For bet­ter rail

The Tatura Guardian - - News -

Fed­eral Mem­ber for Mur­ray Shar­man Stone and Fed­eral Mem­ber for Indi Cathy McGowan have met with the Deputy Prime Min­is­ter and In­fra­struc­ture Min­is­ter War­ren Truss to dis­cuss is­sues and pos­si­ble so­lu­tions re­gard­ing rail ser­vices in north­ern Vic­to­ria.

Dr Shar­man Stone said the meet­ing was a frank and fruit­ful dis­cus­sion, and Min­is­ter Truss un­der­stood the im­por­tance of re­gional rail in Vic­to­ria, in par­tic­u­lar for Shep­par­ton to Seymour and Al­bury to Mel­bourne.

‘‘We are see­ing V-line tak­ing can­teen staff off trains be­cause of the work­place health risks caused by the con­di­tion of tracks and old rolling stock,’’ Dr Stone said.

‘‘V-line has to close the train can­teen be­tween Vi­o­let Town and Seymour due to the sway­ing and move­ment.

‘‘Although the rail­way line is owned by the state, the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment has in­vested $730 mil­lion since 2009 to up­grade the Al­bury to Mel­bourne track, but it still seems to have prob­lems.

‘‘We want some of the East-West Link monies . . . to be di­verted to up­grad­ing this line.’’

Dr Stone said the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment’s fo­cus on sub­ur­ban rail to the vir­tual ex­clu­sion of re­gional rail up­grades was not ac­cept­able.

‘‘The Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment has es­tab­lished a com­mit­tee for a re­gional rail strat­egy con­sul­ta­tion, but we do not yet have any ac­tion,’’ she said.

We ask the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment to pro­duce a busi­ness case for a fully up­graded rail ser­vice that can carry faster, more mod­ern trains.

‘‘Re­gional Vic­to­ria should not have to ac­cept sub­stan­dard rail ser­vices com­pared to metro coun­ter­parts.’’

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