Big boost for north-east line

June 28, 2017

It looks like the Federal Nationals have come to the party, but will the Victorian Government?

The Nationals have increased their commitment to the north-east rail line, adding an extra $40million to the kitty to be spent on upgrading the track. This is on top of the $100million they announced in May.

Member for Euroa Steph Ryan has lobbied strongly for the investment in the troubled line, which continues to be among the worst performing in Victoria.

‘‘A joint working group will be set up between the Victorian and Commonwealth governments to manage oversight of the project but, in light of the ARTC’s previous failings, it is vitally important that the community is also involved in the project,’’ Ms Ryan said.

‘‘The ARTC needs to work hard to regain the faith of the community after it botched the installation of concrete sleepers on the line in 2009, exacerbating pre-existing weaknesses in the structure of the track and leaving us with a service that is slower and less reliable.’’

Ms Ryan said Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews was fast running out of excuses to invest in new trains for the line.

‘‘The funding announced by (Federal Infrastructure) Minister (Darren) Chester is seven times the amount Labor wanted to put to the north-east line in its Rail Revival Package,’’ Ms Ryan said.

‘‘Daniel Andrews stood in Wangaratta and promised that if the Commonwealth Government invested in fixing the line, he would invest in new rolling stock.

‘‘With Minister Chester investing so much money to upgrade the track, its time for the Premier to get on board.’’

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