BUDGET RAIL ANNOUNCEMENT OVERDUE
Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan has agreed that a significant rail investment is needed in Shepparton, but stopped short of making any promises, Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed said.
Ms Sheed called for fair investment in Shepparton’s rail service in Parliament this week, as the Victorian budget looms.
“The national accounts report released last week showed agriculture, forestry and fishing production was 8.3% in the December quarter. It was the strongest performance of all industries and more than double that of mining,” Ms Sheed said.
“The value of farm production has been outstanding this year and the Goulburn Valley region as the food bowl of Victoria contributes significantly to that. But we do not have the infrastructure to support the communities that support our farming sector.
“Meanwhile, I receive many emails on a regular basis about the state of the service, about trains being overcrowded, no airconditioning working on days well over 30 degrees, no buffet services on early morning trains,” Ms Sheed said.
“A very large investment is required to upgrade the line between Shepparton and Melbourne. Surely the time for planning has passed. The Minister must commit in this budget to undertake the work necessary to provide a Shepparton service comparable to her region, and the other regional cities,” she said.
Minister Allan acknowledged the concerns.
“We know that there is more work to do on the Shepparton line. We share your desire, I share your desire to see improved services for the Shepparton community because they do so richly deserve improved services after a century of neglect from their local representatives….” Ms Allan said.
Sueanne McCumstie 0428 743 880│firstname.lastname@example.org