Another win for north east line users
16 March 2018
Train users on the north east line have a reason to celebrate today, with the Federal Nationals announcing an additional $135 million investment in the line.
The funding, announced today by Federal Transport Minister and Leader of The Nationals Michael McCormack, is in addition to the $140 million already committed by previous Nationals Minister Darren Chester.
Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan, who has been campaigning for rolling stock and track improvements since before her election in 2014, said the investment was welcome news for many rail users in the north east.
“I commend this investment from the Federal Nationals. With proper oversight and planning, it will go a very long way to getting our train service back on track,” Ms Ryan said.
“At a state level, The Nationals have promised to replace all the trains on both the north east line and Shepparton lines with a new, long haul variation on the VLocitys within our first term of government, if we are elected to government later this year.
“While these trains will be able to run at 130km/h on the current track, the improvements that can now be made to the track from the Federal Government’s commitment will only make the service better.”
Ms Ryan said pressure was now on the Andrews Labor Government to match The Nationals’ commitment to replace the trains on the north east line.
“Next month will mark a full year since Daniel Andrews stood in Wangaratta and said he would phone Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull the moment the federal government provided the cash for the track,” Ms Ryan said.
“Nine months since the initial $140 million for the line was announced and Labor is now well and truly out of excuses.
“Daniel Andrews said, ‘Let's have the federal government provide the money for the track and my government will provide the money for the trains and we will get on with making this service much, much better. We stand ready once allocations are made to improve the track to fulfil our important obligations around trains.’
“It’s been nine months since the Federal Nationals provided an initial cash injection into the line. We now have a commitment for a further $135 million yet still Daniel Andrews and Jacinta Allan have not announced new trains.
“Labor are now well and truly out of excuses. It’s time for all sides of politics to commit.”
Ms Ryan said the Andrews Labor Government’s original Regional Rail Revival plan, submitted to the federal government did not allocate any money to the north east line.
“Daniel Andrews is happy to lay the blame at the feet of federal government but when push comes to shove he hasn’t been willing to invest a cracker in our line.”