A successful community campaign to secure a new bus service at the Halls Gap valley was praised by Lowan MP Emma Kealy.
Bus services between Halls Gap and Brambruk increased from one a day to three on Saturday’s and Sunday’s under the new and improved service which started last Sunday.
The overhaul also means services will be extended to major tourist nodes and accommodation sites at Halls Gap.
Bus stops were at Halls Gap Gardens Caravan Park, Halls Gap Hotel, Tims Place, Halls Gap Information Centre, Norval Camp, the corner of Tandarra Road and Brambuk Cultural Centre.
“While it is disappointing we had to launch an extensive community campaign to secure this additional service, full credit must be given to Graeme Sandlant, Tim Walsh and other members of the Halls Gap community for their tireless campaigning,” Ms Kealy said.
The service was previously only available once a day, making it difficult for visitors to the area without their own transport to visit the various tourism attractions in the area.
“It’s been a long wait and lots of work but thanks to this successful push by the local community, the securing of this additional service will be a game changer for tourism in Halls Gap,” Ms Kealy said.
“Well done to everyone involved in getting this vital tourism service up and running.
“Our united voice has made a real and meaningful difference to one of our major tourism centres in our great part of the State,” she said.
Northern Grampians Shire councillor Murray Emerson said this upgrade was a work in progress for three years and would be the first stop in a long term plan to expand more transport services in the region.
“The Northern Grampians shire is very excited about the fact that PTV, the Sandlant bus company and others have done a lot of hard work in getting the services extended to Halls Gap,” he said.
“Together we will also be doing further work into the future to make sure we increase our services to an acceptable service for everybody concerned.”