Fw: Sun.20.3.22 daily digest
  Roderick Smith

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Subject: Sun.20.3.22 daily digest

Extracted from my letter to PTV/Metro.
Last night everything which is wrong with PTV/Metro surfaced:
- The need to run extended bus replacements for routine maintenance, something which has been rife since privatisation, but which wasn't needed for over 150 years.
- The inadequate provision for such replacements.
- Lack of frequency of evening trains.
- Useless interchange design.
- The cumbersome journey planner.
- The journey planner being incorrect.
I was attending a theatre night at Upper Ferntree Gully.   I checked in advance, and found bus replacement in force, so I had to leave earlier than planned.  The bus lost 10 minutes.
Returning, I would normally travel: Upper Ferntree Gully 22.22, change at Ringwood to 22.39, Surrey Hills 22.57
The planner showed the bus as 22.28, reaching Ringwood at 23.00 for the 23.09; home at 23.27.
Instead, the bus came at 22.36, Ringwood 23.15 with a 24 min wait for the 23.39; home at 23.57.
On such occasions, it should be possible for the train to use platform 3.  It should be possible for the bus to use your shiny new bus bays, but it is relegated to out on the highway.
Whenever Metro wants the convenience of replacing trains with buses, it should double the train frequency to reduce the connecting time.
My friend travelling towards the city left the theatre earlier, got a bus at 22.22, and hence the 23.09 from Ringwood.
Always Metro tells us to plan ahead: it should be the one planning ahead.  On this occasion, my planning was useless because of misinformation.



 "220320Su-Melbourne'HeraldSun'-silo.trail-ss.jpg"  with ATN & v-n

Sun.20.3.22 Metro Twitter
Flinders St: still with a lane closed for tunnel works? [reopened by July]
Buses replace trains North Melbourne - Upfield until t he last train of Sun 20 Mar (maintenance works).
Buses replace trains Ringwood - Belgrave until the last train of Sun 20 Mar (works).
Buses replace trains Dandenong - Pakenham until  the last train of Mon 21 Mar (works).
Cranbourne/Pakenham lines: Buses replace trains Caulfield - Dandenong - Pakenham from 20.15 until the last train (works). Trains operate Dandenong - Cranbourne.

Election ‘pork barrelling’ skews transport funding, and it’s on the rise. Katina Curtis March 20, 2022 65 comments [I editing out most of the sniping]
A new Grattan Institute report has found that election funding is skewed towards marginal seats.
It also found that promises made during election campaigns are often made independently of any proper business case.
The analysis found a persistent pattern of the Commonwealth spending a disproportionate amount of transport money in NSW and Queensland.
At the 2016 election, the Coalition promised $5.4 billion in transport spending and Labor pledged $6.7 billion – about one year’s worth of federal expenditure.
Victoria has been dudded out of transport funding compared with NSW and Queensland because of the realities of the electoral map, a new analysis of projects promised during election campaigns finds.
Not only is the funding skewed towards marginal seats, but the promises made during election campaigns by all sides tend to be poorly thought-through and not backed by proper business cases, according to a new Grattan Institute report.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison makes a roads announcement with Queensland senator Amanda Stoker and Member for Bonner Ross Vasta ahead of the 2019 election.CREDIT:DOMINIC LORRIMER
Automotive lobby groups say politicians could spend a lot more, with only about half the $13 billion collected from fuel excise being put back into transport projects.
The Grattan Institute’s transport expert Marion Terrill says spending in the area is an increasingly popular way to court voters.
Her analysis finds over the past 15 years, there has been a persistent pattern of the Commonwealth spending a disproportionate amount of transport money in NSW and Queensland, which have the most seats where voting swings can decide elections.
NSW received a third of the transport funding since 2007-08 but has less than a third of the country’s population. Conversely, Victoria, with 26 per cent of the population, received 18 per cent of transport funding.
“The pork-barrelling politicians can tell semi-plausible stories about jobs created and economic opportunities unleashed, and – best of all – there are great hard-hat photo opportunities,” Ms Terrill says.
“Politicians who insist on pork barrelling are wasting taxpayers’ money, and the biggest losers are people who live in safe seats or states with few marginal electorates.”
She warns the practice is an arms race: the more one party promises, the more the other will.
At the 2016 election, the Coalition promised $5.4 billion of transport spending and Labor pledged $6.7 billion – about one year’s worth of federal expenditure.
RELATED ARTICLE Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has cancelled plans for three commuter car park in his electorate.  Frydenberg abandons $65m of car parks in his own seat
Three years later, they each promised the equivalent of seven years’ worth of spending.
Hardly any of the large projects promised had been approved by Infrastructure Australia as making a strong case for taxpayer assistance: just three of the 132 projects pledged by the major parties in 2019.
The $4.9 billion urban congestion fund – which included the controversial commuter car parks program – was one of the Coalition’s key ways to distribute transport spending in the last election.
Many of the projects announced are yet to be built. For instance, of the 47 commuter car parks originally promised – mostly in Coalition seats – six have been built, six are under construction and nine have been cancelled.
Ringwood station in Melbourne is among the 47 sites the Coalition chose for commuter car park upgrades at the 2019 election.CREDIT:PAUL JEFFERS
Ahead of the coming poll, due by May, there is still nearly $850 million left in the fund.
Ms Terrill says the federal government shouldn’t be paying for roundabouts, overpasses or car parks – only nationally significant infrastructure.
But Australian Automotive Association says persistent under-spending on transport means there is a backlog of smaller projects and maintenance that need urgent attention.
Funding for road infrastructure comes from the 44-cents-a-litre fuel excise, which has come under scrutiny in recent weeks as petrol prices soar.
Just 53 per cent of this revenue has been put back into transport networks over the past decade.
“No one likes high petrol prices. No one likes paying tax. But they can stomach it if the money they are giving the government goes back to projects that make their life safer, make their commutes shorter, make their community stronger,” the association’s managing director Michael Bradley said.
“We are playing catch up at the moment because too little of the tax revenue has been spent on this over the longer period.”
* Maybe we Victorians should leave the Federation. Especially since we already pay the highest State Government taxes nationally. It would be nice to not have to prop up the rest of the country.
* On the other hand, when you want to drive to Brisbane, there is a very nice road for you, soon to be traffic light free the whole way.
* I know both sides do it but it seems the majority of pork barreling comes from the LNP side of the fence.
* So build more roads and the result more congestion, unfortunately this fact is ignored by every facet of government, add in carparks instead of vital infrastructure and the bottom line is total gridlock. The new paradigm it seems build new developments, then build infrastructure, then build roads, and then upgrade them continuously as traffic grows. My local member trumpeted this to me at the polling station and my reply was : thats your answer for everything when in doubt build or upgrade a road. I would use public transport but buses the size of double bs running empty most of the day coupled with no connections to the rail network which is 25 km away! So I drive !
* Illustrated beautifully if you read the ANAO Reports from 2011 and 2014 that exposed the ALP porkbarrelling by the Minister for Infrastructure and hius Assistant Minister.
"T h e A u d i t o r - G e n e r a l Audit Report No.3 2010–11
The Establishment, Implementation and Administration of the Strategic Projects Component of the Regional and Local Community "
$800 million funding
"The Auditor-General page 48: The awarding of funding to projects also disproportionately favoured ALP held seats … In fact, the Auditor-General found that, when it came to funding, ALP electorates had a success rate almost three times the coalition's.
ANAO report November2014. - "The Design and Conduct of the Third and Fourth Funding Rounds of the Regional Development Australia Fund (No.9)".
'80 per cent of Ministerial decisions to not award funding to applications recommended by the advisory panel related to projects located in Coalition‐held electorates.
This was most notably the case in round three, where 93 per cent of those recommended applications that were rejected were located in Coalition‐held electorates.
For round four, 54 per cent of recommended applications that were rejected were located in Coalition‐held electorates
Minister and his Assistant - Albanese and King. This of course will not be published in thgis echo chamber.
* The media is dominated day after day about neglectful government while politicians appropriate public money to bolster their ambition to retain power while Australians protest about their concerns which fall on deaf ears and Morrison evades the hard questions or meet people when they want leadership from the top.. .. it's all very frustrating.
* Surely it's pretty easy to have an airgap between the politicians and where the money gets spent. The politicians can set the budget and the policy/criteria and then leave it to the civil servants to execute it. If the policy says "spend it so I win the next election" rather than "spend it where it is needed using these criteria/guidelines " then it will be pretty obvious to everyone. Can't imagine that will ever come to be though - politician's first priority is to get into power, what's best for the us then comes after - if at all.
* The LNP are full of hot air and just not capable of managing public money to fulfil major infrastructure projects. Elaborate announcements that go nowhere. Deliberate or sheer incompetence? Probably both. Some years back I would see signs alongside any major public projects saying funded by the Federal Government. Can’t say I’ve seen one for years. Every project happening in my region is proudly supported (and paid for) by our Victorian Labor Government - and there are plenty of them. And politicians have not used them as pork barrelling or photo ops.
* Instead of having a plan for the future of this country Morrison and his LNP mates only have a plan to get elected. So they wait for an election campaign, promise a bucket load of money for spending in marginal seats, get elected then go back to sleep for 2 and a half years before waking up and repeating. What is the point of paying people to work for Infrastructure Australia (designed to prevent this sort of stupidity) if the government just ignores their advice?
* Both sides of politics need to stop pork barrelling and election promises they don't keep or that are unfair. The electorate is over it. Go out and campaign locally on national policy issues like climate, integrity, housing costs, wage stagnation, cost of living. Holding out small carrots does not convince anyone.
* Having Infrastructure Australia approval is no panacea either IA’s methodology is seriously flawed https://www.foreground.com.au/planning-policy/infrastructure-australias-narrow-remit-is-distorting-cities/
* "“Politicians who insist on pork barrelling are wasting taxpayers’ money, and the biggest losers are people who live in safe seats or states with few marginal electorates.” A perfect summary of the Andrews government in Victoria,
* Evidence? Which areas have lost out on a level crossing removal on this basis for example?
* When is the Government going to realise that we are sick & tired of pork barrelling? Whether it is in relation to transport funding, carparks, community security, flood relief or sporting facilities, it is a badge of dishonour that underlines a major integrity deficit. Give the pork-barrellers the flick at the upcoming election. We should not have a political system that resembles the endemic pork-barrelling in the rural Philippines.
* Time for the Grattan Institute to do a study on the Andrews Level Crossing removal program.
* Meanwhile, as our duplicitous politicians court the petrol head votes, the ABC reports on Australia's oil dependency through China.
"John Blackburn, a retired air vice marshal, said the national economy would 'grind to a halt' within weeks of a disruption to fuel supplies given 90 per cent were brought in from overseas. His views have been echoed by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, which said the rising risks of a war in the Asia-Pacific region meant that shoring up Australia's energy security was becoming increasingly urgent."
Foreign oil dependence a 'massive vulnerability' as defence experts call for EVs, green transport:
* Just a reminder to those in Melbourne's West who have been continually overlooked by both sides of politics - it's the penalty paid for being a safe seat, so please mix it up in your voting!
* read this (enter in your fav search engine): 'It's a wide open road: driving the route that is Australia's second worst waste of money, Geelong to Colac'. Tony Wright wrote this for The Age in April, 2016.
So Serious, so pointing at Map, So silly Looking! Just last week they and the Press were attacking Labor for daring to announce some policies.
Wouldn't Morrison be better off ensuring that promised funding gets to the flood victims.
What's that? Oh, he made that announcement the week before last, so it is now in the announcements bucket, with all the others, and he has already forgotten about the floods. Announcements, it is all about the announcements, maps and fingers to point at maps for the tax payer funded photographer.
* The Queensland government had to stump up 100% of funds for cross river rail a badly needed transport project while similar projects in NSW were co funded by the PM for NSW.
* Brisbane City Council had to stump up 100% of funds for the new bus Metro because the ALP Palaszczuk government refused to put in any funds and refused to pass on any funding from the federal government.
* Why should the rest of Qld, who get no public transport subsidy, pay for Brisbane's bus service?
* why should the rest of QLD tax payers pay $15 billion and rising for a rail upgrade in Brisbane the majority will never travel on ?
* I wonder how many of the tradies parked in that Train station car park have claimed a tax deduction for work use of their car?
* they were all working on Michael Sukkar's promised commuter carpark at Ringwood......(photo is Ringwood Station).....
* Still waiting for the many times promised 32 minute commute from Geelong to Melbourne, with Geelong still being in a marginal Federal seat. Promises are cheap.
* Public Transport Users Association has a view on this: https://www.ptua.org.au/myths/petroltax/#:~:text=But%20in%20any%20case%2C%20the,least%20%2424%20billion%20a%20year.
* "Just 53 per cent of this revenue has been put back into transport networks over the past decade." Where does the rest of it go. We keep hearing from (ignorant) politicians that it all goes in Road building. Judging by the very recent road building I have seen between Stanthorpe and the the border, we're not getting good value for that expenditure.
* Victoria has been dudded by Canberra for years on this. It's largely due to their stubbornness over east west link. A project that IS NOT HAPPENING.
* I would be interested to know how many of these promises made during election campaigns are actually delivered? It's one thing to make promises, but another to build and deliver them.
* Allocate infrastructure funding on a per capita basis adjusted for the population and density of the regional areas of each state and territory. Done.
* On that basis the Eyre Highway across the Nullabor would never have been done! In fact, most connections between cities would miss out.
* "Just 53 per cent of this revenue has been put back into transport networks over the past decade." No wonder the LNP has a $16 billion election war chest to spend!
* The Feds really don’t believe in infrastructure or money being distributed where it’s needed. The billions being spent, on a few Subs, will not make us any safer. We need to use our defence money in a smarter way.
* 'NSW received a third of the transport funding since 2007-08 but has less than a third of the country’s population. Conversely, Victoria, with 26 per cent of the population, received 18 per cent of transport funding.' The Victorian Govt need to point this out forcibly at every opportunity!
* The only transport funding the federal government should provide should only be done in conjunction with state governments on nationally significant projects such as interstate rail, ports or highways. There should be no direct federally funding to local projects like round abouts and car parks, though funding on a percapita basis across all councils would be okay. Furthermore such promises made during at elections give the major parties an advantage over independents and minor parties because they can not make similar promises.
* Remember when cherry picked seats in Tasmania, Tamworth and NSW north coast did very well with Gillard .... it's called politics for a reason!
* It's not quite as this post indicates. I live in Tenterfield and we are getting a highway by-pass, some time soon. Its true that this was funded during the RGR years with Independent Tony Windsor as a local Member.
There's always a "but". The by-pass was first promised in the 1949 Election that Menzies won. This was one of the then Country Party "promises" of the day.
Not much appears to have been done during the Barnaby's tenure.
Being a lovely NSW Regional town, there is a certain ambience sitting on the footpath having a coffee and cake when a sheep truck rumbles past.
Its at those times, I give a silent thanks that there are no pig farms in the district.
[Most transport projects aren't of national significance.  Putting Commonwealth money into urban transport began with the Whitlam government.  It has continued, for projects of dubious merit, even at state level.  The inland freight railway is of national significance.  Establishing interstate high-speed passenger rail would be of national significance.  Simply upgrading existing interstate links to European standards would be of national significance, and is achievable.]

SA’s ‘pro-business’ premier wants to rip up $2.1b rail contract. Simon Evans and Phillip Coorey Mar 20, 2022
South Australia’s Premier-Elect Peter Malinauskas vowed to be a “pro-business” leader who would work hand-in-hand with private enterprise to expand the overall economy, but one of his first moves is to try to end a $2.1 billion rail network privatisation contract signed by the now-vanquished Marshall government.
Mr Malinauskas promised on Sunday that business would “have a seat at the table” and he would regularly invite senior business people in once a month to talk to his state cabinet, as Steven Marshall quit as SA Liberals leader after a heavy loss in the

Only half of fuel excise being invested in transport upgrades. Tom Minear March 20, 2022
As the Morrison government considers a plan to slash the price of petrol, the truth about where the tax is really going has been revealed.
video: Freezing fuel excise 'has a lot of momentum' Former Speaker of the House Bronwyn Bishop says the option for the federal government to freeze the fuel excise has "a lot of momentum". This comes as the government is currently facing pressure to cut the tax amid increasing petrol prices. "I don't think paying people compensation works, you never get it back again," Ms Bishop said.
Only half of our taxes paid at the bowser over the past decade have been invested in transport upgrades, prompting Australia’s peak motoring body to demand fuel excise be spent on roads rather than reduced to tackle rising petrol prices.
The Morrison government has been considering cutting the fuel tax – worth 44c a litre – to deliver some cost of living relief in this month’s budget, although senior ministers have argued the revenue is crucial to pay for roads.
However, new analysis from the Australia Automobile Association shows only $68bn of the $127bn raised over the past 10 years has been pumped into transport projects.
On Monday, the association will launch a campaign for the major parties to spend fuel excise revenue on infrastructure works, with the RACV revealing an $18bn wishlist for federal funding including Melbourne’s Suburban Rail Loop, the Outer Metropolitan Ring Road, a regional road maintenance program and a network of electric vehicle charging stations.
Oliver Doyle paid $105.00 to fill his car with only 3/4 of a tank. Picture: Tony Gough
AAA managing director Michael Bradley said governments were having to “play catch up” as result of the spending shortfall on road works.
“Both sides of politics have in recent days been right to resist calls for fuel tax cuts, citing the importance of fuel excise as the nation’s main source of road-building revenue,” he said.
“But the time has come for both sides of politics to commit to using 100 per cent of fuel taxes to build projects that get Australians and our economy moving again.”
RACV motoring executive general manager Phil Turnbull backed the full investment of fuel excise in transport infrastructure, and called for the winner of the May election to implement a national road-user charging scheme that included electric vehicles.
But uni student Oliver Doyle, 18, said high petrol prices were an added burden for young people.
“There’s definitely a bit of jealousy around how my older siblings didn’t have to cop prices this high when they started driving around,” he said.
AAA’s campaign also wants the commonwealth to introduce stronger emissions standards for cars and a real-world emissions testing program.
With petrol prices soaring over $2 a litre, the government is now finalising cost of living relief to be unveiled in the budget, possibly in the form of one-off payments.
“We are carefully looking at those impacts, how we can help in particular low and middle income families and will respond with a carefully calibrated budget that doesn’t put any additional inflationary impacts on the Australian economy,” Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said.
High petrol prices are becoming an added burden for young people and families.
Deloitte economist Chris Richardson’s budget preview, to be released on Monday, warns the government should not extend the low and middle income tax offset – putting up to $1080 back in the pockets of millions of workers – for another year.
He said the economy had recovered “stunningly fast”, with this year’s deficit tipped to be $69bn, $30bn below what was forecast three months ago.
“The economy is repairing fast, so emergency support should disappear fast,” Mr Richardson said, as he called for annual savings of $40bn by 2026 to shrink Australia’s debt bill.
Josh Frydenberg said the Deloitte report was a “vote of confidence” in Australia’s economy.
The Treasurer said the next stage of his fiscal strategy was focused on reducing debt while keeping the government’s tax take within its self-enforced speed limit so Australians could “keep more of what they earn”.
More Coverage
Cheap petrol: Where to find a bargain in Victoria
Petrol prices tipped to hit $3 per litre

Jacinta Allan says Vic ‘wants fair share’ on transport project funding.  Matt Johnston March 20, 2022
Victoria’s Transport Infrastructure Minister has lashed the federal government after analysis revealed the state is not getting its “fair share” of funding for transport projects.
Labor MP: Liberals are 'perfecting the art of pork-barrelling'
Labor MP Tania Mihailuk says Liberals both at the state and federal level are "perfecting the art of pork-barrelling". "And they have no shame in that regard," she told Sky News host Chris Smith. "The scale of this is out of control, this isn't pork-barrelling, this is gold-plating. "$1.9 billion to Liberal held seats, in contrast to $530 million to Labor held seats."
Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan has lashed the federal government for failing to give Victoria its fair share in transport project funding.
It comes after a new report from the Grattan Institute revealed that despite 26 per cent of Australia’s population living in Victoria, the state only receives 18 per cent of federal transport funds.
“This has been an issue for a little while now here in Victoria,” Ms Allan said.
“Of course we’d love to see a federal government invest in Victoria that’s proportionate to our population share.
“We’d love to see those funds come into our state like they do for other states. We just want some of that fair share of funding here in Victoria”
Ms Allan said the state had put approximately $46bn towards three major Victorian infrastructure projects — the Metro Tunnel, Level Crossing Removal Project and the North East Link.
Of that, just $1.75bn in federal contribution — for the NE Link — has been provided to the three projects, Ms Allan said.
“That’s far less than our fair share and frankly if we were other states, and we were getting 50/50, that figure would be in and around $23bn,” she said.
“That’s not a fair and equitable outcome for the state of Victoria and we have always pushed strongly and assert to any federal government that we should get our fair share.
“There is heaps of work going on here in Victoria and yes the federal government are a partner in some of these projects but there is so much more than that we are doing that they could support us on.”
Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan has lashed the federal government over the funding shortfall. Picture: Luis Ascui
Analysis shows hotly contested federal electorates were showered with millions of dollars more than safe seats received from a controversial urban congestion fund.
And Victoria has been consistently short-changed when it comes to federal transport initiatives, which favoured Queensland and NSW “where federal elections tend to be won and lost”.
The analysis of “pork-barrelling” – promising public funds to particular seats for political gain – by think tank the Grattan Institute shows the average marginal urban seat has received $83m from a $4.9bn Urban Congestion Fund.
The average safe Coalition seat received $64m, while safe Labor seats got $34m.
The analysis takes broader aim at transport promises at elections, with only one of 71 coalition major projects worth more than $100m promised at the most recent federal poll having a business case ­approved by advisory body ­Infrastructure Australia.
Labor was little better, with just two business cases out of 61 mega projects promised – and its transport spending promises were worth more.
Victoria has received less transport cash compared with other eastern states. Picture: Mark Stewart.
Transport and cities program director at the Grattan Institute Marion Terrill said pork barrelling “wastes money, is unfair, and could be dramatically curtailed if the federal government stuck to its job of providing funding only for ­nationally significant transport projects”.
“Politicians who insist on pork barrelling are wasting taxpayers’ money, and the biggest losers are people who live in safe seats or states with few marginal electorates,” she said.
“Whichever party wins government at the 2022 federal election should stick to its job: no more roundabouts, overpasses, or carparks, just nationally significant roads and rail on the National Land Transport Network.”
The report shows the dramatic increase in transport funding pledges at the 2019 election compared with the 2016 poll.
The coalition increased the value of its promises from $5.4bn to $42bn between those elections, while Labor ratcheted up its spendathon from $6.7bn to $49bn.
Labor’s commitments in 2019 included $10bn for the Andrews government’s Suburban Rail Loop, which at the time had no business case or detailed alignment.
Since 2009 federal governments have funded almost 800 roundabouts, carparks, and overpasses that are unconnected with the national network, the report says.
Ms Terrill said Victoria had received less transport cash compared with other eastern states, with the discrepancy unable to be explained “by population, population growth, size of the road network, share of passenger or freight travel, or what it actually costs the state government to run the transport system”.
More Coverage
OPINION: Libs car park pledge is shameless pork-barrelling
Labor’s cash avalanche in marginal seat

Sun.20.3.22 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'.  $1.7m in new cbd security bollards.  MITCH CLARKE
NEW security bollards will be installed in the CBD to keep pedestrians, drivers and riders safe as more people return to the city centre.
A $1.7m state grant will be spent by City of Melbourne on installing 28 bollards at the intersection of Swanston and Flinders streets.
They are designed to thwart vehicle attacks.
The grant is part of the $52.5m Melbourne protective security enhancement program, which has delivered a range of safety upgrades across the city since 2019.
Some 766 steel bollards, 210 reinforced concrete blocks, 13 circular planters and nine planter boxes have been installed, as well as three pedestrian forecourts extended and upgrades to four bike lanes.
The city’s CCTV network has also been expanded with 30 new cameras, and the existing network upgraded.
Loudspeakers have been installed at 94 CBD sites to create a new public address system for use in emergencies.
Victorian Police Minister Lisa Neville said that the safety benefits of the bollards would be felt for decades to come.
“We are ensuring these much-loved parts of Melbourne are safe for the millions of people who pass through them every year,” Ms Neville said. “We’ve completed crucial safety improvements across the Melbourne CBD to keep drivers, pedestrians and riders safe from the threat of potential vehicle attacks.”
Lord Mayor Sally Capp said as the city got busier and returned to normal, it was important to ensure that major intersections remained safe.
“Whether you’re catching the train home from Flinders St station or walking to Federation Square to meet your mates, these upgrades will ensure the community is as safe as possible,” Ms Capp said.
The new bollards will all be installed this year.
Security for CBD pedestrians began being increased after the Bourke St attack in 2017 when six people died.

Sun.20.3.22 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'.  Letters:
* THE Green-led Melbourne council is taking trade away from the retailers of the CBD by adding more bike lanes and making it a nightmare to drive into the city.
Not only is there less parking but the cost of parking is far too high And how can you cariy anything larger than a packet of cigarettes home on a bike? So very few cyclists would shop in the CBD.
* MELBOURNE council is reducing further the number of carparking spaces and traffic lanes in the CBD to provide additional bike lanes.  Instead of central business district it should be renamed the Cyclists Biking Domain. No wonder the city is dying.

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