Fw: Wed.6.10.21 daily digest
  Roderick Smith

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Wed.6.10.21 Metro Twitter
Aircraft: No ramp access to platforms until late 2021 (pedestrian-underpass works).
Flinders St: still with a lane closed for tunnel works.
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
Buses replace trains on sections of the Frankston/Stony Point lines until the last train of Sun 31 Oct (level-crossing works).
Buses replace trains between Newport and Williamstown until the last train of Friday 12 November (level-crossing removal).
Maroondah Highway, Lilydale closed in both directions at the train line for one month, as level-crossing work ramps up on Friday night. John Street will also be closed at this time. See http://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/disruptions/maroondah-highway-and-john-street-lilydale-road-closure. ; Buses will replace trains for 6 weeks.
Buses replace trains Ringwood - Lilydale until the last train of Sun 24 Oct (level-crossing works).  Opening the new Mooroolbark and Lilydale stations on Monday 25 October
The new playgrounds at Coburg and Moreland stations are now open under COVIDSafe rules with QR code check-in.  There's a new dog park located between the stations under the elevated rail. Just look for the yellow pylons.  https://bit.ly/3Ci3Rza
- 2.5 km of upgraded cycling and pedestrian paths connecting the two stations are open 
- The half basketball courts, table tennis, skate and parkour areas are open too. 
- Just one tree, so that LXRA can claim that it didn't remove them all.
- Fugly. No trees either.
- I walked along there yesterday I was impressed but unfortunately the graffiti is already appearing which is a pity
- Perhaps they should commission some local graffiti artists to do murals.
- drove past on the weekend, full of folk enjoying the playground and covid save picnics, it looked great
- Looks gorgeous! Soon to be covered with lots of kids no doubt.
- That's pretty awesome
16.31 Werribee/Williamstown lines: Major citybound delays (an equipment fault between Spotswood and Yarraville).
- 18.27 Minor and clearing.
19.37 Major delays (equipment faults near Craigieburn).  Trains may terminate/originate at Broadmeadows.
- 20.39 still major, but clearing.
Buses replace trains Parliament - Mernda from 20.15 until the last train (maintenance and other works).
Hurstbridge line: Buses replace trains Parliament - Heidelberg from 20.40 until the last train (maintenance works).
Glen Waverley line: Buses replace trains Richmond - Darling from 20.45 until the last train (overhead-power works).
Lilydale/Belgrave lines: Buses replace trains Richmond - Burnley from 20.55 until the last train (overhead-power works).
Pakenham/Cranbourne lines: All trains will terminate/originate at Caulfield from 21.00 until the last train (works).   Change to/from a Mordialloc train.
Pakenham line: Buses replace trains Dandenong - Berwick from 21.30 until the last train (level-crossing works).

Minister claims car park program ‘very transparent’ after refusing to release documents Katina Curtis October 6, 2021.  92 comments [mainly political sniping]
Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher has declared the government has been “very transparent” about a controversial $660 million commuter car park fund slammed by the Auditor-General, despite his refusals to release documents showing how decisions were made to spend the money.
A council in a marginal Labor seat that was promised two car parks that were later cancelled is expecting to have its funding reinstated within weeks, but the Minister has indicated the infrastructure program is unlikely to be revived during the next election.
Paul Fletcher declared the government has been “very transparent” about a controversial $660 million commuter car park fund.CREDIT:ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN
The car park fund was blasted by the Auditor-General after it allocated money overwhelmingly to Liberal-held seats in the lead up to the 2019 election, with projects nominated by ministers and coalition MPs.
Mr Fletcher has refused to release documents showing how the previous minister Alan Tudge made decisions to spend the money, including a marginal seat spreadsheet shared with Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s office, which the Auditor-General said was the basis of the scheme.
In the more than two years since the 47 car parks were initially promised, three have been built, construction has begun on four more and six were cancelled. The federal government says that by the end of 2022, 33 of the projects will either be completed or under construction.
“We have been very transparent in relation to commuter car parks,” Mr Fletcher told the National Press Club.
Labor’s urban infrastructure spokesman Andrew Giles said Mr Fletcher was attempting to defend the indefensible.
“Mr Fletcher should have a close look at the dictionary definition of transparency,” he said.
“If the projects were actually selected based on evidence, Minister Fletcher wouldn’t be doing everything in his power to suppress the decision-making documents – and he wouldn’t keep changing his answers on why these rorts occurred.”
Asked whether he would endorse the same type of decisions as the spending on the commuter car parks grants scheme ahead of the coming federal election, due to be held by May, Mr Fletcher indicated the program wouldn’t be pursued.
“My focus as Minister for Urban Infrastructure is on implementing the election commitments we’ve made,” he said.
“We’re very focused on delivering the wide range of projects we’re committed to, under the urban congestion fund, and, of course our broader range of projects under the $110 billion 10-year infrastructure pipeline that we have.”
Frankston City Council expects Mr Fletcher to announce shortly he will give it money originally promised for car parks at the Seaford and Kananook train stations to build a multi-storey parking tower at Kananook.
The government allocated $14 million to the two projects ahead of the 2019 federal election, but cancelled them in April this year and reallocated the money to the nearby Frankston station car park. That project has blown out to cost $87 million, which the Commonwealth is splitting with the Victorian government.
The car park at Frankston train station will be upgraded in a joint state-Commonwealth project, which has blown out to cost $87 million.CREDIT:JUSTIN MCMANUS
Frankston sits in the electorate of Dunkley, one of Labor’s most marginal seats after Peta Murphy won it from Liberal Chris Crewther in 2019. Mayor Kris Bolam said it was a marginal seat that just happened to need more car parks, and he would take any money on offer to his community.
Mr Bolam said the council had put “a very substantive rationale” to the minister in July for funding to build a 300-space car park on an old used-car lot next to Kananook station.
“We believe it is a strong application for federal funding and we expect to have a resolution on this matter in the coming weeks,” he said.
Council has already bought the land for the project, completing the purchase in early July. It is near a basketball stadium which has been the subject of a number of redevelopment plans over several years.
If the federal money comes through, Mr Bolam anticipated the first sod could be turned early in 2022 and construction complete in about 12 months.
RELATED ARTICLE Ringwood station is among the 47 sites the Morrison government chose for commuter car park upgrades in a scheme now slammed by the Auditor-General. Railway station plans parked in ministers’ offices
RELATED ARTICLE Maroondah City Council was one of the few local governments to report asking for federal money for commuter car parks, including the one at Croydon station. Government consulted councils months after announcing commuter car parks in their patch

OCTOBER 6 2021 The winners and losers in the 2021-22 ACT budget. Lanie Tindale
The ACT budget was handed down on Wednesday, with big expenditures for young people, hospitals and schools. Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the budget was designed to aid in the ACT's post-lockdown and post-COVID recovery.
Public transport. Expanded bus services to new suburb Whitlam. Picture: Elesa Kurtz There will be expanded bus services to Whitlam, planning for a Northside electric bus depot and funding for an on-demand transport feasibility study.

OCTOBER 6 2021 ACT set to introduce $20 price on carbon Andrew Brown

OCTOBER 6 2021 First of Canberra's electric buses to hit the road early in the new year. Peter Brewer
Electric buses will finally hit the road in Canberra early next year. Picture: Rohan Thomson
The rubber will finally hit the road early next year as the government's planned $37.5 million phase-in of electric buses for Canberra comes to fruition.
The first tranche of 34 replacement buses to be leased to the government is going through the tender process now. under a $19.8 million allocation in the 2021-22 budget which will also see the Woden depot adapted to provide the significant recharging infrastructure required to keep the fleet rolling.
The 34 will replace the oldest Renault diesel buses and will be a mixture of diesel and electric.
A further $17.7 million has been allocated for 2022-23 for a further 90 battery-electric buses, which will be purchased rather than leased. Depots at Tuggeranong and Belconnen will be used to house between five to 10 of those buses in 2022-23.
An extra $3.2 million is being spent on managing the logistics and staffing associated with growing the bus network to service new suburbs such as Whitlam in the Molonglo Valley.
Providers have also been shortlisted for a new "smart" ticketing system, which integrates the Canberra's light rail and bus network into one smart card and replaces the current MyWay system as part of the government's medium-term planning, with $500,000 allocated to kickstart that process in the coming year.
An electric bus on trial in the ACT. Picture: Rohan Thomson
The rollout of a chosen smart system, and the provision of data-sharing infrastructure to support it, has received significant funding in future years, with $18.9 million allocated in 2022-23, and a further $18.5 the following fiscal year.
Before that, an app-driven "real time" passenger information system for the network will arrive in the coming year, at a cost of $1.5 million.
Roads and bridges
In the roads program, the $230 million upgrade of the Monaro Highway is the biggest spend ahead for the ACT government, with funds matched by the Commonwealth.
A key element of the upgrade is the addition of two new interchanges, one at Lanyon Drive and a second at Isabella Drive, with bridges over the road. The expansion of the Hume industrial area and the heavy vehicles entering and egressing that area will also see an upgrade to the Tralee intersection.
Investigations are still continuing into the best option for the Tralee intersection, and whether to remove the traffic lights altogether or find a better option to integrate traffic onto the Monaro Highway.
The duplication of William Hovell Drive, also jointly funded by the Commonwealth, will receive $3.2 million from the ACT government in the coming year.
The less costly earthmoving and excavation are among the upfront costs, with the project becoming more expensive in the 2022-23 and 2023-24 years as the laying of road base, asphalt and other more costly work is undertaken. $65 million in total will be allocated by the ACT and the Commonwealth to the duplication to the end of June 2025.
The Molonglo River bridge project, which will finally link Denman Prospect's truncated John Gorton Drive to William Hovell Drive and eliminate the low-level Coppins Crossing, is the single most expensive project on the short- to medium-term agenda.
Only $3.5 million, shared between the ACT and the Commonwealth, is allocated in the coming year to that project, but spending will ramp up significantly over the following fiscal years. The budget papers reveal a $175 million jointly funded commitment to the bridge project out to June 2025.
The intention in the longer term is to eliminate the current low-level Coppins Crossing completely but keep the access road down to the river, rehabilitate the area with shrubs and paths, then establish a car park and walking trails along the river.
Stages one and two of the Gundaroo Drive duplication in Gungahlin to the northern side of the Barton Highway are almost complete, with $54 million approved for stage three which is under way south of the highway, again jointly funded with the Commonwealth.
The two roundabouts on Gundaroo Drive - formerly William Slim Drive - will be retained, but with traffic lights on the Owen Dixon Drive intersection. This project is expected to be completed by June 2024.
Waste management
The management of the territory's waste and landfill has been allocated significant funding over the coming years as the former West Belconnen tip, which received much of the discarded Mr Fluffy asbestos fill, is gradually capped and the underlying waste monitored for emissions and run-off. The end goal is for the area to planted out and opened for public usage, with no building permitted.
The 2021-22 budget has allocated $3.1 million to this project, rising to $9.5 million in 2022-23 and $11 million in 2023-24.
The ban on waste plastics being shipped offshore for recycling has ramped up the need for the territory to manage its own plastics, and budget seed money of $500,000 has been allocated to investigating the technology it needs to do that.
A further $5.5 million has been allocated in the next fiscal year to build the bigger and more technically sophisticated facility required, most likely at Hume below the Mugga Way landfill site.

OCTOBER 6 2021 Road safety meant Launceston bus interchange spot 'not feasible' Brinley Duggan
The vision of the site. Picture: File
Documents provided by the City of Launceston Council to a question at last month's ordinary meeting revealed the road safety of the Myer carpark ring road was deemed to not be appropriate for a proposed bus interchange.
The details came as part of a feasibility study commissioned in 2017 by the council into the most viable place to move two St John Street bus stops to 12 different proposed sites including Dechaineaux Way - the ring road at the current carpark.
Two of the proposed sites, Paterson Street Central, which is opposite the carpark, and Paterson Street East were the only sites deemed to be entirely feasible in their current form.
Council acting chief executive Leanne Hurst said the 110-page and $28,400 study was "extremely comprehensive".
"[The study] provided the Council with evidence-based data by which it could make the final decision to relocate the proposed bus interchange to the Paterson Street Central carpark," she said.
The study showed Paterson Street Central and East as the most feasible sites.
The study said the road safety of the site would not be feasible due to heavy foot traffic using short-term car parking.
It said the issue would be exacerbated by the "lack of formal pedestrian facilities, including footpaths and crossings, resulting in poor separating between pedestrian and vehicular traffic".
In responding to the question on notice council chief executive officer Michael Stretton said the two Paterson Street options deemed acceptable by the study had been knocked back by local businesses.
"The Paterson Street Central option is located immediately adjacent a church and child care business, both of whom advised the council that they would strongly oppose any proposal to re-locate the bus interchange onto this site," he said.
"Similarly, the Paterson Street East option is located immediately adjacent the State Government Office building who were equally emphatic that they would strongly oppose any proposal to relocate the bus interchange onto this site."
Michael Stretton. Picture: Phillip Biggs
Mr Stretton said, as a result, "it was clear none of the options considered ... could achieve community support".
"This caused the council to re-consider its options and it became apparent that the [Myer] carpark would deliver the same attributes," he said.
"It should be noted, however, that while Dechaineaux Way was considered in the assessment, the Paterson Street Central [Myer] carpark was not because it is not currently a publicly owned asset."
In June last year Mr Stretton said the cost of relocating the bus interchange to one of the two on-street options "required a lot of modification and design" and would cost about $5 million to $7 million.
The study found the original Dechaineaux location proposed was not feasible due to a lack of operating space and parking, and concerns about road safety.
The three factors were deemed to result in "major impacts which may be prohibitive for the option".
Paterson Street East was the most feasible, while Paterson Street Central would be appropriate "subject to relaxation of design standards" on four of the nine measures. Intersection operation and road safety were two of those measures.
Mr Stretton said the "appropriateness" of the Myer carpark as a whole was essentially the same as the Paterson Street Central assessment which considered the impacts of buses stopping on the Civic Square side of the road.
Shortly after the feasibility study was completed the council announced it had purchased a section of the Paterson Street Central carpark as well as the former Birchalls building.
It was then announced part of the site would be home to a new creative hub which would include learning spaces, commercial tenancies and retail spaces to link to other parts of the hub, such as the bus mall and Birchalls' retail space which being developed by the council.
The proposed site as it stands. Picture: File
On July 9, 2020 the council paid a $1.2 million bank cheque, or 10 per cent deposit for the Myer carpark to "guarantee the obligations of the applicant (Creative Property Holdings) and undertook to complete the contract in the event that the applicant breached its obligations to do so".
The entire plan was set to cost $90 million to finalise, with funding coming in part from both the state and federal governments.
The feasibility study said for the Dechaineaux site to be used would require the "acquisition of private land at 41-43 Paterson Street".
The acquisition of the land would come as part of the creative hub, but hit a speed-bump when the sale of the car park was subject to a court case.
The federal court case regarding the sale was set to be heard from October 22.
A quote has been added to this story from council chief executive Michael Stretton to make it more clear the Dechaineaux Way feasibility test did not test whether the entire site was feasible, just the loop road around the carpark.

Wed.6.10.21 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'  RTBU.  JOHN MASANAUSKAS
A FEMALE Victorian union boss just keeps making history in her male-dominated organisation.
Rail, Tram and Bus Union state secretary Luba Grigorovitch has been elected national president of RTBU - the first woman to serve in the post.
Ms Grigorovitch, 36, was also the first female and the youngest state boss of the union when she was elected secretary in 2014 after serving in other positions.
While the RTBU national president is an honorary role, she will be responsible for leading the largely blue-collar union’s national governing bodies representing about 35,000 members.
Ms Grigorovitch, who retains her key state role, told the union’s national executive she had been hardened by a decade of experience. “I have been dragged through the courts, stood on picket lines and addressed big mass meetings to defend against the impacts on our members” she said.
RTBU national secretary Mark Diamond said Ms Grigorovitch was the perfect fit for national president.

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