Public Transport Gippsland South The Nationals Trains Sale

Labor’s transport plan fails Gippsland

After 18 months in office, two State Budgets and an expensive round of consultations, the Melbourne Labor Government has still failed to deliver any improvements for Gippsland public transport.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien said the release today of the so-called Regional Network Development Plan was a time-buying exercise that provided nothing new for Gippsland passengers.

“This is a thought-bubble dressed up in a glossy brochure, wrapped up with a Ministerial media release.  It offers no new funding and no new or improved services for Gippsland train or coach users and only vague offerings that Labor might do something sometime in the future,” Mr O’Brien said.

“I am genuinely disappointed that this plan does not outline what the government is actually going to do to improve public transport in Gippsland, particularly for those of us beyond Traralgon or in South Gippsland.

“You know the government is struggling when its ‘plan’ lists spending on warning signs on a rail trail – where trains clearly don’t go anymore – as a highlight. When one of three ‘strategic, network-wide priorities’ is ‘putting passengers first’, you know the spin doctors aren’t working too hard for their money.”

Mr O’Brien said The Nationals in government took a fully-costed plan to the last State Election with funding for projects in Gippsland that Labor is only now proposing to “look at” nearly two years later.

“Duplication of parts of the Gippsland line, new train stabling facilities at Sale and a new bridge over the Avon River at Stratford are not new ideas that Labor has just thought of – they were part of our plan and after two Budgets, they’re the sorts of things Labor should be getting on with, not putting on the never-never,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Additional services to Sale can be provided with minimal additional cost but these have put been off as a ‘future direction’.

“There is also disappointingly little information about improved coach services for South Gippsland or connections between South Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley and Sale which locals have been calling for.

“Labor’s 2016-17 Budget document used the slogan ‘Getting it Done’ – after this latest effort from Jacinta Allan, the new slogan should be “Thinking About It’.”

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