE land and the site of the museum’s eucalypt plantation established post-war to scientifically help with the commercial harvest of essential oils.
Planning Minister Rob Stokes approved the new facility on Thursday and said it would increase the museum’s accessible storage space by 30 per cent, allowing for better community access to artefacts from the collections.
“This means the entire 500,000-piece Powerhouse collection will be housed and cared for on one site when not on display at Parramatta or Ultimo,” Mr Stokes said.
But the expansion raises questions about what the government intends to do with the former Ultimo Tram Depot, known as The Harwood Building, which is the current collections’ store for the Ultimo Powerhouse.
The Harwood Building’s future use, including potential conversion to a lyric theatre, is currently subject to an undisclosed $5 million government business case.
In its objection to the expansion, the Powerhouse Museum Alliance’s Jennifer Sanders said funding for the new store would have been better spent updating Ultimo. No budget has been revealed for the Castle Hill project but early plans for a much smaller building were costed in 2017 at $32 million.
“The real purpose of this extravagant and unnecessary project is to evict the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences collection from its purpose-designed conservation, research and collection store at the Powerhouse Museum so the museum can be redeveloped,” Ms Sanders said in the submission.
Powerhouse Museum, chief executive officer Lisa Havilah outside the Harwood Building at Ultimo.CREDIT:PETER BRAIG
The Berejiklian government reversed its decision to close the Ultimo Powerhouse last July.
The government’s expenditure review committee has been asked to fund a renewal of Ultimo, which includes plans to reorient the museum’s bare Harris St entrance to Darling Harbour and Chinatown and introduce new ground-floor restaurant or retail options.
Arts Minister Don Harwin said the Castle Hill facilities would provide more opportunities for research and conservation work on the Powerhouse collection. Around 50 museum staff will be based there with access to new conservation laboratories, collection workspaces and a photography studio for digitisation.
Architect of the 1988 Ultimo Powerhouse redevelopment, Lionel Glendenning, was also among those to object to the Castle Hill expansion.
“It is not best practice to replace the functioning Ultimo support facility, with a distant store 38 km away in dense traffic,” he said. “Collection handling – the safety and security of objects – is compromised and risks are increased. Critical staff access is disrupted to the point of dysfunction.”
Former museum curator of transport and engineering Andrew Grant warned that the loss of engineering workshops would affect the museum’s capacity to carry out any major conservation or restoration work on the very large objects in its collections.
Department of Planning, however, concluded Building J was in the public interest, providing “significant public benefits by enhancing the [Museums Discovery Centre] as a cultural institution in north-western Sydney, increasing community access to the Powerhouse collection and supporting the Powerhouse Parramatta”.
The building would allow the whole Powerhouse Collection to be stored on one site when not on display or loan, and greatly improve community access to the collection, it said, though it forecast no real increase in overall visitor numbers. Approval was conditional on the 337 felled eucalypts being replaced with other tree plantings.
Once built, Castle Hill would become a centre for the preservation, maintenance, conservation, and care of the Powerhouse collection, the museum’s chief executive Lisa Havilah said.
RELATED ARTICLE An artist’s impression shows what the new Oil Tank Gallery could look like at Sydney Modern. Millions on the line: Sydney’s museums and galleries plea for funding

Driver trapped in Sydney CBD car and light rail collision. Sarah McPhee and Laura Chung April 29, 2021
A car and light rail tram have collided in Sydney’s CBD, leaving the driver of the vehicle trapped for about 30 minutes.
Emergency services were called to Devonshire and Steel streets in Surry Hills about 4.25pm following reports of the collision.
A car and light rail tram have collided in Surry Hills. CREDIT:SARAH MCPHEE
The driver of the vehicle suffered minor facial injuries. Emergency services worked to extract him for about 30 minutes. Once freed, he was taken to St Vincent’s Hospital in a stable condition.
Passengers on the L2 Randwick tram did not require medical attention.
A witness said she had just finished a boxing class and was waiting for her tram home on Devonshire Street when she saw a car going “heaps fast” down the tracks.
The single-lane road on Devonshire Street has a signposted speed of 40km/h.
The man was taken to hospital in a stable condition. CREDIT:SARAH MCPHEE.
“I ran straight down to see if he was all right and I tried to unlock the passenger door but I couldn’t get it open but the window was down,” she told the Herald.
She said she had done a first aid course so she asked the man, who appeared to be in his late 30s or early 40s, if he knew his name, where he was and made sure he was OK and that nobody moved him.
“There was blood all over his mouth, his legs were stuck, he couldn’t move,” she said. “He was trying to respond but he couldn’t. You couldn’t understand it.”
She said the man was trying to stay awake but was “on the nod, like fainting”.
She said a highway patrol car was first on the scene, joined by police rescue, firefighters and paramedics. A tow truck was also called out.
The doors of the car were pulled off with a pressure pump, she said.
Just after 6.30pm on Thursday, Transport for NSW said that light rail services between Central and Randwick, and between Central and Juniors Kingsford, had resumed.
* That just shows what a brilliant idea it was to put cars and trains in the same space.
* Surry Hills is hardly "Sydney CBD".

Mask rules Victoria: Which Melbourne train lines are obeying restrictions. April 29, 2021 Melbourne City News 157 comments
Complacent maskless commuters have been caught flouting COVID rules on Victorian trains as police warn it won’t be tolerated.
video: Coronavirus: Melbourne “Karens” go viral after refusing to wear face masks. Anti-mask "Karens" have been caught refusing to abide by Victoria's new COVID-19 face mask rules.
COVID-weary Victorians are ignoring the state government’s mandatory mask rule on trains despite police promising to crack down on those breaking the law.
In a special Herald Sun investigation, it can be revealed fed-up commuters were blatantly ignoring the rule during the morning and afternoon peak this week, even with Public Transport Minister Ben Carroll saying the mask mandate would be around for “quite a long period of time.”
A police spokesman said “obvious and blatant” failures to wear a mask on public transport would result in a fine.
And while a Department of Transport spokesperson said the wearing of masks was no longer mandatory for station staff and authorised officers in station areas, including platforms, the face guard remains mandatory for everyone on-board public transport.
But it seems that message is falling on a lot of deaf ears.
In one carriage on the Sandringham line during the morning rush hour, only nine of 27 passengers were wearing a mask.
Those not wearing masks didn’t want to explain why.
In the evening, less than half wore masks.
Sophia Garcia, of South Yarra, was wearing a mask but said she wasn’t concerned about the risk of catching COVID from other commuters not wearing masks.
“I’m from North America and compared to there, (Australia is) doing pretty OK,” she said.
On the Frankston line during the morning rush, about 50 per cent of passengers were not wearing masks.
A commuter travelling the City Loop service without a mask on Wednesday, April 28, between 8am and 9am.
In one full train carriage leaving Richmond station at 8.23am, of the 60 passengers, 23 did not wear masks, including three people who placed them below their chins.
Those not wearing masks were given unfriendly looks from the passengers sitting next to them.
Frontline worker and nurse Bec Broadhurst said it was a lack of respect.
“Yeah, it (people not wearing masks) has been happening more frequently — it’s disheartening when we’ve worked so hard to get to this point,” she said.
“I think it shows a lack of respect for the people you’re travelling with, when they won’t wear one for an hour or less, especially as a nurse.”
More than a dozen commuters on the City Loop complained that footy crowds leaving the MCG at Richmond had not been adhering to the mandatory measures.
They described appalling “no mask” trains, with passengers in team colours but less than half wearing a mask.
They also said they had seen no PSOs on the post-game trains.
On board the Pakenham-City Loop, again, about half the passengers were not wearing masks.
Some said they “didn’t feel they had to” and claimed ticket inspectors and PSOs were failing to wear face coverings.
Springvale resident Andy, who was wearing a mask, wasn’t frustrated by those who weren’t.
“I wear a mask because it’s optional. Even though I am scared of getting COVID, it doesn’t bother me that others don’t wear a mask,” the 22-year-old said.
“I just try and keep my distance from (people who don’t) while I’m on the train.”
Murrumbeena woman Rina Abela, 41, who wore no mask, said PSOs and ticket inspectors were failing to set a good example by not covering up.
“If there were new cases I would definitely wear a mask but with no disease in the community I don’t see a point,” she said.
“Some PSOs and ticket inspectors don’t even wear them.”
PSOs at Box Hill railway station.
At Ringwood railway station, James Semertzidis said he had noticed more people not wearing masks when he travelled in the evening.
“I’m not sure why, people might be clueless or don’t know the rule is still in place”, he said.
Mr Semertzidis said he carried a mask with him on public transport but sometimes forgot to wear it.
He said he didn’t feel uncomfortable travelling with people not wearing masks as Melbourne had no active cases of COVID.
Kilsyth commuter James Semertzidis at Ringwood station.
A couple of women at Bayswater railway station estimated less than 10 per cent of passengers were not wearing masks on their journey home each day.
At Ringwood, daily commuter Grant Hooper noticed a similar amount, but said he’d seen less people wearing masks on trains in the past three weeks,
Mr Hooper said he was comfortable wearing a mask on public transport for as long as required, given the COVID vaccine rollout would take some time.
“If we have to do it, we have to do it, it’s a small sacrifice,” he said.
On the evening Belgrave-bound 6.45pm train on Wednesday, fewer than half of the 14 passengers in one carriage were not wearing masks — most of them teenagers.
Meanwhile, Upwey’s Bella James, who travels on the Belgrave line, thought masks should be optional on services outside of the CBD.
“There’s not as many people out here and you’re able to keep a distance, whereas in the city it’s kinda hard to,” she said.
Glen Waverley passengers on the 8.15am, Wednesday train, were among the best behaved in Melbourne with about three-quarters wearing masks.
Not all commuters were wearing masks on the Glen Waverley line on Wednesday morning.
At Holmesglen station, commuter Euan Walmsley, who wore a mask, wasn’t troubled.
“But I’ve been into the city twice this week and I find myself noting the percentage of people that are unmasked — I think it’s about a third or half of all passengers,” he said.
At Glen Iris station commuter Feng said although she continued to wear a mask, she didn’t believe it was necessary as there were no cases of COVID in the community.
“Quite a number of people are not wearing masks (on trains) at the moment,” she said.
It is school kids and office workers on short trips who are flouting mask rules, say regular passengers on the Frankston line.
Rhea Hales, who catches the train from Frankston to Monash University twice a week said most morning commuters wore masks.
Rhea Hales
However, she said it was a different story during the afternoon peak.
“Office workers who get off after a few stops aren’t wearing masks,” Ms Hales said.
“I also see a lot of older kids in school uniform without masks at either end of the journey.”
A teenage boy in school uniform was in Ms Hales’ train carriage, not wearing a mask.
He said it was the first time in two years that he had caught a train and he didn’t know he needed a mask.
Fellow traveller Nick Curnow said he had also noticed inner city commuters without masks.
“The closer you get to the city the less masks you see,” he said.
“I think people have become complacent because it’s been so long since we’ve had a community case.
“People who live close to where they work or study spend less time on public transport so probably feel there is less risk.”
Meanwhile in regional Victoria the story was similar to Melbourne.
A Bendigo commuter who caught the 2pm train from Melbourne to the country said only half the passengers were wearing masks.
Of the 54 on the VLine train only 27 were wearing their masks properly.
Even when masks were on, some had their noses sticking out above the fabric, while others wore the protective equipment like a chin strap.
While Shepparton commuters believe masks should remain compulsory on public transport.
A poll on the Goulburn Valley News’ Facebook page shows more people are in favour of the protection staying put.
While one person said: “It should be a choice for the individual.”

Thurs.29.4.21 Melbourne 'Herald Sun' SCOOTER TRIAL GETS GO AHEAD [with ATN]

Thurs.29.4.21 Melbourne 'Herald Sun' Council in push for $100m recovery fund. JOHN MASANAUSKAS
MELBOURNE City Council is pushing for another $100m fund to boost inner city recovery as new data shows more than 90 per cent of Victorian employees are still working from home at least two days a week.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the council would pitch in $50m, while another $50m would be sought from the state government.
“The (previous $100m) Melbourne City Recovery Fund and our partnership with the state government has been fundamental to the survival and recovery of businesses in our city,” she said.
Ms Capp said the central city was bouncing back with pedestrian activity on Saturday at 87 per cent of normal foot traffic. But the pedestrian count on Tuesday was only 60 per cent, meaning “there is still much work ahead”.
New figures show more than 90 per cent of Victorian employees are still working from home at least two days a week. Of those who switched to working from home during the pandemic, more than half are spending at least four days a week away from the office.
The research, commissioned by Tourism and Transport Forum, is a worry as efforts continue to revitalise Melbourne’s CBD after the severe pandemic shutdowns.
TTF CEO Margy Osmond said with the end of JobKeeper, more must be done to support tourism-reliant industries “by breathing life back into the Melbourne CBD”.

Thurs.29.4.21 Melbourne 'Herald Sun' Rail use is booming off peak. TESS IKONOMOU & MITCH CLARKE
ALMOST 200,000 extra public transport passengers have ditched the peak-hour commute in the past month, opting to travel off-peak in March.
New Department of Transport figures revealed 715,573 passengers travelled after the morning and afternoon peak, up from 535,000 in February.
Melbourne commuters will continue to receive a discount when travelling off peak, after the state government extended cheaper fares until July 2.
The scheme, introduced in late January, has given commuters a 30 per cent discount when touching on between 9.30am and 4pm, and after 7pm, in a bid to ease crowding on peak-hour services and encourage social distancing.
Public Transport Minister Ben Carroll said returning workers who changed days and travel habits were keeping fellow Melburnians safe.
“By staggering travel and commuting outside of peak times, passengers can save money and, most importantly, keep themselves and Victorians safe on our network as we continue to recover from the pandemic,” he said.
Public transport patronage has risen 9 per cent from the previous week, with the network at 60 per cent of pre-COVID levels. It is busier than at the start of the year, and some trains are packed just after 9.30am as commuters travel for less.

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