Labor Government announces 10 new services to Ararat and Beaufort

The Andrews Government will introduce 10 extra train services for Ararat and Beaufort every week from late August as part of a new V/Line timetable that will add more than 140 regional services across Victoria.

Labor Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford, today welcomed the new services which are the first added to the Ararat line since it was reopened by the former Bracks Labor Government.

The new timetable will extend two Ballarat services each weekday – one in the morning from Ararat to Melbourne, and a return service in the afternoon from Melbourne to Ararat.

Ms Pulford said today’s announcement puts further pressure on the Turnbull Government to finally fund regional rail.

“Victorians are tired of being short changed by the Turnbull Government on infrastructure funding, particularly regional Victorians, given the federal coalition supposedly represents a number of country seats,” Ms Pulford said.

“The Andrews Government is doing its bit by investing in new trains and more services as well as a $39 million upgrade of the Ararat line,” she said.

“But to deliver this upgrade and many more across regional Victoria, Dan Tehan and the Federal Government need to come good with the $1.46 billion they owe the Victorian Government  through the Asset Recycling Initiative,” Ms Pulford said.

“The Victorian Liberal Party closed the Ararat line in the 1990s and when they were next in office between 2010 and 2014 they didn’t add a single new service,” she said.

“In contrast, the previous Bracks Labor Government reopened the line and now we’re improving it even more,” Ms Pulford said.

Ararat Mayor Paul Hooper said the extra service was what council had been seeking.

“This is a great announcement for Ararat,” Cr Hooper said.

“Ararat has been working with other councils and the State Government for some time on securing an extra service and today’s announcement is a great outcome for Ararat and the wider region,” he said.

Pyrenees Mayor Ron Eason said he was delighted the Government had listened to local councils.

“Our Shire has been advocating for an extra service for some time and I’m delighted that the Government has supported us and our communities,’ Cr Eason said.

“The extra service will make a real difference to people in Beaufort and district I’m delighted it is about to become a reality,” he said.