Nagambie bus services
08 August 2017
Ms RYAN (Euroa) — The issue I would like to raise this evening is for the Minister for Public Transport. The action that I am seeking from the minister is that she halt a recent decision by V/Line to relocate the bus stops in Nagambie from the main street to the town's train station in order to allow for proper time for consultation with the community, who are quite upset by the decision. I understand that residents were only notified of the change, which is to take effect on 23 August, through the local paper. They certainly do not feel that they have been adequately consulted on the change.
While I appreciate that it is important, particularly in country communities, to have bus services that connect to train stations, there are a number of matters that need to be taken into consideration. The train station is some distance from the main street, which means that getting to the station will involve a lengthy walk for a lot of residents, particularly those who do not have access to a car or to someone who can drive them. It is easy to say, 'Just call a cab', but as you would know, Deputy Speaker, in many regional communities taxi services are often limited and we do not have Uber.
At present there is no shelter, no proper car parking, no toilets and no phone booth at the train station, which makes it difficult if people get stuck there. I think it would be sensible for V/Line to consider whether it is possible to keep the stops in the main street and perhaps consider stopping at the train station at those times when there are trains coming from Melbourne or from Shepparton. I understand that V/Line has made this decision somewhat in tandem with the work that is currently going on to redevelop Nagambie's main street, stage 1 of which was funded through the former coalition government's Regional Growth Fund.
Di Grant is a well-known Nagambie local, and she is one of the people who have raised concerns about this change. She uses the bus from Nagambie quite often in order to get to Seymour, where she catches a train to Melbourne to attend medical appointments. She has outlined a number of concerns about the change, including the fact that she believes it will be more difficult for pensioners who use the service. She has written to the Minister for Public Transport, so I expect that the minister will be aware of her concerns, and she has invited the minister to come and meet with locals to hear their concerns before any change is made. That is an invitation that I would also like to extend to the minister. In summary, I think there is a need for more thorough consultation, and I invite the minister to put those steps in place before that decision is made.