Fw: Mon.16.8.21 daily digest
  Roderick Smith

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Mon.16.8.21 Metro Twitter
Aircraft: No ramp access to platforms until late 2021 (pedestrian-underpass works).
Flinders St: still with a lane closed for tunnel works.
North Williamstown: Station closed until late 2021 (level-crossing removal).  A shuttle bus will operate Newport - Williamstown Beach, connecting with trains. There will be no access to station platforms or facilities during this time.
Mooroolbark: Station closed until late-2021 (level-crossing removal). A shuttle bus will operate Croydon - Mooroolbark - Lilydale, connecting with trains. There will be no access to station platforms or facilities during this time.
Edithvale/Chelsea/Bonbeach: Stations closed until late 2021 (level-crossing removal). A shuttle bus will operate Mordialloc - Carrum, connecting with trains. There will be no access to station platforms or facilities during this time.
The level crossings at Argyle Avenue, Bondi Road and Edithvale Road are closed until early-October.  Chelsea Road is closed permanently. See http://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/projects/chelsea-road-chelsea
Until Wednesday 25 August the Royal Parade southbound service lane will be closed north of the Grattan Street intersection, adjacent to the Metro Tunnel Project site.   For more information on transport changes in this area, visit: https://metrotunnel.vic.gov.au/construction/parkville/changes-to-grattan-street
10.27  Buses are replacing trains Frankston - Stony Point (a train fault), adding 25 minutes travel time.
- 12.42 Trains resume. First will be: 12.56 ex Frankston and 13.49 ex Stony Point.
Pakenham/Cranbourne lines: Buses replace trains City - Westall from 20.00 until the last train (tunnel and maintenance works). Take a Glen Waverley train to Burnley for express buses.
Frankston line: Buses replace trains City - Caulfield from 20.00 until the last train (maintenance works take).  Take a Glen Waverley train to Burnley for express buses.
Werribee/Williamstown lines: Buses replace trains North Melbourne - Newport/Williamstown from 20.40 until the last train (maintenance works).
Buses replace trains North Melbourne - Upfield from 20.45 until the last train (maintenance works).
Sandringham line: Buses replace trains Parliament - Elsternwick from 20.55 until the last train (maintenance works).
Sunbury/Craigieburn/Upfield lines: All trains terminate/originate at Southern Cross from 21.00 until the last train (maintenance works). From Flinders St, take a train from pfm 1, 2 or 3 to MSC [loop stations ignored].
Buses replace trains between Clifton Hill and Mernda from 21.00 until the last train each night, Monday 9 August to Thursday 12 August [posted on 16.8, so perhaps Mon.16 to Thurs.19?]
21.21 Werribee line: Major delays  (a train fault at Seaholme). Trains may be held at platforms.

2.3.17 Former cable-tram depot
8-14 Howard Street North Melbourne VIC 3051
5Beds 4Baths 8Parking SOLD - $6,500,000
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The evocative character of this landmark building's beginnings as the North Melbourne Cable Tram shed and workshop complements its current day spaces - and its compelling future prospects. On some 1000sqm of prime inner city land, introduced by a classical c1918 façade, the present proportions include extensive ground level vehicle service and storage areas served by two offices and a pair of staff washrooms. Upstairs, preceded by its own separate entrance, an enticing hall and a fabulous foyer, a contemporary apartment of un-paralleled size and style provides the most refined inner city retreat imaginable. Up to five bedrooms, four bathrooms, dual studies, a cinema room and outdoor terrace surround a stunning living/dining domain and a superb Miele and Ilve equipped kitchen. The option to enjoy such unique dimensions before considering undeniable development opportunities, STCA, gives this remarkable property an irresistible edge, moments from Errol Street, trams, the medical and university precinct and the CBD, in the University High School zone.
[The depot was built in 1925 when an older one was isolated by the extension of the Essendon electric line into the city, via Peel St and William St.  The new one was redundant from 1935, when the Elizabeth St lines were converted from cable to electric.  It became a car workshop, then a private home.  Downstairs now housed Le Bajo milkbar/cafe].

F... Andrews Kiel Egging August 11, 2021 Maroondah Leader 5 comments
Not everyone is a fan of Mr Andrews in the eastern suburbs, with graffiti sprayed near Bayswater railway station after he announced the latest lockdown on Thursday.
The “F--- Dan Andrews” tags were visible on the Mountain Highway underpass and on the nearby rail corridor on Friday.
Graffiti targeting Victorian Premier Dan Andrews near Bayswater railway station on August 6. Picture: Kiel Egging
Workers removing graffiti targeting Victorian premier Dan Andrews on August 10. Picture: Kiel Egging
Graffiti targeting Victorian Premier Dan Andrews on the Belgrave railway line near Bayswater. Picture: Kiel Egging
Leader spotted crews painting over the tags on Tuesday morning, shortly after inquiries were made with Metro Trains.
Metro spokesman James Ireland said crews would return to remove the remaining graffiti overnight on Sunday after services finished on the Belgrave line, owing to safety issues.
“Graffiti vandalism is ugly, illegal and an issue we continue to tackle across the community,” he said.
Mr Ireland said Metro had notified police about the taggings for investigation.

Authorities call for lockdown compliance as drinkers hit city streets Ashleigh McMillan, Paul Sakkal and David Estcourt August 15, 2021 44 View all comments

Fears of ‘maze-like’ suburban loop stations lacking links to trains and unis Timna Jacks August 16, 2021
Mayors in Melbourne’s eastern and south-eastern suburbs fear new Suburban Rail Loop stations will be designed like a “maze”, lacking seamless connections to nearby train stations, universities and shopping centres.
Early designs for six stations along a 26-kilometre tunnel between Cheltenham and Box Hill show several key stops — Monash, Cheltenham and Burwood — will be built opposite a major activity hub or train station, on the other side of a major highway or road.
The Andrews government’s planned Suburban Rail Loop.CREDIT:
There are no clear signs that direct pedestrian passageways would be built, meaning commuters may be forced to spill out onto major roads to reach key destinations, raising safety fears and concerns about poor station design.
Months before the 2018 election, Premier Daniel Andrews unveiled the Suburban Rail Loop – an underground line through Melbourne’s middle suburbs, connecting Cheltenham in the south-east to Werribee in Melbourne’s west in a loop around the city. It is the largest public transport project announced by a Victorian premier in recent history.
The vision was to build a highly interconnected rail network modelled on those in other world capitals. Loop stops would have easy interchanges with existing stations, which would be upgraded or rebuilt to connect to the new line.
Before the announcement, the huge project was kept so secret that the delivery agency responsible for it, the state’s top transport bureaucrat and most of the government’s ministers knew nothing about it, The Age has revealed.
Gag orders were issued and the project was codenamed Operation Halo, with consultants commissioned to do the project’s preliminary planning work over a six-month period on a part-time basis. Questions have been raised about whether the financial and transport planning cases had been made for the loop when it was announced.
The stations’ final designs are far from complete, with the project’s investment case being released in coming weeks and the environmental effects statement by the end of the year.
But Whitehorse mayor Andrew Munroe has warned the government may already be walking away from the promise to create a “seamless interchange” with existing train platforms at Box Hill. He said this pledge contradicted advice he received from government officials, who said an underground pedestrian connection between the loop and existing train platforms was out of scope.
“This is considered to be a significant deficiency in the [rail loop] scope,” Cr Munroe warned in a letter to Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan in April.
video Four things a suburban rail loop needs
The $50 billion Melbourne 'ring rail' proposal is an enormous government announcement. But what can we learn from other cities with similar orbital rail systems? One expert outlines the key features we should look for in the blueprints.
“This unco-ordinated approach to public transport infrastructure will result in passengers needing to navigate through a maze of ticketing entrances/exits, escalators, shopping areas and restaurant precincts to get from one train service to the other.”
The mayor also said Box Hill’s “dysfunctional and disconnected” bus terminal required an urgent overhaul, which should be tied into the rail loop project.
Early designs of the new Burwood station – to be built at the edge of the six-lane Burwood Highway across the road from Deakin University – also concern Cr Munroe, who does not want large numbers of students crossing the road from the station to the university campus.
The council is lobbying for an underpass and the university is calling for a grade-separated crossing above or beyond the highway.
Another mayor has weighed in on the government’s early designs for Cheltenham station, which will be separated from the Westfield Southland shopping centre and Southland station by a main road, Bay Road.
Current plans suggest the station will have only “a single station entry, oriented towards Bay Road”, which Kingston mayor Steve Staikos said was not good enough.
Without more entrances, commuters exiting the loop station would face a long walk to the nearby bus and train stations, Cr Staikos warned.
“It would work best if commuters didn’t have to cross any roads, so that either means underpasses or overpasses bringing the stations together, but why not bring the stations together on the same side of the road?” he said.
“We would like to see the design of the entrances be integrated with the existing transport infrastructure, so if you’re on the Frankston line or taking a bus to Westfield Southland you’ll be able to easily move to the [loop] within minutes.”
Questions also loom over the location of Monash station, to be built at the far north edge of the university campus over Normanby Road.
Transport expert Graham Currie, who is based at the university, said he believed the station should be “right in the middle of the campus” and questioned why it was to be built in an industrial precinct next to the Monash Waste Transfer Station – a major recycling facility.
But he noted the project was preparing for the next 20 to 30 years and the campus may expand and change, with the station triggering more development nearby.
Monash University wants an entrance to be built south of Normanby Road, to ensure students are not crossing the busy road.
A government spokeswoman said the station designs were still being planned and further details would be released and assessed as part of the environmental effects statement process.
“Passenger experience is a priority consideration in the design of Suburban Rail Loop stations and that includes creating convenient and efficient interchanges with existing stations.
“Design development work continues on the new ... stations and their configuration to ensure they best serve the needs of local communities and passengers.”
RELATED ARTICLE Tom Considine, Daniel Andrews, James MacKenzie, who helped come up with the state’s Suburban Rail Loop. Thrown in a loop: How Daniel Andrews’ biggest project was cooked up behind closed doors
RELATED ARTICLE Premier Daniel Andrews. Victoria’s Big Build leaves planning out of the loop
RELATED ARTICLE Victoria’s top bureaucrat, Jeremi Moule, the secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet. The chosen few: How Victoria is really governed
* Why is the the Suburban loop not connecting to Epping but is connecting to LaTrobe? Epping area has higher population than LaTrobe area but has less facilities. Why? Why? In the future there is no way LaYrobe area is going to get more populated than eppibg area. Also, LaTrobe is conveniently covered by Tram and Bus already. Sports eccentric state? Local MP's sleeping at the wheel?
* Is there a logical reason that this train line doesn’t run directly under the University campuses? Deakin and Monash could give over a small part of their car park or other vacant land on their boundary to devote to an entrance to the station. So no underpasses required. At Monash adjacent to the bus terminus would be ideal, and being at the boundary, members of the public who want to use the service don’t have to trudge through campus.
* Conclusion: Absence of "long term planning". This is regardless of either Labor or Liberal state party.
* Re: "Mayors in the eastern and south-eastern suburbs fear new Suburban Rail Loop stations will lack seamless connections to nearby train stations and amenities" This is just one of many hatchet-job type articles focusing on the Victorian Premier these past few days in The Age. Almost no huge infrastructure project like this is completed with every connection being seamless. Change requires change, and also takes time to bed down. Maybe some of these mayors are playing a political game for the Liberal Party. Alternatively, maybe some of them are jockeying for Victorian Govt funding by creating pressure on the Labor party. Anyone can find someone who'll say that things are not seamless. That doesn't mean that Melbourne won't be better off at some point in the future by having these types of visionary/major infrastructure projects built, rather than not built at all.
* It's a thought bubble so lacking in planning that Dan made the leading government planning bureaucrat on the project sign a non-disclosure agreeing to keep it a secret from his own boss. Nothing but a $50b vote buying scam most of which will never see the light of day. There was no study of passenger movements to determine if this service will be used, just a presumptive manipulation of figures to create the figure of 400k a day.
* First, most certainly Melbourne needs this project, as we are choked with cars. Second, best practice is to cross the platform for a train change. You must expect one or two changes in a network. Paris and London and Russia are like that, mostly. But, you stay underground, away from roads. It is a failure of some systems if you must go up a steep escalator and down again. Or walk hundreds of metres. Planners, take note!
* Having lived in London for a few years before coming to Melbourne, I have always thought that a circle rail line around Melbourne to be a fantastic idea. I think this infrastructure to be even better and more important than the airport rail line. However, if it doesn't link to existing rail stations, transport network hubs, commercial / retail centers, medical centers and, or universities then it is a waste of money. Melbournians need to demand better development and not criticize all development if we are to have a livable city into the future.
* cue the criticism. That small minded thinking that's been holding the country back for the last few decades. They'll sort out the details, and people will figure out how to use it. Pedestrian flyovers are relatively cheap and the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Just build it. Having used the tube in London and navigated the subterranean world of Singapore's MRT as a visitor, you very quickly grasp it and immediately wonder why we're so far behind.
* In many world capitals I've walked along a 50m interconnecting tunnel between lines. Where's the problem?
* Oh no I might have to cross a road. Something already do everyday. What a ridiculous article!
* At Mont Albert the local station is being deleted and 800 commuters and school children each day will be required to cross Mont Albert road to access an amalgamated station at Surrey Hills. No grade separation for pedestrians is being provided. Unsafe, and an arrangement that will leave traffic flow on Mont Albert Road more disrupted than it is today with the railway level crossing. Let’s have some common sense in major infrastructure projects. Grade separation for pedestrians.
* Could be worse, you could build a rail trench within 100m of the beach. Theres forward planning for you.
* The Andrews government has good public transport concepts which it then works against itself to destroy by making second rage decisions on how to buikd them. First we had the airport rail link (great idea) implemented by choosing a slower route using existing tracks (slower times and rail congestion. Now we have the suburban loop (great idea) that will have stations built in inconvenient places that won't connect to existing transport and will require commuters to traverse highways to get to key destinations like universities. Build it right the first time. Otherwise you're just setting it up to be mediocre and to fail.
* How to create outrage out of nothing, that mini map is not showing the exact location of the new station, ie across the road from the original station, it’s an over view of where the line is going. The final detail designs will put the station where it’s really needed and that will have to cater for the engineering problems building underground throws up as well.
* This is what happens when you have a secretive dictatorial control freak running the show - it's pink batts all over again - half-baked ideas being put out as fully developed plans when we see that they haven't thought it through at all and we know that the cost will be astronomically more than suggested - how will it be paid for?
* This important piece of rail infrastructure needs to be built to get as many cars of the roads as possible!
* It would be nice to think that our planners were intelligent enough to manage traffic flow from and around stations, but one just has to look at the unmitigated disaster of Southern Cross Station to realise that they are fools. If you are tunnelling, not doing cut and cover, the stations can be anywhere! Yet the Monash Uni proposal has the station outside the university grounds in the back corner. Why? It could have exits onto the bus station and toward the Union building, which is the heart of the university. I am pretty sure these planners have never seen the Moscow metro, which was retrofitted to the city. If they have they were probably too distracted by the shiny baubles to learn anything!
* Unbelievably stupid proposal. Why link low density suburbs between which there will there will be no demand whatsoever for travel? Why not slowly roll out a true metro type system linking higher density areas, with branch lines to outer suburbs? This works in London, Paris and elsewhere - it would work here as well.
* Hang on, aren't these just dots on a map? As close to accurate as find-my-phone I would have thought at this stage of planning.
* Wrong. Look at the addition and the scale of the Melbourne University and Children’s Hospital Station as but one example It is over 1km long to service that precinct
* Daniel Andrews isn’t interested in consultation; he might encounter a different opinion. See how he labels protesters as evil, they are only evil in his eyes because they dissent from his agenda.
* A few days of leaks and articles has provided some early insight on what the Liberals will be taking to the next election. Still more fear, uncertainty and doubt.
* The factor I believe that sells the orbital is the change in the cities orientation away from the centre. That will also change the values of property in the vicinity of all the stations and make them valuable hubs for commerce, residence and entertainment. Then the city can grow a different character and free up time for people. There are severely limiting possibilities with the spoke and hub city we have now. People (pre-covid) simply didn't go to the city unless they worked there. It's a dinosaur. Whatever this costs will be returned in a dramatically different city of regional characteristics and lifestyles. Can't wait myself.
* the question needs to be asked....what business hubs does this rail service??? this rail would need to service shopping hubs, universities and business hubs to get the passenger numbers to make it worthwhile  worth somebody to calculate travel times from Frankston to the airport.....looking at the map with the airport link, using the existing rail looks quicker than using the new loop.
* There are so many examples in these projects like the Suburban Loop, Metro Tunnel, LXRP where things are considered "outside the scope" of the project so that, unlike in other large cities around the world with major rail projects, the design teams here will not consider links under streets to connect station entrances for “value capture” with arcades and shops (buildings above the station "box" ) and multiple points of access without fighting surface traffic like they do in Toronto, Montreal, New York, London, Shanghai and on and on... I remember discussing the location of the Southland Station and asking…”won’t people have to cross Bay Road to get to the Southland Station??” the answer: "it’s out of scope". So they don’t maximise locational advantages and create opportunities for value capture. The same issue has occurred at Arden Station and Parkville etc..They also let the architects create expensive edifices rather than spending the money on more needed elements.
At Arden (a station dubbed the "mouse hole" by critics - check out the designs!) the architects insisted that daylight reach the platforms for "way finding" for passengers (why? - how does it help at night?) which meant there is not scope for over station buildings (the station “box’ is not designed to take extra weight) which would generate much needed revenue for the State. The reason why the station is there is for "value capture" which has now been held hostage to the architects! All the project economists rolled their eyes at that one as a sorely missed value capture opportunity - one of hundreds which will no doubt be repeated on the SRL at multiple station locations. I’m all in favour of contextually responsive architectural designs but do we need an expensive bespoke design solution at each station? (think the horrendously expensive World Trade Center Station in New York City versus a station built into another building like Melbourne Central (formerly the Museum Station) which does the job without expensive fanfare) At least LXRP is starting to standardise some elements - very late in the piece unfortunately for you and I who will pay and pay for these projects On several LXRP projects, instead of using bridges or underpasses to let pedestrians across busy streets like, for instance, at the new Coburg Station (another nasty bespoke building!) at Bell Street, Coburg, which would have certainly reduced the amount of times vehicular traffic on Bell Street has to stop. They replaced one stoppage of traffic - the level crossing, with an at-grade signalised pedestrian crossing. (imagine if they had incorporated the Upfield Bike trail in a grade separated crossover! missed opportunity) the list goes on and on...But SRL will probably never happen in its current form...50 years is a long time. It took 50 years to get a train back to Mernda!!! How many changes of government in that time??
* The bottom line is that the Andrews govt is extremely arrogant and deceitful by keeping all relevant departments where the expertise actually is in the dark over this massively complex, expensive and ambitious project. Having also read the articles in the Age in the last 3 days about how Dan is stacking the benches with his team, abusing the Westminster system and telling ministers what to say I think is a disgrace. This is the perfect storm brewing with another massive Labor cost blowout on projects that have not had due diligence with regard to planning, costing and oversight. at the same time as the Covid financial disaster. All this from a Govt that spent $16 million on legal fees in an arse covering exercise that in the end showed amnesia by the whole Labor party. This is an absolute disgrace and yet more financial pain for the long suffering Victorian taxpayers. Liberal opposition, where in the bloody hell are you, why aren't you screaming about this.
* A shocking waste of money by this incompetent Andrews governemnt. They CAN NOT DO ANYTHING RIGHT!!!! They should be sacked.
* I hope they heed Prof Currie's advice. The proposed Monash location is ludicrous.
* I live in the SE suburbs and know all those locations well. Where the stations are being proposed are the ONLY places you can put a train station as it is either a carpark, parkland, public space, etc. while the surroundings are businesses and shops. Unless the govt stumps up the money and buys out businesses, (which will blow out costs) I don't see where else you can put a station at those locations
* I am surprised that the plan is to start first at Cheltenham and then on to Box Hill. Wasn't the section between Werribee and Sunshine to be largely above ground and built to tie in with the airport rail and the Sunshine interchange. Cheaper, and quicker, to build above ground and integrate the works with a new megastation at Sunshine. And this would show that the loop is not some distant far off dream. Because many are cynical about this and think it is just not going to happen.
* 'The stations’ final designs are far from complete'. So why the wailing and gnashing of teeth, where the perfect is becoming the enemy of the good. We do not want this project to be abandoned in favour of more clogged freeways, arterial roads dividing our city. Because if we are not careful, that is what we will get. Yes let us determine why EVERY major project anywhere is subject to cost overruns. But doing nothing does not solve the problems. The loop system provides extensive mass transit which carries multitudes where they wish to go. Roads carry one or two people in their separate capsules at vey much greater expense.
* It's not a loop. The should have called in Suburban Link. Then they would have been reminded of why it was built. Not a loop.
* The budgeted figure for the Suburban Rail Loop is $50 billion, but might run up to $100 billion. I'm not good at maths, but how on earth do you 'over budget' $50 billion dollars???
* For heavens sake, stop with all the negativity about this long overdue project. Have you ever been to London. There are underpasses and tunnels joining various loop stations. How about you let the planners and designers do their work first
* $50,000,000,000 is the minimum cost. At 3% over 30 years (it will have to be financed) that blows out to $75.9 billion. If the base cost blows out to $100 billion, which is typical for political grand plan infrastructure that is not subject to a genuine business case, the total cost of build and finance will be $151.8 billion... IF it reaches its target carrying capacity of 400,000 passengers per day, every day for 30 years, the cost of the build attributable to each passenger trip is $17.33 to $34.65. It's a very, very, very gig IF. Operating costs must be added to get the real cost. Who is going to pay for this??? Sadly, this is nothing more than a pipe dream. Rethink it, and do the maths. If this is to work, you have to plan a route that carries triple the passengers. The Channel Tunnel was cost at GBP 9 billlion (GBP 16 billion equivalent today). That's $17 B and $31B in our money. It's 58 klms long, and only has a stations at each end. It provides efficient end-to-end service, and carries approximately 20 million passengers per year. It took 8 years to get to within 10% of that volume. 400,000 passengers per day equals 146 million per year. It sounds incredibly optimistic. I'd love to see their modelling parameters.
* Think it will be like fast rail to Sydney. It will be an issue only at election time then forgotten till the next election.
* That's not a loop.
* So a project that is heavily in planning phase is being criticised for lack of planning… Even though the planning isn’t finished?
* This is a piece of infrastructure that is 30 years over due and by the time it is completed will be 60-70 years overdue. So far we have people jumping at potential problems without having seen any of the proposed designs. Yes the concerns are valid but essentially the process should be on understanding how to limit these, rather than just scold the initiative. This city doesn't need more roads, it needs infrastructure like this that will take people off roads. Interesting that all this opposition is coming from councils that sit within Liberal held seats.
* Have we learnt yet why a continuous connection to the Sandringham line has not been considered as part of the Suburban Rail Loop project? In all the literature and discussions about this great project initiative, I haven't heard mention of this possibility or opportunity to make a truly complete suburban rail loop. In addition, by re-aligning the loop line from Clayton a little further south (along Centre Dandenong Road instead of Kingston Road), it could incorporate another possible (future) connection to Moorabbin Airport, and it could incorporate the potential for a new station near Black Rock North at Bluff Road near Sandringham Hospital, or at Beaumaris just north of the golf courses, or south of the Cheltenham Cemetery. This alternative would link to the Frankston line just south of Southland instead of to its north in William Fry Reserve. At the very least the underground rail loop could continue to run from the existing alignment at Southland along Bay Road to Sandringham station.
* An example of ‘creep’ .. the original costing was for an orbital rail loop. The underpass is a local implementation ..and is the next funding round..maybe even a Federal scheme for underpasses rather than car parks.. There is plenty of money..the question remains ‘how best to spend it?’
* The stations aren't the only poorly thought out pieces of SRL. The Heatherton stable yard 24/7 maintenance depot is on greenwedge wedge promised parkland, just a few meters from family homes. Heatherton will have the only section of surface level railway and won't even offer the community a station to use it. The line totally bypasses the Moorabbin airport DFO activity centre which has over 8.4 million annual visitors and accommodation for over 500 flight students. The airport master plan is also requesting an SRL station and says there is a need for one at the airport, they even offer a spot for it, so why deviate the alignment to Heatherton and miss out on that opportunity, it cant just be for a Heatherton stable yard because there is suitable vacant land near the Airport precint to stable the trains. This will be the longest section of Suburban line in vic with no station.
* Maze of stations, sounds almost like a gulag archipelago. That would be dear to a totalitarian leader's heart. A man building a politburo and central committee structure with an army of operatives.
* There is nothing clear that comes from Dan's union run Labor Party other than the destruction a once great state.
* The station at Monash University is at a terrible location, several hundred metres from any university building, and on the opposite side of the campus to the existing bus station. The Monash station should be near the existing bus station, and part of the long-promised Huntingdale-Rowville train line along Wellington Road. In addition, in the current plan there is a huge gap between the Monash and Glen Waverley stations. There should be another station at Brandon Park Shopping Centre on the corner of Ferntree Gully and Springvale Roads. And to save several billion dollars, the train line from Monash to Brandon Park Shopping Centre could be above-ground, along the wide median strip of Wellington and Springvale Roads.
* amazing how it completely leaves out the western suburbs only covering 2 stations while eastern suburbs get proper coverage. I'm assuming this will take 2 decades to completely and tens of billions over budget, sigh.
* probably be nixed by the Libs anyway
* As much as i like what Dan has done / is doing in Victoria since taking over from the LNP's useless Napthine & Guy, i don't think this Suburban Rail Loop will ever be built. I also understand why its planning was kept so secretive - we all saw what happened to land values at Fishermans Bend with the stroke of a pen from Mr. Skyscraper Matthew Guy.
* The big loop is a great idea. But the detail is important. Anyone who has used the rail systems in large cities like London, Paris or New York will know how easy and quick it is to change lines and get where you want to go. And the stations drop you right at your destination. That's how this should be. I hope further development will take this into account.
* Almost every major project is opposed at the time. There were people who were against building the Sydney Opera House and the Victorian Arts Centre.
* As Melbourne has got bigger it has become significantly more difficult and longer to get from one place to another. The traffic is far worse, commute times are longer. Cities like Paris and Berlin have good underground rail networks. You can get on a train in one part of the city and pop up in another part without too much waiting around. Those networks were built before mass transportation by motor car. And both those cities have had reasonably stable populations for many decades. They haven't had the extreme levels of population growth that Melbourne has had. Melbourne is having to retrofit its public transport infrastructure to catch up to its population. It means there are large multilane highways thrown into the mix. The traffic in Melbourne is only going to get worse. Its already becoming so dysfunctional that many long term Melbournians are leaving the city for good. For new public transport to be of any value it needs to be convenient with ease of access between train lines being paramount. Melbourne is playing catch up with its public transport while the population increases rapidly. We need to be aiming for much better and more convenient transport. Not just less worse.
* When I was in a wheelchair I couldn't use the Melbourne trams much (back in 2010 but still not great) so I caught buses and discovered Melbourne actually has a pretty good cross town bus network, if only people used it more. And they made more trams, as opposed to tram stops, accessible.
* What you say is true but doesn't address THIS project.
* Nothing in this project provides any infrastructure for the west and north west of Melbourne. We should be so lucky to have a new train station and rail line on the wrong side of a highway. Perhaps the real issue is that this project is blatant pork barrelling and not a genuine investment for any Victorians in any part of the state.
* Rubbish it's long overdue
* Except a major new link between Werribee and Sunshine. Are you looking at a different map?
* With the federal government ending Andrews Belt and Road deal wouldn't this unneeded, hugely expensive project have met it's logical end?
* This project is long overdue. These stupid criticisms are the reasons why governments don't develop long term visions and plan for big long term projects. Our train network desperately needs cross suburban links so people don't have to travel from Pakenham to Flinders st and back to somewhere like Glen Waverley
* I agree its all over the map------- like the air port link If I go to the airport by the new rail link I will make up to 4 changes and no doubt it will drop me in the long term car park
* This is another pie in the sky project by the Andrew's government. Listen to the people on the ground and an initiative like this could be a success - don't listen - and it could be like all other Labour project blowouts that don't deliver on simple and basic needs. I live near the areas that are most impacted and can say that crossing major roads is dangerous at the best of times - adding to the chaos at Box Hill shows a clear lack of understanding of the current issues. Get the basics right and then look at expansion.
* let's not let all these technicalities overshadow the undeniable value to the Andrews government - of the announcement. Don't you guys realise that it's not at all about what is delivered - it's about what can be announced? After all, by the time this is delivered nobody will even know who Dan Andrew's was!
* I'd say the Dan Andrews' government has been pretty good about delivering what has been promised. Removal of train crossings, widening of the Monash and Tullamarine Freeways. Building the Northern Link road. Unlike the previous Coalition government who only delivered (checks notes) a debt of $1.2bn for an unbuilt road.
* The recently opened Southland station is an example of this lack of planning. Commuters have to cross through the carpark just 10m from the entrance/exit boom gates - IF they use the pedestrian crossing. Of course, many choose not to and cross through the middle of the roundabout and at other points and it is extremely dangerous as well as causing traffic problems. It’s especially bad around 3.40-4pm as students get off the train and then have to cross through the carpark, walk through the shopping centre and then either cross Nepean Highway or through the shops to get to the bus interchange. It’s a great example of how NOT to do it - someone could learn from it.
* Have to agree re Southland Station. The so-called safety barriers for pedestrians have been deliberately placed to inconvenience- rather than to serve a purpose. One of the worst design efforts I've come across.
* This is not due to government but rather Westfield's lack of co-operation.
* Box Hill to Cheltenham 17.5 kms with 4 connecting rail lines. Sunshine to Werribee 20.5 kms with ZERO connecting rail lines. Seems like the west needs at least 3 new railway lines.
* Why spend money in extremely safe Labor seats when they voted the same way for the last hundred years?
* Sunshine to Werribee? How are you getting there? Via the goods lines?
* The Cheltenham mini-map doesn't show the bus interchange which is about 250 metres from Southland station on the opposite side of Nepean Highway. The loop station will thus be two main roads and at least another 250 metres in different directions from both Southland station and the bus interchange unless there are pedestrian tunnels included as part of the project.
* As a wheelchair user I won't be using it. Incredible they don't involve disability groups in making sure these connections are safe to transit for the mobility and sight impaired community.
* Another pending disaster from Allen that will be overtime and budget, as well as failing to provide the linkages required.
* Not good. Even stupid!
* Dan is even more popular now than before. He must be doing something right viewed by his supporters/voters. Why change?
* Certainly seems like the west is woefully under resourced for public transport options compared to Melbourne's Liberal eastern and SE suburbs !!!
* you do realise Dan Andrews is from the Labor party which is currently in office? But hey.. don't let the facts get in the way of your political positioning. Any chance the fact the eastern suburbs have been around for a lot longer might have something to do with public transport options? Again.. doesn't fit your political jab but again it's the truth.
* Really? Outer eastern population of Rowville and surrounding suburbs has been waiting for promises to be fulfilled for more than 50 years!!! They are supposedly safe liberal seats.
* Yes how appalling that Liberal suburbs might benefit from Labor public transport decisions!
* That's because hardly anyone lives where the loop is to travel between Sunshine and Werribee. The grey area is pretty much Melbourne's population distribution. But because the project is to take something like 50 years and will commence from other side of Melbourne, maybe in 20 years time, "revisions" will be made.
* What Liberal suburbs? The Libs were wiped off the map last election. And isn’t Labor just adding more into the same area while the west is neglected?
* So the fast Regional Rail Link through Tarneit and Wyndham Vale, doesn't work for you? You also have fast electric trains to Sunbury which will utilise the new Metro rail tunnel in 2 years, simultaneously the line to Melton will soon be electrified and new stations in addition to Cobblebank built between Caroline Springs and Melton and of course there is the Werribee/Williamstown lines. Seems we in the west are well served by public transport after all.
* It shows that Liberals are more doing more for their their seats. Are they not unlike Labor members who have done nothing to stay in their seats? I know which member I would like in my area.
* Agree which you have to suggest is odd given the shear volume of time successive Labor governments have held power and yet done nothing.
[Fears?  Guaranteed to happen.  This is a total design disaster, whipped up from nowhere, to suit somebody's ego, and to avoid making the existing network run properly. Labor has been incapable of designing anything.  The relevant minister keeps posting 'We are spending billions of dollars on transport', without ever justifying if the money has been spend usefully. However, lots of real metros have convoluted maze connections, and get away with that because trains run every 3-4-5 min on all routes.]

Coalition pushes for more scrutiny of Victoria’s major transport projects Paul Sakkal and Timna Jacks August 16, 2021
Victoria’s major transport projects may soon be scrutinised by a powerful new committee that would be able to compel witnesses and the inspection of documents related to the government’s multibillion-dollar infrastructure pipeline.
The state opposition is set to table a motion that would establish a parliamentary committee to probe business cases and cost blowouts on major projects including the $13.7 billion Metro Tunnel, the $6.7 billion West Gate Tunnel, $15.8 billion North East Link and the $50 billion Suburban Rail Loop.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Transport Minister Jacinta Allan announce the suburban rail line project in2018.CREDIT:JOE ARMAO
The opposition needs nine of 11 crossbenchers to back establishing the public works committee. Eight crossbenchers – including the Greens’ Samantha Ratnam, Reason Party’s Fiona Patten and Animal Justice Party’s Andy Meddick – support the committee in principle but will consult the opposition before voting for it. No crossbenchers ruled out supporting the plan.
The body would investigate the government’s major projects by focusing on the business cases, cost controls, tendering practices and project scope. It would hear from the leaders of those projects and the state’s infrastructure adviser, Infrastructure Victoria.
The government’s public accounts and estimates committee can question transport bureaucrats but spends much of its limited time delving into issues such as bus timetables, ticketing and fines.
Opposition transport infrastructure spokesman David Davis had been set to table the motion in Parliament this week to set up the new committee, but this could be delayed if Parliament is suspended under the advice of health authorities.
The motion would not be voted on until the following sitting week so proper consultation could take place.
“Labor has mismanaged our major infrastructure projects, with so many over time and billions of dollars over budget,” Mr Davis said. “Without proper controls and scrutiny, this mismanagement, the waste and blowouts will continue. A parliamentary committee to oversight public works is absolutely necessary to ensure best options and to control the cost overruns.”
The Coalition is open to allowing an independent MP to chair its proposed committee and is willing to tailor the model of the committee to suit the wishes of the crossbench.
Its move comes amid revelations in The Age that the state’s most expensive infrastructure project – the $50 billion Suburban Rail Loop – was promised to voters before the 2018 election without a strong planning, transport and economic case.
The project, originally codenamed Operation Halo, was shrouded in secrecy. Consultants on the project were legally gagged from talking about it, while the state’s most senior transport bureaucrat and the government agency tasked with overseeing it were kept in the dark until it was announced.
Victoria’s Auditor-General and think-tank the Grattan Institute have raised concerns about a lack of oversight of the government’s multibillion-dollar “Big Build” agenda, as project costs skyrocket and timelines are stretched for new infrastructure set to cost about $81 billion.
It was revealed last week that the $6.7 billion West Gate Tunnel project may have blown out to as much as $11.9 billion — more than double the original $5.5 billion estimate.
Tolling giant Transurban estimates the project’s contaminated soil crisis has led to a $3.3 billion blowout, with the project’s builders estimating costs have risen by as much as $5.2 billion.
Last year, the government revealed the $11 billion Metro Tunnel blew out by $2.7 billion, with taxpayers forking out $1.37 billion to end a protracted dispute over project costs.
Grattan Institute transport and cities director Marion Terrill said she believed the public works committee was long overdue. “There’s a lot of merit in having major projects subjected to a higher level of scrutiny than is currently the case.”
She said it was wrong that taxpayers only found out about cost overruns on projects when companies such as Transurban revealed them because of their obligations under Australia’s sharemarket disclosure laws.
“It would be really good if taxpayers were afforded a similar level of disclosure on public projects,” Ms Terrill said.
The new committee would inquire into any existing or proposed project worth more than $10 million. It would probe the purpose and suitability, value for money, necessity, suitability and public value of the project. It could also examine the impact of the project on the environment, local community and broader economy.
Victoria had a comparable committee that was abolished in 1982. Public works committees exist in the Federal Parliament and state parliaments in NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania. The Commonwealth’s committee recently investigated the $500 million Australian War Memorial redevelopment and the NSW committee examined the Berejiklian government’s controversial $730 million plan to knock down Allianz Stadium.
The Greens also plan to introduce an amendment to the Transport Integration Act 2010 on Tuesday that would require a policy shift away from car-based transport and a more significant take-up of cleaner options such as public transport, walking and cycling, in addition to new transport emission targets.
A copy of the state’s transport plan would have to be tabled in Parliament — a call that responds to a recent Auditor-General report revealing the state lacks an overarching transport plan, despite this being required by law.
A government spokeswoman accused the Liberals of thwarting infrastructure projects that Victorians needed. She also said an existing body, the economy and infrastructure committee, already fulfilled the function of the committee the Coalition wants to create  “Victorians would remember that the Liberal Nationals did nothing, and whether it’s level-crossing removals, the Metro Tunnel, North East Link or Suburban Rail Loop – they oppose everything,” she said.
RELATED ARTICLE Tom Considine, Daniel Andrews, James MacKenzie, who helped come up with the state’s Suburban Rail Loop. Thrown in a loop: How Daniel Andrews’ biggest project was cooked up behind closed doors
RELATED ARTICLE Work on Melbourne’s West Gate Tunnel project came to a halt in 2019. West Gate Tunnel budget blows out by $3.3 billion, Transurban reveals
RELATED ARTICLE The cost of the Metro Tunnel has blown out by billions. Metro Tunnel's $2.7 billion budget blowout revealed
RELATED ARTICLE Working on the West Gate tunnel in Footscray last week. Big projects, bigger bills: Massive construction boom comes at a cost. 
* Blowouts on Transport projects easy pickings. Didn’t the State Coalition have numerous Business Cases on transport ( usually freeways) having to go back to the drawing boards as they were less than 1.00. - benefit lower than costs incurred
* If such an inquiry goes ahead, the East-West Link should be included, as none of the criteria for it was made available either. Not to mention O'Brien's side letter. The Opposition should welcome including it, since they are now in favour of 'openness'.
* Not going to happen! About 80% of major infrastructure projects around the world have cost blow outs so its not surprising this is happening here!

Sydney Airport and its suitor in violent agreement on everything but price. Elizabeth Knight August 16, 2021
The $23 billion deal between Sydney Airport and its would-be acquirers seems heavily pregnant - it’s close to yielding an outcome but the pain remains as the parties try to find a mutually acceptable price.
However, it’s fair to say that both buyer and seller are invested in getting a deal over the line and those familiar with the negotiations say the two parties are not wildly far apart on price. But having raised the offer on Monday and been met with immediate rejection, the bidders are applying the blowtorch, warning they are prepared to walk away.
The buyers, a consortium of super funds led by IFM called Sydney Aviation Alliance (SAA), are playing the COVID card and argue that its offer is generous considering the decimation of Sydney Airport’s earnings over the past 18 months.
An empty airport with a big price tag.CREDIT:JAMES BRICKWOOD
Sydney Airport is playing the vaccine defence - relying on the current trajectory of jab rates to argue that Australia will return to some kind of air-travel normality when 80 per cent of the population are protected and state borders will for the most part remain open.
Sydney Aviation Alliance’s opening offer of $8.25 was predictably knocked back by the board of Sydney Airport - given it was pitched below the price at which Sydney Airport was trading before the pandemic.
SAA’s revised offer of $8.45 is still below the near-$9 pre-pandemic high at which Sydney Airport was trading but IFM’s offer is certainly getting warmer. But apparently not warm enough given it was immediately rejected by Sydney Airport on Monday which still hasn’t offered the bidder the opportunity to undertake due diligence.
Sydney Airport alliance hasn’t declared the $8.45 as its final offer so there is a fair chance that it has more firepower left in its tank.
But in a statement late on Monday SAA warned investors that it “appears unlikely that the parties can agree a path forward and, as such, there is no assurance the Revised Proposal will proceed”.
Sydney Airport has effectively asked Sydney Airport Alliance to search behind the couch cushions for a few more coins because it is open to a deal but only at a price that can allow it to look like it wasn’t pressured into selling one of Australia’s most important valuable pieces of infrastructure on the cheap.
Sydney Airport’s board is caught in a bind. It can’t agree to sell this critical monopoly infrastructure asset at a price that suggests it has fallen prey to buyer opportunism. Equally, its security holders appear to be in favour of selling and, while they want to maximise the price, they will want to ensure that the buyers don’t walk away.
There is no conga line of competing bidders, given the size of the asset and restrictions on foreign ownership.
The Sydney Airport share price is being underwritten by the takeover offer. Before the offer it was trading at about $5.80 - a level to which it could return if the buyers walk away.
The current lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne would have put this price under even more pressure.
Recent history has shown that in those COVID relief periods when state borders were open for months, air travel bounced back quickly and Qantas, for example, was previously guiding for domestic air traffic to return to pre-pandemic levels by now.
We now recognise this as wishful thinking. And plenty of investors have burnt fingers having played the COVID recovery trade thanks to the Delta variant of the virus now sweeping through the world.
Although Australia is budgeting for vaccination levels to hit 80 per cent by December, there must remain some uncertainty on what happens next.
This renders companies such as Sydney Airport and Qantas extremely difficult to value. For example, it could be several years before holidaymakers feel safe enough to venture overseas.
While most Australian premiers seem anxious to be rid of border closures, we are reliant on state politicians to decide when we can move around the country. West Australian Premier Mark McGowan has already gone rogue and decided that his border could remain closed to the rest of the country even after 80 per cent vaccination levels are achieved.
If the pandemic has taught us anything it’s that predicting outcomes is precarious.
This probably explains why despite having a 74-year concession on the assets it holds, Sydney Airport’s board is considered likely to agree to do a deal at less than $8.95 - the price at which the securities were trading before the pandemic.
In finance this would be called the “undisturbed price”, but thanks to COVID the notion of undisturbed has itself been disturbed.
RELATED ARTICLE Sydney Airport was a unique asset that could prove attractive to rival bidders, despite the challenges in aviation, analysts said. Sydney Airport’s surprise takeover could flush out other bids, say analysts
RELATED ARTICLE Qantas says a cabin crew member who operated a repatriation flight from Paris last week and then flew from Darwin back to Sydney on Friday has tested positive for COVID-19. Canberra backflips on aviation support as Qantas to stand down 2500 staff

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