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.
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
Gippsland rail commuters are suffering through constant delays, cancellations and replacement buses it has been revealed this week. Speaking in State Parliament this week, Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood said commuter complaints to his office had increased dramatically under the Andrews Labor Government and that frequently those complaints related to the clear lack of reliabilityContinue 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
Daniel Andrews failure to consult CFA volunteers on the split of professional and volunteer members is a slap in the face to the thousands of volunteers who have protected our State for decades Mr Blackwood has told State Parliament this week. ‘The announcement last week by the Andrews Government to effectively break up the CFA,Continue Reading
Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has used debate in Parliament this week to call on the Minister for Health to intervene in the drawn out search for a permanent location for an ambulance station in Drouin. ‘Drouin is the largest town in country Victoria still without a permanent 24 hour ambulance facility,’ Mr Blackwood said.Continue Reading
Concerns have been raised that a decision to split the professional and volunteer fire fighting services in Victoria may discourage current and future volunteers of the service Mr Blackwood has said today. Mr Blackwood said for months speculation had been rampant that this move would be made to appease the UFU and there were veryContinue 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
The Andrews Labor Governments cuts to country road maintenance funding are starting to bite in regional Victoria with VicRoads having to drop speed limits to protect motorists on roads where no funding is available to repair surfaces. Speaking in Parliament Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood said a number of local residents had approached him regardingContinue Reading
Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood, has welcomed today’s opening of the new Sand Road Interchange which has greatly improved safety at one of regional Victoria’s most dangerous intersections. Mr Blackwood said the upgrade was absolutely necessary to improve safety for motorists who relied on the intersection on a regular basis. ‘The grade separation of SandContinue Reading
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