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Reliable rail needed in uncertain times

Gippsland Nationals MPs are calling for improved reliability of services on the Bairnsdale line as commuters continue to battle frustrating delays and unreliable train services in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull said regional passengers deserved better, with just 83.1 per cent of services running on time in March 2020.

“We are facing uncertain times and the state government must do all they can to provide reliable services so that essential workers can get to work and back home again on time,” Mr Bull said.

“The Andrews Government completely disregarded country Victorians last year, axing $149 million from VLine’s operating budget, and we are now seeing the result of that.

“Our essential workers just want to be able to get home, not stand around on platforms waiting for delayed services or replacement buses.

“The Premier has found billions of dollars for level crossing blowouts in Melbourne, but is happy to leave country commuters stranded.”

All but one of Victoria’s eleven regional train lines failed to run on time in March.

Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said reliable rail will be vital to the economic recovery of the Gippsland region.

“Modelling by the Department of Treasury and Finance released today indicates we are looking at up to 270,000 job losses across the state in the coming months,” Mr O’Brien said.

“A reliable train service opens up more employment opportunities and keeps people in the jobs they already have.

“Unfortunately, we are being led by a state government that regularly forgets the rail lines continue past Traralgon.

“It’s time for the city-centric Labor government to return the money it axed from VLine’s operating budget and improve regional rail.”


22 April 2020

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