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Mornington North Bus Improvements Long Overdue

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Mr MORRIS (Mornington) (17:23): (5634) I raise a matter for the Minister for Public Transport, and the action I seek is that he investigate and allocate funding in the 2021–22 state budget to allow the extension of the existing bus services from Mornington—probably the 781 route, but I will leave that to the experts—so that a bus service is provided to serve the Mornington North community.

I have spoken often about the standard of bus services or the lack of bus services in the Mornington electorate since I have been in this place. We have had some improvements, but the only significant improvements occurred in the period between 2010 and 2014 under the Baillieu and Napthine governments.

That period saw the interchange in central Mornington completely revamped and the routes revamped. It became a far more appropriate service for that period, but of course time moves on, and while we do not have the high-speed growth the City of Casey and other similar municipalities experience, we still have some expansion of the area.

Particularly the area of Mornington North—I am talking about Bungower Road in Mornington—and particularly around the area around the corner of Bungower Road and Racecourse Road, in recent years there have been two major retirement villages developed in that area and an aged-care nursing home, and there is also St Macartan’s Parish Primary School, and there is not a bus stop within a kilometre of that area.

That is a story that is actually repeated right across the electorate. We are very poorly served in terms of services reaching the entire community. I think you would have to say that services only reach probably half of the residential areas of the electorate, but this area is particularly poorly served.

The fact that the government has failed to invest in even a basic service for that area means that there is a very real risk of social isolation for the residents of that area. Unless they own a car, they cannot get to the shops and they cannot do the day-to-day things that they need to do.

Now, I have frequently, as I have said, spoken about bus services in the Mornington electorate.

When I last raised this issue, on 29 August 2019, I mentioned that I had asked the then Minister for Public Transport to meet with the three peninsula MPs to try and do something about the services. The response I got was, ‘I’ve met with the member for Nepean’.

Well, that was terrific for the Nepean electorate, but it did absolutely nothing for the Mornington electorate. I would ask for the assistance of the minister to do something for the Mornington electorate in this coming budget.