Fw: Fri.20.5.22 daily digest
  Roderick Smith

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Sent: Monday, 23 January 2023 at 05:29:02 pm AEDT
Subject: Fri.20.5.22 daily digest

On Friday night I tried to walk from Sunbury Crescent to Beresford St (Surrey Hills) for a meeting.  Of course the intersection was blocked for cars, but there was no pedestrian way through.  Just fences across the south and north footpaths in Union Rd, and wall to wall across Beresford St, with no sign indicating what a pedestrian should do, and nobody on duty to direct safe passage.  My hip replacement didn't allow me to heave a barricade to one side.  I limped home and missed the meeting.  That was not a sufficiently good temporary provision.


 "220212Sa-NewsCorp-Escape-theme.park.rides-AussieWorld-SX360-ss-foratn.jpg" with ATN
 "220212Sa-NewsCorp-Escape-theme.park.rides-Dreamworld-SteelTaipan-foratn.jpg" with ATN


Fri.20.5.22 Metro Twitter
Flinders St: still with a lane closed for tunnel works? [reopened by July?  Closed again by Nov.]
Campbell Arcade (Flinders St station) is closed until 2024. The exit from the Myki gates within the subway will also be closed. No pedestrian access between the arcade & Flinders St. Use Elizabeth & Swanston St entry/exits. Platform  interchange via that subway will be available until mid 2022.
Buses replace trains on sections of the Mernda line until the last train of Sunday 29 May (works).  When trains return, they'll bypass Preston & Bell for around 3 months.
Buses replace trains between Ringwood and Lilydale until the last train of Monday 23 May (level-crossing works).
The AFL Sir Doug Nicholls round kicks off this Friday, celebrating indigenous cultures & contribution to the game.
Heading to a match? Check ahead for planned disruptions: https://ptv.vic.gov.au/more/afl-2022/
4.19 Rail services are SUSPENDED Broadmeadows - Ascot Vale (an overhead-power fault in the Essendon - Glenbervie area). Replacement buses will run between Broadmeadows and Flemington Racecourse.
- 5.01  Replacement buses will run between Broadmeadows and NORTH MELBOURNE.
- 7.24 Replacement buses are in operation between Broadmeadows and ESSENDON.
- 7.36 trains resuming.
- 7.53 Is anyone gonna tell the 20+ people waiting for a replacement bus i Pascoe Vale Rd Glenroy?  Or is a bus coming still?
- 8.07 Buses that were in operation at the time train services resumed continue to their destination. Did a bus arrive?
The new tunnel is opening a year ahead of schedule, in 2025.  Metro is looking for new drivers, network operators, and maintenance and station staff to help welcome passengers on the first day of operation. See http://metrotrains.com.au/metro-tunnel-careers
18.19 Lilydale/Belgrave lines: Major delays (an 'operational incident' near Nunawading). Trains may be held or altered.
- 18.22 clearing
- 18.24 Has it been cleared?
- 18.26 Trains are now on the move through the Nunawading area with residual delays to 30min.
- 18.28 Train still not moving one station away though?
- 18.33 We can confirm that trains are moving.  Because of congestion in the area, trains are moving slower than usual through the affected section.
Buses replace trains Sunshine - Sunbury from 20.30 until the last train of Sun 22 May (works).
21.06 Major delays Dandenong - Pakenham/Cranbourne (police).
- 21.26 Buses to replace trains Dandenong - Pakenham/Cranbourne.  Buses may take up to 60 min to arrive; consider alternatives.
- 21.44 Trains are resuming

Sat.12.2.22 NewsCorp Escape.  Theme-park rides.
There’s nothing quite as levelling as a roller coaster.
When it pauses at the top of a peak you can feel the collective thrill of anticipation in the air.
Then, as it hurtles down the valley, the exquisite screams of terror can be heard from seven- and 70-year-olds alike. This is why adventure parks are such timeless family holiday destinations, even in the digital age.
Nothing snaps you back into the moment like a rush of adrenaline.
...Gold Coast is the classic family favourite Wet’n’Wild...has four new attractions, including the ultimate zero—gravity waterpark slide Kaboom, with a 10-metre drop and 360-degree spins.
New Atlantis at Sea World is not to be missed, with one new thrill ride now open and two coming soon. Brace yourself for the currents of the Vortex, which is now open, as you spiral 18 metres above sea level.
The exhilarating family roller-coaster Leviathan, and Sea World’s newest and tallest landmark, Trident, are both launching over Easter this year.
Sunshine Coast ...Aussie World. ..ferris wheel, the big kids will have a blast on the new SX36O - Australia’s tallest and fastest 360-degree pendulum ride.
Looking for a ride that will knock your socks off? Thrill-seekers are sure to get an adrenaline fix at the all-new Steel Taipan ride at Dreamworld on Gold Coast. The hair-raising reptilian experience reaches top speeds of up to 105 km/h and is the park’s biggest ever roller-coaster experience.
The $32 million ride snakes around 1.2km of twists and turns, with the rear of the train reserved for truly brave visitors: a spinning seat that tail-whips around every corner. A pulse-raising ride not for the faint-hearted.

Planes, trains and autocues: Pollies on script with wasteful vote-buying projects.  Ross Gittins May 20, 2022.  26 comments
The capacity of our politicians to take a good economic policy idea and pervert it into a partisan waste of taxpayers’ money never ceases to appal.
Once I was a big supporter of greater spending on infrastructure projects, even when most of the cost had to be borrowed. That’s because well-chosen projects will add to the economy’s productivity – say, by reducing the time taken to get from A to B – and thus more than pay for themselves over time.
But for that, you have to be sure to pick only those projects that offer economic and social benefits well exceeding their costs. When a politician doesn’t bother with that, but picks projects just on winning votes, you can’t even be sure people in the chosen electorate will gain much benefit.
Both sides have picked projects based on winning votes.CREDIT:MATT DAVIDSON
In this election campaign, the Morrison government’s promise to add transport infrastructure spending of $18 billion to our already high public debt in the hope of buying votes in key electorates, would not only involve wasting much money. It would also “crowd out” spending on more valuable things, such as education, aged care or research.
Of course, Labor plays the same game. In this election, however, it’s proposing to waste no more than $5 billion. (This is a big improvement on the 2019 election, when Labor wanted to spend $49 billion, against the Coalition’s $42 billion.)
It would be good to have some knowledgeable person keeping tabs on these huge sums. And fortunately, there is: Marion Terrill, of the Grattan Institute.
In her assessment of the two parties’ promises this time, she notes that the emphasis on winning votes in key marginal seats is quite unfair. Those of us not in marginal seats get little of the moolah. And some states get a lot more than others. The Coalition is offering nearly $900 per Queenslander, compared with about $500 a person in NSW and Victoria.
As for Labor, it’s offering close to $400 a person in Victoria, with Queenslanders next on about $200 each.
Total bribes are well down this time because billion-dollar projects are less prevalent, with the Coalition offering just five (in ascending cost, the Sydney-Newcastle rail upgrade, the Brisbane-Gold Coast rail upgrade, the Beveridge intermodal terminal in Victoria, the Beerwah-Maroochydore rail extension and the North-South Corridor in South Australia) and Labor offering just one (the Melbourne suburban rail loop).
Note, however, that none of these six projects has been assessed by Infrastructure Australia as nationally significant and worth building. Only one of them has actually failed the assessment (the cost of the Maroochydore rail extension was found to exceed its benefits), with the other five being proposed without completed assessments.
Terrill says it’s prudent to be stepping back from last election’s megaproject binge. For some years, the engineering construction industry has been warning about its limited capacity to deliver the existing pipeline of projects, let alone add to it. Even before the pandemic, employment in the sector had surged by half, and supply-chain disruptions had made it slower, more difficult and more expensive to find materials.
With the recent slowing in population growth, maintaining and upgrading existing assets should take priority over big new projects. But both parties have promised to spend more on new projects than upgrades. Pollies always prefer the flashier projects.
But while big projects are down, tiny projects are way up. Two-thirds of the Coalition’s promised spending is on projects costing $30 million or less, and nearly half of Labor’s. We’re talking commuter station car parks and roundabouts.
My guess is this is about spending less money overall on projects targeted towards many more key electorates. That is, it’s about greater vote-buying efficiency. Presumably, the voters in these seats find the projects attractive.
But that doesn’t make the money well-spent. Terrill reminds us these tiny, hyper-local projects violate a longstanding principle that the Feds stick to infrastructure of national significance, leaving the small stuff to state and local governments.
‘The quality of the projects promised in the heat of election campaigns is poor.’
Marion Terrill, Grattan Institute
They know a lot more about what’s most needed where, meaning that when the feds blunder in with their vote-buyers, things often go amiss. Many commuter car parks promised at the last election had to be cancelled, Terrill says, because there were no feasible design options, feasible sites or because the rail station was being merged with another.
How were the young political staffers with their whiteboards in Canberra supposed to know that?
Terrill notes two further objections. First, “the quality of the projects promised in the heat of election campaigns is poor,” she says. The tiny projects are too small to be assessed by Infrastructure Australia and, as we’ve seen, the big ones get promised without completing proper assessment.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the M4-M5 link in NSW.CREDIT:EDWINA PICKLES
Second, she says, “government decisions should be made in the public interest, and those making the decisions should not have a private interest – including seeking political advantage with public funds”.
“A better deal for taxpayers would be for whichever party wins government on Saturday to halt this spending on small local infrastructure, and focus instead on nationally significant projects that have been properly assessed by Infrastructure Australia,” Terrill says.
In an earlier report, Terrill argued that the next government should strengthen the transport spending guardrails. It should “require a minister, before approving funding, to consider and publish Infrastructure Australia’s assessment of a project, including the business case, cost-benefit analysis, and ranking on national significance grounds”.
This would go a long way towards increasing the social and economic benefit from projects, while reducing their use to buy votes with taxpayers’ money.
And all that’s before you get to cost-overruns. Back in 2020, Terrill reported that the Inland Railway was originally costed at $4 billion, whereas the latest estimate was $10 billion. Melbourne’s North-East Link had gone from $6 billion to $16 billion. The Sydney Metro City & Southwest underground had gone from $11 billion to $16 billion. Incompetence or deliberate understatement?
RELATED ARTICLE Heavy machinery is still being used at the new Brisbane South State Secondary College at Dutton Park, where more than 200 students are enrolled. ‘Scathing’ report exposes Brisbane school cost blowouts, breaches of policy

Rubber hits the road: What the election means for SEQ major projects.  Tony Moore May 20, 2022
The long-delayed $1.6 billion Brisbane-Sunshine Coast rail project is set to go ahead regardless of who wins the election.
Labor’s infrastructure spokeswoman Catherine King said a Labor government would “honour” the commitment made by the Coalition government in March to support a spur rail line from Beerwah to Maroochydore through Caloundra.
The new central business district at Maroochydore is the destination for the passenger rail from Beerwah.CREDIT:SUNSHINE COAST COUNCIL
The plan to provide a rail transport option for the fast-growing Sunshine Coast was originally promised by Queensland’s Labor government 17 years ago.
It is also one of the major infrastructure projects needed to support population growth in the south-east, and prepare for an influx of tourists for the 2032 Olympics in Brisbane.
However, it remains unclear whether an Albanese government would renegotiate or reprioritise other infrastructure packages endorsed by the Morrison government.
Labor has not clarified with Brisbane Times whether it supports the $150 million in federal funds allocated to the $450 million Woolloongabba Metro station and included in the $1.8 billion City Deal suite of projects announced in March, or a $1.2 billion rail expansion near Beenleigh.
However, the 155,500 drivers using the Bruce Highway between Brisbane and Caboolture will see plenty of roadworks regardless of who wins the election.
Both major parties also back a $5 million planning study for Gympie Arterial Road.
RACQ’s head of public policy, Susan Furze, said the Sunshine Coast rail extension and the Beenleigh rail upgrade were good projects.
“In terms of election promises, both major parties have made additional commitments to transport infrastructure in Queensland. Labor has pledged additional funding for upgrading more than 13 kilometres of the congested Bruce Highway to eight lanes from Uhlmann Road to Dohles Rocks Road,” Furze said.
Status of key road and rail project announcements
Supported by the Coalition and Labor:
$1.6 billion for the Beerwah to Maroochydore rail spur
$133 million for Coopers Plains level crossing removal
Springfield-Ipswich rail link business case (Labor has promised $2 million, while the Coalition’s $1.8 billion City Deal promised $10 million)
$20 million for safety upgrades on the Brisbane Valley Highway
Infrastructure policy differences:
Bruce Highway
$586.4 million to widen the Bruce Highway from Anzac Avenue (Mango Hill) to Uhlmann Road at Burpengary after 2024
$200 million to widen the Bruce Highway to eight lanes from Dohles Rocks Road (Murrumba Downs) to Anzac Ave (Mango Hill)
$200 million for Rockhampton to Gladstone upgrades of the Bruce Highway
$165 million to upgrade the Bruce Highway from Caboolture to Bribie Island Road
$43.7 million to upgrade the interchange on the Bruce Highway at Deception Bay Road
$84.8 million for Pine River to Dohles Rocks Road interchange
$27.2 million for three business cases to plan the next three sections of the Bruce Highway where Labor has committed $586.4 million for work after 2024
$10 million for a business case for the “second” M1, the Coomera Connection Road
Trains and rail
$100 million to remove Coorparoo level crossing
$450 million for Gabba Metro project as part of the $1.8 billion City Deal project
$1.3 billion: Kuraby to Beenleigh rail upgrade (in federal budget, but no written confirmation from federal Labor)
“The Coalition’s Plan for Keeping Australians Safe on our Roads will invest more funding for heavy vehicle rest areas and driver reviver site upgrades.
“And we’re pleased to see both major parties commit to establishing a real-world emissions testing program for vehicles.”
However, the RACQ pinpointed several failings on the Gold Coast and on the Centenary Motorway.
“We’d also like to see funding for the final stage of Gold Coast Light Rail, interchange upgrades at Exits 45 and 38 on the Pacific Motorway and funding for capacity upgrades to the congested Centenary Motorway,” Furze said.
* With Suncorp Stadium to be also used for the Olympics they need to look at upgrading Milton station and it's link to the Stadium.

More than 20 Transport Canberra bus services cancelled because of staff COVID outbreak.  Olivia Ireland May 20 2022
Bus services are out of action due to COIVD-19. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong
Up to 35 Transport Canberra staff were unable to attend work on Friday due to COVID-19, causing cancellations across the bus network.
As of 3pm on Friday afternoon, 26 services were cancelled, with an additional number possibly being cancelled later tonight.
Transport Canberra originally expected the number to be higher but were able to call upon staff from across the broader directorate and casual workers to support the delivery of services.
Services which experienced disruptions during the afternoon included a number of suburban and rapid routes while all dedicated school services were covered.
"Bus services on public routes that carry school students were prioritised in the context of reduced services. Light rail, the special needs transport service and flexible bus service have not been affected," a spokesperson said.
Transport Canberra is unable to give a list of which services are not running as it is an ongoing situation into the night.
For information on what service is running, passengers are encouraged to visit NXTBUS if their service is running or call 13 17 10.
Further information can also be accessed on the Transport Canberra website and social media accounts.
Transport Canberra staff are continuing to fill upcoming shifts for the weekend and days ahead.
"We expect that the majority of bus services will be available over the weekend - including for people who want to use public transport to get to a polling booth for the federal election," a spokesperson said.

Fri.20.5.22 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'.  Metro drivers.
THE state government is on the hunt for 120 new train drivers ahead of the scheduled opening of the tunnel in 2025.
The drivers will undergo a 44-week training program to operate 65 new trains that will run through the tunnel.
The training includes a mix of classroom and on-the-job training, where trainee drivers are accompanied by a trainer while operating passenger services.
Recruitment for 180 operational staff including driver trainers, line and system controllers, signallers and signal maintenance technicians is also underway.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the state was on the recruitment drive as construction for the runnel project was ahead of schedule.
“Next year, we’ll see test trains running on the Metro Tunnel — and we need more than one hundred drivers to be ready when we open a year ahead of schedule,” he said.
The project aims to reduce travel times by running the busy Cranbourne, Pakenham and Sunbury lines through a new tunnel.
To apply to become a driver visit bigbuild/vic.gov.au/metrotunnel

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