Media releases Transport community service Regional Development

Fourth Warrnambool daily train service is vital: Neoh

The Nationals candidate for South-West Coast Michael Neoh agrees that Warrnambool needs a fourth daily return V/Line service, leaving Warrnambool at around 9am and returning that afternoon.

Mr Neoh said he had lobbied for the extra service for months and it was something he would continue to fight for, along with improved bus services.

“I’ve been lobbying for an additional daily train for many months – it’s something I am passionate about and will continue to push for,” Mr Neoh said.

“It’s so important that we are able to access Melbourne for specialist appointments or to stay connected with family and friends.

“As well as a fourth daily train service for Warrnambool, it is also important that we have frequent bus services around town and in the wider region so people can get to appointments, get to the train station or do their shopping.

“Connectivity is vital for our communities and if I am elected I will continue to make our voices heard on this issue, to make sure we are not ignored.”

 

Regional Development Transport Infrastructure Agriculture Community Services Media releases

Labor squeezes fruit and veg retailers in Melbourne Markets move

Labor’s bungling of the transition of fruit and vegetable growers to the new Melbourne Market has already caused job losses in the Euroa electorate.

Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan said Anderson’s Fruit & Veg in Stanhope had closed its doors on Saturday after providing fresh, seasonal produce to the Campaspe Shire for about 50 years.

“Labor bungled the relocation of the Melbourne Market from day dot. When it announced the project in 2004, it was grossly underfunded and poorly designed.

“Now not only are taxpayers footing the bill for the cost blowouts, but Labor has bungled the transition, impacting local growers and retailers.”

Ms Ryan said the opening hours initially planned would have limited access times and made it impossible for many country retailers to get produce back in time to deliver to their buyers.

“Daniel Andrews’ eleventh hour reprieve was too late for some. The owners of Anderson’s Fruit & Veg had to lay off seven staff and notify their customers that they could no longer supply them,” Ms Ryan said.

Benalla’s Fruits N Fare owners Rick and Di Aumann also considered their future after they were initially denied adequate parking at the new site.

Mr Aumann said the problems with the new market space were not limited to opening times or teething problems but were inherent in the flawed design of the space.

“The market is a logistical nightmare. There are limited parking spaces, including a lack of undercover areas, waiting areas and spaces for drivers to sleep,” Mr Aumann said.

“Retailers’ access to the market has been restricted due to the lack of parking which has meant retailers who have previously had five days of access, now only have access for one day of the week.

“Inadequate backing space leaves no room for smooth flowing traffic and does not take into account the needs of B-doubles, refrigerated transport and rear loading and unloading.

“Restricted forklift access will mean retailers cannot pick up produce directly from the supplier and will have to wait for it to be delivered to their truck. If you’re a smaller retailer you will not be priority under this system.

“The whole situation is completely unworkable and will mean many retailers across Victoria will be forced to close their doors,” Mr Aumann said.

MEDIA RELEASE Regional Development Transport Infrastructure

Labor must release its regional review now

The Coalition is calling on the Andrews Labor Government to release its review into regional Victoria immediately.

Former Labor Premier John Brumby has provided the government with his review into ‘regional economic development and services’.

Yet his 61 recommendations will not be made public until Daniel Andrews’ Regional Development Minister, Jaala Pulford, releases her response in October – almost a year into this government.

Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh said the report must be released now.

“Regional Victorians have every right to be very nervous about this review, considering John Brumby was the architect of the north-south pipeline and desal plant disasters,” Mr Walsh said.

“We should not have to wait for the government to now review its own review. Communities deserve to know what Daniel Andrews and Jaala Pulford are considering for their future.

“I already have serious concerns about their Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund, which is already almost half-spent and being used to cost-shift money into Melbourne.

“Now it looks like the future growth and prosperity of regional Victoria is being totally stalled until at least October.

“Regional Victorians are quickly growing sick and tired of the Andrews Labor Government’s constant spin and no substance.

“If the government has nothing to hide and regional Victorians have nothing to fear in this report, why can’t it be released?”

MEDIA RELEASE Regional Development Transport Infrastructure

Labor’s port proposal a dud deal for Victorians

The Liberal-Nationals Coalition cannot support the Melbourne Labor Government’s proposed sale of the Port of Melbourne in its current form.

It is a dud deal for Victorians, particularly country Victorians, and would damage the competitiveness of our export sector.

Victoria is the freight and logistics capital of Australia, with the Port of Melbourne handling around 36 per cent of the country’s container trade.

Victoria’s food and fibre industries, particularly dairy, are some of the biggest users of the port.

Daniel Andrews’ proposal exposes Victorians to a massive compensation payout if a second container port is developed in the next 50 to 70 years.

Creating a monopoly for the next 70 years by restricting the development of a second container port creates a real risk that Victoria will lose trade and jobs to Sydney and Brisbane.

It would also lead to higher costs for exporters, which would be passed straight back to farmers. We have already seen port fees tipped to rise by around 800 per cent in one hit.

This deal would be a noose around the necks of all Victorians and future governments for 70 years.

This is not the proposal that Daniel Andrews took to the election. The only debate before the election was whether Victoria’s second container port should be built at Hastings or Bay West.

The current proposal just adds to Labor’s herd of white elephants and dud deals, including the desalination plant, Myki and north-south pipeline.

Media releases Regional Development Transport Infrastructure Community Services

ANDREWS RIPS OFF REGIONAL VICTORIANS

Daniel Andrews is ripping off regional Victoria to prop up projects in Melbourne, Shadow Minister for Regional Development Damian Drum said today.

Mr Drum said the Andrews Labor Government’s Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund contained no additional money for regional Victoria.

He said it was a grab-bag of regional projects that should have been covered by general departmental budgets – like health, sport and education.

“Today’s announcement from Daniel Andrews is just more spin and no substance,” Mr Drum said.

“Daniel Andrews is using his regional fund to do the essentials, so that he has more money left in department budgets to prop up projects in Melbourne.

“Daniel Andrews is ripping off regional communities while he spends billions of dollars in Melbourne.”

Transport Regional Development Media releases

Coalition commits $4.7 million to extend Mildura Airport runway

  • $4.7 million commitment to extend one of Mildura Airport’s two runways
  • Will allow planes to land more often, in all weather conditions
  • Only the Coalition will build a better regional Victoria

A re-elected Victorian Coalition Government will invest $4.7 million into extending one of Mildura Airport’s two runways to cater for more flights, more often.

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan joined The Nationals Member for Mildura Peter Crisp at the airport today to make the multimillion-dollar election commitment, from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

“This extension of one of the two runways at Mildura Airport will mean large commercial planes such as Boeing 737s and Airbus A320s will have more room to land and take off in almost all weather conditions,” Mr Ryan said.

“This will accommodate more frequent flights in and out of Mildura Airport to cater for ever-increasing passenger numbers.

“Local member Peter Crisp has been lobbying strongly for further improvements to the Mildura Airport and I am pleased to say today that it will be delivered by a re-elected Coalition.”

Minister for the Aviation Industry Gordon Rich-Phillips said the funding commitment followed $5.2 million provided by the Coalition Government for the Mildura Airport Terminal Redevelopment Project in 2012, which saw the terminal completely remodelled and brought new air services to the region.

“Thanks to the terminal redevelopment, Mildura is now serviced by three major airlines – Qantas, Virgin and Rex – with regular flights to Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Broken Hill,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.

“There are currently 210,000 people using the airport each year and that figure is expected to double over the next decade if patronage keeps increasing at the current rate.”

Mr Crisp said the runway extension would cater for that forecast growth by allowing planes to land and take off safely in all conditions.

“This will mean more flights, more often,” Mr Crisp said.

“The Coalition Government recognises that the Mildura Airport is at the heart of our region’s economic development and tourism.

“The Liberal-Nationals Coalition is committed to seeing Mildura become even more of a thriving, vibrant regional city and tourist destination.”

Transport Regional Development Media releases

Coalition to introduce extra train trips on Shepparton line

 

  • $178.1 million to improve Victoria’s long distance V/Line train frequencies
  • An extra evening weekday service to Shepparton under a re-elected Coalition
  • An additional return trip on both Saturday and Sunday
  • 79 extra long-distance weekly V/Line train trips around Victoria

A re-elected Victorian Coalition Government will introduce extra V/Line weekday and weekend train trips on the Shepparton line, Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan announced today.

Mr Ryan, who was joined in Shepparton by The Nationals candidate for Shepparton Greg Barr, said this announcement was great news for the Goulburn Valley.

“The Victorian Coalition Government wants to double V/Line’s long distance train patronage within 20 years,” Mr Ryan said.

“Commencing in 2016-17, the Coalition will introduce an additional 79 weekly V/Line trips on eight long distance country rail lines – Albury, Ararat, Bairnsdale, Echuca, Maryborough, Swan Hill and Warrnambool, as well as Shepparton.” Mr Ryan said that:

  • the 4:31pm Southern Cross to Seymour weekday train would be extended to terminate at Shepparton at 7:15pm,
  • the additional Saturday and Sunday trains would depart Southern Cross at 1:12pm and arrive at Shepparton at 3:45pm, while in the reverse direction the new weekend train would depart Shepparton at 12:50pm and arrive at Southern Cross at 3:15pm.  These weekend trains would stop enroute at Broadmeadows, Wallan, Broadford and Seymour then all stations to Shepparton, and
  • the 4:05pm Saturdays Shepparton to Southern Cross train would depart slightly later.

Mr Barr welcomed the commitment which he said would be strongly welcomed by locals.

“Locals want more frequent trains. Travellers prefer trains to road coaches, so I am delighted that the Coalition has acknowledged this. Under a re-elected Victorian Coalition Government, this will occur,” Mr Barr said.

Mr Barr said at Shepparton, V/Line would call tenders for construction of a secure compound to stable trains overnight together with new train crew facilities.

“This will ensure that a train is protected from vandalism and graffiti. The compound will be built by 2016-17,” Mr Barr said.

Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder passed on support and said that a re-elected Victorian Coalition Government would examine funding a new crossing loop between Seymour and Shepparton between Nagambie and Murchison East to further increase the number of trains that could operate.

Mr Mulder said that the Coalition would also investigate providing improved air-conditioning to V/Line’s N set carriages that were the mainstay of V/Line’s long distance trains.

“We will make a decision on this within a year of being re-elected,” Mr Mulder said.

Transport Regional Development Media releases

Coalition to introduce extra daily Maryborough line train

 

  • $178.1 million to improve Victoria’s long distance V/Line train frequencies
  • Extra daily return Maryborough train under a re-elected Coalition Government
  • 79 extra long-distance V/Line train trips around Victoria

A re-elected Victorian Coalition Government will introduce an extra daily return train between  Ballarat and Maryborough, Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan announced today.

Mr Ryan, who was joined in Maryborough by The Nationals candidate for Ripon Scott Turner, said this announcement was great news for Maryborough and the region.                                                                                                            

“The Victorian Coalition Government wants to double V/Line’s long distance train patronage within 20 years,” Mr Ryan said.

“Commencing in 2016-17, the Coalition will introduce an additional 79 weekly V/Line trips on eight long distance country rail lines – Albury, Ararat, Bairnsdale, Echuca, Shepparton, Swan Hill and Warrnambool, as well as Maryborough.”

Mr Ryan said the initiative would see the 9:08am train from Southern Cross to Ballarat on Mondays to Saturdays (9:28am on Sundays) extended to Maryborough, arriving at Maryborough at 11:40am and 12 noon respectively.

“On the return, the train will commence from Maryborough at 1:10pm on weekdays, 1:35pm on Saturdays and 3:15pm on Sundays and provide a convenient afternoon train to Ballarat, Ballan, Bacchus Marsh and Southern Cross,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Turner welcomed the announcement and said the extra train would be a further boost to Creswick, Clunes and Talbot.

“The more travel options that these towns have by public transport the better,” Mr Turner said.

“Locals prefer trains to coaches, so I am very optimistic that residents of historic towns like Clunes and Talbot will support the new return daily Maryborough line train by purchasing tickets and boarding the smooth, sleek V/Line VLocity railcars that will make two return trips a day instead of just one,” Mr Turner said.   

Liberal Candidate for Ripon Louise Staley said the tourism industry in Maryborough would  gain from the extra Maryborough line trains.

“V/Line already has an extensive network of trains and coaches from Southern Cross via Ballarat or Castlemaine to Maryborough.  The extra daily train is proof positive that under a Victorian Coalition Government, Maryborough is advancing further as a rural city that attracts many visitors,” Ms Staley said.

Media releases Transport Regional Development Infrastructure Community Services

Extra trains on Traralgon and Bairnsdale lines and track duplication between Bunyip and Longwarry

 

  • $178.1 million to improve Victoria’s long distance V/Line train frequencies
  • Extra weekday and weekend trains on the Traralgon and Bairnsdale lines
  • 79 extra long-distance V/Line weekly trips around Victoria

 
A re-elected Victorian Coalition Government will give the biggest boost to Gippsland’s trains in 60 years with new train trips to be added to timetables on the Traralgon and Bairnsdale lines and more than four kilometres of single line to be duplicated between Bunyip and Longwarry, Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan announced today.
 
Mr Ryan, who was joined in Traralgon to make the announcement by The Nationals Member for Morwell Russell Northe and The Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull, said it was great news for Gippsland.
 
“The Victorian Coalition Government wants to double V/Line’s long distance train patronage within 20 years,” Mr Ryan said
 
“Commencing in 2016-17, the Coalition will introduce an additional 79 weekly V/Line trips on eight long distance country rail lines – Albury, Ararat, Echuca, Maryborough, Shepparton, Swan Hill and Warrnambool, as well as Bairnsdale.”
 
Mr Ryan said highlights on the Traralgon and Bairnsdale lines include:
 

  • an extra early-morning weekday return peak period train departing Traralgon, stopping all stations,
  • on the return, this new weekday train will depart Southern Cross at 5:10pm and stop all stations, allowing the 4:58pm train to run express from Dandenong to Drouin and then stop all stations to Traralgon,
  • an increased weekend train frequency on weekends with three additional return trains on Saturdays and four extra each way on Sundays, increasing train frequencies between 7am and 11pm on Saturdays and 8am and 9pm on Sundays,
  • extending the 6:37am weekday train from Traralgon to originate at Sale at 6am,
  • extending the 3:19pm Southern Cross to Traralgon train to Sale, arriving at 6:20pm, and
  • a new Sunday return train at 9:25am from Southern Cross to Sale and Bairnsdale where it will arrive at 1:10pm, with an extra train departing Bairnsdale at 2:00pm, arriving at Southern Cross at 5:45pm. 

Mr Ryan said the duplication of the Bunyip to Longwarry section of single track would benefit passengers by improving train punctuality on the Traralgon and Bairnsdale lines.
 
“Bunyip and Longwarry stations will each receive a new second platform with at least a 20 metre long canopy on each to protect waiting passengers from the elements,” Mr Ryan said.
 
Mr Northe said that the extra trains and track duplication would be a huge boost for the Latrobe Valley.
 
“Weekday commuters and weekend leisure travellers will be winners. The Latrobe Valley has strong links with not just Melbourne’s CBD but also Dandenong, so more frequent trains is a marvellous move,” Mr Northe said.
 
Mr Bull said Bairnsdale had already benefited from an additional two weekday return V/Line road coaches introduced earlier in 2014 between Traralgon, Sale and Bairnsdale.
 
“The extra Sunday trains help residents to have a choice of trains to get them to or from Melbourne for the start of the working week,” Mr Bull said.
 
The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien said the new timetable would formally bring Sale into V/Line’s commuter belt.
 
“The extra train trips are all about making it easier to work and study,” Mr O’Brien said.
 
Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood was thrilled with the announcement.
 
“For a long time, the community has asked me why the track between Bunyip and Longwarry is only a single line. It is a regular cause of train delays that under a re-elected Victorian Coalition Government will be consigned to the history books,” Mr Blackwood said.
 
“Because Traralgon line trains share tracks with Metro trains between Pakenham and Southern Cross, it is vital that the V/Line trains from Warragul and Drouin arrive at Pakenham on time, or very close to it, to avoid being delayed by a suburban train pulling out just ahead of the V/Line train.
 
“Having two tracks between Bunyip and Longwarry will be very helpful to improving train punctuality on the Traralgon and Bairnsdale lines,” Mr Blackwood said.
 
Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder passed on support and said that the Coalition would also provide V/Line with capital funding to construct a secure train stabling compound at Sale and additional train crew facilities at Bairnsdale.
 
“This will keep the train that will stable overnight at Sale free from the scourge of vandalism and graffiti,” Mr Mulder said.
 
Mr Mulder said that the Coalition would also investigate providing improved air-conditioning to V/Line’s N set carriages that were the mainstay of V/Line’s long distance trains.
 
“We will make a decision on this within a year of being re-elected,” Mr Mulder said.

Regional Development Transport Infrastructure Media releases

Labor fails on regional freight infrastructure

  • Labor’s $95,000 study is a joke without commitment to Murray Basin Rail Project
  • Labor don’t understand infrastructure & transport needs of regional Victoria
  • Labor will cut the country

 

Labor’s claims today to care about freight logistics around Ararat is completely contradicted by its own policy to scrap Victoria’s biggest freight rail project, The Nationals campaign spokesperson Peter Walsh said today.

Labor says it will “provide Ararat Rural City with $95,000 to undertake a feasibility study and build the case for Ararat to become a major freight and logistics hub”.

Local Labor candidate Daniel McGlone even rightly says: “Freight is one of our state’s leading industries. If Ararat can claim its place in the regional supply chain, we can create local jobs.”

“Labor wants to rip-up $220 million freight rail project and replace it with a $95,000 feasibility study,” Mr Walsh said.

“Labor says they understand the importance of freight to local jobs, yet they will tear up the landmark $220 million Murray Basin Rail Project which will standardise freight rail lines from Mildura to Geelong and deliver huge benefits directly to Ararat.

“The Murray Basin Rail Project will connect north-west Victoria with major export gateways in Portland, Geelong and Melbourne, with billions of dollars worth of produce flowing through Ararat. Around $3 billion worth of food, fibre and minerals is exported from the Murray Basin annually.

“Without the Murray Basin Rail Project and under a Labor government, Ararat will never be a freight hub because vital upgrades to western Victorian rail will never occur.

“Instead, Labor would be forcing more freight onto trucks, ripping up local roads.

“The money for the Coalition’s Murray Basin Rail Project has already been provided for in the 2014-15 budget. If Labor are only going to spend $95,000 on a half-baked feasibility study, there is no doubt they will be spending the remaining $219,905,000 trying to sandbank the city seats from the Greens.

 “Labor will cut the country.”