Users release Geelong election policy scorecard
The two major political parties have scored poorly on election campaign commitments for Geelong’s public transport, in an analysis by the Public Transport Users Association’s Geelong Branch.
The election policy scorecard gives both Labor and Liberal a “D”, and indicates that only the Greens have tackled the issue of providing better public transport services throughout Geelong’s suburbs and neighbouring towns.
“The fundamental issue for Geelong’s public transport is the need to bring services up to useable standards,” said Geelong branch Convener Paul Westcott.
“While neither major party has been impressive, it’s regrettable that Labor has made no commitments during this campaign for any additional public transport services.”
He nevertheless welcomed Labor’s commitment to make significant cuts to Bellarine Peninsula fares and rail fares to Melbourne, saying this would make public transport costs more competitive with the cost of driving.
“However, few people will start using services that are below par, just because they’re cheaper.”
Mr Westcott congratulated the Liberal Party on its commitment to extend rail services to a new Grovedale Station. “Unlike Marshall, the location of the new station should be determined through an open and consultative process. Connecting buses will also be crucial if the station is to fully serve the transport needs of the wider area.”
However, he noted that the Liberals’ silence on any other public transport improvements for Geelong was “extremely disappointing.”
The Greens scored an “A” for their policies, which include trains every half hour to Melbourne, extending the operating hours of buses and returning bus stops to central Geelong. Mr Westcott also welcomed their proposal to introduce a single authority to plan Geelong’s public transport services, which would overhaul routes, improve connections between services and provide better information.
Mr Westcott said other parties had not released public transport policies specific to the Geelong region.