Can the Nats be trusted on public transport?

Jacinta Allan, state Public Transport Minister

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

REGIONAL Victorians know that when it comes to public transport, you can’t trust a word the Nationals say — we all remember the business cases they did for Doncaster, Avalon and Rowville Rail — and how they then built nothing.

They stood by while Jeff Kennett and the Liberals cut and closed country rail lines, including to Bairnsdale. When they were last in government they cut $120 million from V/Line, had a secret plan to sack 100 workers and didn’t upgrade a single kilometre of track — now they’re trying to fool regional Victorians with empty promises.

It’s time for the Liberal-Nationals to come clean on how they would build this track and whether they support the compulsory acquisition of the thousands of homes and businesses in the south-east to make this happen.

Work has already begun on our $530 million Gippsland Line Upgrade and we’ve removed every level crossing between Dandenong and the city — only Labor has a plan to deliver more frequent and reliable train services for passengers in Victoria’s east.

The government has also introduced tougher metropolitan contracts which sees regional trains get a fairer go as they travel through the metropolitan network and extra funding for V/Line maintenance, which will ensure passengers can get where they need to go sooner.

We know we have more to do — and we won’t waste a minute getting on with the works needed to deliver more trains, more often for Gippsland locals.