Freight rail upgrades must stay on agenda
Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed has called on the Victorian Government to release plans for freight rail upgrades in the region.
Ms Sheed raised the issue in Parliament on Tuesday, prior to a meeting with the Minister for Ports and Freight, and said timely freight improvement works to the line connecting Southern NSW through Shepparton to the Port of Melbourne would be integral to the region’s future prosperity.
“In September last year the State and Federal Governments announced $10m of funding from the Victorian Regional Rail Revival Package to improve the capacity and efficiency of rail freight from the Goulburn Valley,” Ms Sheed said.
“$900,000 of that funding was committed by the Victorian Government to undertake planning works that would determine the future demand for freight services taking into account both the significant growth in agricultural industries in the region and the coming increase in passenger rail services.
“This planning work was expected to be completed in early 2019 and given we’re about to enter the second quarter of the year I have asked the Minister to provide an update on the progress of these works.”
During the meeting, Ms Sheed and Minister Horne also discussed the Shepparton District bus network and the current upgrades to the Shepparton train line.
“Given Minister Horne is also responsible for the Public Transport portfolio, it was an opportune time to invite her to the visit the region and update her personally on our transport needs,” Ms Sheed said.
“We are well overdue for a review of our bus system and we need to keep talking to the Government to ensure our rail transport needs are met.
“I have asked the Minister to investigate a number our region’s transport priorities and I look forward to progressing these projects as we move forward.”
Riahn Smith 0419 138 978│email@example.com