MEMBER for Lowan Emma Kealy has spent a morning experiencing the highs and lows of regional Victorian public transport.
Ms Kealy chose to travel from Horsham to Parliament House in Melbourne last week using nothing but public transport to highlight the need for rail in the Wimmera.
She left Horsham on a coach at 6.48am, arriving in Ballarat just before 9.30am. Ms Kealy then waited until 10.18am to catch a connecting train which was running late.
After spending more than five hours on public transport, travelling more than 300 kilometres, she arrived in Melbourne.
Ms Kealy said the state government had neglected the quality of public transport in western Victoria.
“I have heard from people in my electorate how bad public transport is – including stories of people missing doctors appointments in Melbourne due to delays or cancellations,” she said.
“I wanted to see first-hand how hard it is for people to get from Horsham to the city via only public transport.
“There were long delays throughout and the comments on my Facebook posts show that this wasn’t an uncommon occurrence.
“Having to wait 50 minutes for a connection is a joke. Then there are cases where buses and trains leave at the same time.”
The Coalition has promised to bring passenger rail back to Horsham and the Wimmera if elected at this year’s state election.
“We deserve better and anything to highlight that need for passenger rail is worth it,” she said.
“Returning passenger rail to western Victoria is the vital first step to bring back rail and get western Victoria moving.
“There needs to be investment put into public transport in regional towns to support population growth and decentralisation.
“Access to transport is one of the main things people look at when they plan on moving into an area.”
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