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Peter Walsh slams Labor Government over Christmas train delays

By Charmayne Allison

MEMBER for Murray Plains Peter Walsh claims Echuca train passengers will face delays this busy Christmas period as the Victorian Government continues to ‘‘war with the state’s transport union’’.

He said Echuca passengers would bear the brunt of Bendigo line cancellations on December 11, after the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) confirmed staff will walk off the job for 24 hours as a result of the Labor Government’s industrial chaos.

“The Andrews Government has one job – to make sure the trains run on time, but every day there’s a new problem that makes our trains less reliable,” Mr Walsh said.

“Day after day VLine trains are cancelled or delayed due to track or carriage faults and now we are wearing the cost of Daniel Andrews’ ugly pay dispute with the union.

“Country people already have no confidence the trains will run on time, but that’s set to get worse over Christmas and force delays that will mean we’ll spend less time with family and friends.”

The cancellations come as a new timetable comes into effect this month that will see more than 270 VLine services permanently slowed down, instead of fixing the trains.

Shadow Minister for Public Transport Steph Ryan said regional train passengers were stuck in the middle of Daniel Andrews’ pay dispute with the union.

“Regional train passengers already put up with constant delays and cancellations to services, but it’s set to get a whole lot worse because of the industrial chaos under Daniel Andrews,” Ms Ryan said.

“Regional rail has become a disaster under Daniel Andrews and his embattled Public Transport Minister Melissa Horne.”

Overtime bans and rolling stop work action across all regional rail lines will take place from December 11 to December 20, including 24 hour stoppages that will see all train services cancelled.