Plan ‘ignores’ region’s commuters
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.’’