TRAVEL PLEA: Extra trains would help jobless

From left, Western District Employment Access’s Lian Baudinette and Trudi Perkins are among Colac and district residents who are supporting Corangamite’s Labor candidate Libby Coker’s push for five Colac train services.

From left, Western District Employment Access’s Lian Baudinette and Trudi Perkins are among Colac and district residents who are supporting Corangamite’s Labor candidate Libby Coker’s push for five Colac train services.

A COLAC employment service manager says Colac’s inadequate train service is a “massive disadvantage” for the district’s job seekers.

Western District Employment Access manager Trudi Perkins said the agency had jobseekers living in Camperdown who struggled to find jobs or attend training programs in Colac because of the lack of train services.

“A lot don’t have licences and the train gets in from Camperdown to Colac at 7.30am and leaves at 3.30pm, so even if we can get them work in Colac we have to try to fit in around those hours,” Mrs Perkins said.

“It even affects our work-for-the-dole projects.

“I’m sure if we could all just work until 3pm we would but it’s just not possible.

“If they have a licence they might not have a car, and if they do, then there’s the cost of fuel,” she said.

“Three trains a day, at the times they are, is a massive disadvantage.”

Mrs Perkins said she expected Colac people had similar problems if they found work at Geelong.

“There would be people who can’t get jobs here and have to look at Geelong, but catching a train probably isn’t an option but they don’t want to relocate because they have a house or family here; and we don’t want them to be moving towns,” she said.

Birregurra’s Geraldine Gartland, who regularly travels to Melbourne, said the community was fortunate to have train stations at Colac and Birregurra but there was definitely demand for more train services.

“What I do now is I drive to Waurn Ponds and catch the train from there because they have an hourly service to Melbourne.

“I regularly hear people say they would use the train if it was more frequent, especially if there was another one in the morning.

“Five services, at least from Colac, would make it a really good service.”

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