Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has said complaints to his office regarding V/Line service punctuality on the Gippsland line had exploded in recent months.
The most recent report from V/Line showed short and long distance punctuality for Gippsland commuters were the worst for any region in Victoria, at 82.6% for short distance travel and 72.4% for long distance.
‘In recent years there have been a significant number of people relocate to West Gippsland due to its proximity to Melbourne. They are able to enjoy a semi-rural lifestyle in towns such as Drouin, Warragul, Yarragon, Trafalgar and Moe and still commute to and from the city each day,’ said Mr Blackwood.
‘Under Daniel Andrews and Labor there has been a significant decline in the punctuality of rail services on the Gippsland line.
‘Commuters are spending longer waiting at stations for trains to arrive, longer sitting on trains getting where they need to go, and arriving later than ever.
‘The Andrews Government was given close to half a billion dollars to complete upgrade works along the Gippsland rail corridor by the Turnbull Coalition Government however this work will not address the underlying cause of the problem facing regional commuters, congestion in the Metro network.
‘Labor has also promised that SkyRail will benefit regional rail commuters however they have yet to provide a shred of evidence that shows that will be the case.
‘I challenge Premier Daniel Andrews, Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan or any member of the Labor Government to substantiate their claims about SkyRail and how it will benefit regional commuters trapped behind Metro rail services between Pakenham and the CBD.
The falling punctuality results came at the same time it was revealed that the Andrews Labor Government was pouring millions into advertising proposed rail projects, some of which won’t be completed until 2026.
‘Regional commuters have expressed to me their anger at reports that Daniel Andrews is choosing to spend significant amounts on advertising future rail projects rather than investing in our network now to ease congestion.
‘It was reported last month that $2.2 million alone was spent on advertising the Metro Tunnel, a project that won’t be completed until 2026.
‘Regional commuters need more frequent services, greater reliability, greater capacity and yet Daniel Andrews still chooses to waste funds on advertising projects that either won’t deliver anything to regional commuters or are nearly a decade from being completed,’ Mr Blackwood said.
The closure of Bowen Park Kindergarten at the end of 2017 will place significant pressure on local kindergarten services Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has this week told State Parliament. In his address to the Legislative Assembly, Mr Blackwood said funding was urgently needed to help meet the loss of capacity with the closure ofContinue Reading
Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood, has today congratulated local sport and recreation clubs who have been successful in receiving funding from the Victorian Governments Active Grants program. Mr Blackwood said the grants would make a significant difference to local clubs who had been awarded funding. ‘Local sporting and recreation clubs are often reliant onContinue Reading
The Victorian Labor Government’s Budget has again missed the mark in Narracan for a second consecutive year under Daniel Andrews. Four local schools will see upgrades after being forgotten by the Labor Government in the 2015-16 State Budget however many of the upgrades won’t be seen until 2018-19 and funds allocated fall well shortContinue Reading
State Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has called on the Andrews Labor Government to keep its word and deliver at least 10 per cent from the proceeds of the sale of the Port of Melbourne to regional Victoria for transport investment as promised just weeks ago. The agreement for 10% of the Port saleContinue Reading
Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has today welcomed an announcement from the Victorian State Government that $4m would be delivered to Baw Baw Shire to assist in the redevelopment of the West Gippsland Arts Centre. The West Gippsland Arts Centre redevelopment forms part of the Baw Baw Shire Council’s long term strategy to develop theContinue Reading
Local schools across the Narracan electorate are encouraged to apply for funding from the 2016 School Shade Grants Program which is now open. The grants program provides grants of up to $25,000 to Victorian Schools to develop shaded areas including the establishment of new shade, repair of old shade areas or assistance in creating naturalContinue Reading
Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood, is encouraging applications to the 2016 Men's Sheds Program from Narracan communities to establish new, or refurbish existing Men’s Sheds. Mr Blackwood said Men’s Sheds play a vital role in local communities providing an exchange of skills and important meeting place for men. ‘Men’s Sheds are valuable community facilities thatContinue Reading
Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has questioned the Andrews Governments commitment to primary producers in regional Victoria following a statement made by the Minister for Agriculture relating to the funding of the Cattle Underpass Program. On the 17th September 2015 the Minister for Agriculture in reply to a Question Without Notice in the Legislative Council stated;Continue Reading
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Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood, has today congratulated the Labertouche & District Community Centre on being a successful applicant for funding from the 2015-16 Community Safety Fund. Mr Blackwood said the Community Safety Fund supported local communities across Victoria in implementing crime prevention projects. “I congratulate the Labertouche & District Community Centre on their projectContinue Reading
A review of kindergarten funding in regional communities is needed according to Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood, who says fund shortfalls for operational costs are putting pressure on kindergartens. Mr Blackwood said he recently met with Willow Grove Kindergarten which is just one local kindergarten facing challenges in funding its operational costs. “There is currentlyContinue Reading
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Member for Narracan has called on the Andrews Government to support the Ice Melt Down project which is working to help support individuals and families dealing with drug addiction in Gippsland. Speaking in Parliament, Mr Blackwood said the volunteer driven program which supports addicts of Ice and Methamphetamine had been positively received and was alreadyContinue Reading
Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has today encouraged local sporting groups and community organisations in the Narracan electorate to apply for funding through the Community Sports Infrastructure Fund which is now open. Mr Blackwood said the program had been very popular in the past and helped local sport and community groups deliver the best facilitiesContinue Reading
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