State Government train review could boost services to Colac

Colac Train Station could receive extra train services under a review.

Colac Train Station could receive extra train services under a review.

VICTORIA’S Public Transport department will consider adding extra services to the train line through Colac.

A spokesman for the Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said the State Government planned to develop a short, medium and long-term strategy to improve the train service on the Warrnambool line with the Regional Network Development Plan.

“Service levels on the Warrnambool train line need to be looked at closely after four years of neglect under the former Government,” the spokesman said.

“Communities in south-west Victoria will be consulted as part of the development of the plan, with consultation to kick off in the coming months,” he said.

“Additional services on the Warrnambool line will be considered through that process.”

Polwarth MP Terry Mulder’s Coalition Government promised to increase the daily return train services from three to four within three years if re-elected in last year’s state election. But the Coalition lost the election.

Colac Otway Shire Council chief executive officer Sue Wilkinson said she welcomed the minister’s commitment “to address inadequate service levels on the Warrnambool train line”.

“This is an issue we have advocated strongly for on behalf of the community and we look forward to the State Government’s consultation process, which we hope will result in additional train services,” Ms Wilkinson said.

“The Warrnambool train line service needs to be addressed as a top priority, particularly in light of the recent timetable change which has further disadvantaged our residents,” she said.

“Increasing train service levels will provide a significant boost to our economy, increasing business opportunities and supporting population growth in the shire.”

The call comes as a timetable change on the train line will mean Colac residents using the service to commute to Geelong will now arrive half-an-hour later than usual.

Public Transport Victoria’s network changes communications manager Kerilyn Wyatt said the changes would accommodate the Regional Rail Link in and out of Melbourne.

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12 Responses to “State Government train review could boost services to Colac”

  1. Phil Alexander

    If I listed all the cuts to Government services in the Colac region implemented by the recent Napthine Government it would be very long indeed but I guess a passing loop on the rail line at Warncourt makes up for this.

  2. Reality Check

    Joe, disaffection with major parties is easy to say… Hard to do. Like Phil you can be happy after 27 years with 50 meters of concrete and a bit of tin at Sherwood Park Station if you are a Labor voter, or after 4 years of Terry Mulder quite a few million upgrading the capacity of the Warrnambool line, with the promise of more services, or you can take the lonely route to independents, like Cathy ???? Who McGowan, or a Phil Cleary. Colac residents have done well in recent years under both major parties, such as the dual carriage way up grade, hospital rebuild, new swimming pool. It’s up to our community to work the Pollies we have. And make them accountable. It’s not possible to have everything our community wants, but I don’t think you can fairly say we have been forgotten here in Colac! Unlike Phil, I am happy to give credit where it is due.

  3. Phil Alexander

    Reality Check arguing with you is somewhat easy. Check these facts out: The Warrnambool train service was handed back to the State Bracks Labor Government in 2004.
    The Bracks Government built a Marshall Station in Geelong on this line. It was opened in 2004. This same Government built Sherwood Park Station at Warrnambool on this line. It was opened in 2006.
    It would be fair to say this would not have happened under any State Liberal Government.
    The only luck you will have with Mulder and the Liberals given there track record would be all bad.

  4. Joe Brown

    It really doesn’t matter who did or didn’t do anything in the past, the time has come to make our voices heard as a community to get extra train services. In regards to the comment that “Communities will be consulted” I would like to know who and when exactly? In regards to Lib/Lab in Polwarth, the best choice would be an independent as both major parties have done very little and will continue to do just that whilst we are a safe seat. I learned my lesson from being the Labor Candidate about how little they care about safe seats. We need to give both parties a shock and make them work for us as they are meant to!

  5. Reality Check

    Phil, I am not sure you can claim Mr Mulder has done nothing to improve the Warrnambool line. A much needed passing loop was installed in his four years to better enable more services in the future. My point still stands. In Mr Mulders 4 years of government he made rail improvements, and promised more services in his next 4. In contrast Labor promised nothing, and has no intention of anything. Yes in Kennetts 7 years he threatened to close the line, but did’nt, the service was privatized and improved. Many people fondly recall the weekend steam services. My point that in Labors past 23 years and future 4 years, 27 years in total no improvements for the Warrnambool line were done or planned. I don’t know about you but I am happy to try my luck with Mr Mulder and the Liberals!

  6. Phil Alexander

    Reality Check, perhaps you need to take a reality check. When the Kennett Liberal Government came to power in 1992 one of the first things it did was to close many country train lines. Most of these lines were reopened when the Bracks Labor Government came to power.
    The only reason the Warrnambool train line didn’t close was because a private company bought the service.Had this not have happened Kennett would have closed that line to!
    As I have said Mulder was Transport Minister for 4 years and did nothing even though this line was in his own electorate!
    State Liberal Government’s record on public transport have been appalling and the fact that Mr. Mulder made some vague promise that if re-elected his government would have made things better within 3 years doesn’t change this fact.

  7. Reality Check

    Those seeking to Blame Mr Mulders 4 years might like to reflect on the fact that since 1981, a total of 34 years, Labor has been in power in Victoria for 23 years, which is 67% of the time! Labors rhetoric on public transport is just that, they have done little to change the 3 services a day, and leading into this next 4 year term they have promised to do nothing to change the situation. So Phil, at least Mr Mulder has been talking about it, as opposed to Labor who for 23 years has done nothing, and promise for a further 4 years to do nothing!!

  8. Paul David Cross

    I agree with the previous comments with regard to MP. Terry Mulder doing nothing in four years yet people continue to vote him in.

    The reality is that people in Colac and surrounds need to stand up or they will be left out of funding as they so often have been.

    Utilising the rail line is far better than using heavy vehicles to transport goods, there are too many semi trailers on the road and one train can replace 60 semi trailers, smaller vehicles can then transport goods locally.

    Instead we have a rusty railway line, poor passenger services and highways full of semi trailers which use more fuel, do more damage to the roads and pose a safety risk.

    Bring back the Railway system resources .

  9. Tristan

    Liberals and Nationals have done nothing for Colac in a long time yet you all keep voting them in. Then you all complain about nothing being done.

  10. Jo

    Only four years of neglect? Really?
    Long term neglect while priority is given to Melbourne.
    State governments need to remember that this is the state of Victoria, not the state of Melbourne.

  11. Phil Alexander

    I think it needs to be pointed out that Mr. Mulder did nothing on this issue in the four years he was transport minister and then to make a promise that his party might increase services by one within three years had they been re-elected is somewhat of a joke surely.
    If the Labor Party does the right thing and does increase services don’t be surprised if Mr. Mulder has the temerity to take credit.

  12. Juggy

    Logistics and population throughout the southwest could increase with better use of the railroad, that all equals more dollars. Get on to it ASAP!!!