Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan is taking action to require rail projects to maximise passenger benefits for communities along the rail line.
The details are contained in a Private Members Bill, the National Land Transport Amendment (Best Practice Rail Investment) Bill 2017 to be tabled in Parliament on Monday. The Bill also requires rail projects under the National Land Transport Act 2014 to detail the regional impact.
“The strong community reaction to the appalling service disruptions last weekend has seen increased momentum for action on rail in the North East,” Ms McGowan said.
The Bill is the second piece of legislation that Ms McGowan has introduced to Parliament, aimed at improving train services. In February she introduced 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 met with the Minister for Transport Darren Chester, who has committed to a visit to Indi and she has an appointment with the Victorian Transport Minister, Jacinta Allan, in early April.
“Passengers in the North East deserve the kind of investment in infrastructure that Bendigo and Ballarat have received, from both State and Federal Governments.”
Ms McGowan welcomed news from Minister Chester that the Wodonga-Melbourne rail line may be considered in the Melbourne to Brisbane inland rail project.
“I look forward to discussing with him a plan for effective action when he visits to see firsthand the issues faced on our rail line.”