High-level discussions continue for Mount Gambier bus service

High-level discussions continue for Mount Gambier bus service

The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport has expressed concern after issues were raised in Question time last week by Member for Mount Gambier Troy Bell in relation to the Mount Gambier bus service.

Earlier this month Mr Bell delivered a grievance debate, highlighting the current contract is “not fit for purpose”.

Mr Bell followed on from his speech with a question to Minister Koutsantonis two days later, asking if a review would be conducted into the current eight year 
contract.

“The route has not changed in over 30 years and the department did not address any of the issues highlighted by the City of Mount Gambier’s council and their feedback from residents,” Mr Bell said.

Minister Koutsantonis acknowledged Mr Bell’s question and agreed to have his department investigate the matter.

“Whenever you go out to market for new services, to replace a service or to continue a service, there are often opportunities for improvements. It is very difficult in regional communities for us to always get that right,” Mr Koutsantonis said.

“It does concern me a lot there may be a contract in place which is not actually serving the needs of the local community.”

Minister Koutsantonis highlighted that things could be done to improve the service without changing the contract, but also emphasised there may be things that cannot be fixed.

“We can look at the service delivery method and model, whether or not we can do alternatives to that, but what that will mean within an existing package is a reprioritisation,” he said.

Minister Koutsantonis acknowledged that improvements could be made and “if we can do them within a package and a framework, we will”.

“What I do undertake to the house is to go away and meet with the member and talk to the local council about this and what we can do to improve it.”

Mr Bell said he was looking forward to continuing discussions with the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and the Mount Gambier City Council.

“I am hopeful that we can use this opportunity to work collaboratively with the Minister and the City Council to further explore the ways that we can bring our public transport service to a standard that our regional residents deserve,” he said.

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