Review into public transport in regional areas welcomed

REVIEW: MP Clare Scriven is pleased a review of the bus services in regional areas will be undertaken by the government.

REVIEW: MP Clare Scriven is pleased a review of the bus services in regional areas will be undertaken by the government.

Naracoorte Lucindale Council mayor Erika Vickery has welcomed a new review into public transport in regional and rural areas.

A proposal pushed by Labor's Shadow Minister for Regional Development Clare Scriven to review all regional bus services has passed the State Parliament's Upper House, despite the Liberal government opposing it.

The motion that passed State Parliament calls on the State Government to review all regional and township bus services to ensure they provide an adequate service to those local communities.

The motion calls on the State Government to complete the report by October 30, 2020 and to report back to Parliament.

"In regional and rural areas, there is a disadvantage for people who have no public transport at all to assist them, and if this review indicates that it would be viable to put some public transport into the regional areas, that would be really quite useful," Mrs Vickery said.

"I think it's a really useful thing that they are putting together the review and we will look with interest at the outcomes."

Mrs Scriven, who has been pushing for this review for some time, said a lack of public transport options is a severe disadvantage for regional residents.

"A review of the current services is an important first step in ensuring that services can meet the needs of residents who need public transport options, to get to work, medical appointments, study and so on," she said.

"The reality is that you need to be a car owner in regional South Australia because if you rely on public transport you simply will not get where you need to go. It is a constraint on development in the Limestone Coast, so it is vital that we look at improving options for local residents.

"Mount Gambier is South Australia's second biggest city and the provision of public transport is important to attract people here.

"Unlike in Adelaide, some regional towns do not have an option to use public transport on the weekends or in the evenings and that is not good enough.

"It is very disappointing that the Marshall Liberal government members opposed my proposal. I am very pleased that it passed despite their lack of support, and I now look forward to the Parliament receiving the review report by the end of October."

Ms Scriven told Parliament about some of difficulties encountered by people needing to travel to Mount Gambier for work or study, as well as the limited service available within Mount Gambier.

It is hoped that this report will identify how services to regional residents can best be provided, and potentially provide additional funding for regional bus services to extend their services where needed.

Ms Scriven said she was disappointed that the Liberal members of the Upper House opposed the motion, but was pleased that it was eventually passed.