A report tabled by the Victorian Auditor General has shown the State Government’s record investment in rural rail has improved V/Line services after years of cuts from the former government.
The former government slashed $120 million out of V/Line, hurting services and ultimately passengers.
The VAGO Report into V/Line Passenger Services confirms the former cost cutting regime put significant pressure on the operational capacity of V/Line, and shifted the focus of the organisation to saving money, rather than maintaining the network and delivering the services passengers needed.
However, governance changes in recent years and the Victorian Government’s massive investment in the regional operator has turned this situation around.
While there is still more to do, the Victorian Government’s investment of more than $600 million into V/Line maintenance and operations, has improved the quality and reliability of the infrastructure, and allowed for more services.
In less than three years the Victorian Government has added nearly 600 new services across regional Victoria.
It has also ordered 87 new regional VLocity carriages, and secured $1.6 billion for the Regional Rail Revival package.
The report also indicates that Transport for Victoria – the overarching transport agency established by the current Victorian Government – has the potential to strengthen governance in the transport portfolio.
Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan, said, “We’ve added nearly 600 new services, and are getting on with the Regional Rail Revival, which will improve every regional passenger line in the state – allowing more trains, more often, across regional Victoria.”