SYDNEYSIDERS TOLD TO SACRIFICE LIVING STANDARDS FOR MIGRANTS

The crush: Redfern is Sydney's sixth busiest station.

A Population Summit held by the SMH … one could be forgiven for believing it was to counter the current consequences of the high population growth … nah … it is about telling Sydneysiders the growth is inevitable … to get used to longer and more uncomfortable commutes

HOW can this guvmint make Sydney more liveable?

AS Leith points out …

The first major party that fully taps into this voter discontent will rule for decades.

Related Article … SMH Summit … https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.com/2019/09/16/smh-brad-leaves-home-at-6-30-a-m-to-avoid-the-crush-is-it-early-enough/

Sydneysiders told to sacrifice living standards for migrants

By Unconventional Economist in Australian Economy

September 16, 2019 | 32 comments

In the lead-up to its fake population summit, which has been hijacked by ‘Big Australia’ mafiaThe SMH has released a report telling Sydneysiders to get used to longer and more uncomfortable commutes as another 1.3 million people overload the city by 2030:

Overcrowded trains and busier roads. An extra 1.3 million people in Sydney by 2030 means a longer and more uncomfortable commute, particularly for residents in the city’s fast-growing western suburbs…

Despite the projected growth in rail and road infrastructure, population growth raises the risk of gridlocked roads and overcrowded trains in Sydney.

And congestion is likely to extend beyond peak periods to other parts of the day.

For many people there will be no escaping the crush as Sydney’s road and rail network comes under further strain…

The man responsible for moving us around does not subscribe to the doomsday model. NSW Transport and Roads Minister Andrew Constance paints a far rosier picture in his vision for 2030…

He spruiks the concept of the “30-minute city” and claims 70 per cent of Sydneysiders will live within half an hour of work, education and recreation by 2036.

But that dream is a long way from becoming a reality… Despite unprecedented investment in recent years, the rail and roads network faces massive challenges. It is partly due to a lack of investment previously, but also because the pace of population growth will keep piling more people into cars, trains, buses and ferries…

Sydney’s train lines are often overcrowded during morning and evening peak, with many services failing to run on time…

Meanwhile on the roads, major arterial routes including the M4, M5, the Harbour Tunnel and the Harbour Bridge will remain choked as traffic grinds to a standstill during peak… Add in some rain and Sydney seems to shut down…

Ultimately, the overriding question is: will crippling congestion render Sydney unliveable by 2030?

*As usual, the 1.3 million extra people by 2030 are presented by The SMH as inevitable, rather than a direct policy choice.

*Transport and planning academics are also quoted in the article claiming that Sydney’s growth problems are manageable and can be alleviated by ‘better planning’, more investment in public transit, congestion taxes, and the like.

All are lying through their teeth.

The fact of the matter is that Infrastructure Australia’s modelling has projected worsening traffic congestion, longer commute times, and reduced access to jobs, schools, hospitals and green space as Sydney swells to a projected 7.4 million people by 2046 under ongoing mass immigration, regardless of whether Sydney builds up or builds out:

The hopes for a “30-minute city” were also crushed by Infrastructure Australia’s modelling, as illustrated clearly in the above table.

The fact of the matter is that net overseas migration (NOM) will drive all of Sydney’s future population growth, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics:

Therefore, rather than resorting to expensive policy band aids, the population pressures can be prevented by simply abandoning a ‘Big Australia’ and turning off the immigration tap:

*The comments to this SMH article are worth reading for the disconnect between the Sydney elite and the majority that want immigration numbers reduced:

beeg
*All these series of articles keep presenting an extra 1.3M people as a fait accompli. Government needs to reduce immigration dramatically, and no extra 1.3M people. See how simple that is!

Dismaid
An option to alleviate the burden” might be to reduce the number of immigrants? Nobody seems to have thought of that.

redsq01
Lunacy

brainstem
You don’t have to take in another few million you know.

Le parc vert
Sydney was once a beautiful, vibrant city. It has already lost much of its character, but these plans will reduce it to a soulless megalopolis. The population might increase by another 1.5 million in 10 years, but I have no faith that the government can make the place livable. Doomed to be a second Jakarta?

*Impartial observer
This ridiculous growth is utterly ruinous for the environment, completely unwanted by the existent population and actually compromises the security of our nation by placing extreme demands on finite resources…

The people of Australia have given no mandate for this unsustainable growth…

Clever
Who is it that decides for Sydney to have such a large population? Have we got nothing to say? In a democracy people can vote on such an important matter. Over the last decades the once beautiful Sydney has become overcrowded and almost unbearable to life in. You think you have water shortages now! Give people a vote!

dondazwardo
What a horrendous city it has become

Bob
And why exactly do we need another 1.3million people in Sydney (alone) over the next 11 years? Can someone please explain the objective of our current immigration policy?

*The first major party that fully taps into this voter discontent will rule for decades.

Image may contain: one or more people and indoor

Sydney Metro

SOURCE: https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2019/09/sydneysiders-told-to-sacrifice-living-standards-for-migrants/

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SMH: BRAD LEAVES HOME AT 6.30 A.M. to avoid the Crush. Is it early enough?

DESPITE unprecedented investment in recent years, the rail and roads network faces massive challenges.

Largely due to the pace of population growth piling more people into cars, trains, buses and ferries

Brad leaves home at 6.30am to avoid the crush. Is it early enough?

An extra 1.3 million people in Sydney by 2030 is an enormous load on our roads and transport system.

By Josh Dye

SEPTEMBER 16, 2019

Medical student Brad Stanton at Parramatta Station.
Medical student Brad Stanton at Parramatta Station. CREDIT:CHRISTOPHER PEARCE

Overcrowded trains and busier roads. An extra 1.3 million people in Sydney by 2030 means a longer and more uncomfortable commute, particularly for residents in the city’s fast-growing western suburbs.

Brad Stanton is a final year medical student who lives at Liverpool and commutes to Westmead Hospital by train. He leaves at 6.30am to avoid the peak-hour crush in carriages.

“If I hop on the train any later, it’s packed,” he says. “You’re standing shoulder-to-shoulder breathing other people’s air. It’s not pleasant.”

The idea of a population beyond 5.8 million in a decade leaves Stanton feeling pessimistic about the city’s future, and he’s already planning his exit.

“I appreciate the job and study opportunities I’ve had in Sydney, but it’s not somewhere I want to live long-term and raise a family,” he says.

Despite the projected growth in rail and road infrastructure, population growth raises the risk of gridlocked roads and overcrowded trains in Sydney.

And congestion is likely to extend beyond peak periods to other parts of the day.

For many people there will be no escaping the crush as Sydney’s road and rail network comes under further strain.

Or at least that’s the worst-case scenario.

Sydney: the train city

The man responsible for moving us around does not subscribe to the doomsday model. NSW Transport and Roads Minister Andrew Constance paints a far rosier picture in his vision for 2030.

“Sydney is going to become a train city because of metro,” he says. “We’re going to see mass transfer out of cars onto trains as we continue to develop Sydney as a global city.”

He points to the integration between the transport and planning departments as evidence the government is armed to fight the city’s growing pains and avoid the mistakes of the past.

He spruiks the concept of the “30-minute city” and claims 70 per cent of Sydneysiders will live within half an hour of work, education and recreation by 2036.

*But that dream is a long way from becoming a reality, with two major impediments being housing affordability and a lack of jobs in the west.

Sydney’s ageing transport network is a problem, too.

*Despite unprecedented investment in recent years, the rail and roads network faces massive challenges. It is partly due to a lack of investment previously, but also because the pace of population growth will keep piling more people into cars, trains, buses and ferries.

The crush: Redfern is Sydney's sixth busiest station.
The crush: Redfern is Sydney’s sixth busiest station.CREDIT:BEN RUSHTON

*Sydney’s train lines are often overcrowded during morning and evening peak, with many services failing to run on time. The opening of the new metro line under the harbour in 2024 will alleviate some congestion, but the Western line will get busier as the population booms.

*Meanwhile on the roads, major arterial routes including the M4, M5, the Harbour Tunnel and the Harbour Bridge will remain choked as traffic grinds to a standstill during peak.

Add in some rain and Sydney seems to shut down.

*While a large wave of projects is in the pipeline, University of Sydney senior lecturer in transport and logistics management Geoffrey Clifton says it will not be enough to keep pace with rising demand by 2030.

“We’re likely to see some crunch in the public transport network in the next couple of years before the next projects kick in. Until the city metro [rail line] opens, there’s going to be a bit of a capacity gap,” he says.

“In the road network, there’ll be more choke points than there are today with more people on the roads. Local bus services will slow down unless we can put priority into them.”

While confident NSW is “on the right track”, Dr Clifton says it is critical that the government maintains momentum and “gets on with the job” of building the second wave of projects.

The Transport Minister affirms his government’s commitment to building the infrastructure required for a booming population. “We will continue to build the mega projects to fix the missing links in the transport network,” Mr Constance says.

The money problem

*Yet as politicians consider how to keep the city moving as the population swells, a critical issue emerges: how to fund a long list of promised transport projects that cost into the tens of billions of dollars.

*While the sale of state electricity assets in the Coalition government’s second term resulted in a huge cash windfall, the fact remains that public transport is a loss-making service heavily subsidised by taxpayers.

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Sydney Trains.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Sydney’s trains regularly fail to run on time during evening peak

“That’s a big challenge,” Dr Clifton says. “Infrastructure projects in Australia are more expensive than in other parts of the world. That’s where the user-pays model may be needed.”

An option to alleviate the burden on the roads, and funnel more people onto public transport, is to introduce a congestion tax. Road users would be charged higher rates to enter busy areas such as the central business district or drive at peak times.

*Despite having the backing of economists, planners and transport experts, Mr Constance rules out a congestion tax as being too difficult politically.

“It’s not going to happen,” he says. “You provide better public transport, you don’t need to introduce a congestion tax.”

*Instead, the Transport Minister favours “mobility as a service”, the latest buzz phrase in the industry.

*He believes in the not-too-distant future commuters will be able to pay for their transport needs across all modes via a subscription.

Sounds interesting, but how would it work?

*Dr Clifton compares the concept to private health insurance, which offers different tiers of membership and covers hospital visits plus extras like dental and physio. In the same way, commuters could purchase a package of transport services combining public transport with car sharing and bike hire, for example.

‘The status quo is not an option’

*Ultimately, the overriding question is: will crippling congestion render Sydney unliveable by 2030?

Mathew Hounsell, senior research consultant at the Institute for Sustainable Futures at UTS, says Sydney must be fundamentally realigned to avoid the perils of crippling congestion.

“The underlying problem in Sydney is the preference for motoring. If the rail system is faster, people will switch to it,” he says.

“If you prioritise car traffic, car traffic is always terrible. If you prioritise public transport, car traffic is still terrible but more people can be moved.”

Dr Clifton warns drifting along with the status quo is not an option.

“If we go with business as usual, then it will be much more congested. A lot of Sydneysiders will feel like they’re worse off in the future than today,” he says.

“But if we build cities with jobs located near where people live, and transport that provides people with connectivity, we’ll be creating communities where people will want to live.

“It’s not like we have to choose between a big Sydney and a good Sydney. We can have both – it just takes the will and investment.”

The Sydney Morning Herald is hosting a population summit on September 23. For more details and to view the list of speakers click here.

Josh Dye

Josh Dye is a news reporter with The Sydney Morning Herald.

SOURCE: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/brad-leaves-home-at-6-30am-to-avoid-the-crush-is-it-early-enough-20190825-p52kmb.html

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METRO MAP FORECASTS SYDNEY’s FUTURE DRIVERLESS NETWORK

Looks like a ‘blueprint’ for the privatisation of Our Sydney Rail for the Metro … and that means more Hong Kong MTR Developer Consortium expansion of higher density high-rise across Sydney …

And with driverless trains … further erosion of jobs and Union representation for Workers …

WILL narrow tunnels like that of Metro NorthWest be maintained … putting commuters at risk?

HILLS SHIRE

Metro map forecasts Sydney’s future driverless network

A blueprint of what the Sydney Metro network could look like in 2056 has been revealed, providing a look at new lines earmarked to connect suburbs.

Jake McCallum, Urban Affairs Reporter, Hills Shire Times

September 8, 2019

VIEW Source Link for an enlarged version:

EXCLUSIVE: A map of the potential future Sydney Metro Network has been released online. IMAGE: VOOM MAPS
EXCLUSIVE: A map of the potential future Sydney Metro Network has been released online. IMAGE: VOOM MAPS

Construction of Castle Towers Metro link underway

Wall collapses on gym in Sydney demolition disaster

A map forecasting Sydney’s driverless metro future has been released — earmarking the introduction of two new routes reaching through Sydney and out to the western suburbs.

The 37-year jump into the future predicts what the Sydney Metro network could look like in 2056. The blueprint was released by Voommaps, identifying key transport routes and stations highlighted by the Greater Sydney Commission and NSW Government.

Artist Impression of a North West Metro train going to Parramatta. Source: Supplied
Artist Impression of a North West Metro train going to Parramatta. Source: Supplied

The map suggest the Sydney Metro west would link Westmead and Norwest stations before extending out to the Western Sydney Airport and Aerotropolis site.

Meanwhile, the Metro northwest line would be extended from Tallawong connecting Schofields and Marsden Park to the North South Rail Link from St Marys to the new airport.

A Voom maps spokesman said although the map created is not an official government document, it is based on “planned mass transit lines identified by the NSW Government’s Future Transport Strategy 2056”.

The Sydney Metro Northwest Kellyville Station. Picture: Transport for NSW
The Sydney Metro Northwest Kellyville Station. Picture: Transport for NSW

The prediction of the future metro services includes the Sydney Metro West — which is scheduled to commence construction in 2020, Sydney Metro Greater West — earmarked to start work in 2021, the Sydney Metro City and Southwest extension to Liverpool, Sydney Metro Greater West northern extension to Sydney Metro Northwest and Sydney Metro Greater West southern extension to Macarthur.

DAILYTELEGRAPH.COM.AU1:27How do Australia’s train networks compare to one another?

A comparison between Australia’s different train networks.

The map also includes a rail line from Parramatta to Western Sydney Airport and Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis, as well as a rail line from Leppington to Western Sydney Airport and Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis and a series of mass transit links from the Sydney CBD to Malabar via Randwick, Parramatta to Kogarah via Bankstown, Macquarie Park to Hurstville via Rhodes and Parramatta to Norwest Business Park.

MORE FROM JAKE McCALLUM

Construction of Castle Towers Metro link underway



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“The map’s design is influenced primarily by the current Sydney Trains network map so as to be familiar design to Sydney’s public transport users,” the spokesman said.

“I believe that the major transport hubs referenced in the map are a step forward in promoting a more polycentric city, as opposed to the traditional paradigm dominated by the one Sydney CBD.”

Concept images of the aerotropolis and the Western Sydney Airport which could be linked by a series of metro lines. Picture: Arterra Interactive
Concept images of the aerotropolis and the Western Sydney Airport which could be linked by a series of metro lines. Picture: Arterra Interactive

Voom Maps forecast cross-country links would improve the feasibility of city centres, such as Parramatta.

“Currently, to get to Parramatta from Kogarah, one would have to travel all the way to the city first,” the spokesman said.

“The proposed direct link would make Parramatta significantly more accessible for a large proportion of Sydney’s population.”

The spokesman said the creation of the map was to see the NSW Government’s planned mass transit lines “holistically, as one interconnected network” rather than individual projects on separate maps.

Artist Impression of South West Metro running under the harbour Bridge
Artist Impression of South West Metro running under the harbour Bridge

A Spokeswoman for Transport Minister, Andrew Constance, confirmed the map was not an official government document, while a Greater Sydney Commission spokesman said the map “is the vision looking out to 2056”. The spokesman said the map aligned with the Metropolis of Three Cities and the 30-minute city concept.

“The Future Transport 2056 Strategy, the Greater Sydney Region Plan and the State Infrastructure Strategy from Infrastructure NSW were prepared concurrently,” he said.

“I believe that map is be based on the initiatives section of the Future Transport plan.”

Large crowds wait in the queue outside Chatswood station to use the Sydney Metro northwest. Picture: Toby Zerna
Large crowds wait in the queue outside Chatswood station to use the Sydney Metro northwest. Picture: Toby Zerna

The suggestion of the Sydney Metro’s future growth also comes as Mr Constance announced more than 5.6 million trips had been taken on the Sydney Metro northwest since it opened on 26 May — with “an overall customer satisfaction rating of 95 per cent”.

SOURCE: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/hills-shire-times/metro-map-forecasts-sydneys-future-driverless-network/news-story/a88844c0c69ea8aebb55fe8d2db74fe6?utm_campaign=EditorialSF&utm_source=DailyTelegraph&utm_content=SocialFlow&utm_medium=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR0Z-pf4OkIUfFAV3LULBUTfYVEbOF_oXjZOZWRzT-IaYbG3FxN2cNOoYJI

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How ‘archaic’ technology threw SYDNEY RAIL into meltdown

WHY is this happening … is Sydney Trains’ chief executive, Howard Collins limited in what he can say?

Are those servants elected to manage NSW in our interests in fact …

acting more like Corporate Raiders of the bickie tin of NSW Public Assets?

-are they deliberately running our publicly owned infrastructure down?  Cough … cough …

By cutting maintenance money … so so severely that the mechanical switches to isolate power date back to the 1920s …

-forcing maintenance staff to clamour through tunnels to flick switches

-instead of remotely from an operations centre like they do on London’s underground network

ALL that is needed is:

-a remote isolation switch from the rail operation centre with a disruption of a mere 15 minutes

BUT the liberal nsw grubmnt is funnelling Tens of Billions into new privatised Metro lines rather than maintain the existing publicly owned railway

DID you vote for this? To gift Hong Kong Consortium MTR even more development opportunities en route? Is the plan to replace the whole rail network? Cough … cough …

How ‘archaic’ technology threw Sydney rail into meltdown

Matt O'Sullivan
By Matt O’Sullivan

August 23, 2019

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It was 5.22am when the driver of a train carrying hundreds of people through the heart of Sydney saw a roof hatch on its front carriage sitting perilously close to the 1500-volt overhead power line.

At about 8.45am on Friday, the northbound train finally rolled away from a platform at Town Hall station, after the fibre-glass hatch was safely removed.

In the intervening three hours, the stoppage of one train had thrown Sydney’s rail network into chaos.

The incident at Town Hall caused major delays for hours across the rail network.
The incident at Town Hall caused major delays for hours across the rail network.CREDIT:PETER RAE

Trains carrying up to 250,000 commuters across the city were seriously delayed or re-routed during the morning peak, and roads gridlocked as people sought other ways to get around. At Wynyard station, commuters were advised to walk across the Harbour Bridge, so severe were the delays.

The incident on Friday morning has again highlighted the vulnerability of Sydney’s aged rail network – and the length of time it takes for it to recover from delays.

More than 12 hours after the train was halted, commuters were still experiencing delays to services across multiple lines during the evening peak.

After the operator stopped the train at Town Hall due to the safety risks posed if it continued, engineers were forced to scramble through tunnels to turn off “Frankenstein”-like switches so that they could cut power to the overhead line and remove the hatch, which was millimetres from the overhead wires.

*Sydney Trains’ apologetic chief executive, Howard Collins, said the mechanical switches to isolate power dated to the 1920s, and were likely put in when the rail network was first electrified.

A loose hatch on a Sydney train led to hours of delays across the network.
A loose hatch on a Sydney train led to hours of delays across the network. CREDIT:SYDNEY TRAINS

“They are almost Frankenstein in their look,” he said on Friday.

*And while they “do a great job”, Mr Collins conceded that it was an “archaic” situation to be in when staff had to clamour through tunnels to flick switches instead of being able to do so remotely from an operations centre like they do on London’s underground network.

*“We are looking forward to getting further investment to get us up to the 20th century,” he said.

*”As far as I’m concerned, the future for us … is a remote isolation [switch] all done from the [rail operation centre and] … services are disrupted for 15 minutes rather than three hours.”

The rail operator blamed the loose hatch on the Tangara passenger train on an “external factor”, possibly a tree branch. “There are definite scratch and scour marks on the top of this fibre glass lid, so something has hit it at the front of the train,” Mr Collins said.

Commuters at Wynyard station were advised to walk across the Harbour Bridge.
Commuters at Wynyard station were advised to walk across the Harbour Bridge.CREDIT:AAP

The hatches are secured by a large clip and a safety device.

Mr Collins said it was the right decision to halt the train at Town Hall because overhead wires on the North Shore line across the Harbour Bridge to North Sydney could have been torn down if it had continued.

“It could have meant days of damage … [and] the hatch could have come off and hit someone,” he said.

The incident shows the extent to which central Sydney is the “the squeeze point” on the rail network, and the ripple effect across multiple lines caused by a failure on it.

[The network] is historically very connected, and when one bit falls down, after a while the others slow down and stop as well,” Mr Collins said.

The government is spending billions on upgrades to signalling systems on part of the network, as well as on new Waratah trains less susceptible to failure.

But the tens of billions it is funnelling into new metro rail lines has left it open to criticism that more should have been diverted to the existing railway, which will continue to carry the bulk of commuters for years to come.

Asked whether the government should have spent more on Sydney Trains, Mr Collins said “we need both” and the second stage of the city’s new metro line from Chatswood to the central city and beyond would provide an alternative during major incidents.

“There is no doubt that, if you spend on one and not the other, we still fail. With this incident, metro would have been able to take the haul all the way from North Sydney to Central and there would have been a realistic and reasonable alternative,” he said.

Matt O’Sullivan

Matt O’Sullivan is the Transport Reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.

SOURCE: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/how-archaic-technology-threw-sydney-rail-into-meltdown-20190823-p52k4h.html

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TECHNICIAN’s CONTROL ROOM ERROR CAUSES METRO TRAINS TO SHUT DOWN

Technician’s control room error causes metro trains to shut down

Matt O'Sullivan
By Matt O’Sullivan

July 29, 2019

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A shutdown of Sydney’s new metro rail line on Monday morning was caused by a technician inexplicably breaking the glass on a fire suppression system, triggering gas to be pumped into a control room and forcing its evacuation.

The “serious incident” at 9.20am caused delays for thousands of commuters for the next 90 minutes, forcing stations along the $7.3 billion Metro Northwest line to be evacuated and replacement buses put on to eventually transfer passengers to their destinations.

At the time, 17 driverless trains were running along the 36-kilometre line in both directions between Rouse Hill and Chatswood. Two of the trains were stuck in tunnels for about 15 minutes before they were moved on to stations where passengers could get off and catch buses.

The control centre at Rouse Hill was evacuated on Monday morning.
The control centre at Rouse Hill was evacuated on Monday morning. CREDIT:WOLTER PEETERS

Transport officials initially blamed the shutdown on a “communications system issue”.

But Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the incident was due to “human error”, caused by a technician in the metro line’s control room at Rouse Hill in the city’s north west breaking the glass on a fire suppressant system.

“In breaking the glass, gas was released through the control centre, which led to an evacuation. Because of the very nature of the gas released, it meant there was no oxygen to ensure that people were safe inside the centre,” he said.

Firefighters arrived quickly on the scene. No fire or smoke was detected

The metro line was shut down for about 90 minutes on Monday morning.
The metro line was shut down for about 90 minutes on Monday morning.CREDIT:YIANNI ASPRADAKIS

Transport systems around the world including Sydney’s have mechanisms in place for critical areas which, in the event of a fire, result in oxygen being sucked out of rooms to suppress flames and protect equipment. Staff are evacuated before their safety is placed at risk.

Mr Constance said he expected the private operator of the metro line to “look closely at this” incident, and details about why the technician activated the suppression system.

“We will always take key lessons out of incidents like this,” he said.

The control centre for the trains is housed in buildings adjacent to a large stabling yard for the line’s fully automated trains at Rouse Hill. Up to 30 people typically work in the control centre.

Two of the driverless trains were stuck in tunnels for about 15 minutes.
Two of the driverless trains were stuck in tunnels for about 15 minutes.CREDIT:YIANNI ASPRADAKIS

Transport for NSW secretary Rodd Staples said the system worked “exactly as it was planned and designed”, citing the evacuation of the operations control centre, and the stopping of trains to ensure “that everyone was safe”.

“[It is] important we learn some lessons out of this and the metro operator is certainly looking at that. But the back-up system did come into play and we were able to stand up the system,” he said.

Within an hour of the alarm, a decision was made to shift to the back-up system to allow a gradual recovery of services on the metro rail line.

The delays coincided with the first day of major changes to the bus network in Sydney’s north west, which has linked more bus routes to stations along the metro line but come at the cost of a number of services to the central city including the 610 from Rouse Hill to the CBD.

Mr Constance said the government would continue to monitor the response of commuters to the changes, but cited a drop of up to 25 per cent in patronage on some buses to the CBD as evidence people were switching their travel patterns to use the new metro trains.

“You can’t change services without upsetting someone. At the same time, it’s about the greater good to benefit the majority of people,” he said.

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Matt O'Sullivan
Matt O’Sullivan

Matt O’Sullivan is the Transport Reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.

Guilty plea in London exposes LEIGHTONS, an Australian company for alleged corruption

WILL this add to the Berejiklian Government woes not only from the DEFECTIVE APARTMENT BUILDING CRISIS (85% DEFECTIVE ON COMPLETION: REPORTS) … but it would appear that Leightons (now CIMIC) was under bribery investigation while building the Metro and WestConnex?   Yet they won the tenders anyway!

The OTS contract was awarded – reported on 16 September 2014

NSW Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian announced that Sydney’s brand new rapid transit trains will run every four minutes on the North West Rail Link …

https://www.sydneymetro.info/article/ots-contract-awarded

Sydney Metro $1.37Bn Chatswood to Bankstown Contract Awarded

The contract of $1.37 billion will be an unincorporated joint venture of the two CIMIC Group companies (formerly Leightons) and includes …

https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.com/2018/11/27/4732/

A Dairy Farm in North Richmond is to make way for Housing!

The Metro rail link is privately owned by the Hong Kong Consortium MTR, apartment developers (60% shareholding), China’s CCCC owns what was Australia’s John Holland Group and UGL Rail, a division of United Group Limited (CIMIC formerly Leightons).  The NSW Government sold off the Epping to Chatswood public heavy rail link to this Consortium!

https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.com/2018/09/25/2117/

AND …

Questions to be answered over Leightons Involvement in WestConnex

http://www.altmedia.net.au/questions-to-be-answered-over-leightons-involvement-in-westconnex/114897

  • ANALYSIS

Guilty plea in London exposes Australian company for alleged corruption

By Nick McKenzieRichard Baker and Michael Bachelard

July 22, 2019

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A missing piece from Australia’s longest-running corporate bribery jigsaw has fallen into place, with a guilty plea in a London court proving what the Australian Federal Police have not that Australian construction giant Leighton Holdings bribed its way to a billion-dollar contract in Iraq.

Basil Al Jarah: 'The Captain'.
Basil Al Jarah: ‘The Captain’.

The guilty plea by a bagman who called himself “The Captain”, but whose real name is Basil Al Jarah, raises a host of questions for Australian authorities, not least the failure to charge a single former Leighton executive with bribery.

The plea also reveals that Leighton’s corruption started earlier and continued longer than previously thought: from 2010 to late 2013.

The UK case also raises the prospect that Unaoil insiders, including Al Jarah, are finally co-operating with authorities.

If so, it could mean further investigation into the former Leighton executives who hired or dealt with Unaoil.

Al Jarah has pleaded guilty to conspiring to pay bribes to Iraqi officials on behalf of Leighton between August 2010 and December 2013. This means the conspiracy continued for almost two years after federal police began their probe into the very same bribery.

In other words, Leighton’s British bagman was still engaged in a corruption conspiracy on behalf of the Australian firm 22 months after it had professed publicly to taking action to stop his corruption by alerting police and conducting an internal probe.

When Al Jarah began his corrupt acts for Leighton’s Singapore subsidiary in August 2010, Wal King was the parent company’s CEO, a role he would hold until January 2011. There is no suggestion Mr King knew of the corruption that occurred on his watch as the company’s top manager. But other top executives were warned.

In November 2010, acting CEO David Stewart made what is among the more infamous handwritten memos in corporate Australian history.

Mr Stewart recorded a purported statement by another senior manager, David Savage, that the company that employed Al Jarah, Unaoil, was paying tens of millions of dollars in bribes for Leighton in Iraq in order to secure it a massive contract to construct an oil pipeline.

Former Leighton executive Russell Waugh.
Former Leighton executive Russell Waugh.CREDIT:PETER BRAIG

Mr Stewart failed to report this statement to police, although company lawyers stumbled upon it months later and referred it to the AFP.

*The AFP began its investigation into Leighton in February 2012. It is still running.

The genesis of the guilty plea in London on Friday was 2016 revelations in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald about Al Jarah’s employer, Unaoil.

In addition to Leighton, Unaoil worked for the biggest oil industry companies in the world, including Rolls Royce, Hyundai and Halliburton.

The Age and Herald analysed hundreds of thousands of leaked Unaoil emails — many written in code — then reported in March 2016 how Unaoil had acted as a global bagman for dozens of major companies.

Saman, Cyrus and Ata Ahsani, the men behind Unaoil.
Saman, Cyrus and Ata Ahsani, the men behind Unaoil.

The stories prompted investigations by the UK Serious Fraud Office, the FBI, Swiss, French and Italian authorities, but was also subject to attacks via the owners of Unaoil, the wealthy Ahsani family of Monaco.

The Ahsani’s lawyer, Sydney solicitor Rebekah Giles, attacked the reporting that exposed Unaoil’s corruption as unfounded and unjust.

Unaoil found an ally in The Australian, which ran sympathetic pieces for the Ahsani family in which they pushed claims the leaked data didn’t expose corruption but rather had been stolen by someone to blackmail the company.

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Peter Gregg at the Downing Centre Court in Sydney earlier this year.
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Businessman Peter Gregg found guilty of falsifying records

The publicity campaign by Unaoil was no more than a smokescreen for its own corruption. Unaoil could threaten and thunder — at one point one journalist from The Australian reported that a threatened lawsuit against The Age and Herald could cost the newspaper $100 million.

But the bribery campaign it had waged for multinationals across the globe was comprehensively captured in Unaoil’s own emails.

The emails described million-dollar bribes as “holidays”, gave corrupt politicians and bagmen code names like “the doctor” and “Mr Lighthouse” and complained about greedy officials who wanted bigger bribes.

The emails also exposed how Leighton’s billion-dollar-plus Iraq contracts were won via graft.

The expose has already triggered industrial behemoths Rolls Royce and TechnipFMC to settle Unaoil related investigations run by US or UK agencies by paying hundreds of millions of dollars.

There are ongoing investigations around the world into multinationals, as well as ongoing prosecutions of executives.

Last week, US defence giant Honeywell disclosed its relationship with Unaoil has led to it facing a corruption probe by American investigators.

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Unaoil's Saman, Cyrus and Ata Ahsani.
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Rolls-Royce fined $1.1b after Fairfax Unaoil expose

Unaoil’s Iraq manager Basil Al Jarah was the first key figure to plead guilty to conspiring to pay bribes. Court files name his alleged co-conspirators as the three members of the Ahsani family who managed Unaoil – Ata and his sons Cyrus and Saman.

The Serious Fraud Office recently dropped criminal investigations against the Ahsanis, but the investigation into Unaoil, the company, continues. The FBI in the United States also continues its own investigation into the company and the Ahsani family.

The Ahsanis have consistently denied any wrongdoing, although they haven’t issued a statement for months.

Basil Al Jarah: 'The Captain'.

Nick McKenzie

Nick McKenzie is an investigative reporter for The Age. He’s won seven Walkley awards and covers politics, business, foreign affairs and defence, human rights issues, the criminal justice system and social affairs.

Richard Baker

Richard Baker is a multi-award winning investigative reporter for The Age.

Michael Bachelard

Michael Bachelard is The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald’s foreign editor and the investigations editor at The Age. He has worked in Canberra, Melbourne and Jakarta as Indonesia correspondent. He has written two books and won multiple awards for journalism, including the Gold Walkley in 2017.

SOURCE: https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/guilty-plea-in-london-exposes-australian-company-for-alleged-corruption-20190721-p52972.html?fbclid=IwAR0RQvzpzgKNKNqB-VcRr_1grKCXQHeOKvhDx2mc8HkIMq3dRR2jIViJdb0#comments

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THE TOP STOPS ALONG THE NEW METRO NORTHWEST LINE

IT always was about development … to deliver another 11 thousand holes in the wall …

The top stops along the new Metro Northwest line IT

  • The top stops along the new Metro Northwest line

The new rail line runs from the lower north shore suburb of Chatswood. Photo: Peter RaeIn partnership with

The top stops along the new Metro Northwest line

OWEN THOMSON

JUL 4, 2019

When Sydney’s Metro Northwest officially opened to customers in late May, it did more than simply represent the opening stage of a comprehensive transport initiative.

Starting at Chatswood and terminating at Tallawong, the ambitious $8.3 billion undertaking also marks a new era of direct rail access to some of the city’s lesser-known parts.

As Australia’s largest public transport project, the Metro now offers a turn-up-and-go rail service to outer suburbs including North Ryde, Epping, Cherrybrook, Castle Hill, Kellyville, and Rouse Hill.

The mayor of The Hills Shire, Michelle Byrne, says the possibilities offered by the new line will markedly transform the area for residents and visitors alike.

DSC_4758_n2sau8
The newly opened Hills Showground Station in Castle Hill. Photo: Peter Rae

“You can already see changes happening in response to the Metro around the new stations,” Dr Byrne says. “Work has begun at Castle Towers to incorporate a major link between Castle Hill Station and the ground level of the shopping centre.

“And we’re creating a plan for the Castle Hill Showground that will transform it into a vibrant hub serving residents near Showground Station and the broader community.”

Then there’s the long list of attractions set to be delivered by the project’s associated Metro Northwest Places Program – an initiative that aims to create well-connected and vibrant places for people along the line to live, work, shop and play.

“The Metro Northwest Places Program will deliver up to 11,000 new homes, parks and public open spaces, and community facilities from Tallawong to Epping over the next 10 to 20-years,” says Scott Gregg, executive general manager of projects for the NSW Government’s land and property development organisation, Landcom.

The Langston Epping_Retail2
The Langston will bring 470 new apartments to Epping. Render: The Langston

“These are transit-oriented developments where communities are built around modern transport, recreation and retail centres,” he says. “The new communities that will grow along the Metro Northwest rail line will enjoy high-quality public open spaces, parks, cycling connections, walking paths, play spaces and sporting grounds that are easily accessible to all.

“These public spaces will serve to support everyone enjoying these new communities – from the residents that will call these places home, to the people working in and around the new employment hubs that will grow along the Metro Northwest rail line.”

Infrastructure improvements resulting from the transport project are already generating many knock-on benefits, rendering suburbs along the route even more attractive to property developers and buyers alike.

The Langston is a case in point. Located just a stone’s throw from the newly renovated Epping station and 18 kilometres north-west of Sydney, this under-construction 470-apartment development combines high-density living with vibrant public spaces.

The Langston Epping_Balcony2
Residents of The Langston will have easy access to the new Metro line. Render: The Langston

Conceived as a landmark residential offering, The Langston will also incorporate retail outlets and cafes, thereby creating a vibrant central thoroughfare with paved walkways and landscaped gardens.

“People see the intrinsic value that infrastructure projects add to property, and with one of the best infrastructure projects in Sydney having just opened right on our doorstep, The Langston has a prime position,” says Tim Rees, senior director of CBRE, Residential.

“You’ve got views to the city and retail downstairs and you’re 100 metres from the Metro line and a couple of stops away from Chatswood. The new line is definitely creating a charge of owner-occupiers looking for that connectivity into the city.”

With the Sydney real estate market bereft of urgency, Rees says buyers are now taking three-to-six months to make purchasing decisions.

“Not only are they looking for value, but also the quality and the best position,” he explains. “So, you’re finding that triple A-located projects like ours are getting buyers in this market.

“It’s not just about transport. It’s also about proximity to retail, schools, parks and lifestyle features.”

SOURCE: https://www.domain.com.au/news/the-top-stops-along-the-new-metro-northwest-line-855721/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=link-newsfeed&utm_campaign=c-nsw-content-newdevs-thelangston&fbclid=IwAR1WwX3AQeOpYCPfObUIV5IJEJflkK7Ri0CZXJvjoQUmCtZi4fgVWvvC1II

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DUO OUT TO DERAIL METRO OVER TUNNEL

 

 

Duo out to derail metro over tunnel

George Altomonte and Opera Australia are pursuing Sydney Metro for compensation. Illustration: John Shakespeare
George Altomonte and Opera Australia are pursuing Sydney Metro for compensation. Illustration: John ShakespeareCREDIT:

 

 

At this rate, it’ll soon be hard to find someone who hasn’t started legal proceedings against one of Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s transport bureaucracies.

Earlier this month, Transport Minister Andrew Constance agreed to fork out $576 million to settle claims made against his department by light rail builders ALTRAC and Acciona.

Then there’s the $400 million claimed by businesses along the light rail route who are alleging that project delays brought them financial ruin.

But here’s an unlikely duo who have decided to try to cash in — this time not against the light rail but against Sydney Metro: Opera Australia boss Rory Jeffes and wealthy car dealer George Altomonte.

Both are irate that the Valuer-General decided neither had the right to any cash in return for tunnelling under their properties.

Opera Australia’s claims are connected to its Alexandria warehouse which has allegedly been damaged during construction of the metro, which this week received the green light to begin boring under Sydney Harbour.

Opera Australia has engaged Tim Hale SC as part of its legal action.

On the other side of the water, in St Leonards, lays Altomonte’s site.

Altomonte, who has a lucrative sideline in horse breeding at his Corumbene Stud, has hired barrister Janet McKelvey, a legal advisor for Lendlease during its development of Barangaroo.

 

 

George Altomonte and Opera Australia are pursuing Sydney Metro for compensation. Illustration: John Shakespeare

 

SOURCE:  https://www.smh.com.au/national/duo-out-to-derail-metro-over-tunnel-20190627-p5220u.html

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BILLIONS IN SAVINGS PROPOSED FOR STATE’s TRANSPORT AS COSTS SOAR

 

AS said before all these infrastructure projects come at a price.

On ABC online there’s an article about Constance floating the idea that fares sometime in the future will be like a Netflix a/c

Is all of this about softening us up for:

-a sell off of transport infrastructure
-ensuring a potential buyer is future proofed by giving them a permanent like cash flow, the ‘subscriber’ having to opt out to stop payments coming from a bank a/c

 

Billions in savings proposed for state’s transport as costs soar

 

 

Raising public transport fares, selling or redeveloping hundreds of state-owned properties and overhauling road levies and taxes are among measures being considered to secure $7 billion in annual savings by the end of next decade to avoid a blow-out in NSW’s transport costs.

A Transport for NSW “reform program” prepared for the state’s Cabinet and obtained by the Herald using freedom of information laws also reveals the agency is proposing ways to cut up to $1.9 billion a year from staff costs within 10 years.

The “sensitive” documents, dated March this year, lay out the stark choices to be confronted by transport authorities and the state government: more money than ever is being spent on transport services, but what the government recoups from fares and other charges is not keeping pace.

The cost to the government of transport services is surging.
The cost to the government of transport services is surging.CREDIT:PETER RAE

 

They show Transport for NSW wants to continue to increase service levels, but is also under pressure to find billions in savings over the longer term.

 

The documents warn that, “without action”, the annual “subsidy” from the government to cover the cost of transport will surge from $5.8 billion last year to $9.6 billion in 2028.

 

By 2028, the amount agencies collect from fares and other charges is expected to cover just 27 per cent of the overall cost of services, compared with 32 per cent last year. “Rising costs and stagnant revenues are projected to require greater government subsidy,” the documents say.

Selling or redeveloping hundreds of state-owned properties are among measures being considered to secure $7 billion in annual savings by the end of next decade.
Selling or redeveloping hundreds of state-owned properties are among measures being considered to secure $7 billion in annual savings by the end of next decade.CREDIT:DOMINIC LORRIMER

Transport for NSW secretary Rodd Staples said the agency had talked to the Berejiklian government about the financial pressures but he emphasised no policy decisions had been made.

“This is sharing with them thoughts and opportunities,” he said.

“In terms of any major policy decision, we’ll have to do that on its merits and I’ll do that in consultation with the ministers and Premier.”

Transport Minister Andrew Constance declined to say what proposals from the transport agency the government was likely to adopt but said commuters were his number-one priority and he expected improvements to frontline customer services.

Transport for NSW secretary Rodd Staples.
Transport for NSW secretary Rodd Staples.CREDIT:WOLTER PEETERS

The documents reveal that transport officials estimate up to $2.1 billion could be saved annually by 2028 from “reform” of road levies and taxes, changes to benefits and concessions for public transport and tiered pricing to reflect a “more equitable user-pays framework”.

A further $2.3 billion boost to Transport’s finances within the next decade could be realised from selling, rezoning, developing or improving about 350 properties “with strong commercial potential”, and from licensing the use of advertising space, intellectual property and data.

And up to $1.9 billion in savings each year by 2028 could come from a renewal of its 28,000-strong workforce “while holding the headcount largely steady at 2018 levels, embracing new skills, new technology and improving customer service and cost recovery”.

The documents do not detail what the proposed measures, such as reform of road levies or changes to public transport concessions, would entail.

Mr Staples said the agency would be taking the lead of the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal on fares, which is considering an overhaul of Opal ticketing for public transport.

“We’ll wait until the IPART work has been done,” he said.

“It is a case of saying to government, if you’ve got financial pressures, and you’re seeking more revenue, here are options available to you to consider.”

Mr Staples said a large proportion of Transport’s workforce would retire or leave over the next decade but the fact it would retain present staffing numbers indicated that “we’ll have more service delivery” as the transport network expands. “We’ll have more assets to maintain but we’re trying to do that with a similar headcount and that delivers us savings,” he said.

In highlighting the financial pressures, the documents describe Transport’s central functions as “inefficient and duplicative”.

They also warn that “significant gains in customer satisfaction are plateauing” as a focus on specific modes, such as trains or buses, limits Transport’s ability to “meet shifting customer expectations”.

The challenges are underscored by forecasts that passenger trips on the rail network will surge by 21 per cent over the next three years.

Transport for NSW hired consultants from BCG several months ago to conduct a four-week review of a new model for the state’s lead transport agency and those that fall under its umbrella such as Sydney Trains and Roads and Maritime Services.

reorganisation has since resulted in RMS losing its status as a standalone agency, and its functions and staff are being folded into new divisions of Transport for NSW.

The documents also identified about $1 billion in annual savings by 2028 from consolidating Transport’s buying power to achieve “better goods and services at lower costs”, and creating an integrated transport network by taking advantage of new modes, digital systems and data.

Matt O’Sullivan is the Transport Reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.

 

 

SOURCE:  https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/billions-in-savings-proposed-for-state-s-transport-as-costs-soar-20190528-p51rv1.html

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AUSTRALIA’s NEW RAIL PROJECTS TO DELIVER $28Bn + IN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT: CBRE

 

HOW WONDERFUL SYDNEY!  But did you figure what will come with it?

 

MTR staff working to get the derailed trail back upright. Photo: Handout

MTR staff working to get the derailed trail back upright. Photo: Unlike the Sydney Metro NorthWest the tunnel appears wide; Engineers have raised warning about the narrow Sydney NorthWest Metro tunnel posing risk to life in the event of a crash or fire!

The Wings, a residential project by Sun Hung Kai Properties' above the Tseung Kwan O MTR station. Photo: Edward Wong

The Wings, a residential project by Sun Hung Kai Properties’ above the Tseung Kwan O MTR station. Photo: Edward Wong

 

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We invite you to view our Website for numerous reports on what lays behind the new infrastructure of the SYDNEY METRO … it’s all about more development … with a World-wide market for Deve-lopers … their Oyster!

IS the Hong Kong Consortium MTR seeking a like opportunity across Sydney as in Hong Kong?

The LNP Policies remain facilitating this … with the FIRB Ruling allowing developers to sell overseas, and the Real Estate Gatekeepers have been exempted from Anti-Money Laundering Rules in 2018!

Previously with the NSW LNP the foundation for the Sydney Metro was sealed! As early as 2012 developers were able to buy access to a Minister … known as the Dark Lord and the Call of Cthulhu.  A Pro Developer Group known as the “Housing Supply Association” was launched by the Minister …

The Office of Strategic Lands administers the functions of the Corporation  … the Minister for Planning is incorporated as the Corporation!

The Sydney Metro Bill for High Rise passed in the Legislative Council … an extract from Dr Mehreen Faruqi.  She said, “This is neither a holistic approach to transport planning, nor is this value capture.

This is simply a ticket to massive overdevelopment where there are no measures or protections in place for established communities around these proposed metro stations.

Their absolute disregard for communities and democratic planning is galling.

This Government is ripping up the perfectly functional Sydenham to Bankstown rail line, which is publicly owned and operated, to build a metro and hand it over to private operators.”

NOW the Sydney Metro a property developer that happens to run trains … under the Transport Administration Amendment (Sydney Metro) Bill 2018

SYDNEY … we have been warned that the Metro is a death trap with narrow tunnels … view report from John Menadue!

There’s more … SEARCH for:

-Compulsory Acquisition & Land Amalgamation

-The Office of Strategic Lands

-The Sydney Metro Privatised for Development

 

Proposed rail projects are expected to boost real estate development by more than $28 billion over the next decadePhoto: Peter Rae

Australia’s new rail projects will deliver $28b+ in property development: CBRE