When will Labor deliver on rail promise?
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien has taken to State Parliament seeking answers from the Andrews Labor Government on when the Gippsland Rail Revival project will get underway.
Mr O’Brien asked Public Transport Minister, Jacinta Allan for a timetable of works six and a half months after the government announced it was “funded and ready to go”.
“This project was announced in April to great fanfare although without any funding attached to it. We are now into November and we have seen no work on the Gippsland line and commuters continue to be faced with delays and cancellations,” Mr O’Brien said.
“On the 1st of May this year Jacinta Allan put out a statement saying these projects were “funded and ready to go” but we are still waiting.
“Gippsland commuters are frustrated at the regular delays and cancellations and are sick of hearing excuses.
“If we are to grow our region, we need a reliable train service and not one that just travels as far as Traralgon.
“Wellington and East Gippsland Shires also need a decent service. That is why I have again called on the government to fund train stabling at Sale so we can deliver additional services and also for the government to investigate a dedicated rail line for Gippsland to alleviate congestion at the Melbourne end.
“Very regularly our trains are caught behind Metro trains once they hit Pakenham and the government’s sky rail project will exacerbate this problem even further.
“Labor has simply not planned for this issue and is potentially condemning Gippslanders to more problems for decades to come.
“The Gippsland Rail Revival package is certainly important and great thanks to my federal colleague, Darren Chester for providing federal funding for the first time to Gippsland passenger rail services.”
Mr O’Brien also asked whether the government had even yet sent a business case to the Commonwealth to confirm funding for these projects.
“If these projects were “funded and ready to go” then there’s no reason why work shouldn’t be happening now six and a half months after they were announced.
“It’s time Daniel Andrews and Labor stopped paying lip service to Gippsland and got on with the job.”