Fw: Thurs.9.6.22 daily digest
  Roderick Smith

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Thurs.9.6.22 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.
Mernda line: Trains will run to an altered timetable until Sep 2022 (works).  Trains operate on a single track Thornbury - Regent, and trains will not stop at Bell or Preston.  Shuttle buses operate Thornbury - Bell - Preston - Regent - Reservoir. No access to station facilities during this time.
Buses replace trains Sunshine - Sunbury until the last train of Wed 29 Jun (works).
12.33 Pakenham/Pakenham lines: Owing to an equipment fault near Malvern, trains will arrive and depart from altered platforms between Caulfield and Richmond.
- 13.38 Citybound trains have resumed normal platform departures..
Werribee/Williamstown lines: Buses replace trains North Melbourne - Newport/Williamstown from 20.30 until the last train (works). 
Pakenham/Cranbourne lines: Buses replace trains Caulfield - Westall from 20.30 until last train (works).

It’s now clear that our CBDs are going to rebound.  Janice Lee Jun 8, 2022
This Industry Insight is produced in commercial partnership with PwC Australia.
Janice Lee is Integrated Infrastructure Partner at PwC Australia.
Just 12 months ago, you could be forgiven for harbouring doubts about the future of Australia’s cities with many commentators boldly predicting “the CBD is dead”.
It seemed like a real possibility that the dramatic shift towards remote work – made necessary by the pandemic – might become permanent by choice, changing the trajectory of the growth of our cities, and particularly their CBDs.
More people are returning to the CBDs of major cities in Australia. Photo: Kate Geraghty
Today, it’s clear that our CBDs and business hubs will rebound.
Most of our white-collar workforce will return to the office at least some of the time.
And while many of us discovered the benefits of remote working, our time at home also reminded us of the value of learning, collaborating and socialising with colleagues in person rather than behind a computer screen.
Through lockdowns and border closures, Australia’s commercial property markets have shown surprising resilience.
PwC analysis found that investment volumes in 2021 rebounded in the first three quarters of the year to $US24.8 billion—up 106 per cent on the year and 21 percent higher than the 2015 to 2019 average.
The question is what can we do now to address the uneven nature of the recovery within our CBDs.
Cities as a whole are recovering, but some trends show the recovery is not uniform.
How well our buildings, neighbourhoods or cities bounce back will depend on our ability to respond to specific challenges.
These challenges mostly pre-date the pandemic: delivering a strong supply of high quality, affordable housing; making buildings more sustainable, both to construct and to occupy; designing office spaces that attract people back and aid productivity; attracting talent from around the world; and getting commuters back to active and public transport.
Janice Lee is Integrated Infrastructure Partner at PwC Australia.
Australia’s commercial property markets have shown surprising resilience, says Janice Lee, Integrated Infrastructure Partner at PwC Australia. Photo: Janie Barrett
The decisions we make today will shape the growth of our cities as they return.
During this period of rapid recovery, our ability to influence the evolution of our cities is supercharged – and I would suggest we think about this in three ways.
First, a priority focus needs to be immigration.
Australia’s population is now projected to be around 1.3 million smaller in 10 years, largely due to COVID border restrictions – a reduction equal to three years’ worth of population growth.
While this may have given our cities breathing room from growth pressures and congestion, there is no doubt that a “smaller Australia” marked by worker shortage will stifle future economic growth and performance.
National Skills Commission data shows acute need in areas such as healthcare, retail and hospitality, with job vacancies for hospitality staff in April 2022 at 3 to 4 times the level they were prior to the pandemic.
Immigration will be a critical piece of the post-COVID recovery puzzle.
Second, with major network infrastructure under development, we can rethink our cities around the pipeline of upcoming precincts.
Developing the strategic planning for world-class precincts in health, advanced manufacturing and emerging industries is a global pitch to investors and to the best and brightest talent to come to our CBDs and business hubs.
Darling Square and Barangaroo entertainment and hospitality precincts in Sydney are prime examples.
They have been designed for “walkability” and to activate local businesses, with winding, vibrant laneways that have been abuzz with activity post-pandemic.
The Westmead health precinct is another case in point.
Spanning 75 hectares, the precinct comprises more than 400,000 square metres of high-end health-related developments, including four major hospitals, four world-leading medical research institutes, two university campuses and the largest research-intensive pathology service in NSW.
The development of new precincts is also a promising lever for housing supply, with many able to deliver transit-oriented and mixed-use developments in well located areas.
Partnerships with businesses, local governments, and private providers will unlock social and economic amenity from these developments.
Projects that bring together a community of solvers boost their chance of successful infrastructure delivery.
Third, attracting people back onto public and active transport will re-energise CBDs in all the best ways.
While Australians are back in the office, we’ve stopped catching the train or the bus to get there.
Google Community Mobility data from early June shows that workplace movements nationally were nearly recovered at -5 per cent, while transit stations activity remained -33 per cent.
The “new normal” should include a return to good urban habits so that CBDs can hum not choke, supporting the vibrancy of centres and helping CBDs to serve their wider cities sustainably.
Australia has a rare window of opportunity to shape our cities for the future.

Minister puts integrity and fairness in the infrastructure pipeline.  Katina Curtis June 9, 2022
Labor will ditch its election promises to communities for new swimming pools or sporting ground upgrades if they do not stack up on a merits-based review, as new Infrastructure Minister Catherine King pledges to bring integrity back to funding.
King’s priorities in her new role are to overhaul regional grants programs to eliminate the pork-barrelling seen in the past, and to reshape Infrastructure Australia including finding a new chief executive officer and cleaning out its board.
New Infrastructure Minister Catherine King, with Governor-General David Hurley, has already commissioned reviews of Infrastructure Australia and regional grants programs.CREDIT:ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN
Infrastructure Australia chief executive Romilly Madew announced in the week before the election she would leave in July to take up a job as the head of Engineers Australia.
Former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce appointed Tamworth Mayor Col Murray chair of Infrastructure Australia late last year, a move criticised by Labor at the time.
King told the The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age the government had “made our concerns about the existing board pretty widely known”.
She wants a short, sharp review of Infrastructure Australia to “get it back on track” and restore its role as the pre-eminent advisory body on large-scale infrastructure projects.
The new minister has already asked her department to examine all the promises Labor made during the election as well as take a “very granular look” at what is left on the books from the previous Coalition government.
“If any of those do not stack up on a merits review, we will not be proceeding with those … They are the ones that are not under the Land Transport Act, they’re the community sporting facilities and those sorts of things,” she said of Labor’s promises.
But King stopped short of saying whether she would scrap some of the Coalition’s more controversial projects, such as the commuter car parks which the auditor-general found were overwhelmingly promised in Liberal-held electorates and not allocated based on merit. Of the 27 car parks still in the planning phase, 14 do not yet have a start date allocated.
“We haven’t made any decisions about those,” King said.
Similarly, for the Hells Gates dam and upgrades to Queensland rail lines, King says the federal government will talk to the states about what is possible and what they actually want.
“We’re going to work through the infrastructure investment pipeline line by line to look at what is able to be delivered, how the decision-making was made and work collaboratively with state and territory governments, and local governments where they’re the proponent, to work our way through that pipeline,” she said.
King and Regional Development Minister Kristy McBain have also sought urgent advice about redesigning regional grants programs to make them more transparent and have a fairer distribution of funds.
The Building Better Regions Fund has come under scrutiny for disproportionately giving grants to Coalition-held seats, but King said the unfairness had been increasingly evident in the urban and suburban space as well.
She wants local councils to make sure they are putting forward projects that are ready to go instead of having to make multiple attempts to get funding, and for her department and government to take “a long hard look” at decision-making processes.
“[The grants programs] will look very different to what they have in the past,” she said.
* Angus Taylor must be breathing a sigh of relief that no reporter asked a question over his Economic Gobblity B/S gook. He must have been sweating that instead they would have asked him about his performance as Energy Minister
* Another area to look at is the $20-30 billion promised to the Nationals to agree to net zero by 2050. Their support is not needed at the moment and a number of their members reneged on the deal anyway!
Breath of fresh air. Unwind LNP partisan appointments to any organization involved in infrastructure. Unwind all projects extorted by the Nationals in return for their support for 50% emissions reduction.
* Another lie.
* No cost of living respite 3 in 2 weeks. Great job
* The opening paragraph suggested Labor was cancelling some projects they had announced themselves but the rest of the article is about review of Coalition promises. Is it both?
* A lot of the vote buying rorts should NOT go ahead and the funds directed to more important projects esp in Victoria that has been dudded for years by successive LNP governments in Canberra!
* The $5,400,000,000 Hell's Gate Dam proposal will never pass an economic benefit test and should be binned. There will be far better uses for that huge sum of money.
* Good. Scrap all the rorts and waste. The federal government has better things to do than fund piddly local projects. That's what state and local governments are for
* Pork barreling has to stop. Time for a rational approach to infrastructure and planning for the future.
* What are the criteria for the merit for a new swimming pool or sports ground upgrade? If only enough people want to swim or play some kind of sport? I miss the days when government's, of all levels and persuasions actually did their job of providing services people needed.
* After 9 years of talk with a forked tongue. Time to deliver with integrity.
* In my naivety I thought governments would do thing like a viability study, cost benefit analysis....maybe even due diligence before a shack on kangaroo Island was awarded a contract in the 100's millions....of OUR money. Are unicorns real?
* Good news. A glimpse of government integrity at last. I hope the Australia Post is similarly cleaned out.
* First cab off the rank Ms King is to kill off the QLD railway coal shipping line upgrades. This is one scheme that benefits only the resource rent seekers and is neither not in the long term interests of the country economically or will it reduce climate change.
* Same argument for the Melbourne-Brisbane Inland railway. The bottom line is that the real beneficiaries of this rail line will be mining and agricultural interests in NW NSW and western QLD. Those industries - which already have access to existing rail lines - want a world-class modern rail link to Brisbane for export (or as some of them are pushing for - to Gladstone), they can pay for it themselves. The billions of taxpayer dollars that are slated for this Inland railway would get more bang-for-the-taxpayer-dollar if spent on fixing up the existing east coast Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane rail line.
* if they did you will hear the screams from the qld labor govt who rely on coal taxes.
* While Labor try to reintroduce some integrity and accountability to government spending it is pretty obvious that the Coalition opposition will stick to mud slinging. They are already trying to blame Labor for the mess they left themselves. They will continue to degrade the democratic process for crass political gain.
* Going back on promises is not a good start.
* Actually - it is a good start. If the projects do not stack up they should not proceed
* But backtracking on electoral bribes is.
* "She wants local councils to make sure they are putting forward projects that are ready to go instead of having to make multiple attempts to get funding, and for her department and government to take “a long hard look” at decision-making processes." Here's a radical idea, how about we resurrect Gough's attempts to have Local Government recognised in the Constitution to get around States clipping the ticket on funds/grants from the Commonwealth to Councils. And it will break the State's stranglehold on Councils. Hopefully, if it goes through it may raise the abysmal performance standards of Local Government.
* One political commentator said that it seemed like Scott Morrison was campaigning to become Mayor of Australia.
* Or how about we let local government do its thing and butt out
* They are a croc and should be scrapped altogether Federal govt should be limited to federal issues Meddling in Local govt projects sets up the framework for rorts
* A voice of sanity and honesty at last! Bring on the ICAC. Bring on the RC.
* Let us hope the adults really are back in charge.
* Catherine, look forward to your actions/decisions on this matter. I guess you already have a challenge with the power transmission proposal traversing your own electorate
... will be interesting to see if you can influence that project and address the significant community objections to what is proposed. Everyone agrees the work is urgently required
but not in the guise recommended by the designated authority !
* Good news. Should save a few dollars there.

Negotiation breakdown threatens to keep new rail fleet in mothballs.  Tom Rabe June 9, 2022
Negotiations between the NSW government and unions over train safety have broken down, which could leave the new multibillion-dollar intercity rail fleet in mothballs for several more months.
The government and train workers have been at loggerheads for years over the safety of the $2.8 billion fleet, which rail unions argue requires modifications before it can operate in NSW.
A new intercity fleet train sits idle in a Central Coast maintenance facility amid a prolonged stand-off between rail unions and the NSW government.CREDIT:TOM RABE
While NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet last week indicated the government was open to making some concessions to end the industrial stand-off, union leaders said that negotiations stalled on Tuesday night.
Unions NSW assistant general secretary Thomas Costa said they were surprised by the government when its representatives revealed a plan to modify the trains would not go to the state’s powerful expenditure review committee before this month’s state budget.
“We are blindsided. We thought we were having good, productive discussions that would resolve the [New Intercity Fleet] within the week,” Costa said.
“It’s fair to say that what we thought there was goodwill from the government trying to work with us to fix the NIF - that goodwill has been withdrawn… We could be here for another six months.”
The latest move from the government over the future of the NIF threatens to derail a months-long negotiating process central to its enterprise bargaining agreement with the rail union.
Former premier Gladys Berejiklian with former transport minister Andrew Constance inspecting an intercity fleet train in April 2021.CREDIT:DOMINIC LORRIMER
It comes as the Perrottet government deals with industrial action across much of the public sector, with workers voicing their outrage at the state’s recent offer of a 3 per cent wages increase amid rising inflation.
Thousands of public sector workers rallied outside NSW Parliament on Wednesday, angry at the government’s pay offer.
NSW Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) secretary Alex Claassens said he felt his union had been “fobbed off” by a government that was rapidly walking back from its commitment to get the intercity fleet in service.
“We are very disappointed in the meeting we had yesterday … they backed away from everything,” Claassens said.
“There was a definite step back in trying to get this sorted out. We are frustrated and angry.”
However, Employee Relations Minister Damien Tudehope said the government was not walking back its commitment to modifying the fleet.
“A without prejudice proposal has been developed to assess the time and cost implications of the RTBU’s demands for modifications,” he said.
“The RTBU proposal for modifications to the NIF would cost over $1 billion of taxpayer funds. These trains have been independently accredited as safe to enter service as currently configured.”
Tudehope said the proposal was still under consideration, alongside the broader conditions of a new enterprise agreement for rail workers.
Opposition transport spokeswoman Jo Haylen said the government was wasting tens of millions of taxpayer cash keeping the trains in storage.
“Millions of dollars in taxpayers’ money is spent every month to just keep these trains in storage when the government could have spent much less and got these trains on the tracks as soon as they arrived,” she said.
“These trains are yet to carry a single passenger, but the government’s refusal to modify them has cost the taxpayer hundreds of millions and antagonised the rail workforce.”
The fleet, which began arriving in Sydney more than two years ago, has been sitting in sheds at a cost of $30 million a month to the taxpayer, according to NSW Treasurer Matt Kean.
RELATED ARTICLE NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet during question time. ‘D-Day’: Perrottet enters fray on train fleet industrial dispute
* Who the hell owns these trains? Is it the state Government or is it a Private Partnership or other entity set up by the government. If so who is actually responsible for this mess?
* If you are not going to use them, send them to the Flood or Fire areas and use them as accommodation
* The NSW government does not understand trains. For over 20 years they have tried to build them - overseas. Why? Because it is cheaper. NOT! Train union members work on them every day. Who do you trust?
* Tudehope is another right wing Christian, Opus Dei, parachuted in by Perrottet to wedge Union, I thought Alex Cassens was the cause of this dispute, Tudehope on given job ,’they will return to work’ before even talking to Union or David Elliott who was handling negotiations prior to Tudehope being parachuted in.
* The $3m per month shed rental situation needs investigation.
* Unions are an absolute joke. This technology has been proven and is in use all around the world. Drivers are surplus to requirement and it's time they moved on.
* How does it cost $30,000,000 A month to store these trains. I live near the train yard at Robina for the gold coast line. The train yard is enclosed, and gated, and monitoring by a small team of security and cleaners. The $30 mill is a furphy.
* These train sets have been a problem from Day 1.
- Issues about not built locally.
-Drivers needing to monitor passengers and not guards,
-non reversible seats,
-Drivers having to exit the cab to assist passengers (er, "customers") needing assistance at the numerous unattended stations on Intercity lines.
All of which could have been resolved if consultation was done with both staff and passengers (er, "customers").
The issues about the tunnels and platform widening has been overblown, though. NSW's narrow loading gauge is inherited from our colonial past, when we acquired British standard locomotives instead of larger U.S. ones. That has also affected the carrying capacity of freight trains. Sooner or later the platforms would needed to be shaved and the 10 tunnels from Newnes Junction to Zig Zig would need widening. The alternative was to de-energise the overhead after Mt Victoria and run diesel railcars from there to Lithgow.
Getting back to the new Intercity sets, too much economic rationalism has gone into their design instead of commonsense.
* I'm sick of waiting to use these trains. Any outstanding issues should have been resolved ages ago.
* Whilst this government is pretty bad, I disagree with the union's claims that the trains are unsafe.
* Just think if they had built the trains here instead of buying them overseas because they were cheaper. Just think if they checked the specs, they may have found they wont fit in tunnels or use platforms. Safety doesn't appear to be important to this government.
* Your comment is incorrect, the trains were ordered knowing the size of tunnels and platforms with the intention to widen to accommodate so trains would fit the entire network, rather than ordering narrower trains just for the blue mountains.
* This mess is the result of the former transport ministers (Constance and Berekiklian) not consulting transport workers and unions before placing an order for overseas built trains that weren’t designed for our complex network. They then had to spend billions widening tunnels and cuttings and shaving width from platforms and awnings and making platforms longer to enable these trains to operate. But they didn’t consider safety! Our network has many curved platforms with poor visibility. These trains lock all doors before the train moves and it was meant to be left to the train driver to monitor safety along the platform while driving the train! This method of operation has led to serious injury and deaths of passengers who get caught in closing doors. It is unconscionable that the LNP state government keeps trying to ignore safety warnings. Thank God for the union who are looking out for the citizens of NSW and protecting the rail workers who will be responsible for passenger safety and have to deal with accidents.
* Our railways are no more "complex" than other railways. It is what it is where one orders trains to fit/operate on what it is. Unfortunately Constance and Gladys thought otherwise. 150 years or so sold railway history, then these two clowns come along.
* So many misconceptions that are raised again and again, ad nauseam. Surely it is time for the SMH to publish a detailed and balanced article on the whole matter, as it would seem that many of the opinions expressed about these trains are without proper foundation.
The train is based on the locally designed and built OSCAR, the Consortium that delivered the train used local, Korean and other international expertise to adapt the OSCAR design to comply with TfNSW requirements.
Less than 2% of the total number of journeys on the electrified network use the upper reaches of the Blue Mountains and Lithgow. TfNSW should receive credit for upgrading the platforms and tunnels to allow one type of intercity train to service the whole of the electrified network instead of misinformed criticism. The Width of the V-sets makes it almost impossible to comply with the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport without compromising the efficiency of the train layout.
If the platform is on the outside of a curve then guards cannot see along the whole length of the train anyway. In those cases cameras provide better information.
With regard to safety, the Australian Rail Safety Regulator maintains world class standards. The design process for the trains has to be in compliance with the Rail Safety Act. My understanding is that the train meets the requirements of the regulator.
The Waratahs use external CCTV to monitor doors, and I don’t believe that there have been any serious injuries or deaths on those trains.
TfNSW and the train suppliers take safety very seriously, if they didn’t they would have to answer to the aforementioned Regulator. It’s very easy to play the “Safety Card” and just as easy to abuse it to protect jobs at the expense of taxpayers.
There have been instances where even the presence of a guard has not prevented accidents. The current system isn’t 100% foolproof either.
* And yet some people in the federal seat of Gilmore actually voted for Andrew Constance.
* They don't need to worry about train safety, no railways in that electorate.
* Dom is busy "solving" problems before the election. He has the trains to sort out now. I wonder where these problems started.
* Hard to believe the cost of the modificatuions is $1 bn. Imagine if the monthlt stabling fees had been spent on the modifications at the outset...or maybe if the unions had been consulted at the design phase.
* Easy, cancel services operated by the recalcitrant unionists, and stand them down. Sad to say but the government will save a fortune by not operating these heavily subsidised inter-urban services. Then they can sell the brand new trains to somebody who appreciates them.
* There is a State election next year. Role of unions : disrupt public, cause negative headlines, lodge as may ambit claims as possible, create the illusion that Labor is the only safe vote.
Job done. Return to return. Put the surprise paint away; this is so old that even mould won't grow on it.
* Maybe you aren't aware that this dispute has been going on for 2 years now, started one year AFTER the last NSW election.
* 24 months x $30m = $720m. That's already three quarters of what the cost of that fix is. If we add the costs of Government caused service disruptions it is probably more than $1bln. And all that money wasted to "stand firm against the Unions" and to make some guards redundant.
* Typical union. Any excuse not to work or hold everyone to random
* These trains run all over the world! This is Unions being Unions at our expense.
* You fail to mention that places "all over the world" where these type of trains run also have additional safety measures such as safety doors on the platforms that open and close while the train is stopped at the platform.
* Where else do these trains run? One example will do...but you won't find one.
* Once again the incompetence of the former transport minister is on display. The people of Gilmore should be very glad that he failed in his attempt to become their representative.
* Wouldn't listen when they were ordered so now they have this problem. Pure LNP refusal to talk and listen to actual workers. Also shown by palliative care crisis, teacher nurse and paramedic crisis, toll crisis, etc
* Not true, representatives of the RTBU were consulted throughout the design process.
* Let me guess: if the ALP wins the next state election, the Unions will suddenly decide the new trains are safe after all?
* Who the hell is running this once great state?
The bloody unions again or the Government people voted for?
Get off your high horses Unions and work with the Government.
Or once again this state will be stuffed .
* Not a union problem. Rather an arrogant, irresponsible, incompetent government.
* We're not getting the full story on this issue. Firstly, the cost of modification of $1 billion seems to be a figure pulled out of the air. As I understand it the guard will be reclassified to walk through the train. Passengers boarding and leaving the train will be monitored by cameras along the side of the train, shown on a screen for the driver to monitor before he closes the doors and moves off. If someone was to fall between platform and train and the driver didn't notice it happening, the unfortunate would be out of view of the camera. Also where is the sound, if someone fell and was yelling for help, or bystanders on the platform were shouting, would this be picked up?
* The current system isn’t infallible either. There have been instances of passengers falling between the platform and trains where guards were present.
* waste of people s money by both sides. Unbelievable ,the way they wate our tax money
* Is this unusable fleet yet another example of Constance's heritage?
* This is great. 30 million dollars a month.  How much to refurbish the machines? Outrageous squandering of tax payer money. 360 million a year for nothing. Another stellar example of the Liberal party money management. This one almost tops Morrison giving 45 billion away to his mates for job keeper when they didn't deserve it......
* These trains have been independently accredited as being safe! On that basis we shouldn’t be spending a cent, they should be in service.
* What is your evidence for this statement?
* Independent accreditation has worked so well in the construction industry. "Safe" - until of course its found not to be.
* What a saga of hopeless planning and design issues and consultation.
Remember the saga when it was discovered the trains were supposedly too wide to fit through the tunnels on the Blue Mountains Line? It turned out that they would fit physically but did not comply with the then Standard for clearances. So the Standard was modified - problem fixed. Just as well, because if the trains were too wide physically then they probably would be unable to pass each other on the up and down tracks.
However, there has been extensive modifications to many of the platforms - so are they too wide after all?
I heard on the grapevine that the NSW Govt. was carrying out extensive surveying to ensure that the new trains could really fit, but that's idle gossip. They must be able to do so as I believe they have been tested along the length of the network.
Meanwhile the current "V" Set trains are due to be withdrawn from service this year.
Their steel chassis was "deemed" too expensive to upgrade. What a shame - very comfortable trains but not suitable for access for mobility impaired people and really awful toilets.
The guards issue with using cameras to supervise passenger movement seems to be unique to NSW. Most European states have modern train fleets with cameras. The personal safety of passengers if they trains were to not have guards is possibly dubious as well. Passengers are requested to phone Police if they are in danger.
In any case, I suspect that guards are not allowed to intervene.
The last few years have seen both state and federal governments waste so much of our taxes.
There's light on the hill and on the horizon with Anthony Albanese's Governments approach to considered and effective behaviour so far - what a difference?
* Bear in mind that the dimensions of the tunnels and platforms are a legacy issue dating back to the early 1900’s. Modifying the infrastructure on the upper reaches of the Blue Mountains line and tunnels to Lithgow means that one fleet of modern intercity trains that comply with disability legislation can operate over the entire network. It makes less sense to provide trains that would not be as spacious or compliant with legislation because of constraints imposed by a relatively short section of track that probably services less than 2% of the total number of daily trains on the network.
* They are safer than the existing V Sets, regardless of “modifications”. Just privatise the NIF and get it running already. There is a reason why Gov owned does not always work, case in point this.
* I thought the problem was about whether guards could wear shorts or long pants. Seems we keep moving the goal posts
* By the time it’s sorted out the trains will be old and need of replacement.
* So the union thinks it's unsafe to use cameras to view down the outside of a train. They think a human opening a door and sticking their head out of a moving train is safer?
* My father was a train guard for 45 years, at least he could see the travellers and more to the point they could see him.
* No. That’s not the case
* If you talk to one of the drivers who has trialled these trains, as my neighbour is, they make it very clear the dangers and risks of using cameras only poses. I agree that they are unsafe at present
* No, the unions think it is unsafe for the driver to have to do what should be the guard’s job, ie watch the screen showing all the carriage cameras (up to 20 different cameras) while trying to drive the train and watch the track and signals.
* I think the point is for the human head to check things before the train moves. A human head that is not restricted like a fixed to camera as to what it can look at.
* Considering train guards have been doing that for decades, if they had a safety issue with that they wouldn't be trying to keep it going on the new trains
* It stands to reason that a physical view is going to be safer and more reliable than a camera view.

Shock Snowy 2.0 delay stirs energy mess.  Jacob Greber and Angela Macdonald-Smith Jun 9, 2022 with ATN
<www.energy.gov.au/government-priorities/energy-ministers/meetings-and-communiques" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer>

Letters to the Editor June 9 2022 
* Plan has bigger problems.  Terry Werner's sort of "gotcha" attempt (Letters, June 3), criticising my May 29 letter mentioning that electric buses [trackless trams] need expensive strengthened carriageways (in which he compares the electric buses to heavy "A and B-Double" semi trailers which don't) doesn't necessarily make electric buses cheaper than trams. Unlike intermittent randomly routed A and B-Doubles, frequent heavy electric buses mostly have to run in dedicated lanes which, unless expensively strengthened, will develop troublesome deep tyre grooves in normal road surfaces.
* The destructive route, and the NCA's requirement for underground power, both massively expensive, are the key problems with the proposed Civic to Capital Hill section of the proposed Civic to Woden tram.

Thurs.9.6.22 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'.  Bike lanes. with atn

Thurs.9.6.22 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'.  Bike lanes. with atn

Thurs.9.6.22 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'.  Bike lanes.  JOHN MASANAUSKAS with atn

Thurs.9.6.22 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'.  Flinders St Viaduct.
A MAJOR upgrade on a 100-year-old rail bridge in central Melbourne has been completed after works which began in 2019.
The Flinders Street Viaduct — a steel structure linking Flinders St and Southern Cross stations — has been restored for hundreds of rail services every day on six lines.
The steel beams have been strengthened and the bridge has been sandblasted and repainted. Construction on the first bridge began in the 1890s, then broadened in 1917.
Extra lines were added in 1978 as part of changes linked to the City Loop project.
Public Transport Minister Ben Carroll said the viaduct refurbishment had maintained a historic piece of Melbourne infrastructure.
“The massive package of works carried out over the last three years will ensure this vital link can continue to safely run the hundreds of trains that use it each day.”
More than 300 specialists, such as engineers and safety experts, worked on the $l7m project. Metro Trains chief executive Raymond O’Flaher- ty said planning by specialist teams limited disruptions to passengers.

Thurs.9.6.22 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'.  Letters
* lots on bike lanes.
* Train line off track.  DES Caple’s comment on how many Cheltenham residents would actually use the proposed rail link to Glen Waverley etc. rings true (YV, 8/6).
Apparently one justification for this mega cost deal is to relieve Richmond station bottleneck. Has the thought of buying us properties around the Richmond station and making it a multi-level facility been considered?
I bet the cost of concentrating the effort on that one location even with multiple lines etc. would be a fraction of building underground for miles.

Thurs.9.6.22 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'.  VICTORIA POLICE PLANNED OPERATION in Melbourne CBD & Southbank
All public places within the area bound by and including, the intersection of Wurundjeri Way and La Trobe Street, to the intersection of La Trobe Street and Victoria Street, to the intersection of Victoria Street and Spring Street, to the intersection of Spring Street and Flinders Street, to the intersection of Flinders Street and Batman Avenue, to the intersection of Batman Avenue and Olympic Boulevard, to the intersection of Olympic Boulevard and Alexandra Avenue, to the intersection of Alexandra Avenue and Anderson Street, to the intersection of Anderson Street and Domain Road, to the intersection of Domain Road and
St Kilda Road, to the intersection of St Kilda Road and City Road, to the intersection of City Road and Clarendon Street, to the intersection of Spencer Street and Collins Street, to the intersection of Collins Street and Wurundjeri Way, to the intersection of Wurundjeri Way and La Trobe Street.
Refer to Map: www.gazette.vic.gov.au (Gazette S287/22)
This declaration will be in place during the 2022 Rising Festival from:
1200hrs to 2359hrs Saturday 11 June 2022
1200hrs to 2359hrs Sunday 12 June 2022
Please be advised that  (details with atn)