Greens MP for the Western Suburbs Colleen Hartland says that the state budget is mostly bad news for the Western Suburbs, but contains a small morsel of community wins.
"The single biggest disappointment is that government's complete neglect of addressing our transport problems. This government was elected on a commitment to fix public transport, yet this budget confirms they have abandoned this promise" said Colleen Hartland.
Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber says the Napthine government is sacrificing V/Line passengers to scrape together money for his inner Melbourne toll road.
"No additional V/Line coach or train services this year. If you need more frequent services from your town to make travelling more convenient or to reduce overcrowding, bad luck, come back next year," said Greg Barber MLC
"The Napthine Government allocated $8 billion on a road tunnel from Collingwood to Kensington in yesterday's Budget, but it can't scrape two cents together for the extra V/Line trains we need."
Victorian Greens Leader Greg Barber says public transport services to miss out, overcrowding to become extreme after the State Budget released today.
"The state government predicts tram, bus and V/Line passenger numbers to actually shrink next year. Are they dreaming?" said Victorian Greens Leader Greg Barber
"When you allocate $8 billion to a single road tunnel, it doesn't leave much left over to fix public transport."
"V/Line patronage has been growing fast, up 17% in three years, but there's been close to zero increase in V/Line services over the last three Budgets. There's zero increase in V/Line services funded in this Budget."
"Tram patronage has grown 14% over the last three years. How many more people do they think they can squeeze in? There's zero increase in tram services in this Budget and there was nothing in the last two either."
Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- This government is about to find out how fast you can lose votes when you proudly display your anti-environment colours. It has cut back solar support, made it nearly impossible to propose a new wind farm and set up tenders to sell as much coal as it possibly can. After banning protestors and the media from duck shooting opening day, an illegal massacre of endangered species ensued. On threatened species, the newly updated list shows more than 50 species moving up the list to a more endangered status. The government wants to bulldoze more trees when it should be planting them, and later today it will bring a bill into the Parliament to entrench woodchipping of native forests when nearly everyone in Victoria wants it to end.
RAIL SAFETY NATIONAL LAW APPLICATION BILL 2013 and TRANSPORT LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (RAIL SAFETY LOCAL OPERATIONS AND OTHER MATTERS) BILL 2013
Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- The purpose of this set of bills is for Victoria to adopt South Australia's piece of model legislation so that we can have a national rail safety law, after which that regulatory responsibility will be passed back to our own state-based transport safety regulator and we will back where we started from. However, I agree that it is good to have a national rail safety legal framework because increasingly we have interstate rail operations for the purpose of both passenger and freight movements. Certainly in Victoria they are mixed in with state-based operations. Perhaps we will soon have progress towards a high-speed rail up and down the east coast of Australia. We are the only continent, apart from Antarctica, to not have one. I am hoping I get to ride on one in Australia before the penguins are riding on one around Antarctica! Having said that, we support the framework that is here.
Speech in parliament by Colleen Hartland
My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Planning on behalf of the Minister for Public Transport. This government was elected on a promise to fix public transport and to not neglect the west. I would like to remind the government of three public transport projects that need fixing in my western suburbs electorate and that should receive funding in the upcoming budget.
The first is the duplication of the Altona loop single track as far as is possible. The very poor service on the Altona loop is reflected in the fact that its commuters are the most dissatisfied of the whole Metro network and in the loop’s low patronage. Residents have been forced to abandon their trains. Consultants at URS have undertaken preliminary research and have outlined and costed a feasibility study which looks at duplication of sections on the Altona loop and the installation of passing loops. It will cost just $36 000. As far as the state budget is concerned this is chicken feed, but it is desperately needed by the Altona loop commuters.
Two reports tabled in the Victorian Parliament show that Melbourne's transport system is in danger of grinding to a halt, says Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber.
"We're in trouble in Melbourne when it comes to public transport," said Greg Barber MLC
"The Auditor-General says the Government has no plan for shifting people from their cars to public transport despite road congestion getting worse."
V/Line's latest monthly results released today show need for a fully funded improvement plan with money allocated in next month's State Budget.
"There's no sustained improvement in V/Line's performance. On some lines, things are getting worse," said Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber MLC
"V/line is a serious commuter service that many depend on. And if they can't rely on it, they'll give it up and drive instead. It's not just for people visiting the grand kids and the odd country holiday."
The latest V/Line performance report shows it needs money in next month's State Budget to improve reliability and on-time running of V/Line services, says Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber.
"On-time running is not getting better, if anything it's getting worse. Let's see Terry Mulder stop hiding behind V/Line and explain what he will do to improve train punctuality," said Greg Barber MLC
In a first for any Victorian MP Colleen Hartland will visit every train station in her Western Suburbs electorate, 43 train stations in 60 days, and she’s taking the Premier with her; a cardboard cut-out that is.
“I’ve invited the Premier to join me to see first hand why investing in public transport should be his top priority. I’m taking a card-board cut out because he’s not coming” said Colleen Hartland.
"As someone who regularly uses public transport in the West, I can tell you that both Coalition election promises to ‘fix public transport’ and ‘not neglect the West’ are fast turning into lies.”