Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has welcomed the Victorian Government’s commitment to community consultation during the formulation of a major regional transport plan.
The draft Regional Network Development Plan will outline regional public transport infrastructure needs for coming decades. The Plan will consider rollingstock, high capacity regional trains, and infrastructure upgrades.
“I call on the Government to put adequate resources into the Plan. Improving the train service is urgent and needs to be given a high priority,” Ms McGowan said.
“It’s high time a State Government committed to better public transport for northern Victoria and this is long overdue. The service has been sub-standard for many years and people feel like second-class citizens compared to those using V/Line services on southern regional lines.”
On 5 February this year, Ms McGowan and Member for Murray, the Hon. Dr Sharman Stone, met with Premier Daniel Andrews, V/Line senior management and Public Transport Victoria CEO Mark Wild. Ms McGowan and Dr Stone raised the need for community consultation with Mr Wild, who agreed it should occur. Following the meeting Ms McGowan wrote to Minister for Transport, Jacinta Allan, requesting regional communities be consulted in the planning process.
Ms McGowan thanked Ms Allan for including community consultation in the plan framework.
“Communities in North East Victoria are keen to be part of the solution to improve the service,” Ms McGowan said. “Input from key user groups and stakeholders will be vital in this planning stage. I offer my full support in promoting the community consultation phase when it occurs in Indi.”
Ms McGowan looks forward to working with Victorian parliamentary colleagues, Member for Benambra, Mr Bill Tilley, Member for Ovens Valley, Mr Tim McCurdy, and Member for Euroa, Ms Steph Ryan, along with Dr Stone, to seek solutions to the Wodonga-Melbourne train service.