City project done – any chance Labor might look at Gippsland?
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien has called on the Andrews Labor Government to address the woeful performance of trains on the Gippsland line after the completion of its south-east Melbourne level crossing removal program.
Mr O’Brien said Gippsland had the worst performing train line in the state in terms of punctuality and much of it was due to congestion between Pakenham and Southern Cross.
“While the Government is now patting itself on the back for its work on level crossing removals in the city, it would be useful if it turned its attention to Gippsland and our regional passenger needs.
“Labor has been ignoring the problem of Gippsland trains’ access into Melbourne because it’s been focussed on its sky rail works, which of themselves, have actually made a dedicated line for Gippsland trains even more difficult.
“Labor has not only paid no attention to planning for a dedicated Gippsland line it has openly mocked any effort to address it.
“I’m proud that The Nationals have committed to developing options for a dedicated Gippsland track to ensure that we have punctual and reliable services into the city for decades to come. If we don’t act on this issue now then the Gippsland line will be practically unserviceable in years to come.”
Mr O’Brien said despite repeated requests in Parliament and from the Gippsland community Daniel Andrews and Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan had refused to even develop a business case or planning for a dedicated track.
“If Jacinta Allan put as much effort into Gippsland services as she did into issuing media releases about her level crossing removal program then we’d probably have a dedicated line by now.
“I know this will be a difficult and expensive job, but it beggars belief that Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo can get a dedicated line but the Labor Government shows no interest in Gippsland.
“Our service levels will only get worse unless we address this issue and its time Labor showed some care for the country.”
Mr O’Brien said even the works proposed on the Gippsland line as part of the Regional Rail Revival project were almost entirely funded by the Federal Government.
“Labor has done very little for Gippsland rail passengers and the state of our service is a drag on regional development and tourism in our region. It’s time we did much better.”
Tuesday, 19 June 2018