The Victorian Government has introduced legislation to strengthen public ownership of V/Line, and prevent its privatisation in the future.

Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan, said under the legislation, V/Line’s operations will be transferred from V/Line Pty Ltd to the publicly owned V/Line Corporation.

“This will help protect V/Line from any future Liberal and National Party attempts to privatise the regional operator and run services into the ground,” Ms Allan said.

In the past V/Line has been privatised but regional services were handed back to the government.

When ownership was returned to the government the regional operator was rebuilt with services expanded and billions invested in major rail infrastructure projects to improve V/Line, including Regional Fast Rail and Regional Rail Link.

Under the previous State Government services and investment was reduced by $120 million and services were reduced, including no new regional carriages ordered in two years.

Over the past two years the current State Government has restored and increased funding to V/Line, ordered 48 new regional carriages, and added more than 340 extra V/Line services, with 170 more to be added next year.

“We’ve restored and increased V/Line’s funding, and invested more than $1.3 billion in better regional public transport to get people home safer and sooner, every day,” Ms Allan said.

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