Gippsland South The Nationals Rail

Nats put dedicated Gippsland line on the agenda

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien has welcomed the commitment by Leader of The Nationals, Peter Walsh to a dedicated Gippsland rail line.

Speaking at The Nationals State Conference in Shepparton at the weekend Mr Walsh said a dedicated line was needed and was something The Nationals were working towards.

“I’ve been working on this issue for some time because Gippsland rail travellers know that congestion in the south eastern suburbs is what causes our biggest problems on the Gippsland line,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Generally our trains roll along pretty well until Pakenham, when they get stuck behind Metro trains stopping all stations and almost literally crawl into Flinders Street or Southern Cross Stations.

“The most recent V/line punctuality figures showed only 47% of Bairnsdale line trains actually arrived on time and this is largely due to the Melbourne end congestion.

“I wrote to Jacinta Allan, the Minister for Public Transport three years ago, seeking an assurance that the Labor Government’s sky rail project wouldn’t hamper future plans for a dedicated line for Gippsland.

“I got no such assurance and persistent attempts to get the Labor Government interested in planning for a dedicated line have proved fruitless.

“This is despite the fact the Labor Party went out of its way to deliver a dedicated line for Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo, proving once again that it has a blinkered view of what actually constitutes rural and regional Victoria.”

Mr O’Brien said while he had been calling on Labor to undertake work on the Gippsland line he’d also been working with his Gippsland colleagues and the Shadow Cabinet on the project.

“It was very gratifying that Peter Walsh has listened to our concerns and has highlighted the need for action on the dedicated line and indicated that the Liberals and Nationals in government will deliver it.

“I look forward to additional announcements prior to the election that will put meat on the bones and ensure a better service for Gippsland passengers.”

Caption: The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, welcomes the commitment by Leader of The Nationals, Peter Walsh to a dedicated Gippsland rail line.

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