Gippslanders make it clear – we want a dedicated rail line
The Andrews Labor Government has been embarrassed at its own Gippsland Regional Assembly after attendees made it abundantly clear they see a dedicated rail line through Melbourne suburbs as a high priority for our region.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said the Gippsland Regional Assembly – Labors’ own creation – held in Wonthaggi last night, listed a dedicated Gippsland rail line as the number three item for discussion out of 20.
Mr O’Brien said a large crowd of Gippsland locals, leaders from business and local government had made their views known in front of the Premier, Deputy Premier, Treasurer and other Ministers – but notably not the Minister for Public Transport.
“The Nationals have led calls for a dedicated Gippsland line through Melbourne because we know the performance of Gippsland train services is pathetic and much of this is caused by congestion at the Melbourne end.
“We believe we need to be carefully and soberly examining options for a dedicated line, yet Daniel Andrews and Jacinta Allan have rejected it out of hand, while Labor’s so-called Gippsland representative, Harriet Shing, has been scathing in her criticism of any attempt to develop a dedicated line policy.
“I understand this is a difficult prospect and will likely be expensive, particularly in light of the badly planned Sky Rail project that Labor has pursued on the metro system.
“Sky Rail makes it even more difficult to deliver a dedicated track for Gippsland trains to ensure they can run on time, but we must look at all the options.
“It must have been very embarrassing for the Premier to have this issue listed so high on the priorities by Gippslanders at his own function last night,” Mr O’Brien said.
“However, maybe now Labor may realise it has made a mistake in failing to pursue improved rail services and will reverse its previous opposition to the idea.
“It’s galling for Gippslanders that the previous Labor Government, of which both Mr Andrews and Ms Allan were senior Ministers, pursued a dedicated line for Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo but left Gippsland out and they are continuing to do so today.
“Perhaps after being embarrassed at their own Regional Assembly they might now reconsider.”
Friday, 29 June 2018