Federal, State agreement brings additional $135 million to North East rail upgrade
Federal Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan says an agreement between the Commonwealth and Victorian governments to deliver a further $135 million in federal funding for the North East rail upgrade is a substantial win for the community.
“Today is a red letter day for North East Victoria and Indi. The additional $135 million is an acknowledgement of the hard work undertaken by the entire community over a long period,” Ms McGowan said.
“I congratulate all those stakeholders who have fought for recognition that the North East line could not deliver the services that rail passengers should expect. It has taken an entire community effort to fix our trains.
“I have also called upon the Victorian Government to request that V/Line executives come to Indi to meet with the ARTC and community representatives to discuss the need for V/Line to increase service standards on the North East line.
“Customer experience on the North East line over an extended period has been poor and the need for improvement is urgent.
“I congratulate the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack and Victorian Minister for Public Transport and Major Projects Jacinta Allan on their commitment to upgrading the North East line to a class 2 standard.”
A joint Victorian Government and Commonwealth Government steering committee had found the $100 million committed by the Coalition Government in its 2017-18 Federal Budget was insufficient to upgrade the North East line to a standard that would allow for the running of new trains.
“Today’s announcement means it is imperative the scope of works for the North East Rail upgrade is released to the public now. Community consultation must immediately follow and that will provide confidence in the transparency of the expenditure for this project,” Ms McGowan said.
“I look forward to seeing money in the Victorian Government’s 2018-19 Budget for new trains for the North East line. They should be ready to go when the works on the track are completed.”