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Sent: Friday, 6 May 2022, 03:04:50 pm AEST
Subject: Fri.31.12.21 daily digest
Fri.31.12.21 Metro Twitter
Aircraft: No ramp access to platforms until late 2021 (pedestrian-underpass works). [no reopening has been announced yet]
Flinders St: still with a lane closed for tunnel works.
Until 1 January, services on all lines run to different timetables on selected days.
During the Night Network services, buses replace trains on all Metro lines except for Pakenham/Cranbourne.
12.02 Werribee/Williamstown Lines: Major delays (an external power-supply fault at Newport). Trains will run at a reduced speed through the Newport area.
- 12.26 Still major, but recovering.
12.56 Craigieburn line: Buses to replace trains Essendon - Broadmeadows (a track fault at Broadmeadows). Buses have been ordered, but may take over 60 minutes to arrive. Consider alternatives.
- 13.10 link to alternatives.
- Trains to recommence with: 13.15 ex Craigieburn; 13.14 ex Flinders St.
- Has the 14.07 from Parliament to Broadmeadows been cancelled?
- There is a 14.17 service from Parliament to Broadmeadows. The earlier train, due to depart from Parliament at 13.57, will not run via the loop.
13.28 Pakenham/Cranbourne Lines: Major delays (an equipment fault between Flagstaff & Melbourne Southern Cross). Trains will run direct to/from Flinders Street.
- 13.42 Trains to resume via the loop, but may depart from altered platforms at Southern Cross.
New Year's Eve: Metropolitan trains will run all night tonight; public transport will be free from 18.00 until 6.00. Flinders St and Southern Cross will be open all night; loop stations will close at 2.00.
Major projects to cause summer transport headaches across Melbourne. Matt Johnston December 31, 2021
Ten rail lines, seven tram routes and four major roads across Melbourne will be partially shut this summer for major works. We list them.
Ten train lines will be disrupted this summer. Picture: Tony Gough
Summer scorchers won’t be the only thing getting commuters hot under the collar this month, with an extraordinary number of major projects set to cause congestion chaos.
Ten rail lines, seven tram routes and four major roads are being partially shutdown at various times this summer so that works can be accelerated during office shutdowns and quieter travel periods.
Our biggest roads are among those hit, including the Monash Freeway being widened during January causing lane closures, and the West Gate Freeway and M80 upgrade also wreaking havoc.
Motorists and passengers are being urged to plan their journeys carefully to avoid snarls or add extra time to journeys as many families look to flee the city for a summer break.
An eye-watering $80 billion program of works is ongoing in Victoria, but the Andrews Government came under fire late last year for big budget blowouts on key road and rail mega-projects – the West Gate Tunnel and Metro Tunnel.
Those projects have already had a combined $6.66 billion in cost overruns.
Another signature policy, the removal of level crossings, is proceeding ahead of schedule with 58 to be “gone for good” in 2022.
Two crossings – at Greens Road, Dandenong South and Clyde Road, Berwick – have major works scheduled for summer and will cause commuter chaos.
Drivers are being urged to plan ahead to avoid snarls during the summer project blitz. Picture: David Geraghty
Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan said the pandemic had not slowed the state’s road and rail works.
“Over the past two years – we’ve continued to remove level crossings, upgrade local roads and deliver the projects that will help our city grow and supports thousands of jobs,” she said.
“During summer works will continue on the projects that will improve the way Victorians travel.
“We thank Victorians for their patience and ask them to plan ahead as they get out and about to enjoy summer.”
The M1 Freeway has already been hit by major works after Boxing Day, with annual maintenance shutting three of five outbound lanes on the West Gate Bridge.
On January 4 all lanes reopen, but from January 11 until late February there will be works along the West Gate Freeway.
This will include the closure of Williamstown Rd beneath the freeway, as well as citybound entry and exit ramps.
Daytime lane closures are scheduled for the Monash Freeway between Warrigal Rd and Cardinia Rd in January, with reduced speed limits also in place.
Major works are set to begin on the $16b North East Link between the Eastern Freeway in Bulleen and the M80 at Greensborough this year.
Over summer, works on a Bulleen Park and Ride being built as part of that project are ongoing.
Buses will also replace trains at various times across the network when the Cranbourne line is upgraded and level crossings removed over summer.
Track duplication works are set to be finished in early 2022 – a year ahead of schedule.
Tram services impacted over summer include track renewals on High Street in Northcote, and Mt Alexander Road in Essendon, as well as on Glenferrie Road in Kooyong and Swan Street in Richmond.
More information on disruptions at bigbuild.vic.gov.au
Explosion in government fat cats under Andrews
Pallas sorry for West Gate woes, but blames builder
West Gate Tunnel blowouts a sick joke to taxpayers
* Road closures on arterial roads at the same time as nearby rail lines are closed for works. Wonderful planning as always by Dans team
* Do it properly the first time. Just protecting unions jobs.
* When AREN’T there roadworks and lane closures on the West Gate and Monash?
* This Govt cannot win ....it is slammed if it does and slammed if it doesn't ...we need all this infrastructure ..but the commenters just whinge whinge whinge ...there is no magic way...just be patientI
* Offices has been shutdown for nearly 2 years.
* Must be an election year get as much done to have something to show for.
* Dan Andrews to cause headaches throughout Victoria
* So the first part of the headline and the summary, plus the article itself, mention ten rail lines to be affected, but no further mention of rail til a paragraph about the Cranbourne line right near the end. Such an unhelpful article - must have come straight from Dan's ALP media office.
* With Melbourne's population more than 5 million all these works must be done ...there is no magic way ...sure there will be problems as there is with roads but what else can they do ...maybe you would like no road works and just stay the same
* They can be handled far better than this. Everywhere else in the country, indeed the world, does it right - why can't Victoria? Every time I get to Melbourne, half of the Western Ring Road and half of the West Gate Freeway is shut for roadworks, yet little ever seems to be getting done so it takes forever, and the end result is no different to what it had been before they started. ALP / union disruption to give the public a false sense of progress while they line their own pockets with our money.
* It’s called Progress! Infrastructure for Victorians! You Can’t Have these Projects Without Disrupting the Common Traveller! Just Get on With it , no Good moaning About the Inconvenience!!
* Perhaps schedule the works so rail and roads aren’t shut down at the same time in the same areas. Also a business case or realistic cost/benefit analysis would be great to show that these projects are actually the best options. It would be great if they could estimate cost to something even remotely accurate.
* A recipe for disaster - traffic chaos and overspend on projects!
* It’s always the west gate bridge, freeway or the princes freeway that is affected. We have been putting up with road works for many years and can’t see the end of these.
* I cannot believe that each year some 'intellects' in Vic roads think during the Christmas/new year period it will be a great idea to have road works on the west gate bridge - just as traffic is like a ongoing peak hour with holidayers and family visitors traveling out or into Melbourne.
* I'm surprised no-one has ever thought of an alternative route, some sort of East-West link.
* “During summer works will continue on the projects that will improve the way Victorians travel."
But who is traveling? When Andrews comes back to work (funny how he always goes on Holidays when things get worse in this State) he will shut us down because if 8 cases are enough to lock down millions of us, then surely 7000 cases is enough to come back to work and start up the daily press conferences on how he is keeping us all safe!
Or is it all just a waste of time because he knows, we have to learn to live with this virus just like we live with the Flu and all other illnesses.
* Every one of them will be over time and over budget. Happy new year from Jacinta.
* why weren't "these works" done whilst we were in lockdown ... ??
* With Melbourne's population more than 5 million all these works must be done...sure there will be problems but just what else can they do ....maybe no more road or rail work would make you happy ...get over it
* For all the mismanagement and costs overrun, we badly need all this infrastructure and I’m not sure the Liberals would have been any better at managing or even commencing these works. Especially public transport which has already seen major improvements such as 10- minute trains removing the need for timetables and long waits, and crossing removals improving local traffic.
* Have to drop son at work just at the end of Westgate bridge, 15 minutes from my place, when Williamstown on ramp shut up to an hour by going on New Footscray Rd which also has work being done, this will be chaos
* Massive Projects. No money. GREAT
* More Andrews nonsense
* I don't see any list, especially of the 10 rail lines affected.
* That is because today's engineers can't cope. Maximising their own convenience is their top priority. For decades, greater work was achieved by engineers who could and did cope.
* These projects aren’t being pushed through by engineers.
* Dan's BIG BUILD bulldozers it's way through Melbourne.
* Dealing with the eye watering debt is not a Labor problem. As per usual , they will hand the debt over to an incoming Liberal government to sort out.
* Add the metropolitan loop and the Westgate tunnel to the list of Andrews unplanned, uncosted series of infrastructure aberrations. The final nails in the Victorian coffin.
* Of course work did not stop during the Pandemic!!!! Because this is Andrews way to buy himself voted back in. Who cares a paltry $6 BILLION dollars over budget (on just ONE project) plus further stuff ups everywhere.
* Local roads in Melbourne……. not country or regional !
* First, you know they are financially a mess. Second, what government planning says do everything at once and grid lock the city for months in some cases disruption for years, why do it all at once, Dan Andrews has been premier since 2014. He’s had years to do things. Hopefully someone will be publishing the track record running up to the election for all to see what our most expensive government in the country has done.
* We’ll be lucky on the Gippsland line to get enough trains to overcome problems on the Monash freeway. The reasons we are given for excess numbers of cancellations are incredible. But what would you expect with Weimar stuffing up VLine before moving on and Allen once being in charge of producing new trains that had to redesigned because they didn’t fit our tracks.
* It’s been bad enough up until now. 40 & 60klm zones on freeways when there isn’t any work happening. Imagine once it starts.
* Well there's a surprise $0.0 for Vic Country.
* Who could have seen this coming? Everyone, except our State Government authorities who thought having multiple big build projects around the city all at once is a good idea. We will probably appreciate it all a little more in ten years time when they are completed, and in 60 years time when they are likely to be paid off. I would like to see more upgrades to our rural road network hotspots to minimise road fatalities due to poorly designed and maintained roads.
* The Monash has been a constant disruption for decades, and will never be fixed.
* When are they starting the East-West link or are they too busy blowing the budget 10 times over. Hopeless.
* All over budget. All over time. All of them in disarray. The Big Bill ruining a place near you.
* Agreed, works haven’t been slowed by Covid. However, they do from time to time get slowed by CFMEU and then quickly caught up again by additional night and afternoon shift, weekend shifts, work on rostered RDO’s, work on public holidays and increased daily overtime. All at a minimum of double time.
Top USA health agency warns ‘avoid cruise travel’ Maria Bervanakis and Scott Moore December 31, 2021 News Corp Australia Network
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned against cruise travel, regardless of vaccination status, as it investigates dozens of Covid-infected ships.
video: Cruise ship ban extended to 2022. Cruise ship bosses have labelled a decision to extend a ban on vessels for the next two months as a "devastating blow'' to thousands of Australians. national cabinet agreed on the move during its final meeting of the year. Cruise Lines International Association Managing Director Joel Katz said Australia is the only market in the world without an agreed plan to resume cruising. The cruise ship ban will be in place until February 17 – dashing hopes the industry would restart in time for summer.
America’s top health body has warned people against cruises, vaccinated or not, as the highly contagious Omicron variant spreads across the world.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention increased its travel warning for cruises to the highest level amid a major spike in Covid cases on cruise ships operating in US waters.
“It is especially important that travellers who are at an increased risk of severe illness from Covid-19 avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises, worldwide, regardless of vaccination status,” the agency said on Thursday.
Cruise ships operating in US waters have reported nearly 5000 Covid cases to the agency between December 15-29, compared to just 162 cases reported in the first two weeks of December, according to local news outlets.
The agency warned Covid transmits easily between people in close quarters on ships and the chance of infections is very high – even if you have been vaccinated.
It‘s advice for anyone planning a cruise is get vaccinated and take a booster shot if eligible; wear face masks in shared spaces. Take a Covid test one to three days before departure and three to five days after the trip, even if you are not showing symptoms.
If you are not fully vaccinated, self-quarantine for five days after travel.
The risk of infection on cruise ships is very high, the CDC has warned. Picture: Getty Images
Cruise ships sailing in the US must comply with a CDC-dictated framework, even when sailing outside national waters.
They are assigned colour categories depending on the Covid cases they have encountered, ranging from green (no cases) to red (reported cases at or above the threshold for investigation). If a ship is designated red, it is required to return to port.
Between the two are orange (reported cases but below the threshold for investigation) and yellow (meeting the threshold for CDC investigation).
The CDC investigates when one in a thousand passengers tests positive for the virus over a week.
Carnival line has the most ships under investigation, with at least 32 of the 86 cruises currently in yellow status. Royal Caribbean has at least 25 and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings 16.
Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas had 55 cases emerge on a recent sailing, not long after Symphony of the Seas, the world’s largest ship, had 48 cases on board.
Royal Caribbean has stopped taking bookings for January, citing its health protocols and saying they had “met the limited capacity we’ve set”.
video: Cruise industry has 'done a lot of work' over last 18 months
Cruise Lines International Association Managing Director Joel Katz says the industry has done a lot of work over the last 18 months to develop a really comprehensive set of Covid-safe protocols. "Probably the most comprehensive out of any sector…
Many lines are only accepting vaccinated passengers, who are tested before coming on board.
In recent incidents, several ports refused affected ships permission to land.
Carnival this week said that most of its ships’ itineraries were unchanged, despite the effects of the Omicron variant.
Despite Carnival’s optimism, the effects of Omicron have led to worries in the industry that US health officials may reintroduce a temporary ban on cruising, shortly after it returned.
Investigations are under way, or have been completed with the vessel under observation, for these yellow-designated ships:
American Queen Steamboat Company’s American Queen,
Ruby Princess operator plans to return
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s Grand Classica, Carnival Corporation’s Carnival Breeze, Carnival Conquest, Carnival Dream, Carnival Elation, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Glory, Carnival Legend, Carnival Magic, Carnival Mardi Gras, Carnival Miracle, Carnival Panorama, Carnival Pride, Carnival Radiance, Carnival Sunrise, Carnival Sunshine, Carnival Valor, Carnival Vista, Queen Mary 2, Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Rotterdam, Zioderda, Caribbean Princess, Emerald Princess, Enchanted Princess, Grand Princess, Majestic Princess, Regal Princess, Ruby Princess and Seabourn Ovation, Walt Disney Company’s Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, Gentling Hong Kong Limited’s Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, MSC Cruise Management (UK)’s MSC Divina and MSC Seashore, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Dawn, Nowegian Encore, Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Escape, Nowegian Gem, Norwegian Em, Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Joy, Norwegian Pearl, Insignia, Riviera, Seven Seas Explorer, Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Splendor, Royal Caribbean Group’s Celebrity Apex, Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Edge, Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Millennium, Celebrity Reflection, Celebrity Summit, Adventure of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Jewell of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Odyssey of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, Silver Spirit and Silver Whisper, Viking Cruises’ Viking Orion, Viking Sea and Viking Star, Virgin Cruises Intermediate Limited’s Scarlet Lady.
Several crew-only cruises are designated orange and are being monitored.
Cruise lines reveal record-breaking ships 2021
Sustainable cruising: These cruise lines are leading the way
* Caught a bug along with 50 others on a shore excursion. What's to stop people from bringing it on board. Saw their idea of virus cleaning, I was appalled. I would never set foot on a cruise ship while the pandemic is on, I don't understand why people think it's okay to go cruising.
* I can’t wait to get back on board. Booked for 34 days in early 2024 around the Pacific from Brisbane.
* What about spirit of tasmania?
* This is fair enough as no cruise ship has successfully shown that they can stop the spread. Even isolating in cabins doesnt appear to be work.
* But everyone was fully vaxxed?
* Cruise ships have been floating cesspools long before covid19. Why people still want to get on these things beggars belief
* I never wanted to go on a cruise ever before, heard so many horrible stories about them, and they seemed like such an unhealthy environment. But now, they are just big disease spreaders. No way for this Jose!
* Totally agree. They put me in mind of packed sardine cans and I for one wouldn't go for a cruise on one of these sardine cans if they offered it to me for free!
* Ruby Princess, in NSW.
* Despite claims to the contrary, it is clear the cruise lines have not done enough to make cruising or their ships safe.
* Floating petri dishes at the best of times. Look before Covid the number infected with Novovirus ruining peoples holidays. There is no escape and unless they have updated A/C systems and daily cleaning of all common areas and rooms (and all crew areas) then why would you step foot on one.
* You don't need to go on a cruise to get Covid, just go to Queensland.
* Mobile Floating Incubators !
* COVID isn't the only bug you have to worry about on cruise ships, they are incubators. I picked up a bug on a ship 4 years ago, well before COVID appeared.
* And I've picked up bugs at school, shopping centres and work all before. Don't let fear hold you back
* You would have to be mental to be jumping a a cruise ship during a pandemic.
* A couple of months back there were Australians calling for the recommencement of Cruise Ships using the US as an example how it could start up again. Well that worked well. NOT.
* That was before Omicron. The good news about Cruising is it is YOUR choice if you take one or not. Get on with your life and get over it.
* These ships are virus time bombs simply because of the amount of passengers required to make each cruise viable. They say keeping the cruise industry going creates jobs, and to an extent that's true, but in reality its about making money at any cost by these conglomerates who really don't care about anything else, if they did they wouldn't be asking, but that will cost them money!
* They look like live sheep transport ships.
* Multi decked, really the only difference is one carries well heeled paying passengers, the other livestock, and both can spread disease.
* Personal responsibility
* To be fair, thousands of cruises occurred relatively safely over 2021. Strict vaccine requirements, reduced capacity and other measures onboard meant that very few ships had any cases at all, and there were only one or two outbreaks. At that point it looked sensible for cruising to return to Australia, probably less so now. Unfortunately the vaccines are far less effective at reducing transmission and infection as they were with Delta, so cruise ships were always going to have a tough time. Thankfully at least the vaccines are still incredibly effective at preventing serious illness, which is the main thing.
* Not at all surprising when you jam so many people into such a relatively small and confined area. I for one wouldn't go on a cruise in one of these ships if they offered it for free!
* Why is it just cruise ships that get singled out? How many times do we hear about passengers on flights being positive to Covid, but that just slides by, and no outrage at all? Over all Covid cases on ships since they restarted has been about 0.7% of total people on board, NSW alone has recorded over 65,000 cases in 13 days, and that is only what they know about, there would be still people who have it and not included in the numbers.
* There’s actually not been much spread on planes. Something to do with the ventilation and the HEPA filter.
* 100% mate. And Nightlcubs and Pubs.
* Floating petri dishes.
* By all means let the liners sail but please, don't let them into our ports.
* IKR? who in their right mind would take a cruise?
* So lock down forever?
China tightens import rules on Australian exports starting January 1 citing Covid-19 concerns. Charles Miranda December 31, 2021 News Corp Australia Network
Beijing has slapped tough new rules on imported Aussie foods starting January 1 - and their reason may shock you.
video: Federal government 'looking at alternative sources' for urea Trade Minister Dan Tehan says Australia has a supply of AdBlue to last until February and the federal government has set up a taskforce to find solutions to the shortage. China's ban on exports of urea has left Australia to scramble for alternative sources as the country suffers a shortage of the critical chemical used for trucks.
The New Year will bring new challenges for Australian businesses wanting to do business with China, with Beijing now bringing in import restrictions on honey, olive oil, chocolate, flour and nuts.
After years of wanting to impose rules governing foreign food imports, from January 1 new laws will see all food shipped to China requiring prior registration and approval from Chinese customs.
Previously registration was only required for products posing potential health risks like seafood and meats but under the cover of Covid-19 and Beijing claims the virus could be carried on all foreign foods, the rules have been widened.
Among the goods to fall under the new regulations will be chocolate, alcohol including whisky, coffee, honey, olive oil, flour and nuts with foreign manufacturers, processors and storage facilities to have registered for new access to the Chinese market by January 1.
China has introduced import restrictions on honey, olive oil, chocolate, flour and nuts. Picture: Supplied
Beijing has said the latest laws follow World Trade Organisation agreements on implementing food safety measures and dismissed suggestions it is a new block against trading with foreign nations, notably Australia.
Austrade has said the Federal Government was aware of reports that trade disruptions could affect some goods entering China.
China launched a series of trade bans and restrictions on Australian imports since 2020 after taking offence at Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s call for an independent review on the origins of Covid-19.
Beijing claims the virus could be carried on all foreign foods. Picture: AFP
The WTO is already examining China’s tariffs on Australian wine imports after it imposed a 220 per cent tariff increase for up to five years, following other measures such as import limits on Australian beef, cotton, coal and barley.
Now other food stuffs from other countries, notably Europe and the US are to be affected with the January 1 rules adding another layer of bureaucracy and delay.
“The import curtain will fall,” Alban Renaud, a China-based lawyer with the firm Adaltys told media.
“Will there be a margin of tolerance? What about the applications that are in progress but not approved? What about those who applied too late?”
China has been labelled ‘draconian’ by the Western United States Agricultural Trade Association. Picture: AP
Western United States Agricultural Trade Association executive director Andy Anderson said there were 14 new food categories added to the chilled and frozen seafood now requiring registration.
“We have never had anything this draconian out of China,” he said.
The USA administration has previously described the blocks on Australian trade by Beijing as “economic coercion”.
European Union had formally requested that Beijing postpone the latest measures by 18 months, but without success.
Chinese consumers bought more than $AU150 billion worth of imported produce this year, a rise of 30 per cent from the previous year.
Products entering China are now subject to extra screening and repeated disinfection, with products often banned when a Covid outbreak is discovered at the point of packing overseas.
World Health Organisation (WHO) has said the chances of Covid-19 being transported in food are slim.
Fri.31.12.21 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'. Dangerous drive
I READ with interest and concern the article “Lethal time on road” by Miles Proust (I-IS 28/12), where the TAC “urged drivers to take a break every two hours.” Very good advice.
When returning home from Queensland to Victoria in early September, “caravanners” had to obtain a NSW border pass and a Victorian, 24-hour transit permit, as stipulated by the Victorian government.
These transit permits across NSW gave four conditions — stops were allowed for fuel, take-away food, overnight accommodation and the distance had to be travelled in 24 hours
From Goondiwindi (Queensland) to Tocumwal (NSW) along Newell Highway is l050km.
I towed our caravan, as my wife doesn’t drive, 895km from 6.45am until dusk into Narrandera, where we stayed the night.
We ﬁnally crossed the border at 10.30am the next day, unsure whether we would be fined or not.
This anxiety “played” with our mental health.
The Victorian border police officer checked our permits and said, “Drive safely”.
For the TAC to urge drivers to rest every two hours indicates a pathetic lack of concern for the safety of the travelling public by the Victorian government, having instructed drivers to travel such distances in 24 hours
Fri.31.12.21 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'. Point Nepean camping. PETER Rolfe's article (HS, 29/12) may be good news for campers but the beach at the Point Nepean site is not recommended for swimming, as tidal flow produces very strong currents. Also, the large ﬂies produce awful bites over summer.
The lawn outside the quarantine station is ideal for views of the bay but totally unsuitable for a beach holiday.
Fri.31.12.21 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'. Grampians camping. PETER ROLFE
CAMPING will be banned at more than 200 sites and rock climbing off limits in more than 330 areas of the Grampians under a new plan for the popular tourist region.
Camping will be restricted to designated areas from 2024 and rock climbing allowed only in 104 specified zones under the 15 year Parks Victoria plan, prepared in conjunction with a coalition of Aboriginal land corporations.
Campers will be allowed to pitch a tent in 47 designated areas under the management plan, which also proposes renaming parks, reserves, mountain ranges and visitor sites with traditional owner names.
Use of recreational drones will be banned in the area and off track hiking limited.
A free permit system will be introduced for rock climbers next year, including a requirement they undertake an online induction covering cultural and environmental values.
Northern Grampians mayor Tony Driscoll said locals were divided over the plan.
“It’s been mixed in lots of ways,” he said.
The Greater Gariwerd Landscape Management Plan will apply to about l80,000ha of 17 parks, reserves and Crown land managed by Parks Victoria about 260km west of Melbourne.
Grampians National Park would be renamed the Grampians Gariwerd National Park.
Black Range State Park would be known as the Burrunj State Forrest and Mt Difficult Range, renamed Gawa Range.
Rock climbing would be permitted only in areas evaluated for “natural values”.
Off track hiking would be outlawed unless hikers could get prior Parks Victoria permission to explore “special protection areas”.
“The plan provides the basis for formally setting aside specific areas for various permitted uses or activities, or as areas where access is prohibited or restricted,” it said.
Swimming will be banned in the Mackenzies Falls plunge pool, below one of the largest waterfalls in Victoria.
More than 260 actions have been recommended in the first year of the plan, raising concerns about its feasibility.
A source close to the study said: “ it is a complex situation that will result in a loss of the Grampians as we know it.”
The state government will spend $775k to implement the plan.
About 1.3 million people visit the national park each year and the region boasts the highest concentration of rock art in Victoria.
Feedback on the plan closes on January 24.
Fri.31.12.21 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'. Boat collision. MILES PROUST
A TEENAGER has been flown to hospital after he was struck by a speedboat in the state's north on Thursday afternoon.
Emergency services were called to Lake Nagambie just after 5pm to reports that a boy had been injured in a boating accident.
The 13-year-old Melbourne boy was ﬂown to Royal Children's Hospital in a stable condition with lower body injuries.
Victoria police confirmed a 50-year-old man was piloting the boat and an investigation into the incident was under way.
Fri.31.12.21 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'. No let-up in blitz on speeding. KIERAN ROONEY
POLICE Minister Lisa Neville says she isn’t surprised by a massive surge in mobile speed camera fines across Victoria, putting the figures down to more hours invested in cracking down on leadfoot drivers.
The Department of Justice’s latest speed camera figures show more than one million infringements were issued from January to November this year.
The figure compared to more than 613,000 in 2020.
Ms Neville on Thursday defended the figures and said speed was still the biggest contributor to the road toll.
“Speed cameras are absolutely critical in changing driver behaviour,” she said.
“Don’t speed and you will reduce the risk of accidents, injury and death on our roads.”
However Victoria’s road toll has remained stubbornly high, and at 235 deaths in 2021 is up on the year before.
But Ms Neville said the uptick in fines could be directly attributed to an increase in police action.
“It doesn't surprise that you see more people being picked up for speeding,” she said.
Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Rick Nugent said the police action was happening alongside education campaigns.
Fri.31.12.21 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'. Federal or state?
FORK IN THE ROAD TO LOW EMISSIONS, Geoff Gwilym VACC CEO
Victorians have two elections to contemplate next year, and the environment will be key to who controls power.
The incumbent federal and state governments have begun outlining their environmental credentials, but there’s a problem — they don’t line up.
Daniel Andrews has pledged to halve Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 — in part by increasing new zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) sales to 50 per cent.
This move goes further than anything offered at a federal level.
There are fewer than 7000 ZEVs currently registered in Victoria, although subsidies should increase that number.
But I am not a supporter of distorting markets through subsidies, as this can unfairly beneﬁt one business over another.
Victorian motorists can now receive a $3000 subsidy when buying ZEVs.
Applicable to cars only, motorists can access the subsidy once and businesses twice.
Scott Morrison on the other hand has vowed motorists will have freedom of choice regarding EV uptake, ruling out banning petrol and diesel vehicles or using big subsidies to encourage people to make the switch.
The Prime Minister has committed to a technological approach instead.
The Low Emissions Technology Commercialisation Fund is part of the federal government’s overall plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 — not 2030.
This fund will bolster the automotive industry as it transitions to a lower emissions future and will throw support behind local innovators to create the solutions needed to bring about net zero emissions.
We will all be a lot better off if both governments realise their promises.