Labor’s lack of foresight damns Gippsland commuters
A parliamentary committee has heard this week that the Andrews Labor Government has made no attempt to plan for a future dedicated line for Gippsland through Melbourne's south east to ease chronic poor performance on Gippsland V/Line services.
The Public Accounts and Estimates Committee hearings also heard that Labor had given no consideration to the additional tolls that will be paid by Gippsland motorists for a ten year extension of the Citylink tolling arrangements with Transurban.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, a member of the committee, said V/Line's poor performance would continue until Labor gave some consideration to a dedicated Gippsland line.
“We heard in the hearings that there has been absolutely no preparation for dealing with congestion on the Gippsland Line between Pakenham and Southern Cross,” Mr O’Brien said.
“With Labor constructing its skyrail project on the Cranbourne-Pakenham line there should have been consideration given to how Gippsland passenger services can get better access to the city.
“We know that our services generally run fairly well to Pakenham but then often get caught behind Metro trains causing huge delays and making the Gippsland line one of the worst performing in the state. What we heard this week confirms that Labor has no consideration for commuters along the Gippsland line and its skyrail project is condemning us to either no future progress or an inordinately expensive one.”
Mr O’Brien also questioned the government on the extension of Citylink tolls to pay for the new West Gate tunnel.
“Gippsland motorists travelling to the south eastern suburbs or the city will pay tolls for an extra ten years because of Labor’s decision to build the West Gate tunnel, a road that most of us will never use,” Mr O’Brien said.
“The fact the government did no modelling on the increased costs for Gippsland motorists shows it really doesn't care and is happy for us to pay for a shiny new freeway for the western suburbs.
“Both of these matters demonstrate just how little planning and preparation the government is doing with its infrastructure agenda and why Gippsland passengers and motorists continue to suffer under this government.”