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Transport vision vital

SOUTH Gippsland needs a transport overhaul to prepare the region for massive population growth.
That includes more bus services in and out of the region, and also within the region.
That was the message delivered to South Gippsland Shire Council by the South and West Gippsland Transport Group recently.
Council last Wednesday voted to help the transport group develop an advocacy campaign seeking commitment from political parties in the 2014 Victorian state election to fund an integrated transport strategy for South-West Gippsland.
Council will also write to Casey City Council, Cardinia Shire Council, Bass Coast Shire Council and other community and business associations in South Gippsland asking them to back the campaign.
Council will also help the transport group arrange deputations with political parties to present the proposal.
Cr Andrew McEwen supported the motion. He said that in five to 10 years a trip from South Gippsland to Melbourne would take three hours and the Monash Freeway would always be congested.
He called for rail freight to services to remove heavy trucks from roads.
At a recent council presentation session, the transport group’s Brian Hess called for a long term regional plan.
“We do not want a short term plan or a plan that is politically expedient,” he said.
The group has forwarded a submission outlining possible improvements to the transport network to Deputy Premier and Gippsland South MLA Peter Ryan.
That submission has since been forwarded to Transport Minister Terry Mulder for consideration. He is yet to respond.
Group member Max Semken, of Leongatha, said the region needs:
• 14 return services daily between Melbourne and Leongatha, Monday to Friday;
• 10 services between Leongatha and Foster, seven days a week;
• six services a day between Foster and Sale, seven days a week;
• six daily services between Wonthaggi and Traralgon, seven days a week;
• extra services between the Bass Coast, Cranbourne, Dandenong and Pakenham; and
• hourly town services around Leongatha and Korumburra. The Korumburra service would include Jumbunna, Kongwak, Poowong, Loch and Nyora, while the Leongatha service would cover Dumbalk and Koonwarra.
“Transport is not a privilege, it’s a right,” Mr Semken said.
Cr Mohya Davies said a bus service linking Foster and Wilsons Promontory National Park was needed.
Mr Hess said the region’s population was growing and would continue to grow as the metropolitan boundaries expanded.
“There has been more congestion on the Monash Freeway over the years and if we do not develop a plan now, it will just get to be much worse,” he said.
“It is going to get to a point where it is not going to be economical to move more and more freight around by trucks.”
Mr Hess said most people were happy with the existing V/Line bus system but he was concerned the service would be negatively impacted by increasing traffic congestion in Melbourne.
Cr Jeanette Harding said she would raise the dilapidated state of the South Gippsland Highway with VicRoads at a meeting of the South East Australian Transport Strategy at Lakes Entrance in February.

Linking region: from left, Max Semken and Brian Hess of the South and West Gippsland Transport Group, with South Gippsland Shire Councillor Andrew McEwen.

Linking region: from left, Max Semken and Brian Hess of the South and West Gippsland Transport Group, with South Gippsland Shire Councillor Andrew McEwen.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=9504

Posted by on Dec 24 2013. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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