The state government’s long-awaited Regional Network Development plan has been heavily criticised for a lack of delivery timelines and estimated costings.
The plan, announced by Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan on Monday, was touted as a long-term strategic guide to improve Victoria’s pressured public transport systems.
Central to its development was the contribution of communities across the state through more than 40 consultation sessions.
However, Greens leader Greg Barber said the document was a “showcase, not a plan” that “regurgitated” the public’s feedback.
“There are no timelines for delivery. There are no costings. There is no description of how we expect services to grow over time,” Mr Barber said.
“Compared to the metropolitan plan which lists specific projects and their timelines for delivery, all we get here are nebulous future directions.”
A report to the City of Ballarat from the Rail Futures Institute, addressed in a recent agenda, was arguably more detailed in its demands for rail infrastructure.
The report outlined future medium and long-term infrastructure needs with estimated delivery timelines and costings.
Ballarat MP Joshua Morris echoed Mr Barber’s sentiments.
“The release of Labor's long-term strategy provides no peace of mind that the crisis that V/Line passengers have endured will not be repeated as there is no time frame for implementation and no new funding,” he said.
Committee for Ballarat chair Janet Dore said the plan was a “good strategic outline”.
“It largely reflects what was in the community consultation sessions,” she said.
“Small things that were included like extra trains between Geelong and Warrnambool (were mentioned in consultation).
“It’s a very sound base for the future.”