Gippsland South The Nationals Public Transport Trains Danny O'Brien Gippsland Line Bairnsdale Line

Labor fails Gippsland passengers again

Gippsland passengers using V/Line services are being treated as second class citizens with the continued failure of punctuality on the Bairnsdale line.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said the latest September statistics showed that only 70 per cent of trains on the Bairnsdale line, servicing Sale, ran on time.

“This is yet another appalling performance but will come as no surprise to anyone who uses our trains which more often than not have been bus services in recent times,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Analysis by the Opposition has shown that the Bairnsdale line hasn’t met punctuality targets since the Liberal Nationals were in government in August 2014.

“What is most concerning is that V/Line has given congestion in Melbourne as one of the main reasons for this poor performance and yet the Andrews Labor Government fails to even consider working on a dedicated track through Melbourne’s south east. 

“We took a policy to last year’s election to investigate options for a dedicated Gippsland line to untangle country and metro services in Melbourne’s south eastern suburbs. More recently, the Rail Futures Institute proposed a third line to accommodate V/Line trains through the south eastern suburbs.

“Gippsland’s train performance will only continue to get worse unless Daniel Andrews actually does something about it.”

Shadow Minister for Regional Public Transport and Deputy Leader of The Nationals, Steph Ryan said worsening problems meant it was impossible for commuters to have confidence in Victoria’s rail network.

“Daniel Andrews has found billions to put into Melbourne level crossing blowouts, while country passengers continue to miss out,” Ms Ryan said.

“Labor is ignorant of the thousands of Victorians who are inconvenienced on a daily basis by delays, breakdowns and cancellations.

“V/Line punctuality is getting worse, not better, because the Andrews Labor Government refuses to make the investments needed to make our regional trains run on time.”

Mr O’Brien said it was disappointing that major works funded by the Federal Government were only just going out to contract on the Gippsland line when the Ballarat service, funded at the same time, has now been completed.

“This just shows again that Labor will always put Gippsland last and their continued poor performance for V/Line punctuality just reinforces that,” Mr O’Brien said.

“We deserve a better service and it’s time Labor actually did something to fix our train services.”

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien is calling on the Andrews Labor Government to address poor punctuality performance on the Gippsland line.

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