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Geelong Branch Media Release


Greens better than Libs better than Labor for Geelong Public Transport Commitments

Greens better than Libs better than Labor for Geelong Public Transport Commitments

The Geelong Branch of the Public Transport Users Association will hand out election policy scorecards to commuters at the Geelong Railway Station early this morning, placing the Greens ahead of the Liberal Party, and the Liberal Party ahead of the Labor Party on public transport election commitments for Geelong. The parties' election policies were given scores of A, C+ and D respectively.

Spokesman Tim Petersen said public transport users had been "underwhelmed" by the Bracks Government's failure to announce any new initiatives for public transport in Geelong, apart from a "completely inadequate" proposal for a Grovedale Station. He said that Labor's plans would result in a station that was "little more than an isolated platform, without a staffed ticket office and with such poor services that very few people will use it."

Mr Petersen added that the Bracks Government's 19-page Transport Policy "Linking Victoria" contained only a page and a half on public transport in regional Victoria. "It appears that Labor thinks that there is little more to be done for the region's public transport. Regular users will tell them that's certainly not the case."

Mr Petersen welcomed the Liberal Party's commitments to run hourly services to the full $7.5 million Grovedale Station, set up a new Transport Authority to oversee public transport planning and coordination, and cut peak return fares to all Geelong stations to $13.80 and weekly tickets to $47.50.

He said that it was encouraging that the Liberal Party policy had mentioned investigating V/Line ticket transferability to local buses and Melbourne's public transport, but disappointing that it had failed to make stronger commitments.

However, he said that both the Labor and Liberal parties had failed to make any commitments towards major improvements for Geelong and Bellarine bus services. The Liberals failed to make any commitments for regional bus frequency whatsoever, while Labor had simply recycled its last budget announcements for 'drop in the ocean' bus funding.

"While both parties are prepared to throw over a billion dollars at freeways, it is extremely disappointing that they continue to ignore the acute need for significantly upgraded bus services."

Similarly, he said that while both parties had committed to some increase in train frequency, these promises lacked credibility because neither party had given indications as to how significant those increases might be.

Mr Petersen said the Greens' public transport policy was the clear winner in the comparison. He said the Greens had shown that they clearly understood the need for frequent transport services, advocating trains at least every half-hour, and all (or most) trains extending through to the new Grovedale Station.

Their policy advocates frequent buses, more to the coast in holiday periods, and night buses especially on Friday and Saturday nights. They also want bus connections to trains, a regular bus across the Bellarine Peninsula, and integrated fares with Melbourne public transport.

Mr Petersen said members of the PTUA's Geelong Branch would hand out the policy scorecards at the Geelong Railway Station from approximately 6:30am until mid or late morning.

Policy Scorecard.

PTUA Office 9650 7898

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Last Modified: 28 November 2002