Fw: Sat.22.1.22 daily digest
  Roderick Smith

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Sat.22.1.22 Metro Twitter
Aircraft: No ramp access to platforms until late 2021 (pedestrian-underpass works), delayed to March 2022.
Flinders St: still with a lane closed for tunnel works?
Buses replace trains Westall - Pakenham/Cranbourne until the last train of Thu 3 Feb (works).
Buses replace trains Moorabbin - Frankston/Stony Point from 20.15 until the last train of Sun 23 Jan (maintenance works).
15.35 Buses replacing trains Ringwood - Belgrave (a faulty outbound train at Boronia). buses may take over 60min to arrive; consider alternatives.
- 15.45 buses may take over 50min to arrive.
- 15.55 buses may take over 20min to arrive.
- 16.05 buses may take over 10min to arrive.
- 16.35 buses in operation, with more enroute, adding 30min.
- 18.18 All buses in operation.
- 23.14 - Anticipate buses to be in operation until at least 2.00.
- 1.14 - Anticipate buses to be in operation until at least 3.00.
- 2.54  Anticipate buses to be in operation until at least 3.30.
- 3.14 & 3.34  Anticipate buses to be in operation until at least 4.30.
- 4.33 Trains are resuming. First will be the 3.43 ex Flinders St and the 5.50 ex Belgrave.
21.52 Mernda line:  Buses replace trains between Reservoir and Epping (a person hit by a train). buses ordered, ETA over 60min.  Consider alternatives. 
- 22.32 buses ETA over 45min.
- 22.52  buses ETA over 35min. 
- 23.12 buses ETA over 25min. 
- 23.32 Buses in operation, with more enroute, ading 20min. 
- 0.50 Trains are resuming.  First will be 0.49 ex Mernda and 0.37 ex Flinders St.
- 0.58 the first outbound will now be the 1.07 ex Flinders Street.
3.41 Lilydale/Belgravelines: Major delays (police in the Box Hill area).
- 4.34 Consider alternative transport. [What exists at this hour?]
- 4.55  A bus may supplement services between Camberwell & Ringwood / Ringwood & Belgrave.
- 5.18 clearing.

Jan 22 COVID-19 IN AUSTRALIA Cases in Victoria
People in hospital 1,029 14-day trend 700 1,300
New cases 16,016 14-day trend 16,000 45,000
National vaccine rollout Aged 12 and over 28.9% booster dose91.9% second dose
Aged 5-11 26.5% first dose

Australia must jump on board the e-bus express. Karl Kruszelnicki and Bridie Schmidt January 22, 2022
Why all the fuss about electric buses? They are part of a long-term plan to shift away from fossil fuels. And long-term planning is essential to drive forward.
NSW hopes for 8000 electric buses by 2030, and wants them made in Australia. It’s part of the plan to reach net zero by 2050.
If Australia plays its cards right, we can build a thriving local electric bus industry and at the same time kickstart a green industrial revolution – bring on “jobs and growth”, baby!
In December, Infrastructure Minister Rob Stokes committed to building an 8000 electric bus fleet in NSW in his capacity as interim transport minister as the government came under increased scrutiny of its overseas procurement of transport stock.CREDIT:JAMES BRICKWOOD
Sure, Australia did move away from building things. But that doesn’t mean we can’t change gears and look to develop a green manufacturing base in Australia.
Can we get there sooner?
The NSW government’s commitment to locally build the vast majority of the state’s zero-emission buses by 2030 is a “huge mountain to climb”, according to the chief executive of electric bus manufacturer Nexport, Michel van Maanen, but it can be done through the domestic market working together.
“The cake is big enough for everybody,” he said. “I’m willing to share the information, share the protocols, share the deployment, share how we do it. So we can actually create the markets.”
Yuri Tessari, chief commercial officer for bus body maker Volgren, says there needs to be a clear road map to reach the e-bus target.
His Victorian company, along with Nexport, is one of six Australian-owned companies approved or contracted to provide buses to the NSW fleet. Tessari says that Australia’s bus manufacturing capacity is more than enough to meet the demands but is limited by the uncertainty of numbers and time frames.
He says that to increase Australia’s bus-making capacity, the local supply chain must also be prepared to invest and increase their capacity, which can only happen with clear information and planning. “Most of the key components in a chassis, such as batteries, electric motors, and the driveline come from overseas. That is no different from our current business model with diesel buses,” he says.
But he says with supply chain issues due to the pandemic, much of this stock is (as with the wider vehicle industry) being prioritised for other markets. While up to 100 Australian suppliers provide 90 per cent locally prepared components for the bus bodies, Tessari says that if chassis and driveline components were made here it would make it easier to guarantee the numbers.
“The capacity is here, Australian business has highly skilled and experienced labour, but what we need is assurance that volume is coming so then the local bus manufacturing industry can prepare itself, invest in factories, create more local jobs and ramp up to sustain that volume continuity,” Tessari says.
Importantly, Australian conditions are tough, and our buses are expected to last 20 years. The average daily operating distance in Sydney is up to 380 kilometres, which the buses handle easily. Tessari reckons what we need are bus components designed specifically for Australia.
The Shenzhen moonshot model
In 1961, US president John F. Kennedy declared, “We will go to the moon.” Within eight years they got there using 2 per cent of the American GDP, generating new technologies and cementing America’s industrial and technological leadership for the next quarter-century.
We’re not going to the moon on a bus any time soon, but Shenzhen, a Chinese city of 12 million people, built the world’s first and largest fully electric bus fleet in the same amount of time as the US moonshot.
Leading the way: BYD Co. electric buses in Shenzhen, China. All 17,000 buses were built locally and in about eight years.CREDIT:BLOOMBERG
The electrification of the 17,000-strong, locally built bus fleet happened in three stages from 2009 to 2017.
They started with “regular-looking” buses, fitted out with a large battery and two electric motors instead of a big diesel engine; they came in two sizes with the capacity to carry from 24 to 87 passengers, and had a range of about 250 kilometres. Their average daily operating distance is 190 kilometres, which means most buses need recharging only overnight. If a bus does need recharging during the day, 30 minutes is generally long enough. Overall, there is one charger for every four buses.
The buses have an average life expectancy of about 66,000 kilometres – between five and eight years. The manufacturer’s warranty covers the entire life of the bus, and includes all maintenance and repairs. At the end of their life, the buses are returned to the manufacturer for battery and scrap metal recycling.
Part of what made the Shenzhen model work was a central long-term plan linking manufacture, charging service providers, bus operators, land acquisition for bus recharging and reworking of the electricity grid, among other things.
Sure, the plan included a government subsidy, which dropped the total cost to 64 per cent of a diesel bus. But so what! Clearly governments around the world do influence behaviour with subsidies, rebates and taxes.
Fossil fuels have been subsidised for years. Of all the revenue collected by all the governments in the world, big fossil fuel gets 8 per cent as a subsidy, according to the International Monetary Fund. They also get the ultimate subsidy – the right to dump their waste products of greenhouse gases into the environment, which costs us, the citizens, but not them, the polluters.
In Australia, the fuel tax credits scheme is around $8 billion a year. That’s more than the cost of running the army or the air force. About half of the subsidy goes to the mining industry. Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest of Fortescue Metals Group mines iron ore. His operations generate 2 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year, the diesel component of which gets him a rebate of hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
Climate focus: Fortescue Metals Group’s Twiggy Forrest with Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor and Prime Minister Scott Morrison during COP26 in Glasgow last year. CREDIT:ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN
But Twiggy says that big miners (like him) should lose this tax break on diesel consumption. He reckons it should be phased out by 2030. His plans are to shift operations quickly to non-fossil fuel energy (electrification), and he intends to be making 15 million tonnes of hydrogen per year by 2030, so his operations will be carbon-neutral by 2030.
Norway and Australia both very successfully use subsidies – but with very different outcomes. In 2021, 86 per cent of new cars sold in Norway came with a socket for recharging. In Australia, it was a tiny 0.5 per cent.
Perversely, two of the big sellers in Australia were fossil fuel utes (Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger) which accounted for 10% of the new car sales.
Worldwide, there is an overwhelming trend towards rapid electrification of ground transport.
In USA, President Joe Biden plans to spend A$6.8 billion on electrification of the US government bus fleet. All the major European and American car manufacturers have stopped research and development on internal combustion engines and shifted to electric vehicles. This is partly driven by the need to halt climate change. The good news is that we can fix 90 per cent of our greenhouse emissions simply by leaving the carbon in the ground.
Using what we have
In the late 1960s when I was a physicist at the BHP steelworks at Port Kembla, Number 5 blast furnace set a world record. For a brief window it turned more iron ore into iron than any other blast furnace in the known universe. Steelmaking accounts for about 8 per cent of global CO2 emissions. Some countries have already started making steel with no greenhouse emissions – but not Australia.
Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, physicist at the BHP steelworks at Port Kembla in the 1960s, says we can fix 90 per cent of our greenhouse emissions simply by leaving the carbon in the ground.CREDIT: MARK JESSER
Today, the Port Kembla steelworks are insignificant on the world scale.
What if in NSW, we used some of the vast potential in the old steelwork sites at Port Kembla and Newcastle? What if we started making things for our own needs with our own terms and conditions and quality control? Remember that the buses on the Sydney Harbour Bridge were once too wide for the lanes, after the number of lanes was increased for better traffic flow. We had to get skinnier buses. We want something better than Sydney’s non-compatible rail system. Some trains cannot fit into some of the tunnels, some imported trains were too wide for some of the platforms, the two light rail systems do not connect, and the light rail trains from one system can’t be used on the other.
This highlights the need to build infrastructure for the future.
We could head into the 21st century by investing in electric buses. Shenzhen shows us that it is possible to make more than twice as many buses as we are planning for in NSW, and keep it local.
We need an overall plan that looks decades into the future, not 15 minutes.
Bridie Schmidt is the associate editor of The Driven and Dr Karl Kruszelnicki is a Julius Sumner Miller Fellow at the University of Sydney’s School of Physics and produces the Shirtloads of Science podcast.

Bikes, scooters allowed permanently on trains after successful trial. Tony Moore January 22, 2022
All bikes and scooters – electric or traditional – are allowed on south-east Queensland trains at any time from Saturday after a six-month trial in 2021.
Commuters can now bring their bikes and scooters on to the first and last carriages of trains all day after more than 170,000 trips were made last year in peak hours with few incidents in six months.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey announces cyclists and scooter riders can now permanently take their bikes and scooters on to the first and last train carriages all day.
They had been allowed on trains outside peak hours.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey – a cyclist himself – said the decision to let bikes and scooters on to the Citytrain network all day made each mode of transport more flexible.
“More than 170,000 customers took up the opportunity to travel with their bike or e-scooter during the trial which shows that this is something that people want and need,” Mr Bailey said.
“Being able to take a bike or e-scooter on a train in peak hours provides another option for customers to travel to or from their train station.
“It’s another positive step towards an integrated public transport network.”
He reminded passengers with bikes and scooters in first and last carriages to be aware of other passengers on the trains.
“We started the trial at a time when fewer trips were being taken on the south-east Queensland public transport network due to the COVID-19 pandemic, when there was more space on board trains,” Mr Bailey said.
“As more people return to the network in the new year, we ask customers to consider fellow commuters when taking a bike or e-scooter on board a train.”
Passengers must stay with their bikes and scooters in the first and last carriages and must keep them clear of seats, doors and aisle ways and any priority areas on the carriage.
The move has been welcomed by cycling groups.
Bicycle Queensland welcomed the decision saying it encourages more people to consider cycling for sort journeys.
Bicycle Queensland chief executive Rebecca Randazzo said the decision was a good step ahead after the six-month trial.
She said the bike was now a viable alternative for some short trips.
“This will mean fewer car trips, as the bike can replace the car for short trips at either end of a train journey,” Ms Randazzo said.
She said Bicycle Queensland wants more people to consider cycling for short journeys, now they can be linked in with train journeys.
“A more relaxed ‘bikes on trains’ policy emphasises the strengths of both transport
modes; cycling and trains,” she said.
“Trains are really good at efficiently moving lots of Queenslanders for short and long
trips without increasing congestion.
“But bikes are especially great for short trips in local areas up to five kilometres.”
The testing of bikes and scooters on Citytrains began on July 1 after cycling groups wrote to Mr Bailey in March 2021 asking for a trial in peak hours.
Bikes and scooters are allowed on trains in Sydney and Melbourne at all times.
[The idea is good in theory, but backfires in practice.
Each one of those machines takes the space of three paying standee passengers.
Way back (in Victoria), pushbikes were carried at a fee, in special compartments with ceiling hooks so that they occupied minimal space.  That won't work for modern electric machines.  German double-deck trains have a carriage with the lower deck devoted to bikes and scooters.  That isn't impossible in Brisbane: I did enter a design competition with one which fits the Brisbane loading gauge, using horse-tram principles which have been around for 200 years.]

Premier’s world-renowned golf club Kingston Heath tees off over his new transport project. Matt Johnston January 22, 2022 Herald Sun 109 comments
The premier’s own elite golf club, Kingston Heath, has teed off over his proposed $34.5bn transport plan near its grounds.
video: All you need to know about the Suburban Rail Loop The Suburban Rail Loop is set to transform how Victorians travel around Melbourne
One of the country’s most elite golf courses – that includes Dan Andrews as a member – has teed off with concerns about the premier’s $34.5 billion Suburban Rail Loop.
Kingston Heath Golf Club in Cheltenham is across the road to where the government plans to build a train maintenance and storage yard for its new mega project.
The club has so far kept a low profile about the proposal, which has outraged local residents.
But in a submission to a planning and environment inquiry for the SRL East, which would run between Cheltenham and Box Hill, the internationally-renowned course has come out swinging about noise, visual impacts and water contamination risks.
Tiger Woods holds the 2009 Australian Masters trophy after winning at Kingston Heath Golf Club. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
The submission notes the only point at which trains would emerge along the entire 26km rail tunnel would be across the road from the course, where trains could divert into the stabling facility.
“Limited information is available in relation to the acoustic impacts which might arise from the 100km/h through-tracks at ground level, the ordinary operation of the stabling facility and also during the eight year construction phase and, critically, the quasi-industrial maintenance activities which will be undertaken on the site,” it says.
Residents are in uproar over the decision to house the facility on green wedge land, with some homes just a 2-iron from its 24/7 operations.
The Suburban Rail Loop tunnelling profile shows where trains would emerge above ground near the stabling facility.
Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan has previously said the former clean landfill site was “the best location to enable this transformative train network to deliver the best possible services”, however.
Submissions from dozens of locals have poured into the Environmental Effects Statement inquiry, which is set to begin public hearings next month.
Kingston Heath Golf Club echoes many of those concerns and also raises the need for protection of wildlife.
“Kingston Heath Golf Course provides a safe sanctuary for much local bird life. The impact of 24 hour/day construction activity involving noise and artificial lighting on the golf club habitat should be considered,” it says.
“This environmental asset could also be adversely impacted by dust and contaminated groundwater.”
The complete route planned for the Suburban Rail Loop. SRL East will run between Cheltenham and Box Hill and cost $30-34.5bn, opening by 2035. Image: supplied.
Other internationally-renowned courses have also raised concerns about groundwater contamination, including those near to a proposed Cheltenham station across the road from Southland Shopping Centre.
A submission by experts from Victoria Golf Club, on behalf of it and the country’s top-ranked course the Royal Melbourne Golf Club, says any impact on quality or quantity of water for irrigation would be disastrous.
It raises fears that groundwater drawdown impacts would be significant during construction and will have a “negative bearing on the water table upon which the golf clubs rely”.
Daniel Andrews playing at the Premier’s Cup at Royal Melbourne golf club in 2017. Picture: Yuri Kouzmin
A lack of drilling in the area that would impact the courses was an “omission” that needed to be rectified.
Careful planning would also be required to ensure there is no contamination to water caused by construction near the former Lucas Batteries site and the former Highett Gasworks.
Despite the government claiming 20,000 people have been consulted online about the project, the clubs say that “there has not been a single contact with the major golf course irrigators” they have “even though several requests have been made to have a ‘groundwater specialist’ meet with us on-site”.
Public hearings for the EES are set to begin in February.
* Ah yes.... the rail loop that Jacinta Allen said the electorate voted for at the 2018 election when in fact it wasn't publicly announced until November 2019. More Labor lies.

Sat.22.1.22 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'. Electric motorbike. IAN ROYALL
A 29-YEAR-OLD former Ford Broadmeadows engineer is on the cusp of delivering Victoria’s first production vehicle since the closure of Toyota’s Altona plant in 2017.
Dennis Savic is poised to launch Australia’s first high-performance electric motorcycle, designed and built from the ground up in a West Melbourne workshop.
Mr Savic already has 157 orders for his eye-catching C-series cafe racer-style motorbike, and the first 20 will hit the road later this year.
“I’ve been really passionate about motorcycles for a long time. I’ve been really passionate and obsessed with manufacturing for a long time,” he said.
“And the timing of the EV market is perfect.”
The company is forging on after a $l.83m capital raising that included contributions from the state government and $657,000 from the federal Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre.
The delivery of the bikes will be the realisation of a childhood dream for Mr Savic.
“I’d actually decided when I was l4 that I wanted to build an automotive business and that’s what led me to study engineering,” he said.
“I was in a metalwork class, the teacher said ‘right, now you can do whatever project you want’. I thought this is awesome, l’ve got access to a welder, I can build a motorbike.
The teacher laughed at me and said ‘no, you can’t do that’. So then I built a little model of a motorbike out of frustration as a way to show him that I could.
“And l’ve still got the model on my bedside table.” Having left Ford, by the end of 2018 Mr Savic had raised enough to launch his first bike.
He has since gathered a like-minded team of engineers, mechanics and designers.
He describes the look of the bike design as “timeless” or even “retro mod” — a blend of the classic and futuristic.
Buyers have stumped up $2000 for a build slot and preorder and most have stuck.
The first bike off the production line will go to Neil Fewster, a beekeeper-farmer from Western Australia.
“He was one of our earliest investors  he’s been one of the most supportive and most passionate about the brand.”
Mr Savic knows that a few traditional motorcyclists will not be on board with the new, near-silent technology and radical design.
“But we haven’t had a lot of resistance or backlash or negative press. We have had some proper diehard Harley riders walk past and say ‘oh man, that’s sick’.”
The lithium-ion battery-powered bikes come in two models, the Delta, at $19,990, and the Alpha at $26,990 — almost half the price of the Harley-Davidson Livewire.
Ross De Rango, head of energy and infrastructure at the Electric Vehicle Council, said he was pleased to see Australian startups embracing the transition to EVs.
“Start-ups often move faster than large incumbents. so it’s not at all surprising to see Savic hit the market with a competitive and sharply priced product ahead of some of the mainstream motorcycle manufacturers,” Mr De Rango said.

Sat.22.1.22 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'. Alma Doepel.  GRACE BALDWIN
SHAPING up and shipping out may take boatloads of effort, but it's not too much work for a dedicated group of restorers.
Australia's oldest wooden tall ship, Alma Doepel, has been undergoing a painstaking restoration over the past 10 years led by Dr Peter Harris.
The ship was built in 1903 by Frederick Doepel, bringing her age to a colossal 119 years. Over the past decade, about 80 000 hours have been invested in Alma's restoration to fast-track the day she can sail once more.
Far from just bobbing around in the docks, Alma Doepel serves as a bridge between the past and the present — encouraging young people to engage in sailing and personal growth through their youth-development program.
The program aims to bring together a mix of heritage, personal growth and traditional craftsmanship, as well as a strong focus on mental health.

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