Metro travel loophole needs to be closed to keep our region open

V/Line trains services to Warrnambool are an open loophole for people travelling to regional Victoria from the metro area, Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell says.

Ms Britnell has raised the matter with the Minister for Health and Minister for Public Transport after being contacted by several concerned locals.

She said it has been almost 12 months since she first raised this matter when restrictions on people leaving the metro area were first put in place during last year’s second wave lockdowns.

“One constituent reported that when she was returning to the region following an appointment in Melbourne and said at no point was, she asked to provide ID or to show that she had a permitted reason to be travelling from the metro area,” Ms Britnell said.

“I’m really concerned that these long-haul public transport services are a free ride for people to get out of the lockdown city and to regional Victoria.

“Our community has worked really hard over the past year to remain COVID free, we have been through lockdowns and lived with restrictions, the last thing any of us want is someone who shouldn’t be here being able to arrive freely, without any checks.

“This loophole needs to be closed and we need to ensure the only people who are travelling on these services are doing so for a valid reason.”

Ms Britnell said she was also concerned that V/Line services did not have QR code check-in’s for contact tracing.

“We raised this earlier in the year and the government said that they could use data for Myki cards – but these services run on a paper ticket,” she said.

“They also have unreserved sections, where people can purchase a ticket on board. It’s unfathomable that people are checking-in at shops, offices and other workplaces, but it isn’t required on a train service, which can hold hundreds of people.”

 

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