ALWAYS READY TO ADVOCATE

I always welcome feedback from residents on their experiences with State Government services and I will advocate for them in response.

That clearly includes feedback on the rail service to Melbourne, for which I have taken a proactive interest over many years. I also have travelled on the service periodically to experience it for myself and to talk with other travellers.

While I am always pleased to hear from those with real experiences I draw the line at written lectures from Liberal MPs and particularly letters from the likes of Paul Jenkins ( Jan 30) who, as a Kennett Liberal Government MP oversaw the neglect of our Regional rail network when many lines, including the line to Ararat were closed and the main line between Ballarat and Melbourne was very poorly maintained and poorly serviced.

It took Labor to commit to the major upgrade of Regional rail services with major upgrades to the tracks and the introduction of the modern VLocity carriages, with many more services, and only Labor is committed to further enhancing our public transport networks.

While current experiences with VLine rolling stock are unacceptable and are clearly a source of frustration to travellers affected, I and the Labor government are committed to working to see it addressed. We will take advice from those with expertise and those who are committed to improving the system but the Liberals, with their appalling record, should avoid their hypocritical lectures.

Geoff Howard MP

State Member for Buninyong

(Published in The Courier 04/02/16)