Public transport forum in Sale next week

COMMUNITY consultation on Victoria’s first ever short, medium and long-term plan to provide better public transport will begin in Gippsland next week.

Stakeholder workshops will be held in Bairnsdale on Tuesday, June 23 and Sale on Wednesday, June 24.

Consultation will continue across regional Victoria, providing critical input into the development of the plan for better, more frequent and co-ordinated train and bus services in regional Victoria.

The terms of reference for the Regional Network Development Plan has been released, along with the make-up of the Regional Transport Advisory Group which will drive consultation with local communities and provide recommendations to the state government throughout the development of the plan.

The advisory group will be co-chaired by Gippsland Regional Development Committee chairman Richard Elkington, and Northern Victorian MLC Jaclyn Symes.

The group will also include local government and development group representatives and TAC chief executive Janet Dore.

The plan will move Victoria away from ad hoc service improvements, towards a more co-ordinated regional public transport network where train and bus services work together to get people where they need to go quicker and safer.

The plan will also consider infrastructure upgrades, network extensions and rolling stock, including next generation high capacity regional trains to cater for peak demand.

Eastern Victoria MLC Harriet Shing said Gippsland would receive welcome attention in the strategy.

“As co-chair of the advisory group, Mr Elkington is a passionate advocate for Gippsland and will provide a strong local voice during the development of the Regional Network Development plan,” she said.

“I’m looking forward to working with Mr Elkington and to hearing from Gippsland public transport users so that we can improve services, frequency and connectivity across the board.

“The Andrews Labor government is listening to Gippsland’s communities and working towards better public transport for passengers now and well into the future — that’s what the Regional Network Development Plan is all about.”

More information and access to the online forums will be available at www.ptv.vic.gov.au/getinvolved