The Nationals Gippsland South Rail Regional Rail Public Transport

Sale rail services need a boost

State Parliament has again heard of the need for additional rail services to Sale as the Andrews Labor Government brags about its $11 billion dollar rail spend in Melbourne.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said Sale and Wellington Shire residents were being ignored while Labor splashes billions of dollars on rail passengers in the city.

Mr O’Brien again used State Parliament last night to call on the Andrews Labor Government to build train stabling facilities in Sale which would allow additional VLocity services to run every day to Sale.

“I’ve been campaigning on this issue for three years now since The Nationals committed to this at the last election,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Daniel Andrews and Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan seem to be deliberately avoiding Sale despite the stabling facility being recommended in their own Regional Network Development Plan as well as a comprehensive Gippsland rail proposal put forward by the Gippsland Local Government Network.

“If we had a stabling facility in Sale then VLocity services that currently service Melbourne to Traralgon could originate and terminate in Sale instead, giving us a minimum extra return train service to Melbourne and the Valley each day with little additional ongoing cost.”

Mr O’Brien said apart from replacing the decrepit Avon River Bridge at Stratford, Labor’s rail plans for Gippsland ignored the entire area east of Traralgon, which has a combined population the size of Ballarat.

“We have three rail services a day to Melbourne whereas Ballarat has 24 and the Latrobe Valley 17. It’s time for some equity in this for Wellington Shire passengers,” Mr O’Brien said.

Mr O’Brien welcomed a new report commissioned by Wellington Shire Council on a stabling facility, which provided four location options ranging in cost from $8.2 to $11.2 million dollars.

“The Shire is on board, Sale commuters are on board, The Nationals are on board and it’s time for Labor to deliver for our local train services.”

Mr O’Brien has called on the Minister to fund stabling in the upcoming State Budget. The Minister has 30 days to respond.

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