Public Transport | October 02, 2018

The Overland off the rails under Labor

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy has called on the Andrews Labor Government to immediately commit to a business case to return passenger rail to Horsham and Hamilton and ongoing funding for The Overland service.

Speaking in Parliament Ms Kealy said it was bitterly disappointing to hear that Labor had shelved funding for the important Overland rail service from January next year.

“Labor has had four years to bring back passenger rail and improve public transport services in western Victoria, but instead Daniel Andrews has cut services, extended travel times and has now shelved our only passenger rail service, The Overland”, Ms Kealy said.

“How can we bring people out of the city, get them to come back and work in our region, to play footy on weekends or just to catch up with friends and family if Daniel Andrews plans to cut our only existing passenger rail service?

“Labor’s wilful neglect of passenger rail in western Victoria is putting decentralisation plans backwards by decades.”

In stark contrast, The Nationals will secure the Overland service and take the first step in returning passenger rail to Horsham and Hamilton by undertaking a $4 million business case if elected to government in November. Other Nationals pre-election commitments include:

  • new bus services between Horsham and Hamilton;
  • Introduce tourist friendly coach services to Halls Gap and the Grampians to support growing tourist visitation to the Grampians; and
  • Timetable improvements to help more people get where they want to be, when they want to get there;

“Our region needs better access to public transport services, not more Labor cuts, and that’s why I’ve committed to taking the first step to return passenger rail to the West by undertaking a business case and expanding coach connections in our region under a Liberal Nationals Government,” Ms Kealy said.

“I am asking the Minister for Transport to match The Nationals funding commitment to improve passenger rail and public transport services to the west.

“Western Victoria needs a better deal on rail and bus transport and that’s what I will deliver if we win the State election in November.”

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