Residents ‘trapped’ with no bus


Liam McNally

Western Metropolitan MP David Ettershank has called on the state government to provide a bus service for Mt Atkinson.

The Truganina area, comprising the Mt Atkinson, Grandview and Olivia estates, is home to more than 5000 residents but is yet to be allocated a bus route.

Resident Asim Butt said his nearest public transport is the bus station at Neale Road/Hopkins Road, about a 50 minutes walk away.

“With around two-thirds of the road having no provision for pedestrian walkways and along a high-speed busy single lane rural grade road that carries 27,000 cars a day, residents who did try to make the trek share the experience was pretty terrifying if not suicidal and abandoned it soon enough,” he said.

“In the absence of public transport, resident households which don’t have two cars are effectively trapped within the estate.

“With the only car at home taken either to work or to a local train station, the rest of the family is completely dependent on a second car to move around. This is especially impactful in the cost-of-living crisis as it’s also leading to loss of employment and educational opportunities for residents.

“With no presence on Victoria’s public transport map, local residents [feel like we’re] living on an island which is only accessible via private vehicles. There is now a question on liveability in the area located only 25 kilometres from the CBD and the sense of isolation slowly creeping in.”

Mr Ettershank echoed these concerns in parliament on Wednesday, November 15, and also raised concern about the general lack of amenity for the local population, which Profile ID forecasts will reach almost 25,000 by 2041.

“For these residents, there are no shops, no schools, no doctors or other essentials. If you simply need a litre of milk, the closest shop is at Aintree or Caroline Springs about 9 kilometres away,” he said.

“Right across the western suburbs, there are way too many such places.

“Why can’t this government, at the very least, and at minimal cost, ensure that communities like Mt Atkinson have access to safe, regular bus services?”

Public Transport Minister Gabrielle Williams was contacted for comment.