Call for rail ini­tia­tives

Shepparton News - Country News - - COBRAM HORSE TRIALS -

Fresh ideas to build faster rail ser­vices to boost hous­ing and job op­por­tu­ni­ties in re­gional and ur­ban ar­eas are be­ing sought by the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment.

In­fra­struc­ture and Trans­port Min­is­ter Dar­ren Ch­ester and Ur­ban In­fra­struc­ture Paul Fletcher Min­is­ter have launched the gov­ern­ment’s Faster Rail Prospec­tus, sig­nalling the start of a process call­ing for busi­ness cases for new or up­graded rail in­fra­struc­ture that would bet­ter link cities and the re­gions.

Mr Fletcher said busi­ness cases must out­line ini­tia­tives that will in­crease hous­ing choices by open­ing up re­gional ar­eas, en­cour­age job and ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties, and im­prove ac­cess to spe­cial­ist ser­vices for peo­ple in re­gional ar­eas, as well as ma­jor events.

Fed­eral Mem­ber for Mur­ray Damian Drum said the fund­ing had the po­ten­tial to un­lock in­vest­ment in busy rail cor­ri­dors such as Shep­par­ton to Mel­bourne.

‘‘For the many com­muters in a re­gion like ours, faster rail has the po­ten­tial to have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on qual­ity of life by al­low­ing res­i­dents to spend more time at home, and less time trav­el­ling,’’ Mr Drum said.

‘‘Res­i­dents in Shep­par­ton have been de­mand­ing bet­ter rail ser­vices for years; this is an op­por­tu­nity for us to get a fast rail ser­vice that we need and de­serve

‘‘I have spo­ken in the par­lia­ment on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions about our needs in Shep­par­ton; we now have the op­por­tu­nity to put for­ward plans that would sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove the com­mute to Mel­bourne.’’

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