I'm talking service FREQUENCY Shane.
Regional service frequency over the distance covered...Victoria Vs NSW.
Your average punter rolls up at Southern Cross station and wants to travel to our least populated regional city, Swan Hill...population a shade under 10,000.
At around 350Km from Melbourne, your average punter wants to travel to Swan Hill TODAY, FRIDAY.
They don't care if the train is loco-hauled or not, they just want to travel. How many services are there TODAY to Swan Hill you ask.
Well look here, FIVE services are on offer from V/Line TODAY to travel to Swan Hill.
Now to compare, I'm providing a NSWGR timetable for the BUSIEST regional line in NSW, the north coast line to Grafton. So your average punter rolls up to Sydney Central station and wants to travel to say Port Macquarie, population a shade under 48,000, only 5 times the size of Swan Hill, but a similar distance from Sydney as Swan Hill is from Melbourne.
How many SERVICES are there TODAY to Port Macquarie you ask.
Once you scroll through the blurb and get to page 27.
Well look here, THREE services are on offer from NSWGR TODAY to travel to Wauchope. But, Port Macquarie has a sole ONE service a day connecting at Wauchope, see page 27 of the above link.
AND, because apparently Victoria's diesel hauled services are slow, antiquated, last century,...fill in the gaps here about why they are so bad, notwithstanding the fact they are being phased out in Victoria, but I digress. Let's look at the travel times from Melbourne to Swan Hill compared with Sydney to Port Macquarie.
I'll give NSW a fighting chance because Port Macquarie is off the main line therefore a bus connection is required. Imagine a bus connection to a city of 45,000, but again I digress.
V/Line's slowest journey time, Melbourne to Swan Hill with a bus connection at Bendigo - 5' 5"
NSWGR's only journey time, Sydney to Port Macquarie with bus connection at Wauchope - 7' 29"
I rest my case.
On any criteria, Victoria is STREETS ahead of NSW in regional SERVICE provision.
First, I congratulate you on making a post without using your failed politics.
2nd, Time is referenced as X h : YY min, not 5 feet 5 inches.
3rd, now time for you to actually do some thinking, not ranting. The North coast line gets 3 rail services a day as far as Grafton, there are at least 10 buses a day that connect Port Mac to those 3 trains. If there are additional buses headed to Newcastle / Sydney, even better, but no idea and don't really care.
As you said the city is 5 x that of Swan Hill, so more than likely Port Mac far more self sufficient. Also the NSW Nth Coast is far more heavily populated overall and as a large number of retirees likely has the services that Swan Hill can only dream of and if not in your town/city, you certainly don't need to travel 350km across flat un populated country side to the likes of Melbourne to get a basic medical procedure or other service, hence the Vic Govt needs to fund more into a complex PT network to feed those people in regional Vic to Mel. Which as you will know is basic mostly flat terrain and in a radial pattern from a far more centralised central point of Melbourne.
Where as NSW, Sydney while centralised on the coast, has been historically slow to get to because you are basically following a mountain ridge if on the coast or you need to cross. Its much greater distances to the Capital, much larger regional population and more complex terrain forced the state to de-centralise govt and private services such as health a longtime ago. Further north up the NSW coast, you have GC and Brisbane just across the border, thus avoiding a need to head to Sydney.
NSW's much greater distances and more complex terrain also means that while Vic has some intra-state small size aircraft regional air services, mostly Mildura and Albury (which is actually NSW) and a few others I cannot be bothered to look up. Some of NSW regional air services are actually jets.
Once again if we focus on population, distances and terrain we will commonality with Southern Qld. Gympie which is 3h 170km from Brisbane is despite using arguably the best train technology in Australia but still 3h by rail due to terrain despote billions of investment and still billions to go.
Further North Bundaberg which is similar to Port Mac and Swan Hill in distance from their respective capitals gets 2.5 trains a day but still around 4-5h away, again using the most advanced trains in Australia on track that has had billions spent on it, all due to terrain.
EDIT, do I agree with the current level of services, no. I've stated in the past that the whole BS HSR project should be forgotten and invest in the current interstate lines for what isn't a huge sum of money to enable.
Syd- Mel : 5 x day, travel time ~ 7h
Syd - Bris : 3 x day, travel time ~ 8h. (more intermediate services)
Mel - Adel : 1 x day, travel time ~7h
Syd - Can : 5 x day, travel time ~ 3h