Pressure is mounting on the Turnbull Government to back major rail upgrades for the Echuca line announced yesterday as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s Regional Rail Revival package.
The $1.45 billion package will deliver better train services across regional Victoria and create more than 1,000 jobs.
It includes $91 million to upgrade track and signalling between Bendigo and Echuca, enabling trains to run faster and more often, cutting travel times for passengers from Victoria’s north.
The upgrade will also enable the delivery of Bendigo Metro Stage 2, with more trains to Epsom and Eaglehawk, giving local passengers extra services and more choice.
The upgrade is funded and ready to go, as soon as Victoria receives the $1.46 billion it’s owed under the agreement with the Federal Government on Asset Recycling.
This is not the Turnbull Government’s money – it is money owed to Victoria for Victorian projects.
The Committee for Echuca Moama and other groups have thrown their support behind the Regional Rail Revival package and Member for Murray Damian Drum has been campaigning for better services. Yet Malcolm Turnbull continues to deny Victoria the money that would deliver these improvements for his community.
With regional Victoria growing and patronage on the V/Line network at record highs, it’s time for the Turnbull Government stop dithering, keep his promises and give Victoria its money.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport and Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan
“This is our money and we will spend it on better rail for Bendigo, Echuca and across regional Victoria.”
“Damian Drum needs to start sticking up for local passengers, who are getting dudded by his Government.”
Quote attributable to Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards
“The Turnbull Government hasn’t invested a single cent in building better public transport for Bendigo or anywhere in Victoria.”
Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jac Symes
"Country communities expect the Turnbull Government to do the right thing and give Victoria the money we are owed, so we can get on with our Regional Rail Revival."
Reviewed 19 August 2020