Media Release July 20 2010

The outcomes of the latest batch of bus service views showed the continued neglect of transport support in the East by the Victorian Government, ETC Chair Cr Samantha Dunn said today.

“The Government reviews of bus services in Casey, Cardinia and Greater Dandenong were an opportunity to fix a bus system that is bursting at the seams,” Cr Dunn said.

“While the Minister for Public Transport has announced $4.8 million in funding for buses, barely any of that money will be spent in Dandenong,” she said.

Cr Dunn said that this lack of funding was typical of the current Government approach to public transport in the East.

“Frankly, we’re disappointed but not surprised. It is time this government looked seriously at providing sustainable transport options right across Melbourne rather than focussing on a few key electorates,” Cr Dunn said.

“We’ve been told that buses are the answer and that the Government doesn’t think it is worth looking at other possibilities like rail extensions,” she said.

“If buses are the answer then the Government needs to get serious about fixing the system in all areas, not just those in which they feel they may be electorally vulnerable.”

City of Greater Dandenong Councillor Roz Blades said that Dandenong residents were among those who signed a recent petition to the State Government to act on transport.

“We had 13,000 signatures from Eastern residents who want better transport options, and thousands of those were from Dandenong residents,” Cr Blades said.

“Many of those same people took part in the consultation for the bus reviews, thinking they would be listened to. Sadly, we have been ignored once again,” she said.

Cr Dunn said that there was still time for this government to make a commitment to Melbourne’s east.

“This election year provides a perfect opportunity for this government to show that it is listening to the million or so residents east of Warrigal road who are forced to drive their cars to work because they have no viable alternative,” Cr Dunn said.

“ETC will continue to work with the Transport Minister to address the shortfall of sustainable transport options for residents of Melbourne’s east,” she said.

Further Information Simon Tolstrup, CPR 0408 331 356