Contempt of Parliament?

Contempt of Parliament?

Let’s have a little chat about that, shall we………


A ‘grease pot’, otherwise known as an ‘automatic flange lubricator’, disconnected from the track – one of dozens, removed, or disconnected pending removal. Is this a deliberate strategy to promote excessive wear and higher maintenance costs and thus, greater profits being delivered to the world’s greatest railway tenant?

(See a small selection of the available photographic evidence at the end of this article.)

What is “Contempt of Parliament”? (Sounds serious, doesn’t it? – and it is!) Well, among many other things, it is defined as;

deliberately attempting to mislead the House or a committee (by way of statement, evidence, or petition);

Some time back, when V/Line were in the throes of their little ‘excessive wheel wear’ debacle, which caused massive cancellations, substitute bus services and an estimated cost of between 50-60 million dollars,(probably grossly understated!);

(We ‘broke’ that story, see:

the then CEO of Metro Trains Melbourne, (and now self-appointed CEO of Metro Trains Australia), told the Standing Committee on Economy & Infrastructure at a Parliamentary Inquiry that;

Mr LEZALA– as we saw in London in 2005, in Hong Kong in the early 90s and Singapore more recently—that you can get a cascading effect once you have got that kind of wheel damage and high friction between wheel and rail until you restore your lubrication regime. (The ‘lubrication regime’ that should NEVER have been compromised in the first place? – Ed) I would stress that it is very hard to predict what lubrication regime you need when you change a railway. (Why change something that’s working? – Ed) Lots of railways experience similar kinds of problems. So of course our vigilance on our wheels as we share tracks with V/Line on certain corridors was to make sure that our wheels were not wearing at an increased rate. What we did find is we have got some drying of grease (“drying of grease” –That’s code for NOT ENOUGH OF IT – Ed) around the network, so we stepped up our lubrication regime (By REMOVING passive lubricating systems? – Ed) to try and avoid any cascade, and so far that has kept everything under control. (Oh it has, has it? Ed)


Rushall Main Line Derailment – Grease pots on the Down line clearly visible, but were they, and those on the Up line, properly filled and maintained?

And further on, on page 17, in relation to the Rushall main line derailment;

Mr FINN—Was the derailment last week as a result of overlubrication of the tracks, or was it something unrelated?

Mr LEZALANo, it was not overlubrication. That is under investigation between ourselves and the national regulator, and we expect to have some results of the analysis. The track has been analysed and cleared by ourselves and the regulator for service, (But we did a lot of repair work anyway – Ed) so it was not a track issue necessarily. What we are now looking at is the vehicle itself, and particularly the bogie concerned and the suspension system, so we are just analysing that. 9 February 2016 Standing Committee on Economy and Infrastructure (pages) 16 & 17

The Age reported that“…….Metro chief executive Andrew Lezala was grilled (at an embarrassingly low temperature – no blowtorches applied to corporate belly’s here! – Ed.) by (clueless and gullible – Ed.) state MPs at a parliamentary hearing into the V/Line crisis on February 9.

Mr Lezala told MPs that, in response to V/Line’s problems, Metro had checked that its trains were not also suffering wheel wear, then increased track greasing (By REMOVING passive lubricating systems? – Ed) as a precaution. “We stepped up our lubrication regime to try and avoid any cascade, (See previous comment – Ed) and so far that has kept everything under control,” derailed-metro-train-20161002-grt8hl.html

But there was also a second derailment the next night, involving a ‘track machine’ – the IEV100 (previously called the EM100).

The Age reported that;

The second derailment occurred the following night, forcing Metro to review and increase its

track greasing regime. Mr Sekulitch wrote on May 18 (more than two months later?) that after the two derailments, “MTM has initiated a program of work to ensure adequate lubrication across the network for all vehicle types.” derailed-metro-train-20161002-grt8hl.html

That all sounds VERY reassuring, doesn’t it? Exactly as it was intended to be.

BUT, excuse us for being somewhat cynical; How exactly is it, that disconnecting and removing ‘grease pots’ result in “…increased track greasing…..” and, “….ensure(s) adequate lubrication…..” ?


2 grease pots have been removed from this section of track leading into a 60km/h reverse curve – ‘overflow’ or ‘splatter’ remains long after the grease pots are gone.

Yes – DISCONNECTING and REMOVING automatic flange lubricators.

A strategy GUARANTEED to INCREASE wheel and rail wear, requiring more frequent maintenance and more frequent replacement of wheel sets and ‘chewed out’ rails, which equals more dollars and profits to Ebola for ‘work performed’. Not as spectacular or immediate as V/Line’s collapse, just a ‘nice little earner’ on the side. That’s astonishingly good value for the taxpayer’s of Victoria, isn’t it!


‘Chewed out’ (excessively worn gauge face) rails, newly removed (the rail heads are still ‘shiny’) from a curve on the Glen Waverley line. And this after the line was shut for extensive rehabilitation works just 4 years ago – See;

Some replacement of rails is, of course, a normal and necessary part of routine maintenance, and stacks of unserviceable rails like this can be found throughout the system. But when it follows on from the wholesale removal of flange lubricators and several instances of grinding/milling you have to ask the appropriate questions, don’t you?

It’s just a damned shame that the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Economy & Infrastructure didn’t ask the appropriate questions, isn’t it?

It’s yet ANOTHER shonky racket – one among many – that Ebola have ‘engineered’ to maximise their ‘take’, and which the Government, the Minister and PTV allow to continue, unchecked.

But it does save on the OUTRAGEOUS cost of grease, ($40.00/kg for lithium/graphite compound greases) and wages for staff to service and refill the grease pots, in an operation netting the tenants better than $2 billion a year)

We say, that this is a continuation of Ebola’s deliberate policy to sabotage Victoria’s rail infrastructure FOR PROFIT.

And the creeping death of removal – programmed neglect – is hard to spot – unless you happen to have sequential ‘before and after’ pictures, or happen to be watching VERY closely.

These rapacious parasites are here for the long-haul, and they plan to steal just as much taxpayer’s money as they can – as much as the Government will let them!

Grease pots have been fitted in these locations, often for decades, based on long experience, common sense and good operational practice.

In other words, they’re there for a reason!

SO WHO WAS IT, AT PTV, WHO ALLOWED OR AUTHORISED THIS – and why do they still have a job?

And why is this vandalism and sabotage allowed to continue?


Linsinger ‘rail destroyer’ at Glen Waverley, October 2014.

And, in that regard, there’s also the periodic visitations of the Linsinger Rail Milling Gang, to grind and mill years – if not decades – of operational life out of the rails, adding to the replacement cost, which of course requires a ‘project’, to remediate, and thereby generate ADDITIONAL PROFITS for Ebola, aided and abetted – as always – by their crooked mates at PTV.

Is someone guilty of spinning porkies to a Parliamentary Inquiry?

Is Andy Brunel ‘in contempt of’, or guilty of ‘misleading Parliament’?

“The Economy and Infrastructure Committee (Legislation and References) is a Standing Committee appointed by the Legislative Council. In the 58th Parliament, its members were appointed on 16 April 2015.”

So they would be a committee of the Parliament, as defined above?

A committee who should not be misled by way of “statement, evidence, or petition.”

Do they care that they were misled – either intentionally or inadvertently? Do they care that they may have been deliberately misled?

Will they take any action in that regard?

Will they recall Andy Brunel for a further interrogation?

Many politicians, on both sides, including the Minister and EVERY MEMBER of the Parliamentary Inquiry were FULLY INFORMED of the many scams being perpetrated.

And yet the Minister, Jacinta Allen, and the State Government NOT ONLY TOOK NO ACTION against Metro – they granted them ‘preferred tenderer’ status, and are on track to hand them ANOTHER 15+ billion taxpayer dollars over the next 7 years!

Are these REALLY the kind of people to be entrusted with billions of taxpayer dollars and the stewardship of Melbourne’s public transport system?


You make up your own mind………….we already have!

Additional images of this insidious and ONGOING sabotage below. (The sort of evidence that PTV should be gathering and using to launch prosecutions and the case against MTM being allowed to tender.) Dozens more – with dates and locations – are available upon request!


1 grease pot disconnected, pending removal.


3 out of 4 grease pots removed.


1 grease pot disconnected, pending removal.


1 grease pot disconnected, pending removal.


1 grease pot removed – 55km/h curve.


1 grease pot removed.


1 grease pot removed.


  1. grease pot disconnected pending removal.


  2. grease pots removed and a bonus mud hole to be going on with!


  1. out of 2 grease pots removed, 40km/h reverse curve.


  2. grease pots disconnected pending removal, 30km/h curve.

We eagerly await the official whitewash of the Rushall derailment, to be published here; eventually; maybe.

Further (and highly recommended) reading; derailed-metro-train-20161002-grt8hl.html 60m/news-story/f65030dab68362cf8552474041734393

R3.110 Combined Final Reports Updated


Code Brown


“So, with the Spring Racing Carnival just around the corner, It’s “CODE BROWN” all round – (i.e. – METRO are shitting themselves about off rosters, absenteeism and their inability to resolve the problems they ‘built in’)!
They won’t do ANYTHING to fix the actual problems though, and resort to ‘blaming the union’ for their own failures.
Does anyone, other than the brain-dead Minister, actually fall for this shit?”
Harley Charlie – September 27, 2016 – 12:43 pm – comment on:
Ebola MIGHT have the inside running on the franchise renewal, but they’re clearly not ‘winning the hearts and minds’ of their drivers!
The driver’s ‘Lack of Interest’ continues to expand!
Monday 26th – 50 ‘Open’ Shifts
Tuesday 27th – 50 ‘Open’ Shifts
Wednesday 28th – 60 ‘Open’ Shifts
Thursday 29th – 29 ‘Open’ Shifts, plus major errors in, and non issue of, 160 shift alterations (called ‘slips’) resulting in huge numbers of cancellations and chronic late running in the AM Peak.  

Slip Errors 29-09-16.jpg
Friday 30th – 30 ‘Open’ Shifts – Lack of Interest Book – almost 3 pages – 80 say ‘Who, me?’ – (Public Holiday, pays double time and a half).
Saturday 1st – 33 ‘Open’ Shifts – Lack of Interest Book – 7& 1/2 pages – 238 say ‘Fuck you, it’s the Grand Final!’ (11th shift for most, pays double time)
Sunday 2nd – Lack of Interest Book – 6 pages – 186 say ‘Let me think about that for a second, NAH!’ (pays double time)
The Dictator – sorry, I meant Director – of Operations, refuses to listen to his managers – and he has DOZENS of them among the 1245 ‘managers’ of something or other within METRO.
Mere middle-level managers are not allowed to have an opinion, and are actively discouraged from voicing it. (And ignored when they do!)
Doing so makes them “not team players” and halfway to their next job with a new employer.
“The drivers will run out of sick leave before I run out of shit shifts to give them”, says the Director.

Well, that might be true in some cases Ron, but NONE of them are obliged to work more than 19 days a month.
(A ‘month’ in this context being a 28 day ‘cycle’, of which there are 13 in a year.)
That’s 9 days a month – not including sickies – that they can say “ahh, no thanks!”
1000 drivers, 9 days a month…………potentially 9,000 shifts not covered EVERY MONTH.
30 sickies a day (on average), 30 days in a month, is another 900 – so nearly 10,000 per MONTH, or an average of 333 a day.
You want to have ‘a lazy hundred’ on who’s going to win that one Ron?
Working ‘Bare Time’ – i.e. 7.6hrs/day x 19 day month x 12 months with some weekend work, shift penalties etc., and four weeks annual leave, drivers can now easily earn over $100,000.00 a year.
So why would ANY of them come to work on an Off Roster Day?
THE BIGGEST PROBLEM – by a ratio of 9 to 1- is the shithouse rostering and working conditions.
Unnecessarily, malignantly and deliberately imposed by the company ‘because we can’.
So WHY would you think that any of them would want to do anything that would ‘help the company out’?
Why WOULDN’T they ‘pre-plan’ a sickie or two, on the crappiest day/s of their fortnight? 

The drivers simply don’t have to be there more than 19 days a month, and many of them won’t. 
And that will continue, and it will continue to get worse.
Even Blind Freddy can see that.

It’s such a shame that ‘Deaf Ronny’ can’t…………..

Where the Priorities Are

Where the Priorities (?) Are –

Here’s the latest admissions of failure from the worlds most pathetic railway;

65 Category A SPADS in just 9 months of 2016, an average of 7.2 per month or 86 per year (extrapolated).

That’s more than double Connex’s WORST, and more than 3 times their average.

(And that’s just the ones they ‘admit to’, after the various fiddles, ‘adjustments’, re-numberings and ‘reclassifications’.)

The actual number is AT LEAST 15% higher than that – and probably closer to 25%!

So “concerned” are these geniuses, that they “Spotlight” the matter on page 4 (of 4 pages) in the October Catchpoints ‘newsletter’.

That’s right, the very last page.


So that would be a 25 watt incandescent Spotlight, then?

And WHY, when they introduced the ‘Financial Year’ accounting method for SPADS, do they now work on the calendar year?

Wouldn’t have anything to do with record numbers of SPADS for October, November and December last year, would it?

They wouldn’t try to ‘manipulate the figures’ to give an overly positive picture, now would they!

Then we get to Signal EPP110 – also buried on page 4.

SPADS - EPP110 - p4 Catchpoints - Oct 2016.jpg

admitted Category A SPADS since 2013, or, better than 2 a year at just one signal!

And so, dragged kicking and screaming, to the acceptance that it’s actually a Signal Engineering issue, they’re finally, belatedly, reluctantly, getting off their overpaid and over-rated blurters and doing ‘something’ about it.  

What’s the bet though, that they didn’t ‘reimburse’ or ‘credit’ or lessen the penalties for ANY of the drivers they shafted over SPADS at EPP110?

An Identity Crisis; A Maintenance Crisis; Or just another Imported Management FAILURE?

An Identity Crisis; A Maintenance Crisis; Or just another Imported Management FAILURE?

The ‘Infinite Monkey Theorem’, (Borel, 1913), and endless variations on the theme ever since), speculates that if you give enough

monkeys enough typewriters and enough time they will eventually write Hamlet, or War and Peace, or some other voluminous,

specified text…..

Well, here’s living proof of the very latest modern variation;
“If you give enough Metro Monkeys (Managers) and/or PTV enough office equipment, enough cable ties and enough time, they will eventually

figure out a way to make and fit temporary replacement signal numbers on the Glen Waverley Line” while they wait for the ‘real ones’ from Taiwan.

Printed on paper, inside plastic ‘sleeve protectors’ and ‘cable tied’ to the signal post!

No expense spared there!
War and Peace it ain’t – but they’re working on it.
And it only took them a little over 2 months to reach this level of sophistication!
I wonder if someone sent ‘Identity Crisis to the ONRSR, and their ‘spanking of the Metro Monkeys’ had anything to do with it?

Since late June 2016, particularly observant Drivers, and those silly enough to bother to report the missing numbers, have been told that; “Yes, we know about that driver, but the numbers are on order FROM TAIWAN, and should be replaced in SIX MONTHS – or thereabouts”!

Say What?

Nobody, anywhere in Australia can make a few enamel signs, on ‘Special Order’ in less than a week?  Have we come to this?

Not a single sign-writer in the wide brown land can paint one, or organise a self-adhesive, long-life vinyl replacement, pending?

Or is it simply that someone’s getting a kickback from Wu Chan Industries?

Nothing like the world’s slickest, most professional Railway Operator, is there?
And Note – that none of these ‘minor issues’ are included in the 5,838 ‘Track Faults’ on the network, because these are ‘Signal Faults’.
And ‘Signal Faults’ don’t count………..
And besides, these have been ‘unresolved’ only since June.

A Further Open Letter To The Minister For Transport

A FURTHER Open Letter to the Minister for Transport,
The Right Honourable Jacinta Allan, MP.
Level 20, 1 Spring Street, Melbourne, VIC. 3000.

Dear Ms. Allan;
As taxpayers and voters, we would like to ask you some questions in regard to what exactly is the current franchise holder of the suburban railways up to?
We are aware that your government is required to announce by November 2016 if the current incumbent (MTM Consortium) will have their contract renewed.
We are also well aware that their contract does not expire until November 2017.
However, after your forced intervention into the debacle that was Sunstone Resources, and after you dispensed with Dobbs and Wild, we had assumed that the incumbent operators, MTM, would not try – nor be allowed – to manipulate the existing agreement again.
But the question, once again, has to be asked;
What is Lezala up to this time?
His latest staff bulletin states that he has set up a new company and that this new company will have ‘oversight’ over the franchise operator company MTM.
Without ministerial intervention, Mr. Lezala’s plan of transferring the MTM workforce and their assets into the company known as Sunstone Resources would have been one of the most blatant scams that was ever perpetrated against the Victorian taxpayers and the workforce of MTM.
It would have ultimately fleeced all MTM workers of their entitlements, had the minister not been forced, however reluctantly, to intervene to prevent the plan.
The ‘plan’ would now appear to be resurrected again in the guise of Metro Trains Australia.
Below is an extract from the latest Metro Staff Bulletin, which is appended for your withering perusal.
Let’s, dissect it.
“We have restructured our business into two separate entities.”
That is what Lezala has stated, but it is another blatant lie, and we can prove it.
Below are links from the Government’s own business registration website;

mta bus name
You will notice that the business name ‘Metro Trains Australia’ was registered on the 24th August 2015.
You will notice that they also registered the business name ‘Mass Transit Australasia’ on the 29th April 2015.
And you will also notice that they registered the name, ‘Metro Trains Australasia’ on 18th December 2014.
Now the business “MTA” is NOT currently a consortium partner, and considering that the company was only registered one year ago on the 24th of August 2015 how is it that this new company can have “Oversight” of the company that has held the franchise agreement for the past six years.
Oversight would assume, (would it not?), that for all intents and purposes that the new company ‘MTA’ can dictate how the original company can operate.
This situation is highly questionable as not only was this company set up after the franchise agreement was signed, making it a legally binding agreement. This new company has no legal standing to ‘Oversee’ MTM because they are not a signatory to the original agreement.
That agreement being a legally binding contract between three consortium partners which include, John Holland (Infrastructure) UGL (Train Maintenance) and MTR (Administration).
So the question must be asked how can they just add this business to the three partner consortium without government approval?
Or do they already have government approval minister?
And what of the other two businesses recently registered, but not mentioned? Do they also have ‘Oversight’ over MTM?
And is the CEO of MTA the same CEO of the other entities? Of course, the multi-BILLION question has to be, what exactly is the purpose of setting up these three new businesses?
Exactly what they tried to do with Sunstone, and the government was forced to override PTV’s initial approval given to MTM in what would seem to have been some sort of behind the scenes deal, without the approval of the deal being discussed and ratified on the floor of parliament.
And here we go again. They admit that MTA WILL maintain and have oversight over MTM.
How so, Minister?
Considering that this is a brand new company and is not mentioned in the train franchise agreement as a consortium partner.
So who has approved this deal, someone from PTV or you yourself?
They admit that their original business is now TWO businesses and Lezala has appointed himself as Managing Director of the ‘new’ company even though he has appointed Mike Houghton as the CEO of MTM – the position previously held by Lezala, himself.
So a couple of other questions Minister.
“MTA’s initial focus”……?
What exactly does that mean?
That foreshadows that once they renew their contract, other, as yet unspecified things will follow. What other things might they be?
And why would you set up three new businesses and suggest one of them is to develop a strategy to have their contract renewed.
That makes no business sense at all and considering that these same people set up a ‘new’ department to oversee the getting of the Cranborne/Pakenham rail corridor project without the need to set up a ‘New Company”
IF the current franchise is with the company MTM, which comprises of three companies consisting of John Holland, UGL and MTR and they want to re-negotiate the franchise then what exactly is the purpose of setting up a new company? And if the franchise renewal is agreed to by the government, then which company will it be registered with?
Now, Minister, it is very important that we know the answer to this question because it may have serious implications for the workers now employed by MTM because the current EBA is between the RTBU and MTM. NOT MTA.
Could this be a roundabout way of circumventing the current Fair Work rules?
The Fair Work Act has the ‘BOOT’ requirement; the Better Off Over all Test, which must ensure that no worker is worse off.
So what would stop this new company, which has no EBA in place, putting everyone on individual contracts?
Should they be allowed to set up a new Franchise agreement under this shonky arrangement by putting everyone on a work contract – or worse, introducing casualization and thereby, cutting conditions, if not cutting wages, which would possibly then meet the Fair Work fairness test?
And let us not forget, that the public servants at FWA are as pension sensitive as everyone else and will do exactly as they are told.
As they have all the way through.
Let us further remember that FWA is a creature of the Liberal Government, since nurtured and nourished by Labor.
Having said that, one could surmise that if the company that now operates the suburban rail system we know as MTM was to cease trading as an entity in the near future and a completely new company took over the day to day operations of running the suburban rail system, then the workers would have no workplace agreement with that new company and the company could be free to employ whomever it pleased, and at a wage substantially lower that what is currently paid now.
The appalling dispute currently playing out at Carlton & United Breweries is a timely example of just such a manipulation of the laws of the land for the profit of rapacious, tax evading, multi-national fraudsters.
Fraudsters whom Labor appointed, enabled, and continue to support with vast sums of taxpayer’s money.
This scenario would put an end to the unionised workforce within the rail industry – a workforce which has been unionised for more than a century.
In fact, it threatens every Unionist, every Union and every worker in Australia.
Is that Labor’s ultimate plan – their ultimate betrayal?
If the workers became contract workers within this ‘New” company there would be no need for a union.
We repeat; that the existing EA couldn’t be registered with the ‘new’ company as the ‘new’ company doesn’t have any legal standing within the terms of the current agreement.
So the question still stands.
Why the need to set up a new company just to bid for the franchise renewal?
And if the new company, MTA, is awarded a new agreement then that would mean that MTM did NOT get a ‘renewal’, because to obtain a renewal there would have to have been a previous agreement and as we know, there is no previous agreement with the ‘new’ company.
It would have to be a NEW franchise agreement with a new company and therefore, as it is not a renewal, other operators should have the right to tender also, and if not, why not?
Surely this exposes the whole tendering process to a court challenge and some very awkward questions might be asked of the minister by the court, the opposition and the media over the operation of MTM.
We believe we can predict, with confidence, that just such a legal challenge would be forthcoming.
Now if you tie this in with what we know about the plan to employ what will be known as “Line Drivers” as well as “Group Drivers”, that is, downgrading all drivers qualifications by teaching them how to drive only one train on one line and reducing the rules and regulations that drivers are required to be familiar with across the entire network. We know that MTM management has stated that they expect to employ ‘Line Drivers’ within 18 to 24 months from now, based on a training course that spans only six weeks.
That’s right, Reducing the training from the current 72 weeks down to six weeks.
Is this the real reason that Lezala wants to establish a completely ‘New’ company, so that it will be easy for them to achieve their goals and put all new employees on contracts at a much lower rate of pay.
Is that the unspoken agenda of Labor as well?
MTM have completely stuffed up the existing training scheme, so much so that they now have had overseen the largest number of SPAD’s (Signals Passed At Danger) since the inception of the privatisation of the suburban railways.
The annual (manipulated) tally is around 125 – now that’s something to be truly proud of!
And if the government – YOUR government, Minister – allows this new scam to be perpetrated upon the taxpayer then this government, and you with it, will be held responsible for the chaos and deaths that will surely follow.
This situation will lead to mass deaths on the rails, but it would appear that this government (and its predecessors) have no real interest in what the private operators are up to as long as there are no bad news stories.
We believe that something very fishy is transpiring at the moment and the government should be compelled to investigate.
To that end, we will widely circulate our concerns – yes, even to media that MTM seek to bribe and control with advertising revenue, ‘exclusives’ and preferential treatment. We will point the accusing finger, and we will give evidence in the appropriate forums, at the appropriate time.
You have been fully informed throughout your tenure (as have your predecessors) and you cannot escape personal responsibility for your actions and inactions.
There is no ‘Nuremberg Defence’ for a Minister of the Crown.

Better off overall test

Before approving an enterprise agreement, the Commission must ensure the agreement passes the better off overall test.
This test requires that each of the employees to be covered by the agreement are better off overall than under the relevant modern award.
The better off overall test is outlined in s.193 of the Fair Work Act 2009.
But the definition of “better off” is a subjective and rubbery concept that can be manipulated by the ‘pension sensitive’ government appointees at FWA at the direction of their political ‘masters’ – too bad for ‘the workers’ then! The SAME workers, who are the CORE constituency of the Labor Party.

Subdivision C—Better off overall test

193 Passing the better off overall test

When a non-greenfields agreement passes the better off overall test

(1) An enterprise agreement that is not a greenfields agreement passes the better off overall test under this section if the FWC is satisfied, as at the test time, that each award covered employee, and each prospective award covered employee, for the agreement would be better off overall if the agreement applied to the employee than if the relevant modern award applied to the employee.

FWC must disregard individual flexibility arrangement

(2) If, under the flexibility term in the relevant modern award, an individual flexibility arrangement has been agreed to by an award covered employee and his or her employer, the FWC must disregard the individual flexibility arrangement for the purposes of determining whether the agreement passes the better off overall test.

When a greenfields agreement passes the better off overall test

(3) A greenfields agreement passes the better off overall test under this section if the FWC is satisfied, as at the test time, that each prospective award covered employee for the agreement would be better off overall if the agreement applied to the employee than if the relevant modern award applied to the employee.

Award covered employee

(4) An award covered employee for an enterprise agreement is an employee who:

(a) is covered by the agreement; and

(b) at the test time, is covered by a modern award (the relevant modern award) that:

(i) is in operation; and

(ii) covers the employee in relation to the work that he or she is to perform under the agreement; and

(iii) covers his or her employer.

Prospective award covered employee

(5) A prospective award covered employee for an enterprise agreement is a person who, if he or she were an employee at the test time of an employer covered by the agreement:

(a) would be covered by the agreement; and

(b) would be covered by a modern award (the relevant modern award) that:

(i) is in operation; and

(ii) would cover the person in relation to the work that he or she would perform under the agreement; and

(iii) covers the employer.

Test time

(6) The test time is the time the application for approval of the agreement by the FWC was made under subsection 182(4) or section 185.

FWC may assume employee better off overall in certain circumstances

(7) For the purposes of determining whether an enterprise agreement passes the better off overall test, if a class of employees to which a particular employee belongs would be better off if the agreement applied to that class than if the relevant modern award applied to that class, the FWC is entitled to assume, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that the employee would be better off overall if the agreement applied to the employee.


mta news bulletin.png

Further Reading:


Low Morale And Fatigue Show Incompetent Management

Bridget Davies from the Herald Scum wrote an article on Friday the 5th of August about a large number of cancellations on that evening’s peak services.  It involved a person attempting self-harm at South Yarra and a hit at Chelsea.  Two events that contributed to a shutdown of the South-Eastern rail lines.

There was something not so obvious at work to help cause a number of train cancellations, something that happens almost every Friday.


Continue reading

The Cracks Are Showing

When a public asset is privatised, maintenance suffers.  This is something well known, a company only interested in making money for it’s shareholders will always seek ways to cut costs (and cutting maintenance costs is a good way to do this).

Take heed New South Wales,  this is the lesson that Victoria has learned the hard way.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority was changed in the early 1990’s to the Public Transport Corporation with semi-privatisation completed in 1999.  “The Met” was split into two parts: “Hillside Trains” and “Bayside Trains” franchised out to Connex and M>Train (National Express).  In 2004 National Express withdrew from their franchise and Connex took over the whole network.  Connex rejoined the two halves and had to re-train everyone on the other half of the network (a mammoth undertaking that puts paid to MTM’s argument that they can’t train all of their drivers on a single line). On 25 June 2009, Connex lost its bid to renew its contract and Metro Trains Melbourne took over on 30 November 2009. MTM is a consortium made up of MTR (60%, a Chinese Government owned rail operator), John Holland (20% now owned by China Communications Construction, a Chinese Government owned construction company)  and UGL Rail (20%, the only remaining Australian Owned Company in the Consortium).

In November 2007, Singapore‘s SMRT Transit and Hong Kong‘s MTR Corporation Limited expressed interest in taking control of Melbourne’s suburban rail network from Connex in November 2009, when their contract was to be reviewed.[12]

On 25 June 2009, Connex lost its bid to renew its contract with the Victorian Government. Hong Kong backed and owned MTR Corporation took over the Melbourne train network on 30 November 2009, operating as a locally themed consortium Metro Trains Melbourne.[13][14] MTR is a non-public railway owner and operator in Hong Kong where it is well known for constructing Transit Oriented Developments (TODS) around its stations.

In 2006, Professor Paul Mees and a group of academics estimated in their article “Privatisation of Rail and Tram Services In Melbourne: What Went Wrong?” that privatisation had cost taxpayers $1.2 billion more than if the system had remained both publicly owned and operated. With the franchise extensions in 2009, taxpayers will pay an estimated $2.1 billion more by 2010.

Dr. John Stone wrote in his article “Melbourne’s public transport: performance and prospects after 15 years of ‘privatisation’”

Is Melbourne’s model of single – mode franchising serving the city well?

… franchising is not bringing costs down or improving operational efficiency.

This is despite significant patronage growth, and is contrary to the predictions of the early proponents of franchising.

He also made mention of “the lack of accountability for MTM’s increased maintenance payments”.

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