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Transport

Route 11 tram extension: pork-barrelling, underdone

The pig is on the spit, slowly turning, basted at regular intervals. The customary apple in the pig's mouth is looking shiny and the minions, staring at the rotating chunk of pork, are salivating. All of a sudden, due to the lack of foresight and failure to maintain the equipment, the spike falls out of the rotisserie and the pig falls on the coals. That's how I look at the story of the cynical vote buy in Batman and the in-trouble ALP candidate's breathless media release stating that an ALP government would extend the route 11 tram.

Early works package contract signed for Melbourne Metro and other national rail news

John Holland has secured a $324 million contract to undertake the early works package on the Melbourne Metro project . In a media release distributed this morning, the Premier said "Next year, the face of our City will change as we dig 11 storeys below the CBD, and pave the way for Melbourne's new Metro Tunnel and five new underground stations." The early works contract will involve the relocation and protection of up to 100 utilities, including...

Getting started with Spring Street's Net Zero by 2050 pledge: public transport

Comment One of the first orders of business for the Victorian Government, after having announced the Net Zero by 2050 pledge yesterday, is to get cracking on the eventual switch of power that supplies both the train and tram networks to renewable sources. The Victorian Government announced it will enshrine a reduction target in legislation and further announced a series of five year interim targets with the ultimate goal of achieving the overall...

Regional Network Development Plan: analysis & comment

The Victorian Government has released a new regional public transport network development plan and key amongst its aims is to eventually have V/Line services on the Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat, Seymour and Traralgon lines run at 20 minute peak and 40 off-peak frequencies. On top of the commuter-focused service increases over the plans various timeframes (short-term: within 5 years, medium-term: 5-10 years and long-term: 10+ years), many of towns...

Melbourne Metro EES released; more information on station proposals

This morning the Victorian Government released the environmental effects statement (EES) for the Melbourne Metro Rail project and the release of the document suite now provides a clearer picture on how we'll all access the stations once the project is complete. The full document suite has a map book which provides the most relevant information on station entrances yet. And it makes for interesting reading (or should that be viewing?). The map...

Infrastructure Victoria releases 'all things considered' options paper

The second in a line of what is likely to be many document releases by Infrastructure Victoria has happened with the 'All things considered: exploring options for Victoria's 30-year infrastructure strategy' paper appearing on the authority's website yesterday. The paper seeks to put all the options Infrastructure Victoria "has thought of for meeting Victoria's infrastructure needs on the table". Infrastructure, in this case, refers to the broad...

Green over red: 'high capacity signalling' to proceed at normal speed in Melbourne

On Thursday the Premier and Minister for Public Transport held a media conference which appears to have now put the humble line-side signal on the endangered species list. At the same time, the announcement for expressions of interest in the new train control system adds a new chapter to the story of Metrol, the primary train control centre for the rail network. As the Melbourne Metro project is going to merge the Sunbury, Pakenham and...

$1.6 billion contract signed for Dandenong corridor level crossing removals

An alliance of companies including Lend Lease, CPB Contractors, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, Aurecon and Metro Trains Melbourne has been formally awarded the contract for the Caulfield to Dandenong level crossing removal project. The Treasurer, Tim Pallas, said "the project will deliver more room, on more trains to carry more people on Melbourne's busiest rail line. It's needed now, and we're not going to waste a day - we're going to get it done"...

High-speed rail should be about city building, not creating distant dormitory suburbs

Little by little, detail is beginning to paint a larger picture of the Federal Government's direction on cities. We've heard snippets about value capture, 30 year bonds and talk of high-speed rail has surfaced once again. Despite the intellectually-bankrupt, marginal seat election-positioning announcement on Friday - that Melbourne Metro will have strings attached to federal funding yet various road projects around the city will be the beneficiary of a not-so-many-strings-attached Federal Government ATM - by joining some of the dots and if we weren't on the precipice of election season in Canberra, perhaps the national city building discussion would be a little more mature.
A map of sburban job centres identified within Melbourne

How many suburban Melbourne job centres could be connected with a circular railway?

Activity centres, national employment clusters and job hubs: there's many names for these places and we have quite a lot of them in middle-Melbourne. The lead image above has been taken from one of Alan Davies' earliest blog posts on Crikey from 2010. The heat map represents the major job hubs - based on 2006 census data - that are located further than 5 kilometres from Melbourne's CBD. All in all, Alan Davies found that three quarters of...

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Development & Planning

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 - 06:00
Although applications for substantially tall apartment towers have eased over recent times within City of Stonnington, two current development applications across Prahran and South Yarra represent the next sling of smaller sized towers for the municipality. A 14 storey apartment building at 10-16 Cecil Place is being sought by Bensons Property Group.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - 00:00
On 2 January 2017, it was reported that several popular eateries and bars in Footscray had been vandalised, including the perennially successful 8 Bit Burgers on Droop Street, and Up In Smoke on Hopkins Street. 8 Bit had the warm new year's welcome gift of 14 smashed windows and the words “F**k off hipster scum” spray-painted on their entrance.

Visual Melbourne

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 17:00
Melbourne’s architectural landscape is a wonderful juxtaposition of modern and Victorian architecture. Although the CBD has been peppered with many skyscrapers, its historical structures have won Melbourne the title of “Australia’s most European city”.

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Transport & Design

Monday, February 20, 2017 - 12:00
The Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan, this morning announced the preferred design option for removing level crossings in Cheltenham and Mentone would include sinking the rail lines under existing road grades and rebuilding both stations in respective trenches. The level crossings on Frankston line to go are Park Road and Charman Road in Cheltenham and Balcombe Road in Mentone.

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 12:00
Timber mid-rise buildings are becoming the preferred choice for many stakeholders in Melbourne, due to a combination of factors, including cost-effectiveness, liveability, ease and efficiency of construction. Within the recent National Construction Code change, Deemed-To-Satisfy provisions allow mid-rise timber construction for buildings up to 25 metres “effective height” (typically, eight storeys).