The Nationals Gippsland South Public Transport Regional Rail Rail Melina Bath Tim Bull

National MPs say regional commuters need better service

Local National MPs are calling on the Andrews Labor Government to deliver better outcomes for regional commuters on the back of a report tabled by the Victorian Auditor-General into V/line services.

The report found that the regional rail operator has a $535 million maintenance backlog and has consistently failed to meet targets.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria, Melina Bath said the report was a damning assessment of V/Line’s performance under the current government.

“Gippsland rail users share a rail corridor with the rapidly expanding City of Casey, and trains originating from Traralgon and Bairnsdale are repeatedly missing their allocated slots at the metropolitan boundary.

“Services are slow and late arriving in Pakenham, and then further slowed for the remainder of the journey to the city.”

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, said Labor had offered little to no improvement for passengers on the Gippsland line.

“The city-centric Labor Government has offered nothing in the way of increased services east of Traralgon and the services we do have are poor.

“1 in 5 trains are still not arriving on time on the Gippsland line and this report suggests those statistics would actually be worse if correctly measured against the master timetable."

V/Line currently measures reliability and punctuality against a daily schedule rather than the master timetable which the report indicates would provide more reliable statistics.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said the Andrews Labor Government talks a big game, but this independent report shows things have worsened under their watch.

“The Federal Government funding recently announced by Darren Chester will hopefully improve the service, which as many are aware is a State responsibility.”

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