Plan ‘ig­nores’ re­gion’s com­muters

The Cobram Courier - - NEWS -

Mem­ber for Ovens Val­ley Tim McCurdy has re­sponded to the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment’s subur­ban rail an­nounce­ment, ar­gu­ing it is a slap in the face for north-east com­muters.

Mr McCurdy said Premier Daniel An­drews and his ‘‘city-cen­tric’’ gov­ern­ment had again snubbed the north­east by promis­ing a multi­bil­lion-dol­lar rail tun­nel through Melbourne’s sub­urbs, while fail­ing to pro­vide re­li­able rail for long­suf­fer­ing lo­cal train users.

‘‘Daniel An­drews is throw­ing $300 mil­lion at a fu­tur­is­tic plan for Melbourne while ig­nor­ing the needs of north-east pas­sen­gers,’’ Mr McCurdy said.

‘‘Our com­mu­nity has been cry­ing out for re­li­able ser­vices that don’t see us ar­riv­ing hours late or con­stantly shunted onto re­place­ment buses.

‘‘While Daniel An­drews is promis­ing bil­lions for Melbourne, he’s still fail­ing to pro­vide us with the fast, com­fort­able, re­li­able train ser­vices we de­serve.’’

Mr McCurdy said if The Na­tion­als were elected to gov­ern­ment, they would in­vest $120 mil­lion into the north-east line in the first bud­get to com­pletely re­place the cur­rent age­ing, un­re­li­able fleet.

‘‘Un­der The Na­tion­als, an or­der will be placed in June 2019, with the new fleet de­liv­ered dur­ing the first term of gov­ern­ment,’’ he said.

‘‘The new fleet will be ca­pa­ble of speeds up to 160 km/ h, will be built in Vic­to­ria and in­clude ex­tra leg room and a buf­fet car to suit the longer haul coun­try travel on the north-east rail line.

‘‘In ad­di­tion, the Fed­eral Lib­eral Na­tion­als Gov­ern­ment is putting in $1.6 bil­lion of the $1.75 bil­lion Re­gional Rail Re­vival La­bor has been spruik­ing as its own.’’

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