Media Release

03 October 2018

Guy: Liberal Nationals to build High Speed Rail between Latrobe Valley and Melbourne

Wednesday 3 October 2018

Liberal Nationals to build High Speed Rail between Latrobe Valley and Melbourne

An elected Liberal Nationals Government will build European-style High Speed Rail between the Latrobe Valley and Melbourne, slashing travel times to 62 minutes.

The Liberal Nationals’ plan for high speed rail between Latrobe Valley and Melbourne will more than halve travel times from a current time of 2 hours and 12 minutes to just 62 minutes – a saving of 70 minutes.

On a roundtrip, that’s a time-saving of 2 hours and 20 minutes every single day.  Or in other words, for someone who commutes daily on this line for work, they will save more than 23 days a year.

Reaching speeds of 200 kilometres per hour, Victoria’s new High Speed Rail network will be the fastest in Australia.

The High Speed Rail project will see the rebuild of much of Victoria’s current Class 1 track to 200 kilometres per hour operation as well as major track improvements on every other passenger rail line.

On the Gippsland line 200 km/h operations will commence from Traralgon, with express services stopping only at Morwell, Moe and Warragul. Of the duplicated track to Moe, currently one line is rated at 160 km/h operation and another for 130 km/h services. Under the Liberal Nationals’ plan both will be upgraded to 200 km/h operation, giving much easier, faster and reliable operation for all Gippsland trains.

The duplicated track will also be extended from the Waterloo Road level crossing in to Moe station where a second platform will be constructed.

The Liberal Nationals’ vision is to build a state of cities and not only be focused on Melbourne like the Labor Government is.

But to build a state of cities we need to build European-style High Speed Rail connecting our regional centres and we need to grow regional jobs.

That’s why we recently announced a Population Commission to manage population growth throughout Victoria and ensure that regional Victoria has the infrastructure and services needed to sustain that growth.

One of the most important functions of the Population Commission will be to ensure regions like the Latrobe Valley have the right number of doctors, hospital beds, teachers, healthcare workers and police to match population growth.

A Liberal Nationals Government will also fund new-generation, faster, inter-city flyers and long haul variants of the successful V/Locity trains which will provide better comfort and leg room, safety and amenity for passengers.

At the core of the Liberal Nationals plan for a European-style high speed rail is the separation of the regional network from the metropolitan network thus increasing capacity and avoiding a ‘dump and run’ at the end of the suburban rail network.

This project builds on the previously announced business case for dedicated regional rail lines from Pakenham to Caulfield by funding the design and construction of those lines.

Bringing Victoria’s cities closer together with European-style High Speed Rail is the cornerstone of the Liberal Nationals plan to decentralise our jobs and our population.

Whilst Daniel Andrews and Labor have introduced 12 new taxes in the last four years, a Liberal Nationals Government will not introduce a new tax or levy to fund European-style High Speed Rail.

At an estimated total cost of $15 billion to $19 billion, this super-infrastructure project will transform regional Victoria and is affordable, sensible and realistic.

That’s why construction of a European-style High Speed Rail in Victoria is also a nation building project that will attract funding from the state and federal government along with the private sector.

This new project will create much needed new jobs for the Latrobe Valley.  Under Daniel Andrews and Labor’s watch, unemployment in the Latrobe Valley has gone up from 6% to as high as 8.1%.

Building a High Speed Rail network across Victoria will create at least 10,000 new jobs.

Add to that, another 19,000 new jobs to build the Liberal Nationals congestion-busting new highway and arterial road projects and that’s a total of around 30,000 new jobs.  Many of these 30,000 new jobs will be in regional Victoria.

Only the Liberal Nationals will decentralise our jobs and our population with a plan for the right population growth in the right areas at the right time.

Comments attributable to Leader of the Opposition, Matthew Guy:

“I want to build a state of cities, not a city state.

But to build a state of cities we need to build European-style High Speed Rail connecting our regional centres and we need to grow regional jobs and deliver more services to the regions like teachers, doctors, healthcare workers and police.

European-style High Speed Rail will unite our cities and grow the whole state, not just Melbourne.”

Comments attributable to Leader of The Nationals, Peter Walsh:

“Daniel Andrews has been a Premier for Melbourne. A Liberal Nationals Government will be for all of Victoria, not just Melbourne.

High Speed Rail will bring our regional communities closer together, helping grow our regional economy, grow job opportunities, and grow services like more teachers, doctors, healthcare workers and police.

When we reduce travel times, we increase opportunities for people to live in one place and work in another.

If we truly want to decentralise our state, we have to improve connectivity between our regional communities.”

Comments attributable to The Nationals Candidate for Morwell, Sheridan Bond:

“A High Speed Rail connection will deliver a massive boost for the Latrobe Valley, providing faster connection between our communities in Gippsland and Melbourne and supporting jobs and new opportunities in our local economy.

This is a plan that will secure our future and will get the Latrobe Valley economy growing again after four years of setbacks under Daniel Andrews and Labor.

Under our plan, people who commute will get where they need to be quicker, and at the end of a long day they’ll be back home with their families sooner.”

Comments attributable to Liberal Candidate for Morwell, Dale Harriman:

“Melbourne to Traralgon in 62 minutes is a game changer.

High Speed Rail is also going to take a lot of cars off the Princes Highway and the Monash Freeway to Melbourne and that will mean safer roads and that’s going to save lives.

This election will be a chance to vote for High Speed Rail for Latrobe Valley and to send Daniel Andrews a message that this region won’t be taken for granted any longer.”