For better rail
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.’’