Fw: Wed.15.12.21 daily digest, part 2
  Roderick Smith

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Subject: Wed.15.12.21 daily digest, part 2

Compensating for the austerity issue.




Wed.15.12.21 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'.  Fares.  TESS IKONOMOU
A STATE government decision to increase public transport fares has been criticised as ill-timed as businesses await the return of post-lockdown Victorians to breathe life into the city.
Opposition public transport spokeswoman Steph Ryan said the government was seeking to claw back some of the debt it had amassed during the pandemic.
“These fare increases could not come at a worse time for those who have been financially put under the pump by the government’s lockdowns,” Ms Ryan said on Tuesday.
“This is just the beginning.
Victorians are going to be hit with higher fees, charges and taxes under Labor as a result of the $l62bn in debt they have racked up.”
Fares will rise by 2.3 per cent from New Year’s Day, with passengers set to pay an extra 20c a day to catch the train, tram or bus.
The two-hour full fare for Zone l and 2 will be $4.60 next year, up from $4.50.
Regional passengers will experience fare rises of l.l per cent on average, but the cost of country buses will remain the same at $2.40 for a two-hour fare or $4.80 for the day.
Public Transport Minister Ben Carroll said mass transit would be free on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.
“After freezing fares last year, we’re keeping this year’s fare rise as low as possible to allow us to support a sustainable return to public transport,” he said.
Public Transport Users Association spokesman Daniel Bowen said the government should have waited for more passengers to return to the network after patronage dived during the pandemic before then increasing the cost of fares.
“It’s not going to help encourage people back on to the network if fares go up,” he said.
“The government should be making public transport as attractive as possible. They haven’t reintroduced the offpeak fare discount which would have been nice to see.”
It comes as Metro Trains failed to meet its 98.5 per cent reliability target for October, with 97.15 per cent of scheduled services delivered.
Fallen trees blocked many lines, and more than 1600 trains were delayed because of wild weather.
Mr Bowen said it was “critical” the government and Metro
Trains worked to minimise cancellations.
“Confidence in using the system will be helped a lot by the service being reliable — people want their train to run when it’s meant to run,” he said.

Wed.15.12.21 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'.
Declaration of a designated area under s10D (1) of the Control of Weapons Act, 1990, incorporating Watergardens shopping centre, and railway station and surrounding designated railway carparks, bounded by Melton Highway (east), Kings Road (south) and Sydenham Road (north), Watergardens Mews (west), Silverdene Avenue (north), Charles Court (west), Pecks Road (north), Sydenham Road (north), including all roadways and footpaths associated with the stated road and road related areas.
Refer to map: www.gazette.vic.g0v.au (Gazette S712-21)
This declaration will operate on the 16th of December 2021 between 1.00 pm and 11.00 pm during these times members of the police force are authorised to exercise the following powers:
(a) in a public place in the designated area, without warrant, stop and search for weapons:
(i) any person;
(ii) anything in the possession or control of the person;
(m) any vehicle with a person in or on the vehicle; and
(iv) anything in or on such vehicle;
(b) detain a person or vehicle for so long as is reasonably necessary to conduct a search;
(c) seize and detain any item the member reasonably suspects is a weapon; and
(d) request a person who is the subject of a full search to disclose his or her
identity, and
(e) direct a person to leave the designated area if the police officer reasonably believes the person is wearing the face covering primarily to
(i) conceal their identity; or
(ii) to protect them from the effects of a crowd control substance; and the person refuses to remove the face covering when requested to do so.
(f) direct the person to leave the designated area if the police officer reasonably believes the person intends to engage in conduct that would
constitute an affray (s195H Crimes Act 1958) or violent disorder (s195l Crimes Act 1958).

Wed.15.12.21 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'.  Tragedy on tracks. CAROLINE SCHELLE
A VICTORIAN woman holding her three-month-old daughter waved at a passing train moments before she laid the infant and herself on the tracks in an “extraordinarily tragic” case.
Melissa Arbuckle suffered serious injuries and her baby died when they were hit by another train on July ll.
She pleaded guilty to infanticide when appearing via video link in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
"This is an extraordinarily tragic event. and it's tragic for many, many people", magistrate Donna Bakos said at the hearing.
The 32-year-old mum had just farewelled her sister and mother after a visit when she took her baby daughter for a walk around 4.20pm on July 11 this year.
"Muffin was losing it after feed so I've gone for a walk with her", she sent in a text to her husband before heading off.
As she walked her baby in the pram she started searching the internet for information on trains including speed, timetables and train derailments for more than half an hour, according to an agreed summary released by the court.
Ms Arbuckle also sent a text thanking her mum and sister for stopping by that afternoon.
She was walking near Kumbada Ave and Glenfern Rd Bridge in Upwey-Tecoma in the Dandenongs in Melbourne's outer east, when a train driver spotted her with the baby held at chest height about 5.02pm.
She used her baby's hand to wave at the train, the summary reads.
Minutes later, a train heading east towards Belgrave station spotted her moving towards the tracks in a "suspicious" way between Upwey and Tecoma stations. and activated the emergency brakes.
The mum placed the baby on the tracks in the path of an oncoming train and was trying to lie down on her right side when it hit both of them.
The baby was struck and thrown underneath the front carriage while Ms Arbuckle was left seriously injured by the impact.
Passers-by rushed to the scene and found the mum lying on the side of the tracks.  Her baby was still breathing when she was pulled from under the train.
When emergency services arrived Ms Arbuckle was seen hitting herself in the head with railway ballast.
The little girl died at Royal Children's Hospital that evening after she was flown from the scene.
In the weeks before the tragedy, the young mum had been "real|y down" and believed she injured her baby because she rocked the child's bassinet too vigorously, according to the summary.
The day before the incident she shared that she had been suffering from suicidal thoughts.
The woman and her husband were also forced to leave their Upwey home and stay with her mother because raging storms in the Dandenongs had cut power to their home for more than a week.
The day after the train horror, Ms Arbuckle was diagnosed with severe major post-partum depression and post-partum psychosis.
She will remain on bail and must reside at a Morwell address, surrender her passport, and obey lawful directions of healthcare professionals. She is not allowed to leave Victoria without permission.
Ms Arbuckle will return to court next week.

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