Overland train service given lifeline by Victorian Government

BIG WIN: Legislative council deputy leader Clare Scriven and Murray Bridge councillor Mat O'Brien are happy to see the Overland receive funding until at least July, 2023.

BIG WIN: Legislative council deputy leader Clare Scriven and Murray Bridge councillor Mat O'Brien are happy to see the Overland receive funding until at least July, 2023.

The iconic Overland train service, running from Adelaide to Melbourne, will remain on the tracks for a further three years, after receiving funding from the Victorian Government.

Victorian PublicTransport Minister Ben Carroll said his Government would provide $3.8 million over three years to keep the service going until at least July, 2023.

Deputy leader in the legislative council Clare Scriven said she was pleased to see the South Australian Labor Party's 'Save the Overland' campaign was successful.

Ms Scriven said it was importantthat regional people did not lose transport options.

"I have spoken to people who can't use the bus, and who can't drive long distances, because of disability, or because they are older," she said. "Once we lose a service, we are unlikely to ever get it back."

Ms Scriven said she was disappointed the state government did not care enough about regional people to reinstate funding.

"When Labor was in government, we provided funding of $1 million over three years to continue running services," she said.

"That agreement included Great Southern Rail agreeing to consolidate operational and office staff from other states to its head office in Adelaide, and committed to supporting local contractors for maintenance, capital and operational works.

"And, if Labor is elected in 2022, we have committed to working with the Victorian Government and Journey Beyond to ensure the long-term future of this service," Ms Scriven said.

Member for Hammond Adrian Pederick said support from the State Government had expired at the end of 2018.

"Careful consideration was given to the funding arrangement with Great Southern Rail, now Journey Beyond, and the value of this funding in providing benefits for regional South Australia," he said.

"The Government concluded that an extension to the current funding agreement was unable to be justified when assessed against other funding priorities due to the low and declining passenger levels for the service, particularly within regional South Australia, and availability of other transport options," Mr Pederick said.

"I believe Journey Beyond should have a look at their pricing strategy as well as their marketing to make people more aware of their services."