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
Businesses are beginning to feel the pinch as power prices skyrocket following the closure of Hazelwood by the Andrews Labor Government earlier this year. Speaking in Parliament, Mr Blackwood said that an ideological approach by Daniel Andrews towards energy generation was having a massive impact on the cost of doing business in the state. ‘RecentlyContinue Reading
The Parliamentary Inquiry into the Sustainability and Operational Challenges of Victoria’s Rural and Regional Councils has heard this week that country councils are struggling to meet the high costs of maintaining their roads network. Giving evidence to the inquiry this week, Local Government Victoria confirmed that rural councils have a disproportionately large volume of infrastructureContinue Reading
A policy framework to help guide Victorian population growth is being developed by the Victorian Liberal National Coalition. Member for Kew and chair of the Taskforce, Tim Smith, met yesterday with business leaders and community members in Traralgon and later spoke with the Committee for Gippsland in Warragul. Nationals Member for Eastern Region Melina BathContinue Reading
Today marks six months since the Matthew Guy and the Victorian Liberal National Coalition committed to delivering a new West Gippsland Hospital with no sight of Labor matching that commitment or even announcing what it plans to do into the future to grow the service. August 13 will also mark 1,000 days since Labor announcedContinue Reading
Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood, has called on the Minister for Education to intervene in the sale of the former Hill End Primary School site to ensure it remained available for community use. Speaking in State Parliament Mr Blackwood said that HECI (Hill End Community Inc.) were already maintaining the site without any support fromContinue Reading
Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has today thanked the Federal Transport Minister Hon. Darren Chester MP and Federal Member for McMillan Russell Broadbent MP for their commitment to Victorian regional rail with the announcement of $500 million for upgrades in last nights Federal Budget. ‘This investment by the Federal Minister for Transport means projects like the duplicationContinue Reading
Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has said Premier Daniel Andrews has left many critical Narracan projects off the map in this year’s State Budget, only investing the bare minimum in the region. In responding to the Victorian Budget Mr Blackwood said Daniel Andrews has misled Gippsland about potential V/Line improvements announcing funding he simply doesContinue Reading
Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood, has today welcomed the announcement of 3 new carriages for the Gippsland line which will assist commuters on two peak services at 6:27am to Melbourne from Traralgon and 4:58pm to Traralgon from Melbourne. ‘I welcome today’s announcement from the Victorian Government that new carriages will appear on these services butContinue Reading
The Heyfield rally held at State Parliament this week has shown that the Andrews Labor Government needs to listen to regional communities and support the industries they rely on, Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood has said this week. Speaking in Parliament, Mr Blackwood said there was a clear message to the government from the rally,Continue Reading
Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood, has today called on the Andrews Labor Government to support the Latrobe Valley with a real plan to deliver investment and jobs with only 50 days remaining until Hazelwood closes. ‘Today marks 50 days until the closure of Hazelwood and increasingly the commentary I hear from local communities isContinue Reading
Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has used debate in Parliament to raise concerns about the closure of Hazelwood and the influence the Victorian Greens are having on the policies of the Andrews Labor Government. ‘We have heard a lot over the past two weeks about the fallout from the impending closure of the Hazelwood powerContinue Reading
Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has used debate in the Victorian Parliament to highlight the true impact of the closure of Hazelwood on the Latrobe Valley, Gippsland and wider Victorian community. Mr Blackwood said the closure of Hazelwood would have far reaching impacts on public and private sectors who have had access to reliable readilyContinue Reading
Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has said today’s announcement by Engie that Hazelwood will close is a major blow to an already struggling Latrobe Valley and wider Gippsland community. ‘Hazelwood has been a core employer within Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley for generations and today’s announcement will fundamentally change the future of our region,’ MrContinue Reading
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