Northern Victoria going nowhere under Labor's farce rail
16 October 2018
Just two weeks after attacking The Nationals’ plan for fast rail in Victoria, the Andrews Labor Government has announced its own panicked alternative. But it seems to have forgotten to include the north east, Shepparton and Seymour lines.
Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan said in comparison to The Nationals’ $19 billion plan, Labor included no money for construction for at least four years and had overlooked the north east, Shepparton and Seymour lines entirely.
“It is incredibly disappointing that the Shepparton, north east and Seymour lines aren’t even mentioned in Labor’s plan for ‘regional’ rail,” Ms Ryan said.
“Our commitments for regional rail are clear and we have allocated billions of dollars to getting on with the job.
“We will upgrade the Shepparton, north east and Seymour line tracks to a class one standard, allowing trains to travel at speeds of up to 160km/h and we will buy brand new long haul trains for the lines which will be on the tracks within our first term of government.
“All Labor has done for the last four years is talk about improvements to our line, without delivering a single new train or any improvement in service. They have now told us that under a re-elected Labor Government, there will be another four years of talking about high speed rail for Geelong and Ballarat with no money for construction committed and no works starting.”
Ms Ryan said Labor’s proposal did little for anyone living outside Geelong and Ballarat.
“Labor’s plan will only serve two regional cities instead of every regional rail line,” Ms Ryan said.
“If the government was serious about decentralising Victoria’s population and developing our whole state instead of just Melbourne, it would have included our region as well.
“Passengers are sick to death of the delays, unreliability and breakdowns which plague our lines, yet the Andrews Labor Government refuses to tell passengers what it will do to fix these problems.”
The Nationals’ $19 billion fast rail plan will result in significant time savings in travel for commuters from Shepparton and north east Victoria, saving passengers traveling from Wodonga to Melbourne 44 minutes and passengers travelling from Shepparton 28 minutes.
The plan includes replacing all long haul trains on the Shepparton and Albury lines, ordered in 2019 for delivery by 2022.