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Nationals welcome AvonLink and MerredinLink continuing

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Leader of The Nationals and Member for Central Wheatbelt Mia Davies has welcomed the continuation of the AvonLink and MerredinLink train services.

In 2013, The Nationals secured $6.6 million of Royalties for Regions funding for the three-year AvonLink Enhancement Project after the service was slated for closure, Ms Davies said.

“The trial investigated whether alternate scheduling, additional services, ticket pricing and accessibility would positively impact numbers utilizing the service,” she said.

“The AvonLink and MerredinLink are critical services for our elderly, people with disabilities, youth and those who are unable to drive, and is regularly used by commuters.

“The Government heavily subsidises public transport in the metropolitan area and I am glad the Minister for Transport has accepted that people living in regional WA deserve access to these services.”

Ms Davies questioned the Labor Government’s claim it had “saved” the AvonLink.

“The Minister’s claim is based on a false premise. There is no question that The Nationals in Government would have continued the service as we led the initial fight for its continuation,” she said.

Ms Davies said she would be pushing the Government to continue special event train services after the Minister for Transport ruled it out in a statement.

“Given there’s significant opportunity for tourism and economic development in Northam, Toodyay and surrounding communities that’s something that we’ll be pursuing,” she said.

“The National Ballooning Championships will be back in Northam in September and is expected to attract a large number of spectators to the Avon, along with the annual Toodyay Picnic Races and Northam Cup.”

Ms Davies praised the tireless lobbying of the AvonLink Supporters Group which ensured the State Government was aware of how vital the service was to their community.