Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, has called on the State Government to release the community consultation process which will provide feedback into the draft Regional Network Development Plan.
The Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan, has recently announced a consultation and called on residents in the North East to provide feedback. Ms McGowan said it was vitally important that communities give input into what improvements need to be made. She also called on the rural communities to be involved as well as people who live in or near Wodonga, Wangaratta and Benalla.
Ms McGowan welcomed the news Wodonga City Council CEO Patience Harrington would be a representative on the Regional Transport Advisory Group.
“I am pleased we have someone on the group to directly inform the State Government about the priorities,” Ms McGowan said. “These priorities must be based on the input from communities.”
“People want to tell the Government what needs to be fixed and we need to hear how this engagement process will take place and for how long.”
Ms McGowan said the State Government commitment to solving public transport issues in regional Victoria had to be backed up with a transparent process and adequate resources.
“We need a comprehensive plan that will provide the people of NE Victoria and Shepparton with a reliable, timely, effective and trustworthy public transport system,” Ms McGowan said.
“This is the opportunity for people and community groups to tell the Government what is needed to improve transport in Indi.”
This week the State Government announced an extra engine would service the North East line. This would help reduce the need for buses to replace trains when a fault with a locomotive occurred. Ms McGowan said this was a small first step to getting a reliable rail service the equal of southern lines.
“While there has been improvement in the train service, much more needs to be done,” Ms McGowan said. “Rollingstock needs to be replaced and the timetable improved to meet commuter demand. The issues hampering connectivity with the rail service also need to be addressed.”