June 11, 2013  |  Members Statements

Rail: Ballarat services

A  major  achievement  of  the  Bracks  Labor government  was the upgrading  of  rural and regional  rail  services across the state that were allowed to become run down under the former  Kennett government, with some services being closed altogether. Under the regional fast rail project tracks and trains  were upgraded to  provide a faster, more  comfortable service for  travellers, and service  provision was also  increased.  This saw patronage rise  significantly  as  travellers  viewed  rail  as  a  real  and  pleasurable alternative  to  taking  the  car.  Sadly  those  travellers have  seen  service provision deteriorate  since the change of government. As an example, I refer to an email  that  I  received  less  than  a fortnight  ago from  a Ballarat  rail traveller:

  I  am  writing to  you to  seek your  comment and  assistance  to  the  recent  deterioration  in  rail service between  Ballarat and Melbourne.  In  the last  three days rail services have been delayed by in excess of 30 minutes in  each  direction in the morning and evening peaks.
  Unfortunately these are not the only events recent with trains regularly being  late  in  each direction. It  is  becoming noticeable that  trains are running  later and later with the new timetable of  28  April,  actually  making things  worse, not better. What is also noticeable is the fact trains are being slowed  down to try and achieve timetable, but are failing at many junctures.

Clearly  this  email  and  other  feedback  I  have received over the last  year indicate the great distress this issue has caused  to travellers on the Ballarat and Bendigo lines within my electorate. It appears to demonstrate that, like the Kennett government, this government is not serious — —

  The DEPUTY SPEAKER — Order! The member’s time has expired.