South West Coast MP Roma Britnell has called for an urgent review of punctuality on the Warrnambool rail line following months of poor performance.
In State Parliament on Tuesday, Mrs Britnell called on Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan to investigate why the Warrnambool service has been the slowest in the state for six consecutive months and has failed to meet punctuality targets since 2014.
“It’s not good enough, the people of South West Coast and beyond deserve better than this,” she said.
“A delayed train into Warrnambool means an even longer trip for people in Portland, Hamilton and Mount Gambier who use coach connections to complete their journey.
“A day trip to Melbourne to see a doctor can take 19 hours for those people.”
Mrs Britnell question why trains to and from Warrnambool had to stop at stations on Melbourne’s suburban fringe, like Wyndham Vale, Tarneit, Sunshine and Footscray.
“Warrnambool services need to run express between Geelong and Southern Cross Station” She said.
“There are hourly services from Geelong and Melbourne that stop at these stations, providing adequate service.”
Mrs Britnell said the region’s failing transport networks were stemming population growth.
“There are 100,000 people coming into Victoria every year, the majority living in Melbourne. That is not sustainable. Regional areas offer a great lifestyle – wide open spaces, clean air, fishing, surfing, beautiful beaches, affordable housing, quality education and health services, a relaxed atmosphere and a growing arts culture.” She said.
“There are jobs to be filled; one employer needing to fill 58 positions yesterday and industry will need 550 by then end of the year. But people are turned off by the distance.
“The poor roads and second rate rail service do nothing to improve that perception. The only way to do this is to bring the regions closer to the city with better and more efficient transport networks.”