Extra $40 million rail funding an encouraging move forward
Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has welcomed additional rail funding indicating the Federal and State governments are moving closer to fixing the North East rail line.
“My understanding is the Federal Government has agreed to my request for a cross-government working party to ensure that the money is spent in a way that gets the job done properly,” Ms McGowan said.
Ms McGowan said she was encouraged by the Commonwealth confirming it would provide $40 million towards track works, in addition to the $100 million secured in the Federal Budget.
“I welcome the move by the Federal Minister for Transport the Hon Darren Chester with whom I have been in frequent discussions since the budget announcement. I will continue to push for the detail on how that work is to be delivered, and sooner rather than later.”
Ms McGowan was also contacted by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews this week to say the State Government’s focus in the renegotiation of the Australian Rail Track Corporation contract will be on setting clear service outcomes for the ARTC.
“This includes resolving issues with the track and new key performance indicators. It is vital that the ARTC’s contract reflects the needs of North East rail passengers, who deserve a much better service than they are currently receiving,” Ms McGowan said.
Ms McGowan said it was heartening her message that passenger rail should be the responsibility of all levels of government appeared to have been heard.
“As a local, effective and independent representative I’ve been able to communicate the needs of rail passengers across parties and all levels of government to help end the blame game.”