Collie residents will find it easier to travel around the state after Premier Mark McGowan announced the state government would boost the number of bus services travelling through the town.
Mr McGowan visited the Collie Visitor Centre on Friday, August 10 to announce the state government would reinstate the bus services that had previously been cut by the previous government in 2013.
Taking effect on September 30, extra bus services connecting Collie to Perth will run on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Currently, TransWA runs just two bus services between Collie and Perth a week.
Weekday passengers will also be able to use the bus to connect with the Australind train service at Brunswick Junction.
A new bus service will also run on weekends, departing Collie for Perth on Saturday mornings before returning on Sunday afternoons.
Mr McGowan said the Collie community was ‘the big winner’ of the announcement.
“These are important improvements we are putting into place in public transport for the people of Collie and the South West,” he said.
“Here in Collie, the last Liberal-National government cut the public transport services for this community.
“What we’ve done is we’ve reinstated these services, we’re making these services better [and] we’re ensuring the people of the South West and Collie have the very best transport options available to them.
“When it comes to public transport in regional communities, we’re doing an enormous amount so that tourism and local people are the beneficiaries.”
Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray said the lack of public transport was one of the most common issues raised within the community.
“It’s been something that has come across my desk time and time again,” he said.
Mr Murray said the reinstatement of the bus services would benefit those who rely on public transport for access to important services.
“The former government’s cuts to Collie’s public transport were devastating to the many local people who relied on buses and the Australind train to get to Perth,” he said.
“Mark McGowan and I committed at the 2017 election to bring the services back to a decent standard and I’m delighted we’ve achieved that.
“Collie people who rely on buses and trains can once again travel to Perth or Bunbury for medical appointments, to visit family and friends, and to do all of the other things a decent public transport system allows.”
Mr Murray also said having weekend buses would help Collie grow as a tourist destination.
“People can come down and recreate whether that be on mountain bikes or just go bush walking and then be able to go back into the city that afternoon,” he said.
“We’re really thrilled about that.”
Collie local Nola Green said it was ‘distressing’ for the community to have limited public transport options.
“It’s been really distressing to lose the service we previously had,” she said.
“It’s just one of those things that we really need… We need a connection for Collie on the weekends.
“It’s an essential link. You have it in Perth and people in the country deserve the same sort of service.”
The changes will also benefit other towns along the existing bus route, including Allanson, Mumballup, Wilga and Boyup Brook.
For more information about the bus services, contact the Collie Visitor Centre on 9734 2051 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.