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Local history

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February 11, 2018

Leah Berthun and Prue Trebllcock took part in a Rotary Exchange program which took them to the USA this week.

Work expected soon

Regarding ‘‘Bus wait frustrates’’ (January 26) — I can understand the community’s frustration in ensuring they have the services they need to get them where they need to go.

Transport for Victoria regularly reviews bus networks to ensure they meet passenger demand, and I have asked TFV to consider the feasibility of this as part of its next review of services in the Benalla region.

I have also asked TFV to discuss the matter with council, which will be required to seal the road in order to run this service.

We know it has been an incredibly frustrating time for North East line passengers and I have requested a meeting with the Commonwealth Infrastructure Minister Barnaby Joyce to progress the next steps on the line upgrade and to raise concerns about the lack of ARTC maintenance on the line.

The North East line upgrade should see more reliable services for passengers and pave the way for new trains.

In the meantime, we have started delivering the improvements Benalla residents asked for during consultations for the Regional Network Development Plan.

It was the Andrews Labor Government that developed the first ever long-term strategy for regional public transport in Victoria based on 15000 individual pieces of feedback.

The Regional Network Development Plan sets out a short, medium and long-term plan for more trains, improved stations and better bus and coach services, so people can get where they need to go quickly and reliably throughout regional Victoria.

We have provided $15 million for better trains for the North-East line — introducing a fourth train, refurbishing the remaining three trains and planning for new rolling stock to improve reliability and comfort.

This year we will deliver bike parking at major stations and four accessible carparks at Seymour Station to make it easier for people to park and ride.

We will also upgrade the Seymour coach interchange.

We will upgrade 10 critical level crossings including Cemetery Rd and Carroll Rd in Benalla with boom gates and flashing lights, to improve safety on the Seymour and North-East lines.

I understand and share the desire of Benalla and North East corridor passengers for improved services and facilities and look forward to continuing to work with the community on improvements over the coming year.

— Jacinta Allan, Public Transport Minister

Fond memories

I have heard but not yet seen a photo in The Ensign of two Rotary exchange students heading to the United States 50 years ago.

I am Leah Berthun in that photo.

We were the last group of students to travel from Australia by ship prior to air fares becoming equally affordable.

We had three weeks of travel with stopovers in New Zealand, Fiji and Hawaii and then had to get ourselves to the airport in San Francisco to fly to meet our host families in our various destinations.

Mine being Long Island, New York.

It was an amazing experience for young people from small country properties.

The Rotary Student Exchange program continues today and involves exchanges with many more countries.

Thanks for sparking the memories.

— Leah Ross

Travel woes

One sure fire way to spoil a great holiday is to try and get home from Melbourne using V/Line!

— Dianne Lamont

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