The Andrews Labor Government has today called upon the Turnbull Government to get on with the job of releasing Victoria’s Regional Rail Revival funding so work can begin on these vital projects.
In December the Labor Government reached an in-principle agreement with the then Infrastructure Minister Darren Chester for $1.57 billion to be delivered — but chaos from Canberra has meant this money has stalled.
Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan today joined Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes to give local Councils an update on the work needed to upgrade the North East line, and call on the Federal Government to finally hand over the money.
The Labor Government is proposing the Melbourne-Albury section of the Melbourne-Sydney rail corridor be upgraded to at least a Victorian Class 2 standard for passenger services, to enable quicker, more modern trains and give communities in the North East the services they expect and deserve.
Upgrading this section of the corridor will bring it into line with other parts of Victoria’s regional passenger network and drive creation of jobs, stimulate local business and provide new opportunities for the region.
The Labor Government has presented the Commonwealth with a proposal for additional funding to achieve this.
The Regional Rail Revival program is a once-in-a-generation investment that will not only deliver major upgrades to every regional passenger line in Victoria but also create more than 1,000 jobs.
Planning and defining the scope of works has already begun to ensure these projects meet the transport needs of passengers and regional communities. The Labor Government has submitted a number of proposals to the Commonwealth to release funding for the first stage of Regional Rail Revival works packages which will deliver:
- Planning and development funding across the program, to get future packages of works ready for market on the Gippsland, Geelong, Warrnambool and Ballarat lines
- Upgrades to signaling and track speed upgrades on the Bendigo and Echuca lines
- Stage 2 of the Ballarat Line Upgrade, to improve freight and passenger services
- Early works on the Gippsland line to upgrade level crossings and undertake critical preparatory works
- Level crossing upgrades on the Warrnambool line
- Planning study to identify infrastructure improvements to boost freight capacity in the Shepparton region
- Funding to secure the Armstrong Creek transit corridor
Quotes attributable Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“The recent chaos coming out of Canberra has meant we are yet to receive funding to deliver much needed upgrades to every regional rail line throughout the state.”
“We understand the Turnbull Government have no major concerns – it’s time they signed the deal and delivered the money, so we can give passengers the train services they deserve.”
Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes
“We know that the $100 million is nowhere near enough. We’ve submitted the proposal to give North East passengers the services they deserve and I’ll continue to fight to make sure it’s delivered.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020