Cheaper fares, more trains and extra services is the promise for Ballarat and surrounds – IF Labor is returned to Government this month.
The $1 billion election commitment would see daily V/Line fares capped at $9.20; a far cry from the current $45 daily round trip from Ballarat to Melbourne, and in line with the capped daily Metropolitan Melbourne fare.
Also in the announcement Labor has promised 23 more V/Line trains and 200 extra services for regional Victoria.
Transport Minister Ben Carroll, speaking in Ballarat yesterday, says Labor’s announcement is in the name of fairness.
“A massive regional rail package that puts equity and fairness at the heart of everything we do.” he said of the commitment.
It comes after Liberals leader Matt Guy pledged in early October to cut V/Line fares in half for regional passengers if a Coalition Government is elected on November 26, while the party will cap Metro fares at $2 per day, at a cost of $185 million.
Labor has used the Parliamentary Budget Office to conduct costings of the Coalition’s rail plan.
Speaking in Ballarat Premier Daniel Andrews says it is an appropriate use of taxpayer money.
“You guys are all asking us to match this. You’re wanting to know whether we’ll match it, so we want to know a bit about it” he said.
He adds that the costings inquiry was necessary due to the fact the Liberal Party has not relased documentation that supports it.
“We can’t go to a document because no document’s been released. It could be cleared up in a moment…if there is supporting information that sits behind it, well, let’s have a look at it.”
If Labor is elected, Ballarat’s cheaper fares would come into effect next March, while the new trains would be operational in 2024.