Member of Lions Club – State Parliament
Public Transport Minister Melissa Horne’s assurance that a conductor would be present at Bairnsdale Station to assist bus passengers until midnight, is not being delivered.
Ms Horne told Gippsland East Nationals MP Tim Bull back in May 2019 when he first raised the issue with her, that when buses replace trains, conductors at Bairnsdale would be present “to make themselves visible to passengers during disruptions, to enhance safety and ensure that passengers can use the Station facilities when required”.
“This is not happening. On a Sunday night recently, passengers on the bus services into Bairnsdale tell me they found no Station staff were present and they were locked out of the waiting room and toilet facilities,” said Mr Bull.
“The time lag between the first bus arriving at Bairnsdale Station and the last bus arriving and then setting off with passengers for Lakes Entrance and Orbost was over one hour.
“When the train service is operating, passengers who are travelling on to Lakes Entrance and Orbost are able to take a seat in the Station's waiting room and use the toilets before their bus departs, which is why I asked the Minister to provide equivalent access to the Station’s facilities when buses replace trains.
“Passengers who were travelling on to Lakes Entrance and Orbost on this service told me they had to endure an uncomfortable wait with only the protection of a bus shelter on a bitterly cold and windy night.
“I am extremely disappointed that the undertaking I was given has not been delivered and I have asked the Minister to make good on her promise.
“The lack of security and amenity for an extended period on a cold night for bus passengers, many of whom were older folk, is just not good enough,” said Mr Bull.
Caption: Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull pictured at the Bairnsdale Station’s bus exchange where Orbost and Lakes Entrance bound bus passengers were locked out of the Station’s waiting room and toilet facilities.