Members of the Victorian Coalition have today launched a petition calling on the Andrews Government to deliver a fair share of funding to improve the Gippsland Rail Line.
Speaking at the Traralgon Railway Station, Gippsland Coalition Members Gary Blackwood, Edward O’Donohue, Russell Northe, Danny O’Brien, Melina Bath and Tim Bull highlighted the lack of action by the Andrews Government in providing a reliable regional public transport network.
Russell Northe, Member for Morwell has been inundated with concerns regarding the Gippsland Line and the lack of investment and reliability.
‘The Victorian Coalition had a plan that invested in both Metropolitan and Regional Services and to date no such plan has been revealed for regional Victoria by this Government.
‘Daniel Andrews has not only declared a war against Gippsland motorists but he has neglected commuters on Gippsland’s public transport network as well.
‘That lack of action by the Andrews Government in improving regional public transport and providing real plans to show how they will grow services is concerning to residents in the Morwell electorate,’ Mr Northe said.
Mr Blackwood said that in Narracan the duplication of line between Longwarry and Bunyip had been ignored by the current Government resulting regularly in delayed services.
‘The Government’s decision to ignore the duplication of track between Longwarry and Bunyip means that service schedules have to reflect the single line section and fewer services can be run than could be possible.
‘Often services are delayed waiting for the Longwarry to Bunyip section of track to clear and the short section of track is vital to reliability right down the Gippsland line,’ said Mr Blackwood.
Edward O’Donohue, Member for Eastern Region, said that the Gippsland region’s growth in population warranted strong investment from the Andrews Government to boost access and frequency to public transport services.
‘Investing in our public transport network as the eastern region of our state grows is critical to ensure those who move beyond Pakenham have access to reliable and frequent public transport to and from Melbourne.
‘Our Government set in place a plan for the Gippsland growth corridor and to date the Andrews Government have given no similar commitment to increasing and supporting transport services,’ Mr O’Donohue said.
Mr Bull said there had been a clear message from his electorate of Gippsland East that additional Bairnsdale services committed to by the former Government were critical to commuters needs.
‘My office has been continually approached seeking support for additional peak and weekend services to and from Bairnsdale and we committed to that under our transport plan which supported Gippsland in 2014.
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‘There is a strong feeling in the community everywhere I go that the Andrews Government is ignoring the needs of Gippsland East and its failure to support additional rail services to Bairnsdale only highlights those comments,’ Mr Bull said.
Member for Eastern Region Melina Bath said the Governments current package to upgrade focus upgrades in the Cranbourne Pakenham Rail Corridor demonstrated that Labor had forgotten Gippsland.
‘Regional commuters have been forgotten by this Government and the petition we are launching today across Gippsland will send the message very clearly to Melbourne that it must invest in regional public transport to deliver the services we deserve,’ Ms Bath said.
Danny O’Brien Member for Gippsland South said more flagship services were needed to address the growing demand for public transport in Sale and Rosedale. “People in my electorate are sick of the Gippsland line being the worst performer for punctuality. The Coalition had a plan to address that issue, to add new services to sale and new rolling stock, but Gippsland is now being neglected by the Labor Government.
“The Andrews Government needs to invest in regional rolling stock specifically for Gippsland to meet the demand as we committed to in Government,’ Mr O’Brien said.
Petitions are available by contacting local Coalition Members Electorate Offices.
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