Safety fences will be installed along the Ballarat rail line to protect people, as well as reduce traumatic incidents for train staff.
As part of a state government infrastructure push, up to 85 kilometres of fencing will be installed on the Ballarat and Bendigo lines, with more promised across the state.
According to a media release, the works will focus on corridors across the metropolitan and regional networks where there is a history of safety, trespassing or vandalism incidents as well as animal strikes.
The $10 million statewide project will be a step towards protecting train drivers and other staff, as well as increasing reliability.
The state government has also committed to a project with Lifeline and TrackSAFE to encourage commuters to reach out for help if they need it - geo-targetted social media messaging and links to outreach and mental health support organisations will be distributed as part of the Pause. Call. Be Heard. campaign.
Public Transport Minister Ben Carroll said in a statement "these new fences will reduce damage to rail infrastructure and prevent delays to our train network - but above all, these important safety upgrades will save lives".
There have been several incidents involving pedestrians and trains in Ballarat in the past few years, some of them sadly fatal.
IN THE NEWS
Animal strikes, particularly from kangaroos in rural areas, have also reportedly increased across the network, meaning more maintenance for more trains and more cancellations.
For more information about managing stress and support options, call the Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Services on 1800 512 348 or visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au.
If you or someone you know is in need of crisis support, phone Lifeline 13 11 14.
Help is also available, but not limited, via the following organisations. The key message is you are not alone.
- Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 or beyondblue.org.au
- Suicide Callback Service: 1300 659 467
- Mensline: 1300 789 978 or mensline.org.au
- Survivors of Suicide: 0449 913 535
- Relationships Australia: 1800 050 321
- headspace Ballarat (for 12-25s and parent support): 5304 4777
- Soldier On: 1300 620 380
- Ballarat Community Health: 5338 4500
- QLife: 1800 184 527 (Support for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people)
- Family violence: 1800 RESPECT
- Veterans support: Open Arms 1800 011 046 - 24 hours a day, seven days a week or visit www.openarms.gov.au
- For Aboriginal crisis support: Yarning SafeNStrong, 1800 959 563 (noon to 10pm)
Have you signed up to The Courier's variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.