A report tabled by the Victorian Auditor General today shows the Andrews Labor Government’s record investment has got V/Line back on track after years of cuts and neglect from the former Liberal and National Government.
The former Coalition Government slashed $120 million out of V/Line, hurting services and ultimately passengers.
These cuts would have seen 100 staff sacked if the Labor Government hadn’t intervened when it was elected to protect those jobs and provide emergency funding to the regional operator.
The VAGO Report into V/Line Passenger Services confirms the former Liberal and National Government 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 Labor Government’s massive investment in the regional operator has turned this situation around.
While there is still more to do, the Labor 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 Labor Government has added nearly 600 new services across regional Victoria – hundreds more than the former Liberal and National Government.
It has also ordered 87 new regional VLocity carriages – more than double the number of carriages ordered by the former Government – 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 Labor Government – has the potential to strengthen governance in the transport portfolio.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“This report shows V/Line is back on track, after years of cuts and neglect from the former Liberal and National Government.”
“We inherited an operator in crisis but our record investment in trains, maintenance and the regional operator has turned that around.”
“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.”