A new V/Line timetable unveiled by the Andrews Labor Government again fails to provide any additional services for Gippsland train passengers.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said he was extremely disappointed that there were no new services for Sale and East Gippsland and not even additional trains between Melbourne and Traralgon.
Mr O’Brien said he had been campaigning for many years now to correct the imbalance in public transport services between Melbourne and Gippsland.
“For Wellington Shire and East Gippsland we have just three train services in each direction each day, compared to 19 from Traralgon, 31 from Ballarat and 21 from Bendigo,” Mr O’Brien said.
“It is a completely inadequate service and is holding back our local economy.
“The Sale and wider Wellington Shire community regularly express to me the need for additional train services – at least one extra in the morning and evening, which would help commuters access Melbourne and make our region a more attractive place for people to move to and visit.”
Mr O’Brien said with Melbourne residents increasingly looking to get out of the city in the wake of the COVID pandemic and realising they can do more and more work from home, there is an opportunity to help build regional development and local jobs by providing these additional services.
“It makes it very hard for us to compete and provide an attractive option for people looking to get out of the city when there are limited train services, particularly beyond Traralgon.
“When unveiling this new timetable the Government bragged about the hundreds of new train services, but not a single one of them is on the Gippsland line and indeed a number of the trains to and from Bairnsdale will now actually take longer than the previous timetable.
“We also need the Government to act on the continued congestion at the metropolitan end with the development of a plan for a dedicated Gippsland track just like Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo have.
“This is not something that can be continually put on the backburner – the Government needs to act on it now.
“I will continue to work to deliver additional services to Sale and the region to ensure that Gippsland gets a fair deal from this Government.”