Minister puts Gippsland Line in too-hard basket

The Andrews Labor Government is consigning Gippsland rail passengers to continued future delays at the same time as its spend-a-thon on city infrastructure reaches epic proportions of waste and mis-management.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien recently called on the Government again to undertake a feasibility study into a dedicated Gippsland line through Melbourne suburbs given ongoing delays and timetable challenges caused by congestion on the tracks shared by Metro and VLine trains.

Mr O’Brien said the political response he received from the Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan, was a slap in the face for Gippsland rail passengers.

“The Minister has responded that a dedicated Gippsland line is “not feasible” and “unachievable” and refuses to even investigate solutions to the problems that plague Gippsland trains,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Our trains regularly get stuck behind Metro trains once they hit Pakenham causing enormous issues with punctuality and reliability on our line.

“Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo all have a dedicated line completed by the Nationals and Liberals when last in government, but Labor continually turns its back on Gippsland rail users.

“At the moment the Andrews Government is committing multi-billions of dollars to projects like the Metro rail tunnel and the Suburban Rail Loop – and yet it refuses to even consider upgrades for Gippsland passengers.

“Even Labor’s much-hyped and long-delayed Gippsland Rail Revival Project is being funded almost entirely by the Federal Coalition Government.

“With Jacinta Allan only interested in political comments and failing to consider the need for dedicated Gippsland rail lines, Gippsland commuters are being put in the too-hard basket once again.

“What the Minister has effectively acknowledged is that Labor’s poorly planned ‘sky rail’ project with elevated stations along the Pakenham line has effectively precluded any dedicated tracks for Gippsland VLine passengers.

“This poor planning is an indictment on the Government and will harm Gippsland passengers well into the future.”

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