Media Release

28 August 2018

Walsh-O’Brien: Labor’s regional rail fails

Tuesday 28 August 2018

Labor’s regional rail fails

Today’s announcement of a Melbourne suburbs rail network is another snub for regional passengers from Daniel Andrews.

When it comes to regional rail fails, the city-centric Premier for Melbourne and his Labor Government have:

  • Failed to order new trains for country Victoria, leaving country passengers stuck on slow, old diesel locos that are frequently late or cancelled
  • Dismissed Gippsland’s plea for a dedicated regional rail line to speed up service through Melbourne’s south east
  • Ignored Ballarat’s calls for duplication planning to speed up services to Melbourne
  • Botched delivery of the Murray Basin Rail project, blowing out the budget and the timelines
  • Refused to match the Victorian Liberal Nationals’ commitment of $80 million for level crossing and passing loop work that is critical to get passenger services back to Mildura
  • Claimed credit for $1.6 billion of regional rail investment actually delivered by the Federal Liberal Nationals Government

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Regional Victoria and Decentralisation, Peter Walsh:

“Daniel Andrews is throwing $300 million at a futuristic plan for Melbourne while ignoring the needs of regional passengers today.

Regional Victoria needs a modern regional rail network if we are going to properly decentralise our population but this city-centric Labor Government can’t see past Melbourne.

Only the Liberal Nationals have a plan to boost rail services across the whole State, not just Melbourne.

While Daniel Andrews spends millions on ideas for Melbourne, the Liberal Nationals are planning for line upgrades, new trains and more so that regional passengers have better, faster and reliable rail services as soon as possible.”

Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Michael O’Brien:

“The Liberal Nationals support new road and rail infrastructure which is why this suburban rail proposal should be sent to Infrastructure Victoria for proper assessment and planning.

At the moment, the Andrews Labor Government can’t say how much it will cost or if there will be new taxes to fund it.

The devil is in the detail which is why this idea needs to be sent to Infrastructure Victoria for proper assessment, costing and planning beyond today’s media event.

After all that’s why the Andrews Government set up Infrastructure Victoria in the first place, to allegedly ‘take the politics out of infrastructure’.

While this proposal is being fully considered by Infrastructure Victoria, we need a government to get on with building the rail and road networks and infrastructure projects that Rural and Regional Victoria need today.

A Liberal Nationals Government will do just that.”