V/line Annual Report - rivers of red ink

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 14 Oct 2016 10:47
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Well this is embarrassing:
http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/10/13/10/39/v-line-posts-23m-loss-after-horror-year

Somewhat inevitable given the lack of cash in previous years.

Hopefully the actual report will appear in the next few days on the ptv or vline website.

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  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
It is available on the V/Line Corporate website
https://corporate.vline.com.au/getattachment/6ad41cbe-17f6-489c-9fac-d65a1a627131/Annual-Report-2015-16
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Report now online. Look at all those people travelling on vline from Tarneit and Wyndham Vale! https://corporate.vline.com.au/Resources/Publications/Annual-Reports/Annual-Report-2015-16
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Is it only me who thinks that the bottom line figure is just a pointless bit of spin? A $23 million loss looks bad on the face of it however the franchise subsidy is up from $336M to $390M which means Vline was given an EXTRA $54M plus $35M in "trains recieved free of charge" (up $5M on previous year) + $125M in Government Project Reimbursement (unchanged from previous year)

So the $23 Million is just a drop in the ocean and quite misleading as a headline figure. Assuming the $23M will be picked up by the government the total extra forked out by taxpayers looks more like $82 Million to me.

As a regular user of the service I am not anti VLine but are we getting VFM?

BG
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Good point Brenton.

I also noticed that except for one person, the entire board was appointed on 1 July 2015. As someone who regularly reads annual reports of listed companies, I found this astonishing. You never ever see that sort of thing, even for companies that have really screwed up. Rather board change usually takes place over quite a few years to allow a level of continuity.

So why was the old board sacked? Was it for rank incompetence, a CFA type dispute where the board refused to take political orders or something else?
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I like the comments of BG and also @Bogong as they tell a different story.  Why have the board been replaced?  I would expect a lot of movement given the fiasco we have seen in the last 12 months.  The wheels, the RRL issues, the bus replacements, maintenance issues and delays to returning of rollingstock.  We have seen poor service continue on the albury line.

In summary the operational issues just keep dragging on and this was probably one reason.  You also need to thank the ALP for providing the extra money but how much of the funds $54m have been allocated to capital works track etc. rather than to meet additional operating costs?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
Good point Brenton.

I also noticed that except for one person, the entire board was appointed on 1 July 2015. As someone who regularly reads annual reports of listed companies, I found this astonishing. You never ever see that sort of thing, even for companies that have really screwed up. Rather board change usually takes place over quite a few years to allow a level of continuity.

So why was the old board sacked? Was it for rank incompetence, a CFA type dispute where the board refused to take political orders or something else?
Bogong

Former Board was in all likelihood stacked with 'yes men' appointed by the former Napthine/Baillieu conservative government.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Good point Brenton.

I also noticed that except for one person, the entire board was appointed on 1 July 2015. As someone who regularly reads annual reports of listed companies, I found this astonishing. You never ever see that sort of thing, even for companies that have really screwed up. Rather board change usually takes place over quite a few years to allow a level of continuity.

So why was the old board sacked? Was it for rank incompetence, a CFA type dispute where the board refused to take political orders or something else?
Bogong
Good pickup, I didn't notice that. Their positions may have been deemed untenable considering what went on with the wheel wear etc. Walked? Pushed? Who knows.

It is an odd report, I haven't the time to study it in detail but the way they deal with Assets (New Trains Recieved?!?!) is rather unusual. Is there an asset registrar in their anywhere and depreciation charges for rolling stock?

Trips up by 2.5 Million, Tickets sold down, fare revenue up!?!? I know the wheel wear problems would have an impact here are these figures also skewed by MYKI?

Massive Pax growth on the Geelong line leading to a healthy rise overall but a big fall on the Gippsland line and a MASSIVE 27% fall on the Bendigo line which is a real concern as this is a major growth area for Victoria with lots of new residents in Gisborne, Kyneton and Bendigo as well as smaller growth in towns like Castlemaine.

BG
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction

Former Board was in all likelihood stacked with 'yes men' appointed by the former Napthine/Baillieu conservative government.
The Vinelander
Do you have any evidence of this or is it just your usual partisan political Red = Good, Blue = Bad spin doctoring?

And if it is the case are you arguing that a board stacked with pretty much all new Andrews Gov appointed members is somehow better that one stacked with members appointed by the other side? Merit based appointments are what's needed not more political hacks.

BG
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Sunbury Electrification is the main reason for drop off in patronage on Bendigo line.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Sunbury Electrification is the main reason for drop off in patronage on Bendigo line.
Carnot
Fair call, I just dug down deeper into the figures below the headline ones.

I still note that Bendigo and Seymour are stagnant while Geelong and Ballarat have had good rises despite all the problems. Wheel wear could have been a contributor on Bendigo line due to Sunbury pax taking Metro during the outage. Gippsland has fallen a fair bit year on year.

I will be interested to see how Bendigo figures go next year.

BG

Deleted once and edited once due to brain fades by this poster.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Sunbury Electrification is the main reason for drop off in patronage on Bendigo line.
Carnot

Could it also be the number of interruptions on the Bendigo line over the year.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line

Former Board was in all likelihood stacked with 'yes men' appointed by the former Napthine/Baillieu conservative government.Do you have any evidence of this or is it just your usual partisan political Red = Good, Blue = Bad spin doctoring?
BrentonGolding

Usual partisan etc...
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction

Former Board was in all likelihood stacked with 'yes men' appointed by the former Napthine/Baillieu conservative government.Do you have any evidence of this or is it just your usual partisan political Red = Good, Blue = Bad spin doctoring?
Usual partisan etc...
The Vinelander
I'm afraid you've completely lost me.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Largely/entirely spin, waffle and self-gratification rather than facts. Plus the pages of accounting stuff, of course.

No detail (that I could find) relating to the wheel wear issues which I consider was a major issue that confronted Vline in 2015/2016.

In my days of writing factual Annual reports there was a certification by the Chief Mechanical and Chief Civil Engineers that the rolling stock and track etc had been maintained in a safe manner during the year. Has anyone found such a certification re the rolling stock of Vline? If they have a page number would be handy, please.
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

Is the replacement of the board a critical matter in respect of issues like wheels, RRL, bustitution, and rollingstock availability? Surely this is the realm of the CEO and senior managers. The board ought to be grappling with strategic planning and reviewing performance, not running the show.
Of course if the board does not have confidence in the management team...
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
How could any Board (Red, Blue. Green or purple with yellow spots) have confidence in any organisation that allowed the Vlocity wheel wear issue to develop the way it did. It is their responsibility to supervise the CEO and other Management people which they clearly failed to do either by design, accident, incompetence, cover up or neglect.
Is there an engineer, operator (of anything) or, indeed anyone other than a lawyer or bean counter on the board even now?
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Key things are  

1. The extra cost involved in the VL wheelwear saga re coaches and replacement wheelsets , free travel are not detailed.  
2.  VLP continue the dishonesty in reporting timekeeping as within 5 and 10 minutes when it is measured to within 6 and 11 minutes.
3. Total patronage is up  17.5 %  on the previous year of which all the growth is in rail trips, coach patronage is stagnant ,
4. With train patronage  South West +  57 %  Western + 12 %  Northern  Static  North Eastern + 0.5 %  Eastern  Static
5.  Full fare travellers steady at  62 % of pax . Concession  38 % of pax .
6. Subsidy per pax  journey  steady at  an alarming  $  22-12 per trip
7. Overall timekeeping WORSE than previous year over all , NOT good .
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger

6. Subsidy per pax  journey  steady at  an alarming  $  22-12 per trip
kuldalai
To be fair, that's down about 20 cents per passenger.

Of course, with the increase in passengers overall, it means they haven't done anything meaningful in their power to act on decreasing it, and Wyndham Vale/Tarneit Passengers are subsidising everyone else.
  mm42 Chief Train Controller

The $23m loss would be mainly because of spending ~$25 m providing the rail replacement coaches free of charge to passengers during the wheel wear debacle.  On page 77 of the report the expenditure on "road coach services" (which are a different line item from the V/Line branded coaches) increased by $25.8 m from $8.1 m in 2014/15 to $33.9 m in 2015/16.  Not only did V/Line incur the expense of chartering these coaches, it also did not receive revenue from passengers who chose to take the rail replacement. There was also a week following the debacle when rail services were provided free, so again a portion of the year without income.  These were government directives, but without a separate budget.  The costs were simply added to V/Line's accumulated deficit.

Re the Tarneit passengers subsidizing the rest, these are Zone 2 myki fares, so not much revenue per passenger.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Really, it's not a very good report if it takes the collective analysis of people here to read between the lines and make sense of it in the context of events that we know about. A reader without our knowledge of what happened during that year would get a totally different impression if they read the report in isolation.

There's also a lot of unnecessary extraneous information clogging things up. I mean who really wants to know how many reams of paper they used? Rolling Eyes If they're going to put trivial things like that in their annual report, then they should at least make a commitment to use our locally made paper transported from Maryvale by rail over tracks owned and maintained by Vline.
  hbedriver Assistant Commissioner

And the waste continues. The deadline for the new uniforms being passed (both the first deadline, then the second absolute final chance deadline), and virtually none of the drivers are wearing it. The unlucky few who have got some of their issue hate it, the rest are still waiting for their orders.

Buses are still being used as substitutes, quite apart from planned works (e.g. the current Bendigo line closure). Thursday they ran out of replacement buses for defective trains. Standard gauge services remain a shambles, most of this last week only 33% ran (with only 1 set available, that set could still run 50%, saving more buses).

Both of these examples seem illustrative of the wider problems with the organisation. My contacts suggest all candidates for CEO keep dropping off, perhaps due to poor severance conditions (which given the history of recent CEOs may be a consideration for them!)
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Yep, lots of waste and yet no really honest discussion of such.  Smoke, mirrors, and spin.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Is the replacement of the board a critical matter in respect of issues like wheels, RRL, bustitution, and rollingstock availability? Surely this is the realm of the CEO and senior managers. The board ought to be grappling with strategic planning and reviewing performance, not running the show.
Of course if the board does not have confidence in the management team...
Lockspike

I think that the more important point about the board in this case is that it is almost there for nothing.  Politics takes VLine this way and then that.  All the normal functioning of a board is about keeping the company on a straight course, managing risk along the way.  When your goal posts are forever changing, you've really got no way of guiding the company in the same way as a normal company.
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

Seems that everyone here is missing the basic point. Vline is a not for profit company, its sole purpose is to provide a public service, Not make a profit. So the media and you public Knuckleheads really need to take a step backwards and get over the so called $23 million bucks lost (supposedly)

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