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Subject: Fri.9.9.22 daily digest
Royal tram, see also:
Fri.9.9.22 Metro Twitter
Flinders St: still with a lane closed for tunnel works.
Because of tunnel works, Degraves St subway at Flinders St is closed until 2024. No platform transfer via Degraves St subway. Passengers should use Elizabeth & Swanston St entry/exits. Campbell Arcade remains closed to 2024. Platform interchange via that subway was available until mid 2022.
Bell: No lift access to platforms until Oct 2022, while works continue around the station precinct. A shuttle bus will run from Bell to Preston and Thornbury during this time.
Buses replace trains Macleod - Hurstbridge until the last train Mon 19 Sep 9 (works).
Lilydale/Belgrave lines: Union Rd and Mont Albert Rd closed until 6pm Friday 23 September, for removal work. Detour using Elgar, Canterbury, Whitehorse and Balwyn roads.
10.06 Craigieburn Line: Major delays (an equipment fault in the Broadmeadows area). Trains may travel at reduced speed through the area.
16.12 Belgrave line: Buses replace trains Ringwood-Upper Ferntree Gully (a person hit by a train). Buses ordered, will take over 60 mins to arrive. Consider local transport options.
- 16.42 Buses in operation, more enroute, adding travel time.
- 18.18 Trains resuming, with delays. First will be the 17.33 ex Flinders St.
18.13 & 22.27 Usual arrangements for traffic returning from football at MCG.
Buses replace trains North Melbourne - Craigieburn from 20.25 until the last train of Sun 11 Sep (maintenance works).
21.27 Lilydale/Belgrave/Alamein/Glen Waverley lines: Minor delays (trespassers near Richmond).
- 21.36 clearing
21.28 Pakenham/Cranbourne/Frankston/Sandringham lines: Minor delays (trespassers near Richmond).
- 21.37 clearing.
Buses replace trains on sections of the Sandringham line from 22.15 until the last train of Sun 11 Sep (works).
Tues.26.7.22 Melbourne 'Herald Sun' - Metro anti-vaxxers. CRAIG DUNLOP
SO many train drivers, station staff and inspectors refused to have Covid-19 vaccinations that the viability of Melbourne’s rail network was threatened, a tribunal has heard.
Fourteen former Metro Trains employees sacked late last year when they refused to have Covid-19 vaccines last week lost their unfair dismissal cases in the Fair Work Commission.
The tribunal heard almost 10 per cent of train drivers and station staff and 20 per cent of structure inspectors had refused to comply with state government vaccine directions.
The 14 former staff were among those put on unpaid leave when they refused to be vaccinated. The tribunal heard Metro Trains management then became concerned at the effect employee absences had on operations.
Commissioner Michelle Bissett said Metro Trains “reached a view that it could not operationally support the absence of staff’ who did not want to be vaccinated and “needed to plan for how it would deliver on its operational requirements”.
The operator wrote to its unvaccinated employees in late October last year saying it had “no choice but to terminate their employment” and train new staff.
Had the operator let its anti-vaxxer staff remain on leave indeﬁnitely, and employed replacement staff to do their jobs, it would have too many employees on the books when the vaccine mandate lifted.
“Metro Trains has a business to run,” Commissioner Bisset said in a written decision.
“Metro Trains has the right to make decisions as to how to deal with the need for staff on the job in the circumstances that existed at the time.”
Some of the workers unsuccessfully claimed they were discriminated against as being vaccinated was “against their religious or other beliefs”.
Others, in statutory declarations signed after being placed on unpaid leave, claimed they were “ready willing and able” to work, but Commissioner Bissett said this was “not the case” because it was unlawful for them to go to work unvaccinated.
Others unsuccessfully claimed being notified of their sackings by email was “harsh, unjust or unreasonable”.
Commissioner Bissett also rejected claims Metro Trains did not properly respond to a series of pseudo-legal “questions” about the constitution, the Biosecurity Act, the Nuremburg Code “and so on”.
Rail dispute cost 44,000 work hours, $500,000 for venue hire, says government Matt O'Sullivan and Tom Rabe September 8, 2022
A long-running industrial dispute between the NSW government and unions has cost the state 44,000 hours of lost working time since early last year, according to documents filed to the industrial umpire by rail operators.
The state also estimates Sydney Trains has spent about $479,000 on venue hire for negotiations, and a further $32,000 to accommodate union delegates released from their day-to-day jobs to bargain, before the government called a sudden halt to talks last week.
The dispute has caused major disruptions to Sydney’s rail network.CREDIT:LOUISE KENNERLEY
While rail unions claim the government has failed to bargain in good faith, the documents filed by Sydney Trains and NSW Trains ahead of a Fair Work hearing on Friday reject the assertions.
The unions launched legal action in the Fair Work Commission late last week in a bid to force the government back to the bargaining table after Premier Dominic Perrottet threatened to terminate an existing enterprise agreement if rail workers did not vote for a new pay deal.
The hearing is expected to run into next week and will be pivotal to the reliability of Sydney’s rail network, which has been plagued by sporadic disruptions for months due to the dispute.
In their submission, the state’s rail operators argue that they have met good faith bargaining requirements, and that the unions’ application fails to meet thresholds in the Fair Work Act and should be dismissed outright.
They also dismiss the unions’ assertion that they were forced to bargain with a revolving cast of government ministers who had inconsistent views and positions. “There is simply no merit in this allegation,” their submission states.
Furthermore, Sydney Trains refutes the claim that a government ultimatum delivered to unions last week came without warning, adding that a “desire to put a proposed agreement soon was foreshadowed” well before.
“Given the history of bargaining … it was reasonable ... to ‘draw a line in the sand’ and consider bargaining was at an end to allow for a vote of employees,” it states.
In an affidavit, a senior Sydney Trains manager estimates that a total of 44,000 hours was paid to delegates to release them their normal roles for bargaining.
The unions have warned in their filings to Fair Work that if the commission does not intervene, “there is limited prospect that the dispute will be resolved in the short term without very significant industrial disputation”.
They claim the two sides had appeared to be on the cusp of an agreement last week before Transport Minister David Elliott told them at a meeting on Wednesday last week that the government was withdrawing from bargaining.
The government has declined the unions’ offer to enter conciliation with the supervision of the Fair Work, and has insisted that bargaining has concluded.
RELATED ARTICLE Left: Sydney commuters struggling to get home on Wednesday due to major industrial action. Right: Transport Minister David Elliott and Employee Relations Minister Damien Tudehope. Rail unions given 24 hours to call off industrial action
RELATED ARTICLE NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet walks through a Metro tunnel beneath Martin Place on Wednesday. Friday no longer on his mind: Perrottet hits brakes in rail dispute
* It's surprising that this is what the government has produced after the extra three days to prepare for the Fair Work hearing. Possibly they were looking for ideas that would stand up to scrutiny by the FWC but in the end could only come up with this. The reasoning must be that it's cost so many hours and so much money that everyone should just accept the new trains with all their shortcomings.
* "bargaining" usually requires both sides to concede something. The government has agreed to "fix" the trains , even though the appropriate safety regulator says the "fixes" are unnecessary. What have the Unions conceded?
* The government has agreed and withdrawn the agreement to fix the trains multiple times and the current offer from the government has a clause that enables them to be able to avoid making any changes if they want to. As for the safety regulator, this is untrue. All the Rail Regulator does is ensure that rail operators follow the correct procedures. It does not determine whether any component of the trains, including how they are operated, are safe.
* It would appear that it would have been cheaper to build the trains locally and avoid some of this pain to begin with.
* Why is the government pointing out how bad it has been at resolving this dispute?
* So the government's actions have cost the state 44,000 work hours and half a million in venue hire? Are they running this story because they think it is a good thing? Or what? As for the half a million dollars, remind me again what the stadiums and/or moving the Powerhouse museum cost .
* So much for my way or the highway LNP approach in negotiations.
* "The state also estimates..." Looks like we can take these numbers with a grain of salt as the state hasn't estimated any number with accuracy for decades.
* A most incompetent State Government that cannot negotiate a decent EBA with a Union, due to their hatred of Unions and workers.
* This is union politicisation writ writ large. While Minns must be quietly chuckling to himself this bodes ill for both parties and once again underscores the unhealthy relationship between organised labour and the Labor party.
* The union is dealing with a political party and you’re questioning the union for being political?
The union movement started to ALP in order to have a voice in parliament. It’s about time fools realised that.
The LNP came into existence to keep the ALP out of office. That’s the only reason they exist, which is why they don’t know how to negotiate
* The union is dealing with a government elected by the people of NSW.
* “They also dismiss the unions’ assertion that they were forced to bargain with a revolving cast of government ministers who had inconsistent views and positions. “There is simply no merit in this allegation,” their submission states.” So which of the three ministers and premier is leading negotiations? They all stick their oar in, undermining each other and offering alternative viewpoints, hardly a cohesive team of negotiations…. Negotiated in good faith with the unions? Hardly! Waiting 6 months after the old EA lapsed to start talking, failing to turn up to negotiations, threatening employees who have undertaken protected action (after giving correct notice prior and the government not raising any objections), shutting down the rail network and blaming the workers, unions and Labor after not getting their way at the FWC, the transport minister storming into a negotiation meeting (at the premier’s behest) to deliver an ultimatum to sign an agreement (which was a series of bullet points and a deed that had an escape clause to avoid fixing the trains) or they would go to FWC and tear up the existing EA. And after that they still have the hide to say they have negotiated in good faith 🤬
* Totally, you listed all the facts to disprove their ridiculous statements.
* No he’s made up half the “facts” to suit his own version. Sure the government’s been poor. But stop pretending the union is all sweet and innocent - they have behaved disgustingly as well. The whole safety thing is a pack of lies to start with. The inconsistency between the RTBU position in NSW and other States about exactly the same things (guards, rear door loading in buses, etc) proves the whole thing is largely political.
* A pack of lies from the LNP government. 3 or 4 Transport ministers telling a different story to the tax payers, liars the lot of them.
* Love to know where you get your “facts” from and which you believe to be wrong, the unions had worked within the rules and restrictions imposed by the FWC. As for the safety issues, these were raised over 6 years ago during the design stage. The government offered over $18k to the drivers and guards to work the trains as is. They overwhelmingly said no, so that shoots down the government line about it being about money.
* I wish! This is just the highlights of the laundry list of behaviour of management and government.
* Small bickies in the scheme of things, a couple of million isn’t much given how long the negotiations have taken and in comparison to LNP handouts to its mates which run up in the billions.
* 44,000 hours lost work? Please provide the calculations and inputs to arrive at this number first, to provide credible allegations. This should be a basic question asked when given these types of numbers, not just reporting a press release.
* Each bargaining meeting has about 60 union employee reps released from work and theres been about 50 of them at 8 hours a day is 24000 hours. For every bargaining meeting there is usually a preparation day as well as numerous other side meetings would easily get to 44000 hours
* 60 union and.50 of them, I assume them is govt. So 110 times 8 * 880hrs or 50 days to get to 44000 hrs Really? So the govt is saying its people have wasted 20, 000hrs, isn't it their job. And if both sides have 50-60 people, that's madness. If true, both sides need lessons in negotiating. Who, what and where is your source?
* Have you seen the latest demands from the RTBU? Utterly laughable.
Check out an AFR article on it the other day:
- Unlimited single sick days,
- “Healthy option” meal allowances
- A flat 15 per cent increase to night shift pay rates for station managers
- Six “R U OK” days on top of their annual leave allowance (already 5 weeks + RDOs + "picnic days").
- 25% increase to salary if 'anything is privatised'
- 50% payout of 'unused' sick leave on resignation (let alone termination)
- All uniform must be Australian made
No-one can pretend these are remotely reasonable or "in good faith". It's political, clear as day. The more they waste time on nonsensical discussions regarding this rubbish the longer they can drag out the dispute to take indefinite action and make the public suffer. At least until the state election which is what the whole thing is about. There isn’t even a safety issue at all. The trains were passed safe by the Regulator over a year ago. The head of the regulator confirmed in an ABC interview that the $264m “modifications” are unnecessary and a waste of taxpayers money. And that’s on top of the cost of some of the nonsense above. Sooner the RTBU is wiped out the better for everyone.
* I can't help wondering if Angus Taylor had anything to do with the figures for the hours and expenses in this report.
* If only successive governments had not sold off government assets there would be no need to spend half a million dollars on renting negotiation space. Pity we can’t find such financial largesse for people who actually perform a job like nurses, teachers and ahem train drivers. Funny that funds can always be found for the printers and office space leases but not citizen taxpayer personnel - but then the taxpayer is the only asset of government that has not been privatised ….
* What a disgrace. We need a new State Government. They are hopeless.
* most incompetent government ever.
* Both sides are at fault, Government with an agenda to not allow a pay increase beyond a set level. Unions linking a safety issue to pay demands. The safety issue could have been negotiated separately to the pay increase issue. Irrational zealotry on both sides. Time to change leadership in both parties.
* It’s the government that linked the pay and safety, against the unions wishes
* Hasn’t anyone told the minister neo-liberalism is dead and the hour of socialism has arrived. Agreed the union movement can be bloody minded but look at the attitudes they have to deal with and you can see why.
* It’s about time this dispute went to arbitration. Both sides are playing games so it is about time for Fair Work to sort out the claims on safety and decide. As for wage increase the whole public sector is on a knifes edge pushing for wage increases above the governments ‘final position - no negotiating’ of 3 %, including the compulsory super increase if .5 % so is actually 2.5%
* The union requested mediation with the fair work commission overseeing. The government refused
* 44K hours, $479K venue hire Who cares - the real cost is a few extra zeros plus the stress and delay of getting too and from Those writing this article have looked at the State costs not at the rest of us
* Hang on a sec. Wasn't the LNP NSW State Government called out for a spurious "work hours lost" submission to the Fair Work Commission? And we should believe them now? Nah, once LNP BS'ers, always LNP BS'ers.
* This reminds me of wonderful political satire "Rubbery Figures", made famous during the 1980s as it was broadcast and beamed into the living rooms of australians. We all chuckled and scoffed at how outrageous and silly the caricatures of pollies and businessmen were.
Rubbery Figures re-booted under the Perrottet government is just as silly. One minute government ministers claim the cost blow out to fixing the problems with the New Intercity Fleet will be around $200m, next minute, some blow-hard minister has inflated the price to billions. And now the government tells us they've spent close to half a million in venue hire - looks like the Wesley Centre is raking it in, or cost 44,000 'lost days'. Whatever that means.
We've heard those same contortions and hyperbolic references in July when treasury officials under cross examination before the Fair Work Commission similarly tried - but unsuccessfully - to make the same claim. The Commission didn't have a bar of it and called the evidence for what it was: twaddle.
Cheers to the rubbery figures from the ministers of piffle and twaddle for the laughs. Time to get serious and get back to the negotiating table and treat working people of this state with dignity and respect.
* That was the show that had John Elliott yelling “Pigs a$&e” Good lord I’m old
* Who in the government is booking venues for meetings that cost a total of $479,000? And what venues in Sydney are so luxurious they attract such a premium?
* That's right. Where is the evidence?
* The rail union claims the new interurban trains are unsafe. The government says they are safe. In the meantime, millions of unproductive dollars are going up in smoke in storage costs. Why not put the trains in service pending their potential upgrading and see who is right?
* Because it isn't the 18th century. Rail safety doesn't experiment with human life.
* That might be....catastrophic? The trains might be as durable as a Nissan Navara
* It's not surprising that the government has given up on negotiating with the RTBU, as the RTBU have never shown any willingness to actually negotiate and/or compromise. For the RTBU, it's only been 'my way or the highway' - quite literally, since the trains don't run!
* Evidence? The behaviour and attitude of Minister Elliott has been a major barrier.
* Like other government examples they don't even start negotiating till months after an agreement ends.
* Surely there are government officers they could use for bargaining?
Qantas launches investigation into overloaded Sydney flight. Matt O'Sullivan September 8, 2022
Qantas has launched an investigation into how one of its planes was overloaded with freight on a flight from Sydney to Lord Howe Island, putting it over its allowable take-off weight.
A Dash-8 aircraft flown by regional subsidiary QantasLink was carrying about 32 passengers on flight QF2262 from Sydney to Lord Howe Island on Wednesday morning, and was meant to carry no more than about 20 kilograms of freight.
A Qantas Dash-8 aircraft similar to the one pictured exceeded its maximum takeoff weight when it departed Sydney early on Wednesday.CREDIT:ALAMY
However, staff were shocked to discover that a larger amount of freight than expected had been loaded into the rear hold of the plane, resulting in it breaching its maximum take-off weight by about 160 kilograms when it departed Sydney Airport.
Qantas confirmed that it was investigating how freight was “incorrectly loaded” onto the Dash-8, which has since been cleared to re-enter service.
“The flight operated normally and landed safely and without incident,” it said, adding that the safety of the flight was not compromised.
Mick Quinn, a former head of safety at Emirates and an ex-manager of air-safety investigation at Qantas, said overloading or incorrect loading of cargo in the wrong positions affects an aircraft’s centre of gravity and raised the risk of flight control difficulties.
The QantasLink aircraft was flying to Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea.CREDIT:ISTOCK
“While aircraft are designed to have safety margins that will tolerate minor deviations in weight and balance, any deviation may produce a structural or aerodynamic risk,” he said.
Quinn, a former deputy CEO of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), said runway length, temperature and wind direction were also among conditions that contribute to critical calculations of speed and safe flights.
“There have been some serious incidents over the years involving incorrect weight and balance. It’s an issue that is reported on annually in industry accident summaries and is constantly monitored and addressed,” he said.
Quinn said every aircraft was sensitive to weight and balance limitations, no matter how big or small, and multiple controls were usually in place to ensure loading was accurate and met operational requirements.
video Airport chaos to continue as Qantas workers plan strike Hundreds of Qantas staff are planning to walk off the job next Monday, expected to create delays and issues for both international and domestic travellers in Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane.
Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) confirmed that it had been notified of a “potential aircraft loading incident” involving a Dash-8 passenger.
“ATSB is currently gathering further information to inform a decision on any investigation,” a spokesman said.
CASA said it was aware of the incident, which had been “reported through the appropriate safety channels”.
Qantas has been under fire from unions for outsourcing international ground handling in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Dubai-based airport services company Dnata in 2020 after axing about 1700 jobs.
However, QantasLink’s ground handling is managed in-house by Qantas Ground Services.
Following a spate of customer service problems, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce apologised recently to customers for widespread delays, cancellations of flights and lost baggage, which he said were caused by staff shortages. The airline laid off about 8000 employees – close to a third of its workforce – when the pandemic forced it to ground its operations.
CASA is also undertaking an industry-wide surveillance campaign to examine areas such as ground handling, cabin safety and dangerous goods in response to the ramp-up of airline operations following the pandemic.
RELATED ARTICLE Main: Qantas Flight 933 made the emergency call several hundred kilometres east of Perth on Monday. Inset: Qantas Boeing 737-838 Qantas pilots declare ‘mayday’ due to low fuel on transcontinental flight
* Get a bit of perspective here! There have been Cessna GA aircraft weighted at more than 125kg MTOW so while this is not ideal… more critically, as others have pointed out, is that if the weight was all tail loaded and the CofG was beyond its aft limit, the plane could be difficult to recover from a spin… assuming you can spin a dash 8.
* LHI allows only 400 visitors at any one time. No capacity for pliable passenger/variations.
* This was Qantas staff not a foreign owned entity providing service.
* What did those employees say on the 4 Corners program again?
* QANTAS needs to get its act together. At the moment it's not "match fit".
* "breaching its maximum take-off weight by about 160 kilograms". Qantas: "safety of the flight was not compromised" Then why was it a breech? Isn't a maximum take off weight meant to be about safety?
* I assume there is some margin in that number. But it’s still a good question.
* I expect there must be some inbuilt safety margin above posted limits. 160 kg is not a huge amount relative to the overall weight of the plane and passengers.
* Dash 8 is a medium size plane. In some countries passengers are weighed to ensure the plane is properly loaded and balanced. Imagine the imbalance of a group of 10 people weighing 1200kgs on one side of the plane and no one on the other side.
* Each aircraft has a "max zero fuel weight" - MZFW. To that can be added passengers, baggage, fuel and freight up to the maximum takeoff weight - MTOW. It appears on this occasion the weight of the fuel, passengers and baggage (the latter 2 determined by approved standard weights) meant that the aircraft was only 20kg below the MTOW, thus only 20kg of freight could be loaded.= The standard weights for passengers vary slightly but in this type of aircraft are approximately 82kg for men, 67kg for women, 42kg for a child and 16kg for an infant. To that can be added 7kg of baggage for each checked in passenger.
* I would have thought that hold baggage is weighed and therefore known pretty exactly. And that the 7kg estimate is only for carry-on.
* This is outrageous on any flight but to Lord Howe Island with its short runway and weight limits is particularly bad. @Qantas is failing its staff and passengers at every turn. Scary and just unacceptable.
* Not to mention its sea fogs and two humungous mountains right beside the runway. It’s not uncommon to have 3 runs at the airstrip in fog. So one would think everything else should be spot on for this trip.
* Definitely time for Qantas to lose the right to carry 'Spirit of Australia" on its aircraft as they are a long way from living up to that.
* "she'll be right mate."
* Basically no one knows how much overweight (if?). They average passengers weight so it is only an informed guess.
* I get the feeling Qantas has lost control of operations
* Twenty kilos of freight was the plane's limit? Is that a typo?
* Yep, a typo. Just did a quick search. The max. payloads of various models are listed (not exhaustive) as 10,000 -13,500 pounds (4500 - 6100 kgs). If this flight had 32 passengers, it’s freight limit probably would’ve been about 2000 kgs.
* No it's not a typo. It was full of passengers Total of fuel, pax and freight must be under mtow (max take off weight). You have the same situation with cars. If you fill a ute with people, you can't put much in the back.
* First unreliable service, now compromised safety standards. And that's our national airline.
* “The flight operated normally and landed safely and without incident,” it said, adding that the safety of the flight was not compromised.
Arriving without incident is not the same as not being compromised. It just means that all the holes in the swiss cheese did not line up on that occasion.
* QANTAS problems caused by "staff shortages." And who was it who laid off 8000 employees? Another reason not to fly QANTAS
* More room for fare paying passengers wes, now that 8,000 ex-employees have been bumped off the Qantas Staff Travel scheme, that is of course if the 6.2% of flights aren't cancelled...
* I often wondered about this sort of thing in relation to the actual passengers.
What do they do their loading calculations on in regards to weight per person? Like when you enter a lift there is a plaque that says maximum loading XXpeople or XXXKgs.
In a society where increasing numbers of people are over-weight and/or obese how do their passenger loading figures work?
If they have an 'average' weight of, say 65kg per passenger and 30% were obese, that's the national average, then you would have at least 10 people on that flight would be, let's say 100kg, that's the low threshold for obesity for an average male, then that is an extra 350kg... I would be interested to know how this figures in.
* I have been on two return flights from LHI and they weighed the passengers for both. The total weight in turn determined whether any wait list passengers could get on the flight and how much of the passengers’ luggage made it onto the flight. I don’t recall being weighed on the flights over.
* True, but as I commented below there is a difference between having that 'overweight' distributed along the plane, in front and behind the wing, and having it all lumped together at the rear of the plane. A lump weight at the rear is much worse for the trim of the aircraft.
* If you watch Air Crash Investigations you will know that this was not a trivial matter . You will also find that most crashes happen at night , when the pilots are totally dependent on the instruments when they can't see the horizon .
* Qantas are having a rough day.
* 160kg of extra freight is really no different that carrying two obese passengers. Surely it’s within the margin of error.
* Obviously not
* Depends where the weight was…. Loaded too far aft it could cause the aircraft to be outside its c of g envelope which would cause a large nose up attitude on takeoff potentially outside the pilots ability to control and therefore causing a stall.
* Something not right about this story. Only 20kg of freight? There would be way more than that in un-weighed cabin luggage. A Dash 8 is much smaller than the Q400 pictured.
* Exactly, 32 people where the average cabin luggage could be 5kg or 6kg. There's 32kg
* They're all Dash 8s. Dash 8-200 (the ones that go to Lord Howe Is.) Dash 8-300 and the biggest Dash 8-400. The Dash 8 series are reportedly a very strong and reliable aircraft. Qantas is apparently looking to replace the Dash 8's but I don't know what with. As to the 20kgs. that would be the freight limit after all the passengers and their baggage allowances, in total. Must have been a fully booked Dash 8-200.
* The issue is Dash 8 cargo is loaded under the tail, so freight actually change the centre of gravity of the aircraft a lot.
* Let it go bankrupt and buy it back at capital cost back in national ownership. The experiment failed.
* We’ve already done that……..propping it up during the pandemic, with absolutely nothing to show for it. Several other nations gave airlines big Covid payments, and got a percentage of ownership in return, new should have done the same.
* Just like Air NZ. Time we did the same.
* Lufthansa paid off all of their loans.....back in October!
8.9.22 Train strikes: when are they and which companies are affected? Seren Morris and Avinash Bhunjun.
FILE PHOTO: National rail strike In London REUTERS
Drivers at 12 train operators walked out on October 5, affecting travel to and from the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, according to rail union Aslef.
Furthermore, the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) have announced that more than 40,000 workers from Network Rail and 15 train operators will strike on October 8. The union said it would be “effectively shutting down the railway network”.
They have already walked out on Saturday (October 1).
Avanti West Coast, Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry, Great Western Railway, Greater Anglia, Hull Trains, LNER, London Overground, Northern, Southeastern, TransPennine Express, and West Midlands Trains (badged as London Northwestern Railway) will be affected.
Strike action that had been planned for September 9, 15, and 17 was called off after the death of the Queen. The drivers’ union Aslef made only a brief statutory statement about the strikes out of respect for the period of national mourning for the death of the Queen. By law, it must give employers two weeks’ notice of strikes.
Railway workers went on strike for a number of days in August in a dispute over pay and working conditions. In addition, members of the RMT, Aslef, and TSSA unions walked out in June and July.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said earlier that “this dispute will not simply vanish” and urged the rail industry and the Government to “get serious about providing an offer on pay which helps deal with the cost-of-living crisis, job security for our members, and provides good conditions at work”.
Mick Whelan, general secretary of Aslef, said union members had “been forced into this position by the train companies, driven by the Tory Government” and that “strike action is, now, the only option available”.
On strike days, only around a fifth of normal services ran, and half of the lines were closed.
In Scotland, workers on ScotRail will strike on October 10 in a dispute over pay, the RMT union announced.
The union said its members had been offered a five per cent pay rise, describing it as a real-terms wage cut because of the soaring rate of inflation.
Why are there train strikes?
The RMT called strike action in a dispute over “job security, pay and working conditions”.
Lynch said: “Proposals from Network Rail fell well short on pay and on safety around maintenance work. And the train-operating companies have not even made us a pay offer in recent negotiations.”
Aslef’s Mick Whelan said: “The drivers at the companies where we are striking have had a real-terms pay cut over the last three years since April 2019.
“And these companies are offering us nothing, saying their hands have been tied by the Government.
“That means, in real terms, with inflation running ahead at nine per cent, 10 per cent, and even 11 per cent this year, according to which index you use, that they are being told to take a real-terms pay cut. And that is not acceptable.”
He added: “Strikes are always the last resort. We don’t want to inconvenience passengers – our friends and families use public transport, too – and we don’t want to lose money by going on strike but we’ve been forced into this position by the companies, who say they have been driven to this by the Government.”
Australia ‘came to love their new monarch’ during her first trip September 9, 2022 [video]
The Australian Monarchist League National Chair Philip Benwell says Queen Elizabeth “specifically spent time going out to meet people” during her first visit to Australia as the monarch in 1954.
“She welcomed people, she greeted people, she shook the hands of people and the people in turn reacted and came to love their new monarch,” he told Sky News host Peter Gleeson.
The royal tour when Queen Elizabeth captured Victoria’s heart. Bianca Hall September 9, 2022
Between Shepparton and Mooroopna in Victoria’s Goulburn Valley, a road winds its way through a floodplain covered with mighty river red gums.
The area is known locally as The Flats, and it was here that many Yorta Yorta people made their home after walking off the station at Cummeragunja, on the NSW side of the border, in 1939, in the first mass strike of First Nations people in Australia.
Queen Elizabeth accepting a posy from Elizabeth Redman during her visit to Shepparton in 1954.CREDIT:THE AGE
Conditions at The Flats were basic. Yorta Yorta elder Uncle Ruben Baksh, who conducts walking history and cultural tours of the area, says there was no running water or electricity.
“People got water out of the Goulburn with a pulley and a bucket,” he said.
It was also here that a royal visit – a passing meeting between two worlds – would change everything.
In 1954, a young Queen Elizabeth embarked on her much-anticipated tour of Australia, visiting 57 towns and cities in 58 days, including 19 in the state named for her great-great-grandmother, the late Queen Victoria.
The front page of The Age on February 25, 1954.CREDIT:THE AGE
Both Shepparton and Mooroopna were on the itinerary, but someone – whose name is now lost to history – decided the sight of First Nations people, displaced from their homelands and making a new home in this sacred place on the banks of the Goulburn River, would be too much for the graceful young queen.
“They hung up hessian bags so the Queen couldn’t see the Aboriginal people down there,” Uncle Ruben recounts.
But the Queen would not have the wool pulled over her eyes so easily. Once her travelling party had reached the last bridge on the Mooroopna side, she met with several Yorta Yorta elders, who explained the living conditions they were forced to endure.
“She must have spoken to the council there and so they gave them the land at Rumbalara and built concrete homes for them,” Uncle Ruben says.
Huge crowds gathered to watch the Queen and Prince Philip in Swanston Street during the 1954 royal visit to Australia.CREDIT:AGE ARCHIVES
The sheer scale of the 1954 tour, which came two years before the introduction of television in Australia, is difficult to imagine today.
The day after her majesty’s first appearance in Melbourne, the front page of The Age described the royal visit as the “Greatest Day in [the] City’s History”.
GALLERY After dedicating the forecourt at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, Victoria, The Queen walks across it to inspect the eternal flame. 28th February 1954. 45 images Her Majesty The Queen's Royal Tours of Melbourne
The newspaper reported that almost 1 million people had turned out to line the roads between Essendon Airport and Government House to catch a glimpse of Elizabeth II, then just two years into her 70-year reign.
People brought wooden crates upon which to stand and hawkers sold cardboard periscopes. It was the first time a reigning monarch had visited Australia, at a time when Federation was still within living memory.
video Queen Elizabeth II commemorated with 96 gun salute A 96 gun salute has been held outside Parliament House in commemoration of Queen Elizabeth II.
The crowd in Melbourne, the paper trumpeted, sounded “Like [the] Roaring of the Sea”.
“With new waves of applause as the Queen emerged, the progress took her to the green summer charm of Collins Street, where the crowd’s loud cheering seemed somewhat muted by the dignity of the surroundings,” it reported.
“While torn ribbon and paper fluttered down in clouds, the cheers in the narrow canyon between the Town Hall and the Manchester Unity building grew not only in volume but in depth, till it sounded like the roaring of the sea.”
Hawthorn couple Fran and Mal Faul, now aged 80 and 77, still recall seeing her majesty during that tour. Like so many other Australians, they consider themselves republicans but still hold great respect for the Queen.
“As a young child, I sat out with my mother waiting for the Queen to come to Government House just to get a glimpse of her,” Mal remembers. “It was like a miracle appearing from so far away.”
Historian and writer Robyn Annear argues the 1954 visit served as a form of validation for many people in a country that still considered itself to be part of a British motherland.
“Victorians felt so remote from their home country and they still thought of it as home, by and large, even if they had been born here,” she says.
Constitutional monarchist Jason Ronald at home with a portrait of the Queen.CREDIT:CHRIS HOPKINS
“The Queen was the symbol of that place and of that power and Victorians really sought some acknowledgement that the royal family and the Queen knew that they existed and valued this place as subjects of hers – as valued subjects.”
During her 16 trips to Australia, most recently in 2011, Elizabeth touched the lives of many. But it appears this country also grew to become close to her heart.
Jason Ronald, the Australian chairman of the Royal Over-Seas League, has been fortunate to meet the Queen several times.
He believes her majesty’s affection for Australia was sparked by the extensive 1954 tour, conducted with Prince Philip, when the royal couple traversed the country by plane, train, ship and car over eight weeks.
So keen was three-year-old Geoffrey Cowie, of Wangaratta, Victoria, to see the Queen in Melbourne on February 28, 1954, that he crawled away from his parents through the crowd to a point in front of the barricade. But First Constable G. Walker thought young Geoffrey would be better with his mother.CREDIT:FAIRFAX PHOTOGRAPHIC
“The extent of the areas they covered is extraordinary. And I think Australia grew on her as she saw more of it and met more of the people, and I think she liked that down-to-earth nature of Australians.
“I think we respected her also for the leadership that she gave to us and for the way she fulfilled her role as our constitutional monarch.”
Many Melburnians continue to hold memories of meeting Queen Elizabeth and of her wry wit.
A chef, who described himself only as Keith, called into 3AW radio on Friday morning to recall how he had cooked for the Queen and other dignitaries at an event marking the opening of the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
The Queen at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne in 1954.CREDIT:FAIRFAX PHOTOGRAPHIC
The kitchen served King George Whiting, to which her majesty quipped: “It’s not often one gets to eat a fish named after one’s grandfather.”
Perhaps Queen Elizabeth’s most crowning achievement – among her Australian subjects – was her contribution to the ubiquity of inspect repellent Aerogard.
Heather Forbes-McKeon told how, in 2011, she and her husband Simon McKeon – then Australian of the Year – met the Queen at a function.
McKeon regaled her majesty with the story about how, during her 1963 tour, Queen Elizabeth had been “harangued by flies” while playing golf. At the time, CSIRO was in the process of developing Aerogard (which they later sold to Reckitt and Colman.) CSIRO offered their newly developed personal insect repellent to her to trial and it was a success – the Queen was able to play unhindered.
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh on a Melbourne tram in 2011.CREDIT:FAIRFAX ARCHIVES
Forbes-McKeon says the Queen didn’t seem to recall the moment, “but she seemed to really enjoy Simon’s tale and laughed so much I could see all of her back teeth!
“It was all over too fast; she was whisked away to the next person. I felt I had been to the moon and back. She was incredibly genuine in her warmth and sense of fun. I felt I had finally met a great aunt whom I’d heard about all my life.”
During the same tour, which was Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh’s final visit to Australia, the royal couple took a ride on a Z3-Class tram through Melbourne’s CBD.
In honour of the pair’s visit the exterior was transformed with a red, white and blue colour scheme; inside it was refurbished and restored.
“The monarch may be more used to travelling in a chauffeur-driven state Bentley or Rolls-Royce, but she appeared at home on public transport,” The Age said at the time.
“Like any other passenger, the Queen had to pay her way, although her Australian equerry, Commander Andrew Willis, had the job of buying her ticket. They used a myki – a pre-paid travel card – but it is not known if they chose the two-hour zone-one fare costing $3.80 or opted for the cheaper $2.80 dollar pensioner discount ticket.”
A journey fit for a queen of the people, who captured Victoria’s heart.
With Madeleine Heffernan, Nicole Precel and Sophie Aubrey
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folio of 45 photos of 16 trips: https://www.theage.com.au/world/her-majesty-the-queens-royal-tours-of-melbourne-20220909-h26a03.html
Light rail works, car park closures 'will change habits' for city commute, Transport Minister Chris Steel says. Jasper Lindell September 9 2022. 12 Comments
An artist's impression of light rail after London Circuit is raised following a period of signifcant disruption in the city. Picture supplied
Significant disruption to traffic and parking in Canberra's city centre while work continues on the second stage of light rail will force people to change their commuting habits, the ACT Transport Minister has said. Chris Steel said disruption was a very significant sign the government was getting on with the work of delivering light rail, but the government would do what it could to minimise the impact on motorists. "We hope that through that process in providing people with opportunities to rethink their route and routine, that they will find better ways to commute into the city in the least disruptive way as possible and in the shortest period of time," Mr Steel said. "Of course, we'll be promoting public transport through the period in the future and other forms of sustainable transport, but we know that many people will still need to commute by car." Motorists will have fewer parking spots to pull up in from later this month as work begins to establish site compounds for light rail work. "We do think that there is ample parking within the city footprint to accommodate those who may need to change where they're currently parking across the four car parks that are affected," Mr Steel said. The government will close or change access to 665 of the city centre's approximately 14,250 public parking spaces, with spots progressively removed as site compounds and work sites are set up. The main site office for the raising London Circuit project will be at the City Hill car park, which is at the corner of Constitution Avenue and London Circuit, and the government expects it will be set up at the end of September. "Parking capacity will be reduced or removed at four car parks with areas fenced off to be used for construction activities and for site offices, storage, deliveries, amenities as well as machinery and worker parking," the government said. Parking space will also be lost during the construction period at the 41 Marcus Clarke Street surface car park, the Acton waterfront and the car park at the corner of London Circuit and Edinburgh Avenue. Westbound traffic will be unable to turn right into Coranderrk Street from Parkes Way for five weekends in a row as part of work to install traffic lights at the roundabout to control westbound right-turn traffic. "Detour signage will be in place with vehicles to be detoured via Edinburgh Avenue. Weekend closures are expected to begin from midnight each Friday and remain closed until 6am on the following Monday morning," the government said. Closures will begin on September 16 and 23, and October 7, 14 and 21. Mr Steel said the traffic lights would be built as a temporary measure, but the territory believed they could permanently improve traffic on Parkes Way and would in the future discuss with the National Capital Authority making the lights permanent. The Transport Minister also said the ACT government would work with contractors and the National Capital Authority to synchronise works as much as possible to limit disruption. The National Capital Authority's planned upgrades of Commonwealth Bridge may be more disruptive than work to raise London Circuit and it was therefore important to align projects where possible, Mr Steel said. About 30 parking spots at the car park opposite the Canberra Institute of Technology's Reid campus will be used for the project's site compound but will be available before the end of the year after the project is completed. MORE A.C.T. POLITICS NEWS: Work will also soon begin on an eight- to 12-week project to install temporary traffic lights to allow safe right turns from Vernon Circle to access Constitution Avenue and London Circuit. A permanent footpath will connect Constitution and Edinburgh Avenues around the southern side of City Hill and will be built at the same time as the traffic lights are installed. Upgrades to Verity and Odgers Lanes, which run between the Sydney and Melbourne Buildings, will add outdoor dining, lighting and new landscaping to the areas, as part of work led by the City Renewal Authority. Two partial weekend closures of London Circuit starting on October 8 and October 15, if weather permits, will limit traffic flow in the city while water main infrastructure is moved and new stormwater pipes are built.
* All these changes to parking will do is drive more people and businesses away from the City. The idea that taking away parking to force people to spend more of their limited time on public transport is a good thing is laughable. That's time they could be spend having a life outside of work with their families and friends. EDITED
* Disappointing to see such a small reduction in the car parking smorgasbord. If the Government is serious about changing people's habits it could do a lot more, including provision of sufficient park and ride spots at sensible locations around the transport network. All this change will do is see more people driving around in circles until they find an elusive spot.
* So how many extra minutes is this going to add to by Belconnen to Woden bus trip? Since the 700s were cancelled it added 20 minutes to my commute. Now they are adding roadworks and likely an extra 10 minute delay to get across the lake. Can we please reinstate the belco to woden via parkway route? Please?
* work from home if you can/are allowed to.
* Perhaps that's why the ACTPS are being told to keep doing it so that the frustration level and therefore dissatisfaction with the Green Labor Government doesn't increase... #just sayin'
* I think thats part of the reason. It does make sense. I do respect that they are putting people first, not lessors or coffee shop owners.
* There goes the neighbourhood.
* Now the city workers/shopkeepers and visitors will know what we went through in Gungahlin!
* It's too late to stop this rubbish now, but at a construction cost of over $18,000 per centimetre and a construction timeframe of well over three years it really does make me wonder, after all its our money he is spending.
* Taking away over 700 Canberra suburban bus stops did more to "force people to change their commuting habits" than closing a few car parks in Civic. Does the Transport Minister actually know how to provide adequate transport options for the whole city, or just select parts of the city?
* Given the amount of "broken crash barriers" around the city that have been that way for many, many months, he doesn't seem to have much knowledge about anything or control over his ministry...
* I was looking for the part where Chris Steele announced that he would be using ACT public transport to commute, to demonstrate his credentials. As if.
The Queen’s Melbourne tram trip nearly erupted into a fight between photographers. John Masanauskas September 9, 2022
A tram trip down St Kilda Rd should have been an uneventful part of the Queen’s 2011 tour but it nearly turned into farce.
video: Her Majesty Queen opens The Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne Her Majesty The Queen has officially opened the new Royal Children's Hospital with The Duke of Edinburgh
It was an iconic Melbourne picture of the monarch on a tram.
But the snaps by former Herald Sun photographer Alex Coppel almost saw a fight erupt in front of the Queen.
It was the opportunity of a lifetime for Coppel when he was chosen to be one of only four photographers and camera operators on the Queen’s tram ride from Federation Square to Government House in 2011.
“It was incredible, most of the time when I’m working and the camera is up to my face, I have to concentrate on doing a good job, but at that moment when I stopped and sat down, it was like sitting on a tram with a lovey old lady,” he said.
But Coppel said the situation threatened to erupt into farce when a British royal snapper on the tram started getting highly competitive.
No ticket required for the Queen when she jumped on a Melbourne tram in 2011. Picture: Alex Coppel
The Queen waving to the admiring crowds lining the streets. Picture: Alex Coppel
“He sort of tried to push me, and I pushed back, and then we ended up having words, and I thought, ‘Gee, we’re about to have a fight on the tram in front of the Queen,’” he said.
Coppel said he enjoyed watching the Queen and Prince Philip commenting on the admiring crowds lining the streets.
Ted Baillieu, was Premier at the time of the visit and said the Queen was probably the most remarkable person of our time.
“She’s had an impact on five generations of Australians who grew up with her being a mother, with her being a grandmother, with her being a great grandmother,” he said.
”For many Australians, she’s been our North Star.”
“No matter the stage, no matter the storm, she’s been there, maintained her dignity, maintained her affection, she’s widely revered.”
Mr Baillieu opened the refurbished Royal Children’s Hospital together, and later when travelling to the UK to help launch Australia’s exhibition for the Chelsea Flower Show.
Asked what she was like in person, Mr Baillieu said: “Just as she appeared to be, warm, friendly, engaging, interested, knowledgeable, witty, and with a good sense of humour,” he said.
The Queen, Prince Phillip and former Premier Ted Baillieu. Picture: Alex Coppel
The tram was decked out for a royal ride.
“Believe it or not, she didn't’ take herself too seriously either. She took the institution seriously, but she was always ready for a smile and a bit of self deprecation.”
“It’s times like this that people turn to the Queen for advice, what would she advise us to do? And I think she would simply say, ‘carry on’, and we would say, ‘of course M’am, thank you M’am.’”
Former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett has remembered the Queen as a towering figure who will be a historical figure for all time.
Mr Kennett first saw the Queen as a child during her visit to Melbourne in 1954, but then met her annually in London as premier in the 1990s.
“I found her to be remarkably well briefed, remarkably interested in things Australian,” he said.
“I could never understand why she gave so much time to a colonial politician, if one can put it that way, but she did, and she was always very, very gracious.”
Jeff Kennett said the Queen was a towering historical figure of our time.
Mr Kennett said he was stunned by the sudden deterioration of her health.
“I feel a great sense of loss inasmuch as she has been a constant for longer in my life than my mother or my grandmother,” he said.
“As time progresses we will see this as a defining moment, as when things of her era changes for the next era, whatever that may hold.”
Mr Kennett criticised political comments by republican activists including Greens MP Adam Bandt and Australian Republican Movement director Peter FitzSimons.
“I just think it is so crass and so inappropriate at this time that they can’t wholesomely recognise an individual who will be remembered for the rest of time and history when their ashes and their contributions will be remembered by few,” he said.
John Brumby, who was premier during Black Saturday, said he was impressed by the Queen’s concern for bushfire victims, to the extent that she demanded daily briefings from the Victorian government on the recovery process for several months.
“She showed great care and concern and affection for the people of our city and our state,” he said.
“But most significant was the ongoing interest and concern she had for the welfare and the recovery of those communities affected by the fires.”
Later in 2009, Mr Brumby visited the Queen at her Balmoral estate, and was treated to a “picnic lunch” at a cottage on the property.
“So we finished the lunch, and we’ve all got to clean up, which was taking the dirty dishes, cutlery, glasses and leftovers back to the house,” he said.
“And we all jump up and start stacking the plates and glasses, and then she jumps up and joins in.”
“It was like being a member of the family, really, it was extraordinarily generous of her, I felt very privileged.”
Swimming legend Dawn Fraser was shocked by the loss of “her Royal Highness to the Commonwealth”.
Ms Fraser had lunch with the Queen aboard the royal yacht Britannia in Melbourne in 1963.
“I was nervous meeting her because she picked me out, and wanted to talk about my life and her life,” she said.
“She talked about her driving in the Second World War, and I said, ‘yes, a lot of that methane came from the coal mine in Balmain - I lived right opposite that.”
“We had a long conversation over lunch, she was a delightful person.”
The Melbourne-based Robert Menzies Institute said in a statement it was saddened by the Queen’s passing.
“(Former PM) Sir Robert Menzies was a firm believer in the strengths and successes of Australia’s constitutional monarchy, but what came to mean even more to him was the personal connection that he developed with the Queen herself,” the statement said.
“Menzies attended Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation in 1953. He hosted her as the first reigning monarch to visit Australia during the 1954 Royal Tour, a unique cultural phenomenon which saw as many as three-quarters of Australia’s population come out to see their young Queen.”
Will Camilla be Queen? What happens next
Digital edition: Read our tribute to the Queen
Boronia: Person hit by a train on Belgrave line, sparking delays. Kimberley Seedy September 9, 2022 Knox Leader
Trains have been suspended on part of the Belgrave line after a person was hit by a train in Boronia.
18.22: A person has been hit by a train in Boronia.
Belgrave line commuters are facing delays after a person was hit by a train in Boronia.
Buses are replacing trains between Ringwood and Upper Ferntree Gully following the incident on Friday afternoon.
Leader understands it was an attempted self-harm incident.
VicTraffic urged motorists to be vigilant for extra buses and pedestrians near train stations along the Belgrave line.
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Fri.9.9.22 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'. Letters
* MELBOURNE'S city streets are a disgrace. After working in the city for over 40 years I no longer want to visit. Sally Capp. do something worthwhile and make the city attractive again.
Fri.9.9.22 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'. Transport masks. ALEXANDRA MIDDLETON & JADE GAILBERGER
DANIEL Andrews insists mask mandates must remain on trams, trains and buses despite a top infectious disease expert saying there was no difference from planes, where the rule is being scrapped.
With the mask rule on international and domestic flights lifting from midnight on the advice of Australia's chief medical officer, Paul Kelly, the Premier was asked why the same did not apply to public transport.
Mr Andrews initially said there were "millions and millions" of Victorians at any one time on public transport, before walking that back to "hundreds of thousands".
Department of Transport on Thursday said trains were on average being used at 56 per cent of capacity, while it is understood planes have been mostly full with two million domestic passengers passing through Melbourne Airport in July alone.
"It's not about comparing a rule here with a rule, because you can always do that and you can always find some level of inconsistency, if that's your mission," Mr Andrews said.
"We're not running airports; the federal government does.
We don't have millions of Victorians catching a plane every week, we do have enormous numbers of Victorians using public transport.
"And at the moment. wearing a mask will mean there are fewer infections. And if there are fewer infections, that means there are fewer people in hospital and less pressure on our nurses."
However, Australia's former deputy chief medical officer, Nick Coatsworth, said that he couldn't see much difference between planes and public transport.
"I can't really think of a reason why you would have masks on the train and not on a plane." Dr Coatsworth said.
"This is the importance of consistency in policy and that's been an issue throughout the pandemic.
"It's very difﬁcult to argue for any sort of any sort of mask-wearing mandates anywhere at the moment, but we can certainly argue strongly for advice for people to wear masks when they're unwell and during peaks and waves."
Infectious diseases physician Peter Collignon said there was no strong evidence that mask mandates made a difference to the epidemic curve.
Federal Health Minister Mark Butler said the mandate on flights was removed on the advice that it was "no longer proportionate".
"I encourage everyone travelling overseas to be mindful of the continuing risk of Covid-19 and to take personal precautions to stop the spread and stay safe," Mr Butler said.