How safe is ‘Homesafe’ ?

Member for Morwell Russell Northe has called on the State Government to reveal more detail about its plans for a late-night public transport service from the Melbourne central business district to regional areas.

At the end of last year Labor announced it would implement a ‘Homesafe’ program that would include 24-hour weekend metropolitan trains and a 2am regional transport service from Southern Cross Station to Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and Traralgon.

The year-long trial is set to begin on New Year’s Eve.

Mr Northe said he was concerned about the service’s impact on safety in the Traralgon CBD and whether it was a threat to the Latrobe Valley’s existing night rider bus service, which takes patrons from Morwell, Churchill and Moe home from Traralgon’s nightclub precinct and is funded by the state.

“Maybe it’s an encouragement for patrons to go to Melbourne and does that threaten the existing night service?,” Mr Northe said.

“The most concerning point is understanding what time the service will arrive in Traralgon, how many people will be on board, where they’ll depart and does it mean 100 people will be dropped at a central point in the Traralgon CBD at 4-5am on a Sunday morning and how those people will be dispersed to their homes.

“We don’t know whether there will be security accompanying the service,” Mr Northe said.

A spokesperson for Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said the service to Traralgon would be a bus, however exactly where and when it stopped was still being investigated, along with staffing arrangements.

“These investigations will take into account the existing Night Rider bus, improving late night services to Traralgon,” the spokesperson said.