LIVE CHAT | Q&A with Liberal candidate Bill Tilley

Click the links below to see previous Q&A sessions with: 

- Greens candidate Dick Wellard

- Australian Country Alliance candidate Phil Rourke

- Q&A with Labor's Jennifer Podesta was cancelled due to illness

The Border Mail's live political forums continue tonight with Liberal candidate Bill Tilley lining up to take your questions.

Mr Tilley has stated his reason for running below and answered a pre-submitted question from our readers. 

Scroll through his response then LOG IN TO THE CHAT BELOW AT 7PM to quiz Mr Tilley on his campaign. 

Why have you decided to run for the Liberal party in the seat of Benambra?

I have been a member of the Liberal Party since 2002 and was first elected by the people of Benambra in 2006. I was returned in 2010 to continue to serve the district and people of Benambra in the Parliament of Victoria.

In the last Parliament I have had the enormous privilege to work with the Napthine Coalition Government. This has enabled me to not only deliver on election commitments but to also secure over $135 million in built and social infrastructure. That dollar amount is over and above government operating costs.

For the last four years of government we have worked hard to make Victoria’s economy the best in Australia with a AAA Credit rating and strong fiscal controls to make sure we are able to invest in the modernisation of Victoria’s infrastructure.

I am standing for Benambra to ensure we continue the good work of the Napthine government and Build a Better Benambra and Victoria.

Why can’t Wodonga have an express train?

Let’s just deal with the facts. Four short years ago, under Labor, there was no commitment to return full, three times a day return rail services. I gave, as did the coalition, an unconditional guarantee that we would return full, 3 return weekday services, along with weekend services. We have delivered on that commitment.

No doubt there have been some challenges with the rail infrastructure. The ongoing Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), the Federal Government statutory rail body, ballast rehabilitation program which is due for completion in 2016, will enable all remaining speed restrictions to be lifted and reflect in travel timetables.

It is not an old degraded service, it has not reached its end of service life and is in fact not that much older than the NSW Countrylink XPT. In stark contrast to reports, recent reliability figures of ninety three percent on time and customer patronage of over 28,000 in September alone, with anticipation of this number increasing.

There is a team of dedicated locals working hard as part of the VLine team to deliver a great rail experience for everyone. These staff should be commended. This service should be available to all travellers along the North East line. Additionally, an enjoyable tourism experience for those coming from not only Melbourne but from destinations around the world.  

Log in tonight and I am happy to discuss with you my further vision for the V/Line long haul passenger rail service.

DO you have a question for the Benambra candidates?

Our moderated live forums will continue this week, with a different candidate from the electorate of Benambra set to step into the hot seat each night. 

The forums will last one hour from 7pm from Tuesday to Friday. Tune in on the following nights to quiz your candidate:

  • Tuesday - Dick Wellard (Greens)
  • Wednesday - Phil Rourke (Australian Country Alliance)
  • Thursday - Jennifer Podesta (Labor)
  • Friday - Bill Tilley (Liberal)

Can't wait?

Submit your question below and we'll select a handful to put forward to the candidate. Their answers will be featured in a "preview" story the morning of their individual debate. 

If yours misses out, don't stress! Just log in live on the day for a chance to have your say.