Mr D O’BRIEN (Gippsland South) (6079)
My adjournment matter is to the Minister for Transport Infrastructure.
The action I seek is for the government to investigate the options for and feasibility of a dedicated line for Gippsland trains through Melbourne’s south-east through to the city.
The minister has had a lot to say recently about additional platforms at Pakenham as part of level crossing removal works and about the alleged benefits of the Suburban Rail Loop for Gippsland passengers. However, these projects do not address the fundamental issue affecting reliable and punctual performance of Gippsland trains.
That is, the propensity for our trains to get stuck behind a Metro service once they hit Pakenham and crawl all the way into the city.
This issue is not new and the government has known about it for years. I fear the government’s ultimate aim is to terminate Gippsland trains at Pakenham or Clayton and force Gippslanders onto the Metro system, rather than actually address the root cause of the problem.
I do not suggest what the solution should be, and I’m sure that additional dual tracks all the way from Pakenham to the city are unlikely, but we need some solution, which may be a combination of passing loops, tunnels or improved signalling.
Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo have dedicated lines through Melbourne’s west. Why isn’t the government delivering the same for Gippsland passengers?
At the very least, the government should be investigating the options before Gippsland is consigned to a permanent second-rate train service.