Mobile blackspots on V/Line trains continue despite Labor’s 8 year old promise to ‘fix them’

In 2015 Labor State Government promised to fix the mobile black spots on V/Line Trains with Gippsland’s regional rail commuters still waiting for the upgrade.

The Labor Government then re- announced the commitment in 2017, two years later, stating “work has already begun to pilot the installation of mobile reception repeaters in VLocity trains, which is designed to boost in-train coverage from less than 50 per cent to almost full network coverage”.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria, Melina Bath said commuters are still suffering constant phone drop outs when travelling on V/Line trains between Gippsland and Melbourne.

“Promised digital connectivity upgrades to rid the service of mobile black spots have failed to eventuate despite Labor’s multiple headlines and promises,” said Ms Bath.

“Labor’s track record is defined with money wastage and budget blow outs – this is a government which can’t manage money, can’t manage projects or deliver on promises.”

In 2014 the Liberals and Nationals allocated $40 million to fix the mobile blackspots and provide free Wi-Fi on V/Line trains, but Labor scrapped the plan when they won Government and allocated less than half the funding to the project.

In November 2015, Daniel Andrews said, ‘If you hate your phone dropping out on V/Line trains, don’t worry we’re onto it. Today we’ve launched our $18 million Regional Connectivity Project that will fix mobile blackspots along the five busiest regional rail corridors.’

Since then, Jacinta Allan has been the Minister for Public Transport, Deputy Premier and is now the Premier of Victoria.

Ms Bath said it’s been eight long years since the train black spot announcement, and it’s become another project that’s failed to be delivered by this Labor government.

“Labor has proven time and again to be big on spin and light on deliverables – there’s never a plan for implementation, timeframe or roll out plan with any of its projects.

“What is the former Transport minister and now Premier going to do to deliver on the promise Labor made eight years ago to fix these blackspots?

“Gippsland has the worst performing rail service in the state – poor punctuality, commuters regularly relegated to buses and too many mobile black spots.

“As more people move to the regions and commute for work and education, the Labor government must follow through and fix the mobile black spots on all V/Line train services.”