Murray Basin standardisation

 
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-17/murray-basin-rail-project-subject-of-complaint-to-ibac-victoria/12059644

Will be interesting to see what happens with this one.

Is IBAC as toothy as the NSW ICAC?


Also, VAGO report due out tomorrow (Wednesday).  Ive added some popcorn to my hoarded toilet paper supplies for this one.
james.au
And the real shocker is that Graincorp redirected $50 million of upgrades to interstate locations because it's only half-baked.  An absolute scandal and disgrace!

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  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-17/murray-basin-rail-project-subject-of-complaint-to-ibac-victoria/12059644

Will be interesting to see what happens with this one.

Is IBAC as toothy as the NSW ICAC?


Also, VAGO report due out tomorrow (Wednesday).  Ive added some popcorn to my hoarded toilet paper supplies for this one.
And the real shocker is that Graincorp redirected $50 million of upgrades to interstate locations because it's only half-baked.  An absolute scandal and disgrace!
Carnot
Is that a serious or a non-serious comment there Carnot?  

In my view its evidence that Victoria has sovereign risk when it comes to investment surety.  The QUBE intermodal is also in the same bucket. i bet its costing more than they planned it to...
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-17/murray-basin-rail-project-subject-of-complaint-to-ibac-victoria/12059644

Will be interesting to see what happens with this one.

Is IBAC as toothy as the NSW ICAC?


Also, VAGO report due out tomorrow (Wednesday).  Ive added some popcorn to my hoarded toilet paper supplies for this one.
And the real shocker is that Graincorp redirected $50 million of upgrades to interstate locations because it's only half-baked.  An absolute scandal and disgrace!
Carnot

If I was asked about this project and having experience managing upwards of $80m per annum in capital investment I would have to say this entire projects smells of a corrupt mess.  It is just not possible for a skilled engineer in a railway company or a team of skilled engineers to make such appalling decisions which have resulted in a profound value destruction of the rail network.  Even in  Victoria.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-17/murray-basin-rail-project-subject-of-complaint-to-ibac-victoria/12059644

Will be interesting to see what happens with this one.

Is IBAC as toothy as the NSW ICAC?


Also, VAGO report due out tomorrow (Wednesday).  Ive added some popcorn to my hoarded toilet paper supplies for this one.
And the real shocker is that Graincorp redirected $50 million of upgrades to interstate locations because it's only half-baked.  An absolute scandal and disgrace!
Is that a serious or a non-serious comment there Carnot?  

In my view its evidence that Victoria has sovereign risk when it comes to investment surety.  The QUBE intermodal is also in the same bucket. i bet its costing more than they planned it to...
james.au
A serious comment directed at the failure of this project to be completed properly and within an adequately scoped budget - with the result of more trucks, less trains, and Graincorp investment going elsewhere.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
A serious comment directed at the failure of this project to be completed properly and within an adequately scoped budget - with the result of more trucks, less trains, and Graincorp investment going elsewhere.
Carnot
We're on the same page then.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Here it is

https://www.railpage.com.au/downloads?mode=download.view&id=1207

The findings are full of interesting information.

Conclusion

The regional rail upgrades we reviewed are not yet improving rural freight outcomes in a timely and cost‐efficient way.

Governance arrangements for the MBRP have been suboptimal, with different agencies responsible for different elements of the project over time. This has led to patchy corporate memory for the planning and delivery of the project. It has also diffused senior officer accountability for project outcomes due to the many changes of key personnel since the project started.

The MBRP and FPRSP have not met scope, time, cost or quality expectations. These projects are late and will require a considerable injection of new funds if their intended outcomes are to be fully realised.

From a project and program management perspective we identified deficient project planning, cost estimation and scoping by the Department of Transport’s (DoT) predecessor agencies. V/Line Corporation’s (V/Line) inadequate contract and project management has also contributed to project delays and cost overruns for the MBRP Stage 2 works.

As a result, the MBRP and FPRSP rail upgrades have not yet realised the expected freight‐focused benefits.
VAGO
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Starting to read this now and only a few pages in and I can see this is a disaster.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Most of the recommendations will only begin to be addressed after the new Business Plan is completed.  Hopefully before mid-year.

It's certainly dragging on...
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Wow, just wow.

That is just extraordinarily wasteful, people were paid big money and what work did they actually do? They certainly didn’t even get close to the desired outcomes.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Jacinta Allan is being rather reckless and unhinged in her response - i.e Basically saying the Auditor General is wrong.  Disgraceful:



Hansard will be quite a read...
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Hansard will be quite a read...
Carnot
Is this something you can give us links to when its ready?
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Jacinta Allan is being rather reckless and unhinged in her response - i.e Basically saying the Auditor General is wrong.  Disgraceful:



Hansard will be quite a read...
Carnot

Jacinta Allan if you read her posts and statements admits she has no clue in what is going on in her portfolio.  I still believe this is a massive fraud know by parties and needs to be fully investigated.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Hansard will be quite a read...
Is this something you can give us links to when its ready?
james.au
Enjoy: https://beta.parliament.vic.gov.au/globalassets/hansard2/pim/dailypdf/legislative-assembly/20200318/hansard-2145855009-5746-20200318.pdf

Pages 30-31.  Note J Allan's comments in Bold 2/3 in.

MURRAY BASIN RAIL PROJECT

Mr WALSH (Murray Plains) (11:31): My question to the Minister for Transport Infrastructure. Today the Victorian Auditor-General reported that the Victorian government has used nearly 90 per cent of the funding allocated to the Murray Basin rail project yet has completed less than 50 per cent of the works. Given the Auditor-General said that the expected benefits from the Murray Basin rail project will not occur without more funding, will the minister commit to funding the remainder of the project in the 2020–21 budget?

Ms ALLAN (Bendigo East—Leader of the House, Minister for Transport Infrastructure) (11:32): I thank the Leader of the National Party and member for Murray Plains for his question on the Auditor General’s report that was tabled in the Parliament this morning and provided some information to the house. Can I make it clear that the government has previously made a number of public comments. Indeed I think I have answered a number of questions in this place, at Public Accounts and Estimates Committee hearings and in other public forums about the status of the Murray Basin rail project. The member asked a question in relation to future stages of the project. When it comes to considering future stages of the project, before we can consider budget allocations for that, we need to complete the business case. As I have also said publicly previously, we are finalising that business case. This work is being done by Rail Projects Victoria, where we get our expert engineering advice for our rail infrastructure projects from. That work on finalising the business case is ongoing. Once that business case is finalised it needs to go through the relevant internal processes, cabinet processes, but also it will need to be shared with the federal government. As the member for Murray Plains knows, I have had a number of conversations with the Deputy Prime Minister about this as they are a joint funder of this project to date. We would hope for partnership with them into the future on any future investments that may be made in the freight network in northwest Victoria. In direct response to his question about the 2020–21 budget, I cannot answer that question today because it needs to go through those relevant processes. That is taking a responsible approach to both managing this project and respecting also the processes of the federal government. Can I say, though, further on the Auditor-General’s report that was tabled today, the government has made clear on previous occasions that there have been challenges with the delivery of the Murray Basin rail project. We will continue to work through those. As I have previously offered to the member for Murray Plains, I am happy to talk to him and provide him with a briefing on this at any stage. He has been privy to some conversations that I have had with the Deputy Prime Minister when we were standing on the bank of the Murray River at Echuca making an important joint announcement on the Echuca-Moama bridge, and I am happy to continue to talk to the member for Murray Plains about this project.

Mr WALSH (Murray Plains) (11:35): The Auditor-General found that during project delivery the Australian government made requests for information on the status of the project. However, the Auditor-General found that the provision of information was not forthright or timely. Has the minister provided the necessary information that the commonwealth needs to consider funding in the 2020–21 federal budget?

Ms ALLAN (Bendigo East—Leader of the House, Minister for Transport Infrastructure) (11:35): Yes, the member for Murray Plains is correct. The Auditor-General’s report does state that, and as the Auditor-General has been advised by the secretary of my department and in terms also of the way the department has responded to the report, that is not a correct position for the Auditor-General to take, and indeed— Members interjecting.

The SPEAKER: Order!

Ms ALLAN: As I have just indicated, the member for Murray Plains has seen the way the Deputy Prime Minister and I have engaged informally on this matter. We have also been engaging formally on this matter through our departments as well. Mr Walsh: On a point of order, Speaker, the question was very specific: has the minister provided the necessary information to the commonwealth? The deadline was December. It was passed. There may be informal discussions, but there is no real business case or information—

The SPEAKER: Order! The Leader of the Nationals! The point of order is?

Mr Walsh: I ask you to bring the minister back to answering the question that was asked.

The SPEAKER: The Leader of the House is being relevant to the question that has been asked.

Ms ALLAN: Thank you, Speaker. I have seen references to the December deadline in other public comments. There was no December deadline, so he is incorrect on that point. We are continuing to share information proactively. Indeed I met as recently as last week with the Deputy Prime Minister. I had met the week before with the Deputy Prime Minister. This issue was discussed. So we continue to work through these issues. I understand the member’s interest in this, but we are determined not to repeat the mistakes of his government on this project.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
An extensive article here, Ken Wakefield has quite a bit to say on how things have played out, good read.

Leading logistics consultant rejects government's freight claims.

A leading logistics consultant has flatly rejected the Victorian government's claims of greater freight efficiency, due to upgrades to the Murray Basin rail network.

Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan said as a result of the work done on the stalled $440 million Murray Basin Rail Project, more freight was being moved more efficiently, to various Victorian ports.

But consultant Ken Wakefield, the former managing director of the Merbein based Wakefield Transport, flatly rejected the claim.

"None of that is correct, the only thing the Murray Basin Rail Project has done so far is to convert broad gauge rail to standard gauge," Mr Wakefield said.

"That's the only tick, at this stage."

https://www.stockandland.com.au/story/6687393/basin-rail-claims-rejected/

https://www.mailtimes.com.au/

I flogged the link from The Wimmera MailTimes & the Stock & Land.

BigShunter.
  justarider Assistant Commissioner

Location: Stuck on VR and hoping for better.
Jacinta Allan is being rather reckless and unhinged in her response - i.e Basically saying the Auditor General is wrong.  Disgraceful:



Hansard will be quite a read...
Carnot
That's the problem with accepting a journalist's tweet at face value. Care to retract ?

What the Minister did say was
"The Auditor-General’s report does state that, and as the Auditor-General has been advised by the secretary of my department and in terms also of the way the department has responded to the report, that is not a correct position for the Auditor-General to take,"

It was a cheeky question about a claim by the AG  "provision of information was not forthright or timely" which the DoT refuted.

The question by Mr Walsh then went on to ask when will the information be delivered - knowing it has been provided albeit not when some would have liked.

The big outstanding item to be  agreed with the Commonwealth is the revised Business Case - it is long and protracted because as we all know the project to date is (as was from the beginning) a disgraceful cock-up by DoT & Vline in their various incarnations.

"not a correct position to take" is a reasonable response to a very inflammatory claim thrown in as a pretty snide remark.

Should have been withdrawn by AG or explained fully and a recommendation made.
Neither happened which was pretty poor form by the AG, and from past experience with them, not unusual to just leave their dubious observations hanging in the wind.
Amazing how 90+ pages of very astute investigation can be undone by one silly line.

"reckless and unhinged" by Ms Allan - hardly - it's polite speak.

NOW if we can get over the silly shenanigans of politicians and journalists,
the SUBSTANCE of the report clearly demonstrates what a basket case DoT and VLine project management is, and why the Minister took the job away from them.

VLine response to Recommendation  12 about Risk management says it all
"monitor and escalation of risk, .... including actions to address risk"
THAT IS : VLine did not have any idea what the risks were, nor did they tell the Board when they did know.

QUESTION: what is the biggest risk to the company/project/what ever ?
ANS:           not having a Risk Manager  ( who is directly reporting , independently, to the CEO and/or Board)

cheers
John
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Without either party stating what was provided and when, it is at the moment a he said she said situation.
  PE2010 Station Master

Location: Newcastle
Is the incomplete half of this project (Manangatang, Sea Lake) getting any funding for completion?
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Is the incomplete half of this project (Manangatang, Sea Lake) getting any funding for completion?
PE2010
Vic Govt are meant to cough up a new Business Plan any day and then submit it to the Feds.  Then another long wait for a decision probably...
  Bonzel Locomotive Driver

Any idea on when Ararat Junction is going to be finally finished ?
  Galron Chief Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic
Any idea on when Ararat Junction is going to be finally finished ?
Bonzel
assuming they don't consider it finished already, when the rest of the plan is sorted out.

i'm not aware of a train going west from Ararat, or the need arising to turn a loco on what is effectively planed to be a triangle, so it may just end up staying as is.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Any idea on when Ararat Junction is going to be finally finished ?
assuming they don't consider it finished already, when the rest of the plan is sorted out.

i'm not aware of a train going west from Ararat, or the need arising to turn a loco on what is effectively planed to be a triangle, so it may just end up staying as is.
Galron
Another BLUE HILLS saga in that this part is partly completed in relay boxes and cabling only got to actually get the masts up and complete the job.  Ran into our mate Daryl Kerrigan who says the Vibe is that it actually an ARTC job.

The whole thing is manually operated on the ground currently and the western leg has indeed been used regularly , for example when XPT derailment at Wallan many grain trins from Mildura line turned West and reached Northern NSW via Adelaide & Crystal Brook Junction.  See Grain Harvest thread under Victoria for video clips.

ARTC need to get a rocket under completion of this job as after a year it is delaying every Avoca line train 15 to 20 mins at Ararat . Victoria should likewise be pressuring ARTC to complete the job.
  Bonzel Locomotive Driver

Thanks , am aware that its been manually operated for over 12 months now delaying train running as you say. Some one needs to give someone a big kick in the butt and a least get get this finished and while there at it get whats left of Maryborough yard operational as well .
  cbinyon Train Controller

Location: London, England
Maryborough has a working No 3 road that's operational and No 2 is there but unsure if operational yet. There just hasn't been the volume of trains yet to truly test the limited capacity and crossing capabilities.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Thanks , am aware that its been manually operated for over 12 months now delaying train running as you say. Some one needs to give someone a big kick in the butt and a least get get this finished and while there at it get whats left of Maryborough yard operational as well .
Bonzel

Why such delays for eastern triangle off the cross country?  Is it train order?
  Bonzel Locomotive Driver

Maryborough has a working No 3 road that's operational and No 2 is there but unsure if operational yet. There just hasn't been the volume of trains yet to truly test the limited capacity and crossing capabilities.
cbinyon
Three road is used but very rarely, 2 and 4 rds relaid but booked out. Seem to prefer to hold a train out at Emu loop for a cross even if down train still hasn`t got to Maryborough.

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