Late trains highlight Labor’s Skyrail folly
The latest figures on VLine train performance in Gippsland highlight the failure of the Labor Government to plan for a dedicated rail link through South East Melbourne for Gippsland.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said the Labor Government had shown no interest in planning for a dedicated line and its Skyrail project had almost certainly killed off any prospect of such a development on the existing route.
“The Gippsland train performance goes from bad to worse with the latest figures from December showing the Bairnsdale line was late almost half the time,” Mr O’Brien said.
“It’s no surprise to most Gippslanders that VLine has in part blamed this poor performance on congestion at the Melbourne end.
“Gippsland commuters know that the train mostly runs smoothly and on time to Pakenham where it often gets stuck behind a metro train stopping all stations.
“I’ve been calling on the government to at the very least begin investigating a dedicated Gippsland line or other options to improve congestion at that end and yet Daniel Andrews has completely ignored the needs of Gippsland commuters.
“Labor spent billions on the Regional Rail Link providing a dedicated country line for Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo but won’t even commit to a feasibility study or a dedicated Gippsland line.”
Mr O’Brien said he and his Liberal and National colleagues in Gippsland had been working for some time to improve Gippsland services.
“We took a policy to the last election to duplicate sections of track and upgrade the line and it took Labor three years and Federal Government funding to match that commitment. We’re now further behind and results are there for all to see in VLine’s Gippsland performance,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Daniel Andrews and Jacinta Allan are spending billions in Melbourne but show little interest in the long-term future of Gippsland.
“It’s time they provided funding to investigate a dedicated service for the 260,000 people that live in our region.”