MINISTER CONFIRMS COMMUTERS PUNISHED BY LIBERAL BUDGET

Posted on 10. May, 2011 in News

The Baillieu Government has confirmed it will not provide any new trams, new bus services, or new regional trains in this year’s State Budget, despite patronage continuing to grow, Shadow Minister for Public Transport Fiona Richardson said today.

Ms Richardson said that at the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee Meeting today it was abundantly clear that commuters would be worse off under this year’s Liberal budget.

“With patronage rates on trains, trams and bus services increasing every day, the Minister for Public Transport has confirmed that the Coalition government will not provide any new trams, new bus services, or new regional trains under this year’s Liberal state budget to cope with the increased demand,” Ms Richardson said.

“This Liberal Minister has either overlooked or ignored the large increase in passenger numbers expected over the next 12 months and detailed in his own budget.

“Mr Mulder also confirmed that $54.9 million allocated in last year’s budget for 20 premium station upgrades has been cut to pay for the bungled PSO initiative.

“A further $55 million has been slashed from programs to improve access to public transport for commuters with a disability

“Instead, the Minister has prioritised $2 million in funding for the New Street railway crossing in Brighton, more money than was allocated for the new station at Southland ($700,000) and more funding than seven of the 10 most dangerous level crossings in metropolitan Melbourne.

“The Liberal Government has prioritised this crossing in Brighton above all others, revealing their blatant disregard for the majority of dangerous intersections that have received no funds under this year’s budget.”

At the hearing today it was confirmed that the Coalition’s first budget will deliver:

  • No new trams – despite an expected increase of 8 million passengers within the next 12 months and despite a commitment from the Liberals before the last election for 10 new trams;
  • No new bus services – despite an expected increase of 3.7 million passengers;
  • No new V-Line carriages – despite an expected increase of 1 million passengers;
  • No major funding for metropolitan grade separations;
  • No new station staff at railway stations and cuts to the premium station program;

“This is exactly the kind of neglect and indifference that commuters have come to expect from Mr  Mulder,” Ms Richardson said.

“Instead of fighting on behalf of commuters to improve their services, he’s standing idly by while services deteriorate.”

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