Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed says it’s time Shepparton and Mooroopna had a bus service that catered to the community’s needs.
Ms Sheed said bus services in Shepparton District were sorely lacking, with no substantial updates to the network taking place in nearly 10 years.
She said the local bus timetables and routes did not reflect the growing and changing face of the region and has called on the Government to undertake a comprehensive review of the service.
“Our towns are growing quickly, yet the bus service is not keeping pace,” Ms Sheed said.
“New housing developments are springing up across Shepparton and Mooroopna that aren’t being reached, and for those that do have access to the network, the limited scheduling of buses between about 7am and 6pm mean they often can’t get to where they need to go when they need to be there.
“It’s astonishing really, that the first town bus of the day arrives at the Shepparton Railway Station ten minutes after the 6.28am train has left for Melbourne and of course the only other weekday morning train left more than an hour earlier.
“This just isn’t good enough. Our community has worked so hard to turn around years of neglect and secure $356.5m to upgrade the Shepparton Train Line and deliver a faster and more frequent rail service and we must ensure this investment is supported by appropriate public transport connectivity across the region.”
She said extensive infrastructure investment in the region including $170m for Stage One of Goulburn Valley Health’s redevelopment, $21.5 million for the Shepparton Education Plan and the new Shepparton Art Museum would likely result in continued growth that must be catered for.
“It is my understanding that regional cities such as Bendigo, Ballarat and the Latrobe Valley have had full reviews of their bus services undertaken in recent years as a result of promises made at the last election,” Ms Sheed said.
“It is time the Shepparton and Mooroopna networks are also reviewed so steps can be taken to realign the services to the community’s current and future needs.”
Ms Sheed used her Adjournment Debate in Parliament on Tuesday to raise this matter with the Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan. A response from Minister Allan is required within 30 days.
Riahn Smith 0419 138 978│firstname.lastname@example.org