Photos from ten years ago: October 2010

Another instalment in my photos from ten years ago series – this time it is October 2010.

Down in Docklands

We start down in the windswept streets of Docklands.

No. 2 shed sitting all alone in the middle of Docklands

Where I had a look over the last remaining part of Melbourne Yard – the heritage listed No. 2 Goods Shed completed in 1889.

All that remains of Melbourne Yard:  No. 2 shed and the loading shelter for Loading Track 'D'. Four shunting necks ran along what is now Wurundjeri Way

And looked across to 67 Spencer Street – the former Victorian Railways head office.

Western side of the Victorian Railways head office, showing the 'U' shape

Then walked home past the ‘Wailing Wall‘.

Looking east along the Flinders Street retaining wall: 10 sections were removed in 1999 to allow the construction of Wurundjeri Way

None of these views are possible today – the Melbourne Quarter development covers the block bounded by Wurundjeri Way and Collins Street, the retained wall partially demolished to provided vehicle access.

Taking off

October 2010 saw me pay a visit to Essendon Airport.

Outside the terminal

Where the terminal looked much the same as when it served as Melbourne’s international gateway.

Looking down the terminal: still looking very 1960s

But the scene is different today – a $4 million renovation completed in 2019 has converted the main arrival hall into office space.

An even more dramatic transformation was at RAAF Williams in Laverton.

Sun sets on the abandoned control tower

Once empty paddocks between the Princes Freeway.

MA2 down the line at Forsyth Road, Hoppers Crossing

A decade later the airfield is gone, turned into the suburb of Williams Landing.

Big road spending

Work on the $371 million West Gate Bridge Strengthening project was well underway, with scaffolding covering the bridge while work was completed to add a fifth traffic lane in each direction.

Work continuing on the West Gate Bridge upgrade project

Another road project was the $48.5 million Kororoit Creek Road duplication, which removed a level crossing on the Werribee line.

Looking east towards the railway crossing

And Laverton station received yet another car park extension, taking it all the way to the Princes Freeway overpass.

Extended car park along the northern side of the line, all the way to the freeway overpass

At the rate the car park is being extended, it will soon join up with Aircraft station!

New trains

Delivery of more X’Trapolis trains was starting to ramp up during 2010, the imported body shells waiting outside the Alstom plant in Ballarat awaiting final fitout.

X'Trapolis body shells still in factory wrapping at UGL Ballarat: six cars all up, all with bogies fitted

And a new stabling yard had just opened at Newport to park all of these extra trains.

New stabling yard, tracks 3 through 8, located south of the Tarp Shop

A decade later the new HCMT fleet is being built at Newport, the Alstom Ballarat plant mothballed due to with no work, the workers redeployed to the V/Line maintenance workshops down the road.

Forgotten heritage

I made my way up to the Seymour Railway Heritage Centre.

T357 with a hidden T413 in the loco depot, N467 in the other road

Where I found a tine capsule from the 1980s.

Old-school Amex card swiper in buffet car Tanjil

Buffet carriage ‘Tanjil’.

Looking down the buffet counter of 'Tanjil' / 3VRS / 233VRS

The carriage remains in storage today, awaiting a future restoration to service.

Meanwhile in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, the Preston Workshops was a dumping ground for retired W class trams.

SW5.842 stored in the open having been used as a parts bin, alongside rotting SW5.848

But the scene today is different – in 2014 the old trams were moved out and given away to new homes, making way for the ‘New Preston Depot‘ that opened in 2016 for the fleet of brand new E class trams.

Meanwhile Flinders Street Station was a dank and crumbing place.

Missing tiles and exposed electrical cables: Centre Subway to platform 4/5

The only upside being a dance party happening in the Campbell Arcade subway.

Bouncer on the Degraves Street exit from the station, as some confused commuters look on

A decade later the tiles have finally been fixed, part of the $100 million Flinders Street Station upgrade project, but for the Campbell Arcade the future is not as rosy – half the shops are due to be bulldozed by the Metro Tunnel project to provided a connection to the new Town Hall station.

And things that never change

Promotional crap blocking access to Melbourne Central Station.

Another pile of promotional crap blocking access to Melbourne Central Station

It just keeps on happening.

Footnote

Here you can find the rest of my ‘photos from ten years ago‘ series.

V/Line football specials for Geelong Cats fans

The V/Line trains and the Geelong Cats have been working together for years.

P11 with a special headboard for the grand final

Their home ground of Kardinia Park in Geelong is right beside the railway.

VLocity VL00 and VL01 on the down at South Geelong

Grandstands visible from passing trains.

P18 passing Kardinia Park

South Geelong station is a short walk to the ground.

Plenty of parked bikes at South Geelong station

With a number of sidings available to park extra trains.

P12+P16 in the siding at South Geelong

Many Cats fans also catch the train up to Melbourne to see their team play.

Cats fans wait for a delayed train at South Geelong

V/Line promotes their extra football trains to fans.

V/Line football train promotion at Geelong station

Advertisements on the side of trains.

V/Line football train promotion on the side of VLocity carriage 1371

And for previous Geelong Grand Finals, having specially decorated their trains for the occasion.

P11 with a special headboard on the up with an 8 car all-refurbished push pull outside Lara

These extra trains require a lot of planning – in this case, 20 pages of special instructions for railway staff, detailing the timetable of each additional train.

And one extra instruction.

Thanks to Geelong fans’ reputation for walking out early.

Stationmaster Richmond to note the following:

If Geelong wins, no.8295 must be held to depart at 1758 or until patronage is near capacity of set. If Geelong loses train to depart at 17 48.

If Geelong wins, no.8297 must be held at Richmond until patronage is near capacity of set. If Geelong loses train to depart at 17 58.

And with another Grand Final loss, who can blame then? 😛

Cutting the ribbon on a bus shelter

Buses might be the poor cousin of public transport in Melbourne, but politicians are the kind of attention seekers who will turn up to the opening of an envelope – or issue a media release when they install a new bus shelter.

Bus stop without a roof in Sunshine West

New bus shelters in the Yarra Ranges?

12 new Yarra Ranges bus shelters fulfill election promise

28 June 2011

From the Minister for Public Transport

The installation of 12 new solar powered bus shelters in the Shire of Yarra Ranges during 2011 has more than met the Coalition Government’s election commitment to install 10, Minister for Public Transport, Terry Mulder said today.

Mr Mulder said that four bus stops in Swansea Road, Montrose, along with four in Maroondah Highway, Chirnside Park, Lilydale or Montrose, two in Mount Dandenong Road, Montrose and two in Leith Road, Montrose now had new shelters.

“The Shire of Yarra Ranges selected the sites,” Mr Mulder said.

“For instance, the bus stop on the north side of Mount Dandenong Road, west of Montrose Road, Montrose now has a new shelter, as does the north side Maroondah Highway bus stop east of Nelson Road in Lilydale.”

Member for Evelyn Christine Fyffe said she was pleased at the additional weather protection offered by the new bus shelters.

“The Coalition Government’s new bus shelters are another reason to travel by bus.

“My Parliamentary colleague Brad Battin’s representations have led to lower fares for many users of the Chirnside Park to Warburton bus route.

“The new shelters are a local example of investment in public transport. More than 500 million trips are now taken annually on Melbourne’s Metro trains, Yarra Trams or private buses,” Mrs Fyffe said.

Mr Mulder said that funding for another 15 new Yarra Ranges bus shelters would be provided by the Coalition Government in 2011/12 under its bus shelters program.

“The Government meets about two thirds of the total cost of providing Melbourne’s public transport. I want to see more outer eastern suburbs residents using public transport. One way in which the Government can do this is to increase the number of bus stops where intending passengers have a weather-protected seat or standing area,” Mr Mulder said.

Out the back of Kinglake.

New bus shelter for Pheasants Creek residents

21 June 2017

A new bus shelter on Kinglake-Whittlesea Road, Pheasants Creek will prevent people dangerously crossing the road to catch the Route 384 bus.

The only shelter that was previously available at the Kinglake-Whittlesea Road bus stop, was under a local shop’s awning across the road.

Labor Upper House Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes, welcomed the new shelter, which will improve safety and provide protection from the weather at the stop. The new pre-fabricated shelter has been installed at the bus stop, with new seating and room for passengers to stand. “The new bus shelter on Kinglake-Whittlesea Road means locals can now wait for the bus at the designated stop in bad weather,” Ms Symes said.

“Not only will this improve safety for passengers, but drivers who travel along this busy road.”

As bushfire relief.

Better Schools In Fire-Affected Areas Of East Gippsland

Clifton Creek Primary School, which was lost in the summer’s bushfires, will receive a further $29,000 to build a bus shelter within the school property beside the car park entrance.

For kids headed to school.

New bus shelter for Benalla students

15 December 2016

Wangaratta District Specialist School students now have a new bus shelter to protect them from inclement weather, Labor Upper House for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes, announced today.

At 25 metre², the bus shelter is much larger than a conventional bus shelter and provides seating and protection from the sun, wind and rain.

It is connected to the pedestrian network with a new Disability Discrimination Act compliant footpath.

About 15 students from Benalla travel to attend Wangaratta District Specialist School each day, many of whom require assistance to board the bus.

Students previously had to wait in an unsheltered area, which was a particular concern during inclement weather.

“This project is a great example of how we’re investing in transport infrastructure that meets the needs of Benalla users,” Ms Symes said.

“Labor’s $25,000 contribution will help make trips to school easier and more accessible for students attending Wangaratta District Specialist School.

“The Labor Government is investing in projects across the state to help people get where they need to go – whether it’s to work, school, the shops, to attend appointments, see friends and family.”

‘Celebrating’ partnerships between council and VicRoads.

Locals receive new bus shelter on New Dookie Road

24 January, 2018

Today Greater Shepparton City Council and VicRoads joined to celebrate the opening of a new bus shelter at New Dookie Road, Pine Lodge. The shelter was identified as a necessity by the Dookie and District Development Forum, mindful of the number of school children waiting for the bus at this location.

VicRoads and Greater Shepparton City Council partnered to bring the shelter to fruition, with VicRoads paying for the rural bus shelter and Council paying for its installation.

Or council and Public Transport Victoria.

80 new bus shelters destined for Nillumbik

20 April 2017

More than 80 new bus shelters will be built across Nillumbik over the next four years after Council agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Public Transport Victoria (PTV).

The commitment to sign the MoU was made at the 18 April Future Nillumbik Committee meeting.

Nillumbik Shire Mayor Councillor Peter Clarke said previously, Council built two new shelters and replaced two shelters each year.

“There are currently 67 bus shelters across Nillumbik which are being maintained by Council.

“This new agreement, however, means Council will more than double the current number of shelters over the next four years at no extra cost to ratepayers.

“These new shelters will be for public bus routes while Council remains responsible for providing shelters for school and community bus routes.

“For those people using public transport, these new shelters will provide a small level of comfort from either wet or very hot weather.

“I look forward to seeing them being rolled out across the Shire.”

Or just getting Public Transport Victoria to do the job they’re supposed to.

New Bus Shelters for Bayside commuters

24 May 2018

Public Transport Victoria is installing 15 new bus shelters in Bayside over the coming months.

These bus shelters represent a significant investment in public transport infrastructure within the municipality.

New bus shelters, and their associated seating, assist in making a bus journey more comfortable by providing a resting place and shelter from the sun, rain and wind.

Improved facilities at bus stops benefit existing users and make public transport a more attractive option for new users.

It is envisaged that the increased level of comfort provided by new bus shelters will encourage more people to use public transport and will also assist in reducing residents’ reliance on private vehicles.

This has the added benefit of responding to climate change by reducing transport-related emissions.

Improving public transport infrastructure was raised by the community as one of the most significant issues in the development of Council’s Integrated Transport Strategy.

Sites for new bus shelters are prioritised based on the number of passengers touching-on with a myki at a bus stop, which is determined from the latest available myki data, provided by PTV.

Council is committed to advocating for improved public transport services and associated infrastructure in order to improve the attractiveness of public transport services as a real transport option for the Bayside community.

So who is responsible bus shelters anyway?

It’s hard to get a straight answer out of Public Transport Victoria., but bus stops are their responsibility. Some councils manage requests for new bus shelters.

Bus shelter infrastructure is provided by Public Transport Victoria (PTV) through an annual bus shelter program working in conjunction with Council. Council will request PTV to install up to 20 bus shelters per year.

Requests for new bus shelters are handled by Council where Council will assess these on individual merit taking into consideration the number of passengers and services, the safety of the passengers, how the stop will fit into the wider public transport network and the likely effect of the installation of a shelter on the amenity of adjacent residents.

While others will fob you off to PTV.

Under the Road Management Act 2004, all infrastructure including facilities connected with bus stopping points such as shelters and seats, are the responsibility of Public Transport Victoria.
To improve our ability to deliver services, as of 1 January 2018 we will refer all new and active requests for bus infrastructure directly to Public Transport Victoria.

With maintenance responsibilities dependant on who originally installed the shelter.

ooH!media van parked while working on a bus shelter

With a complicated web involving either Public Transport Victoria or local council as the owner, and outdoor advertising companies oOh!media, Adshel, or JC Decaux as the operator.

Clear as mud?

Smashed glass window at the Sunshine station bus stop

Sunshine’s own Garden City housing estate

In the early 20th century the Garden City town planning movement gained traction in Australia, with housing on spacious lots separated by manicured gardens. The suburb of Garden City in Port Melbourne is the best known local example, but there is a small pocket in the streets of Sunshine – the ‘Concrete Housing Estate’ on Leith Avenue, off Hampshire Road between Derby Road and Morris Street.

Heritage listed concrete houses on Leith Avenue, Sunshine

Let’s take a tour

The concrete houses on Leith Avenue are included on Heritage Overlay number HO020, and include twelve properties – eight houses at 1 to 15 Leith Avenue, and four houses at 51 – 57 Hampshire Road.

Heritage listed concrete houses on Leith Avenue, Sunshine

They are a short distance from the Sunshine grain silos.

Heritage listed concrete houses on Hampshire Road, Sunshine

A central reserve divides Leith Avenue.

Heritage listed concrete houses on Leith Avenue, Sunshine

The houses built to a common design.

Heritage listed concrete houses on Leith Avenue, Sunshine

Distinctive chimneys atop each one.

Distinctive chimneys atop the heritage listed concrete houses on Leith Avenue, Sunshine

But each slightly different.

Heritage listed concrete houses on Leith Avenue, Sunshine

Four houses also front Hampshire Road.

Heritage listed concrete houses at 51 - 57 Hampshire Road, Sunshine

Less notable than those on Leith Avenue.

Heritage listed concrete houses at 55 - 57 Hampshire Road, Sunshine

But made of concrete all the same.

Heritage listed concrete houses at 51 - 53 Hampshire Road, Sunshine

Six different house designs were used on the estate, with three of them surviving today.

Type 1 is block-fronted with a simple hipped roof. It has overhanging eaves at the centre of the facade, creating a window hood above the windows, resting on triangular timber brackets. Windows are paired six-over-one sashes in boxed (projecting) frames. These houses have decorative timber porches on the side elevation. Another distinctive feature of these houses is the narrow faceted cast-concrete chimneys.

Type 2 has a wide hipped-roof bay at the front with a recessed porch beneath it. The porch is lit by a windowlike opening on the facade. The windows of this type of house are set into moulded render surrounds.

There is one surviving house with a California Bungalow form (Type 3), on Hampshire Road. Its most distinctive feature is a half-timbered gable-roofed porch at the front. The porch is supported on three pairs of timber posts, which in turn rest on low rendered piers.

History of the estate

During the 1880s land boom, speculators carved up the land around the township then called ‘Braybrook Junction’.


From History of School 3113 Sunshine

But boom turned to bust, and the estate lay empty except for a handful of houses.

Enter industrialist H. V. McKay, and his Sunshine Harvester Works which moved to Braybrook Junction in 1906. Driven by either generosity or paternalism, McKay developed housing estates across Sunshine for his workers, the largest of which is now the suburb of Albion.


SLV photo H2016.33/103

But a smaller estate of twenty-six homes was built on Leith Avenue – nine either side of the central park, and two groups of four facing Hampshire Road.


1945 Department of Lands and Survey photo map

Set on a court constructed with concrete road, kerb and channel around an oblong central grassed median, construction commenced in 1924, financed by the State Savings Bank of Victoria, and designed by their chief architect Burridge Leith.

Concrete Cottages
Two Dozen for Sunshine

A scheme has recently been approved of by the State Savings Bank in regard to the building of concrete dwelling houses by a system of organisation, which will make the cost very little in excess of wood. The first of the cottages built in the State by this new system was erected in Brighton, and has proved a success, and arrangements have been made to erect about 26 such residences in Hampshire Road, Sunshine, for employees of the Harvester Works. The building of the houses is being financed by the State Savings Bank. The cost of the buildings will vary from about £650 to £800, and the bank accepts a 10 per cent deposit of the capital cost of land and building, the remainder, of course, being payable in weekly contributions over a term of years.

The use of concrete sped up the construction process.

House Built in a Day
Moulded Concrete Employed

Twenty-five houses are being built of “poured” concrete at Sunshine (Vic.) Some have been erected, the last establishing what is claimed as a world record for speedy construction; all the moulds were set and all the walls, interior and exterior “poured” and reinforced with steel in 28 hours.

This extremely rapid work, of course, means an immense saving in labour, costs, as the weekly bill for wages almost disappears. That a building produced in such an infinitesimal space of time can be practically everlasting seems to upset all previous notions of the value of slow and careful workmanship.

But in this case swift work means good work, as the rapid pouring of the concrete means that the whole of the walls will set together in one monolithic mass. This could not be achieved if the house were built up slowly in layers, causing joins in the walls and liability to cracking.

During the latter part of the winter a plant was constructed at Sunshine to conform to the new plans of the Monolyte houses designed by the chief architect of tho State Savings Bank and a start was made with the work, in connection with an extensive building contract on behalf of and under the supervision of the State Savings Bank. Houses are now being rapidly “poured” one after the other. The
usual time occupied by this system for the purpose of erecting the forms and work incidental thereto, including reinforcing, etc., is roughly five to six days, according to the size of the house to be built, while the pouring of the walls takes another six hours, thus making tho house ready for roofing within seven days.

On Monday of one week a start was made with a house of the series, and so well did tho team perform its work that tho whole of the forms were set up and the special steel reinforcing placed in position by Wednesday, thus occupying barely three days for this preliminary work. Pouring operations under the supervision of the inventor, Mr, S. B. Merchant, were commenced afterwards, and completed within four hours and ten minutes altogether, a most remarkably speedy and effective performance.

Thus with only 28 hours work (three and a half days) the whole walls, fireplaces and chimneys of a perfectly-constructed and reinforced house were completed, and the carpenters are soon busily proceeding with the erection of the roof. The moulds were again removed and re-erected ready for refilling with an other house, thus taking five days to strip from one job and rebuild another site requiring five hours or less to complete the second house within six days, and without any addition to the constant team employed on the works.

And was cheaper than timber.

Quick Concrete Houses

Sunshine is to be the scene of further pioneer work with poured concrete houses. A contract has been let by the Sunshine Harvester Company for the erection of a number of these structures in the harvester city.

Already one poured concrete house erected at Brighton has proved its stability as a liveable dwelling. The walls and roof were constructed in a week, and the Melbourne Savings Bank Commissioners, who viewed the work in progress were very favourably impressed by the achievement.

The houses now to be constructed at Sunshine will also he watched by the Savings Bank officials, who see in the system a possible means of rapid construction of artisans’ homes of a more durable quality than the timber houses now in favour. It is hoped that by rapid construction concrete houses can be turned out in large quantities at very little more than the present cost of wood construction and considerably cheaper than brick.

A concrete building completed within a fortnight is a distinctly advantageous asset over brick or timber dwelling that takes three to five months to construct. Every week gain means money in the owner’s pocket, as it saves interest and rent. The concrete dwelling also saves money every year in the matter of maintenance, as it does not require painting or structural repairs. This point appeals strongly to the Savings Bank Commissioners, who are mindful of the fact that they carry mortgages over many thousands of timber houses for periods of twenty-one years, and that those are all to some extent “wasting assets”.

At Sunshine cement and sand are available for concrete construction, but in the past the houses there were built of timber. Once the value of the concrete house is proved it is likely that Sunshine will gradually develop into a concrete city.

With the estate completed by 1926.


The Daily Mail Brisbane, 3 January 1926

A decade later in 1935, the estate was considered a stand out in the area.

Provision by the shire council of concrete footpaths in most of the streets of Sunshine should be an incentive for householders to keep in proper condition the narrow strip of space between the concrete and the kerb. Appeals have from time to time been made by council officers in the columns of the “Advocate,” but these have only been partially heeded.

A journey through the locality past the school fails to create much enthusiasm. One thoroughfare – Leith Avenue – presents a row of neat dwellings and footpaths well tended,:but further down Hampshire Road things are not so good except for one or two isolated places which show up to distinct advantage.

But a decade later it was looking a little worse for wear.

A sub-committee of the Braybrook Council is to consider if anything can be done to place the reserves in Leith Avenue, Sunshine, in order. Cr. Drayton, the mover of the motion, said that the condition of these reserves had been a bone of contention for years.

But where did the other half go?

As originally built, there were houses on both sides of Leith Avenue.


1945 Department of Lands and Survey photo map

Visible in the 1966 edition 1 Melway.


Map 40, Melway Edition 1

But today the entire north side is part of the neighbouring Sunshine Primary School and Sunshine Secondary College.


Google Earth 2020

Some of the blocks still exist on their own land title.


VicPlan data

And on the ground, the remains of driveways can be seen along Leith Avenue.

Remnant driveways on Leith Avenue lead towards former houses, now part of Sunshine Primary School

The reason? A Public Acquisition Overlay covers the land – PAO6 on the Brimbank Planning Scheme – favouring the Department of Education, for an ‘education centre’.


Brimbank Planning Scheme – map 12PAO

The adjoining Sunshine School 3113 was established in 1891, with the current brick building officially opened in 1931.

Sunshine Primary School

In 1913 the Sunshine Technical School opened next door, followed in 1938 by the Sunshine Girls Technical School, and expanded in 1941.

And the houses on the north side of Leith Avenue?


Charles Daniel Photograph, SLV H2016.33/102

They were progressively acquired by the State Government, including:

And a Graham Street footnote

Remember Graham Street South? Turns out the block bounded by Graham Street and Derby Road was once covered by houses, but a Public Acquisition Overlay has seen it replaced by empty land.


Charles Daniel Photograph, SLV H2016.33/102

Properties acquired include:

But this empty land will never see a school built on it – plans to build a new school were launched in 2006 but it was shelved in 2010. Finally in 2015 it was announced that Sunshine College would be upgraded at a cost of $10 million, but consolidated onto the West and North campuses, with the Ardeer and Senior campuses closed.

Sources

TV stations saving money by sharing content

It costs a lot of money to keep a television outside broadcasting unit on the road, waiting for something newsworthy to happen. So with advertising revenue drying up, thanks to dropping TV audiences, TV stations will do anything to cut costs – including using the same content as their competitors!

A fair few locals watching the TV news broadcast

I found the first example a few years ago – “Australian Traffic Network“:

ATN is the Australian division of The Global Traffic Network, which is the leading provider of custom traffic reports to radio and television stations.

They supply traffic news reports from their own fleet of helicopters.

Siemens train crosses the Cremorne railway bridge, with peak hour traffic grinding along the Monash Freeway

To virtually every TV and radio station in Melbourne.

Traffic from The Australian Traffic Network.
Heard on KIIS, FOX, GOLD, MMM, 3AW, NOVA, SMOOTH, RSN, ABC, SEN, SEN+
TV: Nine Today, Seven Sunrise & TEN News

But I discovered a new shared content source the other month – “Night Shooters Melbourne“.

Filming a news piece outside the Melbourne Magistrates Court

They do the night shift for Melbourne’s TV stations.

We are the official vision provider to all the networks in Melbourne. From the hours of 8pm to 6am 365 days a year we are covering all the breaking news stories around Melbourne. On this site you will see exclusive behind the scene access from the crew. We are more often then not the first people on scene. We will never show the footage we shoot for 7 News Melbourne, 9 News Melbourne, 10 News Melbourne and ABC Melbourne. The vision you see will be from the crews smartphones.

Giving the big name news reporters a good night sleep.

But it’s nothing new

Stringer‘ is the industry lingo for a freelancer not tied to a particular media outlet:

A stringer is a freelance journalist, photographer, or videographer who contributes reports, photos, or videos to a news organisation on an ongoing basis but is paid individually for each piece of published or broadcast work.

As freelancers, stringers do not receive a regular salary and the amount and type of work is typically voluntary. However, stringers often have an ongoing relationship with one or more news organisations, to which they provide content on particular topics or locations when the opportunities arise.

But it’s getting bigger

In 2012 the New York Times revealed the growing content sharing phenomenon in the USA market:

Call a reporter at the CBS television station here, and it might be an anchor for the NBC station who calls back. Or it might be the news director who runs both stations’ news operations.

The stations here compete for viewers, but they cooperate in gathering the news — maintaining technically separate ownership, but sharing office space, news video and even the scripts written for their nightly news anchors.

That is why viewers see the same segments on car accidents, the same interviews with local politicians, the same high school sports highlights.

With the Pew Research Center report Acquisitions and Content Sharing Shapes Local TV News in 2013 examined it further.

Stations owned by the same company now routinely share news content regionally or groupwide. In some of the largest markets, local news services produce coverage for two or more competing stations. And more than three-quarters of local TV stations say they share news content with other media, including radio stations and newspapers, according to the most recent survey by the Radio Television Digital News Association.

The economic benefits of station consolidation are indisputable and include the increase in retransmission fees paid to station owners and the boost in stock prices of companies on buying sprees. But the effect on the quality of news coverage consumers receive is far more complicated to assess.