Federal Nationals deliver. Premier, it’s now your turn
09 May 2017
The north east train line is set for a long-awaited upgrade with $100 million allocated in the Federal Budget last night.
The investment comes after Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan lobbied Federal Infrastructure Minister Darren Chester to upgrade the track.
Ms Ryan said Minister Chester had paved the way for further investment in the line, with extra funding available subject to negotiations with the Victorian Government.
"This is a great win for the region - it's five times the amount Labor was proposing to spend on the north-east line," Ms Ryan said.
"Darren Chester has acted on the concerns I have raised with him about the poor condition of the track.
"The performance of the service now hinges on Daniel Andrews. Labor must buy new trains for the line if any significant difference is to be made to the performance of the service," Ms Ryan said.
“It’s no wonder people are fed up when the latest V/Line performance data shows the line has a punctuality rate of 60.7 per cent and a reliability rate of 81.8 per cent which is the worst in the state.
“The 2014, 2015, 2016 and now 2017 figures all show the performance of the line has been consistently average and frequently among the worst in Victoria.”
Ms Ryan said V/Line put the poor performance rates down to a combination of signalling faults, fleet faults and speed restrictions.
“Just like the problems are complex, so too is the solution,” Ms Ryan said.
“The track is only half the problem and the Federal Government’s commitment is only half of the solution.
“People are sick to death of the many issues that plague the line and today’s announcement is fantastic news for passengers, but without new trains it will make little difference.
“We deserve a more than the coat of paint and the new upholstery Daniel Andrews has given us.
“The Federal Coalition has come through with money to fix the track. Daniel Andrews now needs to do his part and provide new trains for the line," Ms Ryan said.