Public Transport Issues in Western Suburbs | Adjournment

Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan): My adjournment matter is directed to the Honourable Ben Carroll MP in the other house for the minister’s portfolio responsibilities for public transport. Wyndham City Council is located in my electorate of Western Metropolitan Region and is one of the largest and fastest-growing municipalities in Australia. Between 2019 and 2020 Wyndham’s population grew by 12 687 residents. By the year 2041 Wyndham’s population is expected to grow to 512 591. Housing development continues in new estates across Wyndham such as the Mambourin and Cornerstone estates in the suburb of Mambourin and the Grand Central estate in Tarneit.

Many new residents moving into Wyndham are from our migrant community, and English is their second language. Residents need to access community centres and support programs to assist with their settlement in Australia. Often these community centres and support programs are not available in the immediate neighbourhood, resulting in residents needing to travel far distances. Some families have both primary school aged and high school aged children from the same household, and parents need to travel to different parts of Wyndham to drop off their children to school. The new development areas are isolated from the existing bus networks and train stations, making it difficult for residents to access public transport. In some new residential estates the closest bus stop is approximately 30 minutes walking distance. Residents accessing these bus stops are concerned for their safety when they need to walk to and from the closest bus stop at night when it is dark, particularly in winter. The absence of adequate bus services for these areas is resulting in social isolation for some. The residents in these new residential estates require necessary bus services and transport solutions to commute safely, quickly and easily. While the required transport infrastructure is being established in the new estates demand-responsive bus services should be provided as an alternative solution for their transport needs. Better bus services across Wyndham and the new development areas will improve access to services, education and employment opportunities, assist with reducing traffic congestion and support residents with their settlement needs. The action I seek from the minister is to provide me with an update on what action the Victorian government will take to provide better bus services and access to public transport for residents of growth areas in the Western Metropolitan Region.

Reply: 6 September 2022

Ben Carroll MP Minister for Industry Support and Recovery, Minister for Business Precincts, Minister for Public Transport, Minister for Roads and Road Safety:

I thank the Member for Western Metropolitan Region for her question.

The Andrews Labor Government is continuing to improve the state’s bus network in line with Victoria’s Bus Plan to better meet demand, improve accessibility and performance, and deliver value for money. We’re investing $109 million in the 2022 State Budget to improve local bus services in growth areas, implement bus reform, improve accessibility and customer outcomes and to get students to school.

Two new services – Route 152, Tarneit to Williams Landing, and Route 182, Werribee to Tarneit via Tarneit West – were introduced last year in the City of Wyndham to connect people living in the growing areas of Tarneit and Tarneit West with train services at Tarneit, Williams Landing and Werribee train stations.

Planning is underway to introduce FlexiRide in Tarneit North, which will connect residents to key destinations including Tarneit Station and Tarneit Central Shopping Centre. The service set to commence later this year.

In June 2021, the Government released Victoria’s Bus Plan which sets out how we will start to deliver a modern, productive, environmentally sustainable bus network that increases the number of people choosing to take the bus by delivering simple, safe, reliable and comfortable journeys. It notes important opportunities for the bus network including leveraging connectivity with the rail network and making the most of investment in infrastructure such as the Metro Tunnel and Doncaster Busway.