Cathy McGowan: Member for Indi

Bill calls for passenger rail to be a priority for regional Australia

March 24, 2017

Independent Member for Indi has laid out a clear plan for the government to show its commitment to regional rail passenger services in North East Victoria.

In tabling a Private Member’s Bill in Parliament on Monday, Ms McGowan has called for the strengthening of the social and community benefit considerations that are assessed when the minister approves an investment project under the National Land Transport Act 2014.

The National Land Transport Amendment (Best Practice Rail Investment) Bill 2017 also requires a summary of evidence supporting the approval of the investment project to be tabled in Parliament.

Ms McGowan urged the Federal Government to prioritise passenger rail in projects such as the inland rail upgrade.

“Australia’s passenger rail services must be considered alongside its rail freight network. The two overlap and share much common infrastructure. Improvements to the national freight network having the potential to increase passenger traffic safety and reduce congestion,” Ms McGowan said.

“Adopting this legislation is an opportunity for the government to provide leadership and show real commitment to regional Australia.

The legislation follows Ms McGowan tabling in February the Infrastructure Australia Amendment (Social Sustainability) Bill 2017 which, if accepted by the Government, would prioritise regional passenger rail and enshrine social wellbeing considerations in infrastructure investment decisions.

Ms McGowan has also called for the Australian Rail Track Corporation to have consideration for passenger rail included in its core operations.

The video of Ms McGowan’s speech can be seen here


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