Trains North East Rail

Nationals call on Shorten to commit to north east line upgrades

27 March 2019

The Victorian Nationals have called on Federal Labor Leader Bill Shorten to guarantee he will upgrade the north east line if elected to government this year.

The Nationals Candidate for Indi Mark Byatt joined Member for Euroa, Shadow Minister for Public Transport (Regional) and Nationals' Deputy Leader Steph Ryan in Euroa today to call on Bill Shorten to commit Labor to the north east line upgrade.

Mr Byatt said the Federal Nationals had allocated $235 million to fix problems in the track created by the botched upgrade of the north east line a decade ago.

"Passengers on the north east line have endured poor services for far too long. We need certainty that this rail track upgrade will go ahead no matter who wins government at this year's election," Mr Byatt said.

"This is a critical piece of work and I'm committed to seeing it through if I'm elected as the Member for Indi."

While the project has gone to an expressions of interest phase, contracts are not due to be awarded until after the Federal election.

The North East Line upgrade project is currently scheduled for completion in mid-2021.

Ms Ryan said she wrote to Bill Shorten earlier this month seeking a commitment to continuing the construction project begun funded by current Federal Coalition Government

“Federal Labor has been conspicuously absent in the debate around the north east line.

“We need a bipartisan commitment to completing these works. I want Bill Shorten to give an ironclad guarantee that the money allocated to this project won’t be redirected if he is elected to government.”


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