Thursday 28 June 2018
Daniel Andrews’ secret plan to dismantle V/Line
Daniel Andrews and his failed Public Transport Minister, Jacinta Allan, must come clean on their secret plan to swallow up country rail services into the struggling metropolitan PTV system.
The Andrews Labor Government has appointed Jeroen Weimar, CEO of Public Transport Victoria (PTV) to the role of V/Line Board Chairman from 1 July.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Regional Victoria and Decentralisation Peter Walsh
Only a Premier for Melbourne would orchestrate the takeover of our country rail services by Melbourne-focused bureaucrats.
Our regional communities want their rail services strengthened, not swallowed up by a city-focused administration that is preoccupied solving Melbourne’s commuter crush.
As Transport Minister, Jacinta Allan recently tried to take over and centralise bus services and only failed because private bus operators fought back against a raw deal that would have disadvantaged country communities.
Now its revealed Daniel Andrews and Jacinta Allan also have a secret plan for centralising our country rail services.
It’s time for Labor to come clean and tell us exactly what they are planning for our rail services because Regional Victoria can’t afford any more dud deals from the Premier for Melbourne.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Public Transport David Davis
Make no mistake, Daniel Andrews and his Public Transport Minister, Jacinta Allan, are beginning the process of destroying V/Line, Victoria’s country rail operator.
Not content with smashing its performance, they are now putting in an urban Board Chair with clear riding instructions to make V/Line fit the Metro mould.
How will Mr Weimar deal with this clear conflict of interest when the priority of Metro trains conflict with country rail – V/Line – services? Whose side will he take?
The fear is that Metro services will repeatedly override country trains.
Background: Victoria’s Rail Performance
Daniel Andrews’ city-centric government has crushed country rail performance since coming to government on almost every measure. The performance on country rail has collapsed since November 2014.
- Punctuality has reached the lowest level in over five years and one of the lowest levels on record across the V/Line network.
- Punctuality is far below that achieved in 2014 (79.3% vs 90.8% Nov 2014).
- Nearly 10 times as many services were cancelled in May (335) across the V/Line system than in Nov 2014 (36).
- The 92% target for punctuality has never been achieved over the last 4 years under Labor.
The May performance of V/Line is shocking but the solution is not a take-over of country rail by Daniel Andrews’ city-rail expert. The terrible fact is that city-rail performance has also declined.
Jeroen Weimar’s performance in conjunction with Minister Allan’s has seen:
- Punctuality well below 2014 – 90% in May 2018 vs 94.3% in November 2014.
- Punctuality fell to second lowest level in the last four years in May 2018.
- Punctuality continues to trend down since 2014.
- Punctuality is below the 92% target on 12 of the 16 metro lines.
- Labor is running over 3,000 less services on time in May 2018 across the Metro system than the previous Coalition Government did in November 2014.
Wednesday 18 April 2018
Liberal Nationals will bring back Country Roads and Bridges Program
An elected Liberal Nationals government will fix country roads and save country lives.
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy, Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh and Shadow Minister for Roads and Infrastructure David Hodgett announced today if elected, the Liberal Nationals will bring back the $160 million Country Roads and Bridges Program.
By contrast, Daniel Andrews axed the program when he was elected in 2014, leaving councils struggling to meet the cost of maintaining local roads.
Approximately $1 million in grants will be provided to Victoria’s 40 rural shires each year over four years.
The grants will help restore and rehabilitate council-maintained roads and bridges, which have deteriorated under Labor’s neglect.
People in rural Victoria are over-represented in the road toll. In 2017, 156 lives were lost on roads in rural Victoria, compared to 102 on roads in Melbourne.
The Country Roads and Bridges Program will give rural Victorians the safe and reliable infrastructure they deserve.
Comment attributable to Opposition Leader Matthew Guy
The Liberal Nationals will get Victoria moving with the high-quality, safe roads and infrastructure regional and rural Victorians deserve.
Daniel Andrews is the Premier for Melbourne, I’ll be the Premier for all Victorians.
Comment attributable to Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh
While Daniel Andrews is reducing speed limits on country roads, the Liberal Nationals have a plan for the safe, reliable infrastructure rural Victorians deserve.
If you fix country roads, you save country lives – and that’s exactly what this program will do.
Comment attributable to Shadow Minister for Roads and Infrastructure David Hodgett
Daniel Andrews axed the Country Roads and Bridges Program, leaving Victoria’s rural councils struggling to maintain their local roads network.
The Premier for Melbourne prefers to put country infrastructure funding into improvements near his own suburban electorate, only an elected Liberal Nationals government will invest in road safety improvements in rural Victoria.
Monday 23 April 2018
Twice as many trains and at faster speeds under the Liberal Nationals
Shepparton will finally get the rail service it has long wanted under a Liberal National plan to revitalise the city’s rail services and help decentralise Victoria’s economic and population growth.
The Liberal Nationals will double the current number of return rail services from Shepparton to Melbourne.
Through a $77 million investment the Liberal Nationals will increase the number of daily services from four to eight and track conditions will be vastly improved to allow maximum train speeds of up to 130 km/h, significantly higher than the current limit of around 95 km/h.
The Liberal Nationals’ plan will also see up to 32 road level crossings fully protected on the Shepparton line, eliminating the need to slow down and enabling maximum speeds to be maintained for as long as possible.
New remotely controlled automatic signalling will be installed on the line along with new sleepers, ballast and drainage.
The announcement is part of the Liberal Nationals’ plan to invest in heavy rail upgrades and to decentralise Victoria’s growth, creating a state of cities, not a city state.
It also follows the Liberal Nationals’ $633 million announcement to replace all diesel hauled country rail services with six carriage long haul VLocity railcars, which would operate all Shepparton services.
Gone will be the days of waiting for emergency repairs on ageing 1980s rolling stock and consistent broken air-conditioners on hot days, Shepparton will finally get a first class rail service.
Comments attributable to Leader of the Opposition, Matthew Guy:
“A government I lead will deliver faster, comfortable and more reliable rail services for Shepparton. As one of the largest cities in Victoria, Shepparton deserves no less.
“One of the most effective ways to decentralise Victoria’s population and economic growth is to upgrade our rail network and this is exactly what a Liberal National government will do.
“While Daniel Andrews is only interested in being the Premier for Melbourne, I will be the Premier for all of Victoria.”
Comments attributable to Leader of The Nationals, Peter Walsh:
“The Labor Premier for Melbourne is putting billions into the Melbourne metro and leaving Shepparton on the slow train.
“This commitment, in addition to the purchase of new long-haul trains, reflects the Liberal Nationals’ vision for Shepparton becoming a major regional centre as part of our plan to grow the whole state, not just Melbourne.”
Comments attributable to Liberal Candidate for Shepparton, Cheryl Hammer:
“The Shepparton community has told us loud and clear that improved connectivity to and from Melbourne is essential for building our future.
“I am proud to be part of the Liberal Nationals team that will deliver a faster, more reliable train service giving us the opportunity to better showcase our region, and move our travelling public in the manner they deserve."
Comments attributable to The Nationals Candidate for Shepparton, Peter Schwarz:
“Modern, fast, reliable trains and more services on the Shepparton line will be a terrific asset to attract people and new businesses to our community.
“The Shepparton region has a lot to be proud of and the better public transport links that will be delivered by an elected Liberal Nationals government will help our community grow.”
Thursday 22 February 2018
First, Luke Donnellan denigrated and disrespected country Victorians. Now he is straight out lying to us.
Asked today in Parliament if Labor’s botched placement of wire rope barriers would result in workers mowing kilometres of the Hume Fwy grass verge with push mowers, the Roads Minister responded ‘no’.
But photographs of workers mowing the edges of the Hume Fwy with push mowers suggest otherwise.
Luke Donnellan’s own guidelines on wire rope barriers state that the ongoing maintenance of areas on both sides of the barrier should be taken into account when installing them.
Further they state “the cost, practicality and Occupational Health & Safety implications of the maintenance of these areas need to be considered in accordance with Section 28 of the OH&S Act 2004.”
The use of push mowers on the Hume Fwy clearly does not comply with the Minister’s own guidelines.
Luke Donnellan must explain why the botched rollout of wire rope barriers has breached his own guidelines.
Daniel Andrews and Luke Donnellan must start listening to the legitimate safety concerns of country people.
Wednesday 14 February 2018
A Liberal Nationals government will give Victoria’s emerging kangaroo pet food industry certainty and make the current trial program permanent.
In Seymour to make the announcement, Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh said the Liberal Nationals will also expand the program to take in other areas where kangaroo numbers are out-of-control.
“The kangaroo pet food industry doesn’t need another extension, it needs certainty,” Mr Walsh said.
“Daniel Andrews and his city-centric Labor Government refuse to support this fledgling industry and the jobs it’s created.
“Unlike Labor, the Liberal Nationals are committed to helping Victorian farmers, making sure processors have confidence to invest in the industry and supporting existing and future jobs.”
The industry has been dogged by uncertainty, with the Andrews Labor Government failing to commit to the program, despite it proving to be an outstanding success.
Since the trial was established by the former Liberal Nationals government in 2014, about 87,000 kangaroo carcasses, that would have otherwise been discarded, have been processed.
Currently, the trial is restricted to 16 regional LGAs, but the Liberal Nationals’ plan would expand it to all rural and regional LGAs.
A permanent program would align with the guidelines of the existing trial and would not change the requirement for Authority to Control Wildlife permits to be issued for any kangaroos used as pet food.
Mr Walsh said the Liberal Nationals would give industry certainty, even if Labor refused to make the trial permanent when it expires at the end of March.
“In plague numbers, kangaroos cause extensive damage to fences, compete with domestic animals for food and water and trample crops,” Mr Walsh said.
“The kangaroo pet food trial has proven this creates jobs in regional Victoria and it makes use of a resource that would otherwise rot in paddocks.
“The Andrews Labor Government isn’t prepared to guarantee this industry’s future, but the Liberal Nationals will.”
Thursday 8 February 2018
In his opening remarks to the 2012 regional sitting of the Legislative Assembly in Ballarat then Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews remarked:
“The regional sitting program is a wonderful program, and I congratulate the Premier for continuing the efforts of previous governments.”
“The regional sitting programs are very important, not just because the communities get a better sense of what the legislature does but also because they are a great opportunity for us to spend time collectively in regional Victoria, to show our strong support for regional Victoria as a Parliament and to celebrate all the great things that are happening in regional Victoria.”
(Hansard, 6 September 2012)
Former Labor Premier Steve Bracks said of the Regional Parliament in 2000 that the regional sittings recognised:
“…the crucial role that regional Victoria played in the history of Victoria, the nation and the formation of the Federation”.
(Hansard, 26 October 2000)
Yet, not one regional sitting has been held during the current Andrews Labor Government’s term.
Thursday 8 February 2018
Communities in Regional Victoria would host Victorian Parliament for the first time since 2012, under an elected Liberal Nationals government.
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy and Shadow Minister for Regional Victoria and Decentralisation Peter Walsh announced the commitment today at State Parliament, in the first sitting week of 2018.
The Liberal Nationals commitment would see two regional sittings of each chamber held in the next term of government.
“You can’t fix country Victoria’s problems from behind a desk in Spring Street. Labor scrapped Regional Parliament, the Liberal Nationals will bring it back,” Mr Guy said.
“Regional sittings offer country communities a unique opportunity to be the focus of Parliament and are an important opportunity for city-based parliamentarians to learn more about regional communities.”
The commitment would see Mildura, Shepparton, Warrnambool and the Latrobe Valley host parliamentarians from one chamber of Parliament – either the Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council – for one sitting week each.
Mr Walsh said Daniel Andrews’ decision to scrap Regional Parliament was more proof he can’t see beyond Melbourne’s tram tracks.
“Daniel Andrews’ city-centric focus has denied our school children and communities in regional Victoria a chance to be part of Victoria’s democratic process,” Mr Walsh said.
“The Liberal Nationals will put an end to the absolute contempt Labor has shown our country communities and make sure our regional communities can be part of the parliamentary process.”
The last regional sittings were held by the former Liberal Nationals government in 2012.
Thursday 1 February 2018
Daniel Andrews' promise to 'rescue' TAFE was a lie.
Instead of a rescue, Daniel Andrews is conducting a raid cutting $123 million from the sector in the past 12 months alone.
A report from the Productivity Commission released today shows the Andrews Labor Government cut recurrent funding to Victoria's VET sector to $698.7 million in 2016.
This is half the investment under the former Liberal Nationals government, with $1.57 billion spent on training in 2012.
The Report on Government Services 2018 also showed students continue to lose confidence in Victoria’s training sector.
Government-funded VET student numbers dropped to 338,400, from 460,500 in 2014.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Training Skills and Apprenticeships Steph Ryan
As student numbers plummet, the Andrews Labor Government is investing less in our state’s training sector.
It’s ironic that Daniel Andrews promised to 'rescue' TAFE and then halved the state’s training spend.
Under Labor, Victoria’s training system is weaker, not stronger.
Friday 19 January 2018
Communities along Victoria’s state borders will benefit from the services of a dedicated Cross Border Commissioner under an elected Liberal Nationals government.
People living and working in Victoria’s border communities alongside New South Wales and South Australia face unique problems, including with access to services, licencing and coordination of emergency services.
Shadow Minister for Regional Victoria and Decentralisation Peter Walsh is in Mildura today to make the announcement.
“A lot changes when you travel across the border and for our business owners and residents in border communities this is an added complication to everyday life,” Mr Walsh said.
“It means our tradespeople have to get two separate licences to operate their business, while farmers and transport operators require two separate permits to move agricultural equipment.
“It also makes it harder for our police officers and emergency services to share the information they need to do their job.
“An elected Liberal Nationals government would ensure our communities have a dedicated Cross Border Commissioner based in regional Victoria to identify and solve these problems.”
Areas the Cross Border Commissioner would focus on include regulation and licensing, legal systems, emergency services and service delivery.
“The Liberal Nationals want to make it easier for border communities to go about their business,” Mr Walsh said.
“New South Wales already has a Cross Border Commissioner and has signed agreements with both Queensland and the ACT.
“It’s time for Victoria to take action to resolve our cross border issues with South Australia and New South Wales.”
Wednesday 17 January 2018
The Nationals have announced nominations for preselection for the seat of Morwell in November’s State Election will open on February 5.
Nationals State President Neil Pankhurst said The Nationals are seeking candidates who are committed to fighting in the best interests of the Morwell electorate.
“The 2018 state election is an opportunity for the Latrobe Valley to elect a representative who will stand up for them on the issues that are important to the community and make sure their voice is heard,” Mr Pankhurst said.
Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath said The Nationals were committed to delivering for the Latrobe Valley community.
“The Latrobe Valley has suffered because of disastrous decisions from the city-centric Andrews Labor Government and it is vital that the electorate of Morwell has a strong voice in State Parliament,” Ms Bath said.
Nominations will open on Monday, February 5 and will close at 5pm on Thursday, February 15 2018.
All members of The Nationals are eligible to nominate. For further information or to obtain a nomination form, interested parties should contact The Nationals Head Office on 03 9600 1424.
Melina Bath 03 5174 7066