Public transport is shaping up as Ballarat’s major political battleground.
The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) Ballarat branch is hosting a state election forum on Thursday, where candidates for the seat of Wendouree will outline their vision for public transport in Ballarat and beyond.
PTUA Ballarat branch convener Ben Lever said the various proposals for the train line to Melbourne, issues with the bus network and the railway station redevelopment were all up for debate on the night.
“Public transport is seen as increasingly important, particularly in Melbourne because it is becoming so congested, as they are focusing on trying to shift people out to the regions a little bit more.
“As the population naturally grows in places like Ballarat, there does seem like a recognition we can’t just solve these problems with cars, we do need to solve it with public transport and cycling.”
It follows the release of PTUA Ballarat’s ambitious plan to improve the city’s bus network, by linking cross-town routes, more direct travel to Ballarat Station and Bridge Mall and higher bus frequency.
The forum will take place at Freight Bar on Mair Street at 7pm, with Labor candidate Juliana Addison, Liberal candidate Amy Johnson, Greens candidate Alice Barnes and Animal Justice Party candidate Bryn Hills on the panel.
The free forum is open to the public, RSVP and submit questions on the PTUA Facebook page or via email at email@example.com.