Walsh calls for enhanced train services
MEMBER for Murray Plains Peter Walsh says new VLine services to Echuca must be among 80 additional services to be announced last week.
Mr Walsh said country commuters – and not just Bendigo residents – must benefit from the 10 new services for the Bendigo line.
‘‘We are continually treated as second-class citizens by the Andrews Labor Government and it is time they realised there is more to the state than Melbourne, Geelong and Bendigo,’’ Mr Walsh said.
‘‘Just last week Jacinta Allan’s failure to ensure VLine signalling services are maintained left commuters travelling to Echuca and Warrnambool stranded.
‘‘The Labor Government seem determined to finish the year the same way they started – with VLine in chaos.
‘‘Echuca passengers are still coping with a limited timetable after last week’s cancellations and a painfully slow train, what’s worse is that when the temperature rises above 36 degrees all services are cancelled.’’
Mr Walsh said he recently tabled a petition in the Victorian Parliament calling on the government to immediately upgrade the Echuca to Bendigo train, from class four to class two, to increase the line speed and equate the train’s performance to other VLine services across the state.
‘‘A Melbourne service that terminates in Bendigo is of no benefit to the 14,000 people in Echuca, 3000 in Rochester and 1000 in Elmore,’’ Mr Walsh said.
‘‘Daniel Andrews and his citycentric Labor Government need to look beyond Melbourne’s tramtracks and start delivering for rural and regional commuters.’’