Funding for north east line small change
27 April 2016
Wednesday 27 April 2016
The $15 million earmarked in the Victorian Budget for the north east rail line is not even enough to buy one new train, Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan said today.
Ms Ryan said Labor’s 2016-17 State Budget had been handed down in a special Parliamentary Sitting that day but had once again left north eastern commuters without a solution to the problems riddling the line.
“People using the north east line are sick and tired of shallow promises and politicisation of what is an important issue,” Ms Ryan said.
“While $15 million sounds like a lot of money, it isn't enough to buy even one new train.
“All the government has committed to is one extra carriage and some refurbishment of existing train carriages along the line in an attempt to keep voters appeased.”
Ms Ryan said that Labor had spent the last year surveying communities as part of the Regional Network Development Plan (RNDP) but it appeared all this feedback had fallen on deaf ears.
“Labor has spruiked the plan as the building block of future public transport planning in regional Victoria,” Ms Ryan said.
“Disappointingly, it appears not to have listened to the feedback provided by the people who use the north east line.
“In the top five priorities identified by those surveyed in the Hume region were reliability, frequency, timetabling and connectivity, all of which can only be addressed by new and improved rolling stock.
"Labor MP Jaclyn Symes herself said all she wanted in the budget were “new trains” but this money won't deliver a single new train."
Ms Ryan said Labor had gloated about how much money it had to spend in this year's Budget, after receiving an unexpected windfall in revenue.
"The government has received billions of dollars in unexpected revenue in recent months, including a $1.6 billion increase in stamp duty, $1 billion in GST receipts, $560 million through the settlement of the Tattersalls case and $6 billion to $7 billion through the sale of the lease of the Port of Melbourne.
"Daniel Andrews should use this once in a lifetime opportunity to fund new rolling stock on the north east line," Ms Ryan said.