MORE than 100 Shepparton District residents will converge on the steps of Parliament House tomorrow to demand better rail services to and from their city.
Doctors, professors, students, industry executives, multicultural leaders, politicians and local councillors fed up with the current service will travel to Melbourne on the 6.31am V/Line service.
They are calling on the Andrews Labor Government to change the Shepparton rail timetable immediately and invest in more services to better reflect the times people want and need to travel
“For too long the Shepparton line has suffered from underinvestment while we have watched Bendigo, Ballarat, Geelong and Traralgon enjoy the benefits of more than 20 services a day,” Ms Sheed said.
“Our wider catchment is equal to Bendigo’s so why are we being left behind when it comes to rail investment?
“We can’t even claim to have half the services these other regional cities enjoy.”
Ms Sheed said an improved service was vital for regional growth and would open up opportunities for business, industry, recreation and education and deliver spin off benefits for the visitor economy.
“Since we launched this campaign a month ago I have heard from so many people in our community who desperately want improved rail services,” she said.
“From the parents who rely on the service to take their children to vital appointments at the Royal Children’s Hospital to the students wanting to study in Melbourne but live in Shepparton, there are many compelling reasons to improve rail services and ensure our residents aren’t further disadvantaged.”
All Aboard Shepparton, an initiative of Greater Shepparton City Council, SheppartonRAILS group, the Committee for Greater Shepparton and Ms Sheed are also calling on the government to:
• Invest in infrastructure at Murchison to enable trains to safely pass. • Invest in stabling and security works at Shepparton Station to allow for the dewatering of trains. • Employ a Protective Services Officer at Seymour Station.
All Aboard Shepparton has seen what investment in rail infrastructure has meant for Bendigo, Ballarat, Geelong and Traralgon and want a feasibility study to consider:
• A VLocity train with three carriages • Rail track upgrades (improve from 90km to 160km standard) • Level crossing upgrades • Increase future train services in line with demand and population growth of the Goulburn Valley.
Ms Sheed will press the Minister for Public Transport on a timeline for improvements to the Shepparton Passenger Rail Service during question time tomorrow.
Media Call Where: Steps of Parliament of Victoria. When: 10am, Thursday.
27 May 2015